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PUBLISHED BY THE
FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY, INC.
VOLUME 25 JUNE 1972 NUMBER 2 -P*Ar -
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST is published quarterly in March, June,
September, and December by the Florida Anthropological Society, Inc. at
3301 College Avenue, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33310. Subscription is by mem-
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editor. Second class postage paid at Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
No. 2, Part 1
Commercial oyster shell of Tampa Bay by L. O. Warren .
. . 49
Further observations on submarine oyster shell deposits of Tampa Bay
by A. C. Goodyear and L. 0. Warren .............
The Suwannee-Shawnee debate by B. A. Johnson . . .
A supplemental note on the Busycon receptacle by D. L. vonBurger .
Site Da-140 in Date County, Florida by W. F. Coleman . .
Zoomorphic effigy from Queen mound, Jacksonville by A. A. LaFond
Thermoluminescent method of pottery dating by W. J. Hranicky .
Bird head plummet from Kissimmee, Florida by R. P. Bullen. .
OFFICERS OF THE SOCIETY
President William M. Goza
P.O. Box 246, Clearwater, Fla. 33515
1st Vice President George Magruder
440 Tenth Ave., Indialantic, Fla. 32901
2nd Vice President John W. Griffin
46 St. George St., St. Augustine, Fla. 32084
Secretary Cliff E. Mattox
P.O. Box 531, Cocoa Beach, Fla. 32931
Treasurer Leon Reyniers, P.O. Box 8451
3301 College Ave., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. 33310
Editor-Resident Agent Ripley P. Bullen
Florida State Museum, University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32601
Three years: Yulee Lazarus
Ft. Walton Beach, Florida
Two years: Wilma B. Williams
One year: Thomas Gouchnour
At large, for one year:
Charles A. Hoffmann, Jr.,
Benjamin I. Waller,
COMMERCIAL OYSTER SHELL OF TAMPA BAY: 1966 PROGRESS REPORT
Lyman O. Warren
In articles published in the Florida Anthropologist, December 1963, and
December 1964, evidence was submitted that the commercial oyster shell
dredged out of Tampa Bay was a source, albeit a thin source, of Pleistocene
vertebrate fossils and Indian artifacts, and one well mineralized mid-section
of a human femur. In the years since these two papers the shell yards and a
number of the oyster shelled driveways and roads have been kept under sur-
veillance by several of us, and have yielded over 100 artifacts and as many
spalls and chips. It may be recalled that the study was initiated by the finding
of a Suwannee Point by William Bradley of Dunedin. This point (Fig. 1) was
made available for photography through the kindness of Mr. and Mrs. Kay
Bradley, William's parents.
About two years ago two oyster shelled roads were discovered by Mr.
Francis Bushnell and myself. Both road stretches.had received their shell
from the commercial yard on U.S. 19. One was a driveway containing about
thirty or forty chips and perhaps 8 or 9 scrapers and knives, since lost, and a
plano-carinate scraper, prism-like in cross section, depicted in Figure 2,
which washed out of the driveway in March 1966. The other site was an exten-
tion of the Starkey Road, at that time being shelled by the Pinellas County Road
Department as a road base for later asphalting. A mile stretch of this road was
littered with small chips and over 30 crudely made, unifacial, thin disk scrapers
(Fig. 3) and thick scrapers, usually of a circular, semicircular, or quasi-
circular outline. One large, high crowned "horse's hoof" scraper was pried
out of the road bed. A large triangular knife was found and a typical side-not-
ched Bolen point by Darrell Cunningham, now of Miami. Figure 3 shows two of
the Starkey Road disk scrapers from the collection of Albert Goodyear.
In December, 1964, Sligh Avenue in the Temple Terrace section of
Tampa yielded the artifacts depicted in Figures 4-7. Figure 4 is an asymmetrical,
crudely made projectile point or long knife with asymmetric shoulders and in-
dented stem. Figure 5 is a broad and asymmetric stemmed point, the stem and
tip unfortunately broken off; this type of broad bladed artifact is particularly fre-
quent in Thonotosassa. Figures 6 and 7 show an attractive and well made point
which had been picked up from the oyster shell bed of the Sligh Road by Gerald
McPherson, no collector, who lived near by. The point had been broken by the
steam roller but had avoided being asphalted ly its location on the edge of the
shell. Figure 6 shows the more attractive face and Figure 7 shows the more
interesting face, with the oyster shell fragments in white and the asphalt in
black, giving this face a sort of tarred and feathered appearance.
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 25, no. 2, pt. 1, June 1972
OYSTER SHELL OF TAMPA BAY: 1966
A private road just off the Belcher Road in Clearwater gave up three
artifacts. Figure 8 shows a probable knife; Figure 9, an attractively press-
ure flaked side scraper; and Figure 10, a boat-shaped or carinate plano-con-
vex scraper. Figure 11, an elongate knife or spear head, and Figure 12, a
bevelled Bolen, are in the Goodyear collection from oyster shelled driveways
elsewhere. Figure 13 shows an end scraper with nicely tooled snub nose, bit
end to the right.
The paucity of artifacts in the oyster shell dredged from Tampa Bay
calls to mind comments of Clarence B. Moore on the pre-ceramic parts of the
fresh water shell middens of the St. John' s Rivers: "But little is found in com-
parison with the great quantities of debris to be handled" This applies pre-
cisely to the oyster shell of Tampa Bay: one can walk miles of shelled roads
and find nothing. Nevertheless, the occasional artifact-rich stretches like
Starkey Road and Sligh Avenue provide good evidence, I believe, that portions
of the oyster shell were occupied, either as midden or more likely as wave
disturbed beach, in Paleo-Indian and Early Archaic times. Unfortunately, at
none of the sites were artifacts associated with mammalian fossils; and, con-
versely, when Pleistocene remains were found, artifacts were missing.
S~F St. Petersburg
S- a iAugust 24, 1966
On- -d .r -7
Fig. 4. Crude, thick "spear head.
Fig. 3. Thin disc scrapers.
g. 5. Broad knife or point, stem broken.
20 21 21 11 11 11 16
Figs. 6 and 7.
Both sides of
Fig. 8. Crude knife.
Fig. 11. Broken spear point.
Fig. Beveled Bolen point.
Fig. 12. Beveled Bolen point.
Fig. 9. Narrow side scraper.
Fig. 13. End scraper.
Fig. 10. Carinate scraper.
19 20 21 22 23 2
FURTHER OBSERVATIONS ON THE SUBMARINE OYSTER
SHELL DEPOSITS OF TAMPA BAY
Albert C. Goodyear and Lyman O. Warren
Significance of the submarine oyster shell deposits of Tampa Bay was
originally called to the attention of students of archaeology by Warren' s re-
port in 1964 of finds dredged up with shells from these deposits. That paper
was the sequel to a few years of collecting by him and at that time he advanced
the hypothesis that the huge quantities of mined oyster shell might be from
Paleo-Indian and Archaic middens (Warren 1964:ZZ9).
At the time of the original study, collecting was largely confined to the
shell yards of (1) Benton Co. Inc. in St. Petersburg and Clearwater; (2) the
Tampa Sand Corporation at South 19th Street in Tampa; and (3) the yard of Bay
Dredging, Inc., also in Tampa. In the past six years the search has been ex-
tended to include shell road beds, parking lots, sewer lines, and sidewalks
This artifact salvage, necessarily limited to surface collecting because of the
under water location of the shell deposits, raised numerous questions.
For more detailed information about the shell deposits, conversations
were carried on with Captain Kenneth Lund, yard manager for the Benton Cor-
poration, and more recently with Captain Thomas Sikes in charge of dredging,
and with William Chittenden, Jr., Secretary. In April 1971 an opportunity was
afforded one of us (Warren) to visit the present site of dredging adjacent to ship
channel "Cut E", a mile or so west of the mouth of the Little Manatee River
(Fig. 1), as guest of Captain Sikes on board Dredge Three (Fig. 2).
Over the years, several significant facts have emerged. (1) Dredging has
gone on for almost 40 years. (2) The deposits are immense. (3) They lie with
their tops about 10 feet or so below mean high tide and their bases 20 to 50 feet
below, giving them a thickness varying from 10 to 40 feet. (4) They abut the
old natural channels of the bay, and as the modern dredged ship channels tend
to follow the depths of the natural channels, they lie close to these, too. In other
words, the deposits lie next to, but not in, old natural channels. These latter
probably represent a late Pleistocene or post-Pleistocene river system com-
posed of the Hillsborough, Alafia, and Little Manatee Rivers, plus the drainage
run off from Old Tampa Bay. (5) Captain Sikes recalled that Indian artifacts
had been found in the earlier mined, shallower shell deposits off Gadsden Point.
(6) He had noted and we were able to confirm that Pleistocene fossils tended to
congregate in the bottom (lowest) zones at the present site of operations; this
would be a depth of about 45-50 feet. (7) The presently utilized bed, lying along
Cut E. from 6 E to 1 E, measures about 1/2 mile in width by about 3 miles in
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 25, no. 2, pt. 1, June 1972
GOODYEAR AND WARREN
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rig. i. .lack areas locate submarine shell deposits.
length. (8) In addition to the Benton Corporation, commercial dredging is
carried out by Bay Dredging Corp. of Tampa, and both companies at different
times may dredge the same areas. Costs of transport see to it that shelled roads
in Pinellas County would come from one of the Benton yards, while the shelled
roads in Hillsborough owe their shell to Bay Dredging.
The Physical Characteristics of Commercial Shell
There are actually two kinds of shelled roads in the Tampa Bay area-
oyster shelled and pit shelled. Pit shell is quarried from upland pits and its
readily identifiable components consist largely of Venus mercenaria (locally
called clam, elsewhere quahog). It may contain sharks teeth and tumbled and
fragmented Sirenia (manatee) ribs, but no artifacts nor Pleistocene faunal re-
E1t---. _wm_~~~LF wL
Fig. Z. Dredge No. 3 loading oyster shell on barge.
GOODYEAR AND WARREN
Oyster shell is dredged from Tampa Bay and is at least 99 per cent
Crassostrea virginica. Shells other than oyster, sparsely represented, in-
clude these of conch (Busycon caricum), clam (Venus mercenaria), sea pen
(Atrina rigida), olive (Oliva sayana), Florida conch (Strombus alatus), and
others. Occasionally pieces of water-worn weed and cypress knees come up.
Concretions of sandstone or limestone, cobbles of cemented oyster shell
(rough or smoothly polished), and clay lumps of gray, brown, or bluish cast
are common. And then there are the rare Pleistocene vertebrate fossils and
the still rarer Indian artifacts.
Within the Crassostrea shell there are variations in color (brown and
grays) and consistency (friable to highly mineralized). For the most part the
valves exist singly and unbroken. However, at the edge of the deposits, where
mineralization from contiguity has not had a chance to operate, the shell is
highly friable and comes up as flakes (Captain Sikes).
In the past year or so the shell has been mined from a greater depth than
before--about 40-50 feet deep. It shows greater mineralization with a "ring"
to it when tapped, and is sometimes associated with selenite crystalizations.
Some of the recently dredged up boulders of mineralized and cemented oyster
shell have been obviously tumbled and polished very prettily, as if in a huge
natural tumbler. Of most interest, these materials are coming from below a
limestone or marl cap of about 18 inches in thickness.
It would seem that the Tampa Bay oyster shell is not a homogeneous mix,
either in physical aspects or age.
Age of the Tampa Bay Shell
Off hand estimates of the age of the Tampa Bay shell are popularly given
as 10,000 to 20,000 years. There are, however, no C-14 dates for the shell.
Nevertheless, radiocarbon data are available elsewhere which may pertain to
the local situation. (1) Oyster shells on the bottoms of bays in Louisiana and
Alabama suggest a carbon age of "6, 000 years plus or minus a couple of hun-
dred years" (Gunter 1965). (2) Oyster shell dredged from Mobile Bay by
Southern Industries Corporation and recently dated at Louisiana State University
give dates of 5900 years for the top of the Klondike reef and 7000 for the bottom.
Earlier (1961) dates with depths below surface of bay are depicted in Table I,
from information given by Palmore (1971). (3} Crassostrea shells from the At-
lantic continental shelf have C-14 dates of 8,000 to 11,000 B. P. at depths of 14
to 82 meters. From these depths, recovered mammoth teeth suggest a Paleo-
Indian potential for the shelf (Merrill 1965, Emery 1966, and Whitmore 1967).
SUBMARINE SHELL DEPOSITS OF TAMPA BAY
Carbon 14 Dates of Oyster Shell from Mobile Bay by Shell Development
Company in 1961; Courtesy of Southern Industries, Inc.
Sample number Depth in feet below pre- Age in years
sent surface of Bay. (Before Present)
R-3854 12 less than 140*
R-3855 13 2200 plus/minus 140
R-3856 21 3120 plus/minus 160
R-3857 25 5550 plus/minus 210
R-3858 38.5 5710 plus/minus 220**
*A recent value of comparable shell from Louisiana State University re-
corded an age of 5900 years at the top and 7000 years at the bottom
**A more recent Louisiana State University date gives 7400 years.
July 27, 1971
Pleistocene bones recently secured from a depth of 45-50 feet in Tampa
Bay by Captain Sikes and brought to the Florida State Museum by Lyman Warren
are identified and catalogued as follows:
This sample indicates a Pleistocene fauna. Little can be said of ecology, ex-
cept that the site was on land as it includes predominantly large terrestrial
grazers and brewers (letter from S. David Webb).
Sea Level Changes
While the foregoing implies rising sea levels in the period of Post Wis-
consin ice melt, more pertinent data for the past four or five thousand years are
available from the findings of Scholl and Stuiver (1967). Their C-14 dated peat
and other deposits located off shore in southwest Florida have an age of 4300
GOODYEAR AND WARREN
years at 14 feet of submarine depth. From their multiple samplings at various
depths Table II was derived showing the rate of rise of Gulf waters over the
past 4500 years. Table II shows that the greatest rate of rise was in the pre-
ceramic Archaic and that since that time the rate of rise has been appreciably
slowing although still going on.
Carbon 14 Dates of Peat and Shell Deposits From
Southwest Florida. After Scholl and Stuiver (1967).
Depth in feet Radiocarbon Years
Below Mean High Tide (Before Present)
Scholl and Stuiver summarize their findings as follows: Submergence
data gathered in southern Florida indicate that approximately 4400 years ago
(in terms of radiocarbon years) sea level was about 4 m. lower than today' s
level. Between 4400 and 3500 B. P. when sea level stood 1.6 m. below its
contemporary position, the rate of rise diminished by a factor of five; since
1700 B. P., the rate of rise has averaged only about 3 cm/100 years (0.1 feet/
century). Because a considerable body of evidence points to the probable tec-
tonic stability of southern Florida in recent time, the recorded submergence
is regarded as a measure of an eustatic change in sea level.
The Florida submergence curve shows that sea level has risen more or
less steadily to its present level during the last 4400 years. This differs sig-
nificantly from the hypothesis that sea level rose 2-4 m. above its present posi-
tion during this time. The Florida submergence data also do not support a
strict interpretation of the stable sea-level hypothesis, i.e., that sea level
reached its present position (and maintained it) sometime between 3000 and
5000 years ago.
Scholl and Stuiver' s data, and that of Palmore from Mobile Bay, make
us somewhat more comfortable with the archaeologic ideas we are presenting
Cultural Materials From Submerged Oyster Shell
Chipped stone artifacts predominate. They are made of local limestone
cherts and silicified coral. Neither shell tools nor ornaments nor sandstone
SUBMARINE SHELL DEPOSITS OF TAMPS BAY
artifacts such as grinding tools, have been found. A few pottery sherds have
been recovered by both authors since Warren's 1964 paper. Pleistocene fos-
sils have shown no indication of having been worked by man. The most common
worked material consists of crudely fashioned bifacial choppers, roughly chipped
unifacial scrapers of small size (found predominately during 1965 on the then
shelled Starkey Road in Clearwater), large unifacial core planes about the size
and shape of a horse' s hoof and sometimes referred to by that term (Warren
1963), a spheroidal hammer stone (one only) and projectile points. The latter
fall into several typologic categories regarded as "early".
Considering the relatively rare occurrence of Paleo-Indian projectile
points along the central west coast of Florida, Suwannee points are well repre-
sented in the oyster shell. A total of five have been recovered: one by Billy
Bradley of Dunedin from a shelled driveway near his home; one, a basal half,
by Darryl Cunningham now of Miami; a basal portion by Warren from Benton's
Clearwater yard on U.S. 19 in Clearwater and donated to the Florida State
Museum [It is depicted in the Florida Anthropologist (Bullen 1968: Fig. 1, f)]; and
finally the two depicted in this paper (Fig. 3, a and d).
The relatively whole specimen (Fig. 3, d) does not have the extensive
basal thinning or fluting characteristic of some Clovis or Folsom points. There
is a swelling (thickening) of the distal end characteristic of many eastern Paleo-
Indian points and interpreted as a bulb of percussion from the original flake of
the preform (Mason 1958:7). This trait has been observed in other Suwannee
points from the Tampa Bay region. The other Suwannee point (Fig. 3, a) is
much larger, and exists only as the basal portion, possibly broken in manufac-
ture. The breaks are not fresh. The flaking is characterized by broad, flat
scars which indicate a primary percussion technique in the preform stage.
There is no secondary pressure work, nor any basal or lateral grinding; this
suggests possible use as a knife. It is an unusually large specimen for the
Tampa Bay area but is comparable in size to one depicted from St. Joseph' s
Sound (Warren 1968, Fig. 2, center) and two from Fish Creek in Tampa
(Karklins 1970); both sites are dredged up.
Early Archaic or Dalton
Two examples of Nuckolls Dalton points have been found, the most nearly
complete by Francis Bushnell of St. Petersburg. The second, represented by
a basal fragment only, is depicted in Fig. 3, c. Both specimens show basal
and lateral grinding. Projectile points of the Nuckolls and Greenbriar varie-
ties are not uncommon in dredged up sites of Tampa Bay and Terra Ceia Bay
to the south (Warren and Bullen 1965:32).
Four bevelled Bolen points (or Big Sandy I variants) are depicted in Fig.
3, b and Fig. 4, d and e. One Fig. 3, b) has been heavily resharpened giving
GOODYEAR AND WARREN
Fig. 3. Specimens from Tampa Bay shell in Goodyear collection.
SUBMARINE SHELL DEPOSITS OF TAMPA BAY
a drill-like appearance to its blade. Opposite bevelled points of this type have
been found in upland sites infrequently and have been dredged up from Terra
Ceia Bay and Boca Ciega Bay in small numbers.
Middle and Late Archaic
Of the middle and late Archaic points nine have been recovered and seem
to be of the Putnam and Newnan varieties. These are stemmed points. One with
opposite bevelling, a feature unique to peninsular Florida, is depicted in The
Florida Anthropologist (Bullen 1968).
At the time of Warren' s (1964:229), earlier paper artifacts were limited
to chipped stone. Since that time five sherds have been found, two are dark
sand tempered, one limestone tempered, and two St. Johns Incised. It should
be emphasized that there is a real paucity of pottery in the oyster shell depos-
its as compared with the amount of lithic material. Ceramic sherds, both
early types such as fiber tempered (Orange Plain) and St. Johns Incised, and
later types like Glades Plain and Perico categories are not uncommon on most
of the pumped up bay fills of the Tampa Bay area (Warren 1967, 1970; Karklins
1970) but not from the deeper deposits under discussion.
Embaymrent of Tampa Bay and Inundation of the Oyster Shell Deposits
It would seem that the oyster shell deposits of Tampa Bay were gradually
drowned out by melt water from the retreating Wisconsin glaciation. That this
occurred predominantly during the Paleo-Indian and pre-ceramic Archaic per-
iods seems implied by point typology and the paucity of sherds. However, the
St. John's Incised sherds recovered since 1964 suggest that the Transitional
Period, about 3000 to 2750 B. P. (Bullen 1965:308) may have been the final
period of occupation of the shell heaps. Scholl and Stuiver's data (Table II)
for southwest Florida would give a four-foot water depth for 3000 B. P. Extra-
polated to Tampa Bay, this would not be deep enough for the top of the shell,
which is generally ten feet or more below mean high tide. This discrepancy
is consistent, at least, with the observed scarcity of sherds compared to stone
The Midden Question
Because of the association of artifacts and oyster shell, it was suggested
that the shell represented a midden accumulation (Warren 1964). This argu-
ment has several merits which may be summarized briefly:
1. The artifacts themselves constitute some indication that an
intimate relationship of some kind exists with the shell.
GOODYEAR AND WARREN
a I II 1I
Fig. 4. Specimens from Tampa Bay shell in Warren collection.
SUBMARINE SHELL DEPOSITS OF TAMPA BAY
2. The shells were generally present as single valves, suggesting
the oysters may have been shucked.
3. Artifacts and cores are devoid of oyster shell adhering to them.
This is the opposite of natural oyster beds where the spat often
attach themselves to any exposed bay bottom rock formations,
and seems to suggest that the stone was transported to the shell
(or vice versa) after the death of the oysters.
4. We know from coastal shell middens of more recent date that
oysters were a popular food item, and it seems reasonable that
primitive man regardless of his stage of cultural development
would exploit such a resource, at least occasionally. A heavy
reliance on shell fish, including oysters, by Tampa Bay Indians,
particularly in the Archaic Stage, would correspond to what is
known of Archaic subsistence patterns in northwestern and south-
eastern Florida, as well as Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia.
Also Bullen has observed at a large site south of Englewood and in
Osprey extensive marine shell middens with pottery (Orange
series) limited to superficial levels.
5. Carbon-14 dating for dredged up oyster shell elsewhere is in the
2000 to 11,000 B.P. age period, indicating that the oysters died
at a time when man is thought to have been present.
6. The distribution of artifacts on spread shelled roads is character-
istically spotty; that is, one can walk for miles and find nothing,
and then in a single driveway or stretch of road find a concentra-
tion of flaked stone material. This recalls distribution patterns
of artifacts in shell middens elsewhere in the southeastern United
7. The location of the shell heaps along the natural channels of the
bay are reminiscent of riverine shell middens elsewhere, as is
the elongated shape of the shell deposits currently being mined
along "E cut", in old Tampa Bay, and off Gadsden Point (Fig. 1).
Speaking against the midden concept are the following considerations:
1. The conventional wisdom and experience of professional geolo-
gists, biologists and business men engaged in shell mining all
along the Gulf Coast, wherever oyster shell has been mined, is
that the deposits are manifestations of growth, silting, and
death of natural oyster reefs.
GOODYEAR AND WARREN
2. An archaeologic hypothesis, first propounded by Byers (1959)
and discussed in the pages of American Antiquity by Powell
(1971), states that Early Archaic and Paleo-Indian peoples might
have had a cultural aversion (or taboo) for marine shell fish. Or,
there might have been an environmental block; for example, dis-
tance, or inaccessibility of oyster beds; or, diseased (infected)
3. Finally there is what might be called the scholastic argument:
A non-midden hypothesis is more in line with Occam' s principle
of scientific parsimony, that "hypotheses should not be multiplied
While it is regrettable that the midden or natural bed dilemma cannot be
resolved scientifically, it should probably be recalled here that, historically,
the fresh water shell middens of the Saint Johns River were regarded as natural
formations until the time of Jeffries Wyman (Wyman 1875). This was the case,
too, with the Ostrea Edulis middens of Denmark until Japetus Steenstrup' s
studies. (It was he, incidentally, who coined the term "midden").
Whether midden or natural bed, there is no doubt but that the oyster shell
provided several occupancy sites, especially for Paleo-Indian and Archaic times.
The shell discussed here represents but one of over 20 dredged up sites from the
bay bottoms and Gulf, in and around Tampa Bay. This archaeologic potential of
the submarine Gulf Coast was first suggested by Ripley Bullen (1955) in an ad-
dress at St. Petersburg to the Florida Historical Society. While the surface of
this potential has probably been barely scratched, and one may hope for further
corroborative finds, specifically from the shell, search is tedious and artifacts
few. We are reminded of, and would like to conclude on, a somewhat dour
note from the past (Moore 1894:26):
"In conclusion, the writer would state as his opinion, that while the shell-
heaps have been imperfectly explored, and while many interesting questions
still remain unanswered, little work will be done in connection with them in the
near future. The territory to be covered is so vast, and the shell-heaps are so
inaccessible that one may well hesitate before undertaking an exploration in-
volving so much trouble and expense. Moreover, but little is found in compari-
son with the vast quantities of debris to be handled, and the relics of the wretched
makers of the shell-heaps offer but a poor incentive in comparison to the more
alluring results to be attained in other portions of the country. "
We wish to thank the following: The officers of the Benton Corporation,
SUBMARINE SHELL DEPOSITS OF TAMPA BAY
especially Captains Kenneth Lund and Thomas Sikes for valuable information,
donations of shell and fossils, and for access to their yards and Dredge Number
Three; The officers of the Southern Industries Inc., of Mobile, especially Mr.
Robert A. Guthans and Mr. Robert D. Palmore for their courtesies and for
C-14 data on their shell; John Wellman, professional photographer of St. Peters-
burg who donated the photograph of Dredge Number Three; Minze Stuiver of the
Yale Radiocarbon Laboratory for his C-14 data and donated graph from which
Table II was derived; Ripley P. Bullen, without whose help and advice this
manuscript would have been impossible; and, finally several others whose cor-
respondence we solicited, including Gordon Gunter, Robert O. Vernon, Douglas
S. Byers, Charles H. Fairbanks, David DeJarnette, and many more.
Bullen, Ripley P.
1955 Archaeology of the Tampa Bay area. Florida Historical Quarterly,
Vol. 34, No. 1, pp. 51-63.
1968 Bevelled stemmed points from Tampa Bay. Florida Anthropol-
ogist, Vol. 21, Nos. 2-3, pp. 89-90. Gainesville.
1969 Further comments on Emery and Edward' s "Archaeological Potential
of the Atlantic Continental Shelf". American Antiquity, Vol. 34,
No. 3, pp. 331-332. Salt Lake City.
1971 Personal communication.
Byers, Douglas S.
1959 An introduction to five papers on the Archaic stage. American
Antiquity, Vol. 24, No. 3, pp. 229-256. Salt Lake City.
Emery, K. O., and R. L. Edwards
1966 Archaeological potential of the Atlantic coast shelf. American
Antiquity, Vol. 31, No. 5 (July) pp. 733-737. Salt Lake City.
Epperson, Tom L.
1969 The security I like best. Commercial and Financial Chronicle,
Vol. 210, No. 6934, pp. 2, 5. Southern Industries Corporation.
Goodyear, Albert C.
1968 Pinellas point: a possible site of continuous Indian habitation.
Florida Anthropologist, Vol. 21, No. 2-3, pp. 74-82. Tallahassee.
GOODYEAR AND WARREN
Gunter, Gordon; Director, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Ocean Springs,
1965 Letter of February 15, 1965.
1970 The Fish Creek site, Hillsborough County, Florida. Florida
Anthropologist, Vol. 23, No. 2, pp. 62-80. Gainesville.
Mason, Ronald J.
1958 Late Pleistocene geochronology and the Paleo-Indian penetration
into the lower Michigan peninsula. Anthropological Papers,
Museum of Michigan, No. 11, Ann Arbor.
Merrill, A.S., K.O. Emery, and M. Rubin
1965 Ancient oyster shell on the Atlantic continental shelf, Science,
Vol. 147, pp. 338-340. Washington.
1894 Certain shell heaps of the St. Johns River hitherto unexplored.
American Naturalist, Vol. 28, pp. 15-26. Philadelphia.
Palmore, Robert Donald; Geologist, Southern Industries Corporation.
1971 Letter of January 11, 1971 to Warren.
1971 Notes on Salwen' s comments on "Archaeological Potential of the
Atlantic Continental Shelf". American Antiquity, Vol. 36, No. 2,
pp. 212-13. Washington.
1967 A comment on Emery and Edwards' "Archaeological Potential
of the Atlantic Continental Shelf". American Antiquity, Vol. 32,
No. 4, pp. 546-47. Salt Lake City.
Scholl, David W. ,and Minze Stuiver
1967 Recent submergence of southern Florida: a comparison with
adjacent coast and other eustatic data. Geological Society of
America, Bulletin, Vol. 78, pp. 437-454.
Warren, Lyman and Ripley P. Bullen
1965 A Dalton complex from Florida. Florida Anthropologist,
Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 29-32. Gainesville.
SUBMARINE SHELL DEPOSITS OF TAMPA BAY
Warren, Lyman O.
1963 "Horse's Hoof" core-planes from Pinellas and Pasco Counties,
Florida. Florida Anthropologist, Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 133-136.
1964 Possibly submerged oyster shell middens of upper Tampa Bay.
Florida Anthropologist, Vol. 17, No. 4, pp. 227-230. Gainesville.
1966 A possible Paleo-Indian site in Pinellas County. Florida Anthro-
pologist, Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 39-41. Gainesville.
1967 Two dredged sites on Bear Creek. Florida Anthropologist,
Vol. 20, Nos. 3-4, pp. 170-74. Gainesville.
1968 Caladesi Causeway: a possible inundated Paleo-Indian work-shop.
Florida Anthropologist, Vol. 21, Nos. 2-3, pp. 92-94. Tallahassee.
1970 The Kellogg fill from Boca Ciega Bay, Pinellas County, Florida.
Florida Anthropologist, Vol. 23, No. 4, pp. 163-67. Gainesville.
1967 Elephant teeth from the Atlantic continental shelf. Science,
Vol. 156, pp. 1477-1481. Washington.
1875 Fresh water shell mounds of the St. Johns River, Florida.
Memoirs, Peabody Academy of Science, No. 4, Salem.
THE SUWANNEE SHAWNEE DEBATE
Byron A. Johnson
Much has been written and said about the Suwannee River, one of the most
beautiful and peaceful rivers within the United States. It was, however, a his-
torical battleground for anthropologists and linguists who, from 1875 to 1910,
frequently debated whether a group of Shawnee Indians had at one time settled
near the Suwannee and given it their name.
The main factors that led to the supposition of Shawnee residency within
this area were; the phonetic similarity of the words Suwannee and Shawnee,
Shawnee tales of life in Florida, and some papers written by the early explorers
of Florida. This paper seeks to reexamine this interesting and largely unknown
debate and to interject modern findings.
Phonetic and Linguistic Arguments
The phonetic argument, and the debate itself, were started by a young
U.S. Indian agent, John Johnson, who in an 1819 letter (Archaeologia Americana
1820:273) said, "The Shawanoese... came here (Ohio) from West Florida, and the
adjacent country. They formerly resided on Suwaney river, near the sea. Black
Hoof, who is eighty five years of age, was born there, and remembers bathing in
salt water when a boy, 'Suwaney' river was doubtless named after the Shawanoese,
Suwaney being a corruption of Shawanoese. "
The Shawnee have two primary legends that concern the south. The first
is a religious legend that states that the Shawnee were created by the Great Spirit
in the south and are, as their name states when translated, southerners. Most
modern authorities tend to disregard this legend as there is evidence that the
tribe was one of the last to make the long migration from Asia. Unfortunately,
this myth has become confused with the tales of Shawnee who related remem-
brances of living in Florida.
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 25, no. 2, pt. 1, June 1972
These tales were told to many of the leading historians of the early 19th
century, and the multiplicity of tales is so great that there may have been some
truth within them. The following is typical of the tales told, this one to agent
Johnson in 1854 by a group of Shawnee who had relatives that passed down their
experiences about a river in the south.
"...the people in their wandering came to a river.. .A woman with them,
blind with age, said that this should be their ancient seat; if it were so, near the
bank, at a point she described, there was a spring of water. It was found; and
close by where she directed them to dig, they found a jar, in which there was a
sea couch, that had been fashioned to wear as a neck ornament... They were told
that they had left that place before... (and) the hillocks were of nothing but ashes
...which had been thrown together from their (past ) fires" (Wright 1945:46).
These sources and tales all claim adamantly that the river in question
was Suwannee and not the Savannah, as has been claimed by some writers and
Early Anthropological Argument
In 1854 a noted historian, Buckingham Smith, mentioned Johnson' s state-
ment in connection with the memoirs of a Spanish soldier (c. 1575) that he had
personally translated and edited. He included the following statement, "He
(Johnson) thinks that the stream was doubtless named from the nation 'Shawnoe'
which I write from the lips of the natives Sa-wan-wa-ki, the last word denoting
The refutations of the theory came in 1884 when Creek Indian anthropol-
ogist A. S. Gatschet stated in his book The Migration legends of the Creek In-
dians, "The name of the Suwannee river, Florida... seems to contain the Creek
term Sawani 'echo'." "By all means, these (other) names cannot serve to
prove the presence of the Shawono tribe in these eastern parts..." (Gatschet
In 1889 another historian, D. G. Brinton, brought out the fact that the
word Suwannee might be a corruption of a word other than Shawnee. He stated,
"That such was the origin of the name is quite false, and it' s present appella-
tion is merely a corruption of the Spanish San Juan, the river having been called
the Little San Juan, in contradistinction to the St. Johns (el rio de San Juan) on
the eastern coast. Nor did they ever live in this region, but were scions of the
Savanna stem of the Creeks, accolents of the river of that name..." (Wright
A study of Indian linguistics yields three basic language stocks that may
be considered for clues to the origin of the word Suwannee. In Timucuan, the
most prevalent dialect in north Florida, there is no known word similar to
Suwannee. In Muskhogean, the Creek language stock, there is the previously
mentioned word Sawani, which means echo. If we expand the search to include
Algonquian, the language stock of the Shawnee, there is a root word Sawa or
Sawan, which means south. Smith' s word Sa-wan-wa-ki would then translate
as South People or simply Southerners (Lewis and Kneberg 1958:70). It would
appear that Shawnee is, in fact, a corruption of the correct tribal name as has
happened to many other tribes (i.e. Tsalagi/Cherokee, Nabahu/Navaho, etc.).
In light of this information it is quite possible that the exact origin of the
name may be lost as both sides of the linguistic argument bear weight and are
equally without solid evidence.
RECORDED SHAWNEE MIGRATIONS
Prior to the period of reservation confinement the Shawnee tribe exem-
plified American Indian nomadism. Their long history of migration and settle-
ments lends weight to a possible visit to the Gulf Coast, if not Florida.
Until the late 1400' s the Shawnee inhabited the eastern portion of Pennsy-
lvania with the Delaware tribe. Around 1475 a portion of the Shawnee, dissatis-
fied with the dominant Iroquoian league, started south (Figure 1). Roaming in
several bands, they skirted the coastal colonial settlements and eventually re-
united in eastern Tennessee. At that point it was decided that the tribe would
divide into two parts; one which later migrated north to the Ohio river region,
and one which went south to live with their friends, the Creeks.
From early records (Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin No. 137)
it is moderately well determined that part of the tribe was settled on the upper
reaches of the Flint River with the remnants of other tribes. Geographically,
this region is located in the extreme southwest of Georgia; about 156 miles from
the mouth of the Suwannee river. This information would seem to negate Brin-
ton' s statement that the tribe penetrated no further south than the Savannah River.
Written historical records would tend to prove that the Shawnee Indians
did not enter the Florida peninsula at the time period in question, that of around
1715, and if they did, it was a short visit that did not imprint their name upon
SUWANNEE- SHAWNEE DEBATE
- KNOWN SHAWNEE MIGRATION ROUTES
A RECORDED SHAWNEE SETTLEMENTS
----THEORIZED FLORIDA MIGRATION ROUTES
In 1704 Governor Moore of Carolina ventured down the Flint River with
1000 Creek Indians and burned the Missions of the Spanish east of Tallahassee.
In 1716 Diego Pena, a Spaniard went from St. Augustine to the junction of the
Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers and found not a human being in the area between
the St. Johns and the Forks (Boyd 1949). He does not list any Shawnee among
the Indian towns above the Forks. This would imply that the Shawnee that had
settled with the Creeks had been adopted into the Creek tribe and had lost their
Shawnee culture, or that the settlement listed as having been located on the
river in 1715 was of extremely short duration, too short for the Shawnee to
have made a settlement, or perhaps a visit to Florida. In any event no one
would have been there to record their name. In all probability the Shawnee and
their legend of a river running into the ocean concerned another area.
Modern linguistic studies and the knowledge of Shawnee migrations, cou-
pled with the frequent visits to northwest Florida from 1704 to 1715 hint strong-
ly at a Spanish origin of the name Suwannee. The legends of the Shawnee speak
strongly for at least a visit by members of the tribe to the Gulf of Mexico area.
Perhaps only archaeology will answer the question of where the Shawnee went
in their travels in the south.
AC KNOW LEDGEMENTS
Gratitude is expressed to the following persons for their aid in the pre-
paration of this paper: Richard and Arthur Dreves, Martin Thompson, Mr. and
Mrs. J. B. Johnson, John Awald, Ripley P. Bullen, and members of the cen-
tral Florida Anthropological Society
Boyd, Mark F.
1949 Diego Pena' s Expedition to Apalachee and Apalachicolo in
1716. Florida Historical Quarterly, Vol 28, No. 1, 1-27.
1820 Archaeologia Americana, Vol. I, 273. New York, New York.
Gatschet, A. S.
1884 The Migration Legend of the Creek Indians, Vol. I, 23.
Lewis, Thomas M. N., and Madeline Kneberg
1958 Tribes that Slumber. University of Tennessee Press.
1965 The Native Americans, p. 1. Harper and Row, New York.
1945 Our Georgia Florida Frontier, Vol. I, Part III, 45-46.
Ithaca, New York.
A SUPPLEMENTAL NOTE ON THE BUSYCON RECEPTACLE
D. L. vonBurger
On April 24, 1966, a group of members of the Central Florida Anthro-
pological Society conducted tests at the burial area located on Tick Island,
beside Harris Creek and near Lake Woodruff, Volusia County, Florida. The
area excavated was one adjoining previous excavations conducted several
years before by Ripley P. Bullen for the Florida State Museum. The latter
excavations have been Carbon-14 dated to around 5200 years ago or before
3000 B. C.
Recently, burials and artifacts excavated in 1966, along with field notes
and drawings of the burials, were turned over to me for study by Nancy Shou-
caire and her parents Mr. & Mrs. Karl Eriksson. During examination of the
specimens it was noted that a Busycon whelk receptacle was present, burned
as described in Volume 23 of the Florida Anthropologist (Webster 1970). It
seems this additional data would be relevant to the study of Busycon recep-
The specimen, illustrated in Figure 1, measures 180 mm. in length,
170 mm. in depth. It is made from a Busycon Contratium conrad, or Light-
ning Whelk. The only other shell with the burial deposits appeared to be the
fresh water snail Viviparus Georgianus Wareanus kuster.
A trench, begun on the west slope of the mound, comprised units 1 and 2
as shown in Figure 2. The deposit consisted of calcified dark grey sand and
snail shell. The trench measured 10 feet on its north-south axis and 5 feet
on its east-west axis. A marker, for the purpose taking horizontal measure-
ments, was established at the center point of the western edge of the trench
where the five foot dividing line marker between the two units was located.
In unit 1 at the 8-foot level a large deposit of snail shell was uncovered
in the south-eastern corner. Due to its concentration, it appears to have been
placed there in mass. To the west of this deposit, approximately 48 inches
from marker, the remains of a burial (Fig. 2, A) was found. It lay with the
cranium up, and ensuing ribs and radius on the left side and vertabrae wrapped
around the right side.
North of this burial, 18 inches east of marker, a deposit of three skulls
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 25, no. 2, pt. 1, June 1972
UNIT ND1i -FT------- UNIT NO.2
I 3 f 6 7 8 9 )a I
i 11 14 I
Busycon cooking vessel from Tick Island.
Figure no. 1.
NOTE ON BUSYCON RECEPTACLE
was found (Fig. 2, B) with long bones buried between them, in mass, from
north to south. Only the cranium of the skulls were intact. Between all
burials in the trench could be found a continual stream of fragmentary bone.
At the 9-foot level, unit 2 revealed a complete burial, semi-flexed, upon
its right side near the northern edge of the unit (Fig. 2 C). In unit 2, approxi-
mately 36 inches from marker, and between burials B and C was found a
Busycon shell receptacle which showed a blue-grey discoloration on the bottom.
This receptacle was fractured at its base at the point of extreme heat (Web-
ster 1970) and a portion of its edge was missing and not found in the trench.
Summary and Conclusions
The' Busycon shell vessel found within the Tick Island burials coincides
with similar examples previously described by William J. Webster, including
manufacture and utilization. This vessel also correlates with 18 vessels ex-
amined by Webster in ceramic and pre-ceramic sites in which those from pre-
ceramic exhibited fire damage, and those from the ceramic horizons did not.
The specimen from Tick Island differs from those described from the
Astor site in not using the siphonal canal as a handle. This vessel was appar-
ently used for some time before internment in the burial area, since an ex-
ample of Busycon Contrarium in which Webster evaporated 5 gallons of water
sustained no discoloration (Webster 1970).
By correlation, the Carbon-14 date of about 3200 B. C. which was ob-
tained by the Florida State Museum for this level of Tick Island burials should
apply to the illustrated Busycon receptacle.
Appreciation is expressed to the Florida Archaeological Research Corps
sponsoring my research. To Byron A. Johnson and Richard Dreves for assis-
tance rendered, andto Mr. andMrs. Karl Eriksson and Nancy Shoucaire for
Webster, William J.
1970 A New Concept for the Busycon Shell Receptacle.
The Florida Anthropologist, Vol. 23, No. 1.
August 51, 1970
SITE Da-140 IN DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA
Wesley F. Coleman
This site was tested early in 1969 by D.D. Laxson (1970) at a time of
high water so that only a few feet vertically could be excavated. In the last
few years, South Florida has had a dry spell which enabled us to excavate al-
most the complete midden.
Appreciation is expressed to Dr. W.H. Sears of Florida Atlantic Univ-
ersity for consultation; Dr. W. Weaver and Professor L. Ober, Department
of Biology, Miami Dade Jr. College, for help in identifying food bones; Pro-
fessor L. D. Wicks of Miami Dade Jr. College, for inviting his student archae-
ological club to help excavating; and Mr. D. D. Laxson for help in ceramic
identification. Most of all appreciation is due each member of the Miami-
West Indies, Dade County Chapter of the Florida Anthropological Society, for
excavating the site and showing the material in the South Florida Archaeo-
logical Museum, Opa Locka, Florida.
The site (Da-140) is located in the southwest 1/4 of the northwest 1/4 of
Section 9, Township 54, Range 39 Dade County, Florida. It is situated 3 of a
mile west of SW 144 Ave. and .6 of a mile south of U. S. 41 or SW 8 Street.
The site is 2500 by 90 feet. It has the dark organic soil of the area. Vegeta-
tion consists of the rubber tree (Ficas Aurea), day blooming Jasmine, Dog Fen-
nel (Eupatorium Capillfoluim), wild papaya (Caria), snow vine (Mikania Cordi-
folia), and swamp willows.
Excavations began Jan. 1, 1970 and ended March 1, 1971. The main
problem was a large rubber tree, approximately 20 feet in diameter and 75 feet
in height, which took up most of the southern part of the midden. Datum was
established at the northwest corner of the tree. Three east-west trenches, con-
sisting of 5- by 5-foot squares, were laid out all north of the tree (Fig. 1). Ex-
cavation was done by 5-inch levels. Bones of land animals such as deer, coon,
opossum, bob cat, bear, and large wading birds were found abundantly in all
levels. Usually shell fish are found at sites in this area but absolutely none were
found in this site.
Vertical distribution of sherds and other artifacts are given in Table 1.
In unit T-A-1 at a depth of 4 in. was found a gold watch chain composed of two
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 25, no. 2, pt. 1, June 1972
78 SITE Da-140
DISTRIBUTION OF ARTIFACTS AT SITE Da-140
T-A T-B T-C
N 00 N CO N 00
(I I I I S I I I
0 0 NA 0 NA 0 ,O N
Glade Plain, body 170 95 511 82 62 550 267 137
Glade Plain, rims 29 3 6 34 3 14 II -
Glades Tooled I0 2 14 I -
Surfside Incised 12 2 9 -
Cane Patch Incised 8 -
Opa Locka Incised 2 10 4 -
Miami Incised 8 2 -
Dade Incised 4 -
Key Largo Incised I 2 -
Matecumbe Incised 6 -
St. Johns Incised 4 2 -
Bone points 9 7 IO 5 2 14 6
Bone awls I I -
Sharks teeth, perforated 3 .- 4 2 -
Carved bone objects 2 -
large links and seven small links. The links have cast marks on the insides
and jewelers believe the chain to be late 19th century in date. In unit T-A-3,
carved bone pendants were found exhibiting fine artistic ability (Cole-
man 1971) which is not reflected in incised pottery of the Glades area.
Discussion and Summary
Pottery was found down to 18 inches. St. Johns ware was found scattered
in almost all excavated sections. The deposit reached a thickness of 27 inches
in the south central area at which level no pottery was found. The highest con-
centration of pottery was found between 9 and 12 inches below the surface. In
the highest part of the mound, the north central area, the concentration was al-
so at a depth of 9 inches but occurred just above coral rock. The mound slopes
up higher on the north end and presumably was older. This higher surface ele-
vation reflects a rise in the underlying coral formation not increased thickness
of the midden.
Coleman, Wesley F.
1971 Cared Bone Artifacts from Dade County. Florida Anthropologist,
Vol. 24, No. 2.
Goggin, John M.
1964 Indian and Spanish Selected Writings.
Coral Gables, University of Miami Press.
Laxson, Dan D.
1970 Seven Sawgrass Middens in Dade and Broward County, Florida.
Florida Anthropologist, Vol. 23, No. 4.
A UNIQUE ZOOMORPHIC EFFIGY FROM
THE QUEEN MOUND JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA
Arthur A. LaFond
The Queen Mound (Du-l10) is located about ten miles east of Jackson-
ville along Mud Flats Creek. Much thanks is due Harry E. Queen for permis-
sion to excavate this mound which is on his property.
The Queen Mound is a pure sand mound approximately 5. 5 ft. high and
65 ft. in diameter. It is being excavated in five foot squares and six inch levels,
and at this time excavation is incomplete. Pottery fragments found in the mound,
to date, are from the Deptfor period. Several burials have been encountered. All
are in extremely poor condition and appeared to be primarily prone burials.
The effigy (Fig. 3) was found in the south portion, 8. 5 feet due south of
the center, and 1.7 feet deep in the mound at that location (Figs. 1-2). It was
not associated with a burial, but a small oval-shaped shell bead was found in
the same depth and location.
Many bird head effigies are known from Florida, but none have been re-
ported to my knowledge that were made of lead. At the Jones burial mound at
Pemberton Creek, southeast of Lake Thonotosassa, Hillsborough County, Flor-
ida, a bird effigy was found which is similar in appearance (Bullen 1952: Fig.
15, Page 40). Also from the Bayshore Homes site, St. Petersburg, Florida
(Sears 1960, Pl. II, a), another stone bird pendent was found which was quite
similar in appearance.
This bird effigy is exquisitely shaped like the head of a buzzard or vul-
ture which, no doubt, was held to be one of the gods of death (Swanton 1946:566).
The effigy measures 5.0 cm. long and 1.5 cm. thick. It has several uni-
que features. It is made of lead and was covered with a thick patina when found.
A cube of crystalline galena was also found 9 feet to the northeast of the effigy
and at the same level. This cube of galena, when found, had so much patina on
and around it, that at first it appeared to be a soft round ball.
There are no apparent marks of scraping or hammering on the effigy.
These could have been obliterated in the formation of the patina but this seems
unlikely. This would leave the possibility that the effigy was made by pouring
melted lead into a mold and then incised. A third possibility is that the effigy
was whittled from a lead fishing weight or similar object and then polished and
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 25. no. 2, pt. 1, June 1972
EFFIGY FROM QUEEN MOUND
/ 2 3 4 7 8 7 /0a/
CONTOUR /VT. 1.O Ferr
SCALE: IN /eCT
41 A. 1 c.I /. 1
2 S/RD 'r,/GY
GI I 1 K\I L.I MA
A t v. /2.
I I I I I /
.I *E .^ I -
F/Rr P/i" S2 AG MATeR4A
PROF/IL OF QUEAN MOUMD
EAST WAzL Or NORTH SOUTH TRENCH
SCALE : /I 5 VRTr.
/"= /O' /oriz.
S6"a- B/ack /o gray hum/c sand.
Z-" 7" Humic stained sand w/1h bi/s of c.harcoa/
C/ean yellow sand
1 Charred Zoys
0 Res/ored Vessel
e Miniature Po/
C' 2 Sfromus Ce/is 4 / G ouge
& Human Mand/h/e
oP- A cache of S/one n/ives, scrapers, J dr///s
=9 Animal Mandible
W Human Tec/l
0 Fire Pi/
84 EFFIGY FROM QUEEN MOUND
incised. Lead in various forms is frequently recovered from wrecks off the
Atlantic coast of Florida.
There was no evidence of an intrusive pit found and, in addition, a slag-
like material was found 1. 6 foot to the north of the galena (Figs. 1-2) at the
bottom of the mound next to a fire pit. This material has the appearance of
slag and melted sand.
The unusually thick patina on both the effigy and the cube of Galena sug-
gests considerable age for both, and conflicts with the thought of either object
being intrusive from recent times although the latter is more logical.
With much gratitude to Mr. J.W. Hawthorne, Assistant Vice-President
of Equipment of the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad Company, and one of his
chemists, Mr. P.W. Salmon, and Professor J.H. Sasser of Florida Junior
College, Jacksonville, Florida, I was able to have an emission spectrographic
analysis made with the following results:
1. Bird Head:
Major Minor Trace
Lead None Copper, Iron, Silica, Aluminum
Tin, Magnesium, Manganese and
No alloy elements detected.
Sulfur, the most frequent element associated with lead as leadsulfide ore (Pbs
or Galena) cannot be "seen" in the above spectrographic procedure; however,
density determinations of the bird head specifically indicated that lead was the
2. Cubic Mineral:
Major Minor Trace
Lead Phosphorus Silver, Sodium, Tin, Vanadium,
Silica Boron, Iron, Magnesium, Aluminum,
Copper, Calcium, Chromium and
3. Slag Sample:
Major Minor Trace
Silica None Iron, Magnesium, Calcium, Boron,
Aluminum, Copper, and Chromium.
Fig. 1. Bird head effigy: left, top, right, and bottom views.
(Pictures courtesy Florida State Museum)
4. Density Determination:
The density of the bird head was found to be approximately 10. 2 grams
per cubic centimeter. Chemical tables give the density of lead sinkers
as 10.1 g. /cu. cm.
Checking the results we find that some traces of the same elements were
found in all three samples, but they did not contain identical amounts in all three
samples, which implies that the bird head, the slag, and the cube of Galena
are unlikely to have come from the same source.
The density of the lead in the effigy is about that of "sinker lead", which
indicates that the lead at least had been melted which seems significant in it-
The slag could possibly be from material melted for the effigy but it is
very unlikely that there would' t be at least a trace of lead in the slag".
Could it be sand melted by a very hot fire?
It has been suggested that the slag may have been the result of lightning
striking the ground, but it seems very unlikely, due to the depth in the mound
that it was found. Also that it was all found in an area of 5 ft. diameter right
adjacent to a good size fire pit and at the same level (Figs. 1-2) and has not
been found anywhere else in or around the mound.
The effigy was agglutinated to a cup shaped piece of lead possibly used to
attach it to a body of perishable material, the shape and nature of which would
be conjectural. Fragments of what appears to be pitch suggests a method of
EFFIGY FROM QUEEN MOUND
One of the most interesting features of the effigy is that remnants of pearls
were found in the eye sockets. The sockets themselves are deeply concave, in-
deed, almost spherical. The overhanging edges of the sockets held the pearls
in place. The technique of placing pearls in lead presents interesting compli-
cations, especially since no hammering or tool marks are apparent inside or
outside the sockets. Just in the bottom of one of the eye sockets there seems
to be an air space which could have been made by a bubble in the hot liquid ma-
terial while being poured into a mold. What would the heat of molted lead do to
a pearl? In answer to this question I bought two cultured pearls still in the un-
opened oyster shells and made a clay mold. Then taking the pearls, which I had
removed previously from the oyster shells, placed them in the mold. Then
poured molten sinker lead into the mold. When the lead was removed there was
no indication of any ill effects to the pearls. On the other hand, the lack of ob-
vious scraping or hammering marks on the effigy still does not rule this out as
a method of manufacture.
In general, appearance and size, as well as the concentric incisions on
the effigy, are quite similar to other bird effigies found elsewhere in Florida.
It has none of the characteristic features of such objects from Central Amer-
ica or South America.
I hope additional material or evidence will be found to help clarify the ori-
gin and the time of manufacture of this most interesting and perplexing effigy.
A final and complete report of the entire excavation will be presented at a later
Appreciation with much thanks is expressed to Thomas H. Gouchnour,
M. D. for his help in preparing this manuscript.
Ripley P. Bullen
1952 Eleven Archaeological Sites in Hillsborough County, Florida,
Report of Investigations No. 8. Florida Geological Survey.
John R. Swanton
1946 The Indians of the Southeastern United States. Bureau of Amer-
ican Ethnology, Bulletin 137. Washington.
William H. Sears
1960 The Bayshore Homes Site, St. Petersburg, Florida.
Contributions of the Florida State Museum, Social Sciences.
No. 6. University of Florida. Gainesville.
November 1, 1971
THE THERMOLUMINESCENT METHOD OF POTTERY DATING
Wm. Jack Hranicky
Archaeologists have established cultural sequences throughout the world
based on relative pottery chronologies. Now that a method of scientifically
dating pottery has been established, many uncertain or disputed dates can be
validated or corrected. Thermoluminescent dating can greatly supplement the
generally accepted C-14 dating method (Tite 1966; Ford 1972). Thermolumi-
nescent and carbon-14 dating have a great deal in common as both deal with nu-
clear activity and both are technics not routinely used by archaeologists.
Mechanics of Analysis
Since the time of the original firing, all pottery has been subject to two
sources of ionizing energy. One is the result of the internal breakdown of nu-
clear parts within the pottery and the other the ionizing radiation from the at-
mosphere and from matrices surrounding buried pottery. It is the measuring
of these ionizing effects that constitutes thermoluminescent dating.
When the pottery was fired, all the trapped energy of the natural raw ma-
terials was released. During the passage of time, pottery traps energy which
occurs as alpha-particles are absorbed and which in turn causes ionization or
free electrons. The greater the time lapse since the original firing, the greater
the thermoluminescence (Fig. 1).
In order to date a piece of pottery, the laboratory must make the following
measurements (Hall 1970).
1. Measure the radiation or electron emission of the sample when heated.
2. Measure the absorption levels of the pottery when exposed to irradia-
3. Measure the radioactivity of the sample (internal).
When a sample of pottery is heated in an apparatus of controlled condi-
tions (Fig. 2), the thermoluminescent glow (TL) is measured by a photo-multi-
plier. This measurement is proportional to the total radiation dose received
during burial and also to the sensitivity of the pottery sample to an artificial
dose of radiation, usually X-rays. The ratio of natural TL to artificial TL light
emission which are multiplied by the artificial radiation will equal the natural
radiation which the pottery received during burial.
Florida Anthropology, vol. 25, no. 2, pt. 1, June 1972
q 0 Sensitivity
Fig. 1. Thermoluminescant dating.
Natural TL Artificial Radiation
Age = Artificial TL Natural Radiation
The final step is to correlate this natural radiation to a chronological scale -
thus securing the age of the pottery (Winter 1971)
Principles of Analysis
Ionizing radiation from the atmosphere and from deposits surrounding
buried pottery as well as internal radiation of pottery materials excites higher
levels of energy which permit electrons to migrate through the nuclear lattice
of the material. This migration of electrons leaves positively charged atoms.
Changing energy levels traps these free electrons. These trapped electrons
are said to be in "metastable" states. For one of these electrons to be freed,
a certain amount of energy must be reapplied to eject it from its trap and re-
turn it to a positively charged atom.
Upon heating the pottery to a high enough temperature (usually 150-3500C) ,
the free electrons will produce a thermoluminescent glow while moving through
the nuclear lattice. This glow is near the visible light spectrum and can be mea-
sured with photo-multiplier cells. It will produce a glow curve as shown in the
bottom graph of Figure 3.
Once a pottery sample has been drained of its natural thermoluminescence
(N-TL) and is then given an artificial dose (A-TL), it will produce an increased
glow curve as shown in the upper graph of Figure 3. The artificial dose is given
to the pottery by subjecting the sample to X-rays for a period of 60 seconds.
Variations of types of artificial radiation apparently do not cause a change in the
A-TL (Winter 1971). However, differences in A-TL can be detected by changing
the amount of artificial radiation.
The aforementioned Figure Z represents the author' s idea of thermolumi-
nescent dating apparatus which will give dates of pottery without destroying the
100 200 300 400
- C* -Temperature -
Fig. 2. Equiptment needed for thermoluminescent dating.
Fig. 3. Pottery glow curves.
sample. Most laboratories grind the sample to a powder before heating, which
of course, destroys the sample. My design employs a sample table which ro-
tates the sample for more consistent recording of thermo-glow. This apparatus
does limit the size of the sample and is basically still experimental, yet it has
produced results. At the time of this writing, only a proto-type has been built.
[The author would like to thank William Schultz and Dave Garner, two of his
students, who aided him in the construction of the proto-type. The photograph
in this article is also the result of their efforts.]
Results of thermo-glow measurements are fed to a memory bank of a
computer, which compares this information to previous measurements of sim-
ilar pottery samples. The computer will compare pottery-glows from sam-
ples of the same general area where the pottery was found and match these
data to temporal sequences of the manufacture of the pottery which are also
programed in the computer. This system has a by-product in that point typol-
ogies, other cultural artifacts, and carbon-14 dates can be added to the com-
puter' s memory bank.
Fig. 4. Thermoluminescent glow (Sample A to left, B to right).
The photograph in this paper (Fig. 4) was taken in total darkness of pre-
pared pottery samples on high speed infrared film. Both samples are of equal
weight, manufactured out of the same clay materials, and both were fired at the
same temperature. The photograph was made of both samples which were heated
to 3000C in a nitrogen atmosphere. Sample A contains no artificial thermo-
energy (A-TL) while sample B was exposed to X-ray energy for sixty seconds.
Sample B contained artificial thermoluminescence and, hence, produced the
The inventory of scientific methods of interpreting the materials excavated
by archaeologists have had far reaching effects on field archaeology. Archae-
ologists can now obtain empirical data which will greatly aid them in exploring
the world of pre-history. Thermoluminescent dating, like its brother carbon-14,
has the potential of becoming a regular tool for archaeologists. Publications of
thermoluminescent dates are starting to reach the journals of archaeology. The
current volume of Archaeometry has an article on solving a problem of relative
dates of Yotoco pottery in Colombia, South America (Sampson 1972). The phy-
sics of thermoluminescent dating still remains in part a mystery. However, the
mechanics can be investigated empirically, and the phenomena can be observed
1972 Tools for Unraveling the Past. Saturday Review, March 18, 1972
Hall, E. T.
1970 Dating Pottery by Thermoluminescence. Science in Archaeology,
Don Brothwell, ed. Praeger Publishers, New York.
Kennedy, G. C., and L. Knoff
1960 Dating by Thermoluminescence. Archaeology, vol. 13, pp. 147-48.
Ralph, E. G., and M. C. Han
1971 Potential of Thermoluminescence Dating. Science and Archaeology,
R. H. Brill, ed. M. I. T. press, Cambridge, Mass.
Sampson, E. H., S. J. Fleming, and W. Bray
1972 Thermoluminescent Dating of Colombian Pottery of the Yotoco
Style. Archaeometry, vol. 14. Cambridge,
Tite, M. S., and J. Waine
1962 Thermoluminescent Dating : A re-appraisal. Archaeometry,
vol. 5. pp. 53-79. Cambridge.
Tite, M. S.
1966 Thermoluminescent Dating of Ancient Ceramics: A reassessment.
Archaeometry, vol. 9, pp. 155-69. Cambridge.
1972 Thermoluminescent Dating of Pottery. Dating Techniques for the
Archaeologist, H. N. Michel and E. K. Ralph, eds. M. I. T.
Press, Cambridge, Mass.
Northern Viriginia Community College
Arlington, Virginia May, 1972
A STONE BIRD HEAD PLUMMET FROM KISSIMMEE, FLORIDA
Ripley P. Bullen
Late in the spring of 1971, James R. Langford of Gainesville, Florida,
brought to the Florida State Museum a carved stone plummet-like object in
the shape of a bird's head. This specimen was found by Ron Langford, also
of Gainesville, while surveying in Reedy Creek Swamp near Kissimmee,
From its appearance as shown
S to the left, the artist was represent-
ing a hawk. A reasonably similar
one was found at the Jones mound a
little north of Tampa in the 1930's.
(Bullen 1952; Fig. 15, c).
As found at the Jones Mound, there is a wide range in bird and animal
representations found in these artifacts. This is also true of plummets as a
class. All are arranged for suspension. It seems they must have had some
function other than pure ornamentation.
Perhaps they are clan or status symbols. Possibly everyone wore the
simpler forms on dress occasions while the more complicated ones designated
the wearer' s rank in whatever societal event was occurring. The beautifully
made bird- and deer-head plummets on this basis must have indicated very
important positions in the societal or ceremonial hierarchy. Possibly they
were worn by medicine men in certain ceremonies when the wearer represented
an animalistic deity. No doubt there were many similar objects carved of wood
which have not survived to tell us their side of the story.
Bullen, Ripley P.
1952 Eleven archaeological sites in Hillsborough County, Florida.
Report of Investigations, p. 8, Florida Geological Survey.
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