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A LATE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY WORK CAMP,
ST. JOHNS BLUFF, DUVAL COUNTY, FLORIDA
William M. Jones
In order to bring this report into proper focus, we shall be obliged to
present, briefly, the history of St. Johns Bluff during the British Occupation
of Florida, 1763 to 1783. In the year 1762, the British captured Havana from
the Spanish. By treaty in 1763, England acquired Florida in exchange for Ha-
vana. The British took actual possession in 1764, when most of the Spanish
During the American Revolution, many of the colonists who remained
loyal to the English king departed because of hostility displayed by their neigh-
bors. Quite a few of these loyalists settled in Florida, most at St. Augustine,
St. Johns Bluff or in nearby regions. This brings us to "St. Johns Town,"
established at St. Johns Bluff, during this period:
The site of this town was a tract of two hundred acres owned most
of the 1770' s by William Hester. As early as June, 1771, Hester had
sold a lot to a settler and about 1779, conveyed the rest of the tract
to Thomas Williamson. The first dwellings were small log houses,
but when the refugees began to flock in in the Summer and Autumn of
1782, numerous frame houses with detached kitchen and other struc-
tures, were hastily built. The town soon numbered about three hundred
houses, according to Governor Tonyn, had two taverns, a public house,
a livery stable, a dry goods shop, a storehouse for "coarse and wet
goods, a shop where plantation tools could be bought, and even a
small Free Mason' s Lodge.1
Due to better harbor facilities, St. Johns Town was beginning to replace
St. Augustine as the major seaport, when in 1783, England ceded Florida back to
Spain, ending the English Occupation of twenty years. By 1785, most of these
"refugees, who were loyalists from the American States to the north, had de-
parted for the West Indies and other British possessions, leaving St. Johns
Bluff to gradually sink back into obscurity.
Our interest in the St. Johns Bluff--a high sand ridge on the south shore
of St. Johns River 6 miles from the Atlantic--area goes back to the middle
1940' s, when we were attracted to it by legends of French Huguenots and Fort
Caroline. Several years were spent searching along the ridge and in the nearby
regions for material evidence that might point to the French occupation. Not one
artifact or feature was found that would relate to the French or their fort. Al-
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 26, no. 4, December 1973
William M. Jones
a, Ii 1j f
if i .
x/ "- A
ST. JOHNS BLUFF AREA SHOWING
LOCATION OF DU-106 AND OTHER
SITES LOCATED NEARBY.
though we failed to find evidence of the French, we were fortunate in locating
the site of late eighteenth century St. Johns Town (Fig. 1). Artifacts pertain-
ing to that place were recovered in the region between the east boundary of the
national park and the summit of the bluff.
We continued our search well into the 1950' s. During that time we
made the acquaintance of the late William H. Browne, whose family settled at
St. Johns Bluff, in 1884. Browne, who was the largest landowner in this sec-
tion, lived here nearly eighty years and made many valuable observations dur-
ing that time. It was he, who pointed out the historic site we are going to dis-
cuss and which later was designated as "Site DU-106. "
Browne found this site during the middle 1920' s, while working on his
access road (Figs. 1-2). He reported finding bits of tabby, china, glass and a
few wrought iron nails. The site is located in the midst of a group of trees,
vines and palmetto 100 feet south of a small, fresh water creek. Browne' s
road connecting his home with Mt. Pleasant Road, .8 mile to the south, pass-
es directly through the middle of the site at this point.
Excavations at DU -106
We initiated work during September, 1962, and continued excavating at
intervals, during the following four years. As there were no visible surface
signs denoting activity during earlier times, these holes were dug east and
west of the road, until artifact bearing sections were located. Next 4 trenches
were established and designated as Tests A, B, C, D. Tests A and B were on
the west side of the road, while C and D were located east of the road (Fig. 2).
Most of the artifacts that were recovered were found within a 50-foot square
area and seldom deeper than 12 inches. Throughout the excavations, vertical
distribution of materials was not uniform. Aboriginal pottery appeared above
and below historic materials and in some cases, in direct contact. It is doubt-
ful this obvious percolation was caused by cultivation, since the soil is dry and
sandy and does not appear suited to agriculture.
Only fifty Indian potsherds were found on Du -106, the majority in test
B, but some were found in the other three trenches. As we have previously
stated, these sherds were found at all levels and in direct contact with historic
materials. They were classified by Ripley P. Bullen, of the Florida State Mu-
seum at Gainesville who wrote as follows:
These sherds include those from what appears to be two periods.
There are a lot of sherds which seem to be San Marcos Stamped,
a pottery type of the Spanish Mission period.
There are also two Deptford Simple Stamped sherds and part of a
Mt. Pleasant Road-
.8 of a mile
Fresh water creek
( To Browne' s House
SITE DU-106 ST. JOHNS BLUFF
WILLIAM M. JONES 12-25-71
Scale 3/16 inch 10 ft.
vessel with a rocker stamped plus Deptford Linear Check Stamped
imprints on the lower side of the out-turned rim. This is new to us
but it must be of the Deptford time period or a little before the birth
of Christ. Other sherds which seem to belong to this same period
are those of a thin, sandy paste, complicated stamped vessel which
also is new to us. Included are a Swift Creek Complicated Stamped
and a couple of cord marked sherds, all probably early. ..
The presence of the above potsherds should indicate a minor occupa-
tion by Indians during the St. Augustine and Deptford periods. There is also
the possibility these sherds were brought here from a distant midden, along
with oyster shell, used to make tabby. This building material appeared in
all of the excavations.
The first European ware found was a fragment of honey-colored, lead
glazed earthenware that was new to us. We eventually found 28 of these sherds
constituting the remains of two vessels. Partial reconstruction of one showed
it was 7 inches in diameter at the top, and 7.25 inches deep and glazed on the
inside only. The vessel was "potbellied" in appearance with a round rim and
flat bottom and made of a tan-colored paste with throwing marks that can be
seen but are not outstanding.
Sherds that represent the other vessel are lead glazed on both sides and
made of a red paste. Although we were unable to reconstruct this vessel, it ap-
peared to have had a rim that was intricate in its design and equipped with han-
dles and a flat bottom.
We discussed these vessels with both the late Dr. John M. Goggin and
Dr. Charles H. Fairbanks. Dr. Goggin was of the opinion they were of Spanish
origin and belonged to the late eighteenth century, while Dr. Fairbanks theoriz-
ed they could be either Spanish or English.
Four fragments of English slipware were made of a tan-colored porous
paste, with lead glazing on the inside only. Visible decorations were brown dots
near the serrated edge. In form, it appeared to have been a shallow dish and
likely had other decorations near the center. Slipware is a traditional pottery
of eighteenth century England.
Four white, salt glazed stoneware fragments were from a light, thin,
vessel, with no decoration, probably a small pitcher or vase. This ware
was made in England throughout most of the 1700' s.
Three bits of undecorated porcelain were recovered. Two fragments of
delftware constituted the remains of an earthenware vessel made of a cream-
colored paste, with a tin glaze on the inside and outside. The decoration was
EIGHTEENTH CENTURY WORK CAMP
blue-on-white but the design could not be defined, since only one blue line
could be seen. This ware was made in England during the eighteenth century.
The dominant ware on the site was creamware of which fifty-eight
fragments were found, mostly in Tests A and B. Three types of vessels were
detected among these sherds: a dinner plate with raised decorations near the
scalloped edge, and a cup and a saucer, both decorated with raised beading.
Creamware is another late eighteenth century English ware.
Kaolin clay pipes included 48 fragments, of which 33 were stems and
13 bowls. Four of the bowls carried the small extension, often found on the
bottom of clay pipes. On one of the bowls, the letters "WC" appeared on the
extension and on the side of the bowl, facing the smoker. Using the Binford
Formula, 2 they date to 1740, which is too early for this site, but is in ac-
cordance with Binford' s theory, that the method is not accurate on sites dat-
ing around 1780.
English wine bottles were present in the amount of 291 fragments includ-
ing 11 necks, and a number of broken indented bottoms. One bottle was recon-
structed to the extent it could be dated in the period 1770 to 1790.3 Most of the
necks seemed to be the same type, but it is possible some may belong to the
period 1750 to 1770.
Two fragments of a square moulded bottle were also found. In addition,
the neck of a very thin, pale green bottle was located, in which, the lip was
completely flat and extended outward from the neck. It appeared to have been
a small medicine bottle. One fragment of flat, clear glass appeared. Very
likely this was the remains of a mirror.
Wrought iron nails and spikes were, by far, the most numerous of the
many metal objects fount at DU-106. The 296 uncovered ranged from small
nails, one inch in length, to spikes, six inches long (Fig. 3). Some of these
were fragmentary or badly bent, while others were in excellent condition and
could be used today. Among the common wrought iron nails were several brad
nails. Because the brad nails appear to be cut, rather than hand wrought, we
are not sure they belong to the site. Since Browne' s access road passes
through the place, they could have been lost by a passerby.
A number of gun parts relating to flintlock weapons were found, both
in the excavations and in the road. One octagon musket barrel, 9. 25 inches in
length was located in the road with a metal detector. A gun tool came from test
A and a brass trigger guard from Test B.
Test C produced 7 round musket shot, 2 gun flints, a lockplate, a cock
and a battery (frizzen). These last parts are probably from the same weapon.
Most likely they were made during the last half of the eighteenth century.
I 2 3 4 5 6
SFig. 3. Hand wrought nails.
The oldest gun part from site Du-106 found in trench C, was an "English
Dog Lock, (Fig. 4) Since this was the first lock of this type we had found in
northeastern Florida, we contacted Harold L. Peterson, Chief Curator, Nation-
al Park Service, Washington, D.C., regarding this artifact. Peterson had this
S. .The gun lock which you found is a very good one indeed. If I
judge it correctly from the photograph it would have come from the
English musket that immediately preceded the Brown Bess. To be
absolutely correct, I suppose one could call it a flintlock with a dog
catch. I would date its manufacture somewhere between 1690 and 1720
.. We have found locks of this type at Fort Frederica National
Monument where they must have been used in the 1740' s. Now
EIGHTEENTH CENTURY WORK CAMP
Fig. 4. English dog lock
I from musket made in the
S- early eighteenth century.
yours appears in a context of 1780 so the old guns appear to have had
a long life. .
Although site Du-106 represents a minor occupation, the place produced
a surprising number of coins which included the following: one American dime;
three British half-pennies; and three Spanish silver coins. The American dime
was badly worn and dated 1910. It obviously does not belong to the site and must
have been lost here in recent years. One of the British coins was in poor con-
dition, the remaining two were well preserved. They carried dates of 1731, 1737,
and 1775 respectively. The three Spanish coins were of a type known as "cob, "
which are irregular in form, having been cut from a bar of silver. Two of these
were of half-real value, with no visible dates. The third was of one-real value
and carried the date 1662. The mint mark "P" appears on this coin, which pre-
sumably means it was minted in Potosi or Lima, Peru.
A total of 22 edged tools appeared at site Du-106, of which 7 were
wrought iron axes. Four of these were a type known as "box axes4, two were
conventional "chopping axes, and the last was a "trade axe, or "tomahawk. "
All of these, except the trade axe, carried marks indicating they may be of
Figure 5 (not to scale) includes sketches of four of these axes, in order
to show how the marks appeared after the coating of rust was removed, and the
trade axe. The first box axe has a crown with four dots impressed directly
1 2 3 4
below and arranged in the form of a square. Below appears a "heart-shaped"
mark. Within the square formed by the dots, is a mark that could not be re-
:. $, -,T
cognized. On the second box axe, which represents two others as well, the
marks are different. On all of these the "heart" is situated in the middle of
the blade on the obverse side, while a rectangular shaped impression shows
on the reverse side. Within these impressions could be seen figures that could
not be identified.
The chopping axes were also marked in a different manner than the
others. One carried a heart above the hating hole on the obverse side, with
no marks on the reverse side. According to Ivor Noe' Hume, heart-shaped
merchant marks were stamped on the East India Company waeapons.5 Perhaps
the heart-shaped marks on our axes have the same meaning.
The last chopping axe had by far, the most significant marks of the en-
tire group. On one side appeared a crown, with the letters "SJ, directly be-
low (Fig. 5). Beneath the letters SJ" was written, "Samuel Jackson, and
below that, "Sheffield. When the coating of rust was removed from this axe,
the above marks could be seen but not identified. In view of this, we solicited
the help of Paul C. Hudgins, a Research Chemist and Director of Medical Re-
search, Research Laboratory, St. Vincent' s Hospital, Jacksonville, Florida,
who briefly describes the method he used:
who briefly describes the method he used:
EIGHTEENTH CENTURY WORK CAMP
1 2 3
Fig. 6. Eye hoes.
The area was heated with an oxygen-gas torch to a yellow heat
temperature. The "memory" effect of the metal revealed the data
even after the original surface imprint could no longer be recognized.
Mr. Hudgins also used a powerful glass to read the imprints that show-
ed in the heated metal. We owe him a vote of thanks, because without his assis-
tance, the information on the axe would have been lost.
We contacted the British Museum, London, England, regarding the
marks on the various axes. Since they had no comparable axes in their collec-
tion, J. Cherry, the Assistant Keeper, referred us to Molly Pearce, Keeper
of Applied Art, The City Museum, Weston Park, Sheffield, England.
who replied with the following information:
... I have managed to trace a Samuel Jackson, son of John Jackson, cut.
ler of Crookes, Sheffield, who became a Freeman of the Cutler' s Com-
pany of Sheffield in 1762. There is no other Samuel Jackson in the
records of the Cutler' s Company at that date. He need not necessarily
have followed his father' s occupation as cutler and could quite well
have produced axes. The Cutler' s Company admitted makers of all
edge tools to its Freedom...
As we stated earlier, the trade axe carried no identifying marks that
could be found. It measured 6 inches in length, with the blade being very nar-
row below the hafting hole and gradually extending outward to a width of 2. 5
inches at the cutting edge. Dr. Fairbanks, of the University of Florida, term-
ed it a "fighting axe, of either the Seventeenth or Eighteenth Century.
Three "eye hoes" were excavated. One was similar to hoes usually
found on plantation sites but the other two had been sharpened to a point
(Fig. 6) in the manner of the "Warren Hoe. Both of these appeared to have
been sharpened in the field, rather than being manufactured in this style.
Most likely, they were used to make small furrows for planting vegetables.
Six clasp knives came to light at Du-106. Two of these were complete,
while the remaining were fragmentary. Both of the complete knives were folded
when found and measured 4 inches in length. We managed to open one of these,
in spite of the rust, and found the overall length to be 7 inches.
The remaining edged tools consisted of three fragmentary scissors, and
four small tools that have not definitely been classified. I discussed these tools
with Dr. Fairbanks of the University of Florida and he was of the opinion that
they were wood working tools of some kind. They appeared to be gouges, with
the handles missing. They all varied in size.
In addition to the edged tools we mentioned above, there were a number
of metal artifacts recovered that we will list briefly. Among these were a
small fish hook; 5 large lead sinkers, probably used on nets; a pewter spoon
with the handle missing; an engraved brass handle, thought to be from a "candle
snuffer;" a bronze furniture castor; a brass sewing thimble; a silver chain, 2.5
inches long; 2 small iron buckles; 3 brass buckles; 12 metal buttons, some dec-
orated; and 4 iron keys.
Food remains, in the form of animal bones, numbered 979, some frag-
mentary and some whole. Mammal bones were found in the following amounts:
9 opossum, 14 racoon, 3 deer, 32 pig, and 41 cow. Reptiles were represented
by 1 alligator and 39 turtle bones. The fish vertebrae numbered 235 including
drum (Sciaenidae), bowfin (Amidae), and catfish (Ictaluridae), kindly identified
by Dr. Kenneth Relyea, Assistant Professor of Zoology, Department of Biology,
Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, Florida. The bird bones were not numer-
ous, as only fifteen, unidentified, were found. A total of 530 bones from the en-
tire group could not be classified. Most of the bones were found in Tests A
and B, west of the road. Dr. S. David Webb of the Florida State Museum,
Gainesville, called our attention to the fact that many of the bones were hacked,
presumably with an axe.
Summary and Conclusions
Structural evidence on Site Du-106, appeared in the form of wrought
iron nails, tabby fragments, and the remains of two tabby floors, one near
Test B and the other near Test D. Not one post hole was detected on the en-
tire site. This would indicate the structures here were not post-in-the-ground
type, but rather log or frame buildings. (By contrast, on Site Du-107, 700 feet
to the north, we found a 26-foot square tabby floor, with 11 decayed posts still
buried around the outer edge).
EIGHTEENTH CENTURY WORK CAMP
The fate of the structures, that once stood here, is unknown. We found
little evidence there had been a fire of any consequence and we doubt they were
dismantled and carted away, such as others were when the British evacuated
Florida in 1783. Most likely, they rotted to the ground, after being abandoned.
The presence of wrought iron nails and spikes scattered about the place seems
to bear out this theory. The tabby floors that would have survived were prob-
ably destroyed by tree roots, age, or some unknown activity in the interim.
We were not able to outline any structure.
The question now arises as to why the site was placed at this point.
While there could be a number of reasons, certainly the nearby freshwater
stream was a deciding factor. According to William Browne, Sr., the remains
of a dam were found at site Du-106 when he arrived in 1884. Because the flow
of water is not sufficient to power a wheel of reasonable size, the dam was
probably built to secure a larger supply of water for domestic purposes. An-
other reason for the presence of the site here might be the supply of fish in the
nearby St. Johns River. The lead fishing sinkers, the fish hook, and the 235
fish vertebrae should indicate our occupants spent some time replenishing their
larder with fish from the river. In addition to the above, there is fertile land lo-
cated to the north, that is suitable for gardening. Browne reported that this
place had been cultivated long before his arrival on the bluff. The three eye
hoes found on the site, would indicate some agricultural activity.
Since we have discussed the reasons for Du-106 being located at this
point, we shall now explain why we believe the site represents the remains of
a work camp, established during the time of the British Occupation, 1763-1783.
We had only been working on the site for a short period of time when it became
apparent the situation here was not typical of the usual domestic complex, but
pointed to the activities of a group of men. For instance, while 97 fragments of
ceramics were found, wine bottle fragments amounted to 291, which seems out
of proportion when applied to the average household.
In addition, we recovered 6 clasp knives, 7 axes, 3 eye hoes, 48 frag-
ments of clay pipes, 6 coins, sufficient gun parts to indicate at least 2 weapons,
a fighting axe and 979 bones of mammals, reptiles, birds and fish. In view of
the number of axes and other types of artifacts we have just mentioned, and
because of the large number of animal bones found on the site, we may conclude
Du-106 represents the remains of a work camp of the late Eighteenth Century.
We stated earlier in this report we had found four "box axes" along with
other types. The presence of these four axes strongly suggests our occupants
were engaged in turpentine work in this area. In early times, box axes were
used in the naval stores industry and as the name implies, were used to "box"
trees. This meant cutting a hole or box in the base of the tree to receive the
flow of gum resulting from repeated chopping above. This practice continued
until about 1900, when with the advent of the "cup and gutter" method, the box
axe faded from the scene. The box axes from Du-106 weighed 3 pounds each
and measured 8 3/4 inches in length. In the nineteenth century, these axes be-
came longer, until lengths of nearly a foot were reached. At this point, we
must mention that the box axes found here were damaged and obviously had
been discarded when the site was abandoned. There may have been a greater
number of tools here when the place was in operation and which could have been
carted away when the English left the bluff area.
In addition to turpentine work, the occupants of Du-106 may have been
engaged in extracting tar from the nearby pine forest. William H. Browne re-
ported the existence of 6 old "tar kilns" in the region a mile south of the site.
Since 5 of these were in places difficult to reach, he directed us to one located
on the north slope of an oak ridge, south of Mt. Pleasant Road (Fig. 1). We
returned in October of 1967 and with the permission of the property owner, dug
a test hole in the top of the kiln. After the layers of dirt were removed, we
found a mass of fully combusted pine limbs. The kiln measured 40 feet in dia-
meter and about 4 feet in height.
At first sight, these kilns appear to be simple sand mounds, with no
particular meaning. They are usually situated on an incline so the extracted
tar will flow downward from the center, to a container placed on the low side
of the kiln. This process was brought from Europe by the early settlers.
Carl E. Ostrom6 explains this method:
This practice was widespread in North Carolina shortly after its
settlement in 1665. The common method commenced with the building of
a saucer-like mound of clay containing a funnel at the center which led to
a buried drain pipe. The dead wood was piled several feet high over this
mound, then covered with clay and.ignited at the top. Tar from the burn-
ing wood seeped downward into the drain pipe, from which it was led to
a ditch or hole in the ground. From there it was either scooped into
barrels or ignited for a time to produce pitch. ..
The British exported large quantities of timber and naval stores dur-
ing their stay in Florida. Available records indicate that in the year 1776,
shipments included 50, 000 feet of pine boards, 190 barrels of tar and 56 bar-
rels of turpentine? During 1777, shipments of forest products showed a large
increase over the preceding year. The shipments consisted of 553, 000 feet of
pine boards and timber, 2,241 barrels of tar and 417 barrels of turpentine. In
1778, exports of forest products amounted to 468, 800 feet of ine boards and
timber, 8,100 barrels of tar and 1, 980 barrels of turpentine.
In September, 1783, when the British were in the process of evacuating
Florida, about 20, 000 barrels of tar and turpentine, were waiting shipment.
Since the British were having a transportation problem, some of these pro-
ducts were left behind, including 150 barrels at St. Johns Town.
EIGHTEENTH CENTURY WORK CAMP
In conclusion, the occupants of Du-106, could not be identified. Prop-
erty descriptions in the British records are vague from a geographical stand-
point, and it was impossible to make a positive identification.' The site was
likely established in the years following 1775, and was abandoned before 1785, 32
or during the time St. Johns Town was evacuated.
Wilbur Henry Siebert, "Loyalist in East Florida, 1763 to 1783, Vol. I
Deland, Florida: 1929), 117.
Lewis R. Binford, "A New Method of Calculating Dates from Kaolin Pipe
Stem Samples, Southeastern Archaeological Conference Newsletter, Vol. 9,
No. 1, Edited by Stanley A. South, (Cambridge, Mass. 1962), 20.
3Paul Hudson, "English Glass Wine Bottles of the 17th and 18th Centuries, "
Southeastern Archaeological Conference Newsletter, Vol. 9, No. 1, Edited by
Stanley A. South, (Cambridge, Mass. 1962), 6.
Identified by Arthur E. Jordan, of Jacksonville, Florida, who spent a
lifetime in timber.
5Ivor No'l Hume, "A Guide to Artifacts of Colonial America, (New York,
New York: 1970), 219.
6Carl E. Ostrom, "History of Gum Naval Stores Industry, Southern
Forest Experiment Station, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2.
7Wilbur Henry Siebert, "Loyalist in East Florida, 1763 to 1783, Vol. I,
(Deland, Florida: 1929), 68.
January 2, 1972
THE TEMPORAL AND SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF
BONE. POINTS IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA
Barbara A. Purdy
This paper will deal only with those bone points which are generally
considered hunting weapons by most investigators. Consequently, bone pins
(usually classified as decorative items) and bone awls will not be discussed
except to mention their presence and their occasional association with the
Several factors existing in the state of Florida may account for the
scarcity of published information concerning the bone points under discussion.
There has been, understandably, a preoccupation with pottery because it pro-
vides an excellent means of chronological dating. In the absence of pottery,
that is in preceramic levels, diagnostic projectile points of stone provide a
fairly reliable dating sequence, at least relatively, if not absolutely. Poor
preservation of wood and bone in Florida' s acid soils, coupled with a moist
climate, has made it impossible to recover objects manufactured of these ma-
terials in many locations. Notable exceptions are the thousands of simple bone
points found in Florida rivers. Their presence in such large numbers makes it
apparent that bone objects formed a major segment of the tool inventory.
The following sources were explored in order to cover this topic as
completely as possible:
(1) Research materials included all volumes of The Florida Anthropologist,
several of the Yale University Contributions to Anthropology, pertinent articles
in American Antiquity, Willey' s Archeology of the Florida Gulf Coast, The
Florida Indian and His Neighbor, a Natural History article entitled "The Wa-
kulla Cave, and a few other references. References which contained informa-
tion of value to this study are listed in the bibliography. Mention of them is made
here to stress the fact that more than just a casual search of published material
was made. Some valuable information may have been found if historic documents
had been surveyed. This source was neglected but may ultimately hold the an-
swer to the various functions of bone implements. (2) A trip was made to the
U.S. National Museum in Washington, D. C. where the entire artifactual collec-
tion from Florida was searched for bone implements. (3) A systematic search
through the many collections at the Florida State Museum was made in order to
determine the distribution of bone implements. (4) The private collections of
Mr. Alvin Hendrix of McIntosh, Florida, and Mr. Ben I. Waller of Ocala, Flor-
ida, were studied. The typology used in this report was that used by Willey
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 26, no. 4, December 1973
BONE POINTS IN FLORIDA
Not a great deal can be said concerning chronology of bone points.
Those recovered from Florida rivers are often found side by side with beer
cans. Unfortunately, at the present time, no method for dating these river de-
posits has been devised. However, some interesting observations were made
which will be discussed later in this paper.
Jenks and Simpson (1941) have postulated that the presence of large,
bevelled, bone or ivory points may indicate that man was in Florida at a time
comparable to Clovis in the west where similar points were found. However,
it should be mentioned that these objects came from the Ichetucknee River and,
except for the material from which they were made (presumably ivory) and
typological similarities to the Clovis material, they cannot be reliably dated
any more than any of the other river material.
Where early stone projectile points--such as Suwannee--are found, no
bone objects occur in datable association. In sites where archaic or preceram-
ic levels underlie ceramic levels, some simple and socketed bone and antler
points have been recovered, but the earliest associated radiocarbon dates are
around 2000 B.C. Thus, until earlier dates become available--perhaps when
a method for dating the materials found in the rivers is discovered--bone im-
plements in the state of Florida cannot reliably be said to enjoy an antiquity in
excess of 4000 years except by implication.
One method of assigning at least a relative date to some of the river de-
posits might be possible on the basis of negative evidence. For instance large
socketed bone points (to be described later) found in these rivers are not known
for south Florida. If this situation proves consistent, it would be tempting to
conclude that the river deposits were earlier than the pertinent south Florida
sites for which the chronology has been established. Some single barb points
with blunt bases (Fig. 2, a-c) were found by Cushing at Key Marco in south-
western Florida. This site has been C-14 dated to the late 16th century so that
this form--evidently part of a composite weapon--was still in use in protohis-
A map (Map 1) has been prepared which indicates the distribution of bone
points in the state of Florida as revealed by this study. This map may have little
value for several reasons: (1) It is understandable that the panhandle region is
not represented since most materials dealing with that area were not available
for study. However, the U. S. National Museum did not have a collection from
that area. (2) Several sources may not have been surveyed, these might have
given a fuller coverage of the state. (3) The degree of representation is not
F Florida counties from which bone
points have been recovered
equal due to lack of information, poor preservation, or possibly because there
were not many specimens to begin with.
As mentioned previously this paper will not deal with decorative bone
pins or awls, nor will it deal with spatulas for which no definite function has
been suggested; however, these types are widespread. Bone pins are often found
where the weapon types are not--in shell middens.
BONE POINTS IN FLORIDA
While there are a few types of bone points found in extremely small
numbers, such as the bevelled points reported by Jenks and Simpson (1941) and
the bone artifacts resembling stone projectile points from Lemon Bluff near
Sanford (Gut and Neill 1953:Fig. 1), most points, at least superficially, fall
within the following categories:
Bipointed Projectile Points or Simple Bone Points
The opinions expressed by archaeologists as to the purpose of the sim-
ple bone point are generally noncommittal, usually ending with a begging of the
question, in that they were probably used for various purposes (Tyzzer 1936:
270). However, Willey (1949b:39) mentions that most archaeologists agree that
the majority of the simple bone points were used as projectiles but that it is
possible that the shorter specimens were "fish gorges or the sharp bits of com-
posite fishhooks, being lashed or attached to a piece of wood or possibly a shell
or stone pendant" and that some of the longer ones may have been awls, gravers,
or bone pins. He divides these points into short, long and slender, and large
Willey (1949b:129-30) speculates that the simple bone points may be a
carryover from the Eastern Archaic and postulates that Florida, particularly
south Florida, was a cultural cul-de-sac to the rest of the southeast. The ob-
servations made in the course of this study may bear this out: (1) Except for
the points found in the rivers, the largest distribution of bone artifacts is in
south Florida; (2) Several reports mentioned a decreasing number of bone im-
plements with more recent time; (3) This may account for the lack of bone re-
ported in the panhandle area. It should be pointed out that the one county repre-
sented from this area, Wakulla, was only included because of the material from
Interesting markings on many of the points studied would possibly give
a greater insight into the method of hafting and ultimately to function. For ex-
ample, a rather abrupt difference in coloration on some of the points might in-
dicate the end of the hafting area--the difference in color being caused by the
length of time it took for the instrument to which the point was hafted, presum-
ably wood, to be destroyed. Toward the tip of some of the long points a narrow
band of a different color is present and upon closer examination a slight groove
or indentation on one face may be seen. This groove may have held a small point
which served as a barb and the difference in color may have been due to lashings
which were formerly present. A point of this type (Bullen:1968:Figs. 1-2) has
been found by Mr. Alvin Hendrick of McIntosh, Florida, giving credence to this
possibility. There was very often a real difference in the technique of finishing
the distal and the proximal ends. The proximal end is often rougher and shows
signs of what might be remnants of pitch. The distal end is usually smooth and
polished but, at the same time, often shows signs of impact or other use. Some
points are grooved horizontally (transversally) at some point along the longitu-
dinal surface indicating they may have been tied. As noted previously such varia-
tions may mean a minor or major difference in function of otherwise superfi-
cially similar points.
Socketed Bone Points
Willey (1949b:38) divides this group into short, slender, large. and extra
large or lance varieties and gives the following description:
The socketed points were made by cutting a long bone transversely, usually
just below an articular surface, and then again, tangentially, farther down
the shaft. This resulted in a tubular piece of bone, open at both ends, and cut
flat at one end and diagonally, or blade-like, at the other. The cancellous
structure of the bone was removed when necessary. Where antler tines were
used, the interior of the horn was hollowed out and the socket was drilled
completely through from the butt, opening near the point as in a bone speci-
men. Quite often the blade or piercing end is formed merely by the diagonal
cutting of the end of the bone; however, in some instances the point was shar-
pened to a conical, rather than a blade-like, end.
Presumably, the points were attached by inserting the end of the arrow
or dart, or a foreshaft of the same, into the hollow socket. No evidences of
pitch, or any other adhesive, were noticed in the sockets although such a
substance might have been used to secure the points on the shafts.
As was true with simple bone points, small socketed points seem to be
more numerous in south Florida. For example, in the collections at the U. S.
National Museum from Palm Beach County, Florida, there were nearly one
hundred socketed bone points. To my knowledge, the materials in these collec-
tions were not recovered from sites where controlled excavations were con-
ducted or where their association with other artifact types was noted. However,
several have been found by D. D. Laxson in stratigraphic tests near Miami.
Whereas simple bone points were found by the hundreds in the rivers
and springs, small socketed bone points are practically non-existent in these
places. Instead of what might be considered the typical socketed point, many
that could be classified as the large variety have been recovered. These are
made of antler, are closed at the distal end, but are hollowed out for quite a
distance at the proximal end, obviously for hafting. Some are so battered on
both ends that they look as if they were used as flakers employing an indirect
percussion method; if so, why were they hollowed out on the proximal end?
This type is quite common in the rivers, but does not seem to be found else-
where in very great numbers.
Barbed Bone Points
In contrast to the above two types, the barbed bone points are not pre-
BONE POINTS IN FLORIDA
I i I I
' I I
Fig. 1. Barbed bone points from northern Florida:
a-e, single barbed; f-j, multibarbed; h, double
sided. Note 16 "ticks" on side of e (2154). a, e,
from Ponce DeLeon Springs; b-c, Silver Glen
Springs, d, g, Silver Run; h-i, Ichetucknee River;
j Santa Fe River. a, Malwin Collection, Venice;
b-j, Waller Collection, Ocala. Photographs
courtesy Jarl E. Malwin, Director, and the
Florida Indian Foundation, Inc., Venice.
sent in large numbers; in fact only 22 specimens are known to the author at
this time. Since these have not been described before, they will be discussed
as to distribution and style.
Six barbed points were recovered from the Key Marco Site. Four of
these are at the Florida State Museum (Fig. 2, a-d) and two at the U. S. Na-
tional Museum. All six are unilateral, one-barbed points. All differ to some
degree. One shows signs of pitch at the proximal end (Fig. 2, a), and one(Fig. 2,d)
(which is also the most distinct otherwise) has a hole drilled through the prox-
Ocala. Photographs of a-d, h-l, court
Indian Foundation, Inc. Venice.
I I j 1 I
Fig.2. Other barbed bone points
from Florida: a-c, f, h, single
barbed; d, harpoon type; e, bilat-
erally barbed; g, i-l, multibarb-
ed. a, has pitch on basal end; h,
same as Fig. 1, a; j-k, opposite
sides of Fig. 1, j, f. a-d, from
KeyMarco, southwest Florida;
e-f, i, k-l, Ichetucknee River;
g, Prairie Creek Midden near
Gainesville; h, Ponce DeLeon
Springs; j, Santa Fe River.
a-d, Gushing Collection, e-f,
i, 1, Simpson Collection, and
g, Florida State Museum's
research collections; h, Flor-
e ida Indian Foundation collec-
tions; j-k, Waller Collection,
esy Jarl E. Malwin and the Florida
imal end. It must have been used in a manner similar to that of Eskimo har-
poons. The other differences are mainly in the size and position of the barb.
BONE POINTS IN FLORIDA
One barbed point at the Florida State Museum is from Prairie Creek
Midden, Alachua County. It is a unilateral, two-barbed point (Fig. 2, g) with
a broken proximal end. Four barbed points in the Simpson Collection at the
Florida State Museum came from the Ichetucknee River, Suwannee County:
(1) Unilateral, one-barbed point, both ends broken; (2) Unilateral, three-barbed
point; (3) Unilateral, multi-barbed point; probably had three barbs but the
proximal portion is missing as well as tip of distal end; and (4) Bilateral,
multi-barbed point; five barbs on each side; both ends broken; poor condition
(Fig. 2, f, i, 1, e).
Another bilateral multi-barbed point; five barbs on each side was found
at the Blue Hole of the Santa Fe River, Columbia County, and is quite similar
to the one in the Simpson Collection listed above. The proximal end is missing.
This specimen is in the type collection in the Anthropology Department, Univer-
sity of Florida. One unilateral barbed point from Devil' s Den, Levy County, was
not seen but is also in the collection of the Anthropology Department, University
Eight barbed points (Fig. 1, b-j) are in the collection of Mr. Ben I. Wal-
ler, Ocala, Florida They include: (1) Unilateral four-barbed point, both tips
missing; (2) Fragment of unilateral barbed point, probably similar to the above,
(3) Bilateral barbed point, single barb on each side, all from the Ichetucknee
River; (4) A unilateral three-barbed point with barbs quite far down the shaft--
close to the proximal end--and closely spaced; (5) Unilateral, four-barbed
point; (6) Unilateral, three-barbed point (last three from the Silver Springs
Run); (7) Unilateral, one-barbed point from Ponce de Leon Springs, Volusia
County; and (8) another unilateral, one-barbed point from Ponce de Leon
Springs. This specimen is problematical since the "barb" is a slightly raised
area only. One of these (Fig. 1, e) bears a row of short incisions or decora-
One unilateral, one-barbed point was recovered from the Terra Ceia
site, Manatee County (Bullenl951: 18,P1. 2, J). This point was in the posses-
sion of a local resident. It is likely that more specimens are in private or
university collections, but they probably are not numerous. It should be men-
tioned that worked sting ray spines are sometimes found and presumably served
the same purpose as barbed points. It is also probable that many simple bone
points recovered may have been barbed at one time. The average length of the
barbed points I was able to examine was about 3 inches. A map (Map 2) has
been prepared showing the distribution of barbed points in the state of Florida.
In view of the fact that simple bone points seem to be present in greater
numbers in south Florida than in the northern two-thirds of the state, except
those recovered from the rivers, it might be concluded that if south Florida,
1 Florida counties from which barbed
bone points have been recovered
was a cul-de-sac to the rest of the southeast (Willey 1949b:129-30) then some of
the materials from the rivers predate materials recovered from excavated sites.
Socketed bone points are also more numerous in south Florida and do not
seem to be present in the rivers at all except for socketed antler points which
differ considerably from the typical socketed bone point. There are a few of
this variation represented in excavated sites also, especially in south Florida.
It is possible that those recovered from the rivers were ancestral to the more
common type, hence lending strength to the postulation that the river materials
A more thorough study of bone implements might prove rewarding.
Three problems in particular come to mind.
BONE POINTS IN FLORIDA
1. Do some of these bone points, which so closely resemble those of other
parts of the eastern United States and the rest of the New World, have
a common origin or do these similarities exist because of what is known
as the law of limited possibilities?
2. Is the lack of stylistic uniformity among the barbed bone points due to an
inadequate representative sample or could it be attributed to an intentional
attempt to determine individual ownership?
3. It would seem that types of points should have chronological and cul-
tural implications. It should be noted here that the points from Key
Marco--the only ones with a definitely late C-14 date--are the only
ones in this survey with blunt bases arranged for mounting in a round
Bullen, Ripley P.
1951 The Terra Ceia Site, Manatee County, Florida. Florida Anthro-
pological Society Publications,No. 3. Gainesville.
1968 A composite bone fishhook. Florida Anthropologist, 21 (4*124.
Goggin, John M., andFrank H. Sommer III
1949 Excavations on Upper Matecumbe Key, Florida. The Yale Univ-
ersity Publications in Anthropology, No. 41. New Haven.
Gut, H. James, and Wilfred T. Neill
1953 Bone artifacts, resembling projectile points from a preceramic
site in Volusia County, Florida. Florida Anthropologist,6 (3): 93-4.
Jenks, Albert E., and Mrs. H. H. Simpson, Sr.
1941 Beveled artifacts in Florida of the same type as artifacts found
near Clovis, New Mexico. American Antiquity, 6(4):314-19.
Jennings, Jesse D., Gordon K. Willey, and Marshall T. Newman
1957 The Ormand Beach Mound, East Central Florida. Smithsonian
Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 164. Wash-
Olsen, Stanley J.
1958 The Wakulla Cave. Natural History, 67(7):396-403. New York.
Tyzzer, E. E.
1936 The "Simple Bone Point" of the shell-heaps of the northeastern
Algonkian area and its probable significance. American Anti-
quity, 1(4):261-79. Menasha.
Willey, Gordon R.
1949a Archeology of the Florida Gulf Coast. Smithsonian Miscellaneous
Collections, Vol. 113. Washington.
1949b Excavations in Southeast Florida. Yale University Publications
in Anthropology, No. 42. New Haven.
A SWIFT CREEK MIDDEN AT THE WHEELER SPRINGS SITE,
WYNNHAVEN BEACH, FLORIDA
Donald W. Sharon and Jennings W. Bunn, Jr.
The purpose of this paper is to record factual data from the Wheeler
Springs site (OK-1) so that the basic subsistence pattern, as well as the ceram-
ic and lithic complex, of people of the Santa Rosa-Swift Creek period at that lo-
cation can be reconstructed. This can be accomplished through study of the fau-
nal, ceramic, and lithic materials recovered during excavation and presented
in the following tabulations (Tables 1-3).
The site is located on Santa Rosa Sound, six miles west of the town of
Mary Esther, Okaloosa County, Florida, and one half mile east of the commu-
nity of Wynnhaven Beach. Here Highway 98 intersects a small swampy area
from which a small stream flows into the sound. The site proper is located
south of the highway, and one hundred feet west of the stream. The village area,
approximately a half acre in size, is marked by small shell rises of one to two
feet in height. The terrain is sparcely covered with large oak, pine, and various
low scrub growth.
OK-1 was first reported by S. T. Walker in 1883. He noted two small
sand mounds, but reported no excavation by himself at that time. Gordon R.
Willey (Archaeology of the Florida Gulf Coast, 1949:210-11) reported and sur-
face collected at what is believed by the authors to be the same site in 1949. His
surface collection showed a predominatingly Santa Rosa-Swift Creek occupation.
No mention was made by Willey of the sand mounds, nor was there any observ-
able indication of such during our visit.
A total of nine squares were excavated by arbitrary six-inch intervals,
and a one-half inch mesh screen was employed for screening all midden materi-
als. All squares were 5 by 5 feet in size, oriented north to south, and excavated
to sterile soil. Midden depth varied from 18 to 36 inches, with the deeper midden
being located on the southern periphery of the site. Absence of non-occupational
sterile zones, presence of multi-seasonal faunal remains, and of a limited ce-
ramic typology, suggest the site was a one period year-round habitation area.
Excavation was first started in September, 1966, with later work in
October, 1967, by Mr. and Mrs. Donald W.. Sharon, Mr. and Mrs. Elston D.
Fagan, and Mr. and Mrs. Jennings W. Bunn, Jr., all of Ft. Walton Beach.
Faunal analysis was ascertained in June, 1972, by Mr. John C. Humble, Florida
State University Anthropology student, and by the junior author. Special acknow-
ledgement goes to Professor Stanley J. Olsen, Department of Zooarchaeology,
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 26, no. 4, December 1973
WHEELER SPRINGS SITE
Table 1. Faunal materials from the Wheeler Springs site.
Caretta caretta caretta
Pseudemys floridana meninsularis
Gavia immer elasson
123 7 8 9
12 75 46 116 Z02 204 735
3 3 5 4 8
1 1 5
5 2 3 8 1 41
1 1 3
17 9 34 15 27 44 146
xx x xx
Florida State University, for his assistance in this identification.
Thanks go especially to Mr. Sharon, who luckily was far-sighted enough
to keep clear and concise field notes, and to put them at the author' s disposal.
This replaced certain data from Squares 4-6 lost in 1965 due to a fire in the
junior author' s residence. Ceramic typology was also deduced by Mr. Sharon.
SHARON AND BUNN
Table 2. Distribution of ceramic types
1 2 3 4 5 6
Wakulla Check Stamped
Gulf Check Stamped
Weeden Island Plain
Swift Creek Complicated Stamped
West Florida Net Marked
Crooked River Complicated Stamped
St. Andrews Complicated Stamped
Santa Rosa Punctated
Santa Rosa Stamped
ditto, with roulette tool
17 10 19 24
37 24 20
6 3 1 7 14 10
74 37 262
22 12 89
Basin Bayou Incised
Alligator Bayou Stamped
Crystal River Zoned Red
Tensaw Creek Plain
1 1 6
255 280 210
13 5 61
303 172 2024
2 1 11
Totals 337 142 291 332 271 307 207 448 243 2579
Two exhibit red paint and one is shell tempered.
Table 3. Distribution of other specimens.
Quartz projectile points 2 3a 2 1 8
Quartzite projectile points 2 2
Bipointed bone points 1 1
Deer bone awls 4 4
Worked bear canine tooth 1 1
WHEELER SPRINGS SITE
The precedingtabulations are typological and faunal listings of all ma-
terials recovered during excavation except for the faunal specimens from
Squares 4- 6. It is doubtful if they differed significantly from those in the other
squares. Other specimens include hematite fragments, quartz quartzite and
chert chips, conglomerate fragments, a piece of steatite, and bear or puma
teeth. Of the 9 projectile points listed in Table 3 only the outlines of three
(Fig. 1) are available for descriptive purposes. These three points are rather
eroded or semi-decayed making description difficult. All have side notches
which, while not too distinctive, are similar to what might be expected in a
Deptford -Swift Creek cultural horizon (Bullen 1968, A Guide to the Identification
of Florida Projectile Points).
As indicated in Table 2, Santa Rosa-Swift Creek sherds dominate the
ceramic collection. Except for a Wakulla Check Stamped example, Weeden
Island pottery is in the minority and those types that are present are the
ones typical of very early Weeden Island times.
The faunal remains with their heavy emphasis on fish, shellfish, and
box terrapene reflect the maritine environment at the Wheeler Springs site.
Deer appears to be about the only mammal hunted. Judging from the wide
range in the variety of deer bones, carcasses were brought whole to the
site and not butchered were killed.
Fort Walton Beach
A "MARKED" HISTORIC SITE
W. H. Wesley
During the summer of 1960 or 1961 a typical live oak tree at the edge
of Choctawhatchee Bay in Walton County (Fig. 1) was found to be slightly dis-
tinct from its many, moss draped neighbors, The distinction was three-wea-
thered, wooden pegs, protruding from the shoreward side of the tree (Fig. 2).
At the time of the discovery the pegs aroused no serious thought beyond curi-
osity, but the curiosity was strong enough to keep the pegs in mind.
In later months the pegs came to mind during a discussion when the
comment was made that placing pegs in trees was one of the procedures some-
times used by pirates for inarking the location of hastily buried booty; the pegs
supposedly being driven into holes drilled with the hand augers that were stan-
dard equipment on sailing ships. A direct connection with such activity was not
considered likely at the time, but on a later visit to the site a trench was found
to exist at the site. This trench is roughly four to five feet wide and about three
feet deep, The trench extends from near the base of the tree directly inland
for a distance of perhaps fifty feet, expanding into a round hole about seven or
more feet in diameter at the inland termination point. This excavating appeared
to be quite old and is assumed to have existed at the time the pegs were first
found, having escaped notice, partly because of the undergrowth in the area.
The round hole, with sloping sides, at the end of the trench, although covered
with grass and leaves, showed a distinct square depression in the center of the
bottom area. Although a strong similarity to typical folklore tales is admitted
in this description, it is considered to accurately represent the circumstances
as observed. Measurements of the square depression were not taken but a pic-
ture taken at the time--unsuitable for reproduction--indicates about 1 1/2 by 2
1/2 feet. The depth was probably about 1 1/2 or 2 inches. On a visit to the site
in early fall of 1971, this square depression was no longer discernible, dute to
additional vegetal accumulation. It is possible that careful excavation would re-
veal the size and shape of this intrusive disturbance.
Further support for the supposition that the pegs were associated with
marking a treasure cache, is supplied by an unusual ceramic vessel (Fig. 3)
found in the general area by a local resident 30 or more years ago. This vessel
was examined by Mr. William C. Lazarus of the Ft. Walton Beach Museum in
1961. After sending a picture along with a description to the Smithsonian Institu-
tion, Mr. Lazarus was informed that such containers were used on 17th and
early 18th century sailing vessels of the Galleon type. They were usually used in
pairs. Sand was placed in one to hold a quill pen, the sand also serving to clean
the point of the pen, and ink was kept in the second container. A pair of such
containers was presumably standard equipment in the Captain' s cabin of the
early period ships (Personal communication with William C. Lazarus).
Florida Anthropologist,vol. 26, no. 4, December 1973
A MARKED SITE
Fig. 1. Map of part of Choctawhatchee Bay locating tree with pegs.
More recent correspondence with Richard E. Ahlborn, Curator, Divi-
sion of Ethnic and Western Cultural History, Smithsonian Institution, (May
1972) produced a less specific identification, but the previous comments on
utility were not discredited. However, early 19th rather than 18th century or
before was suggested as probably a better temporal placement. Even if this
more recent date were positive, it would not necessarily lessen the possi-
bility of association with the activities of plunderers, since such activity con-
tinued along this country' s shores until after 1815. The type of ship on which
they would have likely been found, however, would be subject to more conjec-
ture since Galleons as a specific type went out of existence after A.D. 1715.
THE WALL SURFACE
WALL THICKNESS COULD NOT OF THE HOLE IN THE
BE ACCURATELY DETERMINED TOP SHOWS S LAYERS
AND THE '/2" AS SHOWN IS AN OF COLOR BUFF
OF WALL CURVES
I IINWARD To A
OUABoSIDS SRT /A "AT
ITH TH TTO ING A LIGHTER C ESSEAM N
ISThe location of the tree/8 DE yet another factor that lends additional cred-P
Fig. 4. Sectional and isometric drawing of container. AT HOLE IP
OUTSIDE SURFACES ARE BUFF ON TOP AND SIDES
WITH THE BOrTOrN BEING A LIGHTER CREAM
The location of the tree is yet another factor that lends additional cred-
ibility to the idea of brief and hasty visitation at some early date. The site is
located on the west side and near the tip of a roughly two mile long peninsula
jutting into Choctawhatchee Bay from the southern shore (Fig. 1). For a ship
approaching from the gulf, this particular location would have been a most
convenient spot for the crew to come ashore without bringing the ship into
dangerously shallow water and to hold their time off ship to a minimum. Nor-
mal navigational procedures in such inland waters would be to skirt the tips
of such major points.
As a discouragement to any who are possibly easily encouraged to
treasure hunt, it is strongly emphasized that this paper supports the assump-
tion that--all comments being essentially correct--the treasure involved was
removed long ago, and there is no longer anything to be gained but historical
information. Also, at this writing, access to the location is a controlled pri-
vate road that is so posted. The location is also in full view of the property
owner' s home. The owner is a well informed individual who would welcome
no visitors except scientific investigators with good credentials. Although
not included with this article, measurements relating to the pegs and the tree
have been recorded.
A MARKED SITE
Fig. 3. Photo of
,M found near the site.
Fig. 2. View of pegs, which point directly east,
in side of tree.
One further observation is that there is no noticeable stain or dis-
coloration on the inside of this unglazed container (Fig. 4), which is inter-
preted to mean that sand rather than ink was contained when in use.
As for the possibility of the pegs being old enough to have been placed
in the tree during the 18th century, there seems no doubt that there are sev-
eral types of wood that under favorable circumstances will remain in sound
condition almost indefinitely. Even with exposure to the elements, such wood
as cypress or cedar is capable of lasting for several hundred years. Stanley
F. Horn, Editor of Southern Lumberman, in his book This Fascinating Lum-
ber Business, makes numerous references to the longevity of cypress. On
page 119 is found "--the oldest wooden doors in existence are the cypress
doors on Saint Sabrina' s Church in Rome. After more than one thousand five
hundred years' exposure the doors are still quite sound. Decay has not touch-
ed them. No attempt has been made to remove a sample from one of the pegs
to check the identification of the wood since it has thus far not seemed neces -
sary to mar their appearance for this purpose. More intensive study would
call for such identification.
The tree itself, of course, is a factor to be considered, and here too,
it is entirely reasonable to expect that a mature Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)
could have been of sufficient size to have been marked in this way 200 or more
years ago. Collier's Encyclopedia (Vol. 22. pp. 448) states, "The beech family,
containing the beech, oak, and chestnut, is noted for its longevity. A chest-
nut tree, (Castanea sativa) in Sicily is estimated to be more than 3, 000 years
As a last comment, it has been determined that for at least fifty or
sixty years a few local people have known of the pegs, yet relatively recent
placement of these markers should not be entirely ignored, and the original
purpose may well have been connected with early property surveys. County
property records could perhaps give clues to this possibility.
Graves, Arther H., and Elizabeth P. Sternheiner
1968 "Tree". Collier' s Encyclopedia, Vol. 22, pp. 448-463.
Crowell-Collier Educational Corporation. New York.
Horn, Stanley F.
1951 This Fascinating Lumber Business. The Bobbs-Merrill Co.,
AMATEUR AND PROFESSIONAL ARCHAEOLOGISTS
D. D. Laxson
In no other science does the validity of a man' s work rest on his integ-
rity more than in archaeology. Often working alone in remote places, he is
forced to be interpretive, objective and frequently presumptive. The archae-
ologist' s findings are tossed to his colleagues to be approved or almost glee-
fully rejected. If an amateur is going to dabble in another man' s science, he
should abide by the other man' s rules. This, in spite of the fact that from the
strict requirements and field techniques come some pretty ambiguous results.
It is common knowledge that an amateur can become an expert much faster than
a professional. This is done by substituting enthusiasm for training, and a
touchy personal positivism for objectivity, coupled with a form of shaky logic.
Despite all this self criticism amateurs are here to stay. Every day,
somewhere, an interested person is crawling over the junk heaps of cultural
debris. It all begins with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which, un-
fortunately, includes pyramiding empty martini glasses, chasing women, and
collecting Indian artifacts. Restriction borders on fantasy, policing is not econo-
mically feasible, and any form of voluntary discipline doubtful, since it violates
a primary rule of the average collector.
All is not lost, but the amateur should remember that in too close a lia-
son with a professional, only the professional has anything to lose. His name on
his work is more than a signature, it shows adherence to certain standards and
the writing becomes part of his reputation and recognition. He cannot afford to
be conned into some scheme to further the ambition of a layman. However, the
professional should realize that his treatment of an amateur may well mean the
difference between an artifact preserved, a site destroyed or, as has happened,
a lost grant. The amateur archaeologist is also a reservoir of material, a site
locater, a volunteer shovel, trowel and screen manipulator who loves to see his
name in print.
Our local archaeological society in exchange for moderate dues offers
the amateur a small scholarly house organ where his finds and theories can be
published. Experts in the field are available for advice and there is an oppor-
tunity to participate in group projects. A common repository to aid in preserv-
ing material is usually available, and tends to cure one of the common ills of
amateur archaeological societies, that of determining who owns excavated ma-
terial. Does it belong to the member who dug it up? If on private property and
the landowner does not object, it does. If excavated on state, county, or munic-
ipal owned lands, better read the rules, regulations and ordinances that pertain.
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 26, no. 4, December 1973
The idea is to guide the amateur excavators into cooperative channels, and to
hope they will be satisfied with their name on a label and their artifacts duly
displayed in a local museum. Better this, than in a cigar box in a garage.
Professional archaeologists and amateur archaeological societies must
detect and remove interested amateurs from the categories of pot-hunters,
grave-robbers and monetary-minded collectors in which they are usually in-
cluded. A rapport must be established between the enthusiastic ignorance of
the amateur and the learned objectivity of the professional. Granted that the
professional has little time left from his duty to devote to amateurs, brings
up the home study course that should be made available to those interested,
preferably by the local museum or university. It is difficult to see that this
will release numerous so-called trained archaeologists, elbowing college train-
ed contemporaries off the mounds and out of the middens. In fact, the course
can be used to cleverly and correctly separate the interested and knowledge-
able from the pedantary obvious in some dilettantes. So it boils down to educa-
tion which is what the amateur lacks in the first place.
The amateur sooner or later reaches an impasse, not necessarily an
intellectual one but an educational one, where in order to further pursue his
avocation he must have more training and learn new techniques. Few academic
doors are open here. Unless the avocation is to become a vocation in which
case the problem is solved. Pfieffer in his book, "The Emergence of Man, "
suggests a form of experimental archaeology in which pits are salted with typi-
cal artifacts covering several time periods, and students excavate the pits and
study the objects under the tutelage of mentors. This offers the advantage of
being set up within the confines of a school or museum and certainly would in
some measure detect quickly between a serious student and a collector. One
would stay, and one would not.
Professionals have always overlooked certain intellectual inadequacies
in individuals who were willing to financially support various cultural causes.
A little effort in supporting some form of study course for amateurs would pay
off by separating interested and disinterested, tend to induce in the student a
desire to study other facets of the science than those of holding a shovel or
screen and of providing a source of field workers when needed. An appropriate
title, to differentiate from "potbuster, would help.
No one argues the necessity of curtailing marauders in mounds and
middens. The archaeological study of any locale should be in the hands of the
localuniversity or museum. In the case of southeastern Florida, black dirt
archaeology comes out a poor second compared to the exotic finds of Middle
America. And tempting trips are advertised, allowing students to be archae-
ologists who travel to the airport over an expressway that has forever sealed
in concrete the cultural leftovers of the local aborigine--who merely did the
AMATEUR AND PROFESSIONAL ARCHAEOLOGISTS
best he could with what he had, a worthy effort in itself.
Museums, for some reason or other, are the poorest of institutions,
except in intentions, and are forced by economics to employ voluntary help,
without which they could not operate, and to depend upon the graciousness of
their patrons for existence. There must be more cooperation between state
and local educational institutions, a greater interest and awareness of civic
bodies as to the true work and worth of the local museum. A budget allowing
professional help to be employed, or at least permitting further training of
available volunteer help, is necessary. Research programs cannot be perpet-
uated when future funds are continually in doubt. So far, in the southeastern
Florida area, the greatest achievements of its museums, minutely fostered
by the local officials, has been to expose the unselfish, dogged, personal ef-
fort of low paid and volunteer personnel to keep alive the means of preserving
historical and prehistorical material. They do make available to both adult
and child displays of the things around them--and their wonders--dispite a
form of metro-myopia.
The author, after 20 years in the sawgrass, considers his contribu-
tions to local archaeology minor in all respects but one, knowing when to quit
digging, to take time to correlate information, and to find out more about the
subject matter. The need for this, as far as the southeastern Florida Indian
is concerned, is evident in the sum total reference to their religion--only two
lines. It might be added in closing that all of the work currently underway in
the area is being supplied by amateur archaeologists and is in good hands.
CLOVIS FROM NORTHWEST FLORIDA
David C. Reichelt
In early March of 1970 the author, while point hunting, was fortunate to
discover what may be the first known Clovis type point found in northwest Flor-
ida (Fig. 1). While Clovis type artifacts are known in other parts of the state
only Dalton and similar points such as Tallahassee and Santa Fe have been
found in the northwest area.
The Clovis was recovered while point hunting the south side of Chocta-
whatchee Bay in the area of site 8W131, a site that yields materials of many
periods. This is an area of high, six to eight feet, sand banks that are in the
process of slow erosion. In the past I have recovered pottery of the Safety Har-
bor, Fort Walton and Weeden Island series, as well as clay cooking balls (Pov-
erty Point objects) and other artifacts of the archaic period at this site.
While this area of the Gulf coast is lacking in native material for the
manufacture of stone tools and points, those that are found are primarily of
quartzite and chert. The Clovis point was made of the latter material. When
first discovered it was a blue and white mix, after some months drying the blue
has faded leaving a nearly all white point. This change is common with older
points found in this area, undoubtedly due to patination and drying.
The physical dimensions of the point are: length 80 mm., width at base
28 mm., width maximum 33 mm., and thickness 8 mm. The length given is
for the point in its present condition. As the tips of both auricles are missing,
the original length may have been as much as 84 mm. Both faces have short
flutes: one face has three hinge marks, the other two. These flutes measure
from the concavity of the base 17 mm. on one face and 15 mm. on the other.
The point has been well smoothed, this extends from widest part of the
blade to the base and the concavity, The workmenship is flawless. This can
best be appreciated by studying the lateral edge. When viewed from all direc-
tions this edge is without variation, the ancient craftmen exercised complete
control over his raw material.
Immediately after discovery this point was sent to the Florida State
Museum to be examined by Mr. Ripley P. Bullen, Curator of Anthropology,
and upon its return it was shown to Mr. George Metcalf, Museum Specialist,
Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington. In a letter
of June 30, 1970 Mr. Metcalf classifies it as a Clovis. It is the letter df Mr.
Bullen of February 18, 1970 that is most interesting:
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 26, no. 4, December 1973
CLOVIS FROM NORTHWEST FLORIDA
"Its relative thickness throughout, its maximum width towards the tip, its
slight waiting and its suggestion of bulbous basal corners are suggestive
of Suwannee points in the Florida terminology. If its corners turned out to
be sharp and not thick or eared, it would unquestionably be a Clovis. Clovis
is also suggested by the slight suggestion of fluting.
"In terms of national communication, it would be o. k. to call this point an
unfluted Clovis with basal thinning. In any case it is a Clovis variant. In
Florida it varies from a true Clovis in the Suwannee direction. The major
point is the excurvate sides which are not typical of true Clovis points. Of
course the basel edges are smoothed in good Paleo-Indian style. "
As the Suwannee point is not a northwest Florida point, the author,
through lack of experience, can not comment on Mr. Bullen' s points of con-
siderable interest. I would like to refer the reader to a picture in Ancient Man
in North America (Wormington 1957, page 57, Fig. 17), which illustrates a
number of points from the Lehner Site, Arizona, with their maximum width
towards the distal end. One should also note the overall similarity of this
group of points to that illustrated here (Fig. 1) and the multiple hinge marks
terminating some of the flutes.
On close examination the author' s Clovis has its narrowest dimension
at its base. This width of 28 mm. extends some 15 mm. up the blade, at this
point the blade is excurvate to the distal end.
In the past the author has noted that a large part of his collection is re-
lated to cultures to the west and only rare items, mostly pottery, that can as-
sociate with east Florida. It may be that this Clovis is also related to early
man of the southwest whose influence entered Florida by way of the Gulf coast.
A few hundred miles north of the Choctawhatchee Bay area, types of projectile
points commonly associated with the Paleo-Indian culture, such as Quad, Bea-
ver Lake, Redstone, and Ross are well known and typed. (Bell 1958, 1960;
Perino 1968, 1971).
When comparison is made with these points, the Suwannee shows a
strong resemblance, especially to the Quad and Beaver Lake with their strong
waisted sides. The Quad and Beaver Lake are rarely if ever found in the Bay
area while the Santa Fe, Tallahassee and Daltons are represented in many of
the local collections. Samples of these are shown in Figure 2.
The rarity of Clovis in this area could be explained by the possibility of
a Gulf coast migration route. The coast line of 12, 000 ago was many miles sea-
ward from its present location due primarily to changes in sea levels. If so,
specimens like the author' s could have been brought inland by hunters follow-
ing game up a river course.
Fig. 1 (above). Clovis
point from south shore
of Choctawhatchee Bay.
Fig. 2 (left). Dalton,
Santa Fe, and Talla-
hassee points from
168 CLOVIS FROM NORTHWEST FLORIDA
Bell, Robert E.
1958 Guide to the identification of certain American Indian Projectile
Points, Special Bulletin No. 1. Oklahoma Anthropological Society.
1960 Guide to the identification of certain American Indian Projectile
Points, Special Bulletin No. 2. Oklahoma Anthropological Society.
Bullen, Ripley P.
1968 A Guide to the identification of Florida Projectile Points.
Florida State Museum. Gainesville.
1968 Guide to the identification of certain American Indian Projectile
Points, Special Bulletin No. 3. Oklahoma Anthropological Society.
1971 Guide to the identification of certain American Indian Projectile
Points, Special Bulletin No. 4. Oklahoma Anthropological Society.
Wormington, H. M.
1957 Ancient Man in North America. Denver Museum of Natural
History, Popular Series No. 4. Denver, Colorado.
Santa Rosa Beach