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The Florida anthropologist

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 Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 From the editors
 The Yellow Bluffs Mound revisited:...
 Radiocarbon dating the Yellow Bluffs...
 An incised antler artifact form...
 The Florida radiocarbon databa...
 Climate: The key to discovering...
 About the authors
 Back Cover
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Material Information

Title:
The Florida anthropologist
Abbreviated Title:
Fla. anthropol.
Physical Description:
v. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Florida Anthropological Society
Conference:
Conference on Historic Site Archaeology
Publisher:
Florida Anthropological Society
Florida Anthropological Society.
Place of Publication:
Gainesville

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Indians of North America -- Antiquities -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Antiquities -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre:
serial   ( sobekcm )
periodical   ( marcgt )

Notes

Summary:
Contains papers of the Annual Conference on Historic Site Archeology.
Dates or Sequential Designation:
v. 1- May 1948-

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
ltqf - AAA9403
oclc - 01569447
issn - 00153893
oclc - 1569447
lccn - 56028409
issn - 0015-3893
sobekcm - UF00027829_00210
System ID:
UF00027829:00211

MISSING IMAGE

Material Information

Title:
The Florida anthropologist
Abbreviated Title:
Fla. anthropol.
Physical Description:
v. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Florida Anthropological Society
Conference:
Conference on Historic Site Archaeology
Publisher:
Florida Anthropological Society
Florida Anthropological Society.
Place of Publication:
Gainesville

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Indians of North America -- Antiquities -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Antiquities -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre:
serial   ( sobekcm )
periodical   ( marcgt )

Notes

Summary:
Contains papers of the Annual Conference on Historic Site Archeology.
Dates or Sequential Designation:
v. 1- May 1948-

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
ltqf - AAA9403
oclc - 01569447
issn - 00153893
oclc - 1569447
lccn - 56028409
issn - 0015-3893
sobekcm - UF00027829_00210
System ID:
UF00027829:00211

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
        Page 2
    From the editors
        Page 3
        Page 4
    The Yellow Bluffs Mound revisited: A Manasota period burial mound in Sarasota
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
    Radiocarbon dating the Yellow Bluffs Mound (8SO4), Sarasota, Florida
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
    An incised antler artifact form Little Salt Spring (8SO18)
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
    The Florida radiocarbon database
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
    Climate: The key to discovering the food plants foraged by Florida's Paleoindians and archaic people
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
    About the authors
        Page 77
        Page 78
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text


THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
Published by the FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY, INC.

VOLUME 64, NUMBER 1 March 2011



























E
78
.F6
F58






THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST is published by the Florida Anthropological Society, Inc., P.O. Box 357605, Gainesville, FL 32635.
Subscription is by membership in the Society. Membership is NOT restricted to residents of the State of Florida nor to the United
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be payable on the anniversary of the initial dues payment. Members shall receive copies of all publications distributed by the Society
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mail is returned to the Society postage due. The journal is published quarterly in March, June, September, and December of each year.

OFFICERS OF THE SOCIETY

President: Robert J. Austin, P.O. Box 2818, Riverview, FL 33568-2818 (bob@searchinc.com)
First Vice President: Steven Martin, 4642 St. Augustine Rd., Monticello, FL 32344 (smartin@tin-top.com)
Second Vice President: Theresa Schober, 15770 Lake Candlewood Drive, Fort Myers, 33908 (theresa@fortmyersbeachfl.gov)
Corresponding Secretary: Debra Wells, SEARCH, Inc., 315 NW 138 Terrace, Jonesville, Florida 32669 (debra@searchinc.com)
Membership Secretary: Pat Balanzategui, P O Box 1434, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32549-1434 (wnpbal@cox.net)
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com); Jon Endonino, SEARCH, Inc., 315 NW 138 Terrace, Jonesville, Florida 32669, (jon@searchinc.com)
Immediate Past President: Patty Flynn, P. O. Box 11052 Ft. Lauderdale Fl. 33339 (pflynn@pbmnh.org)
Newsletter Editor: David Burns, 15128 Springview St., Tampa, FL 33624 (daveburns@prodigy.net)

JOURNAL EDITORIAL STAFF

Co-Editors: Deborah R. Mullins, P.O. Box 12563, Pensacola, FL 32591-2563 (dmullins.fl.anthropologist@gmail.com)
Andrea P. White, Department of Anthropology, University of New Orleans, 2000 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, LA 70148
(awhite.fl.anthropologist@gmail.com)
Book Review Editor: Jeffrey T. Moates, FPAN West Central Regional Center, 4202 E. Fowler Ave NEC 116, Tampa FL 33620
(jmoates@cas.usf.edu)
EditorialAssistant: George M. Luer, 3222 Old Oak Drive, Sarasota, FL 34239-5019 (gluer@grove.ufl.edu)
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EDITORIAL REVIEW BOARD

Albert C. Goodyear, Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208
(goodyear@sc.edu)
Jerald T. Milanich, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 (jtm@flmnh.ufl.edu)
Jeffrey M. Mitchem, Arkansas Archeological Survey, P.O. Box 241, Parkin, AR 72373 (jeffmitchem@juno.com)
Nancy Marie White, Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620-8100
(nwhite@chumal.cas.usf.edu)
Robert J. Austin, P.O. Box 2818, Riverview, FL 33568-2818 (bob@searchinc.com)

NOTE: In addition to the above Editorial Review Board members, the review comments of others knowledgeable in a manuscript's
subject matter are solicited as part of our peer review process.


VISIT FAS ON THE WEB: www.fasweb.org








THE FLORIDA


ANTHROPOLOGIST


Volume 64, Number 1
March2011 U OFF LIBRARY


A/'CE 19A'


TABLE OF CONTENTS

From the Editors


ARTICLES

The Yellow Bluffs Mound Revisited: A Manasota Period Burial Mound in Sarasota
George M. Luer

Radiocarbon Dating the Yellow Bluffs Mound (8SO4), Sarasota, Florida
George M. Luer and Daniel Hughes

An Incised Antler Artifact from Little Salt Spring (8SO18)
John A. Gifford and Steven H. Koski

The Florida Radiocarbon Database
Steve J. Dasovich and Glen H. Doran

Climate: The Key to Discovering the Food Plants
Foraged by Florida's Paleoindians and Archaic People
I. Mac Perry


ABOUT THE AUTHORS


Cover: A view of Yellow Bluffs Mound in Sarasota, Fl. Compare the pergola on top of the mound in both
pictures. Top: Postcard view toward the pergola at the Acacias residence in the 1910s. Bottom: A half century
later, a similar view was taken during archaeological excavations at the Yellow Bluffs Mound in early April
1969. Henry Sheldon holds a shovel in the trench's northwest corner and Doris "Dottie" Davis wears a hat.
Bottom image courtesy of the Sarasota County History Center. See the George Luer article beginning on page
5 for more information.


Published by the
FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY, INC.
ISSN 0015-3893


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

3 1262 08675 388 5













FROM THE EDITORS

d OF LIBRARY


Three of the five contributed articles for this issue focus
on sites and specific artifacts from Sarasota County, while two
others contain information that FA readers statewide may find
applicable to their own research. We are positive that all FAS
members, whether professional, avocational, or students of
Florida history, will find something in this volume that piques
their interest.
In our first article, regular FA contributor George Luer
revisits the Yellow Bluffs Mound site in Sarasota, Florida that
was destroyed in anticipation of condominium construction.
Luer traces the history of archaeological salvage at this mound
site, reviews some of the important stratigraphic information
and recovered materials, and discusses information gleaned
from that work in conjunction with ongoing research. In 1969,
a young Jerald Milanich from the University of Florida teamed
with members of the Sarasota County Historical Commission
and New College of Florida to conduct an archaeological
salvage operation at the site preceding its destruction. This
work revealed the Yellow Bluffs Mound to be a sand burial
mound with multiple interments. Radiocarbon dates recently
processed by Luer and Daniel Hughes place the use of the
sand burial mound within the Manasota Period (see discussion
below) and offer another avenue of research into subsistence
practices and burial traditions of the Manasota Period Indians
living along Sarasota Bay.
In the following companion article, co-authors George
Luer and Daniel Hughes discuss the radiocarbon dating of
previously excavated Yellow Bluffs Mound materials in
order to reassess the construction sequence and occupation
dates for the destroyed site. Previous interpretations date the
mound to the Safety Harbor period. However, the results of
recently processed radiocarbon samples place the age of the
mound between ca. 185 to 60 B.C. The new dates correspond
to the early to middle portion of the Manasota Period, which
is much earlier than previously thought. Luer and Hughes'
research highlights the importance of both relative dating by
carefully-controlled excavation of strata and absolute dating
by scientific methods. Additionally, Luer and Hughes' rigorous
reanalysis of portions of this collection would not have been
possible without proper record keeping and publication by
Milanich and responsible curation of the excavated materials
by Sarasota County.
Next up, John Gifford and Steve Koski describe a
Paleoindian-period bone artifact from Little Salt Springs in
Sarasota County. Recovered from the depths of the spring, the
artifact is manufactured from a deer antler with a portion of
the tine removed. Archaeologists have recovered over a dozen
deer antlers from Little Salt Springs and determined they are
usually worked into handles or projectile points. However, this
worked bone has 27 small, parallel incisions running along one


of its edges. Gifford and Koski speculate that the cut marks
on the artifact could indicate initial stages of preparation of
the antler for additional processing that never occurred or that
the tool may have been used as an aid in measurement. All
of us enjoy reading about unique finds from archaeological
contexts and we encourage other FAS members to keep these
summaries coming in for publication in the journal!
The previous articles on the Yellow Bluffs Mounds
illustrate the importance of radiocarbon testing for the
accurate dating of archaeological strata. Co-authored by
Steve Dasovich and Glen Doran, our forth article is a brief
introduction to a project focused on amassing radiocarbon
dates from across the state of Florida into a single searchable
database. This database is an extension of Dasovich's 1996
M.A. research that compiled 940 radiocarbon dates from
sites in Florida. Here the co-authors summarize the database
structure, discuss the distribution of radiocarbon dated
archaeological sites across the state, and add over 300 more
dates to Dasovich's contribution. Researchers can access the
database online by visiting http://digitool.fcla.edu/R/BCXQ
C66H6ITLGCIKA 1 PP6CS8Y8E7DUV2GQDT2S9C 13CNT
NER4B-02298?func=collections-result&collectionid=1460.
Finally, our last article is a contribution from longtime
FAS member and avocational archaeologist Mac Perry.
Perry's article enlightens readers about plant-based foods and
resources available to Florida Paleoindian and Archaic period
peoples under various climate conditions. We know that past
Floridians ate particular foods and cultivated certain sources
based on a combination of complex physical and cultural
factors, just as we do today. Following this, Perry's creative
discussion and original illustrations will leave the reader
thinking more deeply about the relationship of climate to
subsistence and of (mere) subsistence to a set of historically
and culturally derived perceptions of taste. Although Perry's
article can be used as a guide to identifying available food
resources, he definitely advises the reader against taste-testing
these wild plants!
In the upcoming June 2011 issue, we will recap the
2011 FAS meeting in Orlando hosted by the Central Florida
Archaeological Society Chapter, talk about the role and
iconography of the panther among Florida's Native Americans,
fuel discussions among Seminole Indian researchers, and
see where Caribbean currents might deposit a canoe full
of archaeologists (among other things). We thank all of the
contributors to this volume and we especially thank the
avocational members of FAS who continue to freely give a
great deal of their own time and other resources in the pursuit
and pleasure of Florida archaeology. Enjoy!

Deborah Mullins & Andrea White


VOL. 64(1) THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST MARCH 2011


VOL. 64(1)


THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST


MARCH 2011










THE YELLOW BLUFFS MOUND REVISITED:
A MANASOTA PERIOD BURIAL MOUND IN SARASOTA



GEORGE M. LUER


3222 Old Oak Drive, Sarasota, FL 34239
Email: geoluer@gmail.com


The Yellow Bluffs Mound (8SO4) was an American Indian
burial mound overlooking Sarasota Bay. It was located 1.6 km
(1 mi) north of downtown Sarasota (Figure 1). The mound was
built primarily of sand and measured approximately 2.4 m (8
ft) in height at its center and approximately 29 by 37 m (95 by
120 ft) across its base.
In 1969, the imposing mound suffered a tragic fate
when it was destroyed by land development. At that time, the
Yellow Bluffs Mound was the scene of salvage excavations
by volunteers and three cooperating organizations: 1) the
Sarasota County Historical Commission (SCHC); 2) the
University of Florida (UF) Department of Anthropology; and
3) New College (NC), now named New College of Florida.
This study reexamines the mound, the salvage work, and
existing collections of faunal remains and pottery. A tandem
article dates the mound using radiocarbon analyses (Luer and
Hughes, this issue). This recent research shows that the Yellow
Bluffs Mound is older than previously thought. In 1972, the
mound was assigned to the precontact Safety Harbor Period
(then thought to range from ca. A.D. 1300 to 1500) (Milanich
1972:37). However, newly obtained radiocarbon dates indicate
that the mound dates to ca. 185 to 60 B.C., or the early middle
portion of the Manasota Period (Luer and Hughes, this issue).
The Yellow Bluffs Mound also has yielded evidence of a
minor presence by American Indians during the postcontact
Safety Harbor Period, ca. A.D. 1560 to 1660. Burials in the
mound are not known from that time, but a Pinellas Plain
lip-notched rim sherd (from the mound's periphery) and
radiocarbon dates of a shell feature (apparently intrusive near
the top of the mound) suggest some kind of limited re-use or
visitation of the mound during that period.

The Identity of the Mound

Over the years, researchers have confused the Yellow
Bluffs Mound with other mounds in the vicinity. In this article,
I use the name "Yellow Bluffs Mound" and I use Florida Master
Site File (FMSF) number "8SO4" for the mound because it
has become attached to the site. However, it appears that the
Yellow Bluffs Mound was not the same mound as the original
"So-4" in the sense of Gordon Willey (1949). Willey's original
application of site number "So-4" was to a sand burial mound
excavated in the 1930s by Harry L. Schoff, which was located


vaguely north of Sarasota at the "Whittaker [sic] or Whitfield
estate" (Willey 1949:344).'
A letter by Schoff(1933) appears to mention the location
of that original mound. The letter describes it as "on the
Whitfield Estates at the Manatee, Sarasota county lines,"
which is approximately 4.5 km (2.8 mi) north of the Yellow
Bluffs Mound. Schoff's original site might have been a now-
destroyed sand burial mound that was reportedly located very
close to the Manatee-Sarasota county line and that is recorded
in the FMSF as 8MA75 (Figure 1).2
Willey's vague location, and his addition of "Whittaker"
[sic] to the name for Schoff's mound, led to confusion. First,
Florida Park Service archaeologist Ripley Bullen (1950a)
incorrectly assumed that Willey's "So-4" was the same as a
series of mounds and shell middens, now called the "Whitaker
Site Complex" (Luer 1992a), that is located south of the
Manatee-Sarasota county line, near Whitaker Bayou in the
City of Sarasota. Bullen also assumed that Schoff's sand
burial mound was a mound within this site complex, which
Bullen named the Weber Mound (Bullen 1950b:23). Later,
Fales and Davis (1961)3 added "Whitaker" to the name of
yet another mound, the Yellow Bluffs Mound, because it
was near the homestead of the pioneer Whitaker family (see
below). Archaeologist Jerald Milanich (1972) continued to
use Fales and Davis' name, "Yellow Bluffs-Whitaker Mound,"
and he used site number "So-4" for it and attributed Schoff's
Whitfield Estates collection to it. Site number "8S04" and
the combined name have been repeated by subsequent
workers (e.g., Luer 1992a, 2005; Monroe et al. 1977), some
repeating the Schoff ascription (e.g., Almy 1976; Mitchem
1989:219-220). Recently, another misunderstanding occurred
when Mitchem (1999:6, 20) attributed Clarence B. Moore's
description of the Yellow Bluffs Mound to the Weber Mound4
(also see text, below).
In sum, this series of misattributions revolved primarily
around three distinct mounds (Figure 1). They were the
Yellow Bluffs Mound, the Weber Mound, and the original
Whitfield/Schoff Mound. Today, the Yellow Bluffs Mound is
identified by FMSF number 8S04. The Weber Mound bears
FMSF number 8S020. The FMSF number of the Whitfield/
Schoff Mound is undetermined, and its precise identity is still
uncertain, although it might have been 8MA75.


VOL. 64(1) THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST MARCH 2011


MARCH 2011


VOL. 64(1)


THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST






THE~~~~~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ FLRD NHOOOIS 01VL 4


Tampa Bay


coastal
mainland


Sarasota


N
I Gulf


of


Mexico

I 4km ,


Figure 1. The Yellow Bluffs Mound (8S04) near downtown Sarasota. Two other sand burial
mounds are shown, the Weber Mound (8SO20) and a now-destroyed mound, 8MA75, near the
Manatee-Sarasota county line and Whitfield Estates.


Early History of the Yellow Bluffs Mound

First Records of the Mound

The Yellow Bluffs Mound was clearly depicted in the
area's 1883 topographic map (Figure 2:top). The map shows
the mound south of a citrus grove and northwest of a pioneer
house and outbuildings. The mound was within the William
and Mary Jane Whitaker family homestead,5 which was
called "Yellow Bluffs" after a marl outcrop along the shore


of Sarasota Bay. The Whitakers began their homestead in the
1840s and 1850s, so the Yellow Bluffs Mound was part of their
landscape for many decades.
In the 1890s, the Sarasota area was beginning to attract
winter visitors from northern states, some of whom were
buying local land. The heirs of the Whitaker homestead
subdivided their property, which bordered the bay on each
side of Whitaker Bayou (Manatee County 1895). In the newly
subdivided land, the mound fell within two parcels, Lots 13
and 14, overlooking the bay.


THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST


2011 VOL. 64(1)






LUER YELLOW BLUFFS MOUND


Figure 2. Yellow Bluffs Mound and early land use. Top: labeled portion of 1883 topographic map
by the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey (USCGS 1883) showing the Whitaker homestead
compound; the east edge of the grove is bordered by a sandy trail (today's Palmetto Lane) and
the dark vertical line is an overlay of present-day U.S. Highway 41. Bottom: the same area in a
1944 topographic map (USGS 1944) with an added arrow pointing to the mound encircled by the
driveway to The Acacias.


In 1900, the Yellow Bluffs Mound was visited by
Philadelphia antiquarian Clarence B. Moore, who wrote in his
field notes:
About 1/4 m. [mile] E. & S. [east and south] from
mouth of Snell's [Whitaker] Bayou, E. [east] side of
Sarasota B. [Bay], in sight of the water, mound on
property of Mrs. F. E. Brooks (Birmingham, Mich.)
whose winter residence is near the md., is a md. of
brown sand 109 ft. across base & 10 ft. in height. A
central trench was without result. [Moore 1900b:27]


Moore's field notes are helpful because they clarify the
location of his work, showing that he dug in the Yellow Bluffs
Mound. This location matches that of a small, unlabeled
cross just north of Sarasota in Moore's frontispiece map of the
Tampa Bay area, titled "Florida Coast from Clearwater Harbor
to Sarasota" (Moore 1900a:350; also see Note 2, below).
Moore's trench in the Yellow Bluffs Mound accounts for a
filled trench found by archaeologists almost 70 years later.
The filled trench measured "three by fifteen feet in size and
five feet deep" (Milanich 1972:21) and was under a pergola


LUER


YELLOW BLUFFS MOUND





THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST


Figure 3. The front of The Acacias residence, which over-
looked Sarasota Bay. This view is toward the east. Image
courtesy of the Sarasota County History Center.


built atop the mound a decade after Moore's visit. The location
of the filled trench beneath the pergola, which was constructed
ca. 1911, shows that the trench could not have been dug later,
for instance, in the 1930s by Schoff(Milanich 1972:21-22).

The Acacias

Around 1911, the Yellow Bluffs Mound was incorporated
in the grounds and gardens of The Acacias (Figure 3). The
Acacias was an elegant estate constructed by Mr. and Mrs.
Benjamin Honor6, uncle and aunt of Chicago millionaire Mrs.
Potter (Bertha Honor6) Palmer (Fritts 1969a; LaHurd 2010:37;
Tricebock 1986:44, 1996:55). It was during construction of
The Acacias when a pergola was built atop the mound.
The Acacias featured an elegant outdoor garden
overlooking a retaining wall, seawall, and the bay (Austin et
al. 1989:21-27). Creation of The Acacias coincided with Mrs.
Palmer's development of "The Oaks," a larger estate along the


Figure 4. The Acacias in plan view. Top: Whitaker Subdivision lots (8 through
11, 13 through 16) and Acacias estate features, ca. 1948 (based on Manatee
County 1895; United States Department of Agriculture 1948). Bottom: Bay's
Bluff Condominium footprint and changed parcel boundaries, ca. 1969 (based
on Cobia and Hebb, Inc. 1970; Sanborn Map Company 1966).


2011 VOL. 64(1)






LUER YELLOW BLUFFS MOUND


bay in Osprey, south of Sarasota (a portion of which is now
preserved and open to the public at Historic Spanish Point).
Both estates had pergolas (Tricebock 1986:18, 43), which
were prominent features of fashionable gardens of the Classic
revival movement (Greek and Roman styles) (for architectural
details about the pergola at The Acacias, see Luer [1992a:235,
Figures 6 and 7]).
Figure 4 (top) shows that The Acacias residence was
built in the middle of Lot 13 in the Whitaker Subdivision.
The two-story residence faced the bay, with smaller one-story
outbuildings behind it. A 200-foot long dock on concrete
pilings met the shore and a series of concrete steps to the
northwest of the residence, near the boundary of Lots 13 and
14 (Figure 4).
Originally, the land entrance to The Acacias might have
been via Palmetto Lane, a 20-foot wide access way running
northwest to southeast between lots in the southern portion
of the Whitaker Subdivision. The entrance to The Acacias
might have been extended eastward after automobiles come
into use in the 1910s and after the "Dixie Highway" (now
part of U.S. Highway 41 and the "Tamiami Trail") was built
in 1916 (Anonymous 1916). The section of Palmetto Lane
bordering The Acacias was vacated officially in 1939 (Mosby
Engineering Associates, Inc. 1969).6
Figure 5 shows The Acacias when it was new. Both
photographs appear in a 1910s souvenir booklet showing views
of Sarasota (Arnold ca. 1915). One shows the pergola atop the
mound, with ascending steps framed by Spanish bayonet and
flowering oleander. The other is taken on the same steps and
looks back at The Acacias residence, with the bay beyond.
The Acacias, including its grounds and mansion, were
maintained and kept intact by subsequent owners for many
years. In the early 1960s, The Acacias residence was the scene
of civic functions by the Sarasota County Historical Society,
including annual membership meetings (Anonymous 1961).
At one such function, "more than 500 persons" honored
Sarasota's leading citizen, the late Karl Bickel7 (Anonymous
1963).

Initial Investigations Begin

Prelude to Destruction

The Yellow Bluffs Mound and its pergola were intact in
the late 1960s, when developers purchased an approximately
2.5-acre portion of The Acacias (most of Lot 14) that was
just north of The Acacias residence. There, Earl Putnam and
Robert Skalitzky, of The Earl Putnam Organization, Inc., and
the Aurora Development Corporation, planned to build a six-
story edifice called Bay's Bluff Condominium. They were the
same Ontario developers who were building and planning
condominium towers elsewhere in the City of Sarasota. These
included downtown "high rises," such as the Royal St. Andrew
(which destroyed a portion of the Pinard Midden, 8S099,
between South Gulf Stream Avenue and South Palm Avenue)
and the Embassy House (which destroyed the remaining
portion of the Sarasota Bay Mound, 8SO44, at Mound Street)
(Luer 2005:13, 43, Note 1).


Figure 5. The Acacias in the 1910s. Top: view toward the
pergola (a half century later, a similar view was taken dur-
ing archaeological excavations, compare with Milanich
1972:Figure 6). Bottom: view of residence and bay from
the first landing of the pergola steps. Images from Arnold
(ca. 1915).


In this case, Bay's Bluff Condominium was to be built
north of the Yellow Bluffs Mound and would not harm it
(Figure 4, bottom). However, Bay's Bluff Condominium was
envisioned as a "first phase" to be followed by a southern
addition "linking into the first L-shaped phase" (Fritts 1969a).
The developers wanted to demolish the mound in anticipation
of the second phase. At that time, in 1969, there were no laws
to protect the mound and its burials.8 Thus, the developers
let it be known that they planned to demolish the mound.
Ironically, the second phase of Bay's Bluff Condominium was
never built, and so the tragic demolition of the Yellow Bluffs
Mound was unnecessary.
The SCHC wanted archaeologist Ripley Bullen to direct
salvage excavations in the Yellow Bluffs Mound. At that time,
Bullen was 66 years old and a curator at the Florida State
Museum (FSM, now named the Florida Museum of Natural
History [FLMNH]) in Gainesville. During the preceding
year of 1968, the SCHC had brought Bullen to Sarasota,
first in January to analyze collections from the Paulsen Point
Midden (Bullen 1971) and then in July to conduct salvage
excavations in another doomed burial mound, the Sarasota
Bay Mound (Luer 2005). In 1968, members of the SCHC
showed the Yellow Bluffs Mound to Bullen and explained its


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Figure 6. Start of SCHC Trench #1 in the west edge of the
Yellow Bluffs Mound, early April 1969 (view to northeast).
Henry Sheldon holds a shovel in the trench's northwest
corner, which became 150N, 104E. Doris "Dottie" Davis
wears a hat. Image courtesy of the Sarasota County His-
tory Center.


proposed destruction. Bullen wrote back, stating that proposed
demolition of the Yellow Bluffs Mound "seems a pity as it is a
beautiful monument to the Indians of Florida" (Bullen 1969).

Initial Tests in the Mound

In the late 1960s, Sarasota County Government and its
SCHC played an active role with historical resources in the
City of Sarasota. The 1968 archaeological work in the Sarasota
Bay Mound is one example (Luer 2005). As a continuation of
that effort, the SCHC and its Chairman, Richard Glendinning,
Jr.,9 approached developers Putnam and Skalitzky and secured
permission, in March 1969, for exploratory work in the Yellow
Bluffs Mound (Zinn and Davis 1969).
Thus, Sarasota County Historian Doris "Dottie" Davis'o
and volunteers, including retiree Henry K. Sheldon, began a
preliminary field investigation of the Yellow Bluffs Mound.
On March 30, 1969, they dug a number of post holes that
"revealed the possibility of burials on the west side of the
mound," whereas post holes in "certain areas on the east
side of the mound produced no indications of burials" (Davis
1969). As a result of these findings, Davis and volunteers
started excavating two trenches in the mound, beginning at its
west and northwest edges (Trenches #1 and #2, respectively).
Figure 6 shows the start of the SCHC Trench #1 in the
west edge of the Yellow Bluffs Mound in early April 1969.
In this view toward the northeast, Henry Sheldon holds
a shovel in the trench's northwest comer, which became
150N, 104E. Doris "Dottie" Davis wears a hat, immediately


behind Sheldon. Behind them is a large southern red cedar,
perhaps planted on the mound ca. 1912 as part of The Acacias
landscaping. Also visible are native cabbage palms, growing
on the mound. Other native vegetation included a large slash
pine on the mound's northern flank, as well as live oak and
pignut hickory" trees growing on well-drained ground around
the mound's western edge.
Davis and volunteers excavated in 10 x 10 ft units, so that
"the western trench consisted of three interconnected squares
and the northwest trench of two squares" (Milanich 1972:23).
As they moved eastward into the second and third units of
the west trench, they uncovered and removed a number of
burials. These apparently are the remains from "Trench #1,
Pit 2" (dug on April 3 through 15, 1969) and "Trench 1, Pit
3" (dug on April 16 through 18). Davis removed burials from
the northwest trench, apparently labeled "Trench #2, Pit #1"
and "Trench #2, Pit #2" (dug on April 16 and 17) (Hughes and
Luer 2006).
During this work in April 1969, I made an initial visit
to the Yellow Bluffs Mound with my brother. We observed
human burials in the west trench, which were being uncovered
by Davis and volunteers. I recall in situ human bones in the
trench's northwestern comer and in its southeastern portion.
My brother recalls two burials in the trench's southeastern
portion, both extended, heads to the east and feet to the west
(Albert E. Luer, personal communication 2007).
The SCHC also secured permission from the developers
for a backhoe operator to dig exploratory trenches in the mound.
The operator drove the backhoe onto the mound's grassy
eastern slope, where the lack of trees afforded easy access,
and began digging a trench in the mound's southeastern flank.
He then repositioned the backhoe and began a second trench
at the mound's eastern edge, moving upward across the mound
(in a northwest direction) and passing just north of the pergola
that occupied the central summit. Davis collected remains
from these two trenches, called "Backhoe Pit" and "Backhoe
Pit #1," on April 8 through 10 (Hughes and Luer 2006). On
another visit to the mound, I observed as the backhoe was used
to dig these trenches, and I helped at the screen (Figure 7).12
As a result of this work, Davis and volunteers recovered
pottery sherds and tools of shell, bone, and stone, including
lithic bifaces ("arrowheads") (Blocker 1969; Butcher 1969a).
Based on its findings, the SCHC secured permission from the
developers for further work. Meanwhile, the SCHC learned that
Bullen, approaching 67 years of age, had other commitments
and could not come to Sarasota. Thus, the SCHC pursued
other options to accomplish their goal of salvage work.

Archaeology in the Mound

Bullen suggested that salvage excavations could be done
jointly by NC and archaeologist Charles Fairbanks, a 56-year-
old professor at UF (Bullen 1969). Since Fairbanks, like Bullen,
had other commitments, he offered to divert a crew of young
graduate students from a UF Department of Anthropology field
school near Gainesville, so that they could conduct limited
excavations in the Yellow Bluffs Mound (Milanich 1985:20-
21). For their part, the SCHC secured an anonymous gift to


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U YU


Figure 7. Author George Luer (far left) works at a screen
as a backhoe begins to dig in the east side of Yellow Bluffs
Mound, April 1969. View to the west (image from Moss
1974).


NC to provide needed funding. John Elmendorf, President of
NC, and his wife, anthropologist Mary L. Elmendorf, secured
housing for the UF crew and arranged for NC undergraduate
students to assist in the excavation.

Mound Excavations Begin

A UF crew arrived on April 19, 1969. It was directed by
Jerald Milanich, then 23 years old and in his second year of the
UF Department of Anthropology doctoral graduate program.
He was accompanied by another UF student, Carl McMurray.
They spent the next several weeks doing salvage work in the
mound, assisted by NC students, additional UF students, and
volunteers (Fritts 1969b; Milanich 1972:40, 1985:20-21).
First, Milanich established a site grid. Its north axis was
oriented at 26 degrees, 30 minutes west of magnetic north.
This orientation allowed the UF-NC crew to align their work
with Davis' 10-ft-wide western trench (Trench #1). The crew
and volunteers incorporated and lengthened her trench into an
"east-west trench" that extended into the center of the mound
(Figures 8 and 9).
Based on the site grid, Davis' three partially excavated 10
x 10 ft units extended approximately 25 ft toward grid East,
from near 87 ft East to near 110 ft East. The UF-NC excavation
continued eastward another approximately 50 ft to reach 160 ft
East. From there, the UF-NC crew and volunteers excavated
a second 10-ft-wide trench, the "north-south trench," which
ran toward grid south, perpendicular to the first trench. The
UF-NC crew also excavated a third trench running down the
mound's southwest slope. Figure 8 shows these trenches as
Milanich overlay them on an engineer's contour map, with the
mound measuring approximately 29 x 37 m (95 x 120 ft) in
plan view and 2.4 m (8 ft) in height.
The UF-NC trenches produced two right-angled
stratigraphic profiles of the mound. These profiles record a
number of different layers along the 140 North line in the east-
west trench, and along the 160 East line in the north-south
trench (see bold lines in Figure 9). The profiles revealed C. B.
Moore's filled trench under the pergola (labeled "recent pit"


in Milanich 1972:Figure 4). The UF-NC crew and volunteers
removed soil by layer and zone, and they collected artifacts and
faunal bones, mostly from screens of 1/2 in mesh (Milanich
1972:23-24).
In the profiles across the mound, Milanich numbered
17 layers comprising four stratigraphic zones (see Milanich
1972:Figure 4). These zones and their layers can be described
as: Zone I, Layers 1 through 5 (humus, leached, washed, and
redeposited layers); Zone II, Layers 6 though 8, and Layers 14
through 16 (upper mound, mound fill); Zone III, upper Layers
9 and 10 (upper midden and sand layers of the mound base);
and Zone IV, lower Layers 9 and 10 (lower midden and sand
layers of the mound base). Zone IV rested on Layers 11 and
12, which were natural sandy soil layers below the mound.

Findings in the Mound

The excavations revealed a sand burial mound with
abundant marine shells and shell fragments, especially in the
upper mound fill. Quahog clam (Mercenaria campechiensis)
and fighting conch (Strombus alatus) shells were very
common, while oyster (Crassostrea virginica), left-handed
whelk (Busycon sinistrum), and other shells were fewer. Most
of these shells were eroded by leaching of rainwater and humic
acids that percolated through the sand while the shells were
buried. In better condition was a cluster of 12 left-handed
whelk shells and two horse conch (Pleuroploca gigantea)
shells that was near the surface in the east-west trench (see
photographs in Milanich 1972 and in Luer and Hughes, this
issue).
Excavations also revealed numerous rounded, water-
worn pieces of mineralized bone, especially fossil sea cow
rib fragments and fossil shark teeth. Both are common natural
inclusions in the soil of the surrounding area. Many might
have been accidental inclusions in the mound's fill. However,
some of them, especially large fossil shark teeth, might have
been placed intentionally in the mound by the Indians.
The UF-NC workers uncovered human remains
comprising ten burials as well as scattered remains from an
undetermined number of individuals (the latter are described
below in the section, "Human Bone"). The ten numbered
burials were all in the upper mound fill, as were most of the
other human remains. Burial locations are shown in profile
and plan view by Milanich (1972:Figure 5), but the reader
should note that the plan view portion of Milanich's Figure 5
is reversed (it is the mirror image of how it should appear; for
example, Burial 9 was in the north wall, the 150N line, not in
the south wall).
Burials 1 and 2 were in the east-west trench, just east of
Davis' third unit where she had earlier removed three burials
perhaps associated with Burial 1. Burial 2 represented a child,
possibly buried with a small, ovate, lithic scraper as well as a
deer mandible "cupped between two clam shells" (Milanich
1972:34, Figures 9n and 10j). The burial modes observed
by the UF-NC crew were varied and included five flexed,
two extended, one possible bundle, and two undetermined
(Milanich 1972:32-37). The two extended interments (Burials
6 and 7) might have been buried at the same time (a double


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Figure 8. Plan view of mound and excavations. Note locations of SCHC Trenches
#1 and #2 and backhoe trenches in April 1969. Also note the three UF-NC trenches:
the east-west (E-W), north-south (N-S), and southwest (SW) trenches (based on Mi-
lanich 1969b, 1972:Figures 2 and 3; Mosby Engineering Associates, Inc. 1969).


burial). After analysis at UF, the burial remains were returned
to SCHC, as were artifacts.
Many faunal remains were recovered from two layers deep
in the mound's central portion, which Milanich interpreted as
a "prepared mound base." Both are labeled "Layer 9" in the
trench profiles (Milanich 1972:Figure 4). The two layers are
visible in a photograph (Milanich 1972:Figure 8) showing
the profile along the 160 East line in the north-south trench,
between 115N to 125N. In the photograph, Milanich's right
hand extends toward lower Layer 9, while his head is even
with upper Layer 9 (this image appears as Figure 2 in Luer
and Hughes, this issue). Vertebrate taxa represented by these
remains are listed by Milanich (1972:Table 1), and some are
discussed below (see "Zooarchaeological Remains").


No radiocarbon dates were obtained during the original
analysis in 1969 to 1972. Milanich (1972:37, 39) assigned the
mound to the Safety Harbor Period based on his interpretation
of ceramics, although decorated mortuary pottery typical
of the Safety Harbor Period was not found. Instead, the
ceramic assemblage consisted primarily of plain sherds and
a few decorated specimens of pre-Safety Harbor Period types
(mostly St. Johns and Deptford wares) (Milanich 1972:Tables
2 and 3). The most numerous sherds were sand-tempered
plain, a few with pinched or tooled lips. Although recognized
as a "problem" (Milanich 1972:29), these sand-tempered
sherds were assigned to the ceramic type "Pinellas Plain,"
which differs because it is a sand- and clay-tempered ware
with laminated/contorted paste. Pinellas Plain dates to the late


feet
0 10 20 30 40 50


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SCHC


N-S trench


126.2N,
131.2E


---I '


112.1N,
117.1E


, SW trench


I I I I I I


20 30 40 50


6 5 110


I, feet I
Figure 9. Plan of UF-NC trenches: the east-west (E-W), north-south (N-S), and southwest (SW) trenches (based
on Milanich 1969b).


Weeden Island and Safety Harbor periods, ca. A.D. 700 to
1700. New radiocarbon dates and reanalysis of sherds (below)
supports an older age for the mound, before the Safety Harbor
and Weeden Island periods.

Further Salvage Work

The UF crew completed testing on May 16, 1969, and
returned to Gainesville (Milanich 1969a, 1969b). After their
departure, Davis and volunteers continued to dig and to
salvage artifacts and burials from the mound before it was
destroyed by the developers. A few notes written on field bags
that were in the Sarasota County collections indicate that more
burials and cultural materials were recovered (Hughes and
Luer 2006).
For example, on May 21, 1969, Davis and volunteers
dug northward into the North Profile of the east-west trench
(near 135 East), where they removed a "flexed burial." On
July 19, they collected materials near the mound's northwest
edge, in Trench #2, Pit #2. They also recovered materials
from additional trenches, such as Trenches #3 and #4 (with


undetermined locations in the mound). In addition, Milanich
(1972:23) reports that Davis excavated in the central portion
of the mound, where "no features or burials were found."
Digging by Davis and volunteers continued through
the summer. A newspaper article dated August 10, 1969,
includes a photograph showing the mound in an advanced
stage of excavation, with Bay's Bluff Condominium under
construction in the background (Butcher 1969b). Field notes
and a report are not available about this salvage effort, but it
apparently yielded materials similar to the earlier excavations,
including more burials. Efforts by the author and former
Sarasota County Archaeologist Dan Hughes to find field notes
by Davis and volunteers have been unsuccessful.

Subsequent Surveys and Other Work

Determining Mound Location

After the Yellow Bluffs Mound was demolished, its
location was obscured. In 1977, a map in an architectural
and archaeological survey by the City of Sarasota (Monroe


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et al. 1977:Figure 7) showed it slightly to the northwest of
where it had been located. This was based on an assumption
that the mound had been where Bay's Bluff Condominium
was built. In 1989, this assumption was repeated during a
Phase I archaeological survey (Austin et al. 1989:1)13 and
in a revised map of archaeological sites in the northwestern
portion of the City of Sarasota (Carr et al. 1989:Figure A).
Three years later, this misunderstanding was acknowledged
during a Phase II archaeological survey, but a determination of
the mound's exact location was not made (Piper Archaeology/
Janus Research 1992:4). The same year, I included the mound
in a map of the Whitaker Site Complex, but I placed it slightly
too far to the southwest (Luer 1992a:Figure 1).14
Thus, the precise location of the Yellow Bluffs Mound
remained unclear. The confusion was compounded by many
changes in parcel boundaries and by the demolition and
construction of buildings. The Acacias mansion changed
owners a number of times before it was demolished by a
developer in 1981 (Anonymous 1981; LaHurd 2010:37), and
new high rise buildings were built in the early 2000s. I show
the mound's correct location in Figure 4 (above) and in Figure
11 (below).
Today, the location of the former mound is unmarked
(Figure 10). Traces of the mound are missing from the
landscape. Its beautiful setting and sense of place are erased
(there is no "there" there anymore). The location is sandwiched
between Bay's Bluff Condominium and the Sarasota Bay Club
Condominium's 11-story northern tower (Figure 10).

Mound Size and Monumentality

In 2005, I cited the Yellow Bluffs Mound's large size
and its coastal location as suggesting that it was constructed
by a sizeable precontact-period aboriginal population (Luer
2005:29, Table 2). That interpretation may be correct but it must
be revised, in part, because the mound cannot be identified as
a Safety Harbor Period mound (as I did in 2005) in light of its
much older age, as shown by this current project's radiocarbon
dating (Luer and Hughes, this issue). While the large size of
the Yellow Bluffs Mound (approximate basal dimensions 29
by 37 m [95 by 120 ft]) may reflect a sizeable population, it
appears to have been a continuous-use burial mound that the
Manasota Period Indians built, used, and "added to" over an
extended period of time, perhaps two or three centuries. These
are other factors that could help account for its considerable
size.
In 2005, I also cited the Yellow Bluffs Mound's imposing
vantage over Sarasota Bay and its apparent purposeful
placement on scarce high ground providing such a view.
This interpretation also must be revised, in part, because
of the mound's age. That is, I attributed such monumental
construction to the Weeden Island and Safety Harbor periods
(Luer 2005:29), but new radiocarbon dates from the Yellow
Bluffs Mound now show this kind of strategic placement
in the landscape already was taking place during the earlier
Manasota Period.


Figure 10. Erased from the landscape two views of
where the Yellow Bluffs Mound was located. Top: north-
west toward Sarasota Bay, with Bay's Bluff Condominium
to right, November 2009. Bottom: southeast toward the
mainland, with Bay's Bluff Condominium to left and Sara-
sota Bay Club's northern tower to right, July, 2007.


Research on Burial Modes

In the 1980s, archaeologist Jeff Mitchem reviewed forms
of human interment in American Indian burial mounds in west-
central Florida. Among the interments that Mitchem cited
were ten burials documented by Milanich in the Yellow Bluffs
Mound, and he accepted their assignment to the Safety Harbor
Period (Mitchem 1988:101). New radiocarbon research,
however, shows that at least five of those interments (Burials
1, 3, 5, 6, and 8) date to the earlier Manasota Period (Luer and
Hughes, this issue). This redating removes those five burials
from an argument presented by Mitchem, in which they were
offered as contradictions of Bullen's model of changing burial
mode (Mitchem 1988:101).
Of the five newly-dated burials from the Yellow Bluffs
Mound, three were flexed (Burials 1, 3, and 5), one was


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extended (Burial 6), and one was of undetermined type (Burial
8) (Milanich 1972:34-37). Flexed burials are a common
mode of interment during the Manasota Period (Luer and
Almy 1982). For example, at the Manasota Key Cemetery
(8SO1292), most burials were flexed, often on their left side
(Dickel 1991:150; Luer 1999:12). A review of field diagrams
and photographs of approximately 30 burials uncovered at the
Manasota Key Cemetery indicates that 23 individuals were
flexed on their left side, five on their right side, and three on
their left side and back. These interments at the Manasota
Key Cemetery included four flexed, nested, double burials of
adults of close age (data on file with George Luer), recalling
the possible double interment of extended Burials 6 and 7 in
the Yellow Bluffs Mound.
The identification in the Yellow Bluffs Mound of a
child burial in a flexed "sitting position" (Burial 2), and the
identification of another "badly scattered" interment (Burial
4) as a possible "bundle burial" (Milanich 1972:34), appear
to be consistent with additional modes of burial known for the
Manasota Period. For example, at the Palmer Mound (8S02)
between Sarasota and Venice, the Bullens characterized nearly
400 burials as follows:
75 percent were flexed, 6.5 percent bundle, 5.6
percent isolated skulls and the balance disturbed
or indeterminate interments except for 1 sitting
and 2 torso only burials. Flexed on the right side
exceeded those on the left at a ratio of about 60 to
40. No extended burials were uncovered but semi-
flexed were present. [Bullen and Bullen 1976:46]

Burial Inventory

In 1995, some of the burial remains from the Yellow
Bluffs Mound that were curated by Sarasota County were
inventoried for the federally mandated Native American
Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). At that
time, skeletal remains and artifacts from the mound were
housed at the Sarasota County Department of Historical
Resources, now called the Sarasota County History Center
(HC). The inventoried burials were those reported by Milanich
(1972) as well as some of the burials salvaged by Davis.
In August 2006, then-Sarasota County Archaeologist
Dan Hughes and I reinventoried the skeletal collections
from the mound that were curated at HC (Hughes and Luer
2006). They consisted of those reported to NAGPRA as well
as additional burials salvaged by Davis but overlooked in the
NAGPRA list. Additional human remains also occur among
zooarchaeological materials from the Yellow Bluffs Mound
that are in the FLMNH Environmental Archaeology Range
(see "Human Bone," below).

Adjacent Middens

Two state-mandated archaeological surveys, conducted
prior to recent land development, addressed two American
Indian shell middens adjacent to the former Yellow Bluffs
Mound (Figure 11). These were the Acacias Midden Area A
(8SO97A) and Acacias Midden Area B (8SO97B). A Phase I


survey assessed Acacias Midden Area A as a significant site
eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places
(NRHP), leading to its proposed preservation under fill in a
deck and garden area incorporating surviving historic features
(e.g., ornamental columns) that were part of The Acacias
bayside garden (Austin et al. 1989:17, 21-23, 25-26; Piper
Archaeology/Janus Research 1992:45). Thus, some of the
Acacias Midden Area A was delimited as an "Archaeological
Preservation Area" during development (City of Sarasota
1997).'5 On the other hand, Phase II excavations in Acacias
Midden Area B determined that it was not eligible for listing
in the NRHP, so it was not set aside during subsequent
construction (Piper Archaeology/Janus Research 1992:46).
The Phase II excavations in Acacias Midden Area B
revealed a dense concentration of fighting conch shells,
sherds (12 sand-tempered plain, 7 sand- and fiber-tempered
plain, 1 St. Johns Plain), two stemmed bifaces, nine pieces
of lithic debitage, and 26 shell implements of various types,
including possible quahog valve tools (Piper Archaeology/
Janus Research 1992:17, 24-28). The work also produced
four radiocarbon dates (Table 1). Two dates based on quahog
shells from the lower portion of Area B suggest occupation
in the middle of the Manasota Period (ca. cal A.D. 50 to
250), or soon after construction of the Yellow Bluffs Mound.
A shallower portion of Area B produced two dates based on
fighting conch shells that suggest more recent occupation in
the late Weeden Island Period or early Safety Harbor Period
(also see "Wider Context" and Note 16, below).
Although Area A was preserved, little is known about
the midden's age and cultural affiliation. Testing produced
an assemblage of non-diagnostic pottery consisting of one
St. Johns Plain and 19 sand-tempered plain sherds. Possible
quahog shell tools as well as bone and shell food refuse
(including oyster, quahog, fighting conch, left-handed whelk,
horse conch, and king's crown [Melongena corona] shells)
were found in dark brown sand near the surface to depths of 30
to 100 cm (12 to 36 in) below the surface (Austin et al. 1989:13).
In 1969, Milanich (1972:23, Figure 3) placed a backhoe trench
("backhoe cut 3") in Area A near the bay, approximately 55 m
(180 ft) northwest of the Yellow Bluffs Mound (a location now
on Bay's Bluff Condominium property). He reported a midden
deposit 15 cm (6 in) deep that yielded "only food bone and
shell" (Milanich 1972:23).
According to the City of Sarasota survey (Monroe et
al. 1977:Figure 7), a narrow strip of Acacias Midden Area A
extends northward along the shore of Sarasota Bay, directly
in front of Bay's Bluff Condominium (Figure 11). Today,
immediately north of Bay's Bluff Condominium, midden
shells can be seen at the bases of live oaks and cabbage palms.
This north end of the Acacias Midden was impacted, ca.
2000, during construction of the City of Sarasota's Whitaker-
Gateway Park, when digging of a retention area for rainfall run-
off removed some of the midden immediately north of Bay's
Bluff Condominium. At the same time, the footer of a boundary
wall along the park's northwest edge intruded into the south
end of the Palmetto Lane Midden (8SO96). Radiocarbon dates
from the Palmetto Lane Midden (Luer 1992b:247-248; Luer et
al. 2005:2-22 through 2-23, Appendices V and VI) support a


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Figure 11. Continued land use changes around the former Acacias. Compare this with
the same area shown in Figure 4. Top: locations of Acacias Midden Areas A and B (based
on Austin et al. 1989; Piper Archaeology/Janus Research 1992). Bottom: location of the
former Yellow Bluffs Mound between footprints of today's Bay's Bluff Condominium and
pool, and the northern tower of the Sarasota Bay Club (based on A M Engineering 2003;
Hebb and Associates 1978; Mosby Engineering Associates, Inc. 1969).


period of occupation ca. 200 B.C. to A.D. 300, which overlaps
with dated burials from the Yellow Bluffs Mound (Luer and
Hughes, this issue).

New Research

New information about the Yellow Bluffs Mound helps to
reinterpret its age and cultural affiliation. Especially important
are radiocarbon dates obtained by Luer and Hughes (this issue),
funded by Sarasota County. These radiocarbon dates support
the interpretation that the mound was built in the early middle


portion of the Manasota Period (ca. 185 to 60 B.C.), which is
equivalent to the middle Deptford Period of the Gulf region of
northern Florida (Milanich 1994:114). This new information
allows reassessment of the ceramics and faunal remains from
the mound (vertebrate remains are curated at FLMNH, and
some ceramics are stored at HC).

Ceramics

Pottery sherds recovered by the UF-NC excavations in
1969 (Tables 2 and 3 in Milanich 1972) comprise a diverse


2011 VOL. 64(1)






LUER ELLOWBLUFF MOUN


Figure 12. Notched and tooled sand-tempered rim sherds from Yellow Bluffs Mound at HC.
Shown are top and exterior views, with profiles solid black, a and b: FS 12 (north-south
trench, Square 110N, 150E, upper mound); c: FS 27 (intersection of east-west and north-
south trenches, Square 140N, 150E, upper mound); d: FS 15 (north-south trench, Square
110N, 150E, upper midden at mound base). FS numbers are written on specimens; prove-
niences based on Milanich (1969c). Illustration adapted from Luer (1992a:Figure 8).


assemblage. Some sherds may predate construction of the
Yellow Bluffs Mound and may represent inclusions in the
mound's sandy fill that the builders of the mound might have
borrowed from older, nearby midden deposits.. Such pottery
includes fiber-tempered (Orange Plain, Orange Incised, St.
Johns ware with fiber temper) and sand- and fiber-tempered
(Norwood Simple Stamped) sherds, of which Milanich
(1972:Table 2) reported nine Orange Plain sherds from "mound
fill," five from the upper mound and four from the lower
mound. Typically, fiber-tempered pottery occurs in the Late
Archaic and Florida Transitional periods of the Florida Gulf
coast (ca. 2000 to 500 B.C.), which predate the Yellow Bluffs
Mound. However, some researchers report that fiber-tempered
pottery can occur "as a minor element" in the early Deptford
Period (Tesar 1980:70, 588) and continue occasionally into
the middle Deptford Period, ca. A.D. 1 (Milanich 1994:129;
Milanich and Fairbanks 1980:78), so it is possible that some
fiber-tempered sherds in the Yellow Bluffs Mound may be
contemporary with its construction and use.


Based on radiocarbon dates from the Yellow Bluffs Mound
(Luer and Hughes, this issue), the assemblage's Deptford
sherds appear to be coeval with the time of original mound
construction and burial interment. These include Deptford
Check Stamped, Deptford Linear Check Stamped, and
Deptford Simple Stamped sherds. These ceramics, stamped
with carved wooden paddles, are hallmarks of the Deptford
horizon, which ranges from ca. 500 B.C. to A.D. 100 or 200 in
the Gulf region of northern Florida (Milanich 1973, 1994:114,
135). In the Sarasota region, the Deptford horizon follows
the Florida Transitional Period (ca. 1000 to 500 B.C.) and is
equivalent to the early and middle portions of the Manasota
Period.
Probably also dating to this time are many of the Yellow
Bluffs Mound's plain ware sherds, including some with tooled
lips (Figure 12). These tooled rim sherds came from depths
throughout the mound, including the upper mound base
(Field Specimen [FS] 15), the lower mound (FS 30), and the
upper mound (FS 12 and 27). Such a distribution supports


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THE LORIA ATHROOLOGST 011 OL. 4(f


their interment during original mound construction and use,
rather than being superficial, late intrusions. In a previous
article, I identified the specimens in Figure 12 as representing
a possible early form of "Glades Tooled" (Luer 1992a:235,
239). However, I now think that my earlier identification is in
error and that based on radiocarbon dates (Luer and Hughes,
this issue) and on their occurrence at depths throughout the
mound, most of them instead date to the Deptford horizon.
In further support of that interpretation, I note that similar
scalloped or tooled lips occur on ceramics within that horizon
in the Gulf region of northern Florida, including the types
Deptford Simple Stamped and Gulf Check Stamped, as
pictured by Willey (1949:Figures 21, 29).
My reinspection of lip-modified sherds in the HC collection
from the Yellow Bluffs Mound reveals only one rim sherd
(labeled "So-4-17") that can be classified as Pinellas Plain. It is
from FS 17 and is identified by Milanich (1969c) as one of two
"contorted paste sherds" from relatively near the surface of the
southern end of the "southwest trench" (Square 105N, 110E,
Zone II). This location is at the mound's extreme southwestern
edge (Figures 8 and 9). The sherd has all the "classic" traits of
a Pinellas Plain notched rim sherd. These include laminated
paste, a flat lip, vertical V-notches that were sliced or cut in the
outer edge of its lip, as well as linear striations on top of its lip
and in its notches (made by the serrated edge of a shark tooth
cutting tool). Such notched Pinellas Plain sherds are known
to date from ca. A.D. 1250 and into the postcontact period
(Luer 1992c:270). Thus, this Pinellas Plain rim sherd appears
to postdate mound construction and is unusual in the mound's
ceramic assemblage. All other rim sherds with modified lips
in the HC collection from the Yellow Bluffs Mound are sand-
tempered with tooled lips, as pictured in Figure 12 and Figure
13a, h. None of them has Pinellas paste or other attributes of
Pinellas Plain pottery.
Consistent with the great rarity of Pinellas Plain pottery
in the Yellow Bluffs Mound is a lack of Safety Harbor Period
mortuary ceramics. Milanich (1972:39) states explicitly that
he found no such pottery in the mound (no "Pinellas Incised,
Lake Jackson Plain, Safety Harbor Incised, Ft. Walton Incised,
and Wakulla Check Stamped pottery"). He attributed its lack
to the Yellow Bluffs Mound's geographic location rather than
to its pre-Safety Harbor Period age. We now know that Safety
Harbor Period mortuary ceramics occur throughout west-
peninsular and southwestern Florida during the Mississippian
Period (e.g., Luer and Almy 1987:315, Table 2; Mitchem
1989), and that its absence at the Yellow Bluffs Mound is
not a function of geography but instead is a reflection of the
mound's earlier age.
I also inspected other sherds from the UF-NC excavations
that are housed at HC, some pictured in Figure 13. They
include two Deptford Linear Check Stamped sherds, a rim
sherd (FS 12) and a body sherd (FS 26). Both contain mica
inclusions, suggesting that they may be trade ware originating
in northern Florida. They appear to be the two Deptford Linear
Check Stamped sherds listed from "mound fill" by Milanich
(1972:Table 2). A third sherd (FS 52) at HC is a St. Johns
Linear Check Stamped body sherd. It came from the lower
mound fill. It may reflect trade with the St. Johns River region.


Similar Deptford and St. Johns series sherds that appear to be
trade ware occur in southeastern Florida at the Brickell Point/
Miami Circle component of Miami Midden No. 2 (8DA12) in
contexts dating to ca. 700 B.C. to A.D. 200 (Carr 2006).
Two other specimens at HC are cord-marked body sherds
(Figure 13f, g). They appear to be the two "cord marked"
sherds from "mound fill" listed by Milanich (1972:Table 2).
One is labeled FS 50 (apparently from Layer 7 or 8 in the
center of the mound) and the other has an illegible FS number.
Specimen FS 50 resembles a specimen pictured by Carr
(2006:Figure 22a) from the same Miami Circle assemblage,
cited above, that includes Deptford and related ceramics.
Cord-marked pottery, impressed with a cord-wrapped paddle,
often is found in Swift Creek and Weeden Island Period sites,
but it also occurs in earlier Deptford Period contexts (Milanich
and Fairbanks 1980:65, 79; Sears 1963:36; Tesar 1980:74).
These two cord-marked sherds from the Yellow Bluffs Mound
also may represent trade ware from northern Florida (most
local pottery in the Sarasota area during the middle Manasota
Period was sand-tempered plain).
I should mention two other decorated sherds in the
HC collection. One is a sand-tempered body sherd (FS 13,
north-south trench, Square 1 OlN, 150E, Zone III) identified
by Milanich (1969c) as "Carrabelle Punctated," a type of
the Weeden Island (ca. A.D. 400 to 700) and Suwannee
Valley (ca. A.D. 700 to 1200) periods of northern Florida
(Milanich 1994:183, 351; Willey 1949:425, Figure 45). The
specimen has eight deep, small, widely-spaced punctations
(Figure 13i). Close inspection shows that the punctations
are almost identical, having an outcurved side and two small
tails bracketing the opposite incurved side. This shows that
the punctations were made with the same implement, perhaps
the siphonal tip of a small gastropod shell or the edge of a
hollow, narrow reed or bone shaft implement. This sherd has
some similarities to Carabelle Punctated (Willey 1949:Figure
42c-e, Plates 30 and 31a, b) as well as to "sand-tempered
punctated" sherds from the Canton Street Site dating to the
earlier Florida Transitional Period (Bullen et al. 1978:Figure
6a, b, d). I would reclassify the sherd as "miscellaneous
punctated" and suggest that it dates to the Deptford horizon,
when pottery was sometimes punctated with reeds or sticks
(e.g., Milanich 1973:60, 1994:129; Williams 1977:Figure 45).
Such an age is suggested by the sherd's recovery from deep in
the Yellow Bluffs Mound (Zone III) and by radiocarbon dates
from locations in the mound (Layer 6/Zone II and lower Layer
9/Zone IV) that are stratigraphically above and below upper
Layer 9/Zone III (Luer and Hughes, this issue).
Finally, the other decorated ceramic (FS 39, east-west
trench, Square 140N, 125E, Zone IV, mound base) was
identified by Milanich (1972:Table 3) as "Opa Locka Incised,"
a type of the late Glades I/early Glades II periods, ca. A.D. 500
to 800 (Griffin 2002:82-83, 157, Figure 4.5, Figure 5.3). Opa
Locka Incised designs are arch-shaped incisions drawn around
the rim of a vessel, either with a tool or perhaps a thumbnail
(Goggin and Sommer 1949:40). Typically, the incised
arches are wide, often semicircular and overlapping, and
on an inward-curving rim (e.g., Carr 2006:Figure 6). These
attributes differ from those of the FS 39 sherd from the Yellow


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Figure 13. Decorated sherds from Yellow Bluffs Mound at HC. a: sand-tempered plain rim
sherd, pinched inner edge of lip (FS 30, east-west trench, Square 140N, 125E, lower mound);
b: St. Johns Check Stamped body sherd (FS 52, intersection of east-west and north-south
trenches, Square 140N, 150E, lower mound fill); c: Deptford Linear Check Stamped body
sherd (FS 28?); d: Deptford Linear Check Stamped rim sherd (FS 13?); e: St. Johns Simple
Stamped body sherd (FS 44?); f: cord-marked body sherd (FS 50, east-west trench and in-
tersection of trenches, around Squares 140N, 140E and 140N, 150E, Layers 7 and 8, mound
fill); g: cord-marked body sherd (FS ?); h: miscellaneous incised rim sherd (FS 39, east-west
trench, Square 140N, 125E, mound base) identified by Milanich as "Opa Locka Incised;" i:
miscellaneous punctated body sherd (FS 13, north-south trench, Square 110N, 150E, lower
mound) identified by Milanich as "Carrabelle Punctated." FS numbers are written on spec-
imens (question marks indicate unclear numbers); proveniences based on Milanich (1969c).


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THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST 2011 VOL. 64(1)


Bluffs Mound, which is a small, sand-tempered rim sherd with
a thin body wall (4 mm), a straight rim, and diagonal lines
on top of a flat lip. On the rim below the lip, it has a vertical
row of seven small, closely-spaced, apparent fingernail jabs
or incisions, creating tiny flattish or obtuse arches with the
open sides downward (Figure 13h). Such a simple design
could be made occasionally by potters at different times and
places. For example, an apparently similar treatment appears
on a sand- and limestone-tempered rim sherd from the Florida
Transitional Period (ca. 1000 to 500 B.C.) pictured by Bullen
et al. (1978:Figure 6e). I would reclassify the FS 39 specimen
from the Yellow Bluffs Mound as a "miscellaneous incised"
sherd and suggest that it dates to the Deptford horizon based
on its recovery from deep in the mound and on radiocarbon
dates supporting such an age (Luer and Hughes, this issue).

Lithic and Bone Artifacts

Milanich (1972:30-32, Figure 10) described and pictured
a number of stone artifacts. Most were rather crude, flaked
knives and points, and two small scrapers, of generally low-
grade chert of probable west-central Florida origin. He also
pictured a single "siltstone plummet" (FS 7), probably of local
origin (1972:Figure 10), and he described a barrel-shaped
"whetstone" (FS 13) (1972:30). Most of these artifacts are
housed at HC. Davis recovered similar artifacts, including
lithic flakes of low-grade chert that are at HC and are unstudied.
Milanich (1969c) also listed numerous "chert flakes" from
many proveniences. Some lithic flakes at HC may be those
excavated by Milanich, and four of them in FS 13 are among
the mound's vertebrate remains housed at FLMNH (see next
section, below).
Such lithic artifacts are typical of the middle Manasota
Period, although some could be older if they were accidental
inclusions in mound fill or if they were collected items. One,
a small ovate scraper, was reported with Burial 2 (Milanich
1972:34, Figure 10j). No exotic copper or lithic burial
goods were found in the mound, nor were any shell vessels,
shell plummets, or shell gorgets. This is consistent with
other known middle Manasota Period burial sites and with
radiocarbon dates of burials from the Yellow Bluffs Mound,
which predate the Hopewell horizon and Yent complex, when
such goods were placed with burials in some Florida Indian
sites (Milanich 1994:135-140).
Milanich (1972:30, Figure 9) also described and pictured
a number of bone artifacts, most from the lower portion of the
Yellow Bluffs Mound, including the upper and lower "midden"
zones (Layer 9) at mound base. Some may be accidental
inclusions in mound fill; none was reported with a burial. One
is a perforated tiger shark tooth, perhaps from a hafted knife,
and another is a small bone tube cut from a small longbone. A
number of bone tools were fashioned from dense shaft pieces
of deer metapodials, which the Indians intentionally reduced,
split, and then worked. They consist of fragments of three awls
and two pins as well as four points with evidence ofhafting on
one end. Again, Davis recovered similar artifacts, which are
typical of the middle Manasota Period.


My reinspection of vertebrate remains from the Yellow
Bluffs Mound, housed at FLMNH, revealed several additional
pieces of worked deer longbone, including a fragment of a
polished shaft (FS 21, perhaps from an awl) and a proximal
epiphysis with cut marks (FS 43), both from the "upper
midden" (Layer 9). I also identified two other deer bone
artifacts in the FLMNH collection, one fashioned from a left
metacarpal (FS46, upper Layer 9) and the other fashioned
from a left metatarsal (FS 18, lower Layer 9). Each consisted
of a long, narrow, proximal portion of a split shaft with distal
and proximal ends removed. FS 18 appears to be unused, but
FS 46 displayed much use-wear on its distal portion, including
scratches, polish, and rounded edges. These apparently were a
result of gouging motions. This tool's distal end also displayed
several scored facets that apparently were a result of grinding
against a hard, gritty surface.

Zooarchaeological Remains

Milanich (1972:Table 1) presents a list of vertebrate
taxa represented by remains recovered from the "sub-mound
base" (two strata labeled Layer 9) during the 1969 UF-NC
excavations in the Yellow Bluffs Mound. These taxa were
identified by Kent Ainslie and Curtiss Peterson using the
vertebrate reference collection at FSM (now FLMNH), under
the direction of Elizabeth Wing. For the overall mound,
Milanich describes vertebrate remains as follows: "more than
75 per cent of the bones were those of deer, turtle, and fish"
(Milanich 1972:39). In 2007, I reinspected the collection of
vertebrate remains from the overall mound (mound base and
other strata) that are curated at FLMNH in the Environmental
Archaeology Range (Zooarchaeology Collection #93).
In Milanich's Table 1 that lists vertebrate taxa, there is
a prevalence of large-size animals. This probably reflects:
1) recovery of remains on large mesh screens (greater than
1/4-inch); 2) lack of identification of some remains; 3) poor
preservation of small or delicate remains; and 4) selection of
large animals by the Indians. My reinspection of the overall
collection supported all four of these biases. With regard to the
first, Milanich (1972:23) describes the use of 1/2 inch mesh
screens and "a mechanical sifter with 3/8 by 3/4 inch mesh
hardware cloth." Regarding identification, I observed some
remains of taxa not listed, including unidentified bird (Aves,
FS 21, 24, 43, 51) and small-size bony fish (e.g., toadfish,
Opsanus sp., FS 10).
An observation by Milanich (1972:39) that "fish skull
bones were extremely rare, suggesting that the fish were
cleaned at least partially before being placed in the mound
base" appears instead to reflect poor preservation (due to
decay, fragmentation, and dissolution) of delicate, less-dense
elements. The collection from the mound base does contain
kinds of fish cranial elements that are structurally dense and
thus are more likely to persist in archaeological deposits (Luer
2007:294-297, Tables Q-3 and Q-4). These dense cranial
elements show that the heads of fish were present and that
they had not been removed ("cleaned"). Cranial elements in
the mound base from the upper and lower portions of Layer 9
(the two "midden" strata, FS 18, 39, 43) include neurocranial


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fragments of saltwater catfish (Arriidae), a dermethmoid
(front of the neurocranium) of a blue runner (Caranx crysos),
hyperostoses from cleithra of probable crevalle jack (Caranx
cf. hippos), dentaries and maxillae of sheepshead (Archosargus
probatocephalus), and a quadrate of a drum fish (Sciaenidae).
The collection's abundant deer bones and deer bone
fragments may reflect some intentional inclusion by Indians
of deer remains in the mound. All deer body parts appear
to be represented (e.g., head, torso, front and rear limbs).
However, the greater density and hence better preservation
of deer bone may play a role in its abundance (as accidental
inclusions in mound fill as well as intentional ones). The same
two processes may apply to turtle and tortoise bones in the
collection from the mound base (FS 18, 19, 21, 30, 39, 43, 47,
51), including those of snapping turtle (Chelydra sp.), mud
turtle (Kinosternidae), chicken turtle (Deirochelys reticularia),
gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus), box turtle (Terrapene
carolina), softshell turtle (Trionyx ferox), and sea turtle
(Chelonidae). At some other burial sites, an abundance of deer
and turtle remains suggests that Indians intentionally included
them with human interments, such as in the Fort Center pond
burial area that is approximately 400 to 600 years younger
than the Yellow Bluffs Mound (Hale 1984:177, Table 1; Sears
1982:Table 7.1; Purdy 1991:98).
Much of the vertebrate faunal collection came from the
lower portion of the Yellow Bluffs Mound, especially from the
mound base. Divergent radiocarbon dates of two deer bone
fragments from the base of the mound (ca. 3,200 versus 2,100
years old, see Luer and Hughes, this issue) suggest a mixture
of faunal remains of different ages. That is, some remains date
to the time of mound construction, whereas other remains are
older and might have originated in deposits borrowed and used
as fill by the builders of the mound.
Despite apparent mixing, some faunal remains may date
to the time of mound construction and use in both the mound
base and the upper portion of the mound. This is suggested by
a deer bone fragment from the mound base, which yielded a
calibrated 2-sigma radiocarbon date of cal 340 to 40 B.C., or
the same general time when burials were interred in the mound
(Luer and Hughes, this issue). It also is suggested by the good
condition of some vertebrate remains, which hint at primary
deposition during the time of mound construction and use. An
example is a portion of a deer mandible apparently interred
with Burial 2 in the upper portion of the mound (Milanich
1972:34, Figure 9, bottom). Coeval deposition would be
consistent with Milanich's (1972:34) interpretation that
some faunal remains in the mound's upper portion represent
"food offerings," such as deer, fish, and shellfish remains
associated with Burials 1, 2, and 3 (also see Luer 1986:151).
Primary deposition of some faunal remains in the mound base
could support Milanich's (1972:24) hypothesis that some
may represent food offerings deposited at or just before the
beginning of mound construction.

Human Bone

I should note that human remains are mixed with faunal
materials in the FLMNH zooarchaeology collection. I


identified them provisionally in 2007. Many of these human
remains were listed by Milanich (1969c) in his "Field
Specimen Catalogue." He did not assign them to Burials
1 through 10 (Milanich 1972), and many may represent
additional individuals. They apparently were not numbered
as burials because of their scattered recovery and fragmentary
occurrence. Milanich returned Burials 1 through 10 to the
SCHC, and today they are curated at HC.
Most of the FLMNH human remains are from the mound's
sandy upper portion (e.g., Layer 6), called "mound fill" by
Milanich (1972:26, Figure 4). They include teeth, cranial,
longbone, and vertebral fragments (FS 14, 24, 28) from the
east-west trench's Square 140N, 125E, some of which may
be derived from Burials 4, 5, 6, and 7. Moving eastward in
the east-west trench, more cranial and longbone fragments
as well as teeth (FS 23, 31) came from Square 140N, 140E,
which included Feature 1 (FS 23, an intrusive cache of large
marine gastropod shells [see below]). It is unclear if the human
remains in FS 23 were associated with Feature 1 or if they were
from the older, surrounding mound; they included 16 teeth,
a mandible fragment, and 12 cranial fragments according to
Milanich (1969c). Other remains came from immediately
to the south, in the adjacent 5 x 10 ft Square 135N, 140E,
consisting of a cranial fragment, a longbone fragment, and
two teeth (FS 25), a longbone shaft with cut marks (FS 26),
and cranial fragments (FS 33). The shaft with cut marks is
unusual.
More human remains came from high in the central area
of the mound. They include a patella, an unworn molar crown
(FS 8), and a frontal (FS 27) from Square 140N, 150E in the
intersection of the east-west and north-south trenches. One
molar (FS 44) came from this same general area in Square
125N, 150E in the north-south trench. All these remains might
have been displaced by Moore's trench, which impacted that
area. Farther south in the north-south trench, a partially burned
cranial fragment (FS 12) came from Square ll0N, 150E.
The latter fragment, listed as "1 burnt human occipital" by
Milanich (1969c), is unusual because it is burned.
The FLMNH collection also includes a longbone shaft
fragment (FS 43) from the "upper midden" (Layer 9), located
deep in the mound in Square 140N, 140E. It may correspond
with "a single premolar, perhaps intrusive, [which] was found
in the prepared base" (in one of the two "midden" layers,
Layer 9) (Milanich 1972:24). Besides these two elements, no
other human remains are known from the base of the mound.

Intrusive Finds

A number of items recovered from the Yellow Bluffs
Mound appear to be intrusive since the mound was first built
and used over 2,000 years ago. Clearly intrusive are several
bones of domestic animals recovered during the 1969 salvage
excavations and stored in the FLMNH zooarchaeology
collection. They include a left astragalus of a cow (FS 3,
from 6 to 12 inches below surface), a sawn thin ring of bone
(apparently from a single thin slice of ham; FS 5, from 18 to
24 inches below surface), and sawn proximal ends of two right
cow ribs (FS 7, from "mound fill"). These bones appear to be


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food remains of people who lived near the mound during the
nineteenth and/or twentieth centuries. They may be associated
with a few nails, glass, wire, and flower pot fragments noted
by Milanich (1969c) from near the surface of the mound,
which were discarded in the field.
Also in the FLMNH zooarchaeology collection are
several snake vertebrae that may be intrusive in the upper
portion of the Yellow Bluffs Mound. The light color of
these snake vertebrae suggests that they may be more recent
than darker-colored bones from elsewhere in the mound.
These light-colored vertebrae are identified as coachwhip
(Masticophis flagellum) by Milanich (1972:37). He mentions
them with Burials 8 and 10, with which they were recovered,
but in both cases he notes the intrusive central disturbance that
we now know was dug by C. B. Moore (see above). I suggest
that these snake remains may be intrusive, perhaps dating to
the time of Moore's dig, or perhaps earlier.
An earlier intrusion in the Yellow Bluffs Mound is
suggested by radiocarbon dates of marine shells from Feature
1 (FS 23) that was excavated in 1969 near the surface in the
east-west trench in Square 140N, 140E (see Luer and Hughes,
this issue). Three shells from Feature 1 yield a calibrated
2-sigma age range of cal A.D. 1560 to 1660, suggesting
that American Indians might have placed this cache of large
univalve shells in the mound during the postcontact Safety
Harbor Period. Perhaps the cache represents a ritual offering
of some kind. Archaeological work at other sand burial
mounds in central and southern Florida indicates that there
was widespread reuse of older burial mounds by postcontact-
period Indians, who placed burials, glass beads, metal tablets,
and other valued items in them (Allerton et al. 1984:10, 22;
Hughes and Hardin 2003). The reuse of existing mounds by
later Florida Indians as places of offering and/or interment
supports the interpretation that they understood them to be
burial mounds and viewed them as sacred places.

The Yellow Bluffs Mound in Wider Context

Nearby shell middens indicate that Indians lived near
the Yellow Bluffs Mound (Figure 14). Close-by, the Acacias
Midden Area A (8SO97A) overlooked Sarasota Bay to the
west of the mound, and another area of midden deposit,
Acacias Midden Area B (8SO97B), was just south of the
mound (Austin et al. 1989; Piper Archaeology/Janus Research
1992). A lower portion ofAcacias Midden Area B yielded two
radiocarbon dates (Table 1) suggesting habitation in the middle
of the Manasota Period (ca. cal A.D. 50 to 250), soon after
original construction and use of the Yellow Bluffs Mound. A
shallower portion of this same Area B midden produced two
more recent dates suggesting habitation in the late Weeden
Island and early Safety Harbor periods.16
North of the Acacias Midden and the Yellow Bluffs
Mound, a long, linear shell midden ran along the shore of
Sarasota Bay (Figure 14). Named the Palmetto Lane Midden
(8SO96), it formed a distinct ridge rich in quahog clam shells
(Archibald et al. 1989; Luer 1992b; Luer and Archibald 1990;
Quitmyer 1992). The Palmetto Lane Midden grew higher and
wider as it neared Whitaker Bayou, a tributary to Sarasota


Bay. Just across the bayou to the north, the Alameda Way
Shell Midden (8SO39) (Almy 1976; Monroe et al. 1977) is a
continuation of similar midden deposits rich in quahog clam
shells.
Three radiocarbon dates from the Palmetto Lane Midden
(Table 1) support habitation that was generally coeval with
the original construction and use of the Yellow Bluffs Mound.
These three dates came from the Drainage Culvert Trench at
the north edge of Lot 3 in the Tocobaga Bay Subdivision (Luer
1992b:247-248). Four additional radiocarbon samples from
the Palmetto Lane Midden were obtained during a cultural
resource assessment project in 2004 on a parcel, Lot 8, in the
Tocobaga Bay Subdivision by Archaeological Consultants,
Inc. (Luer et al. 2005). Two of these dates from Lot 8's upper
midden in Test Pits #1 and #6 (Luer et al. 2005:Appendix V)
are coeval with dated burials from the Yellow Bluffs Mound.
That same Lot 8 yielded human remains in shell midden
deposits dating to the middle of the Manasota Period, which
suggests that not all individuals were buried in sand burial
mounds, such as the Yellow Bluffs Mound. The remains
discovered in 2004 in Lot 8 were disarticulated and scattered
(Luer et al. 2005:2-23 through 2-24). Additional human
remains, apparently from an articulated burial, came from a
shovel test to the east on the adjacent parcel, Lot 9, during an
archaeological survey in 1989. These remains were in "dense
quahog shell midden" and consisted of a number of longbone
and cranial fragments, phalanges, and very worn adult teeth
(Archibald et al. 1989:15). In 2007, additional human remains
were uncovered in the Alameda Way Shell Midden, north of
Whitaker Bayou, during construction of a residence (Almy et
al. 2007).
Burials in midden debris, cemeteries, and burial mounds
are typical of the Manasota Culture (Luer and Almy 1982:46-
47). The dates from the Yellow Bluffs Mound show that
mound burial was being practiced by the early middle portion
of the Manasota Period (ca. 185 to 60 cal B.C.). Another sand
burial mound that was being used during the middle and late
Manasota Period is the Palmer Burial Mound in Sarasota
County (see Bullen and Bullen 1976; Hutchinson 2004; Luer
1986:148-150, Figure 12; Luer and Almy 1982:47; Norr
2004). Both the Yellow Bluffs Mound and Palmer Burial
Mound are examples of "continuous use or cemetery type"
burial mounds, as described by Sears (1958).
The Manasota Key Cemetery (Dickel 1991), also in
Sarasota County, produced two radiocarbon dates that are
coeval with dated burials in the Yellow Bluffs Mound (Gold
2006:Appendix I). At the Manasota Key Cemetery, burials
apparently were interred in a natural beach ridge, rather than
in an artificial mound. It appears that burial placement (i.e., in
cemeteries, middens, or mounds) was variable in the region
during the middle Manasota Period. This may reflect a number
of factors, such as the population size of communities, the
social power of lineages, and the rank or status of individuals
buried. Besides cemeteries and mounds, some interments
might have occurred in habitation settings (e.g., under the
floors of houses?), perhaps accounting for human remains
found in some shell middens (such as the Palmetto Lane
Midden's Lots 8 and 9).


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Figure 14. The Yellow Bluffs Mound (8SO4) and nearby Ameri-
can Indian archaeological sites in the City of Sarasota. Adapted
from Monroe et al. (1977), Carr et al. (1989), Luer (2005), and
other sources.


Sand burial mounds were appearing at important sites
across central and southern Florida approximately 2,500 to
1,500 years ago. Predating the Yellow Bluffs Mound, two
radiocarbon dates from the Crystal River site suggest that
mound burials began there early in the Deptford Period, ca.
800 to 420 cal B.C. One of these dated burials was from the
Crystal River site's Mound G and the other from Mound C.
Moving ahead in time, three more radiocarbon dates from
Crystal River overlap, or date to just after, our radiocarbon
dates from the Yellow Bluffs Mound. Two of these Crystal
River dates come from Mound B and the third is based on
another burial from Mound G, and they together have a
combined age range of roughly 100 cal B.C. to cal A.D. 200
(Pluckhahn et al. 2010:Table 1, Figure 9).
Some south Florida burial mounds producing radiocarbon
dates in the slightly later range of 2,000 to 1,500 years ago
include the Oak Knoll Mound near Bonita Springs (Dickel and
Carr 1991:165) and Mound B at Fort Center (Sears 1982:186-
189, 194-199, Table 7.1). Both these mounds date to the
Hopewellian-Middle Woodland horizon. Additional mounds,
such as the Royce Mound in Highlands County, also show


Hopewellian influence and belong to the Middle Woodland
horizon (Austin 1993). Meanwhile, burials in midden debris
continued at some sites, such as the Dunwody Site on Lemon
Bay near Englewood, Florida, dated to the late Manasota
Period, ca. cal A.D. 410 to 660 (Gold 2006; Luer 1999:46-
49). Thus, this and preceding paragraphs present important
evidence indicating that varied settings, including middens,
cemeteries, and mounds, were being used for burial in central
and southern Florida approximately 2,500 to 1,500 years ago.
I also want to point out that radiocarbon dates from
the Yellow Bluffs Mound, Acacias Midden Area B, and the
Palmetto Lane Midden now make it clear that a large portion
of the Whitaker Site Complex dates to the Manasota Period.
Thus, much of the site complex does not date primarily to the
Safety Harbor Period, as once thought. Additional components
of the site complex, such as the Alameda Way Midden and
the Weber Mound (8S020), also may date to the Manasota
Period. The ages of other mounds, such as the Cedar Terrace
(8S04494), Sylvan Drive (8S04493), and Bullock (8S093)
mounds, are unknown. Some other portions of the Whitaker
Site Complex are known to date to the Safety Harbor Period,


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THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST


Table 1. Radiocarbon dates from the Acacias and Palmetto Lane middens. The measured and
conventional ages are in radiocarbon years before present (B.P.; present = A.D. 1950) and are
rounded to the nearest ten. A typical 13C/12C value of marine shell is 0 o/oo, which is 25 o/oo larg-
er than the agreed standard of -25 o/oo and thus adds 410 years (25 x 16.4 = 410) to its measured
age. Equivalent values (in years) for 13C/12C ratios (1 o/oo = 16.4 years) are stated in this table,
and they are reflected in the corrected (conventional) ages. Asterisks indicate estimated ratios and
ages. Calibrated age ranges were derived by Beta Analytic, Inc., using the Intcal98 Radiocarbon
Age Calibration. Uncorrected dates and 13C/12C ratios for the Acacias Midden are based on
Piper Archaeology/Janus Research (1992:Table 3), and uncorrected dates from the Palmetto Lane
Midden are based on Luer (1992b:Table 1). One sigma age ranges have 68% probability, and two
sigma age ranges have 95% probability.

Provenience, Lab Measured, 13C/1C Ratio Conventional, Calibrated,
ID# or Uncorrected (Value in Corrected Age Calendrical
Submitter's ID#, Age B.P., Years) B.P., 1 Sigma Range, 2 Sigma
Material 1 Sigma (* indicates (* indicates
estimate) estimate)
Acacias Midden
Area B (8S097B),
upper level
1.91-107-1, 1180+/-70 +2.8 (27.8 x 1640+/-70 cal A.D. 640 to 900
fighting conch** 16.4 = 460)
2. 91-108-1, 1230 +/- 60 +9.0 (34.0 x 1790 +/- 60 cal A.D. 470 to 700
fighting conch** 16.4 = 560)
Acacias Midden
Area B (8S097B),
lower level
1. 91-92-1, quahog 1750 +/- 60 +0.6 (25.6 x 2170+/-60 cal A.D. 50 to 330
valve 16.4 = 420)
2. 91-90-7, quahog 1770 +/- 60 +4.2 (29.2 x 2250 +/- 60 40 cal B.C. to
valve 16.4 = 480) cal A.D. 240
Palmetto Lane
Midden (8S096)
1. Beta-54002, 1820 +/- 60 0* (25 x 16.4 2230 +/- 60* 30 cal B.C. to
quahog valve = 410) cal A.D. 250
2. Beta-54003, 1990 +/- 60 0* (25 x 16.4 2400 +/- 60* 210 cal B.C. to
quahog valve = 410) cal A.D. 70
3. Beta-54004, 1730 +/- 60 0* (25 x 16.4 2140 +/- 60* cal A.D. 90 to 380
quahog valve = 410)
**Caution is needed in using these ages (see Note 16 at the end of the text).


on the basis of radiocarbon dates and/or artifacts, such as the
Bolyston Mound (8SO35) and the Whitaker Mound (8S081)
(Luer 1992a:228, 1992c, 2005:33-39).
Together, the mounds and middens of the Whitaker Site
Complex point to a protracted period of habitation, spanning
ca. 500 B.C. to ca. A.D. 1250. Such a long age range can
be compared with other major multi-mound and midden site
complexes in west-central Florida, such as the Crystal River
site that began in the Deptford Period and extended into the
Weeden Island Period (Pluckhahn et al. 2010) and the Palmer
Site that began in the preceramic Archaic Period and extended
into the early Safety Harbor Period (Bullen and Bullen 1976;


Luer and Almy 1982; Newsom 1998). These comparisons
underscore the potential of the Whitaker Site Complex for
adding significantly to our knowledge of human history along
the Florida Gulf Coast.

Conclusion

The Yellow Bluffs Mound was protected by its
incorporation in the grounds of The Acacias until it
was destroyed in 1969 for anticipated construction of a
condominium. It is tragic that such a significant, beautiful
mound was lost. Such insensitivity to an important part of our


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LUER YELLOW BLUFFS MOUND


cultural heritage has been too common in Florida, especially
in the City of Sarasota.
Archaeological salvage work in 1969 revealed numerous
burials in the western side of the Yellow Bluffs Mound. Ten
burials were documented by archaeologists, and many more
were salvaged by the SCHC and volunteers. Interments
included flexed burials, an apparent extended double burial,
and possible bundle burials. Skeletal remains were of males
and females of varied ages, some accompanied by possible
offerings (especially food, suggested mostly by marine shells
and fish bones) (Milanich 1972). This evidence supports the
interpretation that the Yellow Bluffs Mound (at least its upper
western portion, including Layers 6, 14, and 16) represents a
"continuous use or cemetery type" burial mound, as defined
by Sears (1958).
Archaeological work in 1969 also produced information
and collections that allow continued study of the mound.
The investigations presented here and in a companion study
(Luer and Hughes, this issue) show that the Yellow Bluffs
Mound is older than previously thought. It dates to the early
middle portion of the Manasota Period, ca. 185 to 60 B.C.
Finds in the Yellow Bluffs Mound are generally consistent
with what we know from some other burial sites dating to the
middle Manasota Period (e.g., the Manasota Key Cemetery
and portions of the Palmer Burial Mound) and so they fit
comfortably with this revised age while also adding to our
knowledge of the period. The recovery of some paddle-
stamped sherds (check, cord, and simple stamped) points to
contact with Deptford peoples to the north.
Such an age makes the Yellow Bluffs Mound coeval
with the nearby Palmetto Lane Midden. Indeed, significant
portions of the Whitaker Site Complex date to the Manasota
Period, namely the Yellow Bluffs Mound, the Palmetto Lane
Midden, and some of the Acacias Midden. This Manasota-
period occupation probably included the Alameda Way Shell
Midden, so that habitation bracketed the mouth of Whitaker
Bayou and was spread linearly along the shore of Sarasota
Bay. These Manasota-period middens are outstanding for their
vast quantities of quahog clam shells as well as other mollusk
shells, abundant fish bones, and other animal remains. These
shell middens are important for future researchers to gain a
better understanding of the fishing, hunting, and gathering
lifeways of the Manasota Period Indians.
Later, during the early Safety Harbor Period (ca. A.D. 900
or 1000 to ca. A.D. 1300), habitation shifted northward to Indian
Beach. There, the Boylston Mound (8SO35) and probably the
Shell Road Midden (8SO94) were occupied intensively at that
time (Luer 1992c). Both middens might have been associated
with the Whitaker Mound (8SO81), which apparently yielded
evidence of the Safety Harbor Period, such as sherds with
"ornamented" handles (Luer 1992a:228, 2005:35, Figures 18
and 19).

Notes

1. Harry L. Schoffwas from upstate western New York. He
dug in many Florida sites in the 1930s (Luer 1993:242;
Mitchem 1989:43, 191,219, 227). Whitfield Estates was a


1920s boom-time subdivision located along Sarasota Bay
and Bowles Creek to the north of the Sarasota-Manatee
county line (Manatee County 1925, 1926).
2. The site listed in the FMSF as 8MA75 is based on site
"Ma75" that was recorded in the 1950s by the University
of Florida Archaeological Site Survey (Plowden 1954).
That information was, in turn, collected earlier by
the Florida Park Service (FPS), based on a list of sites
maintained by Montague Tallant, a collector of American
Indian artifacts who lived in Manatee County (Tallant ca.
1940). The FPS identified the site as "Mn 70" ("Mn" stood
for "Manatee County," followed by the individual site
number), while Tallant called it "No. 85" and described
it as a sand mound "50 feet" in diameter, "3 1/2 feet" in
height, and "removed by Road Dept." (Tallant ca. 1940).
Schoff's mound at the Sarasota-Manatee County line was,
according to Willey (1949:344), "60 feet in diameter and
10 feet in height," but its height could have diminished
over time due to digging, including by Schoff.
3. In 1958 and 1959, the Sarasota County Historical
Commission and its supporting Sarasota County
Historical Society were established, and the first County
Historian, Dorothy "Dottie" Davis, was hired (e.g., Fritts
1959). One of Davis' early initiatives was an assessment
survey of archaeological and historical sites in Sarasota
County and the City of Sarasota. She conducted it with
Cracker outdoorsman John Fales, producing a typescript
report describing many sites (Fales and Davis 1961).
4. Moore did not describe the location of the Yellow Bluffs
Mound in his short, published paragraph about the mound
(Moore 1900a:362), leading Mitchem (1999:6, 20)
to misidentify it as the Weber Mound (which is on the
opposite, northern side of Whitaker Bayou). However,
Moore did describe the location of the Yellow Bluffs
Mound in his field notes (Moore 1900b:27), and he
marked its location in his published frontispiece map
(Moore 1900a:350). This is explained in Luer (2005:35,
39), where Moore's field notes are quoted, and they are
quoted again in this article (see above). The field notes
describe the mound as southeast of the mouth of Whitaker
Bayou and within sight of the bay, which accurately
describes the Yellow Bluffs Mound. Moore also describes
the mound's dimensions, which match those of the Yellow
Bluffs Mound. In addition, Moore mentions a land owner
and nearby winter resident, Mrs. F. E. Brooks. A check
of deed records indicates that Frank E. Brooks and Flora
W. Brooks of Oakland County, Michigan (near Detroit),
purchased land in the Whitaker Subdivision in 1896 and
1903 (Manatee County n.d.:447, 449).
5. William Whitaker moved from Middle Florida after
the Armed Occupation Act opened the Sarasota Bay
area to American settlement, and he quickly became an
owner of land, slaves, and cattle (Grismer 1946:31; Luer
1992a:230-232; Matthews 1981:171-175). Previously,
I described the Whitakers' second house (pictured in
Tricebock 1986:14) and I interpreted its architectural
attributes as derived from Louisiana via Middle Florida
(Luer 1992a:230). This interpretation is supported by


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THE LORIA ATHROOLOGST 011 OL. 4(1


similar house styles in Louisiana, where they are termed
"Creole" (Rehder 1978:Figure 6a). The Whitakers'
second house was demolished many decades ago. The
multi-story San Marco Condominium, bordering U.S. 41,
was built on its former location in 2005.
6. Palmetto Lane was a remnant of the Whitaker homestead
and appears in Figure 2, top. Its northern portion still
exists today and is one of the oldest streets in the City of
Sarasota.
7. Karl Bickel was an international newsman and president
of United Press from 1922 to 1935. He retired to Sarasota,
where he was active in municipal, state, and international
affairs (Luer 2002:48, Note 7; Puig 2002:16-25). His
book, The Mangrove Coast, was published in 1942. In
1948, Bickel and his wife, Madira, purchased a significant
American Indian temple mound on Terra Ceia Island and
donated it to the State of Florida, now known as the Madira
Bickel Mound State Archaeological Site, a 10-acre park
maintained by the Florida Department of Environmental
Protection (Florida Park Service 2010).
8. During most years since 1969, the City of Sarasota has had
meager legal protection for archaeological sites. Recently,
portions of four significant sites were destroyed with
little or no salvage work (at the Pinard Midden [8SO99]
in 1996, Old Oak Site [8S051] in 2001, Alameda Way
Shell Midden [8SO39] in 2007, and Shell Road Midden
[8SO94] in 2008). These four sites date to different time
periods, so that important pages of the region's history
were lost. The city's current "Historic Preservation Plan"
continues to be weak (City of Sarasota 2008). Outside the
city, Sarasota County has developed stronger protective
measures and has implemented an archaeological
resources protection program since the late 1980s (e.g.,
Archibald 1991; Sarasota County 2009). A law that has
applied to both the city and county, since 1987, is the
State of Florida's legislation to protect unmarked human
burials (State of Florida 2009).
9. Richard E. Glendinning, Jr. (b. 1918, d. 1988) was a
writer bom in Elizabeth, New Jersey. After graduation
from Dartmouth College, he worked for Vogue Magazine
and Country Life, and as public relations director for
the Baltimore Museum of Art. After serving in the Navy
during World War II, he wrote pulp magazine stories, radio
scripts, and articles. After moving to Florida in 1950, he
was one of a number of well-known artists and writers in
Sarasota (e.g., Marth 1973:151). In the 1950s, he authored
many paperback novels in the Gold Medal Books and
the Popular Library series. Later, he wrote books about
historical topics, such as The Mountain Men (1962) and
Frontier Doctors (1963) (both with noted author Wyatt
Blassingame of Anna Maria Island [Norwood 2003:115-
117]) and a book for young readers, Circus Days Under
the Big Top (1969). Glendinning was interested in Florida
history and served on the Sarasota County Historical
Commission in the 1960s. In the 1970s, Glendinning was
a founding director of the Sarasota County Historical and
Natural Sciences Center (Anonymous 1988), now called
the Gulf Coast Heritage Association, which manages


Historic Spanish Point and the shell middens of the
Palmer Site (8S02). On a personal note, he was one of
my neighbors in Sarasota in 1967 and 1968, when he lent
me facsimiles of John Lee Williams' The Territory of
Florida and Bernard Romans' A Concise Natural History
of East and West Florida, two books which encouraged
my interest in Florida history.
10. Davis was County Historian from 1958 to 1982. In the
late 1960s, Davis' office was at the southwest entrance
to the old Sarasota County Courthouse, near the corer
of Ringling and Washington Boulevards. Upstairs, the
SCHC met in the County Commissioners' chamber, where
Ripley Bullen analyzed collections from the Paulsen Point
Midden (8SO23) in early 1968 (Bullen 1971:5).
11. Pignut hickory (Carya glabra), in the walnut family
(Juglandacea), is at the southern end of its range in
Sarasota County, where it grows on well-drained ground
in the Indian Beach, Whitaker Bayou, and Yellow Bluffs
areas in the City of Sarasota. It also grows farther south
at Historic Spanish Point, in Osprey (Rabinowitz 1998:8),
where archaeobotanical remains of carbonized hickory
nutshell fragments have been recovered from different
components of the Shell Ridge Midden dating to the
Manasota (ca. A.D. 200 to 300) and early Safety Harbor
(ca. A.D. 1100) periods (Newsom 1998:210, Table 4).
Historical accounts and archaeological evidence indicate
that hickory nuts and oak acorns were important foods
for Indians in north-central Florida (Newsom 1987:62).
It is possible that pignut hickory might have been spread
southward to Sarasota County by Indians of the Manasota
Period, or earlier, who could have used its nuts as a food
source.
12. I was in school in April and May and visited the mound
only two or three times. During the summer, I was studying
orchids (Luer 1969) and did not revisit the mound. I was
puzzled by what was happening there. The situation
contrasted with well-managed American Indian sites I had
seen at Russell Cave and Mesa Verde in 1963, at Serpent
Mound and Mound City in Ohio and at Florida's Crystal
River in 1967, and in 1968 in Mexico, where I visited
TeotihuacAn and the National Museum of Anthropology.
I had read about American archaeology (e.g., Brennan
1959; Covarrubias 1954; Fewkes 1924; Fundaburk and
Foreman 1957; La Farge 1956; Willey 1949), and I did
not see how the State of Florida and the City of Sarasota
could allow destruction of a beautiful mound like the one
at Yellow Bluffs. Later that summer, in August 1969, I
visited a neglected Monk's Mound at Cahokia. It had
eroding gullies and a new interstate highway to its north,
and I realized how differently archaeological sites were
treated from place to place.
13. Another apparent error in the Phase I survey was the
assumption that three buildings located near the center
of the survey area were "Servant's Quarters" associated
with The Acacias. Instead, Sanborn maps and a 1948
aerial photograph indicate that these buildings postdate
the original estate and that they were located on adjacent
parcels (e.g., Sanborn Map Company 1929, 1966).


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YELLOW BLUFFS MOUND


14. Another error occurs in my plan view map of the Yellow
Bluffs Mound (Luer 1992a:Figure 7), which has an
incorrect scale of 1 inch = 30 feet, whereas it should be 1
inch = 20 feet. However, the mound's approximate basal
dimensions of 29 by 37 m (95 by 120 ft) that are stated in
Luer (2005:Tables 2 and 3) are accurate.
15. According to the City of Sarasota (1997), the developer's
site plan delimited an "Archaeological Preservation Area"
that was to be "maintained and preserved throughout
the duration of construction" and that was "limited to
sidewalks and bicycle path." Furthermore, all activity
within the preservation area was to be monitored by
Janus Research, the archaeological firm retained by the
developer. Today, the preservation area is near Sarasota
Bay, west of the Sarasota Bay Club's two condominium
towers.
16. Two fighting conch shells from the upper level of Acacias
Midden Area B produced calibrated age ranges spanning
cal A.D. 470 to 900 (Table 1). Ongoing radiocarbon dating
research at Charlotte Harbor suggests that fighting conch
shells may yield older dates than other marine shells in
the region, so the Acacias Midden Area B dates may be
approximately two to five hundred years too early.

Acknowledgments

The Sarasota County Historical Commission must be
recognized for spearheading the 1969 salvage work at the
Yellow Bluffs Mound. Although it was an unwelcome task
for which they were unprepared (they preferred preservation
over destruction), the late Doris Davis and the late Richard
Glendinning worked selflessly in the salvage effort. Also
giving important support for the salvage work was the late
John Elmendorf, President of New College, and his wife,
anthropologist Mary L. Elmendorf.
Even in the 1960s, these four citizens were trying to save
Sarasota's American Indian past. Today, this commitment lives
on in Sarasota County's Historic and Archaeological Resource
Protection Ordinance (Sarasota County 2009), which has been
in effect since the 1990s. In contrast, the City of Sarasota has
lagged behind in providing sufficient legal protection for its
disappearing archaeological heritage (City of Sarasota 2008).
In Sarasota, I would like to thank Dan Hughes, Sarasota
County Archaeologist at the History Center from 2002 to
2008, who made collections from the Yellow Bluffs Mound
available for study. He also kindly facilitated archival and
collections research, and worked to obtain funding from
Sarasota County for radiocarbon dates. Also at the History
Center in 2009, Lorrie Muldowny and Jeff LaHurd helped
with radiocarbon dates and historic images. In 2007, I obtained
plat and boundary information at the Sarasota County Clerk of
the Circuit Court. In Sarasota in 2004, Marion Almy included
me in further work at the Palmetto Lane Midden. I also want
to thank Tesa Norman, of Sarasota, for her expertise with
computer images and graphics.
In Gainesville, Sylvia Scudder at FLMNH provided
access to the zooarchaeology collection from the Yellow
Bluffs Mound, and she allowed samples to be removed for


radiocarbon dating. Irv Quitmyer also provided access to the
zooarchaeology collection at FLMNH, and Elizabeth Wing
kindly gave me some background information about it. The
P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History at UF made available
books by Richard Glendinning in the John D. MacDonald
Collection. Jeff Mitchem kindly provided letters by Schoff
on file at the National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian
Institution, and he gave helpful review comments. In
Tallahassee, Louis Tesar provided insights on Gulf Coastal
Deptford culture.
Finally, I want to thank my friend and colleague Jerald
Milanich, with whom I first crossed paths at the Yellow
Bluffs Mound in 1969, for sharing his field maps, notes, and
photographs. His involvement in the 1969 salvage effort
provided the archaeological expertise that was needed. His
excellent work produced collections and documentation
that made it feasible for current research to improve our
understanding of the mound.

References Cited

Allerton, David, George M. Luer, and Robert S. Carr
1984 Ceremonial Tablets and Related Objects from
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Almy, Marion M.
1976 A Survey and Assessment of Known Archaeological
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Almy, Marion, Lee Hutchinson, Nelson Rodriguez, and Brian
Jill
2007 Archaeological Monitoring: 2211 Alameda Way,
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Anonymous
1916 Good Roads Mean Much. The Sarasota Times
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1963 Hundreds Attend Historical Society Tea; Sarasota
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1988 Area Author Glendinning Dead at 70. Obituary.
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LUER


YELLOW BLUFFS MOUND





THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST


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2011 VOL. 64(1)







RADIOCARBON DATING THE YELLOW BLUFFS MOUND (8S04),
SARASOTA, FLORIDA


GEORGE M. LUER' AND DANIEL HUGHES2


'3222 Old Oak Drive, Sarasota, FL 34239
Email: geoluer@gmail.com

2 5343 John Reynolds Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32277
E-mail: dbhughes@mail.usf edu


Here, we present new data and interpretations about the
age and cultural affiliation of the Yellow Bluffs Mound (8SO4)
in the City of Sarasota, Florida (Figure 1). It was an American
Indian burial mound that was destroyed by condominium
development in 1969. Our radiocarbon results allow us to date
the mound to ca. 185 to 60 cal B.C., which places it in the early
middle portion of the Manasota Period.
Before our study, radiocarbon dates had not been
obtained from the Yellow Bluffs Mound. Instead, the previous
interpretation of its age (made at the time of excavation and
original analysis in 1969 through 1972) attributed the mound
to the precontact Safety Harbor Period, then thought to range
from ca. A.D. 1300 to 1500 (Milanich 1972:37). This present
study accompanies another article in this issue that examines
the salvage excavations in the Yellow Bluffs Mound in 1969
as well as the ceramic and faunal collections recovered at that
time. Archaeologist Jerald Milanich's excellent documentation
of the provenience of recovered materials, coupled with
curation of collections primarily by Sarasota County, made it
feasible for us to conduct this current study.

The Problem

Archaeological research conducted during the last 30
years has raised questions about the original interpretation by
Milanich in 1972 that the Yellow Bluffs Mound dated to the
Safety Harbor Period. First, archival research indicates that
the Yellow Bluffs Mound was not the same mound where H.
L. Schoff found Safety Harbor Period pottery in the 1930s
(Luer, this issue). Second, much of the pottery from the Yellow
Bluffs Mound does not date to the Safety Harbor Period and
was not "Pinellas Plain" (Luer, this issue). Third, the mound
did not yield typical Safety Harbor Period mortuary ceramics,
whereas archaeological work during the last 30 years has
shown that decorated Safety Harbor Period pottery occurs
in burial mounds throughout west-central Florida, including
the Sarasota region (e.g., Luer 1980, 1993, 1996, 2002a,
2002b, 2005; Luer and Almy 1987; Luer et al. 1987:147-148;
Mitchem 1989; Willis and Johnson 1980).
The Sarasota area was not geographically marginal to the
use of mortuary pottery of the Safety Harbor Culture. Thus, a
burial mound dating to that period should contain decorated


ceramics typical of burial mounds of that time. This runs
counter to Milanich's argument of geographic marginality to
explain the lack of such pottery in the Yellow Bluffs Mound
(Milanich 1972:39). Given the three points outlined above, a
reassessment of the mound's age and cultural affiliation was
needed.

Background to Our Dating Project

In 2005, archaeologist George Luer completed research
on two sites in the City of Sarasota (Luer 2005; Luer et al.
2005), which led him to think that a reassessment of the Safety
Harbor Period assignment for the Yellow Bluffs Mound
was possible. At that time, archaeologist Dan Hughes was
working as Sarasota County Archaeologist at the Sarasota
County History Center (HC), in Sarasota. Luer asked Hughes
about collections from the Yellow Bluffs Mound that were
stored at HC, all of which had been recovered during salvage
excavations in 1969. Luer asked Hughes if they could begin to
reassess the collections with a goal of dating the mound.
As a first step, in 2006, Hughes and Luer located bags of
human bone fragments from the mound that were at HC. Then,
we made a list of the bags and their proveniences (Hughes
and Luer 2006). Most of these bags and their contents were
listed by HC in the 1990s in an inventory of human skeletal
remains conducted for the Native American Graves Protection
and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA).
As a second step, in 2007, Luer and Hughes began
a process of radiocarbon dating remains from the Yellow
Bluffs Mound. First, Luer selected two bone fragments of
deer (Odocoileus virginianus) from the mound that were
stored at the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH),
in Gainesville. These specimens, plus clam shells and a deer
bone associated with two human burials in the HC collection,
were submitted by Luer and Hughes for radiocarbon dating
in mid-2008, after funding was granted by Sarasota County.
Later in 2008, Hughes used additional funds allotted to HC so
that we could radiocarbon date three shells that were stored at
HC, all of which came from a feature in the mound. Despite
these efforts, we discovered that we still needed additional
dates to secure a clear understanding of the mound's age, so
further funds were granted by Sarasota County for five more


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THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST 2011 VOL. 64(1)


w ** :. I'
Figure 1. Location of the former Yellow Bluffs Mound, north of downtown Sarasota and
south of Whitaker Bayou. This is the current location of the Sarasota Bay Club. Map from
United States Geological Survey (1993).


radiocarbon dates in mid-2009. These last five samples finally
allowed us to date the mound successfully.
As a third step, Luer prepared this paper to present our
findings. We obtained a total of 12 dates, which support a
much better understanding of the mound's age than previously
available. These dates improve the value of the Sarasota
County and FLMNH collections from the mound. Our
radiocarbon results also can be compared to dates from other
archaeological sites in west-central and southern Florida, thus
yielding a better picture of Sarasota's and the wider region's
human history.


Collections Research

Here, we describe in detail our research of collections
at HC and FLMNH. In May 2007, Luer worked with faunal
remains in the Zooarchaeology Range of the Environmental
Archaeology Laboratory at FLMNH. He studied
Zooarchaeology Collection #93, which was excavated from
the Yellow Bluffs Mound in April 1969 by Milanich and a
student crew from the UF Department of Anthropology as
well as New College (NC) students and volunteers (Figure 2).
At that time, Milanich was a 23-year-old graduate student at
UF, and the faunal collection was analyzed there and stored at


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2011 VOL. 64(1)






LUER AND HUGHES RADIOCARBON DATING YELLOW BLUFFS MOUND


Figure 2. Layers in the Yellow Bluffs Mound, April 1969. Milanich's right hand extends to
lower Layer 9, and his head is even with upper Layer 9. Deer bone fragments from these
two layers were dated in this study (although they came from another location). The strati-
graphic profile shown here was in the north-south trench along the 160 East line, between
115N and 125 N. This photograph appears in Milanich (1972:Figure 8), courtesy of HC.


FLMNH (then named the Florida State Museum). The faunal
collection consists of vertebrate remains only. Invertebrate
remains, which were abundant in the mound (especially
quahog clam and fighting conch shells), are not present in the
collection and apparently were not kept for curation.
Next, we worked with remains from the mound that are
housed at HC. Some of those remains were excavated by
Milanich in 1969. The rest were excavated by the late Doris
"Dottie" Davis, Sarasota County Historian, and volunteers
under the aegis of the Sarasota County Historical Commission
(SCHC) in 1969 (Luer, this issue).
The Milanich materials at HC include artifacts with "So-
4" numbers written in black ink directly on them. In addition,
they include remains from Milanich's Feature 1 and Burials 1
through 10. The burial remains are clearly identified in labeled
bags or with numbers written directly on them, and they were
itemized at HC in the 1990s on the NAGPRA list.
At HC, we could match many of the Milanich artifacts
and other remains from bagged features with published
photographs and descriptions in Milanich (1972). Inked
numbers on these artifacts were written at UF in 1969 before
their return to SCHC. They were inscribed with "So-4" and
their field specimen number (e.g., So-4-39). A detailed list
describing these field specimens and their proveniences was
created at UF at the time of analysis, ca. 1969. Milanich
provided HC with originals and copies of the paperwork


documenting the UF field work and laboratory analysis,
including this detailed list (Milanich 1969a) as well as
descriptions of burials (Milanich 1969b).
In the HC collection from the Yellow Bluffs Mound,
we determined that a number of stone and bone artifacts
correspond to items pictured in Milanich (1972:Figures 9 and
10). Pottery sherds could not be similarly matched because a
photograph of sherds was not included in Milanich's article.
However, some labeled sherds at HC correspond to decorated
ones listed by Milanich (1972:Tables 2 and 3) and in his
detailed field specimen list (see below). In addition, we could
match some sherds in the HC collection with images of sherds
in a composite photograph assembled by Milanich (on file at
HC, but not published in his article).
The Davis materials at HC are in labeled bags. A number
of those bags contain primarily marine shells from the mound,
and some contain additional items, such as artifacts and
faunal remains. Many bags contain human remains. Field
and laboratory notes do not exist for the Davis collection,
but many bags are inscribed with trench number, pit number,
depth, and field date, while some bags have little or no specific
provenience.
In the 1990s, volunteers and staff at HC worked with the
Davis collection to cull human remains from their original
bags and to rebag them separately. At that time, many of these
remains were included in the NAGPRA list, but some were


LUER AND HUGHES


RADIOCARBON DATING YELLOW BLUFFS MOUND






THE~~~~~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ FLR NHOOOIS 01VL 41


not. Hughes and Luer (2006) compiled a fuller list of these
bags, including their existing provenience information.

Radiocarbon Analyses

We obtained 12 radiocarbon dates, confining our analyses
to materials with well-documented provenience only. All were
remains excavated by Milanich in 1969, which he describes
and documents in his field and laboratory notes and in a
published report (Milanich 1969a, 1969b, 1972). We should
note that, at first, we began by dating items associated with the
mound or with burials, while avoiding human remains directly.
Thus, the first seven dates we obtained were based on marine
shells and fragments of deer bones. Because these dates were
inconclusive, it became clear that we needed additional dates
and that we needed to date human burials directly. Thus, we
then obtained dates from five burials, leading us to secure
a total of 12 radiocarbon dates based on fragments of deer
bones, clam and univalve marine shells, and human teeth and
bone fragments.
Our dating of a variety of remains was an effort to be as
thorough as possible, given the nature of remains and the costs
of dating. We submitted teeth and bone from five of Milanich's
numbered human burials so that we could obtain direct ages
for burial features that reflect the time when the mound was in
use. We also dated remains from mound fill, including clam
shells associated with two of Milanich's burials as well as deer
bone fragments that were excavated by Milanich from the
mound base. In addition, we dated three large univalve marine
shells from Milanich's Feature 1, which was near the ground
surface in the upper portion of the mound. The calibrated two-
sigma age ranges of all 12 of our radiocarbon dates are plotted
graphically, below.
The dated materials were in good condition. All marine
shells from the mound have surfaces that are chalky and
eroded by soil acids. However, we made sure that the shells
we dated had interiors that were hard and intact, and thus were
in good condition for radiocarbon dating. Similarly, we chose
bones and teeth that were thick, hard, and dense, with surfaces
in good condition.
In addition, our close inspection of surfaces showed that
all bones and teeth had no traces of a preservative coating or
stabilizer. Nor was any evidence of contamination found by
laboratory personnel. If any contaminants had been applied
(e.g., insecticides or sealants), they would have left traces
detectable during pretreatment and analysis in the laboratory,
but no such traces were present (Ron Hatfield, Beta Analytic
radiocarbon dating technician, personal communication, 2008
and 2009).
Finally, we asked that unused portions of the radiocarbon
samples be returned by the laboratory. This included any
fragments of bone, tooth, and shell. These materials were
reincorporated with the HC and FLMNH collections.

Dating Burials 1, 3, 5, 6, and 8

These five human burials all came from the west side
of the mound. Each burial formed a distinct feature in the


mound's upper portion (Layer 6). The burials were spaced
along a stretch of approximately 40 feet in what was called the
"east-west trench." Their modes of interment and other details
are described by Milanich (1972:32-37). All these remains
were curated at HC with labels in Milanich's handwriting, and
each burial had teeth and other elements that were consistent
with each other in terms of color, biological maturity, and
usewear (no mixing of elements was evident).
In order to preserve existing skeletal remains as much as
possible, we utilized accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS)
radiocarbon dating. This dating method uses a small amount of
collagen extracted from a tooth or bone fragment, and thus is
the least destructive method available. We selected one or two
teeth from each of three burials (an upper right second molar
from Burial 1, a fourth premolar and a second molar from
Burial 5, and a third premolar and a first molar from Burial
6). From two other burials, we selected longbone fragments
(an unsided fibula fragment from Burial 3, and a right femur
fragment from Burial 8). We also selected a right humerus
fragment from Burial 10, but it did not yield sufficient collagen
in the laboratory (Beta-260439) to allow an age determination.
The resulting five dates are in Table 1 and Figure 3. All
the age ranges are similar, with four of them being statistically
the same (having measured ages that overlap at 2-sigma range
[95 percent probability]). Only one date, from Burial 1, is
statistically older (having a measured age that does not overlap
with the others at 2-sigma range), but it does overlap with the
other four when calibrated. In calibrated 2-sigma form, all five
date ranges overlap in an approximate range of ca. 300 to 40
cal B.C. To refine this age range, Darden Hood (a radiocarbon
dating expert at Beta Analytic, Inc., where the samples were
run) provided a weighted average of these five conventional
ages at 1-sigma range (2108 +/- 17 radiocarbon years) that,
when calibrated, yields a 1-sigma (68 percent probability) age
range of 170 to 104 cal B.C. and a 2-sigma age range of 185 to
85 cal B.C. and 72 to 60 cal B.C. (or an inclusive range of 185
to 60 cal B.C.). Such age ranges place the burials in the early
middle portion of the Manasota Period (the Manasota Period
ranges from ca. 500 B.C. to ca. A.D. 600 or 700).
These five dates of human bone and teeth do not take
account of a minor reservoir effect that is assumed to occur
in them. This effect is assumed because Indians who lived
along the coast during the region's mid-Manasota Period had
a predominantly marine-estuarine diet, as shown by isotopic
analyses of human remains from the Palmer Burial Mound
(8SO2) (Norr 2004:180-182) and the Dunwody Site (8CH61)
(Gold 2006:43, Table 1; Kelly 2004:73, Table 11; Luer 1999).
We did not obtain all the data needed to determine diet from
our five samples (i.e., values for nitrogen isotope and stable
carbon isotope from apatite carbonate), but we did obtain
stable isotopic data from collagen (13C/12C ratios in Table 1).
Our collagen '3C/l2C values are very similar to those of human
remains from the Palmer Burial Mound (mean = -9.5, based on
25 individuals) (Norr 2004:Table E.2) and the Dunwody Site
(mean = -8.7, based on 12 individuals) (Kelly 2004:Table 11).
Thus, we assume that the individuals who were buried in the
Yellow Bluffs Mound had a predominantly marine-estuarine
diet. This assumption also is supported by abundant fish and


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Table 1. Radiocarbon dates of human teeth and bone from the Yellow Bluffs Mound (8S04). The
measured and conventional ages are in radiocarbon years before present (B.P.; present = A.D. 1950)
and are rounded to the nearest ten. Equivalent values (in years) for 13C/12C ratios (1 o/oo = 16.4
years) are stated in this table, and they are reflected in the corrected (conventional) ages. Calibrated
age ranges were derived by Beta Analytic, Inc., using the Intcal98 Radiocarbon Age Calibration.
One sigma age ranges have 68% probability, and two sigma age ranges have 95% probability.

Provenience, Lab Measured, 1C/ C Conventional, Calibrated,
ID#, Material Uncorrected Ratio Corrected Age Calendrical Range,
Age B.P., (Value in B.P., 1 Sigma 2 Sigma
1 Sigma Years)
1. Layer 6, Burial 1, 2010+/-40 -9.6 (15.4 2260 +/- 40 400 to 340 cal B.C.,
Beta-260434, upper x 16.4 = 330 to 200 cal B.C.
right second molar 250)
2. Layer 6, Burial 3, 1820+/-40 -11.1(13.9 2050 +/- 40 170 cal B.C. to
Beta-260435, un- x 16.4= cal A.D. 30
sided fibula fragment 230)
3. Layer 6, Burial 5, 1840 +/- 40 -9.1 (15.9 2100 +/- 40 340 to 330 cal B.C.,
Beta-260436, two x 16.4 = 200 to 30 cal B.C.
teeth (see text) 260)
4. Layer 6, Burial 6, 1880+/-40 -10.8(14.2 2110+/-40 340 to 320 cal B.C.,
Beta-260437, two x 16.4= 210 to 40 cal B.C.
teeth (see text) 230)
5. Layer 6, Burial 8, 1770 +/- 40 -9.9 (15.1 2020 +/-40 150 to 140 cal B.C.,
Beta-260438, right x 16.4 = 110 cal B.C. to cal
femur fragment 250) A.D. 60


Calendar Calibrated 2-Sigma Age Ranges
Years



00


A.D. 100 "
0-
00 B.m .-

200 B.C.- |
300 B.C.-
400 B.C.-
500 B.C.- o o
o o 8 j

m -

o 0y



Figure 3. Dates from the Yellow Bluffs Mound supporting its con-
struction and use slightly more than 2,000 years ago.


LUER AND HUGHES


RADIOCARBON DATING YELLOW BLUFFS MOUND






THEFLIANTRO__OLS 2 O. 6i


Table 2. Radiocarbon dates of marine shells and deer bone from the upper and lower portions
of the Yellow Bluffs Mound (8SO4). The measured and conventional ages are in radiocarbon
years before present (B.P.; present = A.D. 1950). All ages and 13C/12C corrections are rounded
to the nearest ten. A typical 13C/12C value of marine shell is 0 o/oo, which is 25 o/oo larger than
the agreed standard of -25 o/oo and thus adds 410 years (25 x 16.4 = 410) to its measured age.
Equivalent values (in years) for 13C/12C ratios (1 o/oo = 16.4 years) are stated in this table, and
they are reflected in the corrected (conventional) ages. The conventional ages in this table are not
adjusted for local reservoir effect (delta-R) and they were not adjusted for delta-R before they
were used to obtain calibrated ages. Calibrated age ranges were derived by Beta Analytic, Inc.,
using the Intcal98 Radiocarbon Age Calibration. One sigma age ranges have 68% probability,
and two sigma age ranges have 95% probability.

Provenience, Lab Measured, 1C/12C Conventional, Calibrated,
ID#, Material Uncorrected Ratio Corrected Age Calendrical Range,
Age B.P., (Value in B.P., 1 Sigma 2 Sigma
1 Sigma Years)
1. Layer 6, Burial 3, 3350+/-40 +1.2 (26.2 3780+/-40 1920 to 1620 cal B.C.
Beta-245198, quahog x 16.4=
left valve 430)
2. Layer 6, Burial 4, 2200+/-40 +1.0 (26 x 2630+/-40 410 to 320 cal B.C.
Beta-246833, quahog 16.4 =
notched left valve 430)
3. upper Layer 9, 2930+/-40 -20.2 (4.8 3010+/- 40 1390 to 1120 cal B.C.
FS#30, Beta-245196, x 16.4=
deer left humerus 80)
fragment
4. lower Layer 9, 2030 +/- 40 -20.2 (4.8 2110 +/- 40 340 to 40 cal B.C.
FS#39, Beta-245197, x 16.4 =
deer right metatarsal 430)
fragment


shellfish food remains in nearby middens of the Manasota
Period.
Given a marine-estuarine diet during the lifetimes of
these Manasota people, their living bodies (tissues, bones,
and teeth) probably incorporated some "old" carbon from the
ocean. According to Darden Hood (personal communication,
2010), there is presently no quantifiable correction that can be
applied to these five dates of human bone and teeth in order
to adjust for such assumed older carbon, other than arbitrarily
subtracting "some tens of years." Such a minor correction
would make the radiocarbon results slightly younger (more
recent) by "perhaps as much as 50 to 100 years" (Darden Hood,
personal communication, 2010). Given 2-sigma age ranges of
+/- 80 years for our five dates of human bone and teeth, such a
younger shift suggests that the younger half of our age ranges
may be more likely to reflect the ages of the five samples.
Because such a shift is minor and not quantifiable, we will
continue to use the age ranges reported to us by the laboratory
and listed in Table 1 (which yield an averaged conventional
age that produces an inclusive, 2-sigma calibrated age range
of 185 to 60 cal B.C.). Thus, as stated above, these five dates
of human burials support an age in the early middle portion of
the Manasota Period.


Dating Items Associated with Burials 3 and 4

We obtained standard radiometric dates of two quahog
clam (Mercenaria campechiensis) shells from Burials 3 and 4
in the upper portion of the mound (Layer 6). Each shell was a
left valve that was collected with a burial and thus appeared to
be associated. These shells were curated at HC in labeled bags
containing the remains of Burials 3 and 4. Despite surface
erosion and chalkiness due to the action of soil acids while
buried, each of these shells was thick enough to contain hard,
intact calcium carbonate in their interior that was suitable for
accurate radiocarbon dating.
Table 2 presents results. Both shells yielded ample carbon
for standard radiometric dating, and their 13C/12C values are
reasonable. Both shells yielded slightly positive values of
13C/12C that are indicative of high salinity waters, which
occur in much of Sarasota Bay. Such values are consistent
with quahog clams, which grow best in a high salinity range
between 24 and 28 parts per thousand (Eversole 1987). For
each conventional age, we did not adjust for the local reservoir
effect (delta-R, which would add approximately 10 radiocarbon
years in the Sarasota area). The quahog shell from Burial 3
yielded a 1-sigma measured age of 3350 +/- 40 radiocarbon


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LUER AND HUGHES RADIOCARBON DATING YELLOW BLUFFS MOUND


years and a 2-sigma calibrated age of 1920 to 1620 cal B.C.
The quahog shell from Burial 4 produced a 1-sigma measured
age of 2200 +/- 40 radiocarbon years and a 2-sigma calibrated
age of 410 to 320 cal B.C.
These two dates are not the same (their measured ages do
not overlap at 2 sigma). The shell from Burial 3 is more than
1,000 years older than the shell from Burial 4, and it is more
than 1,000 years older than the dated fragment of human bone
from Burial 3 (Tables 1 and 2). On the other hand, the shell
from Burial 4 is close in age to the five AMS dates of human
remains (above). While the measured age of the shell from
Burial 4 does not overlap with any of the measured dates of
human remains, it is very close to the measured age of Burial 1
and its 2-sigma calibrated age range overlaps with the 2-sigma
calibrated age ranges of Burials 1, 5, and 6.
Thus, the quahog shell from Burial 4 could be
contemporary with at least some of the dated human remains.
It could have been included intentionally with Burial 4 as a
"recent" shell obtained by the Indians from their then-current
natural environment (as opposed to an "old" or fossil shell).
Interestingly, the quahog clam valve from Burial 4 was eroded
at the umbo, sides, and back. Its form was that of a "notched
left valve," a possible kind of shell tool (Luer 1986).'
In contrast, the older shell from Burial 3 was an intact
valve, without signs of significant wear, erosion, or other
modifications (e.g., lateral notches). This older clam shell
might have been an incidental inclusion, scooped up with
fill dirt that the Indians used to build the mound. Milanich
(1972:34) states that Burial 3 "was laid out on the old humus
and covered with fill [by the builders of the mound]." He also
notes "a deposit of shell with humic stains... in association
with the burial" (Milanich 1972:34). Additional marine shells
in the same bag as Burial 3 consist of fragments of at least
three more quahog left valves, fragments of two quahog right
valves, a fighting conch (Strombus alatus) shell lip fragment,
and a basal fragment of a banded tulip (Fasciolaria lilium
hunteria) shell. All these shell fragments were eroded, with
chalky surfaces.
We also tried to radiocarbon date a deer left astragalus
from Burial 4. This deer element was in the HC collection,
in the same labeled bag as the Burial 4 human remains and
associated shells. It appears to be the one "deer foot bone"
listed by Milanich (1969b) in his field "burial record" form for
Burial 4, and which may be the same as the "one deer toe bone
in association" mentioned in the published report (Milanich
1972:34). However, this astragalus (Beta-245195) did not yield
enough collagen in the laboratory to allow dating. Besides the
notched valve, shells in the Burial 4 bag included fragments of
two more quahog left valves, a quahog right valve fragment,
and an apparent fighting conch shell fragment. Again, these
shell fragments were eroded, with chalky surfaces.

Dating the Mound Base

We obtained two AMS dates (Table 2) of remains from
two layers near the mound's base in the mid-stretch of the
east-west trench. Both are based on deer bone fragments we
secured by loan from Zooarchaeological Collection #93 at


FLMNH. Both fragments yielded sufficient collagen for AMS
dating, and both yielded strongly negative 13C/12C values,
which are typical of bone from terrestrial, plant-eating deer.
Since deer are not a marine organism, no adjustment for local
reservoir effect (delta-R) was made to the conventional ages.
After dating, we returned remaining portions of each bone to
FLMNH for continued curation, and we placed our notes and
radiocarbon results on file with the Zooarchaeology Collection
Manager.
One fragment of a deer left humerus came from Field
Specimen 30 (FS 30). A paper tag in the boxed collection at
FLMNH identifies its provenience as "F.S. 30, upper Layer
9." Milanich's field specimen catalog identifies FS 30 as
"fill" in the 10 x 15 ft unit of 140N, 125E at a depth of 9.9 ft
below datum in the east-west trench (Milanich 1969a). This
deer humerus fragment yielded a radiocarbon age of more than
3,000 years (Table 2), which supports the interpretation that it
was derived from a source older than the mound. Perhaps it
may be an incidental inclusion in mound fill that the builders of
the mound obtained from an old, nearby midden. In describing
this "fill," Milanich (1972:24) wrote that it "seems to have
been taken from an old humic-midden layer."
The other fragment, a piece of a deer right metatarsal, came
from "F.S. 39, lower Layer 9," according to a provenience tag
in the boxed collection at FLMNH. Milanich's field specimen
catalog identifies FS 39 as "light colored midden" in the 10
x 15 ft unit of 140N, 125E at a depth of 10.6 ft below datum
in the east-west trench (Milanich 1969a). Thus, the deer
metatarsal fragment came from the same unit as the deer
humerus fragment, but from 0.7 ft deeper. This deer metatarsal
fragment produced a measured 1-sigma date of 2030 +/- 40
radiocarbon years and a calibrated 2-sigma age range of 340
to 40 cal B.C. (Table 2).
Such an age for this deer metatarsal fragment is
approximately one thousand years younger than the deer
humerus fragment. Moreover, the deer metatarsal fragment's
measured age is very close to the measured age we obtained
for Burial 1, and the metatarsal fragment's calibrated 2-sigma
age range overlaps with the calibrated 2-sigma ranges for all
five burials we dated (above, and Tables 1 and 2). This suggests
that the deer metatarsal fragment is coeval with the five burials
and that it dates to the time of mound construction and use.
In other words, these six dates, taken together, support an
approximate contemporary age for the mound's base and its
upper portion.

Dating Feature 1

Feature 1 was located near the surface in Layer 6 in the
east-west trench (Figure 4). It was in the western portion of the
10 x 10 ft square of 140N, 140E (Milanich 1972:32, Figures
5 and 7). It consisted of a row of 14 large univalve shells,
ascending from east to west and rising from approximately
50 to 20 cm below the surface (estimated). At the time of
excavation in 1969, these shells were carefully uncovered,
mapped, and numbered. As each shell was removed from
its in situ position, Milanich used a black marker to write its
identifying number on the inside surface of each shell's outer


LUER AND HUGHES


RADIOCARBON DATING YELLOW BLUFFS MOUND






THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST 2011 VOL. 64(1)


Figure 4. Feature 1 in the east-west trench, Yellow Bluffs Mound, April 1969
(view to west). Three of these shells were radiocarbon dated. Their ages sup-
port the interpretation that this feature dates to the early postcontact period
and was a relatively recent intrusion in the mound. Numbered shells are la-
beled, based on labeled shells and a photograph at HC.


lip. These numbers are still plainly legible on the specimens
at HC.
The first two shells at the eastern end of Feature 1, labeled
Shells #1 and #2, were horse conch (Pleuroploca gigantea)
shells. The rest, Shells #3 through #14, were left-handed whelk
(Busycon sinistrum) shells. Figure 4 shows the shells in situ,
with their identifying numbers added, based on Milanich's
field notes and the numbered shells in the HC collection.
Shells #1 and #2 were the deepest, and Shells #9, #10, and #13
were the shallowest. Figure 4 shows that the sand surrounding
the shells of Feature 1 was darker than the sand in the adjacent
mound.
We selected three of these shells for standard radiometric
dating (Shells #1, #7, and #13) (Figures 5, 6, and 7). We chose
shells in excellent condition (intact, solid shells with slightly
eroded, chalky surfaces). At the dating laboratory, each shell
was broken intentionally to extract the columella in order to
obtain the densest, cleanest, best preserved portion of the shell
for dating.


Table 3 presents results. The 13C/2C values (slightly
positive or very slightly negative) are indicative of high-
salinity water, such as Sarasota Bay. The conventional ages in
Table 3 are not adjusted for the local reservoir effect (delta-R).
However, we did adjust them (by adding 10 radiocarbon years
to each) when we used them to obtain calibrated age ranges.
All three measured dates are very recent, as are the calibrated
age ranges. In calibrated 2-sigma form, all three dates indicate
an age range of ca. cal A.D. 1470 to 1720, with a shared
overlap in an approximate range of ca. cal A.D. 1620 to 1650.
To refine this age range, Darden Hood provided a weighted
average of the three conventional, unadjusted ages at 1-sigma
range (690 +/- 20 radiocarbon years) that, when calibrated,
yields a 1-sigma age range of cal A.D. 1620 to 1650 and a
2-sigma age range of cal A.D. 1560 to 1660. This supports
the interpretation that Feature 1 was an intrusive, postcontact-
period feature in the mound, and that Feature 1 was interred
long after the mound's original construction.


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LUER AND HUGHES RADIOCARBON DATING YELLOW BLUFFS MOUND


Figure 5. Two views of Shell #1 from Feature
Figure 5. Two views of Shell #1 from Feature 1.


Figure 6. Two views of Shell #7 from Feature 1.


Figure 7. Two views of Shell #13 from Feature 1.


LUER AND HUGHES


RADIOCARBON DATING YELLOW BLUFFS MOUND






THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST 2011 VOL. 64(fl


Table 3. Radiocarbon dates of marine shells from Feature 1 in the Yellow Bluffs Mound
(8SO4). The measured and conventional ages are in radiocarbon years before present (B.P.;
present = A.D. 1950) and are rounded to the nearest ten. A typical 13C/12C value of marine
shell is 0 o/oo, which is 25 o/oo larger than the agreed standard of -25 o/oo and thus adds
410 years (25 x 16.4 = 410) to its measured age. Equivalent values (in years) for 13C/12C
ratios (1 o/oo = 16.4 years) are stated in this table, and they are reflected in the corrected
(conventional) ages. The conventional ages in this table are not adjusted for local reservoir
effect (delta-R). However, they were adjusted for delta-R by adding 10 radiocarbon years to
each of these three conventional ages before they were used to obtain calibrated ages. Cali-
brated age ranges were derived by Beta Analytic, Inc., using the Intcal98 Radiocarbon Age
Calibration. One sigma age ranges have 68% probability, and two sigma age ranges have
95% probability.
Provenience, Lab Measured, lC/1C Conventional, Calibrated,
ID#, Material Uncorrected Ratio Corrected Age Calendrical Range, 2
Age B.P., (Value in B.P., 1 Sigma Sigma
1 Sigma Years)
1. Layer 6, Feature 1, 310+/-40 +0.7 (25.7 740 +/- 40 cal A.D. 1480 to 1650
Shell #1, Beta- x 16.4 =
248835, horse conch 420)
2. Layer 6, Feature 1, 210 +/- 40 -0.1 (24.9 620+/-40 cal A.D. 1620 to 1720
Shell #7, Beta- x 16.4 =
248836, left-handed 410)
whelk
3. Layer 6, Feature 1, 270 +/- 60 +1.7 (26.7 710 +/- 60 cal A.D. 1470 to 1690
Shell #13, Beta- x 16.4=
248837, left-handed 440)
whelk
*This conventional age was provided by Beta Analytic and has been rounded up 10 years.

Calendar Calibrated 2-Sigma Age Ranges Culture
Years Periods

A.D. 1800 Present era

A.D. 1500
SSafety Harbor

C-
A.D. 1000
Sc,; Weeden Island
A.D. 500 |

II
0 o g Manasota


500 B.C.
SFlorida
; Transitional
1000 B.C. -


10 Late Archaic


2000 B.C.

Figure 8. Time chart of radiocarbon dates from the Yellow Bluffs Mound. Cali-
brated ages are inclusive ranges based on Tables 1, 2, and 3. Culture periods are
approximate.


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LUER AND HUGHES RADIOCARBON DATING YELLOW BLUFFS MOUND


It is possible that placement of Feature 1 in the Yellow
Bluffs Mound had ritual significance. A parallel may be found
at the Thomas Mound on the Little Manatee River, near
Tampa Bay, where an existing sand burial mound (in this case
dating to the Weeden Island and precontact Safety Harbor
periods) was reused by later Indians. At the Thomas Mound,
postcontact-period Indians interred a copper ceremonial
tablet, silver artifacts, mirror fragments, and glass seed beads
in the top of the mound (Allerton et al. 1984:MT#8; Bullen
1952:7-20; Moore 1900:359; Willey 1949:124-125). This was
not a unique action. Indeed, there was widespread reuse of
older sand burial mounds in central and southern Florida (e.g.,
at Fort Center's Mound B, Bee Hive Hill, and many other
mounds) by postcontact-period Indians, who placed glass
beads, metal ceremonial tablets, and other ornaments in them.
It appears that many such items were grave goods interred in
association with burials (Allerton et al. 1984:10, 22; Hughes
and Hardin 2003; Sears 1982:162). Such reuse of existing
mounds by later Indians supports the interpretation that they
understood them to be burial mounds (although they could not
know how old some of the mounds were) and that they viewed
them as sacred places.

Summary

Figure 8 plots the 12 calibrated 2-sigma radiocarbon age
ranges that we obtained for provenienced materials from the
Yellow Bluffs Mound, all excavated by the UF-directed crew
in 1969. Six dates (five based on human remains, one on marine
shell) support an age in the early middle of the Manasota
Period for burials in the upper portion (Layer 6) of the mound.
A weighted average of the five conventional dates of human
remains supports a calibrated 2-sigma age range of 185 to 60
cal B.C. A seventh radiocarbon date supports a similar age for
a basal layer of the mound. Two additional radiocarbon dates
are older and appear to reflect inclusion of older materials in
the fill that the Indians used to build the mound. Finally, a
weighted average of three conventional dates of marine shells
from a feature near the top of the mound yields a calibrated
2-sigma age range of cal A.D. 1560 to 1660, which supports
a more recent intrusive origin during the postcontact Safety
Harbor Period.

Conclusion

In this study, our goal was to clarify the temporal and
cultural position of the Yellow Bluffs Mound, an American
Indian burial mound destroyed in 1969 in the City of Sarasota.
Our radiocarbon analysis indicates that burials were placed in
the Yellow Bluffs Mound ca. 185 to 60 cal B.C., or during the
early middle portion of the Manasota Period.
The recovery from the mound of a marine shell and a
faunal bone yielding older radiocarbon ages can be attributed
to the Indians' use of earlier midden deposits as sources of
sandy fill for building the mound. The same practice may
account for some pottery in the mound, such as fiber-tempered
sherds (Milanich 1972:Tables 2 and 3). The presence of some
intrusive, postcontact-period material near the top of the


mound is supported by more recent radiocarbon ages (ca. cal
A.D. 1560 to 1660) from a feature of large marine univalve
shells. If this feature is of aboriginal origin, it can be assigned
to the postcontact Safety Harbor Period.
We want to emphasize that our reassessment of the age
of the Yellow Bluffs Mound is not intended to be critical of
work done 40 years ago. Indeed, the work done at that time, in
particular the careful field work and excellent documentation
by Milanich and the UF-NC crew and volunteers, makes
this reassessment feasible. In the late 1960s, radiocarbon
dating was not yet widely used in Florida, and funding for
radiocarbon dating was not available because of the salvage
nature of the project. Given those limitations, we hope that
current researchers understand the need for this reassessment
and will welcome it.

Note

1. This "notched left valve" from Burial 4 had a length of 85
mm and a direct height of 89 mm (see Luer 1986:Figure
4). Its form, and its degree of wear or erosion, were
between the two lesser-worn specimens pictured in Luer
(1986:Figure 8). It is still a question for research if some
of these notched left valves are a result of intentional
modification, use, and wear as tools, followed by erosion,
or whether their form is entirely a result of natural erosion
by soil acids while buried.

Acknowledgments

We want to thank Jerald Milanich for carefully
documenting provenience, keeping thorough records, placing
records and collections in repositories, and publishing
results. We also want to thank Sarasota County for funding
a sufficient number of radiocarbon dates. The assistance of
Sarasota County personnel, including Lorrie Muldowney, Jodi
Pracht, and Jeff LaHurd of the History Center, is gratefully
acknowledged.
Darden Hood and Ron Hatfield, of Beta Analytic, Inc.,
carefully dated remains and answered questions about
radiocarbon dating. Sylvia Scudder and Irv Quitmyer of
FLMNH provided access to the zooarchaeology collection
from the Yellow Bluffs Mound and allowed samples to be
removed for radiocarbon dating. Tesa Norman, of Sarasota,
helped us a great deal through her expertise with computer
images and graphics. Finally, we again want to acknowledge
the support of Sarasota County in funding dates, which were
essential for improving our knowledge of the Yellow Bluffs
Mound, an important site in the history of the Sarasota region.

References Cited

Allerton, David, George M. Luer, and Robert S. Carr
1984 Ceremonial Tablets and Related Objects from
Florida. The Florida Anthropologist 37:5-54.

Bullen, Ripley P.
1952 Eleven Archaeological Sites in Hillsborough County,


LUER AND HUGHES


RADIOCARBON DATING YELLOW BLUFFS MOUND






THE LORIA ATHROOLOGST 011 OL. 4(1


Florida. Florida Geological Survey, Report of
Investigations Number 8, Tallahassee.

Eversole, Arnold G.
1987 Species Profiles: Life Histories and Environmental
Requirements of Coastal Fishes and Invertebrates
(South Atlantic): Hard Clam. Biological Report II-
75, U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife
Service, Washington, D.C.

Gold. Melissa L.
2006 Osteological Analysis of the Manasota Period
Dunwody Site. The FloridaAnthmrpologist 59:35-54.

Hughes, Daniel, and Kenneth Hardin
2003 Beehive Hill: Another Pre- and Post-First Contact
Period Site in Central Florida. The Florida
Anthropologist 56:267-275.

Huehes. Daniel. and George M. Luer
2006 An Inventory of Yellow Bluffs-Whitaker Mound
(8So4) Osteological Collections at the Sarasota
County History Center. On file, Sarasota County
History Center. Sarasota.

K"ei\. Jennifer A.
2004 Stable Isotope Evidence for Maize Consumption and
other Dietary Practices At Bayshore Homes (8P141)
and Other Prehistoric Sites in Peninsular Florida.
M.A- thesis. Department of Anthropology, University
of South Florida, Tampa.

Leer. George M.
1980 The Aqui Esta Site at Charlotte Harbor: A Safety
Harbor-Influenced Prehistoric Aboriginal Site. Paper
presented at the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Florida
Anthropological Society, Winter Park.
1986 Some Interesting Archaeological Occurrences of
Quahog Shells on the Gulf Coast of Central and
Southern Florida- In Shells and Archaeology in
Southern Florida, edited by George M. Luer, pp. 125-
159. Florida Anthropological Society Publication
No. 12, Tallahassee.
1993 A Safety Harbor Incised Bottle with Effigy Bird Feet
and Human Hands from a Possible Headman Burial,
Sarasota County, Florida. The Florida Anthropologist
46:238-250.
1996 Mississippian Ceramic Jars, Bottles, and Gourds
as Compound Vessels. Southeastern Archaeology
15:181-191.
1999 Cedar Point: A Late Archaic through Safety Harbor
Period Occupation on Lemon Bay, Charlotte County,
Florida. In Maritime Archaeology of Lemon Bay,
Florida, edited by George M. Luer, pp. 43-56.
Florida Anthropological Society Publication No. 14,
Clearwater.
2002a Ceramic Bottles, Globular Vessels, and Safety
Harbor Culture. In Archaeology of Upper Charlotte


Harbor Florida, edited by George M. Luer, pp. 95-
110. Florida Anthropological Society Publication No.
15, Tallahassee.
2002b The Aqui Esta Mound: Ceramic and Shell Vessels
of the Early Mississippian-Influenced Englewood
Phase. In Archaeology of Upper Charlotte Harbor
Florida, edited by George M. Luer, pp. 111-181.
Florida Anthropological Society Publication No. 15,
Tallahassee.
2005 Sarasota Bay Mound: A Safety Harbor Period Burial
Mound, with Notes on Additional Sites in the City of
Sarasota. The Florida Anthropologist 58:7-55.

Luer, George M., and Marion M. Almy
1987 The Laurel Mound (8SO98) and Radial Burials,
With Notes on the Safety Harbor Period. The Florida
Anthropologist 40:301-320.

Luer, George, Marion Almy, Dana Ste. Claire, and Robert
Austin
1987 The Myakkahatchee Site (8So397), A Large Multi-
Period Inland from the Shore Site in Sarasota County,
Florida. The Florida Anthropologist 40:137-153.

Milanich, Jerald T.
1969a "Field Specimen Catalogue" forms for 8SO4. Copy
on file, Sarasota County History Center, Sarasota.
1969b "Burial Record" forms for Burials 1 through 10 from
8SO4. Copy on file, Sarasota County History Center,
Sarasota.
1972 Excavations at the Yellow Bluffs-Whitaker Mound,
Sarasota, Florida. The Florida Anthropologist 25:21-
41.

Mitchem, Jeffrey M.
1989 Redefining Safety Harbor: Late Prehistoric/
Protohistoric Archaeology in West Peninsular
Florida. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of
Anthropology, University of Florida, Gainesville.

Moore, Clarence B.
1900 Certain Antiquities of the Florida West-Coast. Journal
of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia
11:349-394.

Norr, Lynette
2004 Appendix E: Stable Isotope Analysis and Dietary
Inference. In Bioarchaeology of the Florida Gulf
Coast: Adaptation, Conflict, and Change, by Dale L.
Hutchinson, pp. 169-184. University Press of Florida,
Gainesville.

Sears, William H.
1982 Fort Center: An Archaeological Site in the Lake
Okeechobee Basin. University Presses of Florida,
Gainesville.


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2011 VOL. 64(1)






LUER AND HUGHES RADIOCARBON DATING YELLOW BLUFFS MOUND 45

United States Geological Survey
1993 Sarasota, FL. 7.5 minute topographic sheet, scale
1:24,000. Washington, D.C.

Willey, Gordon R.
1949 Archeology of the Florida Gulf Coast. Smithsonian
Miscellaneous Collections, vol. 113, Washington,
D.C.

Willis, Raymond F., and Robert E. Johnson
1980 AMAX Pine Level Survey: An Archaeological and
Historical Survey of Properties in Manatee and De
Soto Counties, Florida. Conducted by Environmental
Science and Engineering, Inc., Gainesville.










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~~o-1.m~c~







AN INCISED ANTLER ARTIFACT FROM LITTLE SALT SPRING (8S018)


JOHN A. GIFFORDI AND STEVEN H. KOSKI2

University ofMiami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University ofMiami,
4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, Florida 33149
Email: 'jgifford@rsmas. miami.edu
Email: 2 skoski@rsmas.miami.edu


Little Salt Spring (8SO18, hereafter LSS), a sinkhole
containing an active spring (with a spring magnitude of 3), is
located in southern Sarasota County about 15 km from the Gulf
of Mexico. Intensive excavation work took place there during
the 1970s and some of the earlier research is summarized in
Clausen et al. 1979. In 1982, LSS and a surrounding 110-acre
buffer property were donated by the General Development
Corporation to the The University of Miami.
In 1992, the Florida Department of State awarded a
Special Category grant for initial test excavations in the basin
of LSS (between 0 and 13 meters deep). This grant funded
the most extensive fieldwork to date (February through June,
1992) and established the methodology for research that has
continued to the present. However, underwater excavation in
the basin, as well as elsewhere in LSS, has proceeded very
slowly since 1992, primarily during short (1-2 week) field
sessions involving graduate and undergraduate students from
the University of Miami. Since 2005, volunteer divers from
the Florida Aquarium in Tampa have assisted in three levels
of fieldwork in LSS: surveying of the Basin (0-14 meters
below the spring surface), excavating on the 27-Meter Ledge,
and exploring of the bottom features, 65-75 meters below the
spring surface.
During the June 2004 field school, students began to
expose an object in the southwestern quadrant of Operation 9,
a 2x2 meter excavation unit on the north side of the LSS basin
at a depth of 8.4 meters below the spring surface. The object
was protruding at a near-vertical angle from an organic-rich
marl stratum (Locus Z) that underlies a quartz sand deposit
(Locus 8) in this part of the basin. Because the object appeared
first in the sand stratum, it was assigned Item ID (identification
number) 09108A01 (for Operation 9, Level 10 decimeterss
below original water-sediment interface], Locus 8, Artifact
1 from that context). After removing just two centimeters of
the sand it became apparent that the bulk of the object was
actually embedded in the underlying organic marl stratum;
thus its ItemID was changed to 0910ZA01 after recovery.
Figure 1 is a photograph looking vertically down at the
exposed portion of the object, in situ in the southwest quadrant
of Operation 9. Approximately 15 cm west of the object we
excavated an oak wood branch fragment, also embedded in
the Locus Z marl at the same stratigraphic level; it was tagged
as 0910ZW10 (nine other wood ecofacts already had been
recovered from this locus and level). Like most of the wood


ecofacts and artifacts we have excavated from the anoxic
waters of LSS, it was in excellent condition on recovery
although completely lacking cellulose.
Prior to removing object 0910ZW10, we realized that
it was a worked fragment of a deer antler; almost certainly
Odocoileus virginianus, since more than half of all faunal
material recovered from the basin of LSS represent bones of
that species (Kozuch 1993). Also, from the exposed end it
was apparent that this was a cylindrical fragment of an antler
cut above the burr (i.e., a portion of the "beam"; MacGregor
1985:14). On its recovery we expected that any tines growing
from this beam had been removed by some cutting or sawing
technique. More than a dozen other deer antler fragments have
been excavated from the LSS Basin in which the tines had
been broken off to be further processed into projectile points;
the remaining beam "blanks" were usually discarded but
occasionally the blanks were used to make handles for other
implements.
The artifact and the adjacent wood ecofact were recovered
on June 17, 2004 and brought to the surface. We immediately
noted a series of short (3-4 mm), parallel incisions along the
artifact's concave side. There were 27 incisions in all and they
appear to be purposeful marks. Figure 2 shows the obverse and
reverse of0910ZA01, with the parallel incisions visible in the
former image. The artifact is ca. 8.5 cm in maximum length
and after air drying has a weight of just over 53 grams. Visible
on the reverse are discontinuous small patches of authigenic
calcium carbonate. These patches are commonly found
on solid objects that have been embedded in the LSS basin
sediments for more than a few thousand years, but are only
superficial. The artifact shows no sign of post-depositional
modification of its structure or material; in other words, it is an
original, unfossilized antler.
One tine projecting normal to the long axis of the artifact
had been cut off (Figure 2), presumably at the same time as
the other two cuts along the beam of this antler had been
made. There are additional incisions and possible surface
modifications on the obverse side that also appear to be
artificial (e.g., two substantial incisions toward the distal end
that look as if they were going to become circumferential cuts;
see Figure 2, Left) but they are not discussed here.
Figure 3 shows end-on views of the two cuts that
separated this section of antler from the rest of the beam at
some point above its burr (MacGregor 1985: 55-57). The


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THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST 2011 VOL. 64(1)


Figure 1. Vertical underwater image taken June 16, 2004 of the antler artifact
(910ZA01, initially identified as "8A01") in situ. Its 2.5 cm-wide label is pinned into
the marl sediment matrix with two bamboo skewers. Immediately to the left of this
antler artifact is an arrow pointing to the oak branch fragment (0910ZW10), which
was recovered and C-14 dated.


H u m m m m i


Figure 2. Antler Artifacts (0910ZA01) obverse (left) and reverse (right) images.


proximal end (left) is identified relative to the root of the beam
at the deer skull pedicle; its maximum diameter of 26.8 mm
is larger than that of the distal cut end (25.0 mm), which is
further distinguished by showing on its cut-off end the spongy,
cancellous tissue of the antler's interior. The depression in
the proximal end is filled with a small volume of carbonate-
cemented quartz sand from Locus 8. Finally, both ends shown
in Figure 3 clearly show the series of five to ten short, straight
chord cut-marks that together resulted in the circumcision
and breaching of the dense outer surface so that this beam
section of interest could be broken off by hand. The technique


by which these cuts were made is unknown, but we believe
it may have involved a small wooden tool with a plant fiber
bowstring combined with quartz sand as the abrasive.
In August of 2004 the oak wood branch excavated in
direct association with the antler artifact was submitted to
Beta Analytic for a standard radiometric date. Results were
delivered in September as Beta-195280. The conventional
radiocarbon age of 9240 60 BP (Beta-195380; oak wood; '3C
= -28.4%o) corresponds to a Cal BP date of 10,560 to 10,253
(2-sigma; Calib Rev. 6), indicating that this deposit dates to
the late Paleoindian stage.


THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST


2011 VOL. 64(1)






ANTLER ARTIFACT FROM LITTLE SALT SPRING


Figure 3. Antler Artifacts (0910ZA01) proximal end-on view (left) and distal end-on
view (right).


Figure 4. Composite (stitched) image showing the proximal (left) half of two parallel pairs (large and small) of incisions
along concave surface of the antler artifact (0910ZA01). The pairs of incisions are identified as 1-14.


The short, parallel incisions along the concave side of
the antler artifact are visible in the left image of Figure 2;
they are unique with regards to other wood, bone and antler
items recovered to date from LSS. This incised surface was
examined and photographed at 3x and 6x magnification using
a Wild reflected-light stereoscopic microscope equipped
with a USB digital microscope eyepiece (1.3 Megapixels);
illumination was from a high-intensity LED light source
shining from the proximal end at a low angle. Nine images
were stitched together to form a continuous composite image
of the incisions. Figure 4 shows the left half of the composite
image, from the proximal end to the middle of the artifact


(incisions 1-14) and Figure 5 shows the other half of the set
(incisions 15-26), which ends where a large chip of the antler
cortex was broken off prior to deposition. The end of that chip
appears to terminate at what would have been another parallel
incision (27), as discussed below.
Whatever cutting technique was used to separate this
section of the antler beam certainly also could have been
used to make the "major" set of 27 parallel incisions shown
in Figures 4 and 5. They are all between 5 and 6 mm long and
less than 1 mm deep so that they do not usually penetrate the
outer cortex; the average spacing from one to the next is 2.4
mm. Although the larger incisions 1-14 (Figure 4) were cut


GIFFORD AND KOSKI





THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST


Figure 5. Composite (stitched) image showing the distal (right) half of two parallel pairs (large and small) of incisions
along concave surface of the antler artifact (0910ZA01). The pairs of incisions are identified as 15 27.


Figure 6. Close-up of the pit left by the missing chip from the distal end of the artifact. There is
a trace of a possible secondary incision remaining above the pit at a distance of 1.9 mm (arrow)
from the remaining half of Incision 27.


2011 VOL. 64(1)






ANTLER ARTIFACT FROM LITTLE SALT SPRING


at an angle of some 10-20 degrees relative to the proximal
end circumcision, large incisions 15-27, from the middle to
the chip at the distal end (Figure 5), are closer to being normal
to the artifact's long axis. Two of the larger incisions on the
left half- 1 and 13 show multiple shallow cuts; the same
is true of Incision 25 on the right half. Although speculative,
we assume the similarity of shape, orientation and general
execution of the 26 major incisions (with a probable 27th
mostly missing) suggest they were all made at the same time
with the same tool.
Of equal importance to characterizing this artifact is
that each one of the 27 major incisions is associated with a
much smaller, shallower and less well-defined incision cut
on approximately the same circumferential outer diameter
of the antler segment. Incisions 3-8 of Figure 4 show this
most clearly. With some exceptions the smaller cuts appear
less well-defined toward the distal end of the object, but there
is little doubt that two "cutting events" are recorded on this
object.
Initially we speculated that these two sets represent the
beginning of a sequence of production of 26 disks of antler
that, individually, would be further worked and used for some
other purpose. However, the artisan who made these incisions
would have realized the major obstruction created by the
location of the partially-removed central tine, so this does not
seem a viable hypothesis.
The alternative that almost everyone who examines this
artifact mentions involves some sort of measuring device.
Figure 6 focuses on the chip broken from the cortex on the
distal end of the artifact. We see the trace of a minor incision
located above the pit where the cortex was chipped away; it is
about 2 mm away from the (faint) trace of the minor incision
associated with major incision 27, marking the end of the pit.


If this does mark the location of a now-missing pair of major
and minor incisions that were broken away on the chip, that
would make a total of at least 28, which is close to the number
of days (29.5) in an average lunar cycle. Although speculative,
this hypothesis involves the idea that each major-minor pair of
incisions marks a sun-moon cycle of twenty-four hours.
The near-vertical orientation of this antler artifact as
excavated indicates that it was inserted into the marl sediment
since it could not attain that position naturally. Since 2004,
excavation of another 2-x-2 meter unit immediately downslope
of Operation 9 has exposed several wooden artifacts as well as
a gourd fragment. All these artifacts appear to represent items
purposely discarded, possibly in shallow water as the spring
level was rising. Artifact 0910ZA01 is curated (temporarily)
at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science,
University of Miami, pending the construction of an on-site
research center at Little Salt Spring (planned for 2012).

References Cited

Clausen, C. J., A. D. Cohen, Cesare Emiliani, J. A. Holman,
and J. J. Stipp
1979 Little Salt Spring, Florida: A Unique Underwater Site.
Science 203 (4381): 609 614.

Kozuch, L.
1993 Little Salt Spring (8S018) Faunal Analysis.
Unpublished report in authors' possession.

MacGregor, Arthur
1985. Bone, Antle,; Ivoiy and Horn: the Technology of
Skeletal Materials since the Roman Period. Croom
Helm, London.


GIFFORD AND KOSKI







A Video on Florida's Native peoples


."Shadows and c fe.tlT:
Florida's Lost People"
Produced by the Florida
Anthropological
Society ,
Funded by the
Florida Department
of State


A Florida Heritage Production
Produced and Directed by Chaos Productions
Executive Producer: Brent Weisman
Written by Marshall Riggan
Artwork by Theodore Morris

1998 Florida Anthropological Society and the Florida Department of State

To obtain copies please send $20 (includes shipping and handling) to
Terry Simpson, 9907 High Meadow Ave., Thonotosassa, FL. 33592-2458.
Please specify DVD or VHS. Make checks payable to the Florida Anthropological Society.
Special reseller price available.







THE FLORIDA RADIOCARBON DATABASE


STEVE J. DASOVICH' AND GLEN H. DORAN2

SDirector ofArchaeology andAssistant Professor Dept. of Sociology/Anthropology, Lindenwood University,
St. Charles, Missouri 63301
Email: sdasovich@lindenwood.edu

2 Department ofAnthropology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida 32306
Email: gdoran@fsu. edu


Archaeologists have been using radiocarbon dates since
the technique's inception in the 1950s. Dates were and
are often used individually or with others from the same
archaeological site to help interpret the cultural chronology
of multi- and single-component sites and to date a specific
component, strata or feature. As the number of dates increases,
tabulations of this information become increasingly useful in
archaeological research. This paper describes such tabulation
for the state of Florida.
The utilization of radiocarbon assays has always
been within the framework of useful data. From the first
use of radiocarbon dates, most researchers seemed to be
interested only in how a date, or suite of dates, effected the
interpretation of their site or componentss. Until 1988 there
was apparently little effort to compile large series of dates, or
databases, though the number of dates within some regions
was expanding rapidly (Kra 1988). Date compilation aids in
the interpretation of cultural chronologies and often leads to
additional research questions. A single date, when viewed
within a suite of supposedly related dates, may more quickly
stand out as aberrant or questionable. This can be particularly
valuable given the volume of 'gray' literature that continues to
be generated by cultural resource management work. Second,
the ability to compare cultural component dates from several
sites helps frame the tradition's chronological span. These are
both issues identified by Dasovich (1996).

Date Collection

Reasons for the absence of such databases lie in the often
idiosyncratic nature of archaeological specialization ('my
region, my topic, my research focus'). Additionally not all dates
appear in reports or published articles. Many radiocarbon labs
regard their dates as proprietary client information and do not
publish or release the information except to the client. Another
factor limiting the widespread evolution of these databases also
lies in the time required to compile them. Dasovich spent over
two years collecting the 940 dates used in his thesis (Dasovich
1996) and this update, adding 313 dates, took an additional
year and a half. Compilation becomes an elaborate scavenger
hunt where you never know if you have all the dates and you
always assume you are missing some. Equally demanding is
the time required for continuous database updating. As soon as


a database is completed it is out-of-date because new dates are
constantly being produced. In almost every published and on-
line discussion of radiocarbon databases these challenges are
noted. To give some sense of the magnitude of the problem,
Beta Analytic, one of the world's most productive radiocarbon
labs, runs approximately 12,000 dates a year of which roughly
6,000 are from the United States. Several hundred come from
Florida alone (Darden Hood, personal communication 2006).
Though not all dates are from archaeological contexts this
is still a large number of dates to track. Part of our hope in
posting the database and providing this brief description is to
encourage the archaeological community to help us update
and keep the database current. Participation of the broadest
group of users will aid in the accuracy and completeness of the
database and improve its utility for all.
Dates were collected from published literature,
particularly the Florida Anthropologist, Florida Scientist,
Southeastern Archaeology Bulletin, university publications,
Florida site file reports and unpublished documents. The
majority of practicing archaeologists with research interests
in Florida were contacted and many provided unpublished
date lists. A more complete discussion of the methodology
and details can be found in Dasovich (1996) and only a brief
discussion is provided here. This compilation specifically
includes dates attributed or associated with archaeological
investigations and does not include dates specifically obtained
in association with geological or paleontological studies or
dates obtained by archaeologists not specifically attributed
to an archaeological context. For example, the basal date on
the Windover (8BR246) peat is well below the zones with
evidence of human cultural material and is not included here
because it is more specifically a geological date (Pleistocene/
Holocene boundary) rather than a 'cultural' date (Doran 1988,
2002). The goal was to collect radiocarbon dates specifically
on archaeological traditions and cultures.
With the cooperation of many archaeologists, 940
radiocarbon dates from 51 counties were compiled (15
were dropped for incomplete reporting of information; for a
complete discussion on this see Dasovich 1996). This initial
effort compiled dates through 1993. More recently, we re-
inventoried publications since 1994 (Florida Anthropologist,
Southeastern Archaeology, etc.) and included dates recorded
at the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research. We also


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THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST 2011 VOL. 64(1)


solicited updates through the Florida archaeology news
group. The database now contains 1,253 dates. Two dates are
excluded from this discussion but are included in the online
database. One, a date of 40 and a standard deviation of 50
comes from the Newnan's Lake Canoe Project (CANOE 4,
Beta-146269- Wheeler et al. 2003). Similarly, a Little Salt
Springs date of 17,340 B.P. (the extinct tortoise, Beta-25430;
John Gifford, personal communication) is excluded from this
discussion although it is included in the database. Some argue
the date may not reflect human activity although it dates the
megafauna remains (John Gifford, personal communication)
and might, strictly speaking, be paleontological in nature. The
following discussion thus focuses on the remaining 1,251
dates. In the future we will try to include more 'problematic'
dates and highlight the issues associated with them rather than
simply excluding them.

Cultural Chronologies; Chronological Issues

In his 1996 study, Dasovich's main research goal was not
to re-write the Florida prehistoric cultural chronology (as seen
in Milanich and Fairbanks 1980) but to identify time intervals
where such a re-writing might be warranted. In the process,
further, unanticipated research questions became apparent,
most notably the longer duration of the southern Florida Late
Archaic tradition.
This large scale date tabulation would allow for more
careful assessment of the beginning and ending of cultural
traditions. This would make it easier to identify poorly dated
traditions which would benefit from careful chronometric
scrutiny. Several cultural periods showed significant
discrepancies. The thesis suggested some cultural periods be
re-evaluated chronologically to better match the time periods
archaeologists used in their publications. Dasovich argued that
the Middle Archaic, Late Archaic, Orange, Deptford, Glades II,
Glades IIB, Glades III, Ft. Walton, and Safety Harbor intervals
should have their temporal boundaries expanded. Others,
specifically Caloosahatchee, Weeden Island, and Glades IIA
should have their time frames narrowed. The Late Archaic
period was moved almost completely out of its original time
frame (from 4,000-5,000 B.P. to 2,400-4,100 B.P.), as was the
Glades IIA period. The interesting aspect of the Late Archaic
change is that the later dates all came from southern Florida,
supporting the proposition that Archaic lifeways continued
much longer in the southern peninsula than in the north where
the Orange period started almost 1,000 years earlier than the
equivalent tradition in southern Florida. These suggested
revisions are solely based upon the association of radiocarbon
dates with these cultural periods. Additional discussions of
such differences are found in the thesis.

Database Structure and Protocol

Database variable names and a brief description are
provided in Table 1. The earliest radiocarbon dates were not
'calibrated', and in many cases information on 13C ratios do
not exist. In the last 20 years, we have begun to avail ourselves
of the refined interpretations possible with radiocarbon


calibration studies. Darden Hood of Beta Analytic was very
helpful and ran calibrations on all the dates in the database
and these calibrations are included in the database. Beta's web
page provides an overview of the calibration protocol and as
new dates are entered they will be handled similarly (http://
www.radiocarbon.com/calendar.htm). The Beta webpage
notes that they use the Radiocarbon 1998 calibration data
(from Intcal98: Stuiver et al. 1998) for their calibrations and
the Talma and Vogel (1993) cubic spline fit mathematics. The
intent is to update the database once a year after processing
the 'new' dates and identifying and fixing any errors or
comments that we receive. The file posted on the webpage
contains the variable list in Table 1 (http://digitool3.1ib.fsu.
edu/R/?func=collections-result&collection_id= 1104).
Where no site number was known to us, but a county
ascription was available, the site designation follows the
format 8BRx. Where dates are from multiple unspecified sites,
an additional 'x' is added per additional site (i.e., 8BRxx).
In a few cases, multiple site numbers for a specific date
were reported and both sites are included (e.g., 8VO24/25).
Sometimes, published or unpublished reports provide lab
numbers with dates at variance with each other. Short of
obtaining copies of the original lab sheets we could see no
straightforward way of resolving these discrepancies and have
included both dates in the database. Out of the 1,251 dates there
are only 13 which exhibit this problem. For example, Beta-
12896 has two different dates reported (in the grey literature),
570 and 670 B.P. The other 12 'duplicates' with apparently
contradictory dates include Beta -36705, 1-5935, DIC-655,
Gx-155, UM-1153, UM -1154, UM -1370, UM -1373, UM
-1451, UM -1549 and UM -2359. We are continuing to
attempt to resolve these discrepancies and we have included
a 'PROBLEM' field identifying what issues exist with a date
and we continue to resolve the issues. Reader input on this
would also be appreciated.
Some of the other interesting statistical aspects of the
database include the sparse number of old dates. Of the 1,251
dates, only 78 are older than 6,999 radiocarbon years B.P.
(uncalibrated) and these 78 dates come from only 11 sites -
one unidentified site in Marion County, Little Salt and Warm
Mineral Spring, Windover, the Bison Kill site in Jefferson
County, Bay West, Cutler Fossil (Ridge) site, Devil's Den, J
and J Hunt site, and the Page/Ladson site.
Conversely, most of the dates (n=721; 57%) are less than
2,000 years old and come from 248 sites. Clearly (Figure
1), most of the dated samples and sites fall into the more
recent periods and reflect site density, population expansion
(development) and archaeological research orientation. The
slightly elevated number of dates between 6,000 and 7,000
B.P. and between 9,000 and 10,000 B.P. indicate repetitive
dating strategies from a handful of sites such as Windover, J
and J Hunt, Warm Mineral Spring, and Little Salt Spring.
Fifty-two of Florida's 67 counties have sites or materials
which have been dated but statewide, geographic and
chronological distribution is hardly uniform (Table 2 and
Figure 2). Reported dates are concentrated in areas where
more sites have been more intensively excavated, where
development has been significant, and where researchers


THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST


2011 VOL. 64(1)






DASOICH ND DRANFLORDA RDIOARBO DATBAS


Table 1. FSU archaeological radiocarbon database variable list and variable description.


Variable Name


UID
DATE
SE
AUTHCUL
SITE
SNAME
COUNTY
MATERIAL
WEIGHT
CONTEXT
LABNUMBER
YEAR
SUBMITTER
ACCELERATE
COMMENTS
CALIBRATE
C13ADJ
DIAGNOSTIC
BIBLIO
FSSF
ORIGIN


Variable Description


Unique numeric identifier specific to this database. 1- 1,251 were calibrated by Hood in 2004
Uncorrected conventional radiocarbon date
Standard error
Submitters attribution of culture
Florida Site File number
Reported site name
County, following standard abbreviation format
Type of material dated if reported
Weight (gm) if reported
Archaeological context if reported
Laboratory radiocarbon number
Year sample run
Name of submitter if reported
y = date is AMS date, n = not an AMS date
Comments about date or context pertinent to interpretation
Source of the calibration
3C adjustment if reported
Associated diagnostic artifacts
Bibliographic reference (see Dasovich 1996 for complete citation)
Florida Site File Manuscript Number (if known)
Source of the date either Dasovich 1996 or the date of inclusion and name of person providing the information.


The following calibrations use a date of 9220 + 180 as a model:


C95ADMAX
C95ADMIN
C95BPMAX
C95BPMIN
CALAD1MIN
CALAD1MAX
CALBP1MAX
CALBP1MIN
CALAD2MIN
CALAD2MAX
CALBP2MAX
CALBP2MIN
CALAD3MIN
CALAD3MAX
CALBP3MAX
CALBP3MIN


Calibrated maximum A.D. date, 95 % confidence interval, 2 sigma
Calibrated minimum A.D. date, 95% confidence interval, 2 sigma
Calibrated maximum B.P. date, 95% confidence interval, 2 sigma
Calibrated minimum B.P. date, 95% confidence interval, 2 sigma
Calibrated minimum A.D. date, 1 sigma
Calibrated maximum A.D. date, 1 sigma
Calibrated maximum B.P. date, 1 sigma
Calibrated minimum B.P. date, 1 sigma
Calibrated minimum A.D. date, 2 sigma
Calibrated maximum A.D. date, 2 sigma
Calibrated maximum B.P. date, 3 sigma
Calibrated minimum B.P. date, 3 sigma
Calibrated minimum A.D. date, 3 sigma
Calibrated maximum A.D. date, 3 sigma
Calibrated maximum B.P. date, 3 sigma
Calibrated minimum B.P. date, 3 sigma


9120
9000
11070
10950
8890
8880
10840
10830
8840
8150
10800
10100
8140
7970
10090
9920


DASOVICH AND DORAN


FLORIDA RADIOCARBON DATABASE









400.
40.3
Proportion per Bar
300-
Count -0.2
200-

100-0.1
100


0- .,-. . f r,..,i 0.0
0 3000 6000 9000 12000 15000
1500 4500 7500 10500 13500

14C YEARS BP (uncalibrated)


Figure 1. Distribution of uncalibrated archaeological radiocarbon dates (n=1251).


felt it important to obtain dates. Lee (n=124 dates, 12.0% of
the total), Volusia (n=111, 10.8%), Collier (n=107, 10.4 %),
Dade (n=87, 8.4%), and Sarasota (n=90, 8.7%) counties have
produced the greatest number of dates and account for 40%
of the current database. Some counties (n=15), such as Baker,
Union, Flagler etc. do not have a record of radiocarbon dates.
Others, like Orange County where development has been
rampant, have only a handful of dates (n=4). Distribution by
county is also clearly not associated with the density of sites or
even time intervals represented within the county. To illustrate
the point, Lee County contributes 12% of all Florida dates and
has less than 2% of the total number of Florida sites within its
borders (site density and count information based on a 2001
downloaded version of the Florida Site File inventory).
Extremes on the other end of the spectrum also exist. For
example, Leon County with over 2,000 recorded sites has only
15 reported dates. For the purpose of this discussion (sites per
county) we are including both prehistoric and historic sites.
Fifteen counties account for 75% of all identified dates.
Interestingly, radiocarbon sample submitters (or authors
of the individual reports where the dates are discussed)
reported or only provided cultural affiliation for 70% (n=868;
AUTHCUL) of the dates (Table 3). Some cultural traditions
are more frequently dated than others. The Glades (n=142)
Archaic (n=166), St. John's (n=91), Caloosahatchee (n=79)
and Paleoindian traditions (n=45) have a disproportionate
number of dates while others are more ephemerally tied to an
absolute chronology. Again, this does not reflect overall site
chronological frequencies but instead, we believe, researcher
interest. We are reporting the submitter's assessment of
cultural affiliation and make no evaluation of legitimacy (e.g.,
Hopewell, Colorinda, Kolomoki?).
When material composition (MATERIAL) was reported
(n=1136 90%), wood or charcoal accounted for nearly half
the samples (n=530) with shell (n=475) accounting for nearly


as many dates. Species identification has generally not been
reported with the dates. Where type of date (standard or
accelerator) was reported, only eight AMS dates are identified.
Roughly half (n=650) of the dates were run by Beta Analytic
of Coral Gables, Florida. We have not included optically
stimulated luminescence dates (OSL) or thermoluminescence
dated (TL) though this is being considered as these techniques
become more widely applied in Florida.
As noted, it is common for multiple dates to be run on
sites, particularly those with a more extensive excavation
record. A tabulation of the number of sites which have dates
provides a different perspective on radiocarbon dating in
Florida. Of the 1251 dates in the total series, there are only
361 dated sites. The other 890 dates are repetitive dates within
individual sites. A total of 152 sites have single dates on them
and another 84 have two dates, while 38 have three dates.
Viewed from another perspective, 75% of all dates in Florida
archaeological contexts come from 350 sites and another nine
sites produce the other 25% of the dates in Florida. Obviously,
there are many reasons for multiple dates for individual sites
and most cautious researchers prefer to deal with multiple
dates. What is striking to us is the surprisingly small absolute
and relative number of sites that have been dated. This is
even more obvious when the unevenness of geographic and
chronological distributions are taken into account (Figure 2).
Loosely speaking, there are 16,555 recorded prehistoric sites
in Florida (Chip Birdsong, personal communication 2006).
Thus, our dating framework is based on fewer than 3% of the
known sites. It seems to us that we clearly need more dates
for more sites from all over the state. Part of the reason for
the paucity of dated sites, we believe, is that as more sites are
investigated during the course of compliance driven projects,
the lack of dates is often due to a lack of funding and time.
Radiocarbon dating is not something that is required by
agency guidelines and reviewers. Therefore, it is likely that


THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST


1 102 Vot. 64(1)







DASOVICH AND DORAN FLORIDA RADIOCARBON DATABASE


Figure 2. Florida radiocarbon date distribution by county. First number is the number of samples dated and second is the
number of sites dated in each county. Darker shading corresponds to higher totals of radiocarbon dates by county.


the dating framework will remain relatively static. This being
said, there are strategies that might be employed by cultural
resource management companies to add a date or two to a
project where dating would be beneficial and any such strategy
should be considered.
Given the diversity of cultural traditions and the early
occupation of Florida, one of the conclusions the thesis
reached, and is reiterated here, is that additional dates for
most cultural traditions would be a valuable contribution to
increasing chronological precision. This would improve our
ability to more accurately document geographic differences
and occupation and tradition duration. Many cultural traditions
have very few dates and chronological precision is limited and
based on a great deal of inferential reasoning.


We hope this synthesis, and the accessible database
format, will be of use to the widest possible audience. We
are preparing more detailed analyses and comparisons of the
Florida database but we felt it useful to provide the database
to the public so we can get feedback and assistance in its
expansion. This brief discussion is meant to be introductory to
the possibilities of the database.
The original research conducted to compile this database
for Florida could not have been possible without the
cooperation of many archaeologists. Those archaeologists
who forwarded dates for the Dasovich compilation were told
that they would receive a usable database for their personal
use. The publication of this study and the posted database,
now including more dates than the original study, fulfills


NUMBER OF DATES

SI-10o
S11-5(0
51 -o lo


DRAWN BY DEBBIE MISSEY


,A


DASOVICH AND DORAN


FLORIDA RADIOCARBON DATABASE






58 THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST 2011 VOL. 64(1)

Table 2. Distribution of dated sites and number of dates by county in fl142009vl.xls.
NO. OF
PERCENT OF DATED NO. OF PERCENT OF
COUNTY DATED
SITES DATES DATES
SITES

Alachua 2 0.6 57 4.6

Bay 7 1.9 9 0.7

Bradford 2 0.6 2 0.2

Brevard 9 2.5 35 2.8

Broward 6 1.7 14 1.1

Calhoun 2 0.6 9 0.7

Charlotte 3 0.8 14 1.1

Citrus 11 3 25 2

Clay 5 1.4 5 0.4

Collier 39 10.8 117 9.3

Columbia 3 0.8 6 0.5

Dade 24 6.6 103 8.3

Dixie 1 0.3 1 0.1

Duval 21 5.8 40 3.2

Escambia 1 0.3 2 0.2

Franklin 7 1.9 11 0.9

Glades 2 0.6 12 1

Gulf 3 0.8 4 0.3

Hardee 2 0.6 9 0.7

Hendry 1 0.3 1 0.1

Highlands 3 0.8 8 0.6

Hillsborough 6 1.7 16 1.3

Indian River 4 1.1 7 0.6

Jackson 7 1.9 17 1.4

Jefferson 9 2.5 33 2.6

Lake 4 1.1 7 0.6

Lee 13 3.6 124 9.9

Leon 5 1.4 15 1.2

Levy 1 0.3 2 0.2






DASOVICH AND DORAN FLORIDA RADIOCARBON DATABASE 59

Table 2 continued. Distribution of dated sites and number of dates by county in fll42009vl.xls.


NO. OF
PERCENT OF DATED NO. OF PERCENT OF
COUNTY DATED
SITES DATES DATES
SITES

Liberty 3 0.8 21 1.7

Madison 1 0.3 4 0.3

Manatee 2 0.6 24 1.9

Marion 7 1.9 16 1.3

Martin 4 1.1 13 1

Monroe 11 3 39 3.1

Nassau 4 1.1 6 0.5

Okaloosa 13 3.6 49 3.9

Orange 2 0.6 4 0.3

Palm Beach 8 2.2 16 1.3

Pinellas 6 1.7 18 1.4

Polk 8 2.2 11 0.9

Putnam 7 1.9 7 0.6

Santa Rosa 4 1.1 6 0.5

Sarasota 11 3 95 7.6

Seminole 4 1.1 5 0.4

St. Johns 8 2.2 16 1.3

St. Lucie 1 0.3 4 0.3

Suwannee 1 0.3 1 0.1

Taylor 3 0.8 4 0.3

Volusia 35 9.7 147 11.7

Wakulla 4 1.1 9 0.7

Walton 11 3 30 2.4

Totals 361 100.0 1251 100.0





THE FLORID ANHRPOOIS 211VL.64


Table 3. Submitter's (AUTHCUL) attribution of cultural affiliation.*


Affiliation Count (n) Percent

Adena 1 0.1

Alachua 2 0.2

Archaic 166 13.3

Belle Glade 13 1.0

Cades Pond 3 0.2

Caloosahatchee 79 6.3

Colorinda 1 0.1

Deptford 19 1.5

Elliots Point 1 0.1

Ft. Walton 38 3.0

Glades 142 11.4

Hopewell 2 0.2

Kolomoki 4 0.3

Malabar 2 0.2

Manasota 38 3.0

Mississippian 1 0.1




that obligation. The authors have diligently reviewed and re-
reviewed this database to fix any mistakes or inconsistencies.
Any errors or corrections should be reported to us and we
will attempt to address them. Records with known problems
which we are trying to resolve are noted in the 'PROBLEM'
field. We are continuing to 'clean up' the database .We have
recently discovered some duplications and are trying to update
the carbon-13 adjustments where possible (this minimally
involves double checking the original publications). In other,
particularly earlier dating efforts, they were not reported at all.
Florida State University has posted the database online
in an Excel file and Adobe PDF file format (http://digitool.


Affiliation Count (n) Percent

Mt. Taylor 23 1.8

Norwood 1 0.1

Orange 38 3.0

Paleo 45 3.6

Safety Harbor 7 0.6

Santa Rosa 22 1.8

Seminole 1 0.1

Spanish 2 0.2

St. Johns 91 7.3

Swift Creek 6 0.5

Transitional 25 2.0

Unspecified 441 35.3

Weeden Island 36 2.9

Woodland 2 0.2

Total 1251 100

* Cultural traditions grouped i.e., Archaic, Early
combined with Archaic, Middle, Archaic, Late; St.
Johns I, II, etc. combined into St. Johns; etc.

fcla.edu/R/BCXQC66H6ITLGCIKA PP6CS8Y8E7DU
V2GQDT2S9C13CNTNER4B-02298?func=collections-
result&collection id=1460). As new dates are added the file
name will be numerically incremented the current file name
is fl 142007v1.xls. With the anticipated addition of more dates
soon, the new file name iteration will be f11420XXvl .xls, with
the 20XX reflecting the update year. We request all readers
to forward us 'new' dates or dates we have inadvertently
missed. Please forward them to Doran at gdoran@fsu.edu.
Submission ideally should include the radiocarbon lab report
and all pertinent archaeological information included in the
database (FS, context, level, material, etc.). This information,


THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST


1 102 Vot. 64(1)





FLORIDA RADIOCARBON DATABASE


the laboratory date forms, and associated archaeological
information can also be faxed to Doran at 850-645-0032.
Hopefully, this article, and our request, will generate sufficient
interest that there will be an outpouring of dates and the next
update will be a substantial increase over the current inventory.

References Cited

Dasovich, Steve
1996 Compilation and Analysis of Florida 's Prehistoric
Radiocarbon Database. Master's thesis, Department
of Anthropology, Florida State University,
Tallahassee.

Doran, Glen H. and David N. Dickel
1988 Radiometric Chronology of the Archaic Windover
Archaeological site (8BR246). The Florida
Anthropologist 41:365-380.

Doran, Glen H. (editor and contributor)
2002 Windover: Multidisciplinary Investigations of an
Early Archaic Florida Cemetery. University Press of
Florida, Gainesville.


Kra, Renee.
1988 Updating the Past: The Establishment of the
International Radiocarbon Data Base. American
Antiquity 53: 118-125.

Milanich, Jerald T. and Charles Fairbanks
1980 Florida Archaeology. Academic Press, New York,
New York.

Stuiver, Minze, Paula J. Reimer, Edouard Bard, J. Warren, G.S.
Burr, Konrad A. Hughen, Bernd Kromer, Gerry McCormac,
Johannes van der Plict, and Marco Spurk
1998 INTCAL98 Radiocarbon Age Calibration, 24,000 0
cal BP. Radiocarbon 40:1041-1083.

Talma, A.Steve and J.C. Vogel
1993 A Simplified Approach to Calibrating C14 dates.
Radiocarbon 35:317-322.

Wheeler, Ryan, James J. Miller, Ray M. McGee, Donna Swann
Ruhl, and Melissa B. Memory
2003 Archaic Period Canoes from Newnans Lake,
Florida. American Antiquity 68: 533-551.


DASOVICH AND DORAN









Chapters of the Florida Anthropological Society









10 5
r p- ----____









1. Ancient Ones Archaeological Society of North Central Florida
2902 NW 104th Court, Unit A, Gainesville, FL 32606

2. Archaeological Society of Southern Florida 15
2495 N.W. 35th Ave., Miami, FL 33142

3. Central Florida Anthropological Society
P.O. Box 947544, Maitland, FL 32794

4. Central Gulf Coast Archaeological Society
P.O. Box 1563, Pinellas Park, FL 33780 '

5. Emerald Coast Archaeological Society
c/o Indian Temple Mound Museum 4
139 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, 32548

6. Gold Coast Anthropological Society
PO Box 11052, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33339

7. Indian River Anthropological Society 14
3705 S. Tropical Trail, Merritt Island, FL 32952

8. Kissimmee Valley Archaeological and Historical Conservancy
195 Huntley Oaks Blvd., Lake Placid, FL 33852 16

9. Panhandle Archaeological Society at Tallahassee
P.O. Box 20026, Tallahassee, FL 32316

10. Pensacola Archaeological Society
P.O. Box 13251, Pensacola, FL 32591 13

11. St. Augustine Archaeological Association
P.O. Box 1301, St. Augustine, FL 32085

12. Southeast Florida Archaeological Society '
P.O Box 2875, Stuart, FL 34995 '

13. Southwest Florida Archaeological Society i" ..
P.O. Box 9965, Naples, FL 34101 .

14. Time Sifters Archaeology Society
P.O. Box 25642, Sarasota, FL 34277

15. Volusia Anthropological Society
P.O. Box 1881, Ormond Beach, FL 32175

16. Warm Mineral Springs/Little Salt Spring Archaeological Society
P.O. Box 7797, North Port, FL 34287








CLIMATE: THE KEY TO DISCOVERING THE FOOD PLANTS
FORAGED BY FLORIDA'S PALEOINDIANS AND ARCHAIC PEOPLE


I. MAC PERRY


8399 42nd Avenue North, St. Petersburg, Fl 33709
Email: macperry@tampabay.rr.com


PLEASE NOTE: This article is not intended to be used as a
guide to foraging or for culinary purposes. Some of the most
harmful chemicals known come from plants. Never forage
or eat any wild plants without positive identification from an
herbalist or knowledgeable forager.

So often we see illustrations of Florida's Paleoindians
throwing spears into the hide ofa roaring mammoth (mammoths
by the way were not the largest of Florida's early megafauna).
We call these people hunter/gatherers, but we rarely depict
them gathering and rarely do we write about what, where,
and how they gathered. Indeed, they were brave hunters;
archaeologists have found quarries where they chipped Clovis
spear points (named after Clovis, New Mexico where the
points were first found), temporary hunting camps, and kill
sites where large animals were butchered and thin cuts of meat
triple-smoked for preservation. But most of Paleoindian life
must have revolved around a gathering economy in a world of
environmental diversity.
Archaeologist Philip Carr (2008) wrote, "A vegetable-
rich diet was common among Native Americans for centuries.
Even the Paleoindians, despite their reputation as big-game
hunters, probably received most of their daily nutrition
from gathering." Archaeologist Vaughn Bryant, Jr. (2001),
studying Paleoindian coprolites in southwest Texas, suggests
that these people may have had diets consisting of 66-75%
carbohydrates (from plants) and 5 to 15 times as much fiber as
we consume today. In fact, much literature today espouses the
idea that the Paleoindians were first and foremost gatherers,
then hunters of small game, and only the occasional hunters of
megafauna.
More recent studies of grave goods (Hamlin 2001) and
degenerative joint disease (Wentz 2010) from the Early
Archaic Windover site in Brevard County indicate that in
all probability the women were the ones doing the gathering
and hunting of small animals during that period, leaving the
men to fabricate tools and hunt large animals (alligator, bear,
deer). Most archaeologists believe that gatherers spent about
20 hours per week collecting resources that yielded an average
of 2100 kilocalories per consumer day (Hawkes 1968).
Doing research amongst the moder-day !Kung of Botswana,
Kristen Hawkes said that "[!Kung] mothers usually take their
children under the age of four on foraging trips" (1968:344)


and that "the !Kung are often identified as prototypical hunter/
gatherers well-nourished foragers who work relatively short
hours, rely on the widely available plant foods collected by
women for the bulk of their diet, and maintain low birthrates,
which prevent population growth from threatening local
resources" (1968:341). Could this have been typical of
Florida's Paleoindian and Archaic people?
Florida has a vast biodiversity of plants and plant
communities (Figure 1), perhaps because it sits on an ecotone
between two major plant worlds: the sub-tropical and the
temperate. These plant communities have been here a long
time. Florida's mixed hardwood forests have persisted from
the very beginning of the state's terrestrial history more than
25 million years ago, with first evidence of sandhill and scrub
habitats appearing nearly 20 million years ago (Webb 1990:99).
The wetland, subtropical, and estuarine species along today's
west coast did not arrive in abundance until about 5000 B.P.
when sea levels had risen to near modern levels.
The Florida Natural Inventory (FDNR 1990) has defined
81 distinct plant communities within the state, all of which
would have been familiar to the Paleoindians who knew
each habitat through their own experiences, languages, and
familiarity with a given plant community. This familiarity
would have included a mental tally of what plants (and
animals) could be expected in each locale and extended to a
knowledge of the growth cycles for these plants, the location
of each valued type across the landscape, and knowledge of
how these plants could be gathered and managed from season
to season.
It is difficult for us to fathom the level of familiarity the
Paleoindians had with their environment and the intensity of
their foraging and management skills. Possibly they could
"read" a landscape faster than we can read pulp fiction. There
was a familiarity with the underside of every log and stone, as
well as with the workings of every tree and the ground covering
beneath every bush. They would have waded through every
stream and pond searching for plants and animals and they
would have continuously learned throughout their lives what
was where and how to get at it. I can imagine them snapping,
digging, crushing, sniffing, nibbling, cooking in various ways
every new plant part they came across.
Although most of the world's population "live on diets
characterized by high intakes of plant foods and based on a


THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST


VOL. 64(1)


MARCH 2011





THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST 2011 VOL. 64(1)


Dunes

L


Swamp /


Major

Plant

Communities


alt Marsh/ Scrub








Estuarine



Mangrove

Swamp,

Fresh Marsh

Rockland
JW OP l0


Figure 1. Florida's major plant communities were divided into 81 sub-communities by the Florida Natural Areas Inventory.


starchy, bland staple" (Lieberman 1968:241), it is impossible
for us to know if or when Paleoindians were motivated by
flavor or when they just wanted to fill their bellies. Many of the
plants that we would never consider edible were a part of their
daily recipes. I have eaten cabbage palm berries, saw palmetto
fruits, beautyberry, sea oxeye, and many other paleo-edibles
only to spit them back out as not-very-tasty. Shipwrecked
Jonathan Dickinson also spit out his saw palmetto (Serenoa
repens) fruits while the Indian sitting with him ate a basketful
saying, "We tasted them, but not one amongst us could suffer
them to stay in our mouths; for we could compare the taste
of them to nothing else but rotten cheese steeped in tobacco"


(Dickinson [1699] 1985:26). I have also tasted the cyanide in
black cherry (Prunus serotina), the oxalic acid in wood sorrel
(Oxalis violacea), the toxic alkaloids in coral bean (Erythrina
herbacea)-the plant that some say was used on the Calusa
arrow that killed Ponce de Leon -- and even have chewed a
bit of Hercules club (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis) (author's
note to the reader: do not do this!), a plant the Indians used to
deaden a toothache. Cuisine preferences aside, these were all
common food (or medicinal) plants for the Paleoindians.
Palynologists studying pollen at various sites (e.g.,Little
Salt Spring, Lakes Annie and Tulane, Sheeler Lake) have
matched plant species with radiocarbon dates to determine the


THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST


2011 VOL. 64(1)






PALEOINDIAN AND ARCHAIC FOOD PLANTS


dominant plants growing at certain time periods. By pairing
moisture-loving plants to moist climates and xeric plants to
xeric climates, they assigned temperature and moisture levels
to each of these time periods. Archaeologists are interested in
the Florida plant record primarily as evidence of the climates
and environmental habitats available for hunting, gathering,
cultivation, and shelter building. Fortunately, the pollen record
is rich in this type of information (Watts and Hansen 1988).
The palynological record shows that over the millennia,
Florida's paleo-climates shuttled between cool and warm, dry
and moist. This gives us four combinations of climates for the
Paleoindian and Archaic time periods: Cool/Dry (C/D), Cool/
Moist (C/M), Warm/Dry (W/D), and Warm/Moist (W/M).
If we superimpose these four CWDM climates over the 81
plant communities and consider the water table level, which
defines lakes, rivers, and freshwater swamps, and shoreline
location, which defines estuaries and bays, then list all of the
plants known to grow in Florida under these conditions and in
these plant communities, we will have some very large lists
of plants. I chipped away at these lists by first determining
nativity.
While University of South Florida botanist Richard
Wunderlin (Wunderlin and Hansen 2003) lists 4246 native
and naturalized plants in Florida, he classifies 2654 of this
total as native, meaning they were growing and reproducing
on their own in Florida when the Europeans arrived. Most
botanists today concur that these plants, or analogs of the same
genera, were the same plants growing here during the time
of the Paleoindians. "Palynological data indicate continuous
presence of hammock species since ... the early Wisconsinan
glaciation (30,000-80,000 B.P.)" (Platt and Swartz 1990:194).
Once nativity was established via Wunderlin and Hansen's
2003 Guide to the Vascular Plants ofFlorida, I chipped further
at the lists to determined edibility.
Research botanist Daniel Austin in his monumental
Florida Ethnobotany (2004) lists 888 Florida native
species used for food, medicine, construction, and fuel by
indigenous people in neighboring locations. He lists Mexico,
North, Central, and South America, the Bahamas, and the
Caribbean as "neighboring locations." And since only limited
archaeobotanical work has been conducted on the Gulf coast of
Florida (see Ruhl 2004), Austin determines Florida ethnoflora
by studying the historical and archaeobotanical record of these
neighboring locations and working from the logical premise
that if "people in other places use these plants, then people
in Florida used them" (Austin 2004:18). I will take this a
step further to state that if people in neighboring locales ate
these plants, then the people of Florida ate them as well. This
premise is based on the fact that indigenous people traveled
about and shared knowledge and that knowledge was handed
down through generations.
It becomes evident that gathering was very likely daily
task number one and probably done in conjunction with
whatever other activities were going on, that Paleoindians
took advantage of (ate) everything that was edible according to
their palates, and that they also foraged inedibles for seasoning
and for medicinal uses. Because full glacial conditions never
reached peninsular Florida (Daniel and Wisenbaker 1987:156),


all 81 plant communities, each with its own characteristic
species, existed somewhere in the state during every CWDM
climate condition and remained even during climatic shifts that
saw differing species rise to dominance while other previously
dominant species atrophied and retreated to smaller more
conducive niche locations. And of course we understand that
plant residency does not stop at the edge of a community-
rather it overlaps into ecotones and to a lesser degree into
adjacent communities such that many of the plants available
in one community are also available in others.
During this final chip, I carefully extracted about 250
Florida native edible plants from Austin's list of 888 ethnoflora
and put them in the appropriate climate/time lists suggested
by the pollen record. In summary, while palynologists use a
"plant to climate" approach, I work it backwards and use a
"climate to plant" approach. This method leaves us with what
I believe is a fairly complete list of edible plants that were
foraged by these gatherers and eaten by the Paleoindian and
Archaic people of Florida. The following are lists of dominant
edibles in their proper climate/time contexts as suggested by
the pollen record.
Recall that all of these plants were available somewhere in
the state at any given time. No matter how wet it got there were
always well-drained sandy areas (e.g., dunes) where a few of
the old xeric plants survived, and no matter how dry it got there
were always water sources like the ". . limestone-bottomed
catchments lined with marly deposits-that is water holes,
lakes, and prairies fed by rainfall . ." (Milanich 1994:39),
whose adjacent damp soils supported the few remaining mesic
and hydric food plants. Thus there is a cumulative effect on
food plant availability. But with each change in climate, the
Indian diet would have been slowly modified to favor the
dominant species of that period.

14,000-13,000 B.P. (Cool/Dry)

Although there is no consensus within the archaeological
community as to exactly when Paleoindians first arrived in
Florida, all concur that the state was populated by 12,000 B.P.
at the latest, with some archaeologists claiming dates as early
as 14.000 B.P. It was during the Ice Age (Pleistocene epoch)
that the earliest New World inhabitants followed herds of
megafauna into Florida and brought their Clovis tool-making
skills with them (though I prefer to think they were following
the same trail of edible food plants that enticed the migration of
these megafauna). These Paleoindians lived in nomadic family
bands of perhaps 25-50 people and went wherever there was
food, moving on as resources were depleted. Heiser (1973:2)
posits that Paleoindians "probably lived in small groups, for
with few exceptions, a given area would provide only enough
food for a few people."
Because thick ice caps tied up much of the ocean's waters,
the shoreline of the state of Florida during this epoch was likely
120 to 150 km seaward of its current location (see Borremans
1993). Thus, many of the earliest hunting and gathering sites
are today under water in the Gulf of Mexico. According to
my research, less than one hundred Paleoindian camps have
been found in present-day Florida. And although there is no


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T LO.AH LGT1 O 64(-l


archaeological evidence for it, I believe that Indians probably
could have been found out along Wisconsinan glacial coast
fishing and gathering food plants that thrived along the estuary
borders. As applied to the present shape of Florida's coastline,
the very low water table and lack of rain in the Pleistocene
epoch meant that it was quite dry around today's Tampa Bay
and Charlotte Harbor. In fact, these two basins carved out by
river flow during earlier ice ages (there have been at least five)
were prairies during this cool/dry period.
Water sources were rare. Most of inland Florida was karstic
limestone with a thin layer of quick-draining sand. There were
no lakes or rivers to speak of, only a few surface ponds and
streams and some deep sinks. David Webb (1990:96) said, "...
the force and extent of late Pleistocene aridity, now confirmed
by pollen samples, is quite remarkable." For example, pollen
from Lake Annie (near Lake Placid in Highlands County)
showed this to be an extremely dry period, "... with the primary
plant cover consisting of rosemary (Ceratiola ericoides) scrub
on sand dunes" (Daniel and Wisenbaker 1987:157). A few
scrub oaks dotted the dry prairies, along with scrub hickory,
juniper, and upland herbs, especially ragweed (Ambrosia spp.).
As mentioned above, while all 81 plant communities
existed somewhere in the state, the scrub, sandhill, and xeric
hammock communities were the dominant ones during this
time period. These communities were open canopy forests
with a sparse understory of scrub oaks and palmettos and dense
grasses and herbs on rolling sand hills with occasional open
patches of sand. I speculate that the persimmon (Diospyros
virginiana), a xeric hammock tree, must have been a popular
fruit with the Indians in those days. It is quite large and
sweet, and there were very few sweet tasting edibles in the
Paleoindian period.
As a child I learned that only the persimmons lying on
the ground and fully ripe are worth eating (though we were
allowed to bump the tree just a little to make others fall).
I've wondered if the Indians learned this trick (they probably
invented it!) and also about how they might compete with or
ward off the animals that also would have loved this sweet
fruit. Did they post guards to keep the animals away? Did they
scatter seeds to enlarge the grove for future years? And since
persimmons ripen off and on all winter long, would this fruit
have encouraged these groups to stay near their groves for
several months on end or return to the site periodically? And
how did this particular fruit play into the suite of decisions
the Indians had to make about other food resources? Table 1
lists the dominant food plants available to the Paleoindians
from these xeric plant communities. Often, only one part of
each plant is edible (e.g., seed, bark, leaves, root, pollen, buds,
flowers, fruit, or twigs) and some require special preparation to
remove toxins. Three of the more common food plants found
in xeric scrub environments are shown in Figure 2.

13,000-12,000 B.P. (Cool/Moist)

According to Daniel and Wisenbaker (1987:157), pollen
samples from Lake Annie show that many of the dune species
disappeared about 13,000 years ago. The climate was still
slightly cooler than that of present day but there was high


Table 1. Dominant Food Plants: Cool / Quite Dry.

Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)
Blackjack Oak (Quercus marilandica))
Blackroot (Pterocaulon pycnostachyum)
Blazing Star (Liatris sp.)
Bluejack Oak (Quercus incana)
Chapman's Oak (Quercus chapmanii)
Devilwood or Wild olive (Osmanthus americanus)
Dwarf Blueberry (Vaccinium sp.)
Dwarf Live Oak (Quercus minima)
Fox Grape (Vitis labrusca)
Hog Plum (Prunus umbellata)
Indian Turnip (Eriogonum sp.)
Love Grass (Eragrostis elliotii)
Myrtle Oak (Quercus myrtifolia)
Paw Paw (Asimina reticulata)
Pennyroyal (Piloblephis rigida)
Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana)
Pignut Hickory (Carya glabra)
Red Bay (Persea borbonia)
Red Love Grass (Eragrostis secundiflora)
Reindeer Lichen (Cladonia rangiferina)
Running Oak (Quercus Elliotii [pumila]
Sand Live Oak (Quercus germinata)
Sand Pines (Pinus clausa)
Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens)
Scrub Hickory (Caryafloridana)
Scrub Oak (Quercus inopina)
Scrub Palmetto (Sabal etonia)
Silk Bay (Persia humilis)
Turkey Oaks (Quercus laevis)
Wild Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)
Winged Sumac (Rhus copallina)
Witch Grasses (Panicum sp.)
Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria)

precipitation (Watts and Hansen 1988). Likewise, Butzer
(1971) proposed a humid, temperate climate during this time
period. Because the water table was still very low, sinkhole
lakes remained dry or at least very deep. The water level at the
Little Salt Spring sinkhole in Sarasota County was down near
the ninety foot ledge (Steve Koski, personal communication,
2010). Shallow rain-fed lakes and streams began to appear.
Sediment studies at Sheelar Lake (northeast of Gainesville)
revealed that the vegetation at this time consisted of broad-leaf
mesic forest species. William Watts found a high pine pollen
count at Lake Annie (Daniel and Wisenbaker 1987:157). Pines


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1 102 Vot. 64(1)






PERRY PALEOINDIAN AND ARCHAIC FOOD PLANTS


Figure 2. Scrub community food plants were dominant
during the Cool/Dry and Warm/Dry climates.

have a unique ability to thrive under moist as well as dry
conditions- especially slash pine (Pinus elliottii) and pond
pine (P serotina). According to Abrahamson and Hartnett
(1990:109) pine flatwoods soils "become waterlogged and
poorly aerated during the rainy season, and there may be
standing water for varying periods of time. More rain brought
more lightning and more fires that in certain areas kept the
pine forests from succeeding to mesic hammocks (e.g., today
there are more lightening strikes in Florida per year than in any
place in the U.S.). Because tall ice caps in Canada blocked icy
north winds, winter temperatures in Florida were milder than
might be expected. But because it was still the Ice Age, summer
temperatures were as much as 10 C cooler than today. This
resulted in more evenly distributed year-round temperature
and rainfall and means that present day sub-tropical species
were absent during this time period.
Daniel and Wisenbaker (1987) describe mesic species,
such as oak (Quercus spp.), hickory (Carya spp.), beech (Fagus
grandiflora), ironwood (Ostrya virginiana, used mainly as a
medicine), and other broad-leaf trees as being dominant in
many areas. They also point out that in some Florida locations,
"... general aridity with restricted availability of water
continued to prevail" (1987:157), implying again that while
mesic species were dominant across the land, xeric species
were still available somewhere, they just had a smaller niche.
The dominant species of this era were more akin to today's
temperate hardwood forests mesicc hammocks). The list in
Table 2 comes from the dominant edible mesic species found
in six exemplary Florida hammocks with examples shown in
Figure 3.

12,000-10,000 B.P. (Warm/Dry)

The following Holocene (Moder) epoch was marked
with a transition to a climate that was both dry and warm


Scrub

Edibles


Persimmon


Table 2. Dominant Food Plants: Cool/Moist.

Basswood (Tilia americana)
Beech (Fagus grandiflora)
Bitternut Hickory (Carya cordiformis)
Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)
Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica)
Blackberry (Rhus cuneifolius)
Bracken Fern (Pteridium aquilinum)
Cabbage Palm (Sabal palmetto)
Chickasaw Plum (Prunus angustifolia)
Elm (Ulmus americana var. 'Floridana')
Goldenrod (Solidago sp.)
Gopher Apple (Licania michauxii)
Hickories (Carya pallida,
Laurel Oak (Quercus laurifolia)
Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)
Longleaf Pine (Quercus palustris
Mockernut Hickory (Carya alba) tomentosaa]
Mulberry (Morus rubra)
Oaks (Quercus virginiana,
Pignut Hickory (Carya glabra)
Pine glabra (Pinus glabra
Post Oak (Quercus stellata)
Red Bay (Persea borbonia)
Sassafras (Sassafras albidum)
Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens)
Shumard's Oak (Quercus shumardii)
Slash Pine (Pinus elliotii)
Spanish Oak (Quercus falcata)
Sparkleberry (Vaccinium arboreum)
Sugarberry (Celtis laevigata)
Sweet Leaf or Horse Sugar (Symplocos tinctoria)
Turkey Oak (Quercus laevis)
Water Hickory (Carya aquatic)
Water Oak (Quercus nigra)
Wax Myrtle (Myrica cerifera)
White Oak (Quercus alba)

(Daniel and Wisenbaker 1987:157). Pollen samples from Little
Salt Spring and other sites in the state indicate a relatively dry
climate in central Florida from 12,000-10,000 B.P, with mesic
forests once again on the decline and xerophytic species of
oak (Quercus chapmanii, Q. elliotii, Q. incana, Q. geminata,


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PALEOINDIAN AND ARCHAIC FOOD PLANTS





THE LORIA ATHROOLOGST 011 OL. 4(1


Figure 3. Hammock community food plants were domi-
nant during the Cool/Moist and Warm/Moist climates.


Q. inopina, Q. laevis Walter Q. margaretta, Q. minima, Q.
myrtifolia) becoming the most prevalent trees (Daniel and
Wisenbaker 1987).
This dry spell lasted about 2,000 years, but it was not
as dry as the 14,000-13,000 C/D period. And while it was
warmer than the previous C/M millennium it was still cooler
than it is today. South Florida had dry savannas with xeric
scrub plants occasionally punctuated by mesic shrubs and
trees fed by seepage from shallow streams (Borremans 1993).
Lakes and ponds were fewer. The main water sources were
the deep sinks and rain-produced water holes lined with marl
where animals came to drink and where Paleoindians set up
temporary camps. Archaeologists have verified the presence
of these oases by finding bones of slain animals and broken
tools used to butcher the animals at sinks and lakes and these
sanctuaries were dotted throughout Florida wherever there
was water.
Dominant on the Florida stage were scrub oak forests and
swatches of open savanna supporting ragweed, prairie grasses,
and plants in the Aster family (several edible). Further, "By
11,000 B.P., the mesic trees had been replaced by pine and
upland herbs" (Webb 1990:96). The temperature got a little
warmer and closer to that of today. Many of the plants had
thickened leaves to conserve what little moisture there was.
The plants in this W/D time period were not unlike those
found in several of today's plant communities including upland
glades, pine rocklands, dry prairie, prairie hammock, and
scrubby hammock. These communities are located in prairies
and open forests, with grass clumps, sedges, low shrubs, and
herbaceous (non-woody) plants often growing in alkaline
limestone soils. Dry prairies, however, lack a subsurface
limestone layer and have acidic sands. Otherwise, they ". .
hardly differ from pine flatwoods except in the absence of pine
trees" (Abrahamson and Hartnett 1990:116). The present-day
absence may be due to modern interventions, such as livestock


Hablmoe

Edibles


Table 3. Dominant Food Plants: Warm/Dry.

Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)
Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)
Blazing Star (Liatris chapmanii)
Blolly (Guapira discolor)
Bluestem Palm (Sabal minor)
Cabbage Palm (Sabal palmetto)
Coontie (Zamia integrifolia)
Dwarf Blueberry (Vaccinium sp.)
Goldenrod (Solidago sp.)
Gopher Apple (Licania michauxii)
Huckleberry (Gaylussacia sp.)
Maiden Cane (Panicum hemitomon)
Marlberry (Ardisia escallonioides)
Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana)
Pigeon Plum (Cocoloba diversifolia)
Red Love Grass (Eragrostis secundiflora)
Rattlebox (Crotalaria incana)
Runner Oak (Quercus pumila)
Satinleaf (Chrysophyllum oliviforme)
Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens)
Silk Bay (Persea humilis)
Slash Pine (Pinus elliotii)
Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)
Velvet Seed (Guettarda scabra)
Wax Myrtle (Myrica cerifera)
Weak-leaf Yucca (Yuccaflaccida)
White Indigo Berry (Randia aculeate)
Winged Sumac (Rhus copallina)


grazing and clear-cutting. The prairies may contain sparse
clumps of cabbage palms and scrubby oaks. The W/D edible
species of these communities are listed in Table 3

10,000-7,500 B.P. (Warm/Moist)

It was during this time period that the big animals became
extinct, the Paleoindian period ended, and the Early Archaic
period was underway. This was a time of intermittent traveling
over the entire state dragging tools and hunting gear, babies,
gourd containers, weaving looms (though none have been
found, their woven cloth has), cook grills, and perhaps some
primitive furniture, all the while searching for food plants and


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2011 VOL. 64(1)






PALEOINDIAN AND ARCHAIC FOOD PLANTS


Figure 4. Ruderals were the first plants to emerge in a
cleared field. Many were edible and readily available.

small game. While only a couple of dozen megafauna became
extinct, there remained over 500 species of animals to hunt
(if you call catching turtles, rats, salamanders, and snakes
hunting). Studies at Warm Mineral Spring (in Southwest
Florida just a mile or so from Little Salt Spring) revealed
that the temperature remained about the same during this
period but the soils became wetter. Moisture was again more
abundant. Sinkholes slowly filled and a few streams started
to flow. Permanent lakes began to form. Water levels were
rising strongly throughout Florida by about 8,500 B.P. Prior to
that time the overwhelming majority of Florida's present-day
lakes and smaller rivers were dry (Watts and Hansen 1988).
Evidence at Little Salt Spring shows that the water table rose
85 feet between 12,000-8,500 B.P. (Watts and Hansen 1988).
The Indians took advantage of the new climate and moved
into previously uninhabited areas where there was more
moisture. They adjusted their diets to match the new dominant
food plants in these locations. The small family bands were
now more like large camps that remained sedentary for longer
periods of time. I can imagine their camps set back away from a
pond so as not to frighten away mammals (deer, bear, panther)
that came for a drink, mammals the Indians would ambush for
food and clothing. The Archaic Indians would clear an area for
their thatched houses, and ruderal plants would immediately
spring up in the disturbed areas. As described by Scarry
and Newsom (1992:391) ruderals "readily colonize open,
disturbed areas and. . include species that can be used for
grains or greens, and some [that] can be used to produce salt".
Edible ruderals include bristlegrass (Poaceae), chenopods
(Amaranthaceae), grasses (Xyridaceae), ground cherry
(Solanaceae), mallow (Malvaceae), nutsedge (Cyperaceae),
poke (Phytolaccaceae), purslane (Portulacaceae), and
horsepurslane (Aizoaceae) (see Figure 4).
The Indians probably shook a few seeds to the ground
from the best plants to help perpetuate the next season's crop.


Figure 5. The newly created estuaries brought a host of
new food plants most of which were already seasoned with
salt.
This was an early form of cultivation and managed selection
that over time improved the species and its numbers. At the
very least, they would have left enough plants behind to reseed
themselves for the next season. Most of the ruderals were
annuals and grow from fallen seeds.
These Early Archaic people continued living the lifeways
of the Paleoindians before them but without the big game
meats (Milanich 1994). The dominant food plants during this
time period were similar to those found in upland pine forests,
rockland hammocks, mesic flatwoods, and mesic hammocks.
These habitats are often rolling, open-canopy forests of widely
spaced pines or live oaks with scattered cabbage palms and
little understory but with a dense ground cover of grasses
and herbs. The soils were underlain by limestone (especially
in the northern half of the state), and the plant communities
were frequently found near water sources where the soils were
slightly moist.
Some of the dominant plants were hydric and lived in
high-moisture soils, some actually in the water. The new W/M
communities are defined as palustrine (freshwater wetlands
such as wet flatlands, seepage wetlands, floodplain wetlands,
marshes, and basin wetlands). If I were to be lost for days in
one of Florida's ecosystems, I would hope it to be a wetland
area. There are so many edibles available in hydric habitats,
three of which are shown in Figure 5. Even today on my
periodic walks I find myself pulling the center stalk from
cattails, saw grass, and saw palmettos and munching on their
succulent bases. The dominant edibles gathered by the Indians
during the W/M period are listed in Table 4.

7,500-5,000 B.P. (Warm/Dry)

During the Middle Archaic period water levels in the Gulf
of Mexico continued to rise. Toward the end of this period, the
shore came very close to where it is today. However, during


; Estuary

altort Edibles
Saltwort


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THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST 2011 VOL. 64(1)


Table 4. Dominant Food Plants: Warm/Moist.

Arrowhead (Sagittaria sp.)
Arum (Peltandra virginica)
Assorted Bays (Persea sp.)
Assorted Oaks (Quercus sp.)
Assorted Pines (Pinus sp.)
Blueberry (Vaccinium sp.)
Bluestem palmetto (Sabal minor)
Box Elder (Acer negundo)
Cabbage Palm (Sabal palmetto)
Cinnamon Fern (Osmunda Cinnamomia))
Dahoon Holly (Ilex cassine)
Dotted Smartweed (Polygonum punctatum)
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra ssp.canadensis)
Fireflag [Alligator Flag] (Thalia geniculata)
Floating Hearts (Nymphoides sp.)
Florida Elm (Ulmus americana)
Fragrant Water Lily [Star Lotus] (Nymphaea odorata)
Gayfeather (Liatris sp.)
Greenbrier (Smilax sp.)
Hawthorn (Crataegus sp.)
Laurel Greenbrier (Smilax laurifolia)
Leather Fern [Giant Fern] (Acrostichum danaeifolium)
Love Grass (Eragrostis secundiflora)
Maidencane (Panicum hemitomon)
Marsh Fern (Thelypteris palustris)
Meadow Beauty (Rhexia virginica)
Myrsine (Ardisia escallonioides)
Ogeechee Tupelo (Nyssa ogeche)
Pickeralweed (Pontederia cordata)
Red Maple (Acer rubrum)
Reed (Phragmites australis)
Royal Fern (Osmunda regalis)
Royal Palm (Roystonia regia)
Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens)
Sawgrass (Cladiumjamaicense)
Small-leaf Viburnum (Viburnum obovatum)
Sunflower (Helianthus sp.)
Sugar Hackberry (Celtis laevigata)
Water Tupelo (Nyssa aquatica)
Wax Myrtle (Myrica cerifera)
Wild Grape (Vitis sp.)

this W/D time period as the rains subsided, Florida underwent
yet another dry period like that of 12,000-10,000 B.P. period.
Leaves once again thickened (became sclerophyllous).
There were scrub forests and vast savannas and blue stem


(Andropogon fJircactus) prairies. The Middle-Late Archaic
Groves Orange Midden in Volusia County yielded the remains
of grapes (Vitis sp.), persimmon (Diospyros virginiana),
pignut hickory (Carya glabra), oak (Quercus sp.), bottle
gourd (Lagenaria siceraria), and squash/gourd (Cucurbita
pepo/texana) (Newsom 1994). The Lake Monroe Outlet
Midden (also in Volusia County) yielded the charred remains
of oak and hickory plus blueberry or sparkleberry (Vaccinium
sp.), greenbriar (Smilax sp.), cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto),
saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), and sugar hackberry (Celtis
laevigata) (Ruhl 2001). All of these were edible.
Plants of this period were very much the same as those
of the earlier W/D period, only the soil moisture was slightly
higher due to the elevated water table, and the temperature
was slightly warmer as evidenced by the continually melting
ice caps. Shallow lakes and ponds were still the main water
sources. Many of the food plants the Indians foraged grew in
and around these lakes. The W/D habitat reminds me of one of
my favorite get-aways in the state-Pat's Island in the Ocala
National Forest.
Many years ago, long before it was opened to the public
as the 1400-acre Yearling Trail, I drove up to Pat's Island. The
name "Pat's Island" refers to the fact that the area is an island
in a forest of slightly moist, slightly fertile soil where longleaf
pine (Pinuspalustris) (not found elsewhere in the surrounding
dry forest) grows as the dominant plant. Pat's Island is still
warm and dry but slightly moister than the surrounding
community of xeric plants. In 1933, author Marjorie Kinnan
Rawlings, who lived in nearby Cross Creek, spent a month up
on Pat's Island with the homesteading Rueben Long family.
Like the other few families on the island, the Longs ran hogs
and woods cattle, farmed, and made moonshine. Rawlings
listened to stories told by the Long sons, stories that she turned
into her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Yearling. When I
read The Yearling, I could not help but notice that Rawlings
established a sense of place by naming numerous native plants
on that island. Surely she did a lot of botanical research in
the nearby University of Florida library. For instance, she
described the banks of a river as being "dense with magnolia
and loblolly bay, sweet gum, and gray-barked ash" (Rawlings
[1938]1966:4). Plants growing in this period were like those
growing in the previous W/D climate, including those found
on Pat's Island. The edible plants of Pat's Island identified by
Rawlings are listed in Table 5.
The majority of Florida's 7800 lakes were in place
by the end of this period, including upland lakes with clay
bottoms, coastal dune lakes (lagoons) and ponds that were
often brackish, flatwoods lakes surrounded by a wet prairie or
dense rings of saw palmettos, artesian fed upland lakes, and
deep funnel-shaped sinkhole lakes. Although the refilling "of
shallower lakes was delayed until 8000 or 6000 years ago,
when about half the rise had been completed" (Brenner et. al.
1990:370), higher water tables during this W/D period meant
that Florida had a number of lacustrine communities that kept
both people and animals fed and watered during severe dry
seasons. The additional dominant food plants that grew in the
vicinity of these lakes and became food for the Indians during
this W/D period are listed in Table 6.


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PALEOINDIAN AND ARCHAIC FOOD PLANTS


Table 5. Dominant Food Plants: Pat's Islands.

Bamboo Vine (Smilax sp.)
Blackjack Oak (Quercus marilandica)
Brier-Berry (Rubus cuneifolius)
Cabbage Palm (Sabalpalmetto)
Dwarf Blueberry (Vaccinium myrsinites)
Dwarf Huckleberry (Vaccinium arboreum)
Giant Fern (Acrostichum danaeifolium)
Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris)
Red Love Grass (Eragrostis secundiflora)
Mulberry (Morus rubra)
Myrtle Bushes (Myrica cerifera)
Passion Flower (Passiflora sp.)
Poke Salat (Phytolacca americana)
Red Bay (Persea borbonia)
Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens)
Sawgrass (Cladiumjamaicense)
Scuppernong (Vitis rotundifolia)
St. Augustine Grape (Vitis cinera)
Wax Myrtle (Myrica cerifera)
White Indigo Berry (Randia aculeate)
Wild Cherry (Ernodea littoralis)
Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria)


5,000-2,500 B.P. (Warm/Moist)

During the Late Archaic period, rains returned to the
land. Sinkholes overflowed and formed more than 1700 rivers
(Nordlie 1990). Pine forests replaced the sclerophyllous oaks.
Florida's lowlands turned into large swamps. Tampa and
Charlotte prairies filled and became bays. The net primary
production rate (production from photosynthesis minus that
of respiration) in salt marshes is among the highest in the
world's plant communities (Montague and Wiegert 1990),
thus providing abundant food plants in the intertidal zones
where the wave energy is low and where there is an absence
of shading mangroves. While the Indians had been eating
seafood in the vicinity of Horr's Island in Southwest Florida
since the Middle Archaic, during the Late Archaic it became a
staple along with many new estuarine and riverine food plants.
With a warmer, wetter climate, sub-tropical and tropical
plants arrived from the Caribbean and established themselves
in south Florida. Webb (1990:201) states that "cores from
the Everglades indicate the return of sea level to its current
position by 5000 B.P. and subsequent establishment of the
coastal vegetation including tropical species that are currently
found in sub-tropical hammocks". In the early days, the entire
Atlantic coastal strip from the Keys to Cape Canaveral was a
tropical forest (Austin 2004) (see Figure 6).


Table 6. Dominant Food Plants: Lakes and Ponds.

Arrowhead (Sagittaria sp.)
Black Mangrove (Avicennia germinans)
Cattail (Typha domingensis)
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra sp. Canadensis)
Fireflag (Thalia geniculata)
Floating Heart (Nymphoides aquatic)
Laurel Oak (Quercus laurifolia)
Maidencane (Panicum hemitomon)
Marsh Elder (Ivafrutescens)
Meadow Beauty (Rhexia virginica)
Milfoil (Achillea millefolium)
Pennywort (Hydrocotyle umbellata)
Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata)
Possumhaw (Viburnum nudum)
Red Bay (Persea borbonia)
Red Maple (Acer rubrum)
Royal Fern (Osmunda regalis)
Sawgrass (Cladium jamaicense)
Water Hickory (Carya aquatica)
Water Lily (Nymphaea odorata)
Water Oak (Quercus nigra)
Wax Myrtle (Myrica cerifera)
Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)


Figure 6. The Warm/Moist climate of the Late Archaic
brought a host of new food plants into south Florida.


Tropical


Edibles


PERRY






THE~~~~~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ FLR NHOOOIS 01VL 41


The Indians planted more and larger village gardens of
goosefoot (Chenopodium berlandieri), sunflower (Helianthus
sp.), squash/gourd (Cucurbita okeechobeensis), and marsh
elder (Iva annual) (Smith 2007). In the swamps and estuaries,
long-legged sea birds came to feed on little fishes. Like their
ancestors in North Florida, the Indian hunters probably threw
bolas with egg-sized rocks to trap the birds for their feathers
and sparse meat. Florida has 425 species of birds (Myers
1990) that could have provided meat, eggs, and feathers for
the Indians.
The previously mentioned Horr's Island site on
today's Marco Island was a Middle-Late Archaic-period
site and had saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), poke weed
(Phytolacca americana), mastic (Sideroxylon sp.), live oak
(Quecrus virginiana), cocoplum (Chrysobalanus icaco),
Setaria/Panicum grass, chenopod (Chenopodium sp.),
stopper (Eugenia sp.), wild grape (Vitis sp.), Horsepurslane
(Trianthema portulacastnrm), prickly pear (Opuntia sp.),
wax myrtle (vMyrica cerifera, used for seasoning), sea grape
(Cocoloba uvifera), and squash/gourd (Cucurbito sp.), all
used as food plants (Ruhl 2004).
The West Williams site located on a hill next to Hamey
Flats east of Tampa had the following additional edible plants:
hickory (Carva sp.), witch-hazel (Hamamelis sp.), holly (Ilex
sp.). marsh elder (Iva sp.), lotus (Nelumbo sp.), cinnamon
fern (Osmunda sp.), pine (Pinus sp.), smartweed (Polygonum
sp.L bracken fern (Pteridium sp.), arrow-head (Sagittaria sp.),
elderberry (Sambucus sp.), cattail (Typha), and elm (Ulmus
sp.) (Ruhl 20(0l By the end of this W/M period villages were
more permanent, there was greater regional cultural diversity
amongst the Indians of central and south Florida, populations
grew larger, and there began an emerging of complex societies
that eventually culminated in the chiefdoms of the tenth century
A.D. This was the end of the Archaic period. The food plants
available in the Late Archaic were similar to the W/M plants
of the Early Archaic but with the addition of the sub-tropicals,
tropicals, river and stream, swamp, and estuarine plants (see
Figure 7) akin to those found in today's tidal marshes and
swamps, mangroves, river and creek communities (Table 7).
Some common edible estuarine plants are shown in Figure 6.

Conclusion

In summary, roughly 10% of all 2654 native Florida
plants were available as food plants to the Paleoindian and
Archaic people and, except for the sub-tropicals that did not
enter the state until the Late Archaic, all of them have been
available to one degree or another since the arrival of the
Paleoindians. Riverine and lacustrine (lake) species were
not as abundant until the Late Archaic. Palustrine (wetland
forests and swamps) species were not as abundant until the
Late Archaic. And likewise, the estuarine species also were
not in place along Florida's present coastline until the Late
Archaic. I heartily agree with Dan Austin (2004:18) who says,
"It is my experience that people are inquisitive and inventive
with plants; comparison of the literature suggests the same...
Humans not only experiment with plants to see what impacts
they have on people, but they exchange information with


Figure 7. With the filling of Florida's swamps, wetland
food plants rose to dominance.


their neighbors. Every plant listed in this article was used
as a food plant by some indigenous group in this hemisphere,
and without any strain on the imagination they were surely
food plants for the Florida Paleoindians and Archaic people as
well. With the fluctuations of climate over the millennia and
the shifts of dominant species, the Indian foraging habits and
recipes were adapted to match the dominant plant groups of
that time period.
Over the lifetime of the prehistoric Indians of Florida
there have been only three major changes in their diet, giving
them four recipe books. The first came when the megafauna
went extinct and hunting of animal foods was directed more
towards the 500 smaller animal species. New meat preparation
recipes were introduced. Plant gathering and preparation
remained about the same. The second came when the estuaries
formed and the fish and shellfish harvest introduced new, well-
salted recipes. Sub-tropical, estuarine, riverine, and lacustrine
food plants became more abundant. The third came in the circa
ninth century when vast fields of corn were grown in North
Florida, a trend that introduced large scale tooth-decay, obesity,
insect and plant disease epidemics, and a general decline in
health typical of single-crop agriculture. More emphasis was
placed on crop cultivation and less food plant gathering. But
that is another story.

References Cited

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1990 Pine Flatwoods and Dry Prairies. In Ecosystems of
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Orlando.

Austin, Daniel F.
2004 Florida Ethnobotany. CRC Press, Boca Raton.


THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST


2011 VOL. 64(1)






PERR PALOINIAN ND RCHAC FOD PANT


Table 7. Dominant Food Plants: Tropical, Estuary and
Rivers.

Arrowhead (Sagittaria sp.)
Black Mangrove (Avicennia germinans)
Cattail (Typhus domingensis)
Century Plant (Agave sp.)
Cottonwood (Populus deltoides)
Cowpeas (Vigna luteola)
Cucumber/Squash (Cucurbita sp.)
Glasswort (Salicornia sp.)
Golden Club (Orontium aquaticum)
Marlberry (Ardisia escallonioides)
Marsh Elder (Iva annual)
Mastic (Sideroxylon sp.)
Locustberry (Byrsonima crassifolia)
Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata)
Prickly Pear (Opuntia sp.)
Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle)
Saltgrass (Distichlis spicata)
Saltwort (Batis maritima)
Seablight (Suaeda sp.)
Sea Grape (Coccoloba uvifera)
Sea Oxeye (Barrichia sp.)
Sea Purslane (Sesuvium portulacastrum)
Sea Rocket (Cakile lanceolata)
Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)
Smartweed [Knotgrass] (Polygonum sp.)
Strongbark (Bourreria succulent)
Vanilla (Vanilla sp.)
Velvetseed (Guettarda elliptica)
Water Lilies (Nymphaea sp.)
Wild Rice (Zizania aquatic)

Borremans, Nina
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[1699]1945 Jonathan Dickinson s Journal. Florida Classics
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Florida Department of Natural Resources
1990 Guide to the Natural Communities of Florida:
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Hamlin, Christine.
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Hawkes, Kristen
1968 How Much Food Do Foragers Need? In Food and
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Heiser, Charles
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Lieberman, Leslie Sue
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Milanich, Jerald T.
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Montague, Clay L., and Richard G. Wiegert
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PERRY


PALEOINDIAN AND ARCHAIC FOOD PLANTS






THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST 2011 VOL. 64(1)


Myers. Ronald L.
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Nordlie, Frank G,
1990 Rivers and Springs. In Ecosystems of'Florida edited
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2011 VOL. 64(1)











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THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST 77


About the Authors:


Steve Dasovich is currently the Director of Archaeology and Assistant Professor in the Sociology/Anthropology Depart-
ment at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri. He received his B.A. from the University of South Dakota, M.S.
from The Florida State University, and Ph.D. from the University of Missouri. He is currently conducting research at the
Nathan/Daniel Boone Home (circa 1804) in Defiance, Missouri and at the 1769 homestead site of Louis Blanchette in St.
Charles, Missouri.

Glen H Doran is a Professor of Anthropology and has been with the Florida State University faculty since 1980. He is
best known for his work at the Windover site but has also worked in Texas, California, Tennessee, Alabama, and Italy. His
primary interests include bioarchaeology, the Archaic period, and wet site archaeology.

John A. Gifford is a principal investigator and underwater archaeologist for the University of Miami's Little Salt Spring
project. His research interests include prehistoric underwater archaeology, remote sensing techniques, marine cultural re-
source management and geoarchaeology. He received his MS in marine science from the University of Miami (1973) and
a Ph.D. in geoarchaeology from the University of Minnesota (1978). He has taught at the University of Miami since 1983.

Daniel Hughes has an undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts and holds Master's degrees from Florida
Atlantic University and Armstrong State College. He is currently working on his Ph.D. at the University of South Florida.
His research interest includes class formation processes and world-systems as well as the archaeology of southern Florida.

Steven H Koski is a Research Associate with the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric
Science at the Little Salt Spring Research Facility. His research interests involve early Florida coastal adaptations and
settlement systems and prehistoric underwater archaeology. He first came to Florida in 1985 as a graduate research assis-
tant from Arizona State University. He worked as an assistant underwater archeologist at FSU's Warm Mineral Springs Ar-
chaeological Research Project, spent 18 years in CRM, and has been involved in research at Little Salt Spring since 1992.

George M Luer has conducted archaeological research since the 1970s with a focus on American Indian cultures in the
greater Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor regions of Florida. He has also developed wider thematic studies across much
of central and southern Florida, including research of museum and private collections, salvage work, and preservation of
sites.

I. Mac Perry is an avocational archaeologist who holds degrees in Horticulture and Scriptural Literature. He has served
as a horticultural agent for IFAS with the University of Florida, and was founder and director of the Foreign Agriculture
Relief Mission (FARM), a missionary agriculture school at Florida Beacon College. Perry has authored multiple newspa-
per and magazine articles on a wide variety of horticultural topics. He has also authored several books including Indian
Mounds You Can Visit, Black Conquistador: The Story of the Narvaez Expedition, Children of the Sun: The Story of the
Cabeza de Vaca Expedition, Mac Perry's Florida Lawn and Garden Care, Landscaping in Florida: A Photo Idea Book,
Landscape Your Florida Home, and The Gro-Box Method of Vegetable Growing. Perry is an active member of the Central
Gulf Coast Archaeological Society and the Florida Anthropological Society. The research in this article is expanded on
in his forthcoming book Life and Lunch in a 9th Century Indian Village that describes over 600 plant foods gathered by
Florida's prehistoric people.













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Volume 64, Number 1
March 2011


CONTENTS


ARTICLES


The Yellow Bluffs Mound Revisited: A Manasota Period Burial Mound in Sarasota
George M. Luer

Radiocarbon Dating the Yellow Bluffs Mound (8SO4), Sarasota, Florida
George M. Luer and Daniel Hughes

An Incised Antler Artifact from Little Salt Spring (8SO18)
John A. Gifford and Steven H. Koski

The Florida Radiocarbon Database
Steve J. Dasovich and Glen H. Doran

Climate: The Key to Discovering the Food Plants
Foraged by Florida's Paleoindians and Archaic People
I. Mac Perry


Cover: A view of Yellow Bluffs Mound in Sarasota, Fl. Compare the pergola on top of the mound in both pictures.
Top: Postcard view toward the pergola at the Acacias residence in the 1910s. Bottom: A half century later, a
similar view was taken during archaeological excavations at the Yellow Bluffs Mound in early April 1969. Henry
Sheldon holds a shovel in the trench's northwest corner and Doris "Dottie" Davis wears a hat. Bottom image
courtesy of the Sarasota County History Center.


Copyright 2011 by the
FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY, INC.
ISSN 0015-3893