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VOLUME XVIII No. 2
The FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
a publication of the florida onthopological society
Volume XVIII, No. 2
C O N T I N T S
A 272: The Fox Pond Site
M.I. Symes and M.E. Stephens
Early Woodland Plant Remains
Richard A. Yarnell
William C. Lazarus
Tabby Ruin Test Excavation
Lloyd M. Pierson
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST is published quarterly by T
Florida Anthropological Society during March, June, Septe
ber, and December. Subscription is by membership in the S
city for individuals interested in the aims of the Societ
Annual dues are S4.00 (Students $2.00). ENTERED AS SECO
CLASS MATTER AT GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA.
1st V. Pres.:
2nd V. Pres.:
Officers of the Society 1965
Charles W. Arnade, University of South Flori
Roger T. Grange, University of South Flori
James W. Covington, University of Tam
J. Floyd Monk 1960 SW 61st Court Miami
David S. Phelps, Florida State Universi
Charles H. Fairbanks, University of Flori
Executive Committeemen 1965
Carl A. Benson, 2310 Resthaven Drive, Orlan
James A. Ford, Florida State Museum, Gainesvil
Cliff E. Mattox, P. 0. Box 521, Cocoa Bea
William H. Sears, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Rat
Charleton W. Tebeau, University of Miami, Coral Gabl
A 272: THE FOX POND SITE
M. I. Symes and M. E. Stephens
The Fox Pond Site is a Spanish contact site
of the early Seventeenth century with ceramic mat-
erials of the Potano period. The site encompasses
four possible house sites discovered in the exca-
vation with others likely. There is some indica-
tion that it is related to the mission of San
The Fox Pond Site, which has been designated A 272, is
an extensive Spanish contact site located in Alachua County,
Florida on the University of Florida Horticultural Experi-
mental Station, 8 miles NW of Gainesville.
Excavation of the Fox Pond Site was carried out by the
Anthropology 500 Field School from April 27 to May 28, 1964,
under the direction of Dr. William H. Sears (until May 8)
and Dr. Charles H. Fairbanks.
During this excavation, most of the work was done along
the twenty five foot wide roadway which has a grass cover.
To the east of this roadway, the land is under cultivation,
at that time in English peas. To the west is pre-climax
hammock consisting mainly of mixed hardwoods. There is wa-
ter on three sides of this site; two sink holes, Turkey
Creek, and Blue Creek. The soil is Arredondo fine sand with
about a six inch layer of humus covering a yellowish-brown
deposition layer of varying depths. The undisturbed soil is
mainly a very yellow sand beginning about 1.5 feet below da-
The topography of this area is typical Karst topography
as iq evidenced by the sink holes present. The site itself
lies on the 190 foot terrace. There is very little variation
in ground level over the site, however, there is a circle of
high land beginning about 480 R5 and running over toward the
sink hole which is depressed.
The site was surveyed in and a skeleton University of
Chicago grid system laid during the first day on the site.
The main vertical axis was made to conform with the edge of
the hammock, giving a N20W magnetic reading. Stakes were
laid every 100 feet with some R25 stakes laid parallel to
the RO line. The temporary datum point, however, was later
The Florida Anthropologist, Vol. XVIII, No. 2,June 1965 65
General Location of Experiment Station Sites
Field road --- ------
AEK- IntermI I-I
S" I I;
0' 1520 feet
Property line -
Field road -. .---
Permanent stream ---vU--_
Intermittent stream -- ..-
Site boundary A
destroyed by a mower mowing down the two aluminum stakes
used to mark this spot and level control had to be re-estab-
lished through backsights on a blaze in the hammock whose
height with reference to datum had been determined. The
temporary datum point was then marked on an Horticultural
Experimental Station post and relocated in the real world in
order to insure permanence.
In general, it was planned to restrict excavation to
the roadway area. However, as it was observed that there was
a ridge of high ground beginning on the 480 R5 line, it was
decided to try one test pit within the field area to deter-
mine the yield. Thus, a test pit was surveyed in. It was
also decided to place some test pits within the hammock in
order to determine the westward limits of the site. A line
was cut into the hammock along the 422 line and test areas
were set up.
Excavation was carried out by the use of the arbitrary
level of 0.5 feet per level. In cases of pits and post holes
the area was pedestaled and trowled to undisturbed soil.
The yield of the site is heavy with the bulk of the ma-
terial being Spanish contact materials of the Potano and
Spanish Indian periods. This generally agrees with the re-
sults of earlier excavation done May 12 and 13, 1956 under
the supervision of Dr. John M. Goggin.
History of the site
In the fall term of 1956, site number A 272 was entered
in the site files of the University of Florida Anthropology
Laboratory. It was surface collected and recorded by the
Anthropology 501 Principles of Archeology class under the
direction of John M. Goggin. This group also examined and
recorded a more selective surface collection belonging to
Jerry Evans. a local resident.
Fox Pond was first excavated on the weekend of May 12
and 13, 1956 by a field crew of departmental students.
From the data collected by these earlier workers and
that of the recently completed excavation, the following
facts may reasonably be concluded. The Fox Pond Site was a
Spanish Mission Indian village of the Potano Period. It was
inhabited in the first half of the seventeenth century.
The Potano Period is a more specific sub-division of
the Mission Indian Period referring to the Western Timucua
of the Alachua Plains area (Swanton, 1922). The contempor-
ary Eastern Timucua culture is the St. Augustine; and the
Apalachee culture, which has a later beginning, is the Leon-
Jefferson (Smith, 1948a). Due to the geographical proximity,
elements of St. Augustine and Leon-Jefferson are found in
the Potano Period. The St. Johns and Jefferson Ware ceramics
found at Fox Pond illustrate this point.
It is possible that an association exists between A 272
and the mission of San Francisco de Potano. This mission
was founded in 1606 by the Franciscans and was destroyed
during the Timucua revolt of 1656. It was ordered rebuilt
in 1659 (Swanton, 1922). The new mission remained in oper-
ation until early in the 1700's (U.F.A.L. records).
The dates of 1606-1700 do not agree with Goggin's ma-
jolica seriation dates, ca. 1630-1650. There are many pos-
sible explanations for this discrepancy: (1) majolica may
not have been imported to the area prior to 1630; (2) the
mission may have been relocated both in 1630 and after the
Timucua uprising; (3) A 272 could have been a satellite vil-
lage established after the main mission; (4) the majolica
seriation date could be incorrect.
Local tradition refers to the Fox Pond Site as the mis-
sion of San Felsasco, a nomenclature derived from the prox-
imity of a San Felasco Hammock to the site. There is little
evidence to support this theory, however, since there is
neither a mission of San Felasco recorded in the area (Swan-
ton, 1922), nor a Saint Felasco. The actual word Felasco,
however, could conceivably be the result of repeated mispro-
nunciation of Francisco by the Indians and later settlers.
Evidence of this can be seen in the way in which the origin-
al Indian word Cimarrones was changed. This process is as
Cimarrones Semalones seminoles
The r's were changed to l's first, then the sylables were
switched to get the final pronunciation of Seminoles. The
same can be demonstrated for the Francisco:
Francisco Flancisco Felasco (Fairbanks)
Actually, there is not yet sufficient evidence of mis-
sion-like or European structures in the Fox Pond area. A 272
appears to be a village site and the materials found indi-
cate that it was probably not occupied after the Timucua up-
A full account of the cultural material found in this
excavation is contained in the tables. Materials gleaned
from surface collections and from the features corresponded
e a a
a a a
Miller Plain 65.9% 24.7%
Alachua Cob 54.6% 32.3%
St. Johns Check 73.6% 14.1%
St. Johns Plain 69.4% 21.3%
Jeff. Paste 74.2% 22.2%
Jeff. comp. stmp. 70.6% 24.1%
Olive jar 68.0% 21.5%
Sherd temp. Plain 5
West Fla. cord 92.3% 7.7%
Pasco Plain 71.4% 28.6%
Prairie Cord 25.0% 25.0%
LakeJackson Plain 62.5% 25.0%
Limestone temp. 100.0%
Shell temp. 75.0% 10.0%
Mission red flmd. 50.0% 38.8%
Aucilla incised 75.0% 25.0%
Unid. Majolica 50.0% 45.8%
Lochloosa punc. 54.6% 36.3%
Sherd temp. cob
Itch. B/w 100.0%
San Luis B/W 75.0% 25.0%
Tallahassee B/W 33.3% 566.6%
Bold Incised 100.0%
Columbia Plain 100.0%
Weeden Is. res. plain 50.0%
Puray Poly. 100.0%
Blee Majolica 100.0%
20th Cent. stone.
*Percentage of Type per Level
0.8% 0.4% 245
2141 sherds dis-
carded as too small
Level#l Level#2 Level#3 Level#5
Unworked flint 661 337 125 2
Worked flint 136 24 20 0
Bone, teeth 74 38 15 0
Nails 9 5 0 0
Shot 0 2 0 0
Beads 2 4 0 0
Glass 3 1 0 0
Other 4 (ramrod tip, rapier blade, buckle, whetstone)
**Cultural Material other than pottery per level
199 299 422 422 450 470 470 480 483 490 495
L180 L255 R5, R5, R54,
R10 R10 R59
490 790 TOTALS
Jefferson Comp. St.
Lake Jackson Plain
Mission Red Filmed
Alachua Cob Marked
Prairie Cord Marked
St. Johns Ck. St.
St. Johns Plain
West Fla. Cord Marked
Sherd Temp. Plain
Sherd Temp. Cob Mkd.
Limestone Temp. Plain
Shell Temp. Plain
Weeden Is. Residual P1.
San Luis B-on-W
20th Cent. Stoneware
6.0 1.7 0.8 4.3
30.5 1.6 3.1
31.8 4.6 13.6
16.5 6.1 1.2 2.5
21.3 5.5 2.8
0.1 1.4 13.2 4.8 3.5 4.1
16.7 22.2 9.9 9.0 9.9 1.7
22.5 36.8 13.9 3.7 1.2 5.7
37.4 12.5 6.3
50.0 25.0 25.0
14.5 40.2 10.3 8.5 11.1
8.6 23.4 6.2 7.8 1.6 0.8
4.6 9.1 13.6
12.3 40.5 10.4 2.5 4.3 1.2
7.4 34.3 7.4 2.8 12.2
7.7 15.4 38.4 23.0
15.0 10.0 15.0 50.0
17.3 32.6 13.2 4.8 3.5 0.1
16.6 33.3 12.5 20.8 8.3
64 55 2148 59 29 93 334 574 205 153 3 186 24
Percentage of Pottery Types/Section
2 8 16 15 14 20 97 311 3S
2 1 36 88 35
5 40 16 4 13 43 6
1 1 1 5 3 2
1 2 3
Number of Non-ceramic Artifacts/Section
135 3 1125
10 1 180
with the material recorded.
After discussion with Dr. Fairbanks, it was decided that
all plain sand tempered sherds would be classified as Miller
Plain rather than attempting to make the arbitrary decision
on the intermediate pieces. The choice of Miller Plain over
Alachua was made due to the presence of ring bases, strap
handles and a portion of a pitcher spout. According to Wil-
ley (1949), these forms are frequent on Miller, while Goggin
(1948) states that these forms are usually not found on Ala-
chua Plain. Unusual temper was found in several of the
sherds classified as Miller Plain some having a black
quartz and several others having a very large white quartz
Point types included Tampa (8), Pinellas (8), and New-
nan's Lake (1) (Clausen unpb. MA)
Of the Pinellas points, 2 were extremely small (Fig. 1).
Otherwise, the points conformed to type except for being
generally rather crudely made. The Newnan's Lake was a very
poor example, being extremely thick compared to those found
at A 356, for which the type was named (Clausen, MA). Fig. 3
The gun flint (Fig. 2) was of a shape and material to
suggest that it might have been Indian-made rather than
Spanish (re Goggin classification).
Nails found were, in general, those normally to be
found in this period of contact sites. They averaged ap-
proximately 5 cm long with a round head of approximately 1.5
cm. Several had been mutilated in some manner. There were
also some railroad spikes found, but these were discarded as
Beads from the site included:
1 "Gooseberry" bead (DeJarnette and Hansen 1960)
2 white translucent oval beads
8 Itchitucknee Blue beads (oval)
1 green wire wound bead
1 translucent seed bead
2 blue seed beads
The shot found measured 1.25 cm which equals approxi-
mately 50 caliber shot, the other 1.01 cm, or approximately
40 caliber shot. The actual calibers are not possible to
discern since casting was not always perfect.
The olive jar is to be classified as middle style by
the various pieces of ring neck and by the general descrip-
tion given in Goggin (1960). There are several pieces of
green glazed, mostly glazed on both sides. Goggin felt that
this glazing did not represent any significant time differ-
ence from the unglazed variety, thus the glazing is of in-
terest only in that it agrees with the Goggin findings from
The sherds classified as Jefferson Complicated Paste
were similar to Jefferson Complicated Stamped in all ways
except for the stamping, thus it was decided to name them in
Perusal of the material indicates that those sherds ap-
pearing in all ~three levels generally tend to decrease rap-
idly in number from level # 1 to level # 3. There are, how-
ever, exceptions to this. Sherd tempered, cob marked and
plain; Prairie Cord marked; Weeden Island residual Plain;
Tallahassee Blue-on-White majolica, all either increase or
remain constant from level # 1 to level # 3. This would
tend to indicate that these sherds are most common in the
earlier years of the occupation. Certainly this would seem
to be true of the sherd tempered sherds which appear in no
other level but level #3. The Prairie Cord Marked and Weed-
en Island residual plain would seem to also belong to the
earlier stages but both types may be portions of the same
pots which have been disturbed by ploughing or other means
Heaviest sherd concentrations are to be found in three
general areas with the other areas having significantly few-
As a rule, the non-ceramic artifacts follow the same
lines of concentration as the ceramics.
It is of interest and note that the only sherds to go
beyond level # 3 in the test pit dug were Jefferson Compli-
cated Stamped sherds which were among the lowest yield in
level # 3. Even taking the Jefferson paste sherds into ac-
count, the only sherds having less percentage yield in lev-
el # 3 were the obviously more modern ceramics of majolica,
From the depth of the material and the sudden dropping-
off of cultural remains in the third level, it would seem
that, in the earlier days of the site there were relatively
few people living in the area excavated. The gradual in-
crease in yield would indicate that the population did ex-
Dst,rb.d 'P/ Z,,e
Mmffl./ S rrow
?-rt Ie# o
pand, however, to a large number as time passed. The great
profusion of surface materials as evidenced by the surface
collections of a local amateur Jerry Evans (UFAL), by the
materials collected by the 1956 excavation, and by the re-
cent excavation crew (UFAL), certainly shows that there is a
great deal of material to be found on or near the surface;
particularly material which has been mechanically disturbed
in the 0.5 foot plow zone. There is, of course, the possi-
bility that the first two levels represent the occupation
level with the level # 3 sherds being due to mechanical or
natural disturbance. The latter explanation, however, does
not seem as likely, as the concentrations, although compar-
atively small, were still rather too large for this to be
The concentration of cultural material in three areas
indicated a need for closer inspection of these areas. The
indications are that these are possibly four house sites;
one in the field, 2 in the roadway area, and one in the ham-
mock. Perusal of the cultural materials shows that, within
these areas were found most of the nails, the gun flint, the
glass, and beads. The platts also showed pits in association
with these areas from which were gathered the majority of
the sherds, the whetstone, rapier piece, and ramrod tip,
plus the areas of bone. The pit in association with the
hammock excavation contained both deer and turtle bones a-
long with turtle carapace, and was, incidently, where the
Newnan's Lake point was found. Consideration was made as to
the possible recentness of a buckle found, however in con-
junction with the other evidence, there is a great possibil-
ity that it is related to the rest of this material.
Pottery found in these areas consisted of the greater
portion of the majolica, olive jar, and mission red filmed,
the usual pottery types found around a Spanish Indian house.
The extreme quantity of flint chips found in the same
area of the roadway and the field house sites suggests that
this could have been a flint chipping station. This would
seem to bear out as it would seem logical to chip one's
flint outside the house. This area needs further investiga-
tion to determine the extent of this proliference of flint.
Concerning the extent of the site, the actual limits
were not reached, as cultural material was discovered in ev-
ery area dug. However, as previously mentioned, the mater-
ial was somewhat concentrated and thinned rapidly at the ex-
tremes, The yield is not so small, however, as to suggest
that the material had been moved to these areas from the a-
reas of concentration. Although this could be within the
realm of possibility in the case of the roadway material,
the one pit in the woods would most likely not have been
subjected to the mechanical disturbance found in the road-
way. It is also to be noted that, even within the areas of
concentration the material from the test pits outside the
possible house sites is significantly less. Thus, it is pos-
sible that these fringe pits are simply areas between house
sites. As further indication of extended size, the other
sites in the area elicit the suspicion that they may all
have been connected in some way and that this site is really
quite extensive. Certainly the artifacts from the excava-
tion of A 273 (also carried out that summer) would seem to
indicate that there are at least enough similarities in In-
dian materials to suggest some connection between the two a-
reas. It has been postulated by William Sears that A 273 was
possibly the site of the original village from which the
Mission Indians came.
Certainly all indications show that this is an exten-
sive, rich site from which a great deal could be learned.
This is a site ;which should be extensively dug, particularly
in light of the findings of this excavation.
Clausen, Carl Jon
unpub. The A-356 Site and the Florida Archaic. Unpub-
lished M.A. Thesis, University of Florida.
DeJarnette, David and Ansael T. Hansen
1960 The Archeology of the Childersburg Site, Alabama.
Notes in Anthropology, No. 6, Florida State Uni-
Fairbanks, Charles H.
Goggin, John Mann
1948 Some Pottery Types from Central Florida. The Flor-
ida Anthropological Society, Bulletin No. 1, Jan.
Gainesville. pp. 1-14. (Mimeographed)
1949 Cultural Traditions in Florida Prehistory. In the
Florida Indian and his Neighbors, John W. Griffin,
ed. pp. 13-44. Winter Park, Fla.
1950 Florida Archeology -- 1950. The Florida Anthro-
pologist, Vol. III, Nos. 1-2, May. Gainesville.
1952 Space and Time Perspective in Northern St. Johns
Archeology, Florida. Yale University Press, Yale
Publications in Anthropology No. 47. 147 pp.
1960 The Spanish Olive Jar a preliminary study. Yale
University Press, Yale Publications in Anthropol-
ogy No. 67. 37 pp.
1964 Indian and Spanish Selected Writings. (Ed. by C.
H. Fairbanks, Irving Rouse, and W. C. Sturtevant).
University of Miami Press, Coral Gables. 336 pp.
Seaberg, Lillian M.
1955 The Zetrouer Site: Indian and Spaniard in Central
Florida. Unpublished M.A. Thesis, University of
Smith, Hale G.
1948a Two Historical Archaeological Periods in Florida.
American Antiquity, Vol. 13, No. 4, April.
1948b Results of an Archaeological Investigation of a
Spanish Mission Site in Jefferson County, Florida.
The Florida Anthropologist, Vol. 1, Nos. 1-2, May.
1956 The European and the Indian. Florida Anthropolog-
ical Society Publication No. 4, Gainesville.
Swanton, John R.
1922 Early History of the Creek Indians and Their Nei-
ghbors. Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of Amer-
ican Ethnology, Bulletin # 73. Washington.
University of Florida Anthropology Lab
Spanish Mission and Town Surveys.
Various site reports on file.
1949 Archeology of the Florida Gulf Coast. Smithsonian
Miscellaneous Collections, Vol. 113(whole volume),
Washington, D.C. pp. 488-495.
University of Florida
EARLY WOODLAND PLANT REMAINS
AND THE QUESTION OF CULTIVATION
Richard A. Yarnell
Marsh Elder (Iva) is considered on the basis
of its distribution in Eastern Kentucky outside of
its present range and the large size of the ache-
ness from early sites. It is concluded that large
seed size is not a function of large plants or of
selection in harvesting. Thus Iva was probably
intentionally cultivated in considerable quantity.
The center of distribution seems to have been the
central Mississippi Valley.
It is an anthropological tradition that subsistence of
pre-Columbian farmers north of Mexico was based on an inte-
grated crop complex consisting of corn, beans and squash.
This may well be a valid concept for the proto-historic peri-
od of the Eastern Woodland. However, when one looks beyond
the Late Woodland period, it is difficult to find supporting
evidence for the presence of this crop triad. With the dub-
ious exception of a report for the Middle Woodland Renner
Site near Kansas City (Wedel 1943), there is no evidence for
beans; and corn appears to be absent from Early Woodland
sties, again with possible but unconfirmed exceptions.
Squash is left as an uncontroverted Early Woodland cultigen,
along with gourd and, presumably, sunflower; though several
other plants (e.g. chenopod and marsh elder) have been sug-
gested for this distinction (c.f. especially Jones 1936, Fow-
ler 1957, and Struever 1962).
Recently published evidence (Jackson 1960, Black 1963)
indicates that an annual marsh elder (Iva annua var. macro-
carpa Jackson) was an early cultivated food plant in the
East. This conclusion is based primarily on a comparison of
modern distribution and achene (seed) size of the species to
the distribution and size of archaeological achenes (i.e.
archaeological achenes are larger and occur in Kentucky well
to the east of the present range of this species).
The distribution argument is, perhaps, contingent upon
obtaining better phytogeographical data from Kentucky (how-
ever, during a cursory survey I was unable to locate Iva in
the vicinity of Salts Cave, one of the locations in Kentucky
where archaeological Iva has been found. The seed size ar-
gument has been disputed because of two possibilities.
First, unusually large seed size may be the result of col-
The Florida Anthropologist, Vol. XVIII, No. 2, June 1965 77
election from large plants that grow in enriched soils, such
as exist on sites of prolonged Indian habitation. Second,
selection for unusually large seeds may have taken place in
the harvesting process.
The latter possibility seems rather unlikely, because
the archaeological occurrence of unusually large wild food
seeds of other species are rarely reported. Seeds of Pha-
laris, Polygonum, and Amaranthus, for instance, usually are
normal in size; though they may display some variation.
(The sunflower could be taken as a major exception, but it
is generally considered to be an Early Woodland cultigen).
Another reason for doubting the significance of size
selection in the case of Iva is the variation in size of
achenes from different archaeological sites. Those from the
Ozark Bluff Dwellings range up to 13 mm. in length. Very
large achenes have been found at Newt Kash Hollow in Kentuc-
ky, whereas achenes from the Stilwell Site in Illinois and
from Salts Cave are normal to large in size and those from
the Apple Creek Site in Illinois and the Proether Bluff Site
in Missouri are about the same size as achenes from the cur-
rently existing varieties of Iva annual, which range from 2.5
mm. to 4.5 mm. in length. (Incidently there is no Iva from
contexts known to be later than Middle Woodland, so it may
be diagnostic for certain pre-Late Woodland contexts).
In order to test the hypothesis that larger plants pro-
duce larger seeds, I made two random collections of achenes
from giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida L.). A collection of
132 achenes came from a colony in an area where the plants
ranged in height from 15 to 18 feet. A collection of 50
achenes was taken from the same colony in an area where the
plants ranged from 4 to 6 feet in height. Achenes from the
larger plants averaged 6.6 mm. long, while those from the
smaller plants averaged 7.7 mm. long. However, during the
examination, it became obvious that the sample from the
larger plants included a higher percentage of immature a-
chene than did the other sample. Therefore, all immature
achenes and all those damaged or deformed were eliminated.
The remaining 18 achenes from small plants and 11 from large
plants were weighed and measured. In each case average
weight was 33 mg. and average length was 8.4 mm. (It is in-
teresting that 7 of the 18 achenes from small plants were
longer than any from large plants). However, since the sam-
ples were small, it would be well to repeat the investiga-
It is conceivable that similar results would not be
forthcoming from measurements of Iva achenes from different
sized plants, but suitable collections have not yet been
made. Nevertheless, it seems unlikely that either plant
size or selective gathering or both together, could be re-
sponsible for the size of the Ozark achenes which are up to
three times the length and many times the volume of the larg-
est from the modern weed. However, selection of seeds for
planting could have this effect on the marsh elder, just as
it did on the sunflower, which is a member of the same tribe
of the family Compositae and has somewhat similar achenes.
Thus I would consider unusually large seed size to be
rather good evidence for domestication, a term which carries
an implication of genetic distinctions in a plant which do
not occur or occur only rarely or to a lesser extent in the
ancestral form. On the other hand, I would consider the a-
bundant archaeological occurrence of a plant well outside
its present range to be good evidence for cultivation and
perhaps also for propagation.
The questions of cultivation and domestication are some-
what more complex than generally stated, i.e. in terms of
whether a given plant was or was not cultivated or domesti-
cated. It would seem that more often the question is one of
degree, i.e. to what extent or in what respects was (or is)
a plant cultivated or domesticated? For all intents and pur-
poses (excluding economic considerations) weeds are just as
much cultivated or domesticated as are crop plants (or per-
haps more so in some cases). In a lawn carpeted with Bermu-
da Grass, dandelions are considered noxious weeds; but Ber-
muda Grass plays the weed role in a cultivated field; while
dandelions are utilized for food in some areas.
If weeds and cultigens are much the same biologically,
being distinguished largely on the basis of cultural context,
what do they have in common that distinguishes them from
other plants? The answer to this question appears to fall
into two categories. First, there is the great variability
which is generally lacking in species growing in undisturbed
habitats. This may be due to hybridization between closely
related plant taxa or to the absence or suppression of cer-
tain factors which select against variation as they operate
in natural plant communities. These two phenomena are not
necessarily separate. In fact, the suppression of natural
selection would tend to expedite the survival of hybrid off-
spring (cf. Anderson 1949; 1952).
A second distinguishing feature of weeds and cultigens
is a close relationship to man. This is largely the result
of man's activities in the suppression of the forces of nat-
ural selection that would tend to eliminate these plants,
whereas man acts as an agent selecting against other plants
and, in doing so, alters the balance of competition for sur-
vival in favor of weeds and cultigens. This generally a-
mounts to cultivation, whether or not it is intentional or
produces the desired results; though the term is not ordi-
narily used unless man's attitudes and activities in rela-
tion to a plant and its habitat are consciously oriented
toward deriving some benefit from the plant. However, even
then the term might not be used if man does not decide ahead
of time when and where the plant will grow according to a
traditional set of ideas and has himself carried out the ob-
Iva annual is a weedy species which favors wet prairie
areas, river bottoms, and disturbed soil. Thus it grows in
locations where selection through competition is at a low
level. If we assume that it was not intentionally cultiva-
ted by Early Woodland peoples in eastern Kentucky, the most
feasible explanation of its archaeological occurence there
would seem to be that it was introduced by man to that re-
gion where it took hold in habitats which he himself created
perhaps as a result of intentionally cultivating other
plants, and that he harvested marsh elder along with gourd,
squash, and sunflower. This would mean that there was, in
actuality,cultivation of marsh elder but without intentional
propagation. Just such a phenomenon has been recorded for
the Hopi by Whiting (1939). It is, perhaps, a simple step
to add seed planting to this relationship when this is al-
ready part of man's relationship to other plants.
It may be significant that the human faeces from Newt
Kash Hollow and from Salts Cave contain both sunflower and
marsh elder achenes in considerable quantity and that squash
seeds are present in 9 of 40 Salts Cave faeces examined.
Even more significant, perhaps, is the occurrence of straw-
berry achenes with sunflower and marsh elder achenes in one
specimen. This strongly indicates late spring or early sum-
mer as the season of deposition, which is three or four
months earlier than the harvest season for sunflower and
marsh elder. Thus it would appear that food from the latter
two plants was available in quantities sufficient for stor-
age and consumption throughout winter and spring. It seems
rather unlikely that there was enough area in land adequate-
ly disturbed to allow for the perpetuation of Iva in such
quantity unless the land was intentionally disturbed.
It seems likely that the large-seeded marsh elder ori-
ginated in the central Mississippi Valley. This area is at
the center of its known distribution, and Iva annua. Jack-
son (1960:813) states "Variety caudata is most distinct in-
Louisiana. In the northern part of its range it becomes
somewhat diluted by hybridization with variety annual Thus
the central Mississippi Valley is likely to be the region of
greatest variation of the species. (Of course, it is not
known when the ranges of these two varieties began to over-
lap, if they were ever separate; but the survival of hybrid
offspring would likely increase as man increased his activi-
ties of habitat disturbance). This same region is the center
of archaeological sunflower distribution in the East, so I
am inclined to agree with the suggestions of Jones and Fow-
ler that this was the most critical area for early plant cul-
tivation in the eastern United States and that its begin-
nings reach back to the Late Archaic period.
1949 Introgressive Hybridization. New York: John Wiley
1952 Plants, Man and Life. Boston: Little, Brown and
1963 The Distribution and Archaeological Significance of
the Marsh Elder, Iva Annua L. Papers of the Michi-
gan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters 48:541-547.
Fowler, Malvin L.
1957 The Origin of Plant Cultivation in the Central Mis-
sissippi Valley: A Hypothesis. MS paper presented
at the 56th Annual Meeting of the American Anthro-
pological Association, Chicago.
Jackson, Raymond C.
1960 A Revision of the Genus Iva L. The University of
Kansas Science Bulletin 41:793-876.
Jones, Volney H.
1936 The Vegetal Remains of Newt Kash Hollow Shelter.
The University of Kentucky Reports in Archaeology
and Anthropology 3:147-167.
1962 Implications of Vegetal Remains from an Illinois
Hopewell Site American Antiquity 27:584-587.
1943 Archaeological Investigations in Platte and Clay
Counties, Missouri. U. S. National Museum, Bulle-
tin 183, Washington.
Whiting, Alfred F.
1939 Ethnobotany of the Hopi. Museum of Northern Ari-
zona, Bulletin 15, Flagstaff.
Alligator Lake, A Ceramic Horizon Site
on the Northwest Florida Coast
William C. Lazarus
The Alligator Lake Site (WL-29) is located
in the sand dunes beside the Gulf of Mexico in
Walton County, Fla. It is a stratified closed
site which sand dunes buried about 600 B.C.
From the 1,482 artifacts recovered, many
Orange Period fiber tempered sherds were in asso-
ciation with Elliott's Point artifacts in the low-
er level. Cohabitation of two Late Archaic Cul-
tures is implied starting about 1,170 B.C. with in-
termittent occupation and/or a small population.
Additionally, Deptford Period ceramics dominated
the top level but Alexander Series pottery is al-
most uniformly distributed between upper and lower
levels in considerable quantity. The site there-
fore spans the Ceramic Horizon in the Southeast.
Alexander ceramics and its southern variant,
Bayou La Batre, can be made with only sticks and
shells as potter's tools while a carved paddle is
required to make the decorated Deptford types. A
Deptford Bold Check Stamped vessel, with a mat-
impressed bottom from the upper level has a radio-
carbon date of 610 B.C.
Fiber tempered ceramic sites from the Tallahas-
see, Fla.,area to the Mississippi River are listed
with the majority located east of Choctawhatchee
Bay, Fla., which is the vicinity of Alligator Lake.
This site is called a "pivotal site" because
of the mixing of diverse cultures there. From
such sites, the author postulates rapid develop-
ments by diffusion and/or invention. He proposes
that the potter's paddle was introduced or in-
vented in the Mobile Bay area leading to the rapid
development of Deptford pottery there prior to 600
B.C. It is hypothesized that Deptford type ceram-
ics spread eastward very rapidly over the fiber
tempered sites as a "technological breakthrough"
in ceramics and that later Tchefuncte ceramics de-
velop and spread westward.
The Florida Anthropologist, Vol. XVIII, No. 2,June 1965 83
Site Location and Description (WL-29)
This site is situated in the SEk of the SWk of Section
8, Township 3S, Range 19W in Walton County, Florida. It is
approximately a half mile due west of the community of Gray-
ton Beach, Fla., in a sand dune area about 1,500 feet north
of the Gulf of Mexico and 600 east of Alligator Lake. (Fig.
In June 1957, Mr. Edward Clarno located this site, made
a surface collection and reported his findings to the author
who in turn sent a site report to the Department of Anthro-
pology and Archaeology of Florida State University. A large
sand dune presently about 100 feet in diameter and stand-
ing about 20 feet higher than the surrounding terrain was
observed to be in a "flow-down" condition. That is to say
that wind erosion was decreasing the size of this dune and
in so doing was exposing old land surfaces which were be-
neath it. This particular dune appears to have built up
near the center of the site as artifacts are now found on
all sides. (Fig. 2)
The dunes in this area of the Gulf Coast are character-
ized by a "barrier ridge" of relatively high dunes immediate-
ly north of the beach running generally east-west close to
the shore. Behind the barrier ridge are random dunes of the
white beach sand and depressions which extend inland as much
as a half mile. Some vegetation grows on the dunes such as
palmetto and sea oats. In general, the dune area is one of
shifting white sand which terminates abruptly with a steep
slope of sand at the edge of the pine woods on the north.
All indications are that the dunes are continuing their
northward advance even today.
The area of this site is approximately one acre in the
shape of an ellipse with a major axis running northeast to
southwest. There is a much smaller area which has yielded
surface artifacts of similar character approximately 150
feet northwest of the main site and is considered to be a
part of it. (Fig. 3)
The elevation at the base of the large dune and on the
old land surfaces is approximately 10 feet above sea level.
The old land surfaces appear to slope gradually toward the
northwest in the direction of Alligator Lake.
In order to properly evaluate the occupation levels and
the artifacts at this site, it is necessary to consider the
terrain features as these changed during the last several
Fig. 4 a. Pit dug into side of dune (at C on Fig. 3) re-
vealing old land surfaces beneath dune. b. Close-up of
north profile showing two levels. The dark object in the
center about midway between in two levels is a Deptford
Bold Checkstamped sherd in situ.
Contour Interval 10 ft.
Fig. 2 Location Sketch of Alligator Lake Site (WL-29)
and the nearby Grayton Site (WL-69).
S Materials /
NOTE: Old Land Surfaces
slope slightly to the
S/ -' Probable Site Limit
Fig. 3 Sketch of Alligator Lake Site (WL-29) showing excavated areas and areas
where surface collections were made.
The principal topographic features are: (1) Alligator
Lake; (2) the Gulf of Mexico; and (3) the shifting dunes,
one of which sealed this site off for several thousand years
as will be shown later.
Today Alligator Lake is one of a series of fresh water
lakes along this section of the Gulf Coast. It is separated
from the Gulf by a strip of beach which is several hundred
feet wide. The Lake contains clear fresh water and its lev-
el is only a matter of a foot or less above the sea level in
the Gulf. The fresh water from this lake percolates through
the beach sand so that one cannot see on the surface any
outflow stream from the lake to the Gulf. The southern end
of the lake is "plugged" with porous sand washed in by the
The depth of the lake was not measured but based on
similar lakes in the area, it probably does not presently ex-
ceed 20 feet. However, when it first became a lake it may
have had a depth of 30 to 40 feet. Sand blowing off the
dunes to the south of the lake has surely had a silting ac-
tion during the thousands of years that this has been a lake.
The prevailing winds along this Coast are southwesterly.
There is evidence that about 7,000 years ago, the sea
level in the Gulf of Mexico relative to the terrain at the
site and to Alligator Lake was about 60 feet below the pre-
sent relative levels (Lazarus 1965). Between 6,000 and
7,000 years ago the Gulf levels rose as the land continued
to subside. Up to that time, what is today Alligator Lake
had been a spring fed ravine probably very similar to many
ravines which now drain northward in Walton and Okaloosa
Counties into the Yellow and Shoal rivers. These are steep
sided ravines in which clear fresh water springs are found,
Animal trails made by deer angle up the sides and there are
points of vantage for hunters to hide along the narrow
trails and await the game as it goes to and from fresh water.
Several pre-ceramic and early ceramic sites have been found
a short distance back from the lips of these ravines at In-
digo Springs (SA-19), Little Boiling Springs (SA-20) and the
Dalehite site (WL-55) above Bishop Creek. A "ravine hunting"
technique is postulated for this area of Northwest Florida.
Alligator Lake appears to have been just such a ravine
during Archaic times. It changed into a lake beginning
about 6,500 years ago and reached its present proportions
as a fresh water lake about 2,800 years ago.
By that time, the level of the Gulf relative to the
site was within several feet of where it is today. Actually
the site was then from 2 to 10 feet higher than now. Accord-
ing to theory and observation this site has never been sub-
After the Gulf waters stabilized near present levels,
the sand dunes continued a slow northward advance which is
still going on. Eventually, before the end of the Deptford
Period, the dunes advancing from the southwest because of
the prevailing winds reached this site causing its abandon-
ment and sealing it off as the large dune developed. It is
considered a valid example of a "closed site".
Relationship of Alligator Lake Site with the Grayton Site
Approximately 400 yards east of the Alligator Lake site,
there is another site called Grayton. (Fig. 2) It also is
in the sand dune area being strung out North-South in a
shallow valley between dunes. It appears to have been sub-
ject to a much earlier blow-down as the artifacts being re-
covered from it are in the typical single thin layer. Size-
wise it is probably twice as large as the Alligator Lake
A subsequent report is planned on the Grayton Site, but
it is significant to note here that no Elliott's Point Com-
plex artifacts and no fiber tempered pottery have been re-
covered there with a sample size of over 2,000 sherds. The
Grayton site appears to start with a Deptford Period occupa-
tion and to continue through the Santa Rosa-Swift Creek Peri-
od and possibly into an early phase of Weeden Island. Parts
of two restorable vessels found at Alligator Lake may well
be mavericks from the WL-69 site as indicated elsewhere in
Surface Collections at Alligator Lake Site
Surface collections were conducted with some regularity
from 1957 until excavations were undertaken in 1961 on the
Alligator Lake site. Some surface collecting has been done
since. The "blow down" of the dune and surrounding area
progressed considerably during the 4 year period with the
result that many artifacts were exposed and recovered from
the surface. In most of the site area, away from the dune,
the wind erosion was sufficient to destroy all stratigraphy.
All artifacts settled to a common level which facilitates
surface collecting but presented no data on the chronology
at this site.
The classification of the combined surface collections
of Clarno, Spence, Webb and Lazarus indicated a "closed site"
of considerable antiquity. (Table I)
Initially, several small test holes were dug in the
area west of the dune. All these indicated the very thin
artifact layer sometimes on the surface and sometimes buried
under several inches of drifting beach sand.
The quest for a non-eroded area where some stratigraphy
might exist led to cutting into the side of the remaining
dune in its southeast quadrant. This is shown as "Area C"
in Figure 3. A vertical profile approximately 6 feet long
and 5 feet deep was cut into the side of the dune which re-
vealed the old land surfaces. (fig. 4) It appears that
there are two layers. The top humic layer clearly indicated
that this had not always been a sand dune area. The lower
layer was quite indistinct but could be detected about 7
inches-on the average-below the top of the dark humic layer.
Working the profile with a trowel produced several Deptford
sherds from the upper humic layer and several fiber tempered
sherds from the lower level. All cultural material seemed
to lie within one foot of the top of the dark humic band.
Without heavy power machinery it was not possible to ex-
cavate below the 20 foot-high dune. A search around the
base of the dune located an area where we might hope to dig
down and reach undisturbed midden. This was on the eastern
side of the dune where a small test hole showed that the top
humic layer was undisturbed about 18 feet out from the toe
of the dune. A 15 ft. X 15 ft. area was laid out into 9
pits, designated Area "A", and the pits were numbered as
shown in figure 3. The orientation of these pits was N-S
and E-W. However, due to the shifting sands it was not prac-
ticable with the resources available to establish a perman-
ent bench mark. All the excavations were accomplished by
the hard work of Mr. Gerald Spence, Mr. Jack Webb, the au-
thor and his wife plus some volunteers who were members of
the Florida Anthropological Society.
Pits I. IV. V. VI. VII and VIII.
Pit I was carefully dug in two levels, each about 6 in-
ches deep. The attempt was to separate the two levels indi-
cated by the profile in Area "C". This effort appears to
have been quite successful. Pits IV, V, VI, VII and VIII
were dug with the same technique. All the materials from
these six pits were processed through Y" x A' screen and
sacked by pit and level designations. At least one test
hole was sunk in each 5' x 5' pit to a depth of 36 inches to
insure that the sand below the second level was indeed ster-
ile. It was found to be so. No features such as post molds
COMBINED SURFACE COLLECTIONS FROM WL-29
Fiber Tempered Plain (Orange)
Semi-fiber Tempered Plain
Clam Shell Stamped (exp.)
Linear Check Stamped
Bold Check Stamped (4-6/")
Bold Check Stamped (7-9/")
Santa Rosa Stamped
West Florida Cord Marked (E)
Pasco Check Stamped
Very Gritty Temper
Normal Sand Tempered
Sand & Sherd Tempered
Smooth Sand Tempered
Elliott's Point Complex
Stems of Microflint drills/perforators
Fragment of Clay Ball
Polished sandstone Gorget (Center)
Bright Red Ochre Fragments
Copper Beads (small)
Pumice Stones (1 hone)
Steatite Fragments sherdss)
Small Quartz Pebbles
Chert Chips (small)
Primary Chert Flakes w/edges showing use as tools
Chert Scrapers (large fragments)
Projectile Points (chert)
Projectile Points Stem only (chert)
Projectile Point (quartzite)
Projectile Point Stem only (quartzite)
Round Scraper (1.75" dia.) (quartzite)
Quartzite chips (small)
Ground stone Frag. used as hone
Grand Total 655
Notes: a. One vessel shape is a small shallow bowl. b. Classified in the Alexander Series
based on paste and choice of decorative tool-experimental. c. An excessive amount
of sand and large grit makes these sherds tend to crumble. d. One of these is a
natural clear quartz crystal with nominal diameter of 5 mm and a length of 24 nm.
It shows use as a drill on both ends. a. This is the center section between the
two drilled holes. Max. width is 30 mm. f. One of these is a large sherd-like
fragment with lug attached. g. About 40% are of rose chert while the rest vary
from tan to cream. h. These are probably examples of stems removed from spear
shafts after loss of the other part of the point.
or refuse pits were encountered in Pits I, IV, V, VI, VII
and VIII. Therefore for simplicity and because it does not
in any way bias the results, the 150 square feet embraced in
these 6 pits is considered as one large pit designated Area
"A", with levels 1 and 2 differentiated. The results of
classifying the artifacts from Area "A" by levels are given
in Tables 2a and 2b herein.
Pits II and III
Because equipment was not available, the artifacts from
these two pits were recovered by troweling and were not
screened or sacked by levels. The digging crew encountered
what appeared to be the major portion of two vessels broken
in situ shortly after the pits were started. Their atten-
tion focused on the task of trying to recover these broken
vessels without close attention to the levels.
A large section possibly 1/3rd to of a Deptford
Bold Check Stamped globular bowl was recovered. Directly be-
neath its adjoining sherds were several sizable lumps of
charcoal which had rested against the inner surface of the
bowl. These were recovered and placed in a glass jar for
radiocarbon dating purposes. (See section on "Dating of the
Site" in this report and also section on "Deptford Ceramics")
Over half of a vessel of unusual form with a very so-
phisticated zone punctated pattern was also recovered from
the area of Pits II and III. This vessel has been examined
by several professional archaeologists familiar with Gulf
Coast and Lower Mississippi Valley ceramic types. There is
lack of agreement as to the classification of this vessel.
(Figure 5) The shape of the vessel is not conventional for
any northwest Florida ceramic types. The temper is fine
sand but there are leached out areas indicating possible
clay, limestone or shell temper in small quantity. The de-
sign element appears to be a variation of one French Fork In-
cised design. There are definite Weeden Island affinities
with French Fork Incised according to Willey (1949).
In any event, this vessel is not consistent with most
of the other ceramic artifacts which are of the Deptford Per-
iod or earlier in time. It could have arrived on this site
as a stray from WL-69 which is just 400 yards to the east.
The 50 square feet covered by Pits II and III has been
considered separately since the techniques used in excavat-
ing were different (by accident) than those used on the
other pits in Area "A". The principal contribution which
these pits make to this report is the recovery of the Carbon
14 sample in direct association with the Deptford Bold Check
TABLE 2a CERAMIC ARTIFACTS IN AREA "A"
Type or Mode
Fiber Tempered Series
Linear Check Stamped
Bold Check Stamped (4-6/")
Bold Check Stamped (7-9/")
Complicated Stamped (?)
Normal Sand Temper
Smooth Sand Temper
Area A Total Sherds 330
Notes: This table consolidates the sherds
V, VI, VII, and VIII of Area A.
from Pits I, IV,
a. Includes one
TABLE 2b NON-CERAMIC ARTIFACTS IN AREA "A"
Level I Level 2
Woodland Corner Notched Projectile Point 0 la
Chert Chips 5 13b
Chert Scraper 1 0
Quartz Fragments 0 3
Pumice (small) 1 5
Quartzite Chips 0 2
Hemetite Fragments 3 3
Ground Sandstone Fragment 0 1
Elliott's Point Complex
Jaketown Perforator 0 1
Spheroidal Clay Ball Fragment 0 Ic
Steatite Vessel Sherds 0 3
Copper Bead Id 0
Totals 11 33
Area "A" Total 44 non-ceramic artifacts
Notes: This table consolidates the non-ceramic artifacts
from Pits I, IV, V, VI, VII and VIII from Area "A"
(150 sq. ft.). a- this is a uniface projectile
point. b- One large chip shows use as a blade. c-
The liberty is taken to include the ceramic clay
ball in the non-ceramic artifact list since it ob-
viously belongs in a pre-ceramic complex. d- This
copper bead is clearly aboriginal and is almost i-
dentical to the two others in the surface collection.
Fig. 5 This vessel of unusual form with Incised and
Zone Punctated design was recovered in the
upper level in Pit II. It is inconsistent
with other ceramic types at this site. Max.
Fig. 6 Tetrapod pot with im-
pressions of a band of close
netting (chocheting) below
the rim. From Area B.
Fig. 7 Some Projectile
Points from WL-29. A-C &
E-F Delhi or Wade Points.
D & G Marshall Points. H
& I Point Stems. Scale in
Stamped vessel with a mat impressed bottom which is dis-
cussed in detail in a later section. The sherds recovered
from Pits II and III, Area "A" are classified as follows and
are used in the site totals as though they were surface col-
Deptford Bold Check Stamped 34
Unidentified Zone Punctate 20
Sand Tempered Plain 5
Total for Pits II & III 59
Pit IX, Area "A"
Although laid out as part of Area "A", Pit IX was not
excavated due to backfill having been placed upon it and the
lack of volunteer labor to move it.
In order to sample a different area of the site, a loca-
tion was selected to the northwest of Area "A". The dis-
tance from Pit I of Area "A" to Pit 1 of Area "B" was 105
feet and the heading was 60 degrees west of north. The pits
in Area "B" were dug in the numerical sequence shown in
Area "B" was selected because a small test hole indica-
ted a midden of some depth comparable to that found in Area
"A". It was planned to generally work the Area "B" pits
toward Area "A" and eventually join the areas if time and re-
sults permitted. However, when excavated, 12 of 18 pits
proved to have only a single thin layer of artifacts indica-
ting we were in a blow-down area.
Six pits (Nos. 5,10,13,14,16 and 18) had two or three
levels (about 6" thick) which produced artifacts, Not all
of these pits are contiguous. Some of the multi-level pits
had single layers part of the way and then became multi-
level. This situation is not conducive to a valid strati-
graphic analysis. Therefore this 475 square feet can be con-
sidered only in terms of the artifacts recovered, i.e. as a
In this regard, the Area "B" excavations were eminently
successful in recovering one restorable tetrapod pot with a
net impressed band around the rim. Based on paste, vessel
form and the rim treatment, it has been classified in the
Alexander Series although net impression is unconventional
in this series.
Table 3 reports the ceramic and non-ceramic classifica-
tion of the artifacts recovered in Area "B" without regard
to pit numbers since, as in Area "A", no refuse pits or post
ARTIFACTS RECOVERED FROM AREA "B", SITE WL-29
Fiber Tempered Series
Orange Plain 146
Semi-Fiber Tempered Plain 10
Net Impressed & Plain 58a
Cord Wrapped Stick Impressed
(Bayou La Batre) 4
Simple Stamped 7
Bold Check Stamped 37b
Pasco Check Stamped 1
Blakely Complicated Stamped 24c
Elliott's Point Complex
Jaketown Perforator 1
Spheroid Clay Ball 1
Clay Ball Fragments 9
Polished Hemetite Gor-
get (half) 1
Hemetite Plummet, Pol-
ished (half) 1
Pumice (1 hone) 3
Sandstone fragments 7
Chert Chips 32
Chert Drill 1
Chert Projectile Points 3d
Quartz Crystal Projec-
tile Pt. 1
Quartzite Points 2e
Quartzite Chips 4
Grand total of Artifacts from Area "B"
Notes: a.- These sherds produced a restorable pot of 9k"
dia., and 12" tall with large tetrapods (See Fig.6)
b.- Large sections of 2 bowls represented. c.- This
vessel is out of context probably coming from Site
WL-69 which is 400 yards to the East. d.- See Fig.
7. e.- one is a Greenbrier Point.
molds were encountered. Lack of such features seems to be
characteristic of this site.
A total of 10 projectile points and 2 snapped projec-
tile point stems were recovered at this site. Of the 12
points represented, 7 are chert, 4 are quartzite and one is
of clear quartz crystal. Of the 10 classifiable points, all
but one appear to be in the corner notched or basally
Using the nomenclature of Ford and Webb (1956) at the
Poverty Point site, the clear quartz crystal and one chert
point would be Marshall points. Seven of the points are
classified as Delhi, a type which is quite common at both
the Poverty Point and Jaketown sites. It is observed that
Delhi points are similar to the Wade points of Tennessee and
Alabama. (Cambron and Hulse 1964) One point is a Green-
brier as defined by Lewis and Kneberg (1960).
All identifiable points except the Greenbrier, fit
nicely into a Late Archaic or Early Woodland context. The
Greenbrier is considered Early Archaic in Alabama and prob-
ably has the same time span on the Gulf Coast. It suggests
that the Alligator Lake ravine was visited by Early Archaic
hunters. Some classifiers might regard the two points iden-
tified here as Marshall Points as being Eva II (Lewis and
Lewis 1961) which are much earlier and would compliment the
Seven of the 10 points and two stems are illustrated in
Other Stone Tools and Lithic Materials
Chert, Quartzite, Sandstone, Quartz Crystal, Pumice,
Quartz, Hemetite (Ochre) and Steatite comprise the lithic
materials recovered at this site.
The use of steatite vessels here is clearly indicated
from the worked sherdss". None of the vessels appear to
have been decorated but one "sherd" contains an appendage
which is obviously a lug. On present evidence, the steatite
vessels did not have tetrapods but were flat bottomed bowls
with out-sloping sides similar to those excavated at Poverty
The one complete scraper is a small circular one of
quartzite measuring 1.75 inches in diameter. The fragments
of the chert scrapers indicate that they were probably larg-
er and not necessarily circular. Uniface and biface scrapers
are both represented.
Fragments of ground stone tools, not identifiable as to
use, are present. Three of 9 sandstone specimens show re-
use as hones based on the grooves observed on them.
One pumice fragment shows extensive use as a hone. The
softness of this pumice is such that it implies that it was
sufficiently deep and long to permit measurement indicating
the diameter of shafts of dowels which may have been worked
in them. One diameter is 7 mm., and the other is 12 mm. It
is observed that the latter approximates the stem width of
the Marshall Projectile points at this site.
The Jaketown type of microliths are relatively common
on this site. (Fig. 8) Previously (1958), in the definition
of the Elliott's Point Complex, I included these. They are
distinctive ties with the Poverty Point Culture.
The recovery of the top half of a polished hemetite
plummet grooved in the manner of those recovered at the Gar-
cia Site on Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana further strength-
ens the relationship between the Elliott's Point Complex and
the Garcia Phase of Poverty Point.
The sections of two gorgets found at WL-29 have their
counterparts in the artifacts recovered at the Poverty Point
Site. This includes the technique of repairing a broken
gorget by drilling pairs of holes beside the fracture and
presumably lacing them back together. The gorget found at
Alligator Lake site with the above characteristic is plano-
convex with only the convex surface polished. This, again
is a characteristic of gorgets found at Poverty Point (Ford
and Webb 1956). The other section of a gorget found at WL-
29 is of a micaceous sandstone, bi-convex and polished on
The three copper beads recovered at this site do not
appear to have any counterpart at Poverty Point, although
copper in the form of a plummet and a small irregular frag-
ment were reported there (Ford and Webb 1956).
These beads from WL-29 appear to be fabricated from
small ingots of copper. (Fig. 8b) The beads are circular
with a nominal diameter about the hole of 8.5 mm., and a
nominal thickness of 5 mm. Each bead has been perforated by
a tool having a triangular cross-section. The three sided
"Jaketown Needle" (Ford and Webb 1956) shown in Fig. 8g does
Fig. 8 Elliott's Point Artifacts
tite gorget. b. Copper Bead with
ished stone Plummet. e. Elliott's
quartz crystal drill. g. Jaketown
from WL-29. a. Red Heme-
perforated hole. d. Pol-
Point Clay Ball. f. small
"Needle". h. assorted
SFig. I 1 1 Oa131 Sh s 14from W 9 I
Fig. 10 Orange Fiber Tempered Sherds from WL-29
Fig. 11 Alexander Incised Sherds from Upper Level
fit nicely into the bead hole of one bead and suggests that
such a tool was used to perforate these beads. The cord
used to string these beads through the triangular hold could
have been as large as 2 mm. in diameter. Because of the
association with The Elliott's Point artifacts in terms of
the material (copper) and the possible perforating tool, I
have come to associate them with that complex.
Shell and Bone Artifacts
It seems significant that no identifiable shell or bone
tools or ornaments are included in the 1,482 artifacts re-
covered at this site. In fact there was very little shell
and no bone in the midden. The midden shell consisted of
random clam shells, both large and small, and a smaller num-
ber of oyster and scallop shells. None were unusually de-
composed. Unless the occupants of this site disposed of
their shells elsewhere, it is clear that shellfish were rare-
ly consumed at this site.
Shellfish were readily available in the brackish waters
of Choctawhatchee Bay which is about 3 miles north of WL-29.
Since this is a considerable distance to lug containers of
shells, it is possible that the people who dwelt at this
site went to the Bay to eat their shellfish or that they had
little interest in this type of food.
It is highly probable that all bone has disappeared
through decomposition over the long period of years since
this site was occupied.
The Elliott's Point type of clay ball as defined by the
author (1958) is spheroidal in shape with stick impressed
ridges and valleys running from pole-to-pole of the spheroid.
They tend to be more massive than most other types of Clay
Balls from Poverty Point. They are generally well made and
have been found in considerable numbers at various sites
around Choctawhatchee Bay in Okaloosa and Walton Counties.
The whole clay ball recovered in Area "B" is a classic
example of the Elliott's Point variety (Fig 8) Many of the
fragments found at the Alligator Lake Site have some portion
of the outer surface which shows the ridging. There can be
no doubt that the Elliott's Point Complex is a component of
Fairbanks (1959) reported additional clay ball sites in
Walton County and suggested that the spheroidal Elliott's
Point variety were earlier than the round variety which he
found. Subsequent to his report he obtained a radiocarbon
date from associated charcoal for the round variety (person-
al communication) which was 2,680 years B.P. t 150 years
(720 B.C.). As will be shown later in this paper, his sug-
gestion appears to be valid. The Elliott's Point type of
clay ball spheroidall) appears to have a time span of at
least 1,200 B.C. to 800 B.C.
Analysis of the 1055 sherds from this site showed that
definitions of all types can be found in existing literature
with the exception of new variants of the Alexander Series.
I do not propose to define these variants as separate types
at this time as I consider them experimental expressions pe-
culiar to the Alligator Lake site. If and when they are
found on additional sites, they might be granted type status.
Only Area "A" of the 1961 excavations provided enough
data for a valid ceramic seriation chart. This is presented
in Figure 9.
The overall order of frequency of occurence of the vari-
ous ceramic types at WL-29 is presented in Table 4.
Although the Alexander Series sherds were present in
quantity in Area "A", it is the greater quantities in Area
"B" and the surface collection which made this series the
third most prevalent type at this site.
TABLE 4. OVERALL FREQUENCY OF CERAMIC TYPES AT WL-29
1. Orange Fiber Tempered Plain 396 37.5%
2. Sand Tempered Plain 258 24.5
3. Alexander Series 157 14.9
4. Deptford Series 155 14.7
5. Blakely Complicated Stamped 24 2.3
6. French Fork (?) Incised 20 1.9
7. Semi-Fiber Tempered Plain 15 1.5
All others 30 2.8
Total 1,055 100.0%
Fiber Tempered Ware
Of the 1055 sherds recovered at this site, 396 were fi-
ber tempered and 15 more were classified as semi-fiber tem-
pered. Together these represent 39% of the ceramics found
there. It is considered unusual and very significant that
65% of the sherds from Level 2, Area "A" were fiber tempered.
0 0 <0
0.4 4 44 4
*0 @ 0 CO
cc u m
-4 a e
Fe c0 0
I @3 @3 '4-4
(U '0 'I U3
e w w
Level #2. (330
0 50.% ioo%
The fiber tempered ware from this site is generally
a dull red to orange on exterior and interior surfaces. The
cores are generally black and very contorted. About one
third of the sherds tend toward gray cores. The amount of
small diameter cylindrical fiber is considerable and fairly
constant. (Fig. 10)
Vessel forms are flat bottomed bowls with outsloping
sides. No tetrapods or appendages were detected. Basal
sherds, which are flat, tend to be thick and at the corners
where they turn up to start the sides; the thickness may
reach as much as one inch. The rims are tapered thin lead-
ing to a squared off lip with about 1/8" to 3/16" of flat
area at the top. Decorations appear to be completely absent
from all fiber tempered and semi-fiber tempered sherds.
Various archaeologists have classified this fiber tem-
pered ware as Orange Plain, Stallings' Island and St. Sim-
ons. Bullen and Ford (private communication) have called it
Orange Plain and stated that they can trace a more or less
continuous connection between the St. Johns River and Choc-
tahatchee Bay via Orange Plain sherds. However, the classi-
fication of Orange Plain must remain tentative because large
quantities have not been properly compared. A new type
"Norwood Plain" is being established which may better fit
the description of the sherds from WL-29.
This series which is considered native to the Pickwick
Basin in Northern Alabama and Tennessee is represented by
157 sherds at WL-29. This includes several variants which
are judged to be local and not defined in the literature.
Willey (1949) identified Alexander Incised as occurring
on the Gulf Coast at the Carrabelle Cemetery Site (Fr-2) in
association with Deptford Period sherds. He makes the point
that the material excavated there is distinct and different
from any of the more commonly recognized ceramic complexes.
This same comment might now be applied to Alligator Lake
which also has Alexander and Deptford components plus fiber
tempered pottery and a complex related to Poverty Point.
The only potter's tool needed to make the classic Alex-
ander Series of pottery in the Pickwick Basin was a stick
for compacting the coils or annular rings and for incising,
punctating and rim notching. However, it appears that when
the Alexander ceramics reached the Gulf Coast, the use of
shells and fabric materials (cord and close netting) were
added to the pottery techniques.
This use of shells and the cord wrapped stick was first
observed by Wimberly (1953a) who defined three decorated
Bayou La Batre types. More recently DeJarnette (1962)
pointed out the similarity between Alexander and Bayou La
Batre of the Mobile area. He relates both of these to the
Tchefuncte ceramics which come along considerably later in
Alexander and Bayou La Batre have common vessel forms
with tetrapod legs. No radiocarbon dates are available for
Alexander ceramics but Trickey (personal communication) has
radiocarbon dates for Bayou La Batre of 580 B.C.t 200 years.
There is little or no trace of the Bayou La Batre types
as defined by Wimberly at the Alligator Lake site except for
4 sherds of a cord wrapped stick impressed variety. Wimber-
ly defined a type known as Bayou La Batre Cord Wrapped Dowel
Impressed based on a collection of only 12 sherds in 1953.
The type is extremely rare around Mobile Bay (Trickey-person-
al communication) and the appearance of a few sherds of it
at WL-29 may be the first in many years.
Further at Alligator Lake there is a clam shell im-
pressed on Alexander paste which is close to the Bayou La
Batre Scollop Impressed type.
It appears to me that when the Alexander Series ceram-
ics reached the Gulf Coast from its core area in Northern
Alabama, it underwent extensive local modifications as evi-
denced by Bayou La Batre ceramics around Mobile Bay and the
experimental variants now identified at Alligator Lake some
100 miles to the east.
The Alexander Series is well represented in both upper
and lower levels in Area "A". (Fig. 9)
Deptford sherds are the fourth most numerous (155) at
this site being exceeded by the fiber tempered ware, the
plain ware, and the Alexander Series. Deptford Linear Check
Stamped, the marker type in East Florida and Georgia, is
weakly represented in the lower level by only 2 sherds. The
surface collection added only 4 more Linear Check Stamped to
the site total.
The Deptford Bold Check Stamped type with 4 to 6 checks
per inch is the most popular of the Deptford Series at Alli-
gator Lake as it was in the oldest levels at the Tucker site.
Deptford Simple Stamped is also present in some strength
at WL-29. Based on the very limited stratigraphic data from
Area "A" it is coeval with the Bold Check Stamped type.
Large sections of three Deptford Bold Check Stamped
bowls were recovered at the site one in area "A" and two
in Area "B", all broken in situ. Careful reconstruction in-
dicates the size and shape. These semi-restored vessels are
now in the custody of the Temple Mound Museum at Fort Walton
Table No. 5 gives the data acquired through the recon-
struction of these vessels. Figure 12 shows the reconstruc-
ted bowl identified as No. 2 in Table 5. All three vessels
were constructed by the coiling method. Coil fractures are
evident. In spite of the medium hardness classification all
absorb water into the paste very quickly. This is also a
characteristic of the Alexander pottery at this site. None
TABLE 5 CHARACTERISTICS OF DEPTFORD BOLD CHECK STAMPED
VESSELS AT WL-29
1 2 3
Checks per inch 4 5-6 7
Rim Diameter 10oy 7" 9"
Maximum Diameter 11 8" ?
Depth ? 5V" ?
Width of Rim Fold '" V' V'
Lip Shape Round Round Round
Flare of Rim Pointed Pointed Pointed
Out In In
Color Red to Black to Black
Found in Area A B B
Vessel No. 1 is sand tempered with a few sherd or clay
temper particles detectable in the paste. This is the vessel
dated by radiocarbon techniques. The outer surface is fired
a dark red to tan. It is somewhat charcoal encrusted in a
band around the maximum diameter indicating its use on a
fire. The interior surface is a uniform tan and the core is
black. There is no incised line per se below the rim fold.
The lip fold is smooth and plain indicating that the check
stamping was applied before the rim fold was finalized. On
the base sherds of this vessel there is a definite pattern
which is not check stamping but the impression of a mat
which employed the twining process. The check stamping
Fig. 12 Alexander Period Sherds from WL-29. Left: Clam
Shell variant of Bayou La Batre Scollop Impressed.
Right: Bayou La Batre Cord Wrapped Dowel Impressed.
I I I| I
Fig. 13 Section of Deptford Bold Checkstamped Bowl re-
covered at WL-30. (Vessel #2, Table 5)
fades out just above the mat impressions. The latter covers
an area of 4 inches in diameter.
Benson (1959) reported twined mat or basket impressions
on St. Johns Plain sherds at the Tick Island site in Volusia
County. Orange Plain ware has also been found with similar
impressions. On Vessel #1 from Alligator Lake the space be-
tween the centerlines of parallel foundation strands was
measured to be 8.0 mm. indicating that the foundation
strands were 5.0 to 6.0 mm in width. The spacing between
rows of the two pliable strands was measured as 11 mm. indi-
cating an open twining type of mat or basket. This feature
of mat impressed bottoms is one of the diagnostic traits of
a "Transitional Period" as defined by Bullen (1959) which he
places between 1,000 B.C. and 500 B.C. This is consistent
with the radiocarbon dating of 610 B.C. t 80 years for ves-
Other Decorated Types
West Florida Cord Marked (Early) and Pasco Check Stamped
are present in very small quantities. The Blakely Complica-
ted Stamped vessel and the vessel which resembles French
Fork Incised (both restorable) appear to be intrusive in
this site and probably come from the Grayton Site (WL-69)
some 400 yards away.
Very Gritty Temper Plain Ware
There are some 81 sherds which have excessive amounts
of coarse sand and grit as temper. All are plain. These are
the most gritty sherds I have ever observed. They tend to
crumble with handling and I doubt that a very satisfactory
vessel could be made from this paste. They might be called
O'Neal Plain (Alexander Series) but the grit is more typical
of Bayou La Batre Plain. I have chosen to leave them in a
category by themselves.
Normal Sand Temper Plain Ware
These sherds were closely examined to sort out sherd
or clay tempered specimens. Sand tempered plain sherds are
best represented in the upper level of Area "A". I would
associate them with the Deptford Series except that Willey
(1949) defined the St. Marks Plain as being sand-and-clay or
sand-and-sherd tempered. Since these are only sand tempered
I am at a loss to call them anything. A large number of
these plain sherds were broken along the coils indicating a
poor or undeveloped welding technique.
Sand-and Sherd Tempered Plain
Surface collections produced 8 sherds which fit Willey's
definition of St. Marks Plain based on the clay or sherd par-
tides in the paste.
Sand Tempered-Smooth Plain Ware
This is included as a heading to permit comparison with
Sears' (1963) classifications at the Tucker Site on Alliga-
tor Harbor, Franklin Co., Fla. A total of 24 were identi-
fied. In Area "A" there were more in the lower level than
the top but the quantities are so small that I attach no sig-
nificance to this seriation at WL-29.
Dating the Site
The best evidence as the antiquity of this site comes
from two radiocarbon samples (charcoal).
One was obtained in direct association with the Deptford
Bold Check Stamped vessel from Pits II and III of Area "A",
previously described. This sample was processed by Geochron
Laboratories (their sample No. GX0155) and Florida State Uni-
versity sample No. 64-3. The date obtained was 2,575 years
B.P. 80 years (610 B.C.t 80 years). This is based upon
a "Libby half life" of 5,570 years for Carbon 14. The error
stated is sigma as judged by the analytical data alone.
The second charcoal sample was obtained in Area "B"
from a surface which contained fiber tempered sherds, an
Elliott's Point spheroidall) clay ball, and sherds of the
Alexander net-impressed vessel (fig. 6). This sample was
processed at Florida State University (sample No. Ac-32) and
yielded a date of 3,135 years B.P. T 125 years (1,170 B.C.
t 125 years).
This early date seems more compatible with the fiber
tempered sherds and the Elliott's Point clay ball than with
the Alexander sherds which were present. However, no radio-
carbon dates are yet available for Alexander Series ceramics
elsewhere for comparison.
Fairbanks' (1959) radiocarbon dating of plain spherical
clay balls, which he interpreted as a late manifestation of
the Elliott's Point Complex at Four Mile Village Site is
10.3 miles west of Alligator Lake along the coast.
Another somewhat relevant radiocarbon date was obtained
from charcoal consolidated from the Mound fill and the sub-
mound level at the Oakland Mound (Je-53) near Tallahassee,
Fla. and reported by Morrell (1960). Deptford Bold Check
Stamped vessels with tetrapods were recovered from this
mound. A date of 890 B.C. was obtained but since the sample
was mixed the only interpretation possible is that the mound
was not earlier than this date.
From these radiocarbon dates and the data on sea levels
relative to this site, it appears that it was established by
people of the Elliott's Point complex and others of the fib-
er tempered ceramic tradition about 3,100 years ago. (circa
Based on the general sequence of ceramic development in
the Southeast as known today and upon the evidence from this
site, I believe that some Alexander potters (or their tech-
nology, at least) reached this site from Northern Alabama
several centuries later. The pre-Alexander occupation of
the site must have been intermittent or by a small popula-
tion based on the thinness of the midden deposit and the
nearly uniform distribution of the Alexander type sherds in
levels 1 and 2 of Area "A".
After the sea level stabilized at about the time this
was first occupied, the sand dunes continued a slow expan-
sion northeasterly toward the site. These dunes reached
this site and sealed it off early in the Deptford Period
(circa 600 B.C.)
The introduction of the Alexander sand tempered ceramic
technology (possibly about 850 B.C.) along the Gulf Coast
seems to have triggered some dynamic changes in the cultural
materials which generally define the "Ceramic Horizon".
Review of Fiber Tempered Ceramic Sites on the Gulf Coastal
Plain East of the Mississippi River
A search of the literature and site cards indicates
that there is a continuum of fiber tempered ceramic sites
from the vicinity of Alligator Lake in the Choctawhatchee
Bay area, eastward to the Oakland Mound (Je-53) which is
east of Tallahassee. There are 25 recorded sites which have
fiber tempered ceramic components in the Choctawhatchee Bay
area and eastward for 170 miles along the Gulf Coastal Plain.
The largest gap between sites is about 60 miles.
In Okaloosa and Walton Counties, where attention has
been given to locating sites with fiber tempered ceramic com-
ponents, a total of 13 is known. These are included in the
25 mentioned above.
To the east of Choctawhatchee Bay, Kelly (1959), report-
ing on the Chattahoochee River Basin sites stated, "Fiber
temper occurs over the whole middle Chattahoochee region."
He indicated that it is the Stallings Island variety and
mentioned two sites, Halloca and Upatoi, where fiber tem-
pered sherds were found in a stratigraphic sequence.
Bullen (1958) found fiber temper sherds at three sites
in the Jim Woodruff Reservoir area at the junction of the
Chattahoochee, Flint and Apalachicola Rivers. Zone 9 at
Site JA-5 produced 88.1% fiber tempered sherds in associa-
tion with St. Johns Series sherds and steatite bowl frag-
ments. There were 186 fiber tempered sherds which Bullen
classified as "Orange Plain". These were beneath and sepa-
rated from a Deptford layer. His excavations involved some
300 square feet of surface. At the other two sites he re-
ported only minor traces of Orange Period sherds.
To the west of Choctawhatchee Bay, the data on sites
with fiber tempered ceramic components are sparce indeed.
Only six could be located on the Gulf Coastal Plain between
Choctawhatchee Bay and the Mississippi River. Poverty Point
which is on the west side of the Mississippi was included.
The gaps between sites run as high as 100 miles.
One of these sites, on which a final report could not
be located, is the Wills Site near Jackson, Miss. Rands
(1958) preliminarily reported that in the lowest level he
found 44% fiber tempered pottery and that this was in asso-
ciation with numerous Poverty Point type objects. Bayou La
Batre, Tchula and Tchefuncte sherds were in the upper levels.
The total sherd count at that time was 196. It appears that
this site may have much in common with the Alligator Lake
Another site of consequence to the west of Choctawhat-
chee Bay is known as Bryants Landing #3 on the Tensaw River
about 20 miles up from its mouth. Here Trickey (personal
communication) has recently found fiber tempered pottery in
association with a variant type of "clay ball" but there
were no other typical Poverty Point objects present. A ra-
diocarbon date derived from shells and corrected for recent
shell in this area, was 2540 B.P.- 200 years. (circa 580 B.
C.) A few plain Bayou La Batre sherds were in the same lev-
el with the fiber tempered sherds and there were more in the
level above. Later ceramic types were in levels further
toward the surface. This site does demonstrate fiber tem-
pered ceramics in association with a type of clay ball and
also with Bayou La Batre, which appears to be a Gulf Coast
variant of the Alexander Series.
Ford and Webb reported only 32 fiber tempered sherds at
Poverty Point of which 12 came from the surface. Since no
fiber was used in making the thousands of clay balls, the
figurines or the clay tubular pipes at Poverty Point, they
suggest that the fiber tempered pottery in very small quanti-
ties came into this site as finished vessels from the Tennes-
see Valley along with the more numerous steatite vessels.
Table 6 shows the location and some other pertinent da-
ta considered in this review of fiber tempered ceramic sites
in Northwestern Florida, Western Georgia, Southern Alabama,
Southern Mississippi and Eastern Louisiana.
Since fiber tempered ceramics are unquestionably the
earliest type in the southeast, we must realize that we are
dealing with people who are only starting to give up a no-
madic existence. The presence of even small quantities of
fiber tempered sherds on a site is ample evidence that our
erstwhile nomads were there or that their trader contacts
were there spreading the fiber tempered technology. We can-
not expect many sites where we have large concentrations of
fiber tempered ceramics such as Alligator Lake since we are
dealing with a relatively small population which was proba-
bly not sedentary. Therefore the discovery of a "closed
site" where fiber tempered ware is a dominant type in asso-
ciation with other ceramic and non-ceramic cultures is in-
Phelps (1964) has stated that "where changes have occur-
red which sparked new configurations...., they have resulted
from the accumulated knowledge of several groups whose
expanded communication nets joined by accident of proximity,
and this led to a combination of knowledge resulting in the
I consider Alligator Lake to fall into a category which
I would call "Pivotal Sites". A pivotal site is one into
which two or more coeval cultures come and cohabitate and
from which we may expect new cultural manifestations to flow.
The Late Archaic Period
At the Alligator Lake site, we observe the unusual
situation of two Late Archaic Cultures, having widely sepa-
rated points of origin, mingling in the lower level.
On the one hand, the Elliott's Point Complex, a variant
phase of the Poverty Point Culture, is present in strength
with spheroidal ridged clay balls, classic Jaketown micro-
liths, typical Poverty Point gorgets, a plummet and crude
copper beads. There is little doubt that this cultural com-
ponent at the site stems from the west. There is a good
continuum of Poverty Point-like sites on Mobile Bay and the
Lake Pontchartrain area where Gagliano (1963) has differen-
tiated an early Bayou Jasmine Phase and a later Garcia Phase
of the Poverty Point Culture. His radiocarbon dates are
TABLE 6 FIBER TEMPERED CERAMIC SITES TO EAST AND WEST OF
CHOCTAWHATCHEE BAY AREA
Percent Related Componants
F.T.Sherds on the Site
"Fiber Temper is widely distributed over
Middle Chattahoochee Basin" Kelly
88.1 St.Johns & Deptford
) 16.7* Deptford
2.0 Poverty Pt.-Deptford
1.8 Weeden Island
7.4 Elliott's Pt.-Deptforc
4.0 Weeden Island I
10.0* Elliott's Pt-Deptford
39-65 Elliott's Pt.-Alex-De;
5) 0.9 Elliott's Pt.-Alex.-DE
) 0.1 Deptford
2.5 Ft. Walton
20.0* Archaic-Elliott's Pt.
2.0 Elliott's Pt.-Deptford
Oakland Mound (Je-53)
W.Goose Creek (Wa-6)
Near St. Marks (Wa-7)
Tan Vat (Ja-18)
Marianna Caverns (Ja-
Nine Mile Pt. (Fr.-9)
Top Sail Bluff (Fr.-7)
McQuade Bayou (WL-11)
Eagle Creek (WL-42)
Alligator Lake (WL-29)
Ft. Walton Midden (OK-6
Goodthing Lake (OK-12)
Golf Course I (OK-52)
Shirk Point (OK-53)
Indian Bayou,E. (0K-54)
Bryant's Landing #3
Bayou La Batre Midden
Wills (Hinds Co.)
Bayou Jasmine (St.JohnP
Linsley (Orleans Par.)
Poverty Point (Carroll
Pov.Pt.-Bayou La Batre
Bayou La Batre-Deptford
Pov.Pt.-Bayou La Batre
* : small collections of 50 sherds or less for site.
fully compatible with an 1,170 B.C. date for the Elliott's
Point Complex in Northwest Florida. The fact that the
Louisiana sites of Poverty Point culture have very few or no
fiber tempered sherds seems to rule out the possibility that
this group brought the fiber tempered ceramic technology
with them to Alligator Lake.
In considering where the fiber tempered ceramics at
Alligator Lake did come from, we are not necessarily search-
ing for the origin of the type but from where it could have
reached this site around 1,200 B.C.
Recently serious doubt has been cast upon the indepen-
dent development of fiber tempered ceramics in the Southeast
as propounded by Bullen(1960). The Puerto Hormiga site near
Barranquilla, Colombia has fiber tempered ceramics, both
plain and decorated, as well as overlying sand tempered
wares decorated with shell tools including the jab-and-drag
techniques. The fiber tempered ceramics at Puerto Hormiga
have been dated by the radiocarbon method producing dates of
2,900 B.C. and 2,500 B.C. which are hundreds of years older
than the oldest available dates in the Southeast for similar
materials. Phelps (1964) has proposed that fiber tempered
pottery enters the Southeast along the Gulf Coast over a
land route from Meso-America.
At Alligator Lake, we seem to be dealing with the lat-
ter half of the fiber tempered ceramic times and the deter-
mination of its origins is beyond the scope of this paper.
I have assumed that fiber tempered ceramics reached this
site from the east where larger quantities, more sites and
earlier radiocarbon dates are recorded. There is now a dem-
onstrated continuum of fiber tempered sites to the east of
WL-29 which reaches to this Southeastern fiber tempered
"core area". Similar evidence is grossly lacking to the
west and north at this time.
The Transitional Period
This period as defined by Bullen (1958) for eastern
Florida is not well represented at Alligator Lake in terms
of his definition of period characteristics, although two
are identifiable. These are the semi-fiber tempered sherds
in the lower level and the mat impression on the base of the
Deptford Bold Check Stamped vessel previously discussed.
The Transitional Period if one exists at Alligator
Lake seems to be best represented by the presence of the
Alexander Series and the associated experimental types of
ceramics. The latter are exactly what should be expected in
a period of change for it is out of these that inventions
As previously noted none ofthe Alexander or Bayou La
Batre ceramic types requires a paddle in the manufacturing
process. Further it is obvious that the annular ring or
coiling technique was used by the Alexander potters at Alli-
gator Lake. The same is true for the Bayou La Batre Series
which Wimberly (1953) defines as an annular ring or coiled
Therefore the Alexander Series, including the Bayou La
Batre variant, must post-date the invention of the coiling
technique and appears to pre-date the invention of the pad-
Just how the Alexander ware gets to the Gulf Coast
sites is not clear at this time, but it is obviously there
in quantity. Ford and Webb (1956) were sure there were
trade routes between the Tennessee Valley and Poverty Point
in the time period of 800 B.C. to 600 B.C. because of the
stone materials found at Poverty Point. If one such route
came out of the Tennessee Valley it is likely that others
did also and that one of these got to the Gulf Coast in the
Mobile Bay Choctawhatchee Bay region by the time that Al-
exander Series pottery was being made.
Deptford paddle stamped ceramics dominate the upper lev-
el at the Alligator Lake Site. The Bold Check Stamped ves-
sel with the mat impressions on the bottom is probably the
earliest dated ceramic object in the Deptford Series. (610
B.C.t 80 years)
Sears (1963) conducted extensive excavations at the
Tucker Site with particular emphasis on the Deptford middens
there. Sears states that he did not believe that he had the
earliest levels of the Deptford development at the Tucker
site. In contrast, I believe that at Alligator Lake there
is only the earliest phase of the Deptford ceramics present
in the upper level.
For example on the subject of shell in the midden,
Sears observed that at Tucker shells were most frequent in
the Deptford Period. The very small amount of shell in the
Alligator Lake midden points to an economy more oriented
toward hunting and fishing. Later when the Deptford popula-
tion expanded, as it obviously did, shell fish may have been
added through necessity. Practically all of the other Dept-
ford middens in Walton, Okaloosa, and Santa Rosa Counties
contain considerable quantities of shell.
The ceramic sequences at Tucker and Alligator Lake ob-
viously will not fit one another due to the heavy concentra-
tions of fiber tempered ware and Alexander Series ceramics
at WL-29. Sears recovered only 13 fiber tempered sherds out
of 8,086 at Tucker. However, more recently Phelps (personal
communication) reports recovering 205 fiber tempered sherds
of which 33 are simple stamped at the Tucker site.
However, there does appear to be correlation in the
Deptford Bold Check Stamped type. Sears at Tucker found
that checks of the 4-6 per inch variety dominated his lowest
levels and he left his ceramic seriation chart open ended
for this type at the bottom level. In the upper level at
Alligator Lake, Deptford Bold Check Stamped in the 4-6 per
inch is dominant among decorated types. This is consistent
with Sears findings at Tucker.
The Deptford Series of pottery, first reported on the
Georgia Coast, has been somewhat of an enigma as it appears
fully developed and often directly above fiber tempered ware
in Eastern Florida and Georgia. It has been stated that
Deptford diffused from a core area on the Georgia-Florida
Coast to the south and west reaching the Gulf Coast in only
limited quantity and range. Deptford Series ceramics are
now reported on sites from Mobile Bay to Tampa Bay on the
Gulf Coast showing a much wider geographical range than was
suspected which it was documented on the Georgia Coast.
For example, in Mobile County, Ala., six of 10 sites
reported by Wimberly (1960) had sand tempered Bold Check
Stamped, Linear Check Stamped and/or Simple Stamped sherds
in quantity. Wimberly did not always call these Deptford
but frequently used the terms, "Residual Check Stamped, Resi-
dual Linear Check Stamped," etc. It seems highly probable
that these "off beat" stamped sherds represent the experi-
mental Deptford wares.
Of the six sites, there were 4 which had Bayou La Batre
components ranging from 0.6% to 64.5% but in general the
sand tempered stamped sherds exceeded the Bayou La Batre
Similarly, in Clarke County, Ala., seven of 8 sites re-
ported by Wimberly had sand tempered Bold Check Stamped, Lin-
ear Check Stamped and Simple Stamped sherds which were
called either Deptford, McLeod Deptford, or "Residual". Two
of the 7 sites also had traces of Bayou La Batre (less than
1%). One had a trace of Alexander ceramics (0.01%).
In the light of recent data on the range of the Dept-
ford sites on the Gulf Coast and particularly in the Mobile
Bay area plus the data now available from the Alligator Lake
site, it seems appropriate to consider whether Deptford
ceramics may have originated along the Gulf Coast and dif-
fused eastward as a fully developed type stemming from the
invention of the paddle as a potter's tool in a dynamic mix-
ing area of the sixth to eighth century B.C.
An Hypothesis Alexander Ceramics, and its Gulf Coast vari-
ant, Bayou La Batre are the Precursors of
the Deptford Series Pottery.
The artifact assemblages from the Alligator Lake Site
clearly indicate that this site spans from Late Archaic Cul-
tures into the Deptford Ceramic Period. The "Ceramic Hori-
zon" is reached and passed at this "closed site." (Fig. 14)
As of now, the Alligator Lake site provides the follow-
1. This site has more fiber tempered pottery in a stra-
tigraphic sequence than any yet discovered on the Gulf
2. This site contains a very representative collection
of the Elliott's Point Complex and shows this Complex
to be a close derivative of the Poverty Point Culture
of southeastern Louisiana.
3. These manifestations of two distinct Late Archaic
Cultures are stratigraphically associated in the lower
level indicating cohabitation on this site as early as
4. A third cultural manifestation, in the form of Alex-
ander Series Ceramics usually associated with the Tenne-
ssee River Valley, appears on this site in quantity. In
addition to the classic Alexander sand tempered types,
there are obvious experimental forms involving differ-
ent potter's tools and the use of textiles in pottery
5. The Deptford ceramic sequence is fully represented
in the upper level at this site with an early date for
Deptford (610 B.C. + 80 years).
6. The site was abandoned during the Deptford Period
because of the encroachment of the sand dunes along the
Gulf Coast closing the site until relatively recent
C-14 Date 610 B.C.
C-14 Date 720 B.C.
C-14 Date 1,170 B.C.
C-14 Date 580 B.C.
C-14 Date 1,740 B.C.
C-14 Date 1,200 B.C.
I SWIFT CR.
BLA TCREF iNCTE
BATRE (to West)
500 0 500
B.C. B.C. A.D. A.D.
80 yrs. at WL-29
150 yrs at WL-25 (10 mi.West of WL-29) Fairbanks (1959)
125 yrs at WL-29
200 yrs at Bryant's Landing,Mobile Area. Trickey (1963)
130 yrs at Lindsley Site, La. Gagliano (1963)
250 yrs at Chattahoochee (J-5) Bullen (1958
Fig. 14 Some Time Relationships of Cultures along the Gulf Coast Illustrating
the Pivotal Nature of the Alligator Lake Site (WL-29).
7. The small amount of shell in the midden at this
site does not make it directly comparable with other
sites in the area. However, the shallowness (average
about 7 inches) suggests a small early population with
an increase upon arrival of the Alexander potters (or
their technology) to account for rather uniform distri-
bution of Alexander sherds in both upper and lower lev-
els. The density of the artifacts is about one per
From a study of the ceramic types involved it seems clear
1. Neither the Alexander nor Bayou La Batre Series of
ceramics require a paddle in their manufacturing pro-
cesses. Both use an annular ring or coiling technique.
2. The only obvious tool used in making Alexander pot-
tery in its "core area" is a stick for incising, punc-
tating and possibly forming and compacting the paste.
When this technology reached the Gulf Coast, scallop
shells and a cord wrapped dowel or stick were added to
create the Bayou La Batre variant. Bayou La Batre
paste is also modified by adding large grit particles
in the Mobile Bay area. Elsewhere to the east of Mo-
bile Bay, the Alexander ceramics show experimentation
with clam shells as a potter's tool and the use of
close netting impressed around the rim. The tetrapods
and vessel forms of Alexander are adopted into Bayou
3. The decorative patterns in Bayou La Batre, produced
by scallop shells and cord wrapped sticks closely re-
sembling Bold Check Stamping and Linear Stamping as
done with a paddle.
4. The fiber tempered ware at WL-29 contains evidence
of small diameter cylindrical fibers used quite liber-
ally in the paste. This implies an East Coast origin.
This observation is reinforced by a trail of fiber tem-
pered ceramic sites eastward from the Choctawhatchee
5. The Deptford ceramics at this site are well devel-
oped employing the paddling technique of surface finish.
6. Bayou La Batre occurs on several sites in Alabama
and Mississippi with plain fiber tempered pottery and
occasionally with Poverty Point objects. (Table 6).
Bayou La Batre and Deptford do occur together at the
Bayou La Batre Midden (type site) and at the Myers site
on the southeastern side of Mobile Bay. At both of
these Bayou La Batre is dominant over Deptford in the
sherd count. At the Terry Cove Mound site on the Per-
dido River in Baldwin County, Alabama and at the Big
Heart Site (SA-22) east of Pensacola, Deptford sherds
outnumber Bayou La Batre about 10 to 1. The Big Heart
site is just 55 miles west of Alligator Lake.
7. Bayou La Batre, per se, is lacking at WL-29 but a
cord wrapped stick impressed type is present in small
quantity on typical Alexander paste.
8. Alexander Series ceramics occur as far east as the
Carrabelle Cemetery Site (Fr-2). They have also been
found in the Montgomery, Alabama area as part of the
Cobb's Swamp Complex. (DeJarnette- personal communica-
It is therefore proposed that the paddling technique
was invented during the time span of the Alligator Lake site
but definitely not at this site. The three decorated types
of Deptford are considered to be the mass produced (paddled)
equivalents of Bayou La Batre Stamped, Bayou La Batre Cord
Wrapped Dowel Impressed and a plain stick impression which
can be traced back to the technique used to make Elliott's
Point clay balls and also employed by fiber tempered ceramic
artisans at the Tucker site (Norwood Simple Stamped). All
these decorative and welding techniques for coiled ceramics
were known to the potters living in the Mobile Bay Pensa-
cola Bay area setting the stage for the development of Dept-
ford paddled wares in the region.
This period of innovation on the Gulf Coast would start
with the arrival of the Alexander ceramic types through mi-
gration or diffusion to the Gulf Coast. This technology in-
cludes the annular ring or coiling technique. It continues
through a period of time with experiments with shells,sticks
and textiles to improve compaction and welding of the paste
and to secondarily provide durable and attractive surface
finishes. The breakage in firing was no doubt reduced by
improved welding by the slow Bayou La Batre techniques and
then by the incised paddles which produced the same benefi-
cial effects including the surface decoration more efficient-
ly. The period ends with the invention of the paddle. The
time between the start and end might only be a few genera-
tions confined to a small geographical area but it repre-
sents a great technological change in ceramics.
It is of necessity a brief period to permit Deptford to
spring fully developed with three decorated types out of
Bayou La Batre and Alexander.
With the creation of the Deptford ceramic types, it is
visualized that this new cultural achievement quickly flowed
back along the fiber tempered "trail" to the East. This
would seem to satisfactorily explain the presence of fully
developed Deptford on most of these fiber tempered sites
which has been a matter of concern in the past.
Deptford would therefore reach the core area of the fi-
ber tempered ceramic tradition on the East Coast in the form
of a "technological breakthrough". A vastly superior ceram-
ic product should be readily accepted by people who had been
working in clay for centuries.
To complete this hypothesis, I suggest that the non-cer-
amic cultures to the west of Mobile Bay were slower to
accept any ceramics. The Late Archaic Period continued
there until Tchefuncte evolved from late Bayou La Batre sev-
eral hundred years later. The earliest date given by Ford
and Webb (1956) for Tchefuncte is 240 B.C. 110 years.
The tetrapod bases of Alexander and Bayou La Batre ves-
sels carried over into Deptford but became recessive. When
Tchefuncte emerged from Bayou La Batre the tetrapods went
with it and became elaborate and dominant.
To the north of Mobile Bay along the Tombigbee River,
the McLeod Deptford Series compliments this hypothesis if
considered a "sister" type to the Deptford which moved east-
ward along the Gulf Coast.
The author is appreciative of the assistance rendered
him by many persons and institutions in the collection, anal-
ysis of data, and presentation of the findings from this
site. Mr. Edward Clarno reported the site and made his
first collections available. Mr. Gerald Spence and Mr. Jack
Webb contributed materially in the collection and excavation
phases of the project. Drs. William H. Sears, Ripley P. Bul-
len and Charles H. Fairbanks examined the artifacts soon af-
ter the excavations and provided the initial clues as to the
nature of the site. Later, Drs. James A. Ford and Ripley P.
Bullen assisted in the identification of the fiber tempered
ware. The Department of Anthropology and Archaeology of
Florida State University provided the funds for the radiocar-
bon dating. Dr. Bruce Trickey assisted by distinguishing be-
tween Alexander and Bayou La Batre ceramic types from this
site. Mr. Nicholas Holmes provided a representative collec-
tion of Bayou La Batre sherds for comparison. Dr. David De-
Jarnette and the staff at the University of Alabama Museum
provided data on distribution of Wheeler and Alexander
Series ceramics and examples of the Wheeler types for com-
parison. Drs. Hale G. Smith and David S. Phelps of Florida
State University, Dr. Charles H. Fairbanks of the University
of Florida and Dr. Ripley P. Bullen of the Florida State
Museum critiqued a draft summary of this paper in advance of
final preparation. To all of these the author expresses
Benson Carl A.
1959 Some Pottery Contributions to Early Fabric Tech-
niques. Fla. Anthrop. Vol. XIII No. 3 pp 57-60
Bullen, Ripley P.
1958 Six Sites near the Chattahotchee River in the Jim
Woodruff Reservoir Area, Florida. Bureau of Ameri-
can Ethnology Bulletin 169, pp 315-8.
1959 The Transitional Period in Florida. Southeastern Ar-
chaeological Conference 15th Newsletter Vol VI.
Chapel Hill, N.C.
1960 The Earliest Pottery in the Southeastern United
States 2000-1000 B.C. and its Case as an Indepen-
dent Invention. Actes du VI Congress International
de Sciences Anthropologiques et Ethnologiques, Bol.
1 Tome II, pp 364-67, Paris.
Cambron and Hulse
1964 Handbook of Alabama Archaeology Part I Point Types.
Archaeological Research Association of Alabama, Inc.
DeJarnette, David L. Kurjack, Edward B. Cambron, James W.
1962 Stanfield-Worley Bluff Shelter Excavations. Journ-
al of Alabama Archaeology, Vol. VII Nos. 1 & 2,
Fairbanks, Charles H.
1959 Additional Elliott's Point Complex Sites Fla. An-
throp. Vol. XII No 4 pp 95-100 (Dec) Gainesville,
Ford, James A. and Webb, Clarence H.
1956 Poverty Point, A Late Archaic Site in Louisiana.
Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of
Natural History. Vol. 46, Pt. 1, New York.
Gagliano, Sherwood M.
1963 A Survey of Preceramic Occupations in Portions of
South Louisiana and South Mississippi. Fla. Anthrop.
Vol. XVI No. 4 (Dec) Gainesville, Fla.
Kelly, Arthur R.
1959 Early Woodland Profiles in the Middle Chattahoochee.
Southeastern Archaeological Conference 15th News-
letter Vol. VI. Chapel Hill, N.C.
Lazarus, William C.
1958 A Poverty Point Complex in Florida. Fla. Anthrop.
Vol. VI, No. 1 (Feb) pp 23-32, Gainesville, Fla.
1965 Effects of Land Subsidence and Sea Level Changes on
Elevation of Archaeological Sites of the Florida
Gulf Coast. Fla. Anthrop. Vol. XVIII No. 1 (March)
Lewis, T.M.N. and Lewis, Madeline Kneberg
1960 Aaron B. Clement Collection. Tenn. Archaeologist
Vol. XVI No. 1 Knoxville, Tenn.
1961 Eva, An Archaic Site. University of Tennessee Study
in Anthropology, Knoxville, Tenn.
Morrell, L. Ross
1960 Oakland Mound (Je 53), Florida. Fla. Anthrop. Vol.
XIII No. 4 (Dec) Gainesville, Fla.
Phelps, David S.
1964 The Final Phases of the Eastern Archaic. Disserta-
tion, Tulane Univ. New Orleans, La.
1959 The Wills Site: Poverty Point-Woodland Remains on
the Pearl River, Mississippi. Southeastern Archaeo-
logical Conference 15th Newsletter Vol. VI, Chapel
Hill, N. C.
Sears, William H.
1959 Transition on the Gulf Coast. Southeastern Archaeo-
logical Conference 15th Newsletter, Vol. VI, Chapel
Hill, N. C.
1963 The Tucker Site on Alligator Harbor, Franklin
County, Florida. Contributions of the Florida State
Museum, Social Sciences No. 9, Gainesville, Fla.
1958 A Chronological Framework for the Mobile Bay Region.
Am. Antiquity Vol. 23, No. 4
Willey, Gordon R.
1949 Archaeology of the Florida Gulf Coast. Smithsonian
Misc. Coll. Vol. 113 Washington, D.C.
Wimberly, Stephen B.
1953a Bayou La Batre Tchefuncte Series. Prehistoric Pot-
tery, Eastern United States, Univ. of Mich., Ann
1953b McLeod Deptford Series. Prehistoric Pottery,Eastern
United States, Univ. of Mich. Ann Arbor, Mich.
1960 Indian Pottery from Clarke County and Mobile County,
Southern Alabama. Alabama Museum of Natural History
Museum Paper 36, University, Ala.
1959 The Transition Between Archaic and Woodland Cul-
tures in the Northeast and the Mississippi Basin.
Southeastern Archaeological Conference 15th Newslet-
ter, Vol. VI, Chapel Hill, N. C.
TABBY RUIN TEST EXCAVATION
DE SOTO NATIONAL MEMORIAL, FLORIDA
Lloyd M. Pierson
Two test pits revealed typical tabby con-
struction of the ruin on Shaw Point near the mouth
of Manatee River. Identifiable ceramics were all
of English types, largely transfer-printed, and
seemed to date from the period 1843-1856. It is
concluded that the ruin is that of William H. Shaw
who homesteaded the area.
For many years it has been known that on Shaw Point,
now located in De Soto National Memorial, there is an intri-
guing old ruined building made of tabby. The old ruin is
buried back among the mangroves, seagrapes and strangler
figs about 100 feet from the shore of the Manatee River and
some 100 yards from the tip of Shaw Point. The Manatee Riv-
er at this point is just about to enter Tampa Bay a quarter
of a mile further downstream.
The stories concerning the old tabby ruin are legion
and most romantic, ranging from tales of Spanish missions to
Civil War post offices. Facts about the ruin are practical-
ly nonexistent, however. The need for facts concerning the
tabby ruin so that we could determine its significance and
decide whether or not to incorporate it in the park inter-
pretive program was the motivation for the test excavation
of the tabby ruin. The two tests were accomplished on March
3 and 4, 1964 under my supervision. Marion Hughes, caretak-
er at the park, and L M Powell provided the manpower. Ralph
Burnworth, local amateur archaeologist, assisted us.
Before we cleared the area for testing, the site of the
tabby ruin was heavily overgrown with large trees and vines.
The top of the wall was visible in several places and large
blocks of the upper portions of the wall lay here and there
over the ruin. The wall outlines indicated a building ap-
proximately 16 feet square, oriented with the cardinal di-
rections. What appeared to be a doorway 44 inches wide was
in the center of the west wall. A huge conical hole made
the entire interior of the ruin look as if an artillery
shell had exploded there. Indications are, from hearsay and
the excavation, that it was a treasure hunters' hole dug
sometime about 1917. The treasure hunter went through the
floor of the ruin and exposed lower sections of the tabby
The Florida Anthropologist, Vol. XVIII, No. 2,June 1965 125
walls and their foundations, especially in the southwest
corner of the ruin. The east and north walls were mostly
It was decided that the most information could be got-
ten by excavating a 3 foot wide trench running at right
angles into the center of the north wall from the outside of
the wall. To supplement this information a 4 foot square
pit was dug inside the building against the north wall oppo-
site the previously dug trench. The 3 foot wide trench is
referred to as "Test A" and the 4 foot square pit as "Test
B". Both tests were excavated by 6 inch levels and the ma-
terial was screened through a -inch screen.
The floor and wall building material used in the ruined
building on Shaw Point is a masonry made of a mixture of
lime, sand, and shell. The resulting masonry made of this
mixture is usually referred to as "tabby". Burned shell was
found in some of the fill material at the Shaw Point tabby
indicating that shell was probably the source of lime here,
as was usually the case with tabby construction. It is also
highly probably that the large Indian shell mound just west
of the tabby ruin furnished most of the shell for the tabby
After the floor and foundation were poured and set the
walls were built up course by course using a system of re-
useable forms. At Shaw Point form boards about 13 to 15 in-
ches wide were used. The technique called for placing the
form boards completely around the building on both sides of
the foundation. The mixture of lime, sand, and shell was
poured between the two form boards. The form boards were se-
cured from spreading under the weight of the mixture at the
top and bottom by pegs about 2 inches square. The pegs left
holes through the wall at the top and bottom of each course.
After the first course hardened the forms were removed and
re-used for the next course immediately on top of the first.
Figure 1 shows a sketch of one of the large blocks of
masonry from the Shaw Point tabby with the course width and
peg spacing quite typical of this ruin. Most of the evi-
dence for the course spacing comes from fallen pieces of
wall like this for only the first course is left on the foun-
dation remains of the building now. The foundation itself
was poured using the natural sand sides of the foundation ex-
cavation for the form. The foundation was a little wider
than the wall that stood on it. The walls uncovered in the
excavation averaged about 14 inches thick.
_-------_--- --------- I
0' I' 2'
BLOCK OF TABBY WITH TWO COURSES AND FORM
In excavating Test B we soon found that the treasure
hunters had been there before us and had dug a hole right
through the floor and the wall of the ruin. our test pit,
the treasure hunters holes and our test trench (Test A) gave
us the cross section in Figure 2. The treasure hunters ac-
complished what we probably would not have attempted. They
dug through the almost 2 feet of solid tabby that made up
the floor of the ruin and gave us the cross section of the
floor as in Figure 2. An interesting offset is noted on the
inside of the wall where it meets the floor. The floor was
badly pitted and sloped downward toward the center of the
ruin. Whether or not the pitting and slope were the original
condition of the floor could not be determined. Some por-
tions of the wall gave indications that the walls had been
fairly smooth originally. Pieces of plaster in the fill may
have come from some of the walls, although impressions of
wood in one of them and the plaster thickness may indicate
that it was a part of the ceiling rather than of the wall.
Tabby construction is of some age according to Manucy
(1953). Manucy derives the American tabby from a Spanish
ancestry via the English. Apparently the English saw it at
St.Augustine and other places and adapted the idea for early
use in their southern American colonies. In the early 1800s
it was re-discovered by an American named Thomas Spalding
who described how to make it in an 1830 article for the
Southern Agriculturist (Floyd, 1937, pp. 77-79). This arti-
cle was the basis for a revival in use of the construction
method and planters from southern Georgia, where Spaulding
lived, brought the idea to Florida. The Manatee River area
of Florida was settled in 1842 with the release of Indian
lands to settlement (McDuffee, 1961, pp. 23-30). Many of
the early Manatee settlers were from northern Florida. Some
of them were familiar with tabby construction, for the two
story Braden Castle, built in 1845 (sign at ruin) or 1850
(McDuffee, 1961, p. 66), was of that type construction.
Braden Castle is located at the junction of the Manatee
River and the Braden River within the present town of Braden-
ton. The construction of Braden Castle followed the same
method that was used in the ruin at Shaw Point. Outside
walls at Braden Castle are about 14 inches thick and course
height varied from 9 to 13 inches with some even higher.
The foundation is wider than the wall it supports with most
of the offset on the inside of the wall as at Shaw Point.
The form spreader peg holes are square at Braden Castle and
vary from 1 inch to 2 plus inches square.
While the items of material culture found in the exca-
TEST B TEST A
BUILDING BUILDING TOP SOIL
WHITE BEACH SAND
I I I
O' I' 2 3'
TABBY TEST CROSS SECTION
vations were not plentiful in terms of absolute numbers they
were plentiful with relation to the small amount of dirt
moved. The information derived from the material culture
items was sufficient to give us an idea of the time and life
when the tabby ruin was in use.
The bulk of the material culture was found in the old
soil level (Soil A in Figure 2) which was the ground level
at the time the tabby was occupied. Some material was scat-
tered through the fill by the treasure hunters' actions.
Both historic and prehistoric ceramics occurred but the
latter were almost all water worn. Indian potsherds are
frequently found mixed in with the beach sands at Shaw Point.
They are quite frequently water worn from wave action as the
sherds from the ruin were. The large shell mound several
hundred yards west of the tabby ruin, now fast eroding away,
accounts for most of them.
Predominent among the historic wares are those of Iron-
stone Ware. Some 47 sherds in a wide range of thickness
were uncovered. Most are from plates and some show signs of
hard usage with many scratches on the surface (Plate A-9).
Next in importance quantity-wise are the transferwares.
A large fragment of a plate with a "Hindustani" scene in a
sepia overglaze has on the reverse side an impressed hall-
mark reading "ADAMs" on it (Plate A-13). The same scene was
found on other sherds but in a black overglaze transfer.
One sherd of a dark blue underglaze Staffordshire transfer-
ware (Plate A-2) and one sherd of a light blue underglaze
pictorial scene of a building (Plate A-4) also were found.
One sherd of what is often referred to as "featheredge"
ware is in the sample. The example is painted in a blue with
a crazed glaze over the paint. The sherd indicated a plate
with a scalloped edge (Plate A-l).
Sherds from a soup plate with a decorated rim were re-
covered. The decoration consisted of a design of green
leaves, blue dots, red and black lines in a pattern not un-
like many of today (Plate A-11). The design was painted be-
fore the glaze was put on.
Another underglazed sherd was striped in brown, gray
and white (Plate A-10). Sherds with a heavy glaze occur in
cream (PLate A-7) and in a lead metallic glaze inside with a
plain gray glaze outside (Plate A-8). Seven sherds of a
ceramic bottle were also found. This apparently is one of
13 14 15
1. Featheredge Ware. 2. Dark Blue Staffordshire. 3. Blue and
Vitreous Mustard on White. 4. Pictorial Transferware in Blue.
5. Porcelain. 6. Ginger Beer Bottle. 7. Tan Glazed. 8. Lead
Gray Glazed. 9. Ironstone Ware. 10. Brown, Gray and White
Striped. 11. Green Leaves, Blue Dots and Red and Black Lines.
12. Bulbous Edged Plain. 13, *Hindustani' Sepia Transferware.
14. Clay Pipe. 15. Pearl Button. Scalet 2/3 Natural.
the bottles called by some a Ginger Beer bottle. The bottle
is 3k inches in diameter and the marks where the potter cut
the bottle from the wheel are quite evident on the bottom.
The bottle is glazed with a tan glaze on the outside and un-
glazed inside (Plate A-6).
Five sherds of porcelain have a light blue tendril de-
sign under the glaze (Plate A-5). Three thin sherds have a
design painted in blue and vitreous mustard on a white back-
ground (Plate A-3).
One large sherd of unglazed pottery is interesting. It
is a rim sherd with a bulbous edee and a raised linear deco-
ration just below the rim (Plate A-12). Several other
sherds of unglazed pottery were found also but they are too
small to be of significance.
The stem of a clay pipe and a portion of a pipe bowl
with stem attached also came from the excavations (Plate A-
14). A spur is present on the heel of the latter example
and both had pipe stem hole diameters of 5/64 inch.
Glass. Glass occurs in clear, dark green, medium green,
light green, purple, brown, and black at the tabby ruins.
It is plentiful and is mostly from broken bottles. Only the
clear pieces are flat which possibly indicates past use as
Plaster. Throughout the fill were pieces of white plaster
made of sand and lime.
Bone. Also scattered through the fill were various animal
bones. Some of the bones are from deer while others are from
large birds. None seem to have been worked upon and proba-
bly represent food remains.
Iron. Several pounds of highly oxidized iron were found in
the excavations. The few pieces that are readily recogniza-
ble indicate that they represent nails, bolts, and wire.
Shell. A mother of pearl button 3/8 inch in diameter with
4 holes less than 3/64 inch in diameter came from Test A
(Plate A-15). One bit of what appeared to be chicken egg
shell was also found.
Stone. A quartz projectile point, crudely chipped and leaf
shaped, one inch wide by one and 3/4 inch long was found. A
piece of red granite and another of black granite came from
the test. These granites are not native to this part of
The ceramic complex, leaving out the Indian wares, seems
to date from the first half of the 19th century. Most of
them appear to be types made in England, including the famed
Staffordshire wares, and traded to the Americas heavily dur-
ing the early 1840's. The transferwares were invented in
England during the late 1700's and reached a peak in popu-
larity about 1840. Among the makers of this type of pottery
was William Adams at Tunstate (Greengates), England. The
hallmark found on the sepia transferware sherd in Test A is
from the Adams plant and Thorn (1947, p.75) identifies this
hallmark as occurring in the first half of the 19th century.
The black transferware is so similar in design that it too
must have come from the Adams plant. The featheredge ware
is another type from the early 19th century. The complex of
wares is very similar to that found by Griffin and Smith
(1962, pp. 31-105) in the early 19th century occupation of
the oldest house in St. Augustine, Florida.
In spite of the dramatic stories concerning the tabby
ruin at Shaw Point, it appears that it was constructed and
occupied during the early American settlement of the Manatee
area in the 1840's and 1850's. Both the ceramic pattern and
the construction method point to this conclusion.
The Spanish conquistadores who visited Florida hardly
spent enough time in one spot to do any permanent building.
Similarly the Spanish and Cuban fishermen and traders of the
18th and 19th centuries on the vest coast of Florida made no
long-lasting structures for they operated at a low economic
level and needed nothing fancy nor permanent for their work.
Lowery (1959, pp. 277-292) tells of the founding of
forts (block-houses) at Carlos Bay and Tampa Bay by Menendez
in 1567. Construction material is not stressed, but most of
the early Spanish buildings were of a perishable type mater-
ial up through the mission period of the late 1600's.
Under British rule Bernard Romans surveyed Tampa Bay in
1769 and reports sinking his boat in the Manatee River (Ro-
mans, 1962, p. Ixxxii) but no mention is made of settlements
on Tampa Bay except the Spanish fishermen's huts on Mullet
There are historical records of an early pre-1840 set-
tlement at the mouth of the Manatee River. This was the
fish camp of an American, one Captain William Bunce, estab-
lished in 1834 (Dodd, 1947, pp. 246-256). Descriptions of
it show it to have been of an impermanent nature and Goggin
(1960, p. 34) considers the camp to have been established on
Snead Island across the mouth of the Manatee River from Shaw
Best indications are that the tabby on Shaw Point was
part of the homestead of William H. Shaw, after whom the
point was named. Shaw's homestead patent is recorded as cer-
tificate number 190 and permit number 301 (Deedbook 29, page
161, Manatee County Clerk's Office). Shaw patented the frac-
tional Sectional 18, which included the point where the tab-
by ruin stands, and the North k of the Northwest 1 of Sec-
tion 19, Township 34 South of Range 17 East; a total of 165.
50 acres. The permit is dated March 25, 1843.
Shaw's home was built of tabby as McDuffee (1961, p. 68)
writes, "Doctor Braden's material was the same as that used
by Robert Gamble, William Shaw, Edmond Lee and possibly
others who doubtless found it cheaper and easier of access
and more durable than wood as well as more resistable to In-
dian attacks". Dr. Braden's material was, of course, tabby,
and the construction of his house and Shaw's was almost i-
dentical in technique. McDuffee (1961, p. 101) also ex-
plains the demise of the Shaw home as follows, "When the In-
dian troubles began in the early part of 1856, the Shaw fam-
ily living at the mouth of the Manatee River, instead of
seeking refuge in the Manatee fort, took up bed and baggage
and moved to Key West, later dismantling their residence and
rafting parts of it to that place." Presumably, the parts
that the Shaws dismantled and rafted to Key West were the
outbuildings and roofing material if the tabby was their
home, as we believe.
Our interpretation of the cross section of Test A, as
shown in Figure 2, indicates that after the occupation of
the tabby as shown by the original ground level (Soil A)
there was a period of complete abandonment as shown by the
fill between Soil A and Soil B.
Soil B we believe to be representative of the period of
transient use during the mid-1860's on, as given in many of
the recollections of "old timers" collected by Jack Leffing-
well and in the De Soto National Memorial files. These re-
collections tell of use of the roofless tabby by fishermen,
cattlemen who had nearby loading docks, and by home guards
during the Civil War. None of the stories report any per-
manent re-use of the building, however. The building fill
is that thrown out during the excavations for treasure dur-
ing the 1917 treasure hunt reported by Leffingwell (De Soto
files). The hole indicated Figure 2 is also a part of
that excavation, for reports are that a trench was run com-
pletely around the building hunting for the loot. Lastly,
the top soil line is of recent origin and represents a natu-
ral accumulation through the years since 1917.
William H. Shaw built a tabby house on the homestead
which he obtained in 1843. He must have built this house
shortly after he obtained the homestead. In 1856 he aban-
doned the house and moved away. During this period of occu-
pation most of the items of material culture that we excava-
ted at the tabby house accumulated in the yard of the house
for it is most likely that the Shaw's house and the tabby we
excavated on what once was Shaw's land are one and the same.
1947 "Captain Bunce's Tampa Bay Fisheries, 1835-1840."
Florida Historical Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 3, pp.
1937 In: E. Merton Coulter (ed.), Georgia's Disputed
Ruins, University of North Carolina Press,Chapel
Goggin, John M.
1960 "The Spanish Olive Jar." Yale University Publi-
cations in Anthropology, No. 62, New Haven.
Griffin, John W.
1962 In: F.C. Gjessing, et al, "Evolution of the Old-
est House". Florida State University Notes in
Anthropology, Vol. 7, Tallahassee.
1959 The Spanish Settlements. Florida, 1562-1574,
Russell and Russell, New York.
McDuffee, Lillie B.
1961 The Lures of Manatee. Foot and Davies, Atlanta.
Manucy, Albert C.
1953 In: American Notes. Journal of the Society of Ar-
chitectural Historians, Vol. 11, No. 4.
1962 A Concise Natural History of East and West Flo-
rida, A Facsimile of the 1775 Edition.University
of Florida Press, Gainesville.
Smith, Hale G.
1962 See Griffin, J.W., 1962.
Thorn, C. Jordon
1947 Handbook of Old Pottery and Porcelain Marks.
Tudor Publishing Company, New York.
De Soto National Memorial
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