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VOLUME XVI, NO. 3
The FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
a publication of the florida anthropological society
Volume XVI, No. 3
C 0 N T E N T S
Eighteenth Century Culture Change Among The Lower Creeks
Carol I. Mason . . . .
The Wash Island Site, Crystal River, Florida
Adelaide K. and Ripley P. Bullen . ..
Vertebrate Remains From The Wash Island Site
Elizabeth S. Wing .. . . ..
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Charles H. Fairbanks
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EIGHTEENTH CENTURY CULTURE CHANGE
AMONG THE LOWER CREEKS
Carol I. Mason
Archaeologists working with historic Indian materials
in the Southeast often feel obliged to comment on culture
change occurring as a result of contact of the Indians with
Europeans. Very often the most that can be said is that a
simplification or breakdown of aboriginal culture occurred
through the acceptance of European technology in the form of
trade goods and a consequent tie-in with European economic
systems. Viewed as a whole, this is a fair statement of fact,
for the technological innovations and sweeping population
displacements of the early historic period are unparalleled
for their abruptness and violence and caused severe cultural
dislocations in many areas. Crane, in his classic study of
the southern frontier (1956), pointed to the introduction of
the English trade as a precourser to "an economic and social
revolution" (p. 116) among the Indians, creating "new habits
and ways of living which f bred dependence upon the
white man." Viewing the situation more microscopically from
the point of view of a site or a series of similar sites, it
is often very difficult to demonstrate these changes in terms
of specific social institutions and specific cultural
The most obvious forms of culture change on archaeologi-
cal sites consist of European trade artifacts, and in most
cases the difficulties involved in interpolating alterations
in social and ideological systems from these data are enor-
mous, even granting the existence of a suitable body of his-
toric source materials from which to draw. The replacement
of native made artifacts by European ones often coincides
with the breakdown and disruption of aboriginal culture, but
it is not always possible to frame this as a causal relation-
ship or to assume that everywhere the presence of European
artifacts in a site necessarily indicates a concommitant
breakdown of social and ideological systems. The thesis that
technological change is a determining factor in the altera-
tion of the rest of culture is one that I would accept; what
needs demonstration in the case of certain historic Indian
sites is that technological change as opposed to artifact
replacement has in fact occurred. And by technological
change is meant alteration in the tools and techniques uti-
lized by a cultural system to extract a living from its phys-
ical environment; in other words, alteration in the basic
means that a society uses to exploit the world around it.
The Lower Creeks offer an example of a group of towns
whose economy was linked closely to the English trade and
whose sites show considerable replacement of aboriginal arti-
facts with European ones. However, their social and ideo-
logical systems persisted as recognizably Creek in character
for at least a hundred years after the inception of a re-
markably active acculturative situation. The Lower Creek
towns are represented in the earliest known phase of contact
with Europeans by Ocmulgee Fields, an archaeological complex
demonstrating eager acceptance of European trade materials
and a consequent decline in native handicrafts. The economy
of the Lower Creeks of this period (1690-1715) was commencing
a relationship with the deerskin trade that ultimately placed
the Indians in a position dependent upon the English for
guns, knives, clothing, and many kinds of ornamental non-
essentials. The problem becomes one of determining why Creek
culture managed to retain its character in spite of years of
European encroachment, the introduction of new tools and
weapons, and periods of conscious action anthropology on the
part of the United States government and its officials.
It is true, of course, that the most obvious changes in
Lower Creek culture as a result of contact with Europeans
took place in the area of material culture. The inception of
the English trade brought many new classes of artifacts to
the frontier, as the archaeological remains at Ocmulgee
Fields sites amply demonstrate. These things replaced arti-
cles of native manufacture and as a result produced rapid
changes in handicrafts and the patterns of behavior associ-
ated with the production of these things in the home. The
loss of home craft was such that Benjamin Hawkins, principal
Indian agent for United States territories south of Ohio, rue-
fully acknowledged that "they (the Indians) have played the
spoiled child for so long that many of them have ceased
to do anything useful for themselves" (Hawkins 1916: 76).
the disappearance of native-made objects may have contributed
to some of the estrangement between generations so noticeable
in the eighteenth century, at least as far as the men were
concerned. Boys no longer learned from their elders the arts
of making tools and weapons, and hence one important learning
situation insuring continuity of knowledge from generation to
generation was eliminated almost without replacement.
Perhaps the most important single artifact introduced to
the Indians through the trade was the flintlock musket. Ana-
lyzing the effects of this weapon on the native peoples must
include not only its effectiveness as a means of producing
deerskins for trade but also its efficiency in restructuring
relationships between Indian groups on the frontier itself.
Smith has pointed out with reference to the introduction of
the flintlock rifle that it eventually caused significant al-
terations in the ecology of whole regions by allowing more
complete elimination of the game than had ever been possible
before (Smith 1956: 104). This type of scouring of the
countryside for game must have had some influence on the di-
rection and even the frequency of the movements of the Indian
As striking as the replacement of native-made artifacts
by European ones is, however, even more striking is the per-
sistence of certain others in the face of what must have been
long standing and fairly formidable competition. The most
important of these holdouts is pottery, which, instead of
suffering a rapid decline in importance and disappearing en-
tirely, continued to be made by the Creeks through the nine-
teenth century (Speck 1907). Indians in other areas seem to
have been more than willing to abandon aboriginal ceramics
for copper, brass, or iron kettles or for European or Ameri-
can ceramics, but the Creeks seem in many instances to have
preferred their own earthenware, which often appears with
European or American pottery on the same sites. At Ocmulgee
Town, the Lower Creek site in Macon, Georgia, native pottery
as yet had no real competition, judging from the relatively
few sherds of European ceramics present. Copper was found on
the site, presumably the debris from manufacturing ornaments
from copper kettles, but no whole kettles and very few rec-
ognizable kettle fragments were found there.
It is in areas where native patterns of behavior were
intensified the most through new weapons that the really far-
reaching effects were felt in the social system. These
changes centered about male roles in the society and left
those of the women basically unaltered. When the deerskin
trade commenced, men were the principal participants in it
since they were the principal (and usually only) hunters.
Joining the trade created a circle from which it was im-
possible to escape: hunting provided skins which could be
traded for goods which were consumed in prodigious quantities
by the Indians. The more the Indians acquired, the more
desirable the trade goods became and the more necessary it
became to hunt intensively for deer. Hunting deer was the
only way an individual Indian could reap the rewards of the
trade and bring the highly desired produce of the Europeans
to his friends and relatives, ceaseless and unrelenting con-
sumers. The Indians had no other means of access to the
trade; the Southeast provided them with no other raw material
desired by Europeans, and they possessed no skills that Euro-
peans could purchase in a labor market. As time went on and
European goods attained the status of necessities if not of
life itself of respectable life as the Indians viewed it,
more and more men were removed for longer and longer periods
from other customary activities in order to hunt deer and
thus be able to acquire trade articles. Ceremonial activi-
ties suffered by the removal of the men into the woods for
prolonged deer hunting. Hawkins' 1796 tour through the Creek
country found very few men at home; most of them were out
hunting for a season that often lasted three or four months
(Hawkins 1916). There is no reason to believe that this
three or four month deer hunting season represented an origi-
nal aboriginal pattern. Judging from the one-time excellent
supply of deer, such a prolonged hunting season would hardly
have been necessary in pre-contact times.
Evidently the length of the hunting season was directly
related to the decline in numbers of deer available. Even-
tually at the end of the eighteenth century, the game was
clearly on its way to extinction because of over-hunting, and
longer and longer periods had to be spent in the field in
order to find any fur-bearing game at all. The desperateness
of the situation was made graphic by Benjamin Hawkins. In
commenting on the natural wildness of the Creek country in the
last of the eighteenth century, he stated that normally one
would expect game in abundance there, but actually the con-
verse was true: "the whole of the creek claims, the Semi-
noles inclusive, cover three hundred miles square; and it is
difficult for a good hunter, in passing through it, in any
direction, to obtain enough for his support" (Hawkins 1848:
Because of the decline in the deer population, the posi-
tion of the Creek men at the end of the eighteenth century
was a precarious one as far as their integration into the
general economic organization of the Creek community was
concerned. Hawkins stated that ". the game has become
scarce; the wants of the Indians are increasing, the men too
proud to labor; the distemper has destroyed their horses;
the presents heretofore given by Great Britain, in quantities
sufficient to cloathe all the idlers, has ceased; those
given by Spain are mere baubles. The men, bred in habits
proudly indolent and insolent, accustomed to be courted .
will reluctantly and with difficulty, be humbled to the level
of rational life" (Hawkins 1916: 240). The "rational life"
proposed by Hawkins and consisting of orderly farming-for-
profit activity on the part of the men was not an indigenous
pattern, but by that time was the only alternative left the
Creek men if they were to contribute actively to the economic
life of the community. The development of an alternative to
the declining hunting-trading pattern had been for a long
time inhibited in its emergence through the continued prac-
tice of European governments of giving "gifts" to the Indians.
In many cases, they came to expect generous gifts of European
goods and, when the decline in the deer supply limited parti-
cipation in the trade through normal channels, to depend on
gifts as a major source for the highly desired trade goods.
When the United States government developed its new policy of
discouraging presents and encouraging individual initiative
and self-sufficiency, this pattern was of such long standing
and of such strength that it proved a real stumbling block to
continued progress. Hawkins, a most temperate individual and
very sympathetic to the Creeks, occasionally grew so impa-
tient with the repeated requests for gifts that he denounced
his charges as a nation of "beggars" (Hawkins 1916: 57).
With the diminution in the supply of game animals and
the discouragement by the government of gifts, the men of the
Lower Creeks substituted stolen horses for deerskins as a
means of trade and put off in time somewhat their inevitable
reorganization as far as roles in the economic system were
concerned. The brisk trade in stolen horses required almost
the same organization as deer hunting. Men organized "hunts"
for the purpose of horse stealing and continued to partici-
pate in the trade using stolen horses rather than deerskins.
This kind of trade was more difficult since former owners had
a habit of turning up to reclaim their property, sometimes,
however, only after the horses had exchanged hands many times
and had successfully provided stimulus for the flow of goods
to a number of individuals. Horses as a new type of commod-
ity remained within the same old pattern of economic activity,
and the major lines of Lower Creek economic organization re-
mained the same.
The removal of the men from the villages and towns for
very long periods tended to preserve the aboriginal pattern
of matrilineal land control and matrilineal descent in spite
of the increasing importance of deer hunting to the community.
The core of women who remained home in the villages were the
agriculturalists as they had always been and retained their
control over land and the products of the land. Women,
therefore, and particularly the martilineage, served as the
thread of cultural continuity from generation to generation
and certainly were a powerful force for cultural conservatism.
The relative stability of female roles in the society was
probably the reason for the retention of such things as pot-
tery and the resistance to change of certain ceramic motifs,
which were passed along the maternal line from mother to
daughter (Fairbanks 1962: 51).
When culture change affected the women of Creek society,
it was mainly to intensify the already existing patterns of
matrilineality by placing even more control over basic pro-
duction in their hands. The traders, ironically, proved to
be important innovators, introducing the women to new crafts,
new agricultural plants, and even new domestic animals. Haw-
kins' reports of important changes in farming, stock-raising,
and other similar activities seem to center for the most part
around the homes of the traders (Hawkins 1848). In these
homes, shared by Indian wives, some traders consciously at-
tempted to implant European social usages upon the children
and to provide them with European educations, but, judging
from the number of offspring of such marriages later to ob-
tain prominence as Creek leaders, the matrilineal line re-
tained its vitality in such culturally mixed situations.
In some of the towns, the traders further increased the
economic power of the women by establishing certain kinds of
markets. Hawkins reported that some of the towns had "a
powerful stimulus to industry" in the creation of markets for
the express purpose of supplying the traders with food at set
prices. One of these markets resulted in as much as $2750 in
money and goods being injected into the economy of one town
over a period of two years. Since the women supplied many of
the sundries for the markets from their gardens, they began
to have a direct means of access to European goods instead of
being dependent upon the hunting (or horse stealing) activi-
ties of their male relatives. Other forms of industry intro-
duced by whites added to the possibilities of earning by
Creek women. At least one local cotton gin operated in the
Creek country in 1796, hiring Indian women to pick cotton and
paying them beads, salt, and "taffra" (Hawkins 1916: 30).
All of these new patterns of behavior in the economic sphere
resulted not so much in dislocation as intensification of the
aboriginal form since the traditional roles of the women as
providers were not being re-defined or altered in any really
Perhaps the single most important plan of induced culture
change among the Lower Creeks was that organized and promoted
by the United States government under the immediate direction
of Benjamin Hawkins. Hawkins realized the hopeless position
of the Creeks in competing with the expansion of Georgian
farmers into Indian lands and attempted to alter Creek cul-
ture in a direction most nearly approximating the frontier
farming community as was possible. He believed that if the
Creeks possessed some form of economic life not dependent
upon hunting or theft or upon continual village movement,
they would be in a better position to resist the encroach-
ment of white farmers and to develop stronger governmental
machinery for so doing.
Stock raising was one of the important new forms of
economic activity encouraged by the government. It not only
formed a new and stable form of wealth for the Indians but
also had some effect on settlement patterns and village size.
The people began to settle out from the main towns in smaller
villages "for the conveniency of stock raising" (Hawkins
1848: 30) through better access to grazing lands. The Indi-
ans so settled out in villages retained less of their old
"customs of indolence" and "sitting daily in the squares"
(Hawkins 1848: 56) perhaps because these new village Indians
had already adopted the frontier settler-farmer way of life
before moving out in the villages rather than vice-versa as
Hawkins seems to have thought. Certainly Hawkins' descrip-
tions of these smaller villages indicate that some strides
had been made in reintegrating the men directly into the
basic subsistence system, an area from which they had long
been absent during the years of intensive hunting and trading
for really non-essential (in terms of the subsistence system
at any rate) goods. In at least some instances, however,
stock raising remained in the hands of the women (Hawkins
1916: 16), even when it was the raising of such large animals
as cattle and hogs.
The introduction of the plow in agriculture was a direct
onslaught on the position of the men in the Creek community.
Plow agriculture is usually male agriculture, and where it
was introduced successfully among the Creeks, it proved use-
ful in encouraging a new role, that of frontier farmer, for
Creek men (Hawkins 1848: 60). Introduction of the plow was
handled directly by white farmers sent into Creek territory
by Hawkins to teach the Creeks the use of it (Hawkins 1916:
As a whole, though, many of the technological innova-
tions promoted by Hawkins were rejected by the Creek men, who
were very often reluctant to alter their patterns of living
and totally uninterested in his plans for their economic bet-
terment. Efforts at teaching them animal husbandry, iron
craft, and agriculture were hampered not only by the long
hunting season but also by long entrenched attitudes as to
what was proper male behavior. It was particularly dis-
couraging to Hawkins to find that some of his successes later
relapsed into their old ways and preferred "roving idly
through the woods, and down on the frontiers, to attending to
farming or stock raising" (Hawkins 1848: 61). His introduc-
tions of spinning, weaving, and carding among the women were
as a whole more successful, but these activities produced no
real changes in the social organization since they acted to
make the means of production even more firmly entrenched in
the female sphere. Although movement toward the frontier
farming pattern continued among the Creeks, the good old days
of hunting, trading, and roving idly through the woods lost
none of their appeal. Even in the middle of the nineteenth
century, after the Creek removal to Oklahoma, this way of
life had a brief revival in the game rich lands of that
territory. Contemporary observers noted the rapidity of
the disappearance of the game, particularly the fur-bearing
game, as the old pattern emerged once more (Schoolcraft
As a summary statement, it can be said that the coming
of the English trade changed the economic organization of
Creek culture in certain ways, particularly in providing new
tools and weapons and thus altering somewhat the position of
men in the society. The English trade increased the impor-
tance of deer hunting; and when the game disappeared, Creek
men were left without an easy means of access to the by then
necessary trade goods. The early periods of the influx of
Europeans into America, however, saw the presentation of
these new tools, new weapons, and many other kinds of new
things to the Creeks, but these artifacts were not new in the
sense that they introduced an entirely alien technology. As
a matter of fact, the new articles brought to the Creeks
through trade did not present to them a new technology at all.
The new artifacts, manufactured by processes unknown to the
Indians and probably unimportant to them, simply substituted
for the aboriginal artifacts within the framework of an
essentially aboriginal technology and aboriginal economic
system. Changes, of course, did occur as a result of the
introduction of these new tools but only in so far as the new
tools intensified through increased efficiency an already
existing means of exploiting the environment. No really new
ways of acquiring daily bread were imported into the Indian
territory, and the people used the shiny new tools in much
the same way as their parents had used artifacts of shell,
flint, and ground stone.
The role of women was less strikingly affected by the in-
creased importance of deer hunting, and because of this, pro-
vided some measure of stability during an era when physical
displacement and tribal disorganization were the rule in the
Southeast rather than the exception. Needless to say, cer-
tain commercial attitudes, particularly as associated with
the acquisition of trade goods,invaded sectors of the culture.
Even the ideology of the Creeks reflected the importance of
the trade to the people. Swan reported in 1791 that the
major religious personality of the Creeks, the Master or
Maker of Breath, was said at that time to inhabit "some dis-
tant unknown region, where game is plentiful and goods very
cheap" (Schoolcraft 1855: 269).
The University of Wisconsin
Fox Valley Center
Crane, Verner W.
1956 The Southern Frontier. Ann Arbor: University
of Michigan Press.
Fairbanks, Charles H.
1962 Excavations at Horseshoe Bend, Alabama. The
Florida Anthropologist, Vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 41-56
1848 A Sketch of the Creek Country in the Years 1798
and 1799. Collections of the Georgia Historical
Society Vol. 3, pt. 1.
1916 Letters of Benjamin Hawkins. Collections of the
Georgia Historical Society, Vol. 9.
Historical and Statistical Information
Respecting the History, Condition, and Prospects
of the Indian Tribes of the United States. Vol.
2. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo, and
1855 ibid Vol 5.
Smith, Hale G.
1956 The European and the Indian. Florida
Anthropological Society Publications, Vol. 4.
Speck, Frank G.
1907 The Creek Indians of Taskigi Town. American
Anthropological Association Memoir, Vol. 2, pt. 2
THE WASH ISLAND SITE, CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA
Adelaide K. and Ripley P. Bullen
ABSTRACT: Specimens from a stratigraphic test at Wash Island
are contrasted with those from the beach. Occupation during
several archaeological periods is evident. Typology of Flo-
rida basally notched points and suggestions as to their dat-
ing are included.
In 1961 the authors were taken on an archaeological sur-
vey of Crystal River by Charles P. Barnes, a fishing guide
interested in archaeology and well acquainted with the river
and the neighboring islands. Specimens from the beach at
Wash Island differed from those found at other sites and be-
longed to the Transitional or immediately post-Orange (fiber-
tempered) period (Bullen and Bullen 1961).
While much of the shell midden deposit at Wash Island
had eroded away before our visit, the small remaining portion
presented the possibility that a stratigraphic test would
shed light on the Transitional period. Barnes very kindly
arranged for permission from the owner of the island, Mr.
Maurice Hollins of Crystal River and St. Petersburg, to make
such a test. We appreciate this permission. The site was
revisited in February 1963 with Barnes and L. D. Milton,
another guide at Crystal River, and the test excavated. A
second collection was also made from the beach.
The 1963 collection from the beach at Wash Island in-
cluded a hammerstone, 10 worked fragments of chert, 3 arrow
or spear points (Fig. 1, b-d), a ground stone cylindrical
cube (Fig. 1, a); 2 fragments of steatite vessels (Fig. 1, 1),
*, ~ L~ ,
I i inches
Fig. 1. Specimens from the beach at Wash Island.
a limestone cylinder; b, stemmed point; c-d, narrow
Wasally-notched" points; e-j, sherds (e-f- Pasco In-
cised; g, Perico Incised; E, Perico Linear Punctated;
i, Perico Punctated B; ., St. Johns Incised); k, Busycon
gouge; 1, fragment of steatite vessel.
2 Busycon hammers, 2 Melongena hammers, a columella (Fasciol-
aria) hammer, 2 Busycon gouges (Fig. 1, k), 6 pieces of
worked bone, and various sherds (Fig. 1, e-i). Of the last
we kept 2 St. Johns Plain, 3 St. Johns Incised, 4 Pasco Plain,
5 Pasco Incised (Bullen and Bullen 1950: 35), 4 Perico Punc-
tated, 1 Perico Linear Punctated (Bullen and Bullen 1953),
2 Perico Incised, 2 Deptford Simple Stamped, 1 Deptford
Linear Check Stamped, 5 Deptford or Wakulla Check Stamped, 2
Pasco Check Stamped, 1 micaceous check-stamped, 1 Thomas
Simple Stamped, 1 Ruskin Dentate Stamped, 1 St. Andrews Com-
plicated Stamped, 1 sherd-tempered plain, and 2 Weeden Island
Plain sherds. This collection was similar to the earlier one
(Bullen and Bullen 1961) but added sherds of the Weeden
Island period to the inventory from the beach. It suggested
that the stratigraphic test should uncover deposits of the
Weeden Island period overlying those of the Transitional and
Deptford periods. As will be seen shortly, such did not
prove to be the case.
Results of our 5- by 10-foot stratigraphic test in terms
of the vertical position of different pottery types are pre-
sented in Table 1. Other excavated specimens were 2 utilized
flakes from depths of 0-6 inches, a crude small chert scraper
and a clay spindle whorl (Fig. 2, b) from depths of 6-12
inches, a limestone chipping hammer from depths of 30-36
inches, a small bone bead (Fig. 2, a) from the muck below 36
inches, and 64 Melongena hammers. Of these hammers, 2 were
VERTICAL DISTRIBUTION OF SHERDS AT WASH ISLAND
Depths in inches 0-6 6-12 12-18 18-24 24-30 30-36 36-42d Totals
Pinellas Plain, notched lip
Wakulla Check Stamped
Pasco Check Stamped,
Ruskin Dentate Stamped
Thomas Simple Stamped
Pasco, interior red painted
Pasco Interior Slippeda
Weeden Island Plain, inc. r:
Weeden Island Red, wedge rir
Smoothed over surface
St. Johns Plain
aBullen and Bullen 1950: 34-35.
bSears 1950: 22-23.
26 19 43 27 7
11 7 32 107 27
72 55 113 137 42
cLinear punctated or
I I I inches h
Fig. 2. Specimens from the test at Wash Island.
a, bone bead; b, clay spindle whorl; c-h, 1-k, sherds
Tc, Jefferson ware rim; d-e Wakulla Check Stamped; f,
Weeden Island Plain with incised rim; g-h, Weeden Is-
land Red with wedge-shaped rim; J, Thomas Simple
Stamped; k, smoothed-over linear punctated or cord-
marked); Z, narrow "basally-notched" point.
in the first, 1 in the second, 15 in the third, 27 in the
fourth, 17 in the fifth, and 2 in the sixth level from the
surface. Food bones from this test are covered in the fol-
lowing article by E. S. Wing.
The cultural deposit consisted chiefly of shells native
to the area, of which oysters were the most common, mixed with
other midden debris. The profile showed four zones which from
the surface downward could be defined as 1) shells, roots,
and black dirt, 9 inches thick; 2) fairly clean shells, 18
inches thick; 3) black dirt and shells, 15 inches thick; and
4) an underlying black muck-sand zone which in its upper part
contained fingers of shells extending towards the northeast
away from the beach. Water, encountered at a depth of 45
inches, made delineation of these "fingers" impossible.
It was noted that oyster shells were small in the first
6 inches, larger between depths of 6 and 18 inches, small be-
tween 18 and 24 inches, and large again between depths of 24
and 30 inches. At a depth of 24 inches was uncovered an area
of burnt shells, 18 inches across and at least 36 inches in
length, extending into the southeast wall of our trench. A
lens of clay and burnt shell was also found between depths
of 30 and 36 inches.
Correlation of these deposits with the vertical distri-
bution of pottery gives a good degree of congruence with
zone 1 (0-9 inches) equating with the Safety Harbor period,
zone 2 (9-27 inches) with the Weeden Island period, and zone
3 (below 27 inches) with St. Johns Plain and extremely high
percentages of Pasco Plain with earlier times. The distribu-
tion of Wakulla Check Stamped sherds would by definition di-
vide zone 2 into an upper Weeden Island II and a lower Weeden
Island I subzone with the division coming on the chart at 18
inches. The Weeden Island Red with wedge-shaped rims and the
Pasco Interior Slipped are Weeden Island I in date.
The vertical distribution of sherds in our test (Table
I) follows the anticipated sequential arrangement for the
Wash Island region. It is interesting to note the relatively
deep provenience of Pasco Interior Slipped, previously re-
corded at nearby Johns Island in a similar position (Bullen
and Bullen 1950). While the lowest zone might pertain to the
Transitional period, St. Johns Incised and Pasco Incised,
diagnostic of that period in this region, were not found.
Comparison of the two collections from the beach with
that from the excavation immediately demonstrates their dif-
ference. A great majority of the decorated sherds from the
beach pertain to the Transitional period while no definitive
sherds of that period came from the test.
The beach at Wash Island consists of a narrow sandy
strip which connects the irregular and eroded surface of
limestone, exposed at low tide, with the remaining portion of
the midden where we made our test. The present surface of
this midden slopes downward away from the beach, towards a
marsh immediately to the northeast. Our excavation revealed
the midden rested on mucky sand. A small hole in the beach,
at the high tide mark and near the face of the midden, dis-
closed muck below the beach at about the same elevation as in
our test. No midden remained between the beach sand and the
muck but there were in this hole, as in the test, suggestions
of fingers or lenses of shells in the muck.
Mr. Barnes advised that at least 40 feet of Wash Island
had eroded away in the past 40 years. It seems evident the
earlier occupation was situated to the southwest of the pre-
sent remnant of the island in the location where to-day lime-
rock is exposed at low tide. Probably here, as at Johns
Island fifteen miles to the south, occupation started during
the Transitional period, around 750-500 B.C., and at a time
when the sea level was lower, relative to the land, than at
present. As time went on and occupation continued, shells
were deposited on the surface of the marsh to the northeast.
As the sea rose so did the surface of this marsh burying
there shell lenses or "fingers." With continued growth, the
accumulating midden, during the Weeden Island period, ex-
panded considerably to cover a portion of the marsh. Growth
during the succeeding Safety Harbor period seems also to have
been mainly horizontal as opposed to vertical.
After final abandonment, which must have been late
enough for the introduction of vessels of Jefferson ware,
storms and the continued rise in sea level have completely
eroded away the earlier portions of the Wash Island midden
leaving artifacts of the Transitional period on the limestone
and on the beach. What is left of the island to-day is
formed by a Weeden Island and Safety Harbor period midden.
Wash Island is one of a number of sites where narrow,
basally-notched, points have been found. We suggest such
points be referred to as Hernando points, using the name of
the county in which the majority have been found, and that the
term be defined as given in the following paragraph.
Hernando points are relatively long, narrow, and thin
stemless points having straight sides and a base which is
divided into three parts by basal notching. These points are
neatly made by pressure flaking. Customarily, they vary from
1l to 2k inches in length, 1 to 1l inches in width, and are
about k inch in maximum thickness. Basal notching is usually
neatly and evenly done but sometimes a crude effect is pro-
duced by the (accidental?) removal of a large basal flake.
There are three varieties of Hernando points. In the
first, Variety A, the basal notching is evenly done so that
the straight basal portion of the point is divided into three
very nearly equal parts by the shallow basal notches (Fig. 1,
c; Bullen and Bullen 1953: Fig. 1, H; 1954: Fig. 1, 2-3).
In the second, Variety B, the basal notching is deeper and
the mid part of the basal portion is small and does not ex-
tend downward as far as the corner parts (Bullen and Bullen
1953: Fig. 1, I; Goggin 1951: Fig. 9, 0). In Variety C,
the mid portion of the base have been removed, intentionally
or accidentally (Fig. 1, d; 2, i; Bullen and Bullen 1950:
Fig. 20, x). This may give the point a fluted appearance
(Bullen and Bullen 1950: Fig. 20, j).
Another variety might appropriately be called Hernando
Broad but we would suggest the term Citrus Point. Citrus
points are similar to Hernando points except that they are
larger, have curved as opposed to straight sides, an overall
ovate shape, and a rearrangement of the basal notching. They
are probably knives or spear points. Their large size, es-
pecially the greater breadth (1 to 2 inches) necessitated a
revision in basal chipping. The space between the basal
notches has been made wider and approximately equal in width
to twice that of either corner portion (Bullen and Bullen
1953: Fig. 1, J-K). In the larger and broader forms, basal
corners have been cut off at an angle so that the basal pa-
rameter appears curved (Bullen and Bullen 1954: Fig. 1, 4).
More Hernando points have been found on the beach at
Wash Island and among specimens pumped from a submerged site
at Battery Point, Bayport, than elsewhere in Florida. As
most of the material from these locations pertains to the
Transitional period of Florida (Bullen 1959), it might seem
likely that such was also the case for Hernando (and Citrus)
points. Stratigraphic data, however, does not support such
At Johns Island (Bullen and Bullen 1950) and at Wash
Island (earlier this paper) the excavated specimens came
from levels attributable to late Deptford or early Weeden
Island times. That such dating is probably correct is indi-
cated by the provenience of an Hernando, Variety B, point
found at the Fort Center site on Fisheating Creek in the
Glades area. This point, at a depth of 24-30 inches, was in
a level which must be chronologically the equivalent of late
Deptford or early Weeden Island I times Dunns Creek Red
sherds present and stratigraphically below St. Johns Check
Stamped and above St. Johns Incised sherds (Goggin 1951: 57-
The larger Citrus points may or may not be temporal
equivalents of Hernando points. Until Citrus points have
been found in a stratigraphic situation or in an unequivocal-
ly unmixed surface collection we cannot tell. Undoubtedly
both forms represent introductions from the north and west
which eventually can probably be traced back to their origins
in the Archaic.
Bullen, Adelaide K., and Ripley P.
1950 "The Johns Island Site, Hernando County, Florida."
American Antiquity, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 23-45.
1953 "The Battery Point Site, Bayport, Hernando County,
Florida." The Florida Anthropologist, Vol. 6, No.
3, pp. 85-92. Gainesville.
1954 "Further Notes on the Battery Point Site, Bayport,
Hernando County, Florida." The Florida Anthropolo-
gist, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 103-8. Gainesville.
1961 "Wash Island in Crystal River." The Florida
Anthropologist, Vol. 14, Nos. 3-4, pp. 69-73. Tal-
Bullen, Ripley P.
1959 "The Transitional Period of Florida." Southeastern
Archaeological Conference Newsletter, Vol. 4, pp.
43-62. Chapel Hill.
Coates, Gordon R.
1955 "Recent Tests at the Battery Point Site, Bayport,
Florida." The Florida Anthropologist, Vol. 8, No.
1, pp. 27-30. Gainesville.
Goggin, John M.
1951 "Archeological Notes on Lower Fisheating Creek."
The Florida Anthropologist, Vol. 4, Nos. 3-4, pp.
Sears, William H.
1950 "The Prehistoric Cultural Position in the South-
east of Kolomoki, Early County, Georgia." Micro-
film. University of Michigan.
Florida State Museum
VERTEBRATE REMAINS FROM THE WASH ISLAND SITE
Elizabeth S. Wing
ABSTRACT: Vertebrate material from the Wash Island site are
identified and compared by cultural levels. The high per-
centage of species that inhabit salt water agrees with the
environmental location of Wash Island. An explanation in
terms of food preparation is given for the greater number of
front than rear limbs of turtles.
The vertebrate material studied was excavated from the
Wash Island site located near the mouth of the Crystal River,
Citrus County, Florida by Adelaide K. and Ripley P. Bullen of
the Florida State Museum. Their account of the cultural ma-
terial appears in the preceding paper. The faunal material
they found represents the remnants of the Indians meals. Such
remains give an indication of the eating and hunting habits
of the Indians and the ecology in the vicinity of the Indian
The excavation consisted of one test pit, five by ten
feet, dug by six-inch levels to a depth of 42 inches. The
bone and tooth fragments were identified by direct comparison
with skeletons of modern identified animals. The excavation
yielded 448 identifiable specimens of which 40 represent
mammals, one bird, 341 turtles, and 66 fishes.
As can be seen in Table 1 the most abundant remains are
of sea turtle. Only one specimen of the sea turtle could be
specifically identified, a complete dentary of the green tur-
tle, Chelonia mydas. The 26 humeri of sea turtle range in
length from about 2 to 4 inches, which would come from ani-
TABLE 1. Vertebrate species found in each of the seven levels of the Wash Island site. The
upper number is the number of specimens, the lower number the minimum number
T piny T oxtA s
Safety Transi- Weeden Weeden Weeden
Harbor tion Is. II Is. I Is. I
8/1 2/1 10/1 10/1 2/1
-. 1/1 1/1 --
-- 2/1 -- 2/1 -
1/1 -- 3/1 6/1 10/1
-. 1/1 .. ..
17/1 73/1 32/4 74/6 60/6
3/1 4/1 2/1 -- 1/1
-- 61 .- 3/1 1/1
-. 2/1 --
-- 311 1/1 1/1 3/1
2/1 5/1 4/1 7/3 3/1
4/3 3/Z 2 -
31/5 99/10 57/13 119/18 97/14
mals about 15 to 18 inches long (Hirth, H. p.c.). A sea tur-
tle of this length is immature and probably about one year
old. Today green turtles and ridleys of this size are found
feeding during the summer on the turtle grass banks on Flori-
da's west coast (Carr and Hirth, 1962). Turtles at this age
feed in fleets and could have been netted as they are today,
harpooned, or caught by hand by the Indians. Of the sea tur-
tle remains 38 are limb elements and the rest shell fragments,
and of the 38 limb elements 25 (66 per cent) are proximal ends
of humeri. In addition to the humeri there are two coracoids
and one iliumand ten elements too fragmentary to determine.
The front limb of the sea turtle provides the principal pro-
pelling force and is therefore more muscular than the hind.
Since the front leg provides more meat, it is possible that
it was cooked and the meat eaten off the bones which were
then discarded while the hind quarters continued to cook to
make a broth or stew thereby softening the bones to such an
extent that they crumbled when discarded and these fragments
could not be recognized. This may account for the large per-
centage of humeri.
The sea turtle and the fish and other turtles that in-
habit brackish or salt water constitute 80 per cent of the
total remains excavated. The deer, gopher tortoises, and box
turtles that constitute the remaining material typically in-
habit dry habitats. All the animals represented are abundant
in the vicinity of the site today. Differences among the
levels suggestive of different Indian cultures were not found.
This work is supported by grant G-17948 of
the National Science Foundation.
Carr, A. F. and H. Hirth. 1962. The ecology and migrations
of sea turtles, 5. Comparative features of isolated green
turtle colonies. Amer. Mus. Novitates No. 2091, 42 pp.
Florida State Museum
MEMBERSHIP IN THE SOCIETY FOR AMERICAN ARCHAEOLOGY
As a member of a regional archaeological society, you
are well aware that the prehistoric Indian cultures did not
respect present state boundaries. In fact, increasingly
broader connections are being demonstrated between distant
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progresses. To keep abreast of the broadening horizons of
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The Society for American Archaeology is not simply a
professional organization. It was specifically intended, as
is stated in its constitution, ". to serve as a bond
among those interested in American Archaeology, both profes-
sionals, and non-professionals." Its major activity is the
publication of the results of archaeological investigations
and members receive without further charge the following:
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over 600 pages of abundantly Illustrated articles and reviews
on all phases of New World prehistory;
(2) Abstracts of New World Archaeology, an annual publi-
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dia pertaining to New World archaeology; and,
(3) occasional Memoirs issued intermittently (but our
Editor, Dr. T. N. Campbell, has promised several for the
All of fhese are provided to our members for their annual
dues of $8.00 per year. To be perfectly fair, our dues will
be raised to $10.00 per year after the present year. But this
is the year to join the Society and give it a trial at the
present low rate. This is also the time to join since the
first number of the new volume of American Antiquity appears
in July. A copy of our application blank for membership is
reproduced here. Copy the blank and send it with your check
or money order for $8.00 to our Secretary, Dr. Joe Ben Wheat,
University of Colorado Museum, Boulder, Colorado. As a pre-
view of some of the contents of forthcoming numbers in the
new volume of American Antiquity, our editor has provided us
with some of the authors and titles of articles which are
FORTHCOMING ARTICLES AMERICAN ANTIQUITY
Waldo R. Wedel: The High Plains and Their Utilization by the
Robert W. Neuman: Check-stamped Pottery on the Northern and
and Central Plains.
Donald W. Lathrap and Lawrence Roys: The Archeology of the
Cave of the Owls in the Upper Montan'a of Peru.
Meredith Black and Charles E. Eyman: The Union Lake Skull, a
Possible Early Indian Find in Michigan.
Elizabeth C. Weaver: Technological Analysis of Prehistoric
Lower Mississippi Ceramic Materials: A Pre-
William J. Mayer-Oakes: Complex Society Archaeology.
Paul H. Ezell: Is there a Hohokam-Pima Culture Continuum?
Paul S. Martin: Early Man in Arizona: the Pollen Evidence.
APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP
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