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THE PARKER MOUND SITE, FORT WALTON BEACH
John R. Morgan
In 1968, excavation of the Parker Mound (8 Ok-36) was completed under
the auspices of the Temple Mound Museum of Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
The museum's directress had noted the probable loss of access to the mound
site for study because of a pending sale of the property. As field notes of pre-
vious work at the site (Lazarus, W. 1959a, b; Sharon 1966) indicated the mound
was of prehistoric significance, the owner wished the museum to finish work on
it, fearing the next owner might not permit the museum to do so. With this
urging, an attempt to complete the excavation of Parker Mound was begun on
June 19, 1968.
Parker Mound is located on Florida' s northwest coast in the city of Fort
Walton Beach, Okaloosa County (Fig. 1), in the front yard of a private resi-
dence. It is some 200 feet west of Choctawhatchee Bay, a quarter mile north
of the confluence of the bay and Santa Rosa Sound, and 12 1/2 feet above mean
sea level. The mound's diameter from east to west is 38 feet and from north
to south 32 feet, with a maximum height of ZZ 3/4 inches (19 June 1968).
Parker Mound is not culturally isolated in space today, neither was it
prehistorically. For example, located 600 feet to the south is Ok-10, having
an extensive midden area containing Deptford, Elliott' s Point Complex, Santa
Rosa-Swift Creek, Weeden Island I and II, and Fort Walton materials (Lazarus,
W. 1959b). About 1/2 mile to the north is Ok-30, a small site where some clay
balls, and Deptford and Weeden Island pottery were found (Lazarus, Y. 1970).
Also, in downtown Fort Walton is Ok-6, the large sand temple mound of the
Fort Walton period (Fairbanks 1965). About 45 sites are recorded in the area,
so it is clear that Parker Mound was not isolated in the past.
No specific mention of Parker Mound is made in early reports on the area
(Thomas 1894; Moore 1901 and 1918; or Holmes 1903). More recently, Willey
(1949) makes no reference to it. The first public record of the site was filed
by William C. Lazarus (1959b) in November 1959, with Florida State Univer-
sity. At that time he surveyed the mound and opened a test pit (Lazarus, W.
1959a). Seven years later Don Sharon worked at the site under the auspices of
the museum; his field notes (Sharon 1966) are also recorded with the museum.
The site report form and the two sets of field notes, therefore, are the only re-
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 26, no. 3, September 1973
Fig. 1. Map of Ft. Walton Beach area locating the Parker mound.
cords for Parker Mound. But before beginning the report of the 1968 work, a
look at these records is in order, as they form a basis for this most recent
After filing his site report, Lazarius obtained verbal permission from the
mound' s owners to investigate further. He contoured the mound in 6-inch in-
tervals, measured it (34 feet from east to west and 42 feet from north to south,
with a maximum height of 32 inches) and set up a grid system (Fig. 2). Just
east of the mound, Lazarus opened a test pit, 1 foot by 2 feet (Fig. 2, P1-59).
Some 14 inches below ground level he exposed 8 sherds in situ, constituting a
portion of a vessel. Its interior surface was up and the rim's edge was toward
the mound. Lazarus typed the assemblage as Deptford Bold Check Stamped or
crude Wakulla Check Stamped (Fig. 3, a). In effect, he demonstrated that the
mound was of aboriginal significance.
In November 1966, Sharon dug in Parker Mound, opening six 5 foot square
pits (Fig. 2, P1-66 P6-66). His effort produced numerous sherds and two
Fig. 2. Excavation plan, Parker mound.
nearly whole vessels (Figs. 4-5). Sharon tentatively concluded that the site
was a burial mound, but was unable to determine if it was of Deptford or Weeden
Island origin. He tended, however, to accept the latter classification (Sharon
As time and labor were very limited, these field notes reduced the extent
of the 1968 excavation by defining the undug portions of the mound. In addition,
they supplied data that aided in formulating an objective: what culture first used
the mound? This previous work, thus, afforded the opportunity to begin work
In discussing ceramics, it should be recalled that the 1968 work is not the
exclusive source of materials to be considered. As the pottery obtained by La-
zarus (1959a) and Sharon (1966) have not been formally reported in the litera-
ture, their consideration will be included here (Table 1). All of the specimens
they reported were available for study with the exception of one vessel (Fig. 5).
Fortunately, the museum directress had examined that vessel and related her
observations to me.
Fig. 3. Wakulla Check Stamped sherds from Parker mound.
Upon completion of the ceramic analysis, it was concluded that all of the
materials studied constituted four vessels, as follows:
Wakulla Check Stamped (Fig. 3) Approximately 50 per cent of this vessel was
recovered. The tempering is coarse sand with large quartz grains and some
small flakes of mica visible. The paste is laminated, hard, and compact, the
core gray to black in color. Both surfaces are buff-colored with the interior
well-smoothed and the exterior blackened by material (charcoal?) trapped in
the recesses of the stamped surface. Near the rim the walls are about 6 mm.
thick, but toward the base they thicken to 8 mm. The decoration was stamped
on wet clay to produce patterned implement, a check pattern having lands about
1 mm. wide and averaging about 4 mm. apart. Often pattern imprints overlap.
Decoration is distributed over all but the thickened rim. Near it the impressions
are more distinct while they blur towards the base. The walls are outslanting.
A moderately outflaring rim is undecorated, folded and, about 1 cm. wide with
a pointed lip. Two cm. below the lip is a small hole 5 cm. in diameter that
appears to have been made after firing, for on the interior surface around its
edge are signs of flaking, as if from externally applied pressure (Figure 3,
Weeden Island Plain (Fig. 4) This vessel was recovered from pit P3-66 some
25 inches west of its east profile, 9 inches north of its south profile, and 17
inches below the surface (Sharon 1966). Approximately 80 per cent of it was
found. The temper is very fine sand with no micaceous inclusions visible.
INC HE S
Fig. 4. Weeden Island Plain
vessel from Parker mound.
Fig. 5. Weeden Island Incised
vessel from Parker mound,
maximum diameter 5.5 inches.
Contradictory to the usually hard, compact paste of this pottery type, it is very
friable. Both surfaces are smooth and have a red buff appearance throughout.
The walls are about 5 mm. thick, increasing to 8 mm. near the lowest points--
the bottom is missing. The form is compound. Near the upper portion a slight
shoulder and neck, constricting the orifice, are present. At the lowest point of
the walls what appear to be corners are visible; in addition, is the fact that the
exterior shape of the walls around their lower edges is not round or globular,
but squarish. The lip, most of the rim, and the bottom are missing; however,
on the basis of the apparent corners the bottom may have been flat. If decora-
tion was present on the upper missing part no evidence of it was discernable.
Weeden Island Incised (Fig. 5) Adjacent to the vessel described above was ap-
proximately 90 per cent of another bearing incision on its upper part. Some ad-
ditional sherds were subsequently found in contiguous pit P4-66 (Fig. 2). It
should be noted that this is the vessel unavailable for study. Sharon (1966) says
the tempering is fine sand including what appear to be pieces of ground sherd
and clay intermixed. The interior, and the exterior portion below the neck, are
smooth; the neck' s surface, however, is decorated. The entire exterior is
painted red according to Sharon (1966), but Lazarus reports that it has a red
paste (Lazarus, Y. 1970). In addition to the coloring, the decoration consists
of lines incised crudely in wet clay. Just below the lip is a single line apparently
encircling the neck. Under this on the remaining surface are three adjacent
lines that continuously meander around the neck from the line below the lip to
the juncture of the neck and the undecorated portion of the vessel. As the lines
meander, the uppermost one on an upward sweep sometimes merges with the
encircling line below the lip, while the two lower lines on the downward meander
merge into the juncture mentioned above. Confined within the meanders of the
three lines are fine, horizontal hachure marks. The vessel is compound in
form, having a globular base with an incurved, collared neck which constricts
the orifice. Only a single rim sherd was found; it is unmodified and incurving
with rounded lip (Fig. 5, in the back). The base is round with a small hole
broken in it. As no scale is provided on the photograph, the dimensions are:
rim diameter 2 1/2 inches; maximum body diameter 5 1/2 inches; neck band
depth 2 1/2 inches; and height 7 inches.
Swift Creek Complicated Stamped, Late Variety (Fig. 6) Seven sherds of this
incomplete vessel were uncovered in situ all of them were wall
sherds, coming from pit 68-5 (Fig. 2). From pit 68-9, two additional undec-
orated sherds of the base were found (Fig. 6, two right hand pieces). Approxi-
mately 30 per cent of the vessel was recovered. The tempering is fine sand,
paste is fine, compact and buff in color throughout. Both surfaces are buff in
color, with the undecorated area of the exterior and all of the interior very
smooth. The thickness of the walls averages about 6 mm. Decoration con-
sists of stamping the wet clay with a patterned implement, leaving a curve-
linear "teardrop" or "snowshoe" design (Willey 1949, Fig. 49, a, b). In some
areas the stamped impression is bold, while in others it was apparently smooth-
ed over when the clay was still wet. The distribution of the decoration is diffi-
Fig. 6. Swift Creek Complicated Stamped sherds:
upper wall, squarish base, and separate fragment.
Pits P-59 P1I66 P2-66 P3-66 P4-66 68-1 68-5 68-6 68-7 68-9 its
6- -3- _
-5- -6 --- --1- 2
30- -8- -2-
I C HES
Fig. 7. Projectile
point, obverse and
0s U.x e LU
S is 4J U LX
041 3 4-1 2
0 U U N N U U L U 4'
"5 CC o 0'
Pits 68-1 68-2 68-5 68-6 68-9
1-- -1- 2
: 1- 3
cult to ascertain. Only a small portion of the walls was recovered; other ves-
sels, however, with similar designs are decorated on the upper portions near
their rims (Willey 1949: Figures 50 and 51). No rim sherds were found but
some of the decorated body sherds include smooth, undecorated areas, with the
juncture marked by a slight, incised line. As the bottom sherd is smooth, it is
presumed the decoration was restricted to the upper areas of the walls. The
form may have been similar to that of a flat-bottomed, simple globular jar, with
slightly incurving walls (Willey 1949: Fig. 51).
No lithic materials are reported by Lazarus (1959b) or Sharon (1966).
As for the 1968 excavation, a number of flakes were recovered and a projec-
tile point found in situ (Fig. 7) The point is intermediate between a Westo
and the Putnam variety of Archaic Stemmed points (Bullen 1968: 25, 29; Fig. 7,
a, b). It probably was included in the dirt used to build the mound. The flakes
are of little use; nevertheless, they do offer some idea of the range of types of
lithic materials utilized, if indeed their manufacture is the result of cultural
activity (see Table 2).
In neither of the earlier reports nor in the 1968 work were any discernible
culture features, other than the mound itself, interpreted as being significant.
Small bits of charcoal were observed scattered throughout most of the pit fill
and profiles of the two uppermost soil horizons, including the mound deposit and
below datum. No pieces of adequate condition for dating were found. The only
large piece of charred material encountered was a "clump" of well-preserved
organic debris. The source of the bits of charcoal and the "clump" are unde-
Areas of sand discoloration were found and carefully examined, but no
inferences as to their origin from purposeful cultural intervention could be made.
Lazarus typed the vessel he recovered as either Deptford Bold Check
Stamped or Wakulla Check Stamped; and, he added, if the latter it is a very
crude version (1959a). However, both the vessel shape and rim treatment in-
dicate Wakulla Check Stamped. Sharon concluded the site was a burial mound
in spite of the absence of skeletal material, concurring in culture classifica-
tion with Lazarus' disjunction (1966). On the basis of all the work on Parker
Mound, including 1968, the disjunctive conclusion arrived at above was elimina-
ted. Even though the data are insufficient for the formulation of any highly
probable assertion as to what culture first utilized the mound, an interpretation
suggests Weeden Island. Now the problem is determining which period of Wee-
The Wakulla Check Stamped is the ceramic indicator of Weeden Island II
(Willey 1949:397). On the other hand, Swift Creek Complicated Stamped (late
variety) is a marker of Weeden Island I, but Willey states that in northwest
Florida it virtually disappears in Weeden Island II (1949:397). As shown in
Figure 1, the complicated Stamped vessel came from substantially greater
depths than any of the other vessels. It seems likely the Parker Mound was a
continual use type starting in late Swift Creek or Weeden Island I times and was
still in use early in the Weeden Island II period.
BULLEN, RIPLEY P.
1968 A guide to the identification of Florida projectile points. Florida
State Museum. Gainesville.
1965 Excavations at the Fort Walton Temple Mound, 1960. Florida
Anthropologist, vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 239-44.
98 PARKER MOUND
HOLMES, WILLIAM H.
1903 Aboriginal pottery of the eastern United States. Twentieth Annual
Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, 1898-99.
LAZARUS, WILLIAM C.
1959a Field notes for Parker Mound (Ok-36), Florida. Temple Mound
Museum, Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
1959b Florida State University site report form: Parker Mound (Ok-36),
Florida. Temple Mound Museum, Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
1968 Personal communication.
1970 Personal communication.
MOORE, CLARENCE B.
1901 Certain aboriginal remains of the northwest Florida coast, part I.
Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, vol. 11.
1918 The northwest Florida coast revisited. Journal of the Academy
of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, vol. 16.
1966 Field notes for Parker Mound (Ok-36), Florida. Temple Mound
Museum, Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
1894 Report on the mound explorations of the Bureau of Ethnology.
Twelfth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology,
WILLEY, GORDON R.
1949 Archeology of the Florida gulf coast. Smithsonian Miscellaneous
Collections, vol. 113.
April 25, 1972
THE SEMINOLE INDIANS IN 1908
James W. Covington
In the period from 1893 to 1914 the Missionary Jurisdiction of the
Southern Florida Episcopal Church operated a mission for the conversion
of the Seminoles. Bishop William Crance Gray accepted the offer of three
hundred and twenty acres of land from the Women's National Indian Asso-
ciation in 1893 and by 1896 had built Christ Church at Immokalee for the
Seminoles. Since the Indians migrated seasonally from one area to another
and in the face of advancing civilization retreated deeper into the Everglades,
the site of the mission was changed several times. Three of the locations
included Immokalee, Glade Cross Mission, and Boat Landing, all in present-
day Collier or Hendry Counties.
In December, 1907 the Reverend Irenaeous Trout, a missionary sta-
tioned at Fort Myers and Punta Gorda was placed in charge of the work
among the Seminoles. He showed some skill in learning a few Seminole
words and cultivating friendship with the Indians. Still, due to various rea-
sons, he and other missionaries were not successful and the mission was
closed in 1914.
The following letter written by Reverend Trout in February 1909 con-
tains his observations concerning the Indians. These observations are signi-
ficant for they note the Indians' nomadic way of life which was nearly at an end.
Very few descriptions of a similar nature are available concerning this period.
"Mode of living is very primitive. They settle about in what is called
'camps, where they erect a cypress pole shack which is covered with a pal-
metto fan roof and it has a split pole floor. These shacks are well-built as a
rule. They are bare of furniture. These they erect on 'hammocks, where
they grow a few small vegetables and raise a few chickens. 1 The men and
the women divide the house work and each one makes his or her own clothes.
Cooking is done in the open in pots and skillets. Food consists of venison,
turkey and game generally. Some few have hogs and fewer still have cattle. Z
Coffee, grits, and rice, plenty of sugar--flour and corn bread and tinned meats
about complete the diet. Those things they buy in quantities at the 'store' and
take to their isolated homes where they idle away until a fresh supply is needed.
Then they buy or credit another supply and go on a hunt in parties of 6 or 8 to
secure hides and skins to pay for same.
Means of obtaining a livelihood
"They are hunters. During the months when they can market their skins
they flourish and have plenty of money but during the forbidden months when
there is no market they do anything they can and at such times will perform
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 26, no. 3, September 1973
labor when they can get it to do at $1 to $1.50 per day. The women do some
bead work which the merchants at the coast points sell to tourists, make moc-
casions, sell a few chickens. They are improvident and either have plenty or
nothing, like the negro. Except a few cases where they have been known to ac-
cumulate several hundred dollars, and one of them has a very creditable store
near the East side. 5
Situation of lands occupied by the Indians
"They are migratory in their habits and seldom remain longer than a
few years at a camp and when they move, abandon the camp, leaving all im-
provements, etc. There are a few exceptions however. They occupy the coun-
try north and east of Lake Okeechobee in Brevard and Osceola Counties, the
eastern portion of Lee County, the extreme N.E. section of Monroe County and
are plentifully sprinkled over the whole of Dade County. While they are mov-
ing their camps from time to time, however, they rarely get outside of these
"They are not inclined to work as a rule, but only when necessity drives
them and they can get the work to do; they do it well. They build canoes (dug
outs) very gracefully and possess artistic taste in decorating them--paint and
oil sells freely among them for such purposes. They build well-constructed
shacks 'tho rude and primitive. They would doubtless be more industrious did
they not fear and distrust the white man so. Frank Tiger (a man 25 years old)
went out to Ft. Myers to work on the sea wall last summer, but the tribe com-
pelled his return in 60 days. 7
Tendency to adopt the white man' s ways
"There is none now. The younger men seem to have a longing to do like
the white man and to live like him, but they are in blind subjection to their el-
ders who forbid any step in that direction desiring simply to be let alone.
The examples of white men before them (i.e. the shiftless, secretive, grasp-
ing, immoral "cracker" and the occasional curiosity seeking selfish tourist
is not at all inspiring).
Possible results of an effort to lead these Indians into the paths of civilization.
"They are becoming a bit concerned about the purchase of immense quan-
tities of the Everglades land and cypress and the matter of drainage. While
they 'pooh pooh' the idea, it is nevertheless a matter of much discussion among
them on the sly. They do not seem to wish us to know that they are concerned.
A good clear example put before them in consistent life and the practical teach-
ing of a good farming and industrial school where they would be paid for their
labor, would I think at this time interest them considerably and from the
promptness with which they do any paid work for me at the store, I think the
probabilities of their civilization are considerable.
Best methods to be followed
"Here is room for a volume. I think that the best method, in fact the
sine qua non, is to provide for them as suggested in the circular attached:
1st. -- The church has 640 acres of land where the Indians live, a good
proportion of this is above high water and is arable. 10 It is proposed
to fence in and clear up these lands and cultivate them, using Indian
labor in doing it and to give them interest in the crops.
2nd. -- To provide two suitable open buildings on the island occupied by
the church store, where they come to market their skins and furs and ob-
tain supplies. 11 One of these buildings to be used as a place of instruc-
tion and entertainment, i.e. for school and church purposes, magic lan-
tern shows, etc., and to be fitted with necessary screens, blackboards,
etc., etc., and the other to be supplied with 12 to 15 sewing machines,
where the squaws may come to do their sewing, and to provide instruc-
tion in the use of same.
3rd. -- To erect suitable houses for the residence of the physician in
charge of hospital, already in operation, the Missionary and his family,
with sufficient room to entertain visiting Indians when in over night, and
a barrack or rest room for laborers employed in clearing land and work-
ing crops. The whole idea being to furnish them with industrial educa-
tion, to teach them to read and write, to instruct them in Christianity and
so fit them to take their places as self-sustaining citizens when the glades
are drained, game exterminated and civilization compels them to take up
the white man's life. Come, help us in this great and humane work. Con-
tributions in the form of checks should be made payable to the SEMINOLE
INDIAN MISSION and sent to
Rev. Irenaeus Trout
Seminole Indian Missionary,
Box 121, Punta Gorda, Fla.
"Such general information as you may feel of benefit to the office with
recommendation as you think would outline the best methods, etc., etc.
"The Indians are very much afraid of and distrustful of the Government.
Anyone professing to represent it, they would flee from in fear. They have
confidence in the church as represented by Mr. Gibbs, Bishop Gray, Dr. God-
den and myself, and are fully assured that we are not Government people, and
are looking only to their welfare.12 They come about us and talk freely to us,
sometimes even telling us of their plan for a big hunt, etc., etc. They would
not be averse to accepting from the Govt. if they were assured that there was
not some sinister motive behind it. They fear deportation to the west. They
have not forgotten the violation of the flag of truce in Osceola' s capture. 13
So then could the government secure enough hammock land, and hold it in trust
for them so that it will not slip away in these tremendous land deals so that they
would have a footing when they are ready for it, it would be a mercy. The
store property where we are now, is a strategic point, and the great majority
of the hunter Indians in the glades touch there at some time or other during the
year. To erect buildings (plain shacks, no side walls, fenced in with wire or
iron fencing) would be best, where we can instruct, etc. etc., at such time
as they come in. And they frequently bring their families with them. And to
fence in and cultivate arable hammocks on the church property or otherwheres
using Indian labor to do it will in a few years put them in position to be self-
sustaining thro labor. It has been objected to that the Indians will not work.
Certainly not, they get 70 cents, 90 cents, $1.00 and $1.15 for alligator hides,
and they can catch 40 or 50 per week, and they get $5. 00 to $7. 50 for otter
skins, and they can trap 1 or 2 per week, so there is no need for it, but the
game is disappearing. The plume birds are practically extinct already. And
then there are several mos. in the year when the game is protected and they
cannot market their hides. 14 Then they will work. They have worked for
Godden and me and they are glad to do it. It will not do to look back at past
failure, and judge the future by it. The conditions now are different. So if the
Govt. can secure lands and help Bishop Gray and myself to train the Indians,
we can do it and the Indians can be saved. 15
1. The best account of Indian life during the period from 1880 to 1920 is
2. Many of the hogs owned by the Indians ran wild through the woods and
consequently were stolen by fishermen at Lake Okeechobee. (Lucien Spen-
cer to Commissioner of Indian Affairs, September 18, 1915, 101916-1915
Records of Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Archives.)
3. These stores included Frank Stranahan' s at Fort Lauderdale, George W.
Storter' s at Everglades, Bill Brown's at Boar Landing, Ted Smallwood's
at Chokoloskee and Girtman Brothers' in Miami.
4. The traders usually advanced ten to twenty-five dollars to outfit the In-
dians for their otter and alligator hunting. Supplies sufficient to last from
two to four weeks were carried along. (Lorenzo D. Creel to Commission-
er of Indian Affairs, March 20, 1911, Bureau of Indian Affairs, National
5. Charley Tigertail operated a store which was built on a canoe run in the
Everglades. The furs, skins and feathers that he acquired were traded
at Everglade and Chokoloskee. The last is pictured in Tebeau 1957:55.
6. During part of the year, the Indians migrated to higher land where they
sought to excape mosquitoes and other numerous insects found during the
summer in Florida. (Walter L. Fisher to President William Taft, June
27, 1911 attached to 101916-1915 Spencer to Commissioner of Indian
Affairs, September 18, 1915.)
7. It was indeed a rare case for a Seminole to leave the tribe. In the 1890' s,
Ko-nip-hat-cho went to Fort Myers and remained for some time. Al-
though he was threatened with death by the tribe, he stayed in Fort Myers
and only returned when he was promised a lovely girl as a wife (Moore-
8. Probably the traders were considered by the Indians to be the most re-
liable of the Whites. When challenged by the white settlers and ranchers,
the Indians simply retreated deeper into the Everglades or Big Cypress
9. Digging in the New River Canal started in 1906 under Governor Broward,
but Governor William S. Jennings had prepared the way for such action
by employing an engineer to survey the problem of drainage and land re-
clamation and to establish the State of Florida' s claim to the land (Te-
10. On July 13, 1910 the Department of Interior approved a recommendation
from the Office of Indian Affairs that Bishop Gray and his successors be
allowed to use on a temporary basis for hospital, educational and other
mission purposes Section 15, T48S, R 34E (Acting Commissioner of In-
dian Affairs Abbott to Special Agent Lorenzo Creel, October 28, 1910
11. In February, 1908 the trading store of Bill Brown at Boat Landing had
been purchased by Bishop Gray and Dr. Godden was placed in charge
12. Reverend Gibbs served as missionary to the Seminoles for seven or eight
years. Trout took his place. Dr. W. J. Godden, a retired English phar-
macist, served as doctor at the mission.
13. Osceola was captured on October 21, 1837 in a camp which was flying a
white flag as a sign of peace (Anonymous, 1955:235).
14. In 1901 the Florida legislature enacted a law which prohibited the killing
of the birds at nesting time (Tebeau 1957:241).
15. Notes by Irenaeous Trout sent to Commissioner of Indian Affairs, March
6, 1909, 17682-1909 BIA. Attached to the note was a list of Seminole
Indians as best Trout could produce. The list was probably the first at-
tempt in the Twentieth Century to do a complete census of the tribe.
1955 The White Flag. Florida Historical Quarterly. Volume 33,
nos. 3 and 4, p. 220-235. Gainesville.
1887 Seminole Indians of Florida. Fifth Annual Report of the Bureau
of American Ethnology, pp. 469-531. Washington.
1907 The Seminoles of Florida. Moffat, Yard and Company. New York.
Parkhill, Harriet R.
1910 The Mission to the Seminoles. Sentinel Printing Company.
Tebeau, Charlton W.
1957 Florida's Last Frontier, The Story of Collier County. University
of Miami Press. Coral Gables.
1972 A History of Florida. University of Miami Press. Coral Gables.
November 2, 1972
A DEPTFORD PHASE HOUSE STRUCTURE
CUMBERLAND ISLAND, GEORGIA
Jerald T. Milanich
During July and August, 1970 the author and four students (supported by
a National Science Foundation grant GS-3105) excavated portions of two Dept-
ford shell midden village sites on Cumberland Island, Georgia. The purpose
of this report is to describe in detail a house site excavated at the northern-
most site, Table Point, 9-Cam-12 in the University of Georgia archaeological
site file. This structure is the first archaeologically-known Deptford house
and provides a unique source of information on Deptford household patterning.
A preliminary report on the Cumberland Island research has been published
elsewhere (Milanich 1971b), and a complete report on Cumberland Island and
the Deptford phase is expected to be made available soon.
The Table Point site is located in a live oak hammock on the northwest
tip of Table Point, a portion of the island which juts out into the salt marshes
on the inland side of the island toward Cumberland Sound (Fig. 1). Stafford
North (9-Cam-13), the second site, lies 4. 2 miles south of Table Point, also in
a live oak hammock bordering the marsh. At both sites the environmental
situation is similar to that found throughout the Georgia and South Carolina sea
islands, providing multiple microenvironments for economic exploitation, in-
cluding: ocean, lagoon, marsh, tidal stream, live oak hammock, and mainland
(or island) forests. Cumberland Island also possesses a relatively large fresh-
water lake and several freshwater swamps and drainage streams.
The Table Point site seems to have been occupied by small Deptford bands
over a. long period of time, perhaps from as early as 500 B. C. to at least A. D.
200 and probably several hundred years later. Because the site midden accu-
mulation pattern is one of dispersed, small, shallow, circular shell middens
rather than large, deep shell heaps as along the St. Johns River, there is little
vertical stratigraphy. However, horizontal stratigraphy and relative frequen-
cies of pottery types demonstrate the length of the site' s occupation. The latter
changes are characterized by three intra-site "trends" (earliest to latest):
(1) the addition of sand- and grit-tempered, paddle malleated, coiled pottery of
Deptford types to the indigenous Archaic/Transitional fiber- and semi-fiber-
tempered pottery complex by ca. 500 B. C.; check and simple stamping occur on
fiber- and semi-fiber-tempered sherds at the site (this ceramic change occurred
very slowly); (2) the disappearance of the Archaic ceramic types with Deptford
types becoming dominant by ca. A. D. 1 (fiber-tempering, as a minority form
of pottery manufacture may last until A. D. 1 on the southeastern Georgia coast);
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 26, no. 3, September 1973
Figure 1. Georgia Sea Islands and Cumberland
and, (3) an increase in cord marked ceramics and trade sherds, the latter
probably from the Mobile Bay and lower Mississippi Valley areas, coupled with
a decrease in Deptford ceramics by ca. A.D. 200. This latter change, also
occurring gradually over several centuries, represents the slow evolution of
the Wilmington phase out of the Deptford phase, a change which is completed
by A. D. 700 (Caldwell 1971) elsewhere on the Georgia coast. There is no
Wilmington occupation on Cumberland Island.
At the Table Point site north-south and east-west axes were staked out
to form the basis of a grid system. Measurements within this grid were made
in feet measured north and east of an arbitrary point southwest of the site.
Vertical control was maintained with a transit. Both the grid system and the
datum plane were tied into a permanent United States Geological Survey bench
mark. This information along with the excavated archaeological collections
are a part of the collections and files of the Florida State Museum.
All sifting of dirt and shell, unless otherwise noted, was done with a me-
chanical shaker screen with 3/4 by 3/8 inch mesh expanded metal screening.
Digging, using standard archaeological trowel and shovel techniques, was done
by natural strata.
Figure 2 shows the outline of the house excavations and the uncovered
portions of the associated features. Excavation of the extreme western wall
of the house was hampered by the presence of several large live oak trees and
a stand of saw palmetto. Tree roots tended to grow either over or under mid-
den shell and shell fill associated with the house, rather than growing through
the shell (taking the route of least resistance). This prevented major disrup-
tions to the shell-filled features. Close to the trees, however, the natural
thickening of the roots, some nearly a foot in diameter, uplifted the shell fill
of the wall trench, making interpretation difficult.
Figure 3 shows a profile across the center of the house, along the 485E
grid line, labeled A A' in Figure 2. The orientation of the house was not
determined exactly until after the profile had been taken; hence, it does not bi-
sect the house.
Stratigraphy of the house was simple. In Figure 3 the sterile buff sand
zone, Zone F, underlay the house occupation zones. The top of Zone F was
1.1 feet above the water table at high tide. Above this zone was Zone D, which
represents both the old humus under the house and humus (non-shell) accumu-
lated during the house occupation. The lower portion of this zone was in the
process of leaching out. Under the shell midden areas the old humus was
much darker, the result of leaching of organic materials downward from the
shell. The lower two-thirds of Zone D was almost sterile. Zone B is non-
shell humic occupational debris. The artifacts associated with the house were
in the upper one-third of Zone D, in Zone C (shell in the presumed cooking area),
and in Zone B. These represented the working floor which accumulated during
the occupation of the house. A thin layer of sterile grey modern humas and sod
SI I I I
0- a0) ) V0 C4
Figure 2. Table Point House Excavation.
Fig. 3, Zone A) capped the house strata, sealing the zones from modern distur-
bances. Once it was discovered that this zone was sterile, it was scraped off
and discarded with the sod.
"Work Area" Stratigraphy
Tangent to the northeast side of the house
circular, area of shell midden (Fig. 3, Zone E).
Zone A modern humic layer as over the house.
old humus layer underlay the shell.
was a buried, either oval or
Over this shell was the same
A very distinct brown, mottled
z z z z z z
2 West 485E S datum plane 13 feet < above mean sea level
f. R:d firepit d g trench
a. Modern duff and humus. e.Work area shell midden.
b. Dark brown humus occupation zone. f. Buff sterile sand.
c. Cooking area shell midden. g-h. Slot trenches; shell and dark humus fills, respectively.
d. Mottled old humus; darker under shell.
Figure 3. Table Point House Profile.
House and Work Area Features
The walls of the house were constructed of posts set side by side in a wall
trench and anchored with a mixture of shell and dirt fill. Figure 4 shows a re-
constructed floor plan of the house walls, the associated house features, and
the work area. The wall trench had a width at its top of 3.0 to 3.8 feet and
narrowed to about 1.0 feet at its base, which was flat. The average depth was
1. 2 feet. Deepest and widest portions of the wall trench were on the east side.
Perhaps most of the weight of any roof beams was supported by this side.
Circular depressions 0.5 to 0.8 foot in diameter often extended 0.1 to
0. 3 foot below the trench bottom, marking where individual posts were set in
place. Lack of humic stains in the trench suggests that the wall posts were re-
moved before rotting in place. Several profiles across the trench showed ver-
tical bedding of shell which might have occurred when shells slipped downward
into the holes left when the posts were removed.
The wall trench was originally dug with the interior wall steeper than the
exterior wall. Debris (shell, sherds, and food bone) which had accumulated
on the cooking area floor during the occupation of the house was swept against
the vertical wall posts of the cooking area. This effort at house cleaning left a
characteristic low hump or rise of refuse along the interior wall trench which
was rich in artifacts. On the exterior edge of the trench settling of the wall
trench fill left a depression which was filled by the accumulation of humic fill
Length of the oval house along its major axis was 32 feet and width was
22 feet. These measurements are very similar proportionally to an oval living
floor area (22 by 14 feet) at the Stafford North site (Milanich 1971a). Two open-
ings were left in the house wall. The largest on the southerly end of the house
was probably to allow cooking fire smoke to escape. The other on the eastern
side must have been an entranceway, allowing admittance to the two partitioned
Inside the house the partition, placed in a shallow slot trench, separated
the presumed cooking and sleeping areas. The partition trench, originally filled
with a shell and dirt mixture around vertical posts, was at some point in time
redug with dark brown, shell-less humus used as fill (Fig. 3, Zones G-H). No
evidence was found to indicate that posts were set in the slot trench, but this
seems to be the best explanation for its presence. The fire pit was round when
first dug by the Deptford house inhabitants. Later it was extended and became
more rectangular. This extension would have brought the pit closer to the orig-
inal partition (the two almost intersected), and may have been the reason for the
replacement of the partition. The second partition, which overlay the first
along part of its length, curves away from the fire pit extension. Only one pot-
sherd, a cord-marked rim sherd, was recovered from the partition fill.
The fire pit, believed to have been about 4. 5 feet in diameter originally,
was extended to a length of 9. 0 feet, measured at its top. Depth was 2. 2 feet.
The wall closest to the partition was steeper than the opposite wall, suggesting
that the pit was dug (by scooping out dirt) from the south side (less steep),
probably after the partition was built.
Alternating lenses of shell and ash in the fire pit (shell was 95 per cent
oyster) indicate roasting of small quantities of shellfish at one time, two to
three dozen being the best estimate. Burnt shells were recovered in the shell
midden zone around the fire pit where the roasted oysters and other shellfish
were eaten. Many pieces of bone from food animals were recovered from the
fire pit and refuse in the cooking area. These are listed below. Several Busy-
con perversum picks were excavated from the fire pit and from against the in-
terior house walls. These picks were hafted by the use of a hole in the top
(similar to Busycon Picks, Type X). The least broken food bones were also
against the house walls. Those on the floor around the fire pit were very frag-
mented due to the heavy traffic in that area.
A radiocarbon data of A. D. 55 95 years (sample UGA 129 analyzed at the
University of Georgia) was obtained from a Busycon perversum pick taken from
the fill of the fire pit. The shell did not show evidence of burning.
Adjacent to the fire pit on the west side was a small posthole (Figs. 2
and 4) which might have served as a spit support or similar device. The larg-
est amounts of food bone came from the west and south sides of the fire pit.
0 10 20 30 4
I I I
erical costs set in trench
20 s apport
open living -
Figure 4. Reconstructed House Pattern.
A posthole central to the cooking area and close to the fire pit probably
helped to support the roof, or was in some way connected with a spit device.
The large size of the posthole stain, 1.4 feet in diameter, suggests a roof
support. The central post was set in the deep end of a large sloping depression.
Fill of the depression included 1 St. Johns Plain sherd, 2 grit-tempered plain
sherds (Deptford paste), and several very fragmented pieces of unidentified food
The annular shell area on the eastern side of the house was about 25 feet
across and 0. 6 foot thick. Excavations showed that the north and east sides of
the shell ended abruptly. Humus accumulated beside the shell was sterile.
The general pattern of shell deposition and the finding of flat-lying potsherds
suggest that the shell was deposited in place rather than being dumped from in-
side of the house. Little of this shell was burnt.
Another post set in a longitudinal trench was aligned with the north edge
of the shell "work area". The postmold, 1.2 feet in diameter, extended down
from the deep end of a trench 7. 1 feet long and 1.5 feet wide. The trench was
very shallow, only 0.5 foot deep in the lower end. The postmold extended 0. Z
foot below the bottom of the trench with a humic stain present. Sterile shell
fill was used to anchor the post.
Possibly this oval or circular work area was roofed, supported by several
large posts, as the one excavated, and by part of the house wall. A large amount
of artifacts, especially worked deer antler, was recovered from the shell occu-
pation zone. About one fifth of a Deptford Simple Stamped pot (36 sherds) was
found, the sherds lying together in the shell. This vessel was a short, squat,
open-mouthed pot with rounded bottom, flaring rim, and a simple rounded lip.
Height is estimated at 45 cm., with mouth diameter 50 cm. The shell area
may have been an outside, warm weather sleeping and working area.
House and Work Area Artifacts
Table 1 lists sherds from the various features associated with the house.
In addition, one chert chip was recovered from the fill of the house wall trench,
and a broken, polished bone pin tip came from the top of the old humus under-
lying the house. Four Busycon perversum picks were found around the fire pit,
7 on the inside of the wall trench, 1 within the fire pit, and 1 in the occupational
humus zone outside of the house. No picks were located in the presumed sleep-
ing area. An almost square coquina "hone" was associated with the picks in the
cooking area shell. Two Busycon columella used as awls were recovered from
the sleeping area occupation floor. Stone tools were very scarce among the
Cumberland Island Deptford peoples, and most of the tools must have been of
wood and shell with some bone used.
'Sherds from Table Point house areas
N Q (U c 15
oldhum ie 5 3 6 5 1 5 in
19.5 45. 5.7 7.3 10 99.0
L) 4- 0 15 Z Ic 4
Sh 7 1 -
U6.6 4.1 9. 1 18 4 100.0
b u c, 09Vi 't 0
sleeping area 9 3 i3a 10 35 138
23.7 7.9 34.2 26.3 7.9 100.0
other house areas 4 1 1 15 2 24
kitc1-6.6hen area 17 3 6 4 52 2 5 8
19.5 3.4 5.7 4.6 58.7 2.3 5.7 b 99.9
sold humus in house 5 3 5 1 32
19.7 8. 67.2 .3 1.6 3.3 100.0
old hehous e ade 7 1 1 2 3 13 4
S"' 63.6 4.9.1 9.1 18. 100.0
wall trench fill 38 58e 2 3 6 3 6 116
286 14.3.7 50.4 1.8 .6 5.3 2.6 4.4 99.8
floore pit fillhouse 1 7 18
19.7 8. 61.1 38.9 100.0
work area sheli. 12 3 2 40g 5 15 7h 84
15.4 3.8 2.6 46.1 6.4 19.2 6.4 99.9
work trea old humus 2 1 3
66.7 33.3 100.0
Totals 117 7 15. 9 197 45 10 36 12 19 467
25.7 1.6 2.7 2.0 42.7 9.2 2.0 8.1 2.5 3.5 100.0
Lower figures are percentages per zone based on body sherds only. Totals include rim
sherds. clay-tempered b1 Deptford Linear Check Stamped, 1 Deptford geometric stamped,
1 clay-tempered with. cob-like impressions. cl rectangular stamped. 1 brushed, clay-tempered
with red-slippedexterior, 1 sand-tempered punctated. el podal support. 2 grit- and clay-tempered
jlain, 2 St. Johns paste copies of Deptford Check Stamped, 2 grit-tempered cross-hatched.
all from one pot. h2 Deptford Linear Check Stamped, 5 fiber-tempered with incised rims.
Unique sherds in Table 2 include one clay-tempered sherd with corn cob-
like markings from the sleeping area, and two incised rims of fiber-tempered
paste (Table 1, h). The incised rims, which are triangular in cross section,
are similar to other specimens of the type Orange Incised from the Summer
Haven site (Bullen and Bullen 1961) in St. Johns County, Florida. Presumedly,
these are trade sherds from the St. Johns area.
A Deptford Check Stamped tetrapod and a portion of the bottom of a very
thick, small cylindrical vessel of St. Johns paste with check stamping on the
bottom were also recovered. The reconstructed diameter of the St. Johns
paste vessel is about 6.0 cm. with a wall thickness of 2.2 cm.
The ceramic artifacts associated with the Table Point house structure are
much the same as those found elsewhere at the Table Point and Stafford North
sites. Deptford Check Stamped and Linear Check Stamped sherds with grit-and
sand-tempering are present along with sherds exhibiting St. Johns paste, fiber-
tempering, semi-fiber-tempering, clay-tempering, and sand-tempering. The
contorted paste, clay-tempered sherds are all very similar, having a reddish
paste and surface color, and, frequently, a burnished surface. These sherds
are identical to samples of Thomas Plain, Tchefuncte Plain, and Larto Red
Filmed (Thorne and Broyles 1968) in the type collections of the Florida State
Museum. They represent trade sherds from the Mobile Bay and southern Lou-
isiana areas and reflect increased contact between Deptford and other South-
eastern peoples occurring from ca. 100 B. C. on.
House Site Subsistence Information
Table 2 lists the species of animals other than shellfish identified from
the excavation of the Table Point house structure including number of individuals.
Identification of the food bone was done by Dr. Elizabeth S. Wing and Curtiss E.
Peterson of the Florida State Museum.
The excavation of the house structure and recovery of food bone from this
closed context provides an excellent chance for an analysis of one household's
diet. The sample of food bone, however, was small and it may not be indica-
tive of the entire range of animals utilized by the house' s inhabitants.
Although the faunal sample was small, important information was provided
on food preparation techniques. The animal species identified are those expected
from the types of microenvironments thought to have been exploited by the coastal
Almost the entire left hindquarter of a deer was recovered from the east
Species identified from house excavation
cf. Monachus tropicalis
West Indian seal
Whale or porpoise
Salt marsh terrapin
side of the house against the interior of the house wall. The bones included the
femur, tibia, a metatarsal, and a distal phalanx from the same animal. Evi-
dence of butchering marks or charring from cooking was not present, suggest-
ing that perhaps the haunch was boiled in a vessel or roasted in such a manner
that no exposed bone was burnt. The femur and tibia were uncovered in normal
anatomical position, perhaps a result of the bones being cast aside after the
meat was stripped off and cooked or dried separately. The deer seems to have
been a young adult. Portions of bone from a left front quarter were found just
outside the east side of the house. Peterson and Wing, citing the two quarters
and a lack of vertebrae or ribs at either Cumberland site, postulated quartering
of deer in the field with only the haunches being brought back to camp.
Butchering techniques used to clean turtles can be derived from analysis
0 1 2 3 4 S
scale in Cetimmeters
Figure 5. Deptford Tools.
a,b, Busycon picks; c,d, Busvcon columella gouges; e, coquina hone.
of the turtle bone. It was noted that the only pieces of turtle shell identifiable
as to anterior or posterior position were anterior and from the ventral side of
the turtles. This suggests that the turtles were opened from the anterior-ven-
tral end to remove the meat.
Identified vertebrate species, other than seal, are those normally found
on coastal sites, both during the Deptford period and at the present time. Seal
bones have not previously been identified at Southeastern coastal sites, though
the species Monachus tropicalis was present up to the 20th century along that
coast. Disappearance of the seal was due to human predation rather than a nat-
ural climatic change (Allen 1871). It is due to its known former presence on the
Southeastern Atlantic seaboard that the species tropicalis was assigned to the
Cumberland Island specimen.
Exploitation of the marsh and tidal streams accounted for the largest num-
ber of animal species. From the Cumberland Island sites bones from raccoon,
salt marsh terrapin, and various fish species verify heavy utilization of the mar-
shes and streams. Deer probably were the largest single source of meat rela-
tive to other species. The fragmentary condition of the fish bone, which'made
identification nearly impossible, lowered the number of individuals in the var-
ious fish species. Probably fish were more important than is shown in the table.
Several minute fish vertebrae were recovered from the fire pit fill. These could
not be identified, but may be anchovy.
Identification of sea turtles, Cheloniidae, which nest on the beaches during
the months of May to July, suggests at least summer occupation of the site. The
bone sample was not adequate to provide specific information on occupation dur-
ing other seasons.
The Cumberland Island Deptford house was a substantial structure built
and occupied during the first century A.D. Probably the house and the site
were both occupied seasonally as the central base for semi-nomadic Dept-
ford hunter-gatherers. Size of the house suggests a nuclear family of six
The test pit which first intersected the house wall trench was placed next
to a low shell pile (the presumed outside work area) rather than in the shell
pile proper, as is usually done. There was no indication of the house's pre-
sence from the present ground surface. If only the shell had been tested, the
house would not have been located. This raises the interesting possibility
that prehistoric houses, up to now so elusive to Florida archaeologists, may
be found by conducting excavations adjacent to middens rather than in the mid-
dens proper. Such a research hypothesis needs to be tested, especially in
areas which exhibit dispersed rather than compact midden accumulation
Allen, Joel A.
1871 A Checklist of Mammals of the North American Continent, the
West Indies, and Neighboring Seas. American Museum of
Natural History. New York.
Bullen, Ripley P. and Adelaide K. Bullen
1961 The Summer Haven Site, St. Johns County, Florida.
Florida Anthropologist. 14: 1-15. Tallahassee.
Caldwell, Joseph R.
1971 Chronology on the Georgia Coast. Southeastern Archaeological
Conference, Bulletin 13, pp. 88-92. Morgantown.
Milanich, Jerald T.
1971a The Deptford Phase: An Archeological Reconstruction.
Ph. d. dissertation, University of Florida.
1971b Conclusions From the Excavation of two Transitional-Deptford
Sites on Cumberland Island, Georgia. Southeastern Archaeo-
logical Conference, Bulletin 13, pp. 55-63. Morgantown.
Thorne, Robert M. and Bettye Broyles
1968 Handbook of Mississippi Pottery Types. Southeastern Archaeo-
logical Conference, Bulletin 7. Morgantown.
UNIQUE KNIFE OR CHISEL, PIPER-FULLER AIRFIELD,
Lyman O. Warren
Just north of the new St. Petersburg Science Center and Twenty-sec-
ond Avenue North lies a flat, sandy tract of land formerly known as the Pip-
er-Fuller Airfield. In 1964 a pond was dredged out of a low section and the
dirt, a rusty brown sand, spread around it for several acres to give a little
more elevation to the surrounding land. The north and south slopes of the
pond, bulldozed at about 25 degrees to the horizontal, formed a clean cut
profile or face. A foot or so of white sand, archaeologically sterile, overlay
a deep stratum of brown sand. This layer contained artifacts and small lumps
of bog iron and was compacted almost to the consistency of hardpan. No
sherds, fire pits, midden soil, or shell could be seen.
Of the ten tools and some 50 to 60 spalls in the Piper-Fuller assem-
blage, three are depicted in Figures 1 through 6. They are rusty brown or
dirty white in color, of a cherty limestone material, and bear a resemblance
to one another in nicety of manufacture. All had eroded out of the brown sand
on the north or south slopes at depths of four or five feet and more below the
surface, with one exception: the projectile point (Fig. 5) which was found
lying on spread brown sand. Because of the association of a unique knife or
chisel with other artifacts apparently Archaic, it is thought desirable to des-
cribe these finds and depict three of the more definitive ones.
The Piper-Fuller knife (Figs. 1-2) is a side notched, unifacial, well
made, bevelled "chisel" with a straight working edge or bit set at an angle of
about 20 degrees to the long axis of the shank. Its skew blade calls to mind
the Cody Knife of Wyoming, but there the resemblance ceases, for the latter
is without side notches. In modern wood working parlance it would be called
a "left skew chisel". Its unique features set it aside as a "diagnostic in search
of a context".
A second well made tool is depicted in Figures 3, 4, and 6 which show
respectively the top, bottom, and, tipped slightly, side and part of the flat or
plane-like bottom. Figure 3 depicts a longitudinal crest, ridge, or keel run-
ning almost the length of the tool. Instead of a convexity, this keel is present,
formed by the junction of the two lateral faces at the peak, so that in cross
section this object would have the outline of a nearly equilateral triangle, It is
reminiscent of the modern wood worker' s "parting tool".
The projectile point (Fig. 5) is well made, slightly asymmetric, and
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 26, no. 3, September 1973
one face has a slight crest running its length formed by the removal of lateral
flakes from midline to each edge of the blade. The stem is rather small and
The remaining tools, not shown, include three plane-carinate scrapers,
onesquarish snub-nosed end scraper, and two unidentifiable projectile point
fragments. Although it is entirely possible we have more than one assemblage
here, it seems desirable, for seriation purposes to document the present
finds for comparison with possible future surface or stratigraphic collections.
All scales are
photography was done
in centimeters except Figure 4 which is in inches. The
with a Kodak Startech.
St. Petersburg, Florida
1 Fig 2
PETROGRAPHY AS A MEANS OF TRACING STONE TOOLS FROM FLORIDA
Barbara A. Purdy and Frank N. Blanchard
The mineralogy, texture, and fabric of a rock reflect its mode of origin.
Because it is unlikely that the total environmental conditions under which a rock
was formed will be repeated exactly at different times or in different places,
similar rock types generally vary (perhaps slightly) if separated by time and/or
space. Petrographic analysis of stone artifacts, therefore, is potentially valu-
able to archaeology because geographic sources of archaeological finds might be
identified. However, caution is necessary:
in some instances conditions might be so localized that significant
rock changes may occur over a few feet .. These differences may be
evident in one or more of a variety of ways such as differing grain sizes,
varying microstructures, differing minerals and changing chemistry.
Notwithstanding this, it will sometimes be that relatively minor differences
in rocks will be swamped by major similarities, so that there might be
little or no essential difference between rocks originating in widely spaced
areas at different times (Sedgley 1970: 10).
The factors that determine the physical properties of chert include:
(a) the size of the quartz crystals; (b) the habit and mode of aggregation of the
crystals; (c) the amount, identity, and distribution of foreign material present
(including impurities and fossils) and (d) the amount and nature of void spaces.
In Floriaa, there are different types of chert (megascopically) and even a single
nodule is not necessarily homogeneous throughout. But Florida cherts were
formed under generally similar conditions and it may be that cherts from var-
ious locations in Florida share common characteristics which may distinguish
them from those occurring in other regions. Most cherts from Florida formed
by replacement of carbonate rocks, fossils, or clay by silica, and many of the
chert deposits in Florida occur in limestone underlying clay.
A small black arrowhead, found near Lowell, Florida, and thought to
have been imported, has been used as a test specimen. It appears to have been
chipped from non-Florida chert and typologically it does not resemble known
Florida projectile points. Thin sections were made of the arrowhead and of
five other dark gray or black cherts all of which were megascopically similar.
If the mineralogy and texture of one of the chert samples had matched the ar-
rowhead, the probable source of its flint might have been established. It then
would be possible to infer something about movements of aboriginal peoples
and/or their trading relationships. However, the possibility of an identification
being made on the basis of five samples taken at random is unlikely.
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 26, no. 1, September 1973
Thin sections were also prepared to determine whether there are signi-
ficant differences in cherts from the same geologic source, or even from dif-
ferent portions of the same nodule. If so, it might be possible to ascertain if
there was differential selection of raw material by native knappers because of
its chipping quality. In addition, thin sections were prepared to determine
whether there are significant variations in chert samples from different loca-
tions in Florida. This information might be used to establish the source quarry
of stone tools and chipping debris recovered from archaeological sites. It
might also be used to demonstrate that certain quarries were exploited more
frequently because of the superior quality of the stone which outcropped there.
A description of the thin sections illustrated (by photomicrographs) in
Figure 1 is as follows:
a. Arrowhead from Lowell, Florida. Plain light (left) and crossed polars
(right) shows cryptocrystalline quartz (,. 002 mm), abundant relicts of anhed-
ral to euhedral rhombss) carbonate (up to 1 mm), and opaque minerals (prob-
ably partly pyrite or marcasite). With crossed polars most of the light inter-
ference colors are from the carbonate.
b. Chert from Pennsylvania showing even-textured microcrystalline to cryp-
tocrystalline quartz (about 0. 005 mm) with a few scattered detrital grains of
quartz (up to 08 mm) and veinlets of quartz in another section of the slide
(crystals up to 1 mm), abundant euhedral to subhedral pyrite (mostly about
01 mm but up to .8 mm), and infrequent carbonate relicts.
c. Chert from England (English flint) showing microcrystalline to crypto-
crystalline quartz (about 005 mm) and very small relicts of carbonate.
d. Chert from the Etowah River bed, Bartow County, Georgia (University of
Georgia Archaeological Site 9-BR-99) showing microcrystalline to crypto-
crystalline quartz (. 005 mm), chalcedony (another part of the slide), abundant
opaques (probably pyrite or, less likely, marcasite) and abundant relict carbon-
ates (high relief).
e. Chert from Marion County, Florida, showing microcrystalline quartz
(about 02 mm) and pockets and streaks of spherulitic chalcedony (1. 5 to 8 mm
across). In places the quartz is microcrystalline to cryptocrystalline (about
.005 mm) and has a felted pattern. Crossed polars both views.
f. Chert from Warsaw, Ohio showing microcrystalline quartz (about 0.01
mm) with a few scattered detrital grains of quartz up to 0.08 mm, a few sphe-
rulites of chalcedony, and abundant rhomb-shaped carbonate relicts (some with
dark cores). Other parts of the slide show what may be relict pellets and fossils.
Some opal may be present. Crossed polars both views.
PURDY AND BLANCHARD
J Fig. 2. Photomicrographs of thin
sections showing Florida cherts
from: a-c, e, Marion County; d,
Alachua'County. Scale : 0.1 mm.
All crossed polars except a
Which is plain on left and crossed
polars on right.
Fig. 1. Photomicrographs of thin sections showing cherts
from the following locations: a, arrowhead from Lowell
Florida; b, Pennsylvania; c, England; d, Etowah River,
Georgia; e, Marion County, Florida; f, Warsaw, Ohio.
Scale- 0.1 mm. Plain light left, crossed polars right
except e and f which are both crossed polars.
There seem to be enough differences in these samples to warrant the
preliminary conclusion that petrographic criteria may be useful in demonstrat-
ing that certain cherts are from different source areas. In contrast to these
differences, Figure 2 shows photomicrographs of several cherts, all of which
are broadly similar, from various locations in Florida:
a. Outer portion of a chert nodule from a quarry site near Johnson Lake,
Marion County, Florida. Plain light (left) and crossed polars (right).
b. Inner portion of the chert nodule described above. Morphologically these
specimens are dissimilar. The inner portion is a grayish color, whereas
the outer portion is a brownish color and is glassy in appearance. Very
little difference (other than iron oxide stains around opaque grains) is
observable petrographically. Atomic spectrophotometric analysis, how-
ever, did reveal some variations in the proportions of the elements pre-
sent. Whether or not these variations are significant with regard to chip-
ping quality needs to be investigated further. The quartz is microcrystal-
line (about 01 mm) and there are abundant patches and spherulites of
chalcedony. Crossed polars.
c. Chert from a quarry site near Johnson Lake, Marion County, Florida.
This sample came from the same area but from a different nodule than
that described above. Microcrystalline quartz (about 01 mm) and chal-
cedony are present. Opaque material is mostly yellowish-brownish in
reflected light. Crossed polars.
d. Chert from a quarry source in Alachua County, Florida (York' s property).
The chert is composed of microcrystalline quartz (about .01 to .02 mm)
with pockets of chalcedony. Some fossils are present. Crossed polars.
e. Chert from Marion County, Florida (same as pictured in Fig. le).
The following conclusions must be considered as tentative and subject to
modification as work progresses:
(1) In thin section the black arrowhead from Lowell is dissimilar to
the several cherts from Florida which were examined. This does not preclude
a possible source area in Florida, but does support the belief that the arrow-
head was imported from some other region.
(2) Of the several cherts from outside of Florida which were examined,
the material from the Etowah River bed in northern Georgia is somewhat similar
(grain size, carbonate relicts, and opaque minerals) to the material of the black
arrowhead from Lowell, Florida, but the correspondence does not seem close
PURDY AND BLANCHARD
enough to indicate that both were necessarily from the same source. Other than
this, the black arrowhead is dissimilar to any of the several other cherts from
outside of Florida which were examined, and, therefore, its source area re-
(3) All of the thin sections of cherts from various areas in Florida
appear to be broadly similar to each other, but are generally dissimilar to the
cherts from other regions. This suggests the tentative conclusion that while
it may not be possible to determine by petrography a specific location in Flor-
ida from which the material of an artifact was obtained, it may be possible to
recognize certain artifacts as imported and in some instances it may be possible
to suggest a probable or possible source area.
(4) To further substantiate the above conclusions and to put this ap-
proach to work will require both intensive examination of many thin sections
of samples of chert from the same geologic and geographic source and exten-
sive study of cherts from a large number of different geologic and geographic
Barbara A. Purdy
Florida State Museum
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32601
Frank N. Blanchard
Department of Geology
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32601
November 7, 1972
Some problems connected with the petrographic examination of
stone artifacts. Science and Archaeology, Nos. 2 and 3,
SITE DA-141, DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA
Wesley F. Coleman
DA-141 is an oval hammock, 159 by 60 feet in maximum and minimum
diameters, located in the southwest quarter of the southeast quarter of Sec-
tion 26, Township 53, Range 39 East, Dade County, Florida. This site is
situated approximately three miles west of 117th Avenue. Access by vehicle
can only be gained by passage on a private road through property owned by
the Miami Oolite Corporation. The site is 250 yards east of the much larger
Cheetum Hammock (Laxson 1962) which was also a site of Indian habitation.
At the time of this excavation, the site was four feet above the surround-
ing sawgrass. It was disturbed by bulldozing in October, 1969, but a small
test trench was excavated by the Miami-West India Archaeological Society be-
fore more damage could be done. The bulldozer' s disturbance was limited to
the top four inches of the site. Vegetation still left on the site consisted of
Ficus Aurea, Red Bay, Papaya, Elderberry, and Brazilian Pepper.
A 5- by 5-foot test pit was dug on the highest point of the site down to a
depth of 48 inches. Black loam, typical of Glades sites, was encountered to the
12-inch level. At the 12-inch level a hard, calcareous material composed of
animal and fish bone and minute particles of charcoal was found. This calcar-
eous material formed a layer which was twelve to fourteen inches in depth. At
the 24-inch level, greyish white sand was encountered which continued for the
remaining 24 inches of the test pit.
Artifacts uncovered are listed in Table 1. The top 6-inch level yielded
olive jar fragments and glass trade beads. Incised pottery typical of the Glades
II and Glades III period was encountered down to a depth of 12 inches as indica-
ted in the table. Glades III types (Glades Tooled) concentrated in the higher
levels and Glades II types (Opa Locka and Ft. Drum Incised) in lower levels.
It is noteworthy that beneath the calcareous layer, the test pit was sterile of
artifacts until a depth of 45 inches. At this depth 47 sherds of a St. Johns plain
bowl, 2 bone points, and 2 Strombus celts were found.
A surface collection was also made. A portion of a human mandible with
four teeth and a carved shell ornament were the most significant surface finds.
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 26, no. 1, September 1973
Specimens Depths in inches
0-6 6-12 12-42 42-48
Glass beads 11
Iron fragment 1
Perforated shark tooth 1
Bone awl 1
Bone points 2 2 2
Strombus celts 1 2
Columella awl 1
Carved shell 1
Busycon pick 1
Busycon dipper 1
Olive jar fragments
Glades Tooled rims
St. Johns check Stamped
Belle Glade Plain
Ft. Drum Incised
Opa Locka Incised
St. Johns Plain**
*See Fig. 1, has large punctations but does not resemble Hare Hammock Indented
nor closely Carrabelle Punctated. **Found at 45 inches,paste is soft, walls thick.
Fig. 1. Unique punctated sherd.
The test pit excavated at DA-141 revealed the following occupancy:
1. Early Seminole [and possibly historic Tequesta] as indicated
by olive jar sherds of both middle and late variety and by
glass trade beads.
2. Glades II and III as indicated by incised pottery.
3. Glades I as indicated by thick, soft, St. Johns plain sherds
at substantial depths.
The cultural material found at DA-141 indicates that this was a typical
Dade County midden site. The carved shell fragment is possibly an ear orna-
ment. The carving looks much like the petals of a flower. It is similar to a
carving found by Laxson (1970: Fig. 2, k) at another Dade site.
Appreciation is expressed to the Miami Oolite Corporation and to mem-
bers of the Miami-West India Archaeological Society. Appreciation is also ex-
pressed to W. H. Sears, Florida Atlantic University, and to Dan D. Laxson,
Hialeah, for their help in identification.
Laxson, D. D.
1962 Excavations in Dade and Broward counties, 1959-1961. Florida
Anthropologist, vol. 15, no. 1. Gainesville.
1970 Seven sawgrass middens in Dade and Broward Counties, Florida.
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 151-158. Gainesville.
January 17, 1973