The Florida anthropologist

 Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 From the editors
 On the trail of the panther in...
 Excavation of a mid-nineteenth-century...
 Swift Creek paddle designs from...
 Typological, functional, and comparative...
 Middle Woodland and protohistoric...
 2011 Florida field school...
 About the authors
 Back Cover
PRIVATE ITEM Digitization of this item is currently in progress.
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027829/00210

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


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 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: UF00027829:00213

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027829/00210

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


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 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: UF00027829:00213

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents 1
        Table of Contents 2
    From the editors
        Page 137
        Page 138
    On the trail of the panther in ancient Florida
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
    Excavation of a mid-nineteenth-century barrell well and associated features at Fort Brooke, Tampa, Florida
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
    Swift Creek paddle designs from the Florida Gulf Coast: Patterns and prospects
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
    Typological, functional, and comparative contextual analyses of Woodland hafted bifaces from Kolomoki (9ER1)
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
    Middle Woodland and protohistoric Fort Walton at thee lost Chipola Cutoff mound cutoff, Northwest Florida
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
    2011 Florida field school summaries
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
    About the authors
        Page 288
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text


VOLUME 64, NUMBERS 3-4 September-December 2011


THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST is published by the Florida Anthropological Society, Inc., P.O. Box 357605, Gainesville, FL 32635.
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President: Patty Flynn, P.O. Box 11052, Ft. Lauderdale, FL. 33339 (pflynn52@gmail.com)
First Vice President: Jeffrey T. Moates, FPAN West Central Regional Center, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., NEC 16, Tampa FL 33620
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Co-Editors: Keith H. Ashley Department of Anthropology, Building 51, University of North Florida, 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL
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Nancy Marie White, Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620-8100
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VISIT FAS ON THE WEB: www.fasweb.org

The Floridau OF F LBRO


Volume 64 Numbers 3-4 0c, Ai
September-December 2011

Table of Contents

From the Editors 137


On the Trail of the Panther in Ancient Florida 139
Ryan J. Wheeler

Excavation of a Mid-Nineteenth-Century Barrell Well and Associated Features
at Fort Brooke, Tampa, Florida 163
Robert J. Austin,. Hendryx, Brian E. Worthington, and Debra J. Wells

Swift Creek Paddle Designs from the Florida Gulf Coast: Patterns and Prospects 187
Neill J. Wallis and Amanda O'Dell

Typological, Functional, and Comparative Contextual Analyses of Woodland Hafted Bifaces 207
from Kolomoki (9ER1)
Thomas J. Pluckhahn and Sean P. Norman

Middle Woodland and Protohistoric Fort Walton at thee Lost Chipola Cutoff Mound Cutoff,
Northwest Florida 241
Nancy Marie White

2011 Florida Field School Summaries 275

About the Authors 288

Cover: USF students shovel test during the 2011 field school.

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-ae v^ ^ yy vy W iI

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From the Editors

This double issue of The Florida Anthropologist closes
out the 2011 year. Included are five articles on a variety of
prehistoric and historic topics and a series of archaeological
field school summaries. The first article by former editor Ryan
Wheeler tracks the elusive panther of ancient Florida. Wheeler
surveys the archaeological and ethnohistorical literature
to present a comprehensive overview of the occurrence of
panther remains on archaeological sites throughout Florida.
He explores how the panther was represented artistically
(mostly in ceramic and carved wooden effigies) and how it
was portrayed in native narratives. Who hasn't marveled at
the Key Marco cat and pondered its meaning to those of the
ancient past. His study, however, is not limited to Florida as
he considers archaeological and historic information on the
panther from the broader Southeast. Wheeler addresses a
series of important anthropological questions regarding the
panther and the role(s) it may have played in past societies.
Although these questions are difficult to answer conclusively,
Wheeler opens an important discussion of the relationships
between panthers (living and mythical) and Native Americans
and provides us with much food for thought.
The second article by Robert Austin, Greg Hendryx, Brian
Worthington, and Debra Wells shifts attention to mid-nineteenth
century life at Fort Brooke, a Seminole-era outpost established
in Hillsborough County near the mouth of the Hillsborough
River. By the late nineteenth century, the fort was part of lands
that were opened for development as the city of Tampa began
to grow. But the fort was not lost to urbanization. Survey and
excavations by Southeastern Archaeological Research, Inc.
revealed intact features beneath Tampa's Central Business
District. Working within and beneath the structural remains of
a 1907 building, archaeologists exposed postholes, a refuse pit,
and a barrel well. Using ceramic and bottle dating formulae,
the authors derive a date of 1840-1860 for the filling in of the
refuse pit and well. This project underscores the importance
of historic reservations laws, and the vital role CRM plays in
archaeological data recovery and interpretation.
Pottery, specifically Swift Creek Complicated Stamped, is
the centerpiece of the third article by Neill Wallis and Amanda
O'Dell. The Big Bend region of the Florida Gulf coast is the
geographical focus of this study. Following the lead of Frankie
Snow, although employing a slightly different drawing
methodology, the authors deftly reconstruct Swift Creek
designs directly from Gulf coast sherds. The intricate designs
on Swift Creek pottery were created by pressing a uniquely
carved wooden paddle onto wet ceramic vessels. Each design
possesses distinctive "signatures" that can be discerned
through careful examination. Matching a design on different
vessels provides valuable information on the movement of
people, pots, or paddles, all of which have important social

implications. In their sample, Wallis and O'Dell identified
several design matches between sites within their sample
and they discuss several important designs and distributional
trends. This initial study has generated a solid foundation on
which future Gulf Coast design studies can build.
The topic of the fourth article shifts from ceramics to
lithics, as Thomas Pluckhahn and Sean Norman present
findings of their detailed quantitative analysis of hafted
bifaces from Kolomoki in southwestern Georgia. The authors'
goal is to work toward a refined typological classification
for Woodland period hated bifaces. As they note, Kolomoki
possesses one of the largest hafted biface collections from a
single Woodland period site in the Southeast. Their analysis is
not merely morphological, but also functional and contextual,
as they consider how hafted biface were used and how their
shapes and uses may have changed over time. Most notably,
they explore the relationship between the change from dart
to arrow technology and its relationship to coeval social
changes at Kolomoki. Their typological classification, which
they clearly state is preliminary, should serve as a guide for
developing uniform terminology in the classification of
Woodland period hafted bifaces, and its formation should
appeal to archaeologists throughout the Southeast.
In the final article, Nancy White adds another piece to her
ongoing research in the Apalachicola River valley. The subject
of her article is the Chipola Cutoff mound, once located
along the Chipola cutoff channel of the Apalachicola River.
Though excavated by C.B. Moore in the opening decade of
the twentieth century, the mound's location was lost to modern
archaeologists. Using Moore's description of the mound as a
starting point, White synthesizes all available information on
Chipola Cutoff. In a nice piece of detective work, she confirms
that the mound had completely washed away in the 1960s and
reports on an impressive assortment of artifacts from ceramic
vessels to shell pendants to sheet-brass disks dispersed among
distant museums and private collections. White's study
demonstrates the immense value of curated collections and the
importance of establishing good rapport with local residents
and tapping into their knowledge of local sites.
The volume concludes with summaries of archaeological
field school conducted in Florida by various state universities
and colleges during the summer of 2011. These include the
University of Florida's excavation of the Kingsley Plantation
near Jacksonville (Mcllvoy); University of South Florida's
Crystal River Early Village Archaeological Project in Citrus
County (Blankenship, Sampson, Hunter, Kemp, and Norman);
University of West Florida's combined underwater and
terrestrial Campus Field School (Gougeon) and Pensacola
Colonial Frontiers Field School (Worth); Valencia College's
field research at Fort Lane Park in Seminole County and the

Vol.64(3-4) The Florida Anthropologist September-December 2011


The Florida Anthropologist

September-December 2011

Te od- a A |th -ois 201Vl -. .64(3_-4

Thomas House in Orange County (Wenzel); and the University
of North Florida's student testing of the Cedar Point West
site (Hall) and their public field school at the Cedar Point
site (Monday). Also be sure to check out the two San Luis
advertisements and see what activities they have planned for
the annual FAS meeting in Tallahassee (May 2012).
On a final note, this is our first issue of The Florida
Anthropologist. Although I am considered the editor, journal
production is a communal effort. Vicki Rolland is the technical
editor, and she has the daunting task of formatting the entire
journal and getting it into printer-ready shape. Michael Boyles
of the Center for Instruction & Research Technology at the
University of North Florida (UNF) has patiently introduced us
to the intricacies of journal assembly in InDesign. During our
time as editors, we will be drawing heavily upon the assistance
of faculty and students in the Department of Sociology and
Anthropology at UNF. Finally, we want to acknowledge and
thank our predecessors Deborah Mullins and Andrea White
for their four stellar years of service as editors and for helping
and guiding us through our first issue. In fact, Deb and Andrea
are mostly responsible for preparing three of the five articles
in this volume. With this said, we hope you enjoy this volume
of The Florida Anthropologist.

Keith H. Ashley
Vicki L. Rolland

The Florida Anthropoloeist

2011 Vol. 64(3-4)

On the Trail of the Panther in Ancient Florida

Ryan J. Wheeler

15 Capen Street, Apt 301, Medford, MA 02155
Email: ryanjwheeler@gmail.com

A review of literature reveals that the panther was and
is prominent in the social, political and religious lives of the
southeastern American Indians. This is most notably illustrated
by the case of James Billie, chairman of the Seminole Tribe of
Florida, who was charged with violation of the Endangered
Species Act for killing a Florida panther in 1983. Among
the legal theories brought out in court, attorneys argued that
hunting the panther figured prominently in Seminole religion
(Shabecoff 1987). Sonny Billie, a relative of the chairman,
explained in a newspaper account that the panther's claws
could be used to heal degenerative muscle diseases and that
part of the skin and tail could be used in medicine to make boys
better athletes (Associated Press 1984; also see the account of
this case in Orlean 1998:234-240).' Ultimately the case was
resolved-not because of the religious arguments, which the
courts avoided-but because of long standing disputes among
experts about the genetic position of the Florida subspecies in
relation to other species and subspecies of this animal (Maehr
1997:157; Renteln 2005:98-99). Historical and ethnographic
accounts provide some time depth to these assertions of
significance for the panther, which appears alongside serpents
and raptor-like birds in the medico-religious beliefs of the
Southern tribes.
Looking further back in time, archaeological occurrences
of panther remains are relatively rare in Florida, although the
large cat figures prominently in some Florida native art. Other
scholars have interpreted panther remains and depictions of
the panther in several ways. For example, Milanich (1994:136,
216, 218) mentions cut pantherjaws from several Florida sites,
noting that they are likely parts of masks. Figural depictions of
panthers in pottery and wood have been interpreted in terms
of mythology and American Indian kinship (Knight 1984;
Schwehm 1983:57-61). In the Midwest, panther remains
and artistic depictions of the animal have been interpreted in
terms of biological characteristics-the panther as a powerful
predator becomes a symbol of hunting and warfare (Seeman
Cooke (1998), in his study of the imagery and symbolism
surrounding the jaguar and other big cats in ancient Panama,
focuses on four main themes that also appear in discussions of
the panther in eastern North America. Modified slightly, these
could be restated as: 1) were panthers used as food?; 2) were
panthers symbols of social rank?; 3) were panthers involved
in shamanism?; 4) were panthers used to identify social
groups? Keeping these themes in mind, this article provides a

brief overview of known panther remains from Florida sites,
a review of artistic portrayals of the panther, and notes on
the panther in the mythology of the southeastern tribes. The
implications of such occurrences are discussed in terms of
both panther natural history (e.g., population, territory, diet,
behavior, etc.) and American Indian cultural beliefs about this
animal, revealing that the significance of the panther is more
complicated than previous interpretations would suggest.

Biology and Natural History

Puma concolor couguar,2 the large, unspotted cat
variably known as puma, panther, or mountain lion, was once
distributed across the lower southern states, with populations
in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi
(Alvarez 1993:23-24; Young and Goldman 1946:10). Other
populations once existed across much of North and South
America, though the only panther population now found
east of the Mississippi River is confined to a small group in
southern Florida (Maehr 1992:176-177). Nineteenth-century
accounts indicate, however, that the panther was common in
the wilder, less populated parts of the state (Maehr 1992:179;
Young and Goldman 1946:17-18), and botanist William
Bartram (Van Doren 1955:63) remarked on the animals'
occurrence in Georgia in 1773. Maehr (1992:179) notes that
historical records indicate frequent occurrences in southern
Florida and along the St. Johns River, with more sporadic
reports in other parts of Florida, including a number of
sightings in the Florida Keys (Layne 1984:282). In the late
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, panthers were hunted
for bounty in many populated areas (Young and Goldman
1946:12). Alvarez (1993:56-57) says that panthers persisted
in many parts of Florida and adjacent states well into the early
twentieth-century. Allen and Neill (1953:33) report that in
the early 1950s the Florida panther was classified as a game
animal, with an open season from November to January-by
1958 the big cat was on the endangered species list. In the
early 1990s biologists believed there were only 30 to 50 of
these animals left in southern Florida, largely due to loss of
habitat continuity and roadway mortality (Maehr 1992:177).
Genetic restoration, including the introduction of panthers
from Texas, has helped to increase the population to between
100 and 160 adult panthers (Onorato and Land 2011).
Panthers are one of the few large terrestrial predators of
the southeastern United States and they historically occupied

Vol. 64 (3-4) The Florida Anthropologist September-December 2011

Vol. 64 (3-4)

The Florida Anthropologist

September-December 2011

TheFlria Athoplogs 01Vl 434

Figure 1. Geographic distribution of archaeological sites with examples of Puma concolor
couguar in Florida.

relatively large territories. Maehr (1992:183-184) notes
that home ranges average from 200 to 400 square km, with
males occupying the larger ranges. This suggests that, even
before modern pressure, they were relatively few in number
and widely dispersed on the landscape. Maehr (1992:179)
goes on to say that panthers require abundant prey, and
females probably select territories with appropriate amounts
of available game-namely feral hogs and white-tailed deer.
Allen and Neill (1953:33) share an interesting anecdote about
the Florida panther, noting that it does not attack humans, but
it will follow someone through the woods out of curiosity.
Panthers are essentially nocturnal, with the greatest activity at
sunrise and sunset (Maehr 1990). Studies of preferred habitats
suggest that panthers are rare in the Everglades marsh but can
be found in cypress swamps, mangrove forests, and on tree
islands and pine flatwoods, with a preference for uplands like
hardwood hammock and pine flatwoods (Layne 1984:283;
Maehr 1990; Maehr and Cox 1995). Panthers are primarily
solitary, with interactions limited to mating and the raising
of young by females (Maehr et al. 1990). Female panthers
prefer to make maternal dens in dense saw palmetto thickets,
and despite their solitary nature, female home ranges often
overlap, with related females likely living in proximity to one
another (Maehr 1990:28).
Morgan and Seymour (1997) describe fifteen fossil
occurrences of Puma concolor, noting that this animal is one
of several large cats from the late Pleistocene Blancan and
Rancholabrean faunas of Florida. McDonald (1976:9-10,
1990:284) identified panther remains among the 48 genera
from the 13 m ledge at Warm Mineral Springs (8S019), which
included two extinct species-Jefferson's Ground Sloth and
the sabertooth cat. While ancient human remains and artifacts
are known from the site, it appears that the panther remains

are from an older fossil deposit.3 McDonald (1976:9-10)
explains that panthers are a relatively recent immigrant to
Florida, moving into the state at the end of the Wisconsin ice
age (ca. 12,000 years ago). Apparently they did not compete
with their relatives, the sabertooth cat and the jaguar-already
well established by this time and preying upon the now
extinct Pleistocene megafauna. The panthers' focus on smaller
game, like deer, served them well as the megafauna and their
predators passed into extinction.

Archaeological Occurrences

Archaeological occurrences of the panther, like fossil
finds, are relatively few in number. Review of the published
literature, unpublished zooarchaeological analyses, museum
collections, and recent finds reveals Puma concolor couguar
remains from only fifteen Florida sites. The Appendix lists
each site (ordered by Florida Master Site File number), the
context of the find, and the elements recovered. A summary of
the data is presented below and in Table 1.
The most obvious trend observed during this study is that
panther remains are very rare in Florida archaeological sites.
In most cases, the panther remains were recovered during
large-scale projects that involved extensive excavation of a
site. Specimens from Northwest Gulf Coast sites (n=6) and the
southern Florida culture regions (n=4) account for the majority
of the known specimens (Figure 1). The types of sites vary
considerably-some are small habitation sites, while others
are large mound complexes. Panther remains also appear in a
variety of contexts, ranging from midden deposits to mounds,
and a few examples interred with burials. The list of sites
with panther remains includes Crystal River-one of the most
famous sites in Florida (Milanich 1999:1). While panther

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Wheeler Archaeology of the Florida Panther

remains have been noted at prominent sites, most specimens
considered here (n=12) were found with other animal bones in
village or refuse deposits and do not appear to be associated
with human burials or other special features. In a few cases,
sites have multiple finds of panther remains-for example,
panther bones were found in at least two different units at the
Torreya Ranger Mound, and panther remains were found in
two different parts of the Crystal River site.
Temporal and cultural affiliations indicate some moderate
alignment with Santa Rosa-Swift Creek and related sites, as
well as Late Woodland sites. The presence of worked jaws
and teeth from Early and Middle Woodland-related sites, like
Crystal River, Pierce, and Fort Center, is consistent with Sears's
(1962:6) definition of the Hopewellian-related Yent Complex,
which has cut animal jaws and teeth as a characteristic trait.
At least two Weeden Island sites-the Cades Pond culture
Melton site and the Torreya site-produced panther remains.
Panther remains are rarely found in Mississippian cultural
contexts, with the exception of Waddells Mill Pond (Gardner
1966:55). When panther remains appear in Florida sites coeval
with the Mississippian period, they are often in distinctly non-
Mississippian contexts. For example, Thunen and Ashley
(1995:8) explain that the Goodman Mound, where perforated

and decorated panther teeth were recovered, is unlike other
late St. Johns area mounds that exhibit characteristics of
Mississippian ceremonialism (e.g., Grant, Shields, and Mount
Royal sites).
The elements represented fall strongly into two categories:
1) cut jaws and teeth, and 2) bones of the lower leg and feet.
There are six occurrences of modified jaws and teeth, three
occurrences of teeth only, and five occurrences of the bones
of the lower leg and feet (typically metapodial bones) (Figures
2 and 3). Modification of panther bones and teeth is relatively
common. For example, the panther jaws from Crystal River,
Turner River Jungle Gardens, Fort Center, and the Old Oak Site
all appear to be either cut or reduced, some of the perforated
teeth from Goodman Mound have incised designs, while the
metatarsal from Wynnhaven Beach has been intentionally
ground on its dorsal surface.4 Archaeologist Nancy White
correctly observed in her peer review of this article that the
prevalence of panther teeth may be a result of preservation
bias, since teeth are much more durable than bone. In another
comment she pointed out a protein residue analysis conducted
on stone tools from site 8LI76; Goodwin and colleagues
(1996:131-132, 236, 305, 379) found blood residue of Felidae
(the family that includes panthers and bobcats) on one of the

Table 1. Summary of panther remains from Florida sites.

Site name Elements Culture area Temporal/cultural Approx. date range
Melton North-central Cades Pond/ Weeden A.D. 100-500
Crystal River Worked North Gulf Coast Deptford, "Yent 100 B.C. A.D.
_jaws/teeth Complex" 600-700
Turner River Worked jaw/teeth Ten Thousand Glades I late through A.D. 500-1400
Jungle Gardens Islands Ilia periods
Granada Foot/leg bones Everglades Glades II through III A.D. 750-1763
Surfside Unknown Everglades Glades II through III A.D. 750-1763
Goodman Worked teeth Northern St. Johns St. Johns II period Post A.D. 1000
Mound area
Pierce Worked teeth Northwest Gulf Santa Rosa-Swift 200 B.C.-A.D. 800
Coast Creek
Fort Center Reduced(?) Okeechobee Local Middle A.D. 200-A.D.
jaw/teeth Woodland culture 600-800
Yellow Teeth Northwest Gulf Mixed Early 200 B.C.-A.D.
Houseboat Coast Woodland and Fort 1400
Waddells Mill Foot/leg bones Northwest Gulf Fort Walton period A.D. 900-1600
Pond Coast
Torreya Ranger Foot/leg bones Northwest Gulf Weeden Island A.D. 200-900
Wynnhaven Foot/leg bones Northwest Gulf Santa Rosa-Swift A.D. 230-550
Beach Coast Creek
Brothers Unknown Central Peninsula Late Weeden Island A.D. 600-1400
Gulf Coast to Safety Harbor
Old Oak Reduced(?) Central Peninsula Late Weeden Island A.D. 600-1300
jaw/teeth Gulf Coast & Safety Harbor
Bird Hammock Foot/leg bones Wakulla Santa Rosa-Swift 200 B.C.-A.D. 800


Archaeology of the Florida Panther

The Florida Anthroolo ist

Figure 2. Puma concolor couguar mandible fragment
found near the Old Oak site (8SO51).

unifacial chert tools they tested from the late Weeden Island
component of this site.

Other Notable Occurrences of Panther Remains in the
Southeast and Midwest

The pair of copper-covered panther jaws from Burial 57
(from fifth mound stage) at the Ocmulgee Funeral Mound
in central Georgia is the most well-known occurrence of
Puma concolor couguar remains in the Southeast (Fairbanks
1956:31-32, 46, 70).5 These cut jaws were accompanied
by a human femur fragment, two embossed copper plates
resembling bivalve shells (or possibly intended as panther
ears?), and fragments of cane matting and decayed fur.
Fairbanks (1956:39-40, 42-43) identifies the Funeral Mound
with the early Mississippian culture Macon Plateau Period (ca.
A.D. 1000).
As Fairbanks (1956:46) notes, animal teeth and cut animal
jaws figure prominently in a number of other cultures in the
Southeast and Midwest, most notably those associated with
the Hopewellian horizon. Seeman (2007:175-176) summarizes
this phenomenon, noting that 200jaws from 30 sites are known
from Florida to Ontario, with wolfjaws being most prominent,
followed by bear, panther, bobcat, and others. For example,
Greber and Ruhl (1989:221-231, 277-278) and Moorehead
(1922:155-157) discuss the prominence of bear canine teeth
in the Hopewell type site in Ohio, which appear along with
cut jaws of bear, deer, panther, lynx, fox, and human.6 Animal
teeth, animal claws, and worked animal jaws are among the
trait list of the Adena culture, a Midwestern precursor of
Hopewell (Greenman 1932:422, 436, 458, 462; Webb and
Baby 1957:17; Webb and Snow 1945:25). Webb and Baby
(1957:17, 61-71) argue that modified animal jaws, principally
of the bear, wolf, and panther, are parts of ceremonial masks.7
Seeman (2007:175, 178) suggests an alternative hypothesis,
namely that the modified jaws of predatory animals and
humans, at least in Hopewell contexts, are metaphorically
tied to hunting and warfare and represent trophies that were
worn as ornaments, rather than medicine bundle items,

official regalia, or sacred furniture. Case and Carr (2008:214-
225) present an elaborate argument that modified animal
teeth and jaws, including those of panther, are clan markers
within the Hopewell culture. Their model of Hopewell clans
is based on several things, including comparison with the
names, distribution, and character of ethnographically-known
Woodland tribal clans. Further, they suggest that analysis of
grave goods shows that particular social and leadership roles,
as well as importance, correlate with the clan markers. In the
case of feline clan markers, Case and Carr (2008:222) suggest
a correlation with social roles involving warfare, in part due
to the biological characteristics of the panther, as well as the
martial association of the cat in some Midwestern tribes.
Panther remains also are reported from village contexts at
Ohio and Illinois Hopewellian sites, and some of these seem to
have been bones made into ornaments and tools, while others
represent food refuse.8 Seeman (2007:175) remarks on the
presence of cut animal and human jaws in both mortuary and
village sites, suggesting that the social meaning of the jaws

Figure 3. Metapodial bone of Puma concolor couguar
from Wynnhaven Beach site (80K239) compared to the
same element from the reference collection of the Florida
Museum of Natural History, Zooarchaeology Range.

does not correlate strongly with social status. He further notes
that the prominence of cut jaws wanes with the end of the
Hopewellian horizon in eastern North America, though there
seem to be occasional occurrences thereafter. Coe (1995:139,
145-146), for example, reports eight panther skull fragments
from the riverbank midden deposit at Town Creek Mound, a
Mississippian site in the North Carolina Piedmont. Despite
the presence of the bones in a village context, Coe (1995:139)
points to the use of modified panther skulls in Middle Woodland
contexts, suggesting the Town Creek examples may have been
"ceremonial decorations." Guilday (1971:7, 17) reports 18
panther bones, representing at least three individuals, from
the seventeenth-century Buffalo site in West Virginia. The
remains from this site, from a village context, were associated
peripherally with the Fort Ancient culture, known elsewhere
in the Midwest. This is a large number of bones from one site,

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Wheeler Arch aeoIo~v of the Florida Panther

especially when compared to the Florida sites (and even the
other southeastern and midwestern sites considered here), and
included jaw and limb elements, some of which had evidence
of butchering.

Artistic Representations of the Panther

Representations of the panther in the decorative arts
of native Florida are rare, with some notable exceptions.
Perhaps the best known portrayal of the animal is the little
wood carving, popularly called the "Key Marco cat." Other
examples are found in the Fort Center wood carvings and
among Weeden Island ceramic effigy vessels.

Key Marco Cat and Wooden Effigies of Southern Florida

The best known wood carving recovered at Key Marco is
the feline figurine-the "Key Marco cat" (Cushing 1897:387;
Gilliland 1975:116, Plates 69-70). This carving is a small,
finely finished and highly polished sculpture and combines
animal and human elements (Figure 4). Cushing notes that
the posture of the feline is "manlike," suggesting that this is
a human in the guise of a panther (or similar cat). I was lucky
enough to see this piece while it was on exhibit at the Collier
County Museum in 1996 (Lee 1995). Archaeologist Nancy
White saw the Key Marco cat at the same time and remarked
that the form (e.g., buttocks and hips) specifically suggested
the female human, rather than male. A version of the forked
eye motif, known elsewhere in the Southeast, highlights the
facial features of the Key Marco cat.9 The posture of the feline
figurine is not unique, and a similar kneeling pose with arms
extending to the knees is found among human idols or effigies
from other parts of southern Florida, including a small eroded
wood carving of a feline in the collection of Rollins College,
Winter Park (Purdy 1996:Figure 36).
A fragmentary human carving was found near Pahokee,
a small town along the shore of Lake Okeechobee in Palm
Beach County (Purdy 1991:243-244; 1996:Figure 23). This
specimen, now on exhibit at the Historical Museum of Palm
Beach County, is a kneeling figure, carved of cypress, which
had arms extended and hands resting on knees, though the
arms are broken at the shoulders. Plow scars dating to the
figure's time of discovery cut across the surface, and much of
the facial details are weathered away. An elaborate hairstyle
extends down the back of the figure's head. The projection on
the left side of the figure's head is enigmatic but may be part
of a headdress. An interesting feature is a goatee beard.
A fourth kneeling figure was recovered from Palm
Hammock (8GL30) on the western side of Lake Okeechobee
(Figure 5). Goggin (n.d.:592-593) describes this specimen,
which was recovered by Bob Padgett in 1929. I had an
opportunity to examine this piece when members of the
Padgett family brought it to the Florida Museum of Natural
History in the 1990s. At that time the carving, made of a pine
lighter knot, was heavy and still in excellent condition. Unlike
the Pahokee specimen, which had hands resting on knees, this
example is kneeling on a small platform, and the arms extend

Figure 4. The Key Marco cat. Catalog #240915; reproduced
with permission, Smithsonian Institution, National
Museum of Natural History.

down to the platform. Features of the face include chevron-
shaped eyebrows joining with a rectangular nose, round eyes,
lips, and small ears. The most unusual feature of this specimen
is the tight-fitting skin cap or headdress, which has animal
ears positioned over the forehead. Paired incised lines may
represent cord used in affixing the headdress to the head. An
elaborate hair-knot emerges from the rear of the headgear. No
clothing is evident, though a V-shaped necklace is portrayed
around the neck, and a belt with circular bustle adorns the
As Goggin (n.d.:592) notes, the Palm Hammock figure
appears to be human but has an overall feline cast. In fact, the
carving combines human and animal features but differently
than do the Key Marco and Weeden Island anthropomorphic
figures, discussed above and below. Unlike the Key Marco
cat, which has enigmatic human features, the Palm Hammock
carving is distinctively human with elements of a feline or


Archaeology of the Florida Panther

The Flrd Anhoooit201Vl 434

Figure 5. The Padgett figurine from Palm Hammock (8GL30). Photographs from

the Goggin Collection, reproduced with
History, Gainesville.

animal disguise. This change tracks the general shift in Florida
and southeastern American Indian art, which moves from
naturalistic portrayals of animals to a new focus on monsters
and human images (see Knight 1989:206-207; Wheeler
Both the Pahokee and Palm Hammock figurines are part
of a broader class of human effigies known from southern
Florida. These two are germane to this discussion since
they appear to be wearing headdresses with cat-like ears
and share a general form and posture with the Key Marco
cat. In the case of the Key Marco cat, the figure portrays a
feline with anthropomorphic qualities, while the Pahokee
and Palm Hammock carvings are distinctly human, perhaps
in the guise of a panther or similar animal. These portrayals
may be important in our understanding of panthers and their
role in material culture and belief in pre-Columbian Florida.
I have suggested that the carved human effigies of southern
Florida are associated with late prehistoric mortuary activities,
perhaps emulating the better known Mississippian-era stone,
wood, and ceramic effigies of the Southeast, which Brose et al.
(1985:174) suggest are perhaps portraits of lineage founders,
"culture heroes," or guardians of the bones, which would
eventually be buried, just as any honored dead (Wheeler

permission, Florida Museum of Natural

1996:283-284). The depiction of humans in animal guise
or human-animal composites strongly suggests shamanic
transformation. Furst (1968) presents a strong case, based on
ethnographic analogy, for the Olmec were-jaguar sculptures
as depictions of shamanic transformation. Archaeologist
Randolph Widmer (2003) makes the case that the Key Marco
cat represents this same type of transformation by a human
into an animal.
Merald Clark (1995), in his Master's thesis on the masks
and figureheads of Key Marco, points out that one of the
carved wooden masks found at the site by Frank Hamilton
Cushing likely depicts a bobcat or other feline (Cushing
1897:393, 399). The mask has a spray-like series of figures
painted around the eyes, perhaps akin to the tri-forked motif
found on the Key Marco cat figurine. Clark (1995:126, 145,
147-148, 173), following Cushing's original description, notes
that this mask combines human and feline attributes; he adds
that the surviving cast made at the time of discovery shows
that the mask could have been comfortably worn and that the
pursed lips would have allowed a wearer to speak or chant.
A review of ethnohistoric mentions of masks and mask use
in southern Florida, primarily associated with the 1567, 1697
and 1743 Spanish missions, leads Clark to suggest that these

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Archaeology of the Florida Panther

artifacts may have been involved in both sacred rituals and
community entertainment (Clark 1995:15-20). The presence
of the feline mask at Key Marco complements the other
carvings, described above, in which humans appear to be
wearing animal disguises.

Weeden Island Ceramic Effigies

Weeden Island potters sculpted wonderful images of birds,
with occasional human and mammal forms. Mammal effigies
are rare in Weeden Island ceramics, though some species are
depicted, including opossum, deer, dog, and bear. A vessel
with a bobcat or panther effigy adoro was recovered from
the Tucker site (8FR4) (Moore 1902:261). Sears (1953:56,
58) illustrates three panther or bobcat effigies from the
Weeden Island culture Kolomoki site in Georgia. One of the
Kolomoki cat effigies is a figural piece with cut-outs. Another
is derived from a bowl, with cat head adoro, bulbous legs,
zone-red painting and cut-outs. A pedestaled effigy of a bobcat
from Kolomoki depicts the animal in a semi-seated position
and, like one of the deer effigies from the same site, has an
anthropomorphic quality (Sears 1953:62).
Knight (1984) presents a model of Weeden Island animal
symbolism (drawing on structural theory, mythology and
zooarchaeological studies) to sort animals into classes that
represent, in some cases, aspects of Weeden Island social
systems. The nocturnal carnivores represented in Weeden
Island art-the panther, the great homed owl, and the bobcat-

fall in Knight's (1984:175-176) "unaffiliated classes" of
animals. These are animals that are the subject of ritual activity
and that may be subject to partial dietary restrictions because
they are somehow "out of place" or anomalous, based on
Hudson's (1976:141) structuralist interpretation of a Cherokee
myth in which the owl and panther receive special gifts (the
ability to see at night) for their role in the creation of the earth.
Other Weeden Island animals are classified in similar ways
by Knight; for example, the roseate spoonbill is identified as
the "game master" based on its behavior and a widespread
myth traced by Robert Hall (1979:258-259). Other creatures
are classified as taboo-violating animals, including the vulture
and dog, while the effigies of young male deer may symbolize
the young husband brought into the matrilocal family (Knight

Fort Center Effigy Carvings

The wooden carvings from the mortuary pond at Fort
Center represent an array of southern Florida beasts, dominated
by avian species but with some depictions of mammals,
including large cats. Sears (1982:186) assigns the carvings
from the mound-pond complex at Fort Center to his "Period
II," dating roughly from A.D. 200 to A.D. 600-800. Sears
(1982:27-29) notes that much of the trade pottery associated
with the habitation and use of Mounds A and B is related
to the Yent complex, suggesting some relationship to the
Hopewellian cultures of the Gulf Coast, and perhaps beyond.

Figure 6. Running panther carving in situ, Fort Center. Photograph from the collection of Florida Atlantic University, used
with permission. The artifact is now in the collection of the Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville.


The Florida Anthropologist 2011 Vol. 64(3-4)

Figure 7. Allison/Copena "great pipe" depicting a panther from the Mann site, Posey County,
Indiana. Accession #L49.5; reproduced courtesy the Brooklyn Museum.

Scars (1.1)2:168) presents a hypothetical reconstruction of
the mortuary pond and Schwehm (1983:41) provides several
alternative schemes. Sears speculates that the carvings were
part of a wooden platform erected in the pond, which held the
bundled bones of at least 300 individuals. According to Sears,
a fire led to the collapse and abandonment of the feature.10
Sears (1,182:42-55) recognized several categories of
carvings from the Fort Center pond, based on size, form, and
number. The large birds and beasts category includes effigies
of' thle large birds, probably turkeys or vultures, a bear, and
a cat. A "two-lcggcd" elligy category contains a more diverse
array of species, in pairs, including owls, eagles, foxes, dogs
or bears, cats (probably bobcats, ocelots or other smaller
felines), an osprey and unidentified raptor. These specimens
are diltinmiished from other effigies because "the front legs
in the quadrupeds or the legs in the birds have been cut free of
the body from shoulder to foot" and the rear legs and/or tails
are carved in relief with rear legs underemphasized (Sears
I S .1 45), A third category, tenoned eltignes, depicts only birds.
Sears (l'S 52, 55) also describes six carvings, all found in
the northern portion of the plail'trm, the area associated with
the child burials and larger tenoned car' ings. Unlike the larger
ellig'ic., thcse are small figures. Two are running otters, a third
is a tlltnilin cat or pa;liher (Figure 6),
\\ hthell or nol the larger effigies were structural elements
ota mortuary plai lorni or were simply erected at the site, they
do appear to have been exposed to the elements for some time.
This exposure gave the lifuiv, an eroded appearance and
undoubtedly removed much of the detail originally evident.
I nvl of whilt pigment on one of the bird effigies indicates
that some painted decoration may have been used. All effigies
w\ere carved filnm pine and many ofi he forms make use of the
natural twists or knots in the wood to accentuate the movement
or itphtol i Iofthe animals dcpiceid. Stylistically there are

similarities and differences between the Fort Center effigies
and the portrayals of animals in wood at the Key Marco site,
the ceramic effigy vessels of the Weeden Island period, and
the wood carvings of animals at the Belle Glade site near Lake
Okeechobee (Schwehm 1983:85; Sears 1982:58, Wheeler
1996:100-102). Schwehm (1983:57-60) discusses possible
meanings or functions for the effigies, suggesting that the
large birds and beasts may have served as guardian images, the
focus of occasional rituals, when she says, "thus, the protective
character of the eagle, bear or panther could be manifest
whether symbolized by skull or effigy." Archaeologist
Randolph Widmer and others (Wheeler 1996:102; Widmer
1989:172,179-180) have suggested a possible common origin
in Middle Woodland symbolism for all of these, though it is
likely that animal symbolism has deeper roots in both Florida
and the Southeast.

Artistic Representations of the Panther in the Southeast and

The panther or feline would appear to be a minor theme
in Hopewell art, where the cat appears on effigy pipes and
incised bone. One exceptional Middle Woodland example is
a panther effigy "great pipe" of steatite associated with the
Allison/Copena culture and dating to A.D. 100-500 (Brose
et al. 1985:78; for more on the Copena culture, see Walthall
1980:116-131) (Figure 7). Howard (1968:Figure 16a) cites
one example, a shell gorget from Missouri, that he identifies
as a naturalistic portrayal of a panther in Mississippian style.
Comparison with the Hopewellian incised bone versions of
panthers and felines led Phillips and Brown (1978:158-161)
to classify this gorget as a "Fairfield" style piece, dating to the
late Hopewellian horizon (cf. Willoughby 1917:Plate 8c).
Howard (1968:53-57) and Phillips and Brown (1978:140-

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Wheeler Archaeology of the Florida Panther

143, 1984:Plates 223-228) identify the panther or mythological
"Underwater Panther" in the Southeastern Ceremonial
Complex-related art of Spiro, Oklahoma. In this context,
feline traits (i.e., bodies or heads) are merged with hawk
and human imagery with monstrous results. Essays by Kent
Reilly (2004), George Lankford (2004), and Chester Walker
(2004), prepared for the exhibit catalog of the Hero, Hawk,
and Open Hand: American Indian Art of the Ancient Midwest
and South exhibition at the Art Institute in Chicago, emphasize
the importance of the panther motif-typically the piasa
or Underwater Panther versions-in the iconography of the
southeastern Indians. Examples of the feline image are found
on the engraved shell dippers of Spiro, Oklahoma, and on
stone pipes from Mississippi and painted ceramic vessels from
Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi (the central Mississippi
valley). Reilly (2004:128-129) and Lankford (2004:214-215)
explain that the Underwater Panther, often incorporating
aspects of the feline and serpent, presides over the underworld
and is frequently associated with shamanism and witchcraft-
Walker (2004:221) points out that the Underwater Panther
motif is often associated with tales of supernatural travel
between the underworld and upper realms of earth and sky.
Decorative motifs-like the forked-eye and scroll-seem
to be a link between the divergent representations of the
panther in Southeastern Ceremonial Complex art, appearing
on depictions of piasa and Underwater Panther, as well as the
Key Marco cat (Walker 2004:222).

Ethnographic Information about the Panther

There are a number of ways that we may look at the
panther from an ethnographic perspective in order to inform
our study of this animal in ancient Florida. These lines of
inquiry include accounts of the use of panthers as items of
food or material culture; accounts of the panther and panther
remains in southeastern American Indian mythology; and
identification of the panther with kinship units, like the
clan. In terms of mythology, the panther, or "tiger," makes
an occasional appearance in the myths and legends of the
southeastern tribes. Typically the panther is portrayed as a
fearsome and dangerous beast or is involved in a myth related
to hunting (see examples in Lankford 1987:123-124, 153,
228-229 and Swanton 1929:48, 87, 234-239). The myths also
demonstrate that the southeastern tribes believed that the
panther, like most other powerful animals, held special
knowledge that was occasionally transmitted to humans (for
example, see the Natchez story of the "panther child" in
Swanton 1929:234-239).
Fairbanks (1956:46), in his discussion of the Ocmulgee
panther remains, cites a famous Creek migration legend that
involves the hunting and killing of a panther that was plaguing
the ancestral people (see versions of the myth in Gatschet
1884:244-251; Lankford 1984:113-116, and Swanton
1928b:33-38)." Upon killing the beast with a deadfall trap,
they preserved the panther's bones, which provided good
fortune in war. The bones are described as being red on one
side and blue on the other. Benjamin Hawkins (1848:79-

80) provides another contemporaneous version of the Creek
migration story and confirms that the "bones of the snake
and lion" were included in a "war physic" bundle. Hawkins
explains that the bones of the creature, called Is-te-pau-pau,
are included in the war bundle because of the legend about the
panther that plagued the Creeks, stating that after they caught
and killed the panther they "covered him with lightwood
knots, burnt him and reserved his bones." Fairbanks (1956:46)
concludes that this legend may be a basis for the preservation
and special attention accorded the Ocmulgee copper-covered
panther jaws.12
Another legend, found among the Cherokee, casts the
panther in a more heroic light. Mooney (1900:240) relates that

Figure 8. Detail of de Bry engraving showing a Timucua
Indian with a panther skin headdress and cape.


Archaeology of the Florida Panther

The Florida Anthropologist

when the earth was first made the animals and plants were
advised to stay awake for seven days; among the animals, only
the owl and the panther and a few others were able to stay awake
and to these were given the ability to see at night and to prey on
those animals that typically would be asleep after dark. Among
the Florida Seminole, the panther also figures prominently in
the creation story, being the favorite of the creator and the first
to walk on the earth and also the recipient of special powers,
namely the power to heal and give wise counsel in making
laws (Billie 1994:7-9). Perhaps its not surprising, then, that
the head medicine man among the Seminole always belongs
to the Panther clan (Spoehr 1941:16, also see Greenlee 1942).
In many cases the panthers of these stories, along with the
other birds and beasts of southeastern mythology, are the
eponymous progenitors of the tribal clans. For example, in a
Yuchi and Alabama myth four men travel into the spirit world
where three of them transform into animals (panther, deer, and
bear-believed to be the progenitors of these clans) in order
to successfully travel back and forth between the two worlds
(Grantham 2005:42-43, 170). Mooney (1900:231) explains
that the clan totems differ greatly from the other animals that
appear in Cherokee stories, perhaps explaining why some
appear as monsters (the panther of the Creek migration legend)
and others are more heroic. Swanton (1928a:489) affirms
that the clan progenitors often achieved cult status in their
veneration among the Southern tribes. Perhaps contributing to
the association of panthers and warfare, Swanton (1928b:157)
explains that among some Creek towns the Panther clan was
part of the "People of a different speech" division, who were
typically leading warriors.
Regarding the use of panther bones and pelts, it is tempting
to point to the Theodor de Bry engravings of the Timucua
Indians. The engravings, supposedly based partly on lost
watercolors of French artist Jacques Le Moyne, are familiar
to archaeologists and students of southeastern American
Indians. Le Moyne was part of the ill-fated French Huguenot
settlement of Florida in 1564-65, and his narrative, along with
engravings supposedly based in part on his watercolors, were
included in Theodor de Bry's late sixteenth-century illustrated
work on the Americas. De Bry's engraving, entitled "The
Formation and Equipment of Outina's Forces," depicts the war
party of Timucuan chief Outina, including his lieutenants-
one is wearing an eagle headdress and the other is wearing
a headdress and cloak made of a panther skin (see Hulton
1977:Plate 106) (Figure 8). At least two other engravings depict
similar headdresses, which feature the head of the panther (see
discussion in Sturtevant 1977:72-73 and illustrations in Hulton
1977:Plates 91 and 103). Jerald Milanich, in review comments
on this paper, points out that Outina's panther headdress is
almost certainly borrowed from Andr6 Th6vet's 1584 image
of Saturiwa, which in turn seems to be based on an illustration
of an Indian leader from South America. Le Moyne's narrative
and captions do not specifically mention these headdresses
and Milanich (in Morris 2004:6-10, 2005) has cautioned
scholars about relying on the de Bry engravings, which often
are inaccurate or use similar images to illustrate tribes from
widely separated parts of the Americas.13 Milanich (in Morris

2004:9) also calls into question the Le Moyne narrative that
accompanies the de Bry engravings, and ultimately suggests
that the text is based on the other accounts of the French colony
and that the engravings are based on accounts and depictions
of natives from other parts of the Americas.
Accounts of the 1539-1543 Hernando de Soto expedition
in Florida and the Southeast mention blankets made from
the skins of many different animals, including the panther
(e.g., account of Fray Sebastian de Cafiete in Lyon 1993:308;
account of the Gentleman from Elvas in Robertson 1933:172-
173; account of Rodrigo Rangel in Worth 1993:279). Adair
(1775:7) describes the winter clothes of the tribes he knew
as "long and shaggy, made of the skins of panthers, bucks,
bears, beavers, and otters." Lawson (1709:123) notes that in
North Carolina the panther was eaten by Indians and the skin
was occasionally used for winter clothing, though not highly
prized. Swanton (1946:440, 716) cites these examples and
adds a few more cases of panther skin clothing among the
southeastern tribes, also noting that male Chickasaw infants
were swaddled in panther skins. Hudson (1976:322), varying
a bit from Adair's eighteenth-century account of this practice,
suggests this might have been to improve their hunting
prowess later in life, since female infants were laid down on
bison calf or fawn skins-animals most associated with prey.14
While these accounts do not confirm the panther headdress
cloaks depicted by de Bry, they do suggest that panther skins
were used as clothing by some southeastern tribes.
Naturalist William Bartram, in his 1789 "Observations
on the Creek and Cherokee Indians," relates some rare details
about painted red and white plaster walls within the principal
buildings of the Creek people (see Bartram in Waselkov and
Braund 1995:143-145). Bartram observed a variety of symbols
and images among these paintings, stating that:

Men are often depicted having the head &
other members, of different kind of animals,
as Wolf, Buck, Horse, Buffalo, Snake,
Duck, Turkey, Tiger, Cat, Crocodile &c[.]
All these animals are on the other hand
depicted having the human head, members
&c. And animals having the head or other
members of different animals, so as to
appear monstrous. [Bartram in Waselkov
and Braund 1995:144]

This is consistent with Howard and Lena's (1984:216-217)
account of twentieth-century Oklahoma Seminole who had
stories about creatures-most notably the human snakes-
with both human and animal physical attributes, as well as
some of the myths documented by Mooney (1900:231, 324),
which include creatures that move back and forth between
animal and human visages.
Regarding specific taboos or restriction on panthers as
food, we can look to Adair (1775:139) who notes that the
southern tribes "reckon all those animals to be unclean, that
are either carnivorous, or live on nasty food: as hogs, wolves,
panthers, foxes, cats, mice, rats." Hann (1988:192-193),

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Archaeology of the Florida Panther

in describing the relationship between a group of displaced
Chacato and their Apalachee hosts in seventeenth-century
north Florida, provides an interesting account regarding the
hunting of bears and panthers. Apparently the Chacato were
allotted a village site and hunting rights, but were only allowed
to hunt bears when accompanied by the Apalachee, with the
meat divided between the two groups by the chief of San Luis.
Even more specifically, any bear or panther skin was to go
to the cacique of the Apalachee, but the Apalachee would not
eat panther meat. In many respects this affirms the seemingly
contradictory accounts of Adair (1775:7, 139, see above), who
mentions a dietary proscription on panther as well as the use of
panther skins for clothing among some southern tribes. To the
south of the Apalachee, at a slightly earlier period, Garcilaso
de la Vega, the Inca (Varner and Varner 1988:68) explains
that among the Ucita of the Tampa Bay area "it is generally
considered miraculous to kill a lion, and he who happens to
do so is treated thereafter with great veneration and respect.""5


This review shows that panther remains are rare in
Florida archaeological sites but fairly evenly distributed
geographically throughout the state. At least two sites have
multiple occurrences of panther remains. Bones of the big
cat are more common in village contexts in Florida compared
to sites in the Midwest, where their bones appear regularly
as ornaments and as tools and are found in both village
and mortuary contexts. As Seeman (2007:175-176) notes,
cut animal jaws and teeth are part of Hopewellian culture,
especially at sites in the Midwest, and become more infrequent
to the south. Temporally, panther remains are most common in
Early and Middle Woodland and later sites in Florida. As in
other parts of the Midwest and Southeast, panther teeth and
jaws are prominent in the Florida sample, though claws, bones
of the feet, and other limb bones are known.

Were panthers used as food?

Knight (1984:175-176), in his structuralist model of
Weeden Island animal symbolism, offers that panthers might
have been singled out for ritual focus as anomalous creatures,
and, therefore, were rarely killed or eaten. The anomalous
status of the panther and the owl in Knight's model is based on
the ability of both animals to see and hunt at night, as asserted
by Hudson (1976:141) based on a Cherokee creation story.
There are some historic accounts in the Southeast and Florida
that suggest that some groups had very particular dietary
restrictions regarding the panther; for example, the story
about the Apalachee, relating that panther skins from hunting
expeditions were sent to their chief but that panther meat
was not eaten. The limited numbers of panther remains from
midden and village contexts, along with the historic accounts,
suggest that panthers were probably not typically eaten.

Beliefs about panthers in other parts of the Americas
are similar to those observed in the Southeast. For example,

Gunnerson (1998:228, 239-240, 253) reports that among
the pueblo dwellers in the Southwest the mountain lion is
associated with both hunting and curing, and the bones of the
paw, the claws, the head, and entire skins figure prominently
in special shrines dedicated to this animal, who appears in
mythology as the ruler of beast deities. Dietary restrictions
often applied as well; for example, Gunnerson (1998:239)
notes that when a Cochiti hunter killed a mountain lion only
the head and hide were brought back to the pueblo, with the
hide cleaned and the head buried under a rock or at a shrine-
the meat was never eaten.

Were panthers symbols of social rank?

Archaeological evidence in the Florida sample for
association of panthers and panther remains with social rank
is limited. Unlike panther remains from Midwestern Hopewell
sites, where panther teeth are found in mortuary contexts, there
are only two examples of panther remains found with burials
in Florida-Crystal River and the Goodman Mound-and
only the former of these sites is considered "Hopewellian."
Thomas et al. (2005:370-371) suggest that feline "power
parts," often bones and teeth, associated with Hopewell burials
represent a fairly large clan whose members rarely attained
prominent social rank. Cooke (1998:89-92) presents a similar
analysis of felid remains from burials at Sitio Conte in Panama,
concluding that felid bones and teeth, along with whale and
shark teeth, were fairly evenly distributed among graves and
tended to be absent from the most elaborate, and presumably
highly ranked, graves. There is limited historic information
from Southern tribes that hints at some connection between
panthers and high social rank. For example, the case of the
Apalachee cacique who received panther skins from guests
hunting in his territory, which suggests some affinity between
this animal and leaders. The de Bry engravings, which depict
one of the Timucuan chief's lieutenants wearing a panther
skin cape and headdress, provide some slim suggestion of an
association between the panther and social rank, though these
images should be used with caution.

Were panthers involved in shamanism?

Because panther remains are so rare in Florida, there has
been little discussion about them, though Milanich (1994:136,
216,218) suggests that the pantherjaws from two Hopewellian
sites-Crystal River and Pierce-may be parts of masks; this
suggestion is possibly based on Webb and Baby's (1957:61-
71) discussion of Adena animal masks. Direct archaeological
evidence for these masks is limited, with the cut jaws and teeth
from Florida being more similar to the artifacts reported by
Seeman (2007:175, 178) from Midwestern Hopewell sites,
where they are believed to be objects of personal adornment,
while Case and Carr (2008:214-225) argue more specifically
that they identify clan membership. Ethnographic and historic
accounts indicate a fairly widespread use of panther skins by
Southern tribes, though the only depiction of a panther mask
or headdress is found in the de Bry engravings. The Padgett


Th F A ro i 2011 o 4

figurine, discussed above, is direct evidence of cat-like masks
or headdresses in ancient Florida, while the somewhat similar
Key Marco cat might be a person in a panther disguise,
a mythological creature, or a shaman partly transformed
into a panther. Merald Clark (1995:86-87, 118, 161, 185-
186) suggests that the masks and figureheads found at the
Key Marco site could have been used in a variety of ways,
contrasting, for example, the use of Iroquois false face masks
is healing rituals and Cherokee booger masks used in largely
secular, community performances.
Evidence for shamanic practices in the material culture
and artistic representations of the Southern tribes varies, as do
interpretations of the evidence. Often, depictions of humans
in animal guise or composite human-animal creatures are
considered evidence for shamanism. For example, the Wray
figurine from Ohio, which depicts a seated human figure
wearing a bear costume or morphing into a bear, is considered
by some authors as evidence for shamanistic practices among
the Hopewell people (Dragoo and Wray 1964; Seeman
2007:181-182); in fact, Seeman (2007:181-182) argues that
shamanic themes are prominent in Hopewell art. Interestingly,
accounts of humans turning into animals among the Southern
tribes are almost exclusively linked to witchcraft and the
animal most associated with witches is the hored owl, though
other animal forms can be assumed as well (see Howard and
Lena 1984:97-103; Hudson 1984:15-16). Furst (1968), is his
paper on the Olmec were-jaguar motif, presents ethnographic
information, primarily from South America, that helps place
the data on panthers from Florida and the Southern tribes
in context. Individuals donning jaguar skins, along with the
ability of the shaman to transform into a jaguar; artwork
depicting human-animal composites; stories about races of
jaguar people, and underwater or underground jaguars; and
accounts of jaguars imbued with specialized knowledge
of hunting and curing all are implicated in the relationship
between the shaman and the big cat (Furst 1968:152, 157-158,
166-167). Furst (1968:166-168) explains that the relationship
between the shaman and his or her animal alter ego is called
nagualism-a widespread characteristic of shamans in North
and South America involving shape shifting and sorcery akin
to the accounts of witchcraft among the Southern tribes. This
is consistent with Lankford's (2004:214) interpretation of the
piasa, Underwater Serpent, or Underwater Panther, which he
suggests is often associated with shamanism and witchcraft.

Were panthers used to identify social groups?

Southeastern tribes all tend to recognize the panther as a
powerful animal, often fierce and imbued with special powers,
especially related to warfare and hunting. Carr (2005) and
Thomas et al. (2005), using ethnographic and archaeological
data, make a strong case for animal parts found with burials
as symbols of Hopewellian clans. Based on their analysis,
Thomas et al. (2005:359, 362-363) suggest that most Ohio
Hopewellian communities had a feline clan, whose markers
included jaws, teeth, and imitation teeth. They mention,
however, that contrary to expectations about associations with

warfare and hunting, burials with panther symbols had few
associations with regalia hypothesized to represent leadership
in war or hunting, though there was some association with
human skeletal parts (Thomas et al. 2005:368-369). Schwehm
(1983:58-59) speculates that the paired wood carvings
of smaller birds and mammals from Fort Center are clan
totems.'6 It is possible, as in other tribes of the Southeast,
that special offices or duties were reserved for members of
specific clans or phratries (for example, the mikalgi, a specific
town council member, came from the raccoon clan among the
Hitchiti, while those of the Creek town Tukabatchi came from
the eagle clan, etc., in Gatschet 1884:144, 154, 156-157; also
see Swanton 1928b:100-101, 148, 280-281, 285-286, who
discusses particular titles held by each clan among the Creek,
as well as the selection of community leaders from specific
A review of southeastern American Indian myths and
legends involving the panther reveals some interesting trends,
namely that panthers appear in some stories as heroic figures,
like the Cherokee story cited by Hudson and Knight, while in
other cases the panther is a monster. The heroic panthers and
other animals may well be eponymous clan progenitors, while
the monstrous panthers might be the so-called Underwater
Panther. Most notable is the Creek migration legend that
recounts the destruction of a monstrous panther and the
retention of its bones in a warfare medicine bundle. Grantham
(2002:26-27, 30) suggests that the panther in this story is an
Underwater Panther, an underworld creature prevalent in the
lore of many Eastern tribes.
Like the panthers in many of the other southeastern myths,
the panther of the Creek legend has special powers that can
be conveyed to humans, but this particular story demonstrates
how difficult it can be to understand the difference between
the different manifestations of the panther -the animal, the
clan progenitor, and the monster-in southeastern American
Indian belief. Confusion about panthers is even a theme in
one Cherokee myth, where a human hunter encounters, and
is ultimately bewitched by, the Underground Panthers, who
are cat-like beings that live in a town very much like that of
the humans, except, of course, being underground (Mooney
1900:324). As in some of the stories of the panther in the
Southeast, where the "lion" is affiliated with the Underwater
Panther, the Pueblo mountain lion god is associated with
the plumed or hored serpent. Like American Indians in
the Southeast, the Pueblo people are ambivalent about the
distinction between mythological and earthly manifestations
of the mountain lion (Gunnerson 1998:228).
The ambiguous nature of the panther in the Southern tribes
is emphasized in the artistic depictions of the animal from
Florida and elsewhere. The Florida examples, like the Key
Marco cat, the Padgett figurine, and the Weeden Island ceramic
effigies, often emphasize the anthropomorphic quality. The
monstrous depictions of rattlesnake-like serpents with panther
heads, or piasas, often thought to be ancient depictions of the
Underwater Panther, are best known on engraved shell from
the Spiro Mound, Oklahoma and on ceramic vessels and stone
pipes of the central Mississippi valley (Howard 1968:50, 52-

The Florida Anthropologist

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Wheeler Archaeology of the Florida Panther

57; Hudson 1978:67; Lankford 2004; Reilly 2004). Bartram's
account of Creek depictions of creatures combining animal
and human heads and bodies-including that of the panther-
is a tantalizing hint at the hazy line between animals, humans,
and monsters in some parts of the Southeast.
Interestingly, during Early and Middle Woodland times,
when panther remains are prominent in Hopewellian sites,
artistic portrayals are decidedly more naturalistic (see Knight
1989:206). This is certainly true of Hopewellian depictions
of panthers, which occasionally appear engraved on bone or
shell, or as stone pipes in the round. The wooden carvings of
Fort Center, dating to the same time, share this naturalism.
This is important, since it makes suspect the interpretation of
panther remains based on legends and myths collected in the
eighteenth through nineteenth centuries from contemporary
tribes-tribes that in many cases had direct historical
connections to the Mississippian horizon and the iconography
of the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex where monsters and
animal-human composite creatures populated the cosmology.
This makes it harder to interpret and to understand the wooden
carvings of panthers and other animals from Fort Center. Are
they guardian images, clan progenitors, representations of
prominent social roles, or a product of biologically-determined
symbolism (e.g., the panther as a symbol of hunting prowess)
as offered by Schwehm (1983), or are they all of those things?
Downs (1995:249-250) relates an interesting case among
the Florida Seminole, who, for a period in the twentieth-
century, carved and painted totem poles, perhaps influenced
by far-flung tribal arts of the Northwest Coast. One of these
totem poles was topped by a bird, with a panther and otter
in inferior positions, reflecting the matrilineal organization
of that particular camp-the women and their children were
members of the bird clan, while their husbands were panther
clan and otter clan. While the historical connection between
the Fort Center and Florida Seminole carvings is tenuous, this
suggests some interesting avenues of investigation, especially
regarding the theme of panthers as symbols of social groups.
The James Billie endangered species case discussed
at the beginning of this paper highlights some of the same
ambiguous qualities regarding panthers described in this
paper. For example, the broken skull of the panther killed by
Billie was hung on a tree at his lodge and some of the meat
was eaten, yet other parts of the animal-notably the claws
and parts of the skin-were to be used in medicine. And what
happened to the other bones? How would archaeologists
interpret the material aspect of the Billie case? Perhaps as a
"ceremonial decoration," as Coe (1995:139) does at the Town
Creek Indian Mound in North Carolina where eight fragments
of panther skull were found in a refuse deposit. The Billie case
illustrates just how complicated American Indian beliefs can
be regarding a specific species or even a single member of a
species, and the legend-like story of the legal case fits nicely
into the continuum of ambiguous beliefs about the panther.


This paper provides a brief overview of panther (Puma
concolor couguar) remains from archaeological sites in Florida
and an analysis based on archaeology from neighboring areas,
portrayals of the panther in ancient art, and the beliefs of
Southern tribes regarding this animal. Panther remains are
rare, perhaps reflecting the rare occurrence of a major predator
(a similar rarity is noted for the paleontological record) or
cultural beliefs associated with panthers, or some combination
of these factors. Jaws, teeth, and foot elements are the most
common panther remains reported from archaeological sites,
perhaps reflecting cultural beliefs of native Florida peoples
about this animal. In rare cases remains are found in sacred
contexts, while most remains come from secular contexts, like
midden deposits.
Considering the four major themes prominent in
discussions of the panther, we can conclude that panthers
were probably rarely eaten, that panther symbolism has little
correlation with social rank, that there is some evidence
connecting panthers and shamanic practices, and that panther
symbolism may well be related to eponymous kinship groups.
Representations of panthers in American Indian art from
Florida and neighboring states suggest that beliefs about the
panther may have changed over time. Panther remains first
become prominent in Early and Middle Woodland sites,
most notably Hopewellian sites; artistic depictions from this
period in Florida and elsewhere in eastern North America are
naturalistic, though later in time panthers and other animals
appear as composites with other animals or humans. Some
evidence, especially from these later artistic depictions,
indicates that panther costumes made of the head and skin of
the animal were worn. Mythological appearances of the panther
among the Southern tribes mirror an ambiguous quality for
the panther, like the later artistic depictions-in some cases
panthers represent clan progenitors, while in other stories they
are underworld monsters, like the Underwater Panther. Uses of
panther remains, like claws, teeth, and skins may have varied
through time and between cultural groups as well. Information
from other areas, including the American Southwest, confirms
some similar symbolic associations for the panther, including
hunting and curing; a belief in monstrous panthers, like the
Underwater Panther; and nagualism-an association between
jaguars, panthers and other big cats and the shaman.
In a broader sense, the consideration of the relationship
of American Indians to one particular animal has proven quite
interesting. While this approach has been popular elsewhere-
for example, a fairly extensive literature on the symbolism of
jaguars and felids in Central and South America-this has
not been an approach taken in Florida, with a few notable
exceptions. Considering the body of zooarchaeological
research and abundant portrayals of birds and animals in
ancient Florida art, this type of analysis may be one way to
flesh out the complex and complicated American Indian
cultures that have been subjects of the culture history approach
at the core of Florida archaeology.


Archaeology of the Florida Panther

The Florida Anthropologist


1. Sturtevant (1955:194-195) confirms that Seminole
healers used the claw of a homed owl, panther or wildcat
to scratch patients inflicted with "rabbit sickness," a form
of cramps; the theory was that each of these animals
preyed on rabbits and, therefore, the predator's claws
could overcome the disease that originated with the prey.
2. The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (IT IS)
of the National Museum of Natural History, Washington,
D.C., reports a large number of synonyms for Puma
concolor couguar, including the widely used Felis
concolor coryi. For example, Young and Goldman
(1946:183-186, 234-237) attempted to codify distinct
subspecies of Felis concolor, primarily based on details
of cranial morphology. The result of their study was
15 subspecies distributed across North and Central
America, including Felis concolor coryi in Florida and
the lower southern states. More recent attempts to define
the Florida subspecies have focused on a combination
of morphological characteristics, which include white
flecking on the coat, a crook in the tail, and a cowlick-
like tuft of fur (see discussion in Alvarez 1993:137-
143). The species name-Latin concolor-is a reference
to the uniform color of the animal. The majority of the
specimens in museum collections and previously reported
in the literature are identified as Felis concolor or Felis
concolor coryi, creating some potential for confusion.
For this study, the valid taxonomic name Puma concolor
couguar will be used.
3. See Clausen et al. (1975), Cockrell and Murphy (1978)
and Purdy (1991:178-204) for more on the Warm Mineral
Springs site, especially discussions of the late Paleoindian
or Early Archaic artifacts and dates and stratification of
the deposits. McDonald (1976:9, 1980:12) identified the
proximal end of a panther femur, the distal end of a tibia,
the left fifth metacarpal, and the distal end of a femur in
the collections from the site.
4. Gilliland (1975:Plate 89c-e) illustrates three cut animal
maxilla (upper jaws) recovered from Frank Hamilton
Cushing's excavations of the "Court of the Pile Dwellers"
at the Key Marco site (8CR48). She does not identify
the animal represented, though compares the Key Marco
examples to the copper-covered panther jaws from
Ocmulgee (Gilliland 1975:215), suggesting some similar
ceremonial use. Cushing (1897:373) mentions split bear
and wolf jaws from the site that retained traces of a
cementing agent, which he believed had been attached to
curved, wooden clubs. He may be referring to the cut jaws
illustrated by Gilliland.
5. Fairbanks (1956:46) notes a second pair of copper-
covered panther jaws from a pit on the Mound D Plateau
at Ocmulgee.
6. Moorehead (1892:125, 126, 127, 129-130, 142) reports
panther, bear, and wolf teeth with burials in the Porter
Mounds in Ohio. Mills (1922:434) also reports perforated
animal teeth from Mound City in Ohio, including wolf,

bear, and panther, which were interred with cremated
human remains.
7. Examples of cut animal jaws, perhaps parts of these masks
used in animal impersonation, come from Westenhaver
Mound in Ohio, as well as Dover Mound and Mound 77
of the Chilton site in Kentucky (Webb and Baby 1957:17,
8. Mills (1916:309, 1917:342, 343, 435) reports panther
remains from the Baum village, Gartner mound and
village, and Feurt mound and village sites in Ohio, while
Parmalee (1959:92-93) reports panther remains in village
contexts and as tools at several sites in Illinois, noting the
occurrence of cut jaws and teeth in some mound sites as
9. Waring and Holder (1945:4) and Howard (1968:37)
indicate that in Southeastern Ceremonial Complex
imagery the forked eye usually signifies the hawk or hawk-
man dancers, and apparently derives from the distinctive
markings found on members of the family Falconidae.
The forked eye, per se, is not a common design element
in ancient Florida art and it is rare in peninsular Florida.
It could be derived from Hopewellian engraved bone
depictions of ocelots and other felines, and some birds,
where banding patterns and facial markings are carefully
reproduced from life (Greber and Ruhl 1989:Fig. 6.56;
Phillips and Brown 1978:160, 161). Alternatively, the
tri-forked eye motif appears on some depictions of the
piasa-a mythical being combining elements of feline,
snake, bird, deer and/or human-known on Bellaire
style stone pipes and a non-local shell gorget from the
Mississippian period Moundville site in Alabama (see
discussion and Figures 17 and 21 in Steponaitis and
Knight 2004).
10. In my dissertation on ancient Florida art, I propose an
alternative interpretation based on the amount of wood
recovered and the orientation of the effigies when they
were excavated, suggesting that there was no mortuary
platform, but that the effigy carvings were initially
mounted at the site and were then interred in the shallow
pond with the burials (Wheeler 1996:95-97).
11. Grantham (2002:35) suggests that the creature in this
story is actually the lion, since the term tiger is usually
used to connote the panther. He further notes that Swanton
(1928a:498) had speculated that the animal in question
was the jaguar, whose range had once extended well north
of Mexico. Grantham (2002:26-27, 30) makes the case
that the lion or man eater of the Creek migration legend
may be a version of the Water Cougar or Underwater
Panther, a mythical being known to many cultures of
the southeastern United States and beyond. He notes
that the Water Cougar is often involved with the Hored
Serpent and that both creatures inhabit the underworld in
southeastern American Indian mythology. For more on
mythical creatures with panther aspects in eastern North
America, see Brose et al. (1985:123-129), Howard (1960,
1968:53-57), and Hudson (1978).
12. Hall (1997:134) notes that among the Osage a ceremonial

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Archaeology of the Florida Panther

gourd rattle used by the Puma clan of the Honga division
of the tribe contained small stones representing the teeth
from the right side of a puma jaw, and the handle of the
rattle represented the right foreleg of a puma. While the
Osage examples are representational, this may suggest a
more widespread use of puma remains in medicine and
ceremonial artifacts among eastern tribes, as well as
possible connections with kin groups.
13. Despite this caution, it is interesting that Swanton
(1928a:620-621) compares an account of a robe and owl
skin headdress worn by junior priests among the Creeks
with the de Bry engravings.
14. Hudson's interpretation is based onAdair (1775:452) who
says of this Chickasaw practice, "Their male children
they chuse to raise on the skins of panthers, on account
of the communicative principle, which they reckon all
nature is possest of, in conveying qualities according to
the regimen that is followed: and, as the panther is endued
with many qualities, beyond any of his fellow animals in
the American woods, as smelling, strength, cunning, and
a prodigious spring, they reckon such a bed is the first
rudiments of war."
15. This information on panther hunters is offered at the end
of the story regarding Juan Ortiz, who lived among tribes
of the Tampa Bay or upper Charlotte Harbor area for 11
years before rescue by Hernando de Soto in 1539 (Varner
and Varner 1988:65-68). Hirrihigua, chief of the Ucita,
assigned Spanish prisoner Ortiz to guard the charnel
house and burial ground. In the course of his duties Ortiz
accidentally killed a panther that had stolen the body of a
deceased child. It is important to note that most authorities
regard Garcilaso de la Vega as the most unreliable account
of the de Soto expedition. In another version of the story
the raiding animal is a wolf (see Robertson 1933:41-42).
Hoffman (1993:14-15) notes that critical readings of all
the de Soto accounts are lacking, so it is wise to consider
the information on panthers and panther killers with some
16. Biological distancing studies of the mortuary pond and
mound skeletal remains reflect the kind of matrilocal/
matrilineal kin system suggested by Schwehm, but it
is difficult to know if the paired effigies reflect social
organization, with the paired images reflecting some
bipartite or moiety type social structure (Cassell et al.
17. If this type of organization existed in the indigenous
societies of Florida, it could explain at least one level on
which the animal effigies functioned, namely as emblems
of the ritual functionaries of different phratries, each
responsible for an element of corporate ceremony. On
another level, we know that the relationship of animals to
specific rituals, medicine organizations, or ritual actors is
not arbitrary, but related to the properties, either inherent
or ascribed, of the different animals (for example, see the
accounts of Oklahoma Seminole Willie Lena in Howard
and Lena 1984:21, 71-74, 221-223, 229).


My friend and colleague George Luer encouraged me
to write this article-I appreciate his help and his constant
vigilance for information about panthers and archaeological
sites with panther remains. Archaeologists Nancy White,
Michael Faught, George Luer and Tom Pluckhahn generously
shared information about panther remains from their sites,
helping to make this a more complete study. Archaeologist
Louis Tesar reminded me of several important references,
which led to the inclusion of several specimens in the catalog
and discussion, and Dave Dickel and Marie Prentice with the
Bureau of Archaeological Research unpacked old collections
to locate the panther remains from Torreya State Park. Jerald
Milanich and Nancy White provided thoughtful and helpful
review comments-there time and attention to detail is greatly

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Archaeologv of the Florida Panther

The Florida AnthroDooist


Note: the chronological stage/period terminology is based
on Bense (1994), with the exception of the term "post
Woodland," which is used to distinguish those local cultures
that date to Mississippian stage times, but lack typical
Mississippian traits.

Site: Melton (8AL169)
Repository: Florida Museum of Natural History (?)
Reference: Cumbaa (1972); Knight (1984)
Chronological Stage/Period: Late Woodland
Local Cultural Affiliation: Cades Pond/Weeden Island
Comments: Cumbaa (1972:52) mentions that bones from
two panthers (identified as Felis concolor) were recovered
from the Melton site. The bones may be in the collection
of materials from the Melton site at the Florida Museum of
Natural History, but I was unable to locate them.

Site: Crystal River (8CI1)
Repository: Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research
Reference: Clarence B. Moore (1903); Pluckhahn et al.
Chronological Stage/Period: Early-Middle Woodland
Local Cultural Affiliation: Deptford, "Yent Complex"
Comments: Clarence B. Moore (1903:399-400) dug in the
sand burial mound (Mound F) at Crystal River. Near the
base of the mound, he excavated an adult human burial
accompanied by 39 copper and stone pendants, bear teeth,
as well as "two parts of the lower jaw of a puma, each
with three molars, and each part having a hole artificially
made near the foramen to aid in suspension or attachment."
Pluckhahn et al. (2009:63) report a modified panther molar
and small section of associated jaw bone recovered from
Section 6 of Core 5, which was situated in the area between
Mounds J and K on the western side of the site. The surface
of the tooth has been ground down, largely removing the
prominent cusps.

Site: Turner River Jungle Gardens (8CR8)
Repository: Florida Museum of Natural History
Reference: Laxson (1966); Luer (2006)
Chronological Stage/Period: Late Woodland, post Woodland
Local Cultural Affiliation: Glades I late, II, and IIIa periods
(ca. A.D. 500-1400)
Comments: The Zooarchaeology Range at FLMNH has one
specimen from Turner River Jungle Gardens identified as
a fragmentary, worked dentary of Puma concolor couguar
(UF 01030065) from "Test E," (in a collection identified as
Zooarchaeology Laboratory accession number 103).

Site: Granada (8DA 11)
Repository: Florida Museum of Natural History
Reference: Wing and Loucks (1982)
Chronological Stage/Period: Late Woodland, post Woodland

Local Cultural Affiliation: Glades II and III periods (A.D.
Comments: Wing and Loucks (1982:278, 309) identified
one Puma concolor couguar metapodial among the
zooarchaeological samples from the Granada site.

Site: Surfside (8DA21)
Repository: National Museum of Natural History,
Smithsonian Institution
Reference: Willey (1949b)
Chronological Stage/Period: Late Woodland, post Woodland
Local Cultural Affiliation: Glades II and Glades III periods
(ca. A.D. 750-1513)
Comments: Willey (1949b:83), in his study of the 1930s
excavations at the Surfside midden, reports puma remains
(listed as Felis concolor coryi). No details are given as to
what elements are present or their quantity. According to
Willey (1949b:7), the animal bone identifications included
in his report were made by Dr. Remington Kellogg of the
Smithsonian Institution.

Site: Goodman Mound (8DU66)
Repository: Florida Museum of Natural History
Reference: Jordan (1963); Recourt (1975); Thunen and
Ashley (1995)
Chronological Stage/Period: post Woodland
Local Cultural Affiliation: St. Johns II period (post A.D.
Comments: A series of ten modified Puma concolor
couguar canine teeth were found with the mass child
burials designated "Burial 3" (Jordan 1963:40, 48). Later
excavations in 1974 identified additional burials related
to this feature and produced five additional canine teeth
(Recourt 1975:88-89). At least one of the teeth had lightly
incised lines and most were perforated or grooved for
suspension. Jordan (1963:40) notes that "two [of the teeth]
had apparently worn through or become broken, for they
were repaired by re-perforating in one case and by the cutting
of a groove in the other." The teeth in the original find were
identified by archaeozoologist Elizabeth Wing (1963:52, 56);
she indicates that the teeth represent at least three individual
animals. Other artifacts recovered from the Burial 3 feature
include tenoned bone pins with associated bone rings or
ferrules (possible feather holders); shell beads; chert bifaces;
and a fragment of graphite. Thunen and Ashley (1995:8)
suggest that the Goodman Mound is similar to several other
late burial mounds in the area, and unlike the mounds that
have distinctive exotic material related to Mississippian
ceremonialism (e.g., Grant, Shields, and Mount Royal).
Mounds like Goodman represent the mortuary activities
(likely involving charnel house use) of small, local groups
occupying specific geographic and environmental areas in the
lower St. Johns region in contrast to the larger mounds with
exotic artifacts that may be related to larger social groups
covering broader geographic areas.

Site: Pierce Mounds (8FR14)

The Florida AnthroDologist

1 102 Vol. 64(3-4)

Wheeler Archaeology of the Florida Panther

Repository: National Museum of the American Indian,
Smithsonian Institution
Reference: Moore (1902); Willey (1949a)
Chronological Stage/Period: Early-Middle Woodland
Local Cultural Affiliation: Swift Creek "Yent Complex"
Comments: Clarence B. Moore (1902:227-228) reports a
cache of artifacts found near the base of Pierce Mound A
near a "great fireplace," including a shell cup, a wolf tooth, a
number of other shells and animal bones, and the "left lower
canine of a puma."

Site: Fort Center (8GL13)
Repository: Florida Museum of Natural History
Reference: Hale (1989); Sears (1982)
Chronological Stage/Period: Middle Woodland
Local Cultural Affiliation: Belle Glade Period II (A.D. 250-
Comments: Hale (1989:128, Table 18) notes Puma concolor
couguar among the faunal material recovered from the pond.
The collections of the Zooarchaeology Range at FLMNH
include the fragmentary remains of a mandible, pre-maxilla,
maxilla and associated teeth of one Puma concolor couguar
individual (UF 0160533g and UF 0160033m). Like the Old
Oak specimen discussed below, the ascending ramus was
absent from both the right and left fragments of mandible,
suggesting either intentional reduction by the Indians or
natural breakage. These bones were found in a deposit with
deer, turtle, and other faunal material underlying Burials
1 and 2 in the pond. Sears (1982:167) refers to this faunal
deposit as "Mound B-pond basal midden" and suggests it
is associated with the midden deposits found in the lowest
levels of Mound A.

Site: Yellow Houseboat Shell Mound (8GU55)
Repository: Department of Anthropology, University of
South Florida
Reference: White (1994)
Chronological Stage/Period: Early Woodland, Mississippian
Local Cultural Affiliation: Late Archaic; mixed Early
Woodland and Fort Walton
Comments: One panther tooth was recovered from Test Unit
2, Level 6 of the Yellow Houseboat Shell Mound (White
1994:112, Table Al.18).

Site: Waddells Mill Pond (8JA65)
Repository: Florida Museum of Natural History
Reference: Gardner (1966); Tesar (2009); Tesar and Jones
Chronological Stage/Period: Mississippian
Local Cultural Affiliation: Fort Walton
Comments: Gardner (1966:55) mentions that Elizabeth Wing
identified "puma" among the numerous faunal remains from
the site. The proximal fragment of an ulna (no side identified)
of Puma concolor couguar (UF 00010198) is among the
specimens in the FLMNH Zooarchaeology Range from
Waddells Mill Pond "trench, burial area 1." Tesar (2009) and
Tesar and Jones (2009) document multiple occupations of

site 8JA65, including those of the Late Archaic, Swift Creek,
late Weeden Island, and European Contact periods, as well
as Fort Walton; the panther bone seems to be from the Fort
Walton occupation.

Site: Torreya Ranger Mound (8L18)
Repository: Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research
Reference: Percy (1971, 1974); Percy and Brose (1974)
Chronological Stage/Period: Late Woodland
Local Cultural Affiliation: Weeden Island 3 and 5 periods
Comments: Percy (1974:81) indicates that panther remains
were recovered from 8LI8. He notes that the faunal analysis
was conducted by Florida State University graduate student
Linda Anderson under the direction of Stanley Olsen. Details
about the analysis are not given in Percy's publication, but
data on file with the artifact collections from the site at
the Bureau of Archaeological Research indicate that four
or five panther bones were identified during the faunal
analysis. A summary printout from a mainframe computer
indicates that one radius, one tarsal, and three phalanges
were identified. Analysis cards provide more details about
the finds, indicating that panther bones were found in at
least two units. Unit 555R165, Level 1 (0.0-0.5 ft) produced
the medial portion of a right radius shaft that exhibits some
rodent gnawing or butchering as well as an element identified
as a "podial." Level 2 (0.5-1.0 ft) of the same unit produced
a medial phalanx. Unit 515R165 Level 1 (0.0-0.5 ft) included
the proximal end of a proximal phalanx. The provenience of
the third phalanx indicated on the summary printout could
not be determined.

Site: Wynnhaven Beach (80K239)
Repository: Eglin Air Force Base
Reference: this article
Chronological Stage/Period: Middle Woodland
Local Cultural Affiliation: Swift Creek (ca. A.D. 230-550)
Comments: Review of all animal bone recovered from
screens revealed one Puma concolor couguar left metatarsal
II. The specimen was recovered from Unit 44, Level 3, Strat
Zone I. Radiocarbon dates from nearby units indicate that this
stratigraphic zone dates to the Swift Creek component of the
site, ca. A.D. 230-550. Comparison was made with specimen
UF8144. The distal, dorsal surface of the bone appears to
have been intentionally ground down, revealing the interior
cavity of the bone.

Site: Brothers Site (8SO31)
Repository: Department ofAnthropology, University of
South Florida
Reference: Goodwin et al. (1978)
Chronological Stage/Period: Late Woodland, Early
Local Cultural Affiliation: ca. A.D. 600-1400
Comments: The high frequency of Belle Glade Plain would
suggest occupation ca. A.D. 600-1400 (see Austin 1996:75-
76; Cordell 1992:165; and Luer and Almy 1982:49 regarding
the appearance of Belle Glade Plain in this and neighboring


Archaeology of the Florida Panther

Th F r i .. 21 64(-- -

areas). Goodwin et al. (1978:124) report panther remains
from Level 5 of Test Square G, which appears to be deep
in the site near a transition between an upper "mixed shell
and dirt" layer and a lower dirt zone. No details are given
regarding the number or identification of elements present.

Site: Old Oak (8SO51)
Repository: George Luer collection
Reference: Luer (1977, 1992); Luer and Almy (1980)
Chronological Stage/Period: Late Woodland, Mississippian
Local Cultural Affiliation: late Weeden Island and early
Safety Harbor periods (ca. A.D. 600 to 1300)
Comments: Archaeologist George Luer loaned for this study
a right Puma concolor couguar mandible specimen that he
recovered in 1967 from a fresh dragline excavation along the
shore south of the Old Oak site. Associated faunal remains
recovered at the same time include four fragmentary bones
including an antler attached to a skull fragment, of the
whitetailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and one mandible
fragment of opossum (Didelphis marsupialis). The find
location was 3348 and 3350 Old Oak Drive in Sarasota.
The panther mandible has three teeth remaining (P,, P4, and
M,) and lacks the ascending ramus and condyle that would
articulate with the skull, suggesting that it was reduced
intentionally ("worked") or that it is merely broken and
fragmentary through natural causes. The medial portion of
the mandible also is largely missing, with only one socket
for an incisor (I3) persisting next to the canine. Comparison
with four modem specimens from the Florida Museum of
Natural History, all from Collier County, indicate that the Old
Oak mandible is from a large, adult male panther (specimen
compared to UF24315 [male], UF24561 [male], UF24268
[female], and UF24267 [female]). The Old Oak specimen
was deteriorating and its teeth splitting, so it was treated with
a preservative in the mid-1980s.

Site: Bird Hammock (8WA30)
Repository: Department of Anthropology, Florida State
Reference: Penton (1970)
Chronological Stage/Period: Middle Woodland
Local Cultural Affiliation: Swift Creek
Comments: Penton (1970:62) reports that the "foot elements
of a puma, including a claw" were recovered from the 1970
excavations at Bird Hammock.

The Florida Anthroaologist

1 102 Vol. 64(3-4)

Excavation ofa Mid-Nineteenth-Century BarrelWell andAssociated Features
at Fort Brooke, Tampa, Florida

Robert J. Austin', Greg S. Hendryx, Brian E. Worthington, and Debra J. Wells

Southeastern Archaeological Research, Inc.
'POB 2818, Riverview, FL 33568
Email: bob@searchinc.com

Fort Brooke, established in 1824 at the mouth of the
Hillsborough River on Tampa Bay in Hillsborough County,
Florida (Figure 1), was a major military reservation throughout
much of the nineteenth century, serving as a distribution
point for supplies and troops throughout peninsular Florida
during the Second and Third Seminole Wars. When the fort
was eventually decommissioned and opened for public sale
in 1883, the City of Tampa, which had begun as a small
village at the periphery of the reservation soon after it was
established, expanded into former military lands. The
resulting industrial and commercial development during the
late nineteenth through mid-twentieth centuries obscured the
remains of the fort until the late 1970s when archaeological
surveys and excavation projects began to be performed within
Tampa's Central Business District (CBD), an approximately
500-acre area that encompasses the historic location of Fort
Brooke. While these archaeological investigations have been
determined on the basis of development needs rather than long-
term research questions, the various projects have resulted in
the accumulation of important archaeological data related to
various phases of the fort's development and use (e,g., Austin
1993; Janus Research 1995; Piper and Piper 1980, 1982, 1987,
1993a, 1993b).
In this article we discuss the results of a 2008 survey and
excavation project performed by Southeastern Archaeological
Research, Inc. (SEARCH) in a portion of the fort that is
known to have been in use during the mid-nineteenth century.
The project was conducted for USAmeriBank which planned
to use the historic brick facade of a 1907 building for its new
bank. The survey and excavation was conducted within the
footprint of the building after the elevated wooden flooring
had been removed (Austin and Hendryx 2009). This article
offers a brief overview of the fort's history, describes the
excavation of a well-preserved barrel well and refuse pit, and
presents an analysis of their contents.

Fort Brooke Background

Fort Brooke was settled in January 1824 by Colonel George
Mercer Brooke, largely in response to the establishment of a
Seminole Indian reservation of over 4 million acres in south
Florida which was organized in accordance with the 1823
Treaty ofMoultrie Creek. Approximately 200 soldiers occupied
the fort year-round during its first four years (Chamberlain
1968:29), and a small village of homes, businesses, and "a

small but complete red-light district" began to develop near the
cantonment area (Covington 1958:326). In 1830, the military
reservation was expanded to 256 square miles (Brown 1999:32;
Chamberlain 1968:38) to discourage more civilian settlement
from encroaching on government land, so settlers who made
improvements to these lands did so at the risk of being removed
at the government's convenience. However, this threat did
nothing to hinder civilian settlement.
The location of the fort at the mouth of the Hillsborough
River was described by one observer as "one of the most
beautiful and regular groves I ever saw. The grove is full of live-
oak and orange trees and resembles more an ornamental college
green than the encampment ground of a large army" (Mahon
1960:308). Despite the pleasant surroundings (Figure 2), insects
and poor drinking water made life at the fort less than idyllic. In
fact, drinking water had to be transported from a spring located
about one mile to the northeast of the cantonment area via a
wooden aqueduct (Brown 1999:57-59; Carter 1960, Vol. 22:931;
Mahon 1958:336-337). Even this was apparently not sufficient,
as evidenced by the diary entry of A.B. Meek who wrote that
the water was impregnated with iron sulphate "making it so
nauseating that I cannot drink without pain" (Mahon 1960:309).
To be able to drink the water, Meek had to mix it with molasses,
or drink claret wine instead.
By 1833 the Seminoles were becoming increasingly
disgruntled at their reservation boundaries created by the Treaty
of Moultrie Creek, and by the impending emigration called
for in the Treaties of Paynes Landing (1832) and Fort Gibson
(1833) (Mahon 1991:88). It was thought that friendly Indians,
who had long traded with the garrison, were being coerced into
attacking Fort Brooke. As a result, three companies of artillery
were sent in the fall of 1834 to protect the garrison and the 20
to 30 families living in the nearby settlement (Chamberlain
1968:49). Additional companies were assigned to the garrison
over the next few months as Indian hostilities increased, and in
December 1835, Major Francis Dade and his men were attacked
by Seminoles as they traveled from Fort Brooke to Fort King,
which prompted the outbreak of the Second Seminole War.
Because of its central location, proximity to Tampa Bay,
and easy access to water transportation, Fort Brooke became
"the largest and most important base of operations against the
Indians" in the Florida Territory (Chamberlain 1968:65). By the
spring of 1836 there were as many as 4800 troops, volunteers,
and friendly Creek, Delaware, and Shawnee Indians camped on
both banks of the Hillsborough River (Chamberlain 1968:82).

Vol. 64(3-4) The Florida Anthropologist September-December 2011

Vol. 64(3-4)

The Florida Anthropologist

September-December 2011

The Flod 2 r

Figure 1. Map of Hillsborough County as of 1860 showing the location of Fort Brooke at the mouth of the
Hillsborough (Tampa) River (Mitchell 1860).

The cantonment area stretched from the Hillsborough River east
to a large marsh or wetland that is today Ybor Channel and from
present-day Whiting Street south to Hillsborough Bay. As the
war progressed and hostilities with Indians increased, the area's
settlers moved closer to the fort for protection, and Indians who
were friendly towards the whites also arrived seeking protection.
The Second Seminole War officially ended in 1842, but
sporadic fighting continued until 1843. By the end of that year,
the last of the renegade Seminole bands were deported marking
the true end of the war (Mahon 1991:321). Subsequently, the
military activity at Fort Brooke began to diminish and growth
in the nearby settlement slowed. On February 19, 1845, the
Secretary of War reduced the reservation to four square miles
(Carter 1960:1015, 1073), and then, on March 21, 1848, the area
was again reduced to include only that portion south of Whiting
Street. Four months later President Polk granted 160 acres of
former military land to the County of Hillsborough (Carter 1960,
Vol. 16:997-998). While that act effectively marked the day that
Tampa became an actuality, the city did not officially become
incorporated until December 15, 1855 (Brown 1999:137).
In September 1848 a hurricane struck that destroyed or
damaged most of the buildings at Fort Brooke and sent a storm
surge as far north as Washington Street, devastating the fledgling

community and substantially altering the appearance of the
fort (Brown 1998). All of the structures along the south end of
the peninsula were destroyed and new officer's quarters were
constructed to the northwest, closer to the Hillsborough River.
After a period of calm, hostilities with the Seminoles
began anew in 1849. As part of the plan to protect settlers from
Indian attack, a chain of forts was established that extended
from Fort Brooke eastward across the state to the Indian River.
Soldiers from Fort Brooke were sent to garrison some of these
outposts and by 1851 only a single detachment manned the
fort (Chamberlain 1968:127). Then, in 1855 a surveying party
of eleven men was fired on by Seminoles, sparking the Third
Seminole War (Covington 1982:1-2). While not as destructive
as the Second Seminole War, there were numerous incidents of
Indian hostility around Tampa and many settlers were killed.
Fort Brooke did not play a major role during the war, as most of
the fighting occurred farther south, yet it did continue to serve as
a deportation area for "hostile" Indians destined for reservations
farther west.
With the end of the war in 1858 Fort Brooke was nearly
abandoned, but in 1861 Florida seceded from the Union and
Fort Brooke became part of the Confederate defense. The port
of Tampa was blockaded by Union gunboats throughout the

The Florida Anthrovologist

2011 Vol. 64(3-4)

Austn etal.FortBrooe BrrelWel

Civil War, but according to one source they "did nothing more
warlike than to crossfire the town, occasionally, when the women
and children would take to the woods" (Taylor 1923:318).
In September of 1863 Confederate troops garrisoned at Fort
Brooke were ordered to Virginia. Seizing this opportunity, the
Union troops bombarded the fort and a landing party burned the
blockade runners the Scottish Chief and the Kate Dale. Federal
troops occupied Fort Brooke briefly in 1864, and in 1865 a
permanent force was established to parole former Confederate
soldiers and sympathizers (Waters 1991:13-14). After the war
the fort was only occasionally garrisoned and was usually
maintained by a single caretaker.
In January 1883 the last remaining land in Fort Brooke was
turned over to the Department of the Interior by the Army and
was opened for public sale on March 23 (Covington 1981:43;
McKay 1949). Immediately homesteaders and commercial
businessmen began to claim property within the old military

USAmeriBank Investigation

SEARCH's investigation took place near the northern
boundary of the cantonment area, just south of Whiting Street
and west of the Fort Brooke Parking Garage where one of
the fort's two cemeteries was excavated in 1980 (Piper and
Piper 1982; see Figure 3). This is near the area depicted on
an 1852 map as containing two buildings labeled "Sutlers
Store" and "Hospital" on the map key, with the "Commanding
Officers Quarters and Gardens" also located nearby (Figure
4). The initial phase of the fieldwork consisted of digging
50-cm diameter shovel tests at 5-meter intervals within two
of the three building bays after the wood flooring had been
removed. The concrete slab for the third bay was retained
and incorporated into the new structure. Figure 5 shows the

locations of the shovel tests and excavation units within the
footprint of the 1907 building.
Most of the artifacts recovered from the shovel tests
consisted of prehistoric lithics and ceramics and early
twentieth-century materials; however, an intact Fort Brooke
stratum was recognized in isolated parts of the survey area
just below an upper disturbed stratum. The Fort Brooke
stratum consisted of very light gray, fine sand with minimal
gray to dark gray mottling or light brown, powdery, very fine
sand which contained primarily nineteenth-century artifacts
(pearlware, mochaware, redware, bone and shell buttons,
kaolin pipe fragments, olive green bottle glass, cut or wrought
nails) mixed with some prehistoric materials. The Fort Brooke
stratum typically appeared at about 20-25 cm below datum
(cmbd) and ended by 45 cmbd.' Beneath this stratum was
very light gray to white sand or light tan sand that contained
prehistoric artifacts almost exclusively.
Five test units were subsequently excavated in the
central bay of the building to further investigate the Fort
Brooke deposits (Figure 5, inset; Figure 6). Excavation was
conducted in 10-cm levels with general-level sediments
screened through .64-cm (1/4-inch) mesh hardware cloth. In
total, four archaeological features were excavated, including
two probable post holes, one refuse pit, and a barrel well. The
feature fill from the refuse pit and barrel well was screened
through .32-cm (1/8-inch) mesh hardware cloth.

Feature Descriptions

Feature 1-Post Hole

Feature 1 was a probable post hole that was encountered
in the southwest corer of Unit 1. It was originally detected
at the base of Level 2 at 20 cmbd, and was recognized in

Figure 2. Sketch of Fort Brooke circa 1837 (Source: Florida Photograph Collection).

Austin et al.

Fort Brooke Barrel Well

The Florida Anthropologist

Figure 3. Aerial photograph of the Tampa Central Business District
showing the location of the USAmeriBank project area and other
projects mentioned in the text (Source: Google Earth).

/. plan view as a "roundish" accumulation of grayish-brown
(10YR5/2) fine sand that measured 22 by 24 cm across. The
1TA M PA east half of the feature was removed to provide a cross-section
view, revealing a basin shape that extended to a maximum
.I' t1 t, depth of 26 cmbd. Subsequently, the west half of the feature
I i was removed, and all soils were passed through .64-cm mesh.
\ JcSi .R There were no artifacts recovered from this feature.

S cs 1 -i X Feature 2-Post Hole

Approximate ion Feature 2 was another possible post hole that was identified
S 3 USAmerlBahk property about 10 cm to the north of Feature 1 at 20 cmbd. In plan view
it appeared as a round, mottled stain of white (10YR8/1) and
S, i i \brownish-yellow (10YR6/6) sand that measured 18 by 14 cm
across. The east half of the feature was removed to provide a
.' cross-section view, revealing a shallow basin shape to a depth
of 23 cmbd. The west half of the feature was subsequently
yl removed and all soils were screened through .64-cm mesh. No
artifacts were recovered from this small feature.

Feature 3 Refuse Pit

Figure 4. Detail of an 1852 map of Fort Brooke with the
project location superimposed. Building 6 is noted in the
map key as "Sutlers Store," Building 5 as the "Hospital,"
and Building 1 as "Commanding Officers Quarters and

Feature 3 was a large pit that was initially identified along
the west wall of Unit 1 (Figure 7) and was further exposed in
Unit 3 (Figure 8). The horizontal dimensions of the feature as
exposed in Unit 3 at 10 cmbd are 38 cm (east-west) by 66 cm
(north-south). The area labeled "disturbed portion of Feature
3" in Figure 8 is a thin (1-2 cm thick) layer of feature soils that
were presumably scattered during construction of the existing

2011 Vol. 64(3-4)

Fort Brooke Barrel Well

Whiting Street

i5 *101 .15 20
.4 *9 *14 19
13 *8 *13 18
S2 *7 12 17
1e *6 *11 16

Bay 2



N .21

0 20

Figure 5. Map of the USAmeriBank project area showing
the locations of shovel tests and excavation units (inset).

building. The north-south measurements are likely an accurate
depiction of the feature's maximum dimensions, but the pit
clearly extended further to the east into Unit 1. The terminal
depth was also somewhat ambiguous, as there was a rodent
burrow at the base that prevented us from determining its basal
morphology. Moreover, the location of the rodent burrow
created a precarious state of stability causing the exposed
feature to collapse, although on a positive note, it collapsed in
one consolidated mass (Figure 9), allowing separation of the
feature artifacts from those of the matrix sediments.
The feature fill consisted of gray (10YR6/1) fine sand
with charcoal flecks and shell fragments. The base of the

Figure 6. View to the south of the USAmeriBank excavation wii
the 1907 building.

feature was estimated to extend to about 50-55 cmbd. Artifacts
from the pit (Table 1) include architectural and kitchen-related
items, such as brick, cut or wrought nails, plain and transfer-
printed varieties of whiteware, most of a green feather-edged
pearlware plate (Figure 10), bottle glass, animal bone, marine
shell, charcoal, and fragments of metal. Except for the presence
of a 5-hole bone button, the artifacts contained in the burrow
immediately underlying the feature are similar to those from
the feature proper. Although charcoal was relatively common,
neither the fill nor the matrix containing the feature exhibited
any evidence of burning or exposure to intense heat, leading
to the conclusion that the feature was used for refuse disposal
rather than as a cooking pit.
South's (1977:217) artifact dating formula was applied to
arrive at a mean ceramic date of 1821 26 for Feature 3 while
the bottle manufacturing ranges produced a later result of 1846
6, or a range of 1840 to 1852. The discrepancy between the
two mean artifact dates is not unusual at Fort Brooke, and was
noted by Austin (1993:128-129). Ceramics tend to have longer
use lives than bottles, which are often discarded immediately
after use; thus the manufacture dates of various ceramic types
may not accurately reflect their long period of use. For this
reason, the bottle date is probably a better estimator of the
age of the feature contents because manufacture dates and use
dates tend to be more comparable. Thus, we suggest a period of
deposition sometime between 1840 and 1852, corresponding
with the end of the Second Seminole War or the intervening
period prior to the Third Seminole War.

Feature 5 Barrel Well
A probable barrel well and
associated pit were encountered
during excavation of Unit 2 and
subsequently completely exposed
in Unit 5 (Figure 11). The feature
exhibited a dark oval stain
representing the filled well and
an outer stain of lighter, mottled
sediments that are interpreted
as the infilled pit into which the
barrel was placed. The feature was
first identified at about 50 cmbd
beneath a modem disturbed zone
containing bricks and plywood. It
was excavated by cross-sectioning
and removing the northern two-
thirds of the feature to expose
the south profile, followed by
excavation of the southern one-
The feature fill was
comprised of three stratigraphic
zones (Figure 12). The upper
zone consisted of mottled
gray (10YR5/1), dark gray
thin the brick facade of (10YR3/1), and light brownish-
gray (10YR6/2) fine sand to about

Austin et al.

The F i da___ _____A_ 21 Vl_. _

Figure 7. West wall of Test Unit 1, showing profile of
Feature 3.

100 cmbd. This upper fill zone contained a large amount of
nineteenth-century artifacts. At 97 cmbd an iron barrel strap
measuring 2.5 cm (1 inch) wide was encountered in the north
wall of the feature. The barrel strap followed the circumference
of the feature and completely encircled it. At 100 cmbd the fill
changed to light gray (10YR7/1) sand with a series of thin
(1-2 cm thick) deposits of primarily dark gray (10YR4/1) sand
which sloped from west to east. This laminated zone extended
to about 135 cmbd and contained only a few artifacts, most of
which were small fragments. Beneath the laminated stratum,
was a relatively homogenous stratum of damp gray (10YR6/1)
sand that measured between 12 and 18 cm thick and sloped
from west to east. Outlined against this lighter-colored sand on
the floor of the feature was a concentric circular stain of dark
gray (10YR4/1) wet sand that is interpreted as the bottom of
the barrel, and this zone extended to 172 cm where excavation
The diameter of the feature's top and bottom were

2.5Y7/2 light gray sand

Disturbed portion
of Feature 3
10YR6/1 gray sand
& scattered charcoal flecks

0 40
scale In centimeters

Figure 9. View to the west of Test Unit 3 showing the
collapse of the consolidated fill in Feature 3.

measured at 58 and 56 cm, respectively, and the center of the
well feature measured 75 cm in diameter, belling outward and
exhibiting a barrel-like shape. The lower, laminated sediments
are interpreted as representing the rise and fall of a fluctuating
water table, and as discussed earlier, the water from such wells
contained iron sulphate and was foul-tasting, so this well may not
have been used for drinking. The upper fill, containing artifacts
and faunal remains, likely represents the in-filling of the well
after it was no longer used.
Although no wooden staves remained, a barrel strap at 97
cmbd and the expanded center diameter are consistent with a
wooden barrel. A barrel associated with a cooling house was


Figure 10. Green feather-edged pearlware plate
recovered from Feature 3.

Figure 8. Plan view drawing of Feature 3 at 10 cmbd in
Test Unit 3.

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1 102 Vol. 64(3-4)

Austin et al. Fort Brooke Barrel Well

excavated about one block east of the USAmeriBank property in
1979 (Piper and Piper 1980, 1993b). That barrel measured 89.5
cm in diameter at its top and had barrel straps that measured 2.5
cm wide. The top of a barrel well identified at the site of Fort
Frederick, along the Beaufort River in South Carolina, measured
65 cm in diameter (Spirek 1998) and a barrel well excavated
in the parade ground at Fort Frederica in Georgia measured 26
inches (66 cm) in diameter (Manucy 1962:43). At the Fountain
of Youth site in St. Augustine, two barrel wells were excavated
with basal diameters of 59 and 60 cm and center diameters of 72
and 80 cm, respectively (Deagan 2009:Table 5.5)
Barrel wells usually were constructed by stacking two
(or more) wooden barrels on top of one another (e.g., Deagan
2009: Figure 4.8; Manucy 1962:42; Spirek 1998), with the lower
barrel filled with clean sand to serve as a filter. The laminated
sands in the lower half of Feature 5 suggest that this was the
bottom barrel of the well; the upper barrel was likely removed
when the well was abandoned. Alternative explanations are that
Feature 5 was a single-barrel well, a barrel used for cool storage,
or one used only for refuse disposal. The single-barrel theory
is not supported by any historical or archaeological information
nor does it seems likely that a wooden barrel would have been
buried only to serve as a receptacle for refuse. The possibility
that the barrel was used for cool storage is more intriguing, but
these types of facilities were typically built well below the water
table and were usually square or rectangular in shape (cf. Piper
and Piper 1993; Benchley 2005:35, 38).
Artifacts recovered from the well are summarized in
Table 1. Noteworthy items include fragments of a military
brass bugle, a tin-glazed coarse earthenware cosmetic pot,
an ironstone chamber pot, and five complete wine bottles,
including one with an embossed grape pattern that is stamped
"Chateau Lafitte" (Figure 13). Chateau Lafitte is located in the
Medoc region of France, northwest of Bordeaux, and although

Figure 11. Plan view of Feature 5 showing the
top of the feature at 50 cmbd and the outer rim of
disturbed soil from the pit in which the barrel was

the estate was owned by several individuals, wines produced
there bore the Chateau Lafitte moniker until 1868 when the
Chateau was purchased by Baron James Mayer Rothschild,
at which point the estate became Chateau Lafite Rothschild
(http://www.lafite.com). Thus, based on the moniker, this
bottle predates 1868. The feature also yielded several glass
beads, such as those used in trade with the Seminoles, as well
as personal items, clothing items, arms-related items, tobacco
pipe fragments, and construction debris.
Two ceramic sherds from Feature 5 and a third from Unit
3 display maker's marks (Figure 14), two of which contained
portions of an address at 45 Canal Street in New Orleans.
Included among these marks are the words "DAVENPORT,"
"ORLEANS," and "IMPORTED" and a portion of
"HENDER(SON)" as well as some other fragmented lettering.
Each of the importer's marks are in identical cartouches and
probably refer to Henderson & Gaines or Henderson, Walton
& Company. According to Earls and Miller (2005), Henderson,
Walton & Company was an importer of ceramics and other
wares that operated out of New Orleans from 1822 to 1877.
This company impressed its mark on the backs of ceramics
imported from Europe. Both marks have been found associated
with the 45 Canal Street address (Lees and Majewski 1993)
and are probably related companies. Both Henderson marks
also have been found on imported ceramics produced by John
Davenport, a British pottery manufacturer in operation from
1793/4 to 1887 (Lockett 1972; Thorn 1947:60). Thus it appears
that all three vessels may have arrived at Fort Brooke from
New Orleans. The time range for the Henderson operation
(1822-1877) is consistent with the date range for the feature

Top @ 50 cmbd

Ground Surface


Mottled 10YR7/1 light gray,
S10YR/2 very pale brown, &
10YRl/1 white

Feature 5 Middle
10YR7/1 light gray with
10YR4/1 gray laminations


0 40

scale in centimeters

Figure 12. South profile of Feature 5 showing upper fill
and lower laminated sandsfrom Feature 3.

Austin et al.

Fort Brooke Barrel Well

The Flrd nhooois 01Vl 434

~Ch~M Ld~ 604tS

Figure 13. Wine bottles recovered from Feature 5.

inferred from the bottle glass dates, which range between 1853
8 (50-110 cm) and 1852 5 (110-172 cm) for the well and
1854 5 for the associated pit. A combined date for the three
proveniences is 1853 7, or 1846 to 1860. The ceramic dates
for these three proveniences are 1829 39, 1838 32, and
1826 33, respectively, with a combined date of 1833 41,
or 1812 to 1874.

Faunal Remains

Faunal remains from Feature 5, the barrel well, were
collected using .32-cm mesh screens and were sorted and
identified to the most specific taxon possible. The analysis
followed standard zooarchaeological methods (Reitz and
Wing 1999). Quantification included calculating the number of
individual specimens (NISP), minimum number of individuals
(MNI), bone weight, and biomass. Estimation of MNI was
determined using paired elements coupled with differences
in element size, epiphyseal fusion, tooth wear and eruption.
Biomass estimates were calculated using an allometric
formula and constants published in Reitz and Wing (1999:72)
and Reitz et al. (1987:313). A total of 3,358 vertebrate and
invertebrate fragments were recovered, over 95 percent of
which were found in the upper fill stratum, between 50 and
110 cmbd. A total of 15 taxa are represented including three
mammalian species, one bird species, two species and one
family of reptile, five fish species, and two species and one
family of invertebrates (Table 2).
Domestic cow (Bos taurus) and pig (Sus scrofa) represent
the main component of the identified bones. Although the
bulk of the mammal bones could only be identified to Class
(Mammalia) or Order (Artiodactyla), the size and morphology
of many of the bones suggest that they also are from these
domesticates. However, only the mammal bones conclusively
identified as domestic cow and pig are considered here. Cow
consisted of 18 fragments comprising at least one individual,
and there are 14 pig bone fragments representing three
individuals. The biomass contribution of the cow remains is

4,227 grams, while pig contributed 2,889 grams. Bones of both
of these species show evidence of heat alteration, sawing, and
butchering, and are from individuals no more than three years
old based on the presence of unfused elements. Bone elements
indicative of high quality meat (long bones and pelvis) and
low quality meat (crania, ribs, phalanges) were recovered,
although the elements indicative of low quality meat may
represent those elements discarded during butchering. The
presence of cranial and postcranial remains suggests domestic
pigs and cattle were acquired locally and butchered at the fort.
The only identified bird bones include those from a single
domestic chicken (Gallus gallus) with a biomass of 94 grams,
and it is possible that chickens were raised and prepared at
the fort. Overall, domestic species contributed an estimated
7,210 grams of biomass to the soldiers' diet, or 49% of the
total assemblage biomass; however, domestic species may
have contributed as much as 58% of the total biomass if bone
fragments suspected of being cow or pig, but not positively
identified as such are included (Table 3).
Wild vertebrates contribute to about 5% of the assemblage
biomass and include a single opossum (Didelphis virginiana),
box turtle (Terrapene carolina), slider (Trachemys scripta),
snake (Serpentes), and a variety of fish. The opossum and
reptiles are very common in Florida and could have been
captured upon encounter near the fort. Fish were found in
relatively large numbers, with an MNI of 9. The biomass
contribuited by fish is 516 grams, or 3.5% of the total. Most
fish remains could only be identified to Class (Actinopterygii);
however, five species were identified including sheepshead
(Archosargus probatocephalus), striped mullet (Mugil
cephalus), black drum (Pogonias cromis), red drum (Sciaenops
ocellatus), and hardhead catfish (Ariopsis felis), with mullet
being the most common with an MNI of 4. The remaining
fish species are each represented by single individuals. All of
these fish are common inshore and estuarine species found in
nearby waters. The herbivorous mullet rarely accepts bait and
is generally caught using nets, whereas the others could have
been caught with either net or hook and line.
Edible invertebrates include oyster (Crassostrea virginica)
and clams (Mercenaria spp). Each is common to intertidal
zones and mudflats and can be harvested with minimal effort.
Oyster and clam contributed 1,758 grams, or 12% of the total
biomass. Oyster was more abundant in the assemblage with
an MNI of 213, although clam also was well represented
with at least 16 individuals identified. Oyster contributed 425
grams, or nearly 3% of the total assemblage biomass, while
clams actually provided 1,332 grams, or 9%. As such, both
species appeared to supplement the soldiers' diet far more than
wild vertebrate species. Two barnacles (Cirripidea) were also
recovered and are considered non-edible commensals.

Feature Comparisons


Feature 3 and Feature 5 both appear to have been filled
sometime between 1840 and 1860. Feature 3 has a mean bottle


The Florida Anthropologist

2011 Vol. 64(3-4)

Austin et al. Fort Brooke Barrel Well

Figure 14. Examples of makers' marks on pearlware ceramic sherds. The Davenport mark appears on the two sherds in
the upper right while the mark of Henderson, Walton & Co. or Henderson & Gaines appear on all three.

date of 1846 6, or a range of 1840 to 1852. The upper fill
of Feature 5 (50-110 cm), which contains the most artifacts
and probably represents the well's principal fill event, has a
mean bottle date of 1853 8, or a range of 1845 to 1861,
slightly later than Feature 3. The lower part of Feature 5 (110-
174 cm) produced a similar mean bottle date (1852 5) as
did the pit surrounding the well (1854 5). This suggests that
the barrel well was installed and in use during the late 1840s
and early 1850s. If so, then the upper fill event may have
occurred during the mid-to-late 1850s. Only two artifacts have
post-1850 beginning manufacture dates: an embossed bottle
fragment dateable to 1860-1915 and an amethyst-colored
bottle glass fragment dateable to 1880-1925. Both of these
fragments were recovered from the upper portion of the well
could have been introduced into the feature fill during post-
Fort Brooke development.


Feature 3 appears to be a single event refuse pit while
Feature 5, the barrel well, served at least two functions: as a
source of water and as a locus of refuse disposal. If the dating
of the features is correct, then the 1852 map of the fort (Figure
4) indicates that they would have been behind (to the north
of) the fort hospital and the sutler's store, and close to the
commanding officers' quarters.
Table 4 provides a comparison of the artifacts contained
within Features 3 and 5 using South's (1977) functional
groups. The table shows a slightly greater amount of functional
variation in terms of the artifacts depo
sited in Feature 5 versus those in Feature 3. The latter feature
contains primarily architectural debris and miscellaneous
artifacts, with kitchen-related artifacts contributing over 13%
and clothing-related artifacts only 1.3%. No personal, arms,
or tobacco-related artifacts are present in this feature. In
comparison, about 23% of the artifacts from the interior of

Austin et al.

Fort Brooke Barrel Well

Table 1. Faunal data from Feature 5.
Scientific Name Taxonomic Name NISP Pet. Wt. (g) Pet. Biomass Pct. MNI Pt.
_______________________ ___________________ __III_(kg)
Mammalia Mammals 219 6.52 76.00 0.94 1296.38 8.74 -- --
Mammalia, Large Large mammal 102 3.04 152.92 1.90 2432.30 16.39 -- --
Artiodactyla Even-toed ungulate 1 0.03 0.28 0.00 8.36 0.06 -- --
Artiodactyla (Sus or
Odocoileus) Even-toed ungulate (pig or deer) 2 0.06 3.29 0.04 76.82 0.52 -- --
Artiodactyla (Sus or sub Even-toed ungulates (pig or
adult Bos) subadult cow) 1 0.03 5.64 0.07 124.78 0.84 -- --
Bos taurus Domestic cow 18 0.54 282.56 3.51 4226.68 28.48 1 0.40
cf. Bos taurus Probably domestic cow 6 0.18 49.96 0.62 888.71 6.01 -- --
Sus scrofa Domestic pig 14 0.42 185.14 2.30 2889.02 19.47 3 1.20
cf. Sus scrofa Probably domestic pig 2 0.06 11.55 0.14 237.86 1.60 -- --
Didelphis virginiana Opossum 1 0.03 0.98 0.01 25.83 0.17 1 0.40
Subtotals 366 10.9 768.32 9.54 12259.18 82.61 5 2.00
Aves Unidentified birds 1 0.03 0.67 0.01 14.18 0.10 -- --
Gallus gallus Chicken 5 0.15 5.38 0.07 94.41 0.64 1 0.40
Subtotals 6 0.18 6.05 0.08 108.59 0.73 1 0.40
Testudines Unidentified turtle 4 0.12 3.29 0.04 70.23 0.47 -- --
Emydidae Pond or Box turtle 1 0.03 0.14 0.00 8.47 0.06 1 0.40
Terrapene carolina Eastern box turtle 1 0.03 1.20 0.01 35.73 0.24 1 0.40
Trachemys script Slider 1 0.03 3.82 0.05 77.62 0.52 1 0.40
Serpentes Unidentified snakes 2 0.06 0.40 0.00 5.47 0.04 1 0.40
Subtotals 9 0.27 8.85 0.11 197.52 1.33 4 1.60
Actinopterygii Bony Fish 55 1.64 15.97 0.20 278.40 1.88 -- --
Siluriformes Catfish 1 0.03 0.11 0.00 2.45 0.02 -- --

Scientific Name Taxonomic Name NISP Pct. Wt. (g) Pet. Pct. MNI Pet.

Ariopsisfelis Hardhead catfish 1 0.03 0.15 0.00 3.29 0.02 1 0.40
probatocephalus Sheepshead 2 0.06 0.96 0.01 15.26 0.10 1 0.40
Sciaenidae Drums 1 0.03 0.08 0.00 6.00 0.04 -- --
Sciaenidae, cf. Sciaenops Drums, probably Redfish or
or Pogonias Black drum 1 0.03 1.65 0.02 56.36 0.38 -- --
Pogonias cromis Black drum 1 0.03 0.17 0.00 10.48 0.07 1 0.40
Sciaenops ocellatus Redfish 4 0.12 1.37 0.02 49.11 0.33 2 0.80
Mugil spp. Mullet 18 0.54 4.17 0.05 95.09 0.64 4 1.60
Subtotals 84 2.50 24.63 0.31 516.45 3.48 9 3.60
Vertebrata Unidentified bone 307 9.14 44.89 0.56 -- -- -- --
Crassostrea virginica Eastern oyster 2515 74.90 2578.81 32.03 425.67 2.87 213 85.20
Mercenaria spp. Quahog 69 2.05 4618.95 57.37 1332.51 8.98 16 6.40
Cirripedia Barnacles 2 0.06 0.12 0.00 -- -- 2 0.80
Subtotals 2586 77.01 7197.88 89.41 1758.18 11.85 231 92.40
TOTALS 3358 100.00 8050.62 100.00 14839.93 100.00 250 100.00
Total Vertebrates 772 22.99 852.74 10.59 13081.75 88.15 19 7.60
Total Invertebrates 2586 77.01 7197.88 89.41 1758.18 11.85 231 92.40

Table 2. Comparison of biomass contributions of domesticated and
wild fauna to the soldiers' diet at Fort Brooke.
Fauna Biomass (kg) Pet.
Domestic 8513.9 57.37
Wild 2497.99 16.83
Indeterminate 3828.04 25.80
Totals 14839.93 100.00
Domestic=cow, pig, probable cow and/or pig, chicken
Wild=opossum, reptiles, fish, oysters, clams

The Florid Anthropologist 2011 Vol-. 4 (3-4.

Table 3. Comparison of functional artifact groups between features.
Feature 5 Feature 5 Feature 5
Functional Groups Feature 3 30-110 cm 110-174 cm Outer Rim

Architecture 118 430 96 58
Clothing 1 12 1 1
Kitchen 32 259 41 26
Activities 2 5 0 0
Personal 0 2 0 0
Arms 0 4 1 0
Tobacco 0 11 2 3
Miscellaneous 78 309 36 66
Totals 231 1032 177 154
Architecture 51.08 41.67 54.24 37.66
Clothing 0.43 1.16 0.56 0.65
Kitchen 13.85 25.10 23.16 16.88
Activities 0.87 0.48 0.00 0.00
Personal 0.00 0.19 0.00 0.00
Arms 0.00 0.39 0.56 0.00
Tobacco 0.00 1.07 1.13 1.95
Miscellaneous 33.77 29.94 20.34 42.86
Totals 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00

Table 4. Comparison of the economic ranking of ceramics in Features 3 and 5 with other features excavated at Fort Brooke.a

Group Rankings

Mean Artifact Minimal Totals
Features Undecorated Painted Transfer Print
Dates Decoration

N Pct. N Pct. N Pet. N Pct. N Pct.
Feature 4 1815+/-13 2 10.53 3 15.79 2 10.53 12 63.16 19 100.00
Feature 12 1813+/-10 13 19.70 9 13.64 10 15.15 34 51.52 66 100.00
Feature 2 1811+/-16 18 22.78 22 27.85 15 18.99 24 30.38 79 100.00
Feature 5 (1833+/-41)b, 38 42.22 9 10.00 8 8.89 35 38.89 90 100.00
Feature 10 1816+/-20 16 25.81 16 25.81 9 14.52 21 33.87 62 100.00
Feature 3 (1821+/-26)b 5 38.46 5 38.46 0 0.00 3 23.08 13 100.00
Feature 19 1824+/-26 5 38.46 6 46.15 0 0.00 2 15.38 13 100.00
Feature 20 1789+/-32 18 51.43 15 42.86 1 2.86 1 2.86 35 100.00
Feature 22 1846+/-24 27 51.92 7 13.46 1 1.92 17 32.69 52 100.00
Feature 23 1834+/-29 76 55.88 18 13.24 3 2.21 39 28.68 136 100.00
a Ceramic data for Features 2, 4, 10, 12, 19, 20, 22, and 23 from Austin 1993:Appendix B.
b Although the Mean Bottle Dates are considered more accurate reflections of the time of artifact deposition, both ceramic and bottle dates
are provided in order to compare directly with the Mean Ceramic Dates obtained by Austin (1993).
SAll proveniences combined.

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1 102 Vol. 64(3-4)

Austin et al. Fort Brooke Barrel Well

Feature 5 are kitchen-related and clothing, personal, arms, and
tobacco-related items are all present. Faunal material also is
much more abundant in Feature 5, with nearly 800 fragments
of bone and over 2500 shell fragments recovered.

Social Ranking

Miller (1980) has suggested using ceramic decoration as
a means of developing a scale of economic ranking that can
be used to infer social status. Use of the scale to make such
inferences is based on the assumption that the social status
of any commodity is a function of its cost. Since the prices
for different ceramics were determined on the basis of how
they were decorated, the proportions of differently decorated
ceramics at a site may provide some indication of social status,
in this case, whether the features represent deposition by
officers, enlisted men, or both. The four groups of decorations
used by Miller (1980:3-4) are, in ascending order of cost: 1)
undecorated or plain wares, 2) minimally decorated wares (e.g.,
glazed, plain molded, edged, banded, etc.), 3) painted wares,
and 4) transfer-printed wares. Although the price differences
between these four groups declined throughout the nineteenth
century, their relative cost-rankings appear to remain valid for
the period in question (i.e., early-to-mid-nineteenth century)
(Miller 1980:4).
Table 5 presents the results of the scaling analysis of
tablewares recovered from Features 3 and 5, along with a
similar analysis of eight relatively contemporaneous features
excavated during the 1988 excavation of a portion of Fort
Brooke that was used for "uncovered marquees," or tent
quarters used by enlisted men during the Second Seminole
War (Austin 1993). The first pattern that is evident is that
all of the features contain various mixes of expensive and
inexpensive wares. However, Feature 3 contains only three
transfer-printed sherds accounting for 23% of the small sample
from this feature, while Feature 5 contains 35 transfer-printed
and 8 hand-painted sherds accounting for nearly 50% of the
90 tableware sherds in this feature. This suggests that Feature
5 may have contained tablewares associated with higher-
ranking officers while Feature 3 may have included primarily
items associated with lower-ranking enlisted men.
Another indication of the possible association of Feature
5 with officers is the recovery of five complete wine bottles,
one of which bears the stamp of Chateau Lafitte, an estate in
France that was well known for the quality of its wines. It
produced outstanding vintages throughout the late eighteenth
through mid-nineteenth centuries (http://www.lafite.com).
A second bottle is stamped "Haut Sauterne" and refers to a
type of sweet desert wine. Both of these wines are more likely
to have graced the tables of officers rather than enlisted men
and were likely obtained from the sutler's store rather than the
fort's Quartermaster.
Comparison of the features from the USAmeriBank
property with features excavated from a portion of Fort
Brooke that contained mostly Second Seminole War-period
features indicates a similar mixture of high and low ranking
ceramics (Table 5). The various features do seem to cluster

into three groups, however. Features 4 and 12 are dominated
by expensive transfer-printed wares and appear to represent
refuse disposal by high-ranking officers. Features 2, 5, and 10
all contain relatively even mixes of transfer-printed and plain
wares and perhaps represent a mix of refuse generated by
officers and enlisted men. The remaining Features 3, 19, 20,
22, and 23 all are dominated by plain and minimally decorated
sherds. These features are interpreted as representing refuse
primarily of enlisted men.


Detailed subsistence information is limited for the soldiers
of Fort Brooke and the only comparable data are from a
Second Seminole War refuse midden excavated on the Ashley
Tower property at the southwest comer of the intersection of
Tampa and Whiting Streets, just west of the USAmeriBank
property (Hardin and Thomsen 1984; Walker 1984). Although
no quantitative data are provided in the excavation report,
Karen Walker's (1984) unpublished report provides a species
list, which is reproduced here as Table 6. The analyzed sample
included cow, pig, sheep/goat, white-tail deer, fox squirrel,
chicken, cooter turtle, box turtle, mud turtle, salamanders,
gar, bowfin, catfish, sea catfish, pompanos, drum, and black
drum. The pig remains were those of individuals no more
than one year of age based on dental characteristics and
unfused epiphyses. Ten mammal bones exhibited evidence of
A comparison of the two samples (Table 7) indicates
few differences in terms of vertebrate remains, although the
Ashley Tower sample contains a wider range of species (see
Table 6). Shellfish are not reported in this sample, but they
are common in the USAmeriBank sample (see Table 2). The
absence of shellfish in the earlier refuse midden is unlikely the
result of preference because numerous refuse pits excavated
in the "uncovered marquee" area by Austin (1993) contained
abundant oyster shell, as well as vertebrate faunal remains.
Moreover, Major General George A. McCall, writing from Fort
Brooke in 1824, extolled the bay's oyster beds : "By the by,
the lower bay is the finest oyster-ground on the continent. You
will say 'That is a bold assertion;' but, in good faith, I have not
eaten such oysters anywhere. A boat's crew is detailed from
the command twice a week, and they never fail to produce
enough for all" (McCall 1975[1868]:132).
When the proportional representation of domestic versus
wild species is compared between the two samples (Table 8),
domestic animals such as cow, pig, sheep/goat, and chicken
appear to be more common in the earlier Second Seminole War
sample from the Ashley Tower project, and wild species are
common in both samples. Historic documents offer conflicting
information regarding the availability and quantity of food
rations at Fort Brooke. For example, General Winfield Scott
in an 1836 report complained: "with regard to all those articles
of comfort which a soldier might want, whether of clothing or
diet, there was literally nothing in the sutler's store" (Brown
1999:57). The situation was little better in 1838, when Major
General Zachary Taylor declared "we have no vegetables, all

Austin et al.

Fort Brooke Barrel Well

The Florida Anthropologist 2011 Vol. 64(3-4~

Table 5. Faunal data from Second Seminole War refuse midden, Ashley Tower project (Walker 1984).
Scientific Name Taxonomic Name NISP Pet. Wt. (g) Pet. MNI Pet.
Mammalia Mammals 9 2.81 76.00 11.64 -- --
Mammalia, Large Large mammal 40 12.50 145.30 22.25 -- --
Mammalia, Small Small mammal 2 0.63 0.80 0.12 -- --
Artiodactyla Even-toed ungulate 1 0.31 3.10 0.47 -- --
Bos taurus Domestic cow 3 0.94 153.00 23.43 1 6.67
Sus scrofa Domestic pig 16 5.00 50.70 7.76 2 13.33
Ovies aries/Capra
hircus Domestic sheep/goat 3 0.94 54.00 8.27 1 6.67
Odocoileus virginianus White-tail deer 1 0.31 7.30 1.12 1 6.67
Sciurus niger Fox squirrel 3 0.94 2.20 0.34 1 6.67
Subtotals 78 24.38 492.40 75.39 6 40.00
Aves Birds 3 0.94 1.50 0.23 0.00
Gallus gallus Domestic chicken 5 1.56 5.50 0.84 1 6.67
Subtotals 8 2.50 7.00 1.07 1 6.67
Testudines Unidentified turtle 2 0.63 1.00 0.15 -- --
Kinosternon sp. Mud turtle 15 4.69 3.60 0.55 1 6.67
Chrysemyssp. Painted turtle 1 0.31 10.80 1.65 1 6.67
Subtotals 18 5.63 15.40 2.36 2 13.33
Caudata Salamanders 1 0.31 0.40 0.06 1 6.67
Subtotals 1 0.31 0.40 0.06 1 6.67
Actinopterygii Bony fish 5 1.56 1.75 0.27 -- --
Gerreidae Mojarras 1 0.31 0.10 0.02 1 6.67
Sciaenidae Drums 2 0.63 0.50 0.08 -- --
Pogonias cromis Black drum 1 0.31 1.40 0.21 1 6.67
Siluriformes Catfishes 2 0.63 0.60 0.09 -- --
Ariopsisfelis Hardhead catfish 3 0.94 1.80 0.28 3 20.00
Subtotals 14 4.38 6.15 0.94 5 33.33
Vertebrata Unidentified bone 201 62.81 131.75 20.17 -- --
TOTALS 320 100.00 653.10 100.00 15 100.00

The Florida Anthrovoloeist

2011 Vol. 64(3-4)

Austin et al. Fort Brooke Barrel Well

Table 6. Summaries of identifiable vertebrate remains.
Faunal Classes NISP Pct. Wt.(g) Pet. MNI Pct.
USAmeriBank, Feature 5
Mammals 366 47.41 768.32 90.10 5 25.00
Birds 6 0.78 6.05 0.71 1 5.00
Reptiles 9 1.17 8.85 1.04 4 20.00
Amphibians 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00
Fish 84 10.88 24.63 2.89 10 50.00
Unidentified 307 39.77 44.89 5.26 -- --
Totals 772 100.00 852.74 100.00 20 100.00
Ashley Tower, Refuse Midden
Mammals 78 24.38 492.40 75.39 6 40.00
Birds 8 2.50 7.00 1.07 1 6.67
Reptiles 18 5.63 15.40 2.36 2 13.33
Amphibians 1 0.31 0.40 0.06 1 6.67
Fish 14 4.38 6.15 0.94 5 33.33
Unidentified 201 62.81 131.75 20.17 -- --
Totals 320 100.00 653.10 100.00 15 100.00

Table 7. Comparison of domesticated versus wild fauna from Feature 5 and the Ashley
Tower refuse midden.
Fauna NISP Pet. Wt. (g) Pct. MNI Pct.
USAmeriBank, Feature 5
Domestic 46 5.96 540.23 63.35 5 25.00
Wild 94 12.18 34.46 4.04 15 75.00
Unidentified/Indeterminate 632 81.87 278.05 32.61 -- --
Totals 465 100.00 807.85 100.00 20 100.00
Domestic=cow, pig, probable cow and/or pig, chicken
Wild=opossum, reptiles, fish
Unidentified/Indeterminate=unidentified or indeterminate mammals, unidentified bird,
unidentified bone
Ashley Tower, Refuse Midden
Domestic 27 8.44 266.3 40.77 5 33.33
Wild 39 12.19 32.25 4.94 10 66.67
Unidentified/Indeterminate 254 79.38 354.55 54.29 -- --
Totals 320 100.00 653.1 100.00 15 100.00
Domestic=cow, pig, sheep/goat, chicken
Wild=deer, squirrel, small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish
Unidentified/Indeterminate=unidentified mammals, unidentified large mammals, unidentified
bird, unidentified bone

Austin et al.

Fort Brooke Barrel Well

The Flrd ntrvlst21 ol 434

our flour is sour & full of weavil, & with the exception of
occasionally a piece of poor beef, we are confined to pork
and bacon, neither of the best description" (Brown 1999:57).
On the other hand, Bartholomew Lynch, an Army private
stationed at the fort in 1838 and 1839, noted the availability
of "fresh beef to eat, fish in abundance, whiskey at 500 a gill"
(Chamberlain 1968:89) while Covington (1958:321-322) has
described the food at Fort Brooke during its early years (ca.
1824-1826) as excellent and varied.
Beef, and perhaps other domesticated fare, was provided
by contractors (Covington 1958:321) and for awhile, trade
with the Indians and Cuban fishermen provided fish and wild
game (Chamberlain 1968:21, 118). The fort also contained
several vegetable gardens. Food and drink may also have
been purchased at the privately operated sutler's store, but
according to A. B. Meek, these were available only "at a
most enormous & extortionary price" (Mahon 1960:309). The
inclusion of deer, squirrel, and a variety of fish and reptiles
in the faunal record is therefore consistent with documentary
accounts indicating that hunting and fishing were important
activities that helped keep the soldiers and volunteers who
occupied the fort adequately fed (Chamberlain 1968:21;
Covington 1958:321-322; McCall 1975[1868]:138-139, 169-
182, 211,214, 395).

While excavations at the USAmeriBank property provide
only a small glimpse of the history of Fort Brooke, the data
are informative nonetheless. These suggest that Feature 3, a
refuse pit, and Feature 5, a probable barrel well subsequently
used for refuse disposal, were in use and/or filled near the
end of the Second Seminole War, which ended in 1842, or
near the beginning of the Third Seminole War (1855-1858).
The location of the features near the sutler's store and the
commanding officers' quarters suggests that the features may
have been related to use of these facilities. The barrel well
in particular contains items that suggest it was used in part
as a locus of disposal for food remains, wine bottles, and
tablewares that may have been used by the fort's officers.
Subsistence remains from Feature 5 indicate that the soldiers
had a diet that included both domestic and wild species and
that expensive wines were consumed by (presumably) the
fort's officers.
Archaeological remains from the USAmeriBank project
have provided important supplementary data that verify and
enhance the documentary record of Fort Brooke. Perhaps
more important, the project demonstrates that despite
extensive development in the downtown area of Tampa, there
is still considerable potential for intact archaeological deposits
related to Fort Brooke and the origins of Tampa.


1. Unit datum was established at the highest corer of
each excavation unit making the depth below surface
equivalent to the depth below surface of the highest


The authors wish to express their appreciation to Susan
Bradley, with Robert Reid Wedding Architects & Planners,
AIA, Inc., and Tina Ford, with USAmeriBank, for their
assistance throughout the project. Richard Fossee, with Ed
Taylor Construction, Inc., provided information about the
project area's twentieth-century history and was extremely
helpful during the field work phase. The authors also wish
to thank Karen Walker for providing us with a copy of her
unpublished report on the fauna recovered from the Ashley
Tower project. Comments provided by Deb Mullins and
anonymous reviewers improved the overall quality of the
paper, but the authors remain responsible for any errors of fact
or logic.

References Cited

Austin, Robert J.
1993 Archaeological Investigations at the Site of the
Tampa Convention Center Tampa, Florida: Volume
Historic Resources, Excavations at Fort Brooke.
Report prepared for the City of Tampa Public Works
Department. On file, Florida Division of Historical
Resources, Tallahassee.

Austin, Robert J., and Greg Hendryx
2009 Phase I Survey and Phase II Test Excavation,
Proposed USAmeriBank Development Property, Lots
3, 4, and 5, Block 93, City of Tampa, Hillsborough
County, Florida. Report prepared for USAmeriBank.
On file, Florida Division of Historical Resources,

Benchley, Elizabeth D.
2007 Archaeology of Old Pensacola: 2005 Investigations
at the Commanding Officer 's Compound (8ES1150).
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Florida Archaeology Institute, Pensacola.

Brown, Canter, Jr.
1999 Tampa before the Civil War. University of Tampa
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Carter, Clarence Edwin
1960 Territorial Papers of the United States. The Territory
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Archives Record Services, General Services
Administration, Washington, D.C.

Chamberlin, Donald
1968 Fort Brooke: A History. M.A. thesis, Department of
History, Florida State University, Tallahassee.

Covington, James W.
1958 Life at Fort Brooke 1824-1836. Florida Historical

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Quarterly 36:319-330.
1981 The Final Years of Fort Brooke. Sunland Tribune
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1982 The Billy Bowlegs War 1855-1858: The Final Stand of
the Seminoles Against the Whites. The Mickler House
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Deagan, Kathleen A.
2009 HistoricalArchaeology at the Fountain of Youth Park
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report on Florida Bureau [sic] of Historical Resources
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Earls, Amy C., and George L. Miller
2005 1830s Painted Wares from a New Orleans Importer. In
Ceramics in America 2005, edited by Robert Hunter.
The Chipstone Foundation, Lebanon, NH.

Hardin, Kenneth W., and Mark M. Thomsen
1984 Cultural Resource Assessment Survey of the Ashley
Tower Site, Tampa, Florida. Report on file, Florida
Division of Historical Resources, Tallahassee.

Janus Research
1995 A Cultural Resource Assessment Survey of the
Tampa Bay Lightning Arena Development Site,
Final Report. Report on file, Florida Division of
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Lees, William B., and Teresita Majewski
1993 Ceramic Choices West of the Mississippi:
Considering Factors of Supply and Ethnicity. Paper
presented at the Conference on Historical and
Underwater Archaeology, Kansas City, MO.

Lockett, Terrence A.
1972 Davenport Pottery and Porcelain 1794-1887.
E. Tuttle, Inc., Rutland, VT.

Mahon, John K.
1958 Letters from the Second Seminole War. Florida
Historical Quarterly 36:331-352.
1960 The Journal of A.B. Meek and the Second Seminole
War, 1836. Florida Historical Quarterly 37:302-318.
1991 History of the Second Seminole War 1835-1842
(Revised Edition). University of Florida Press,

Manucy, Albert C.
1962 The Fort at Frederica. Notes in Anthropology, Vol. 5,
Department of Anthropology, Florida State University,

McCall, George A.
1975(1868) Letters from the Frontiers. A facsimile
reproduction of the 1868 edition. University
Presses of Florida, Gainesville.

McKay, D. B.
1949 Pioneer Florida. Tampa Tribune, October 30, 1949.

Miller, George L.
1980 Classification and Economic Scaling of 19k Century
Ceramics. Historical Archaeology 14:1-41.

Mitchell, S. Augustus
1860 A Map of Hillsboro County Showing Towns, the
County Seat, and Bodies of Water. Original source:
Mitchell's New General Atlas, S. Augustus Mitchell,
Philadelphia. Downloaded from http://fcit.usf.edu/

National Archives
1852 Sketch of Military Reserve at Fort Brooke, Tampa
Bay. Cartographic Branch, National Archives Records
Service, Fort Brooke, Florida, Drawer 128, Sheet 22,
Washington, D.C.

Piper, Harry M., and Jacquelyn G. Piper
1980 Final Report ofArchaeological Testing for the Fort
Brooke Hospital/Kitchen Complex in the Impact Area
of the City of Tampa Parking Garage. Report on file,
Florida Division of Historical Resources, Tallahassee.
1982 Archaeological Excavations at the Quad Block Site,
8Hi998, Located at the Site of the Old Fort Brooke
Municipal Parking Garage, Tampa, Florida. Report
on file, Florida Division of Historical Resources,
1987 Urban Archaeology in Florida: The Search for Pattern
in Tampa's Historic Core. The Florida Anthropologist
1993a Locating Fort Brooke Beneath Present-Day Tampa.
The Florida Anthropologist 46:151-158.
1993b A Nineteenth-Century Cooling House. The Florida
Anthropologist 46:159-161.

Reitz, Elizabeth J., Irvy R. Quitmyer, H. Stephen Hale,
Sylvia L. Scudder, and Elizabeth S. Wing
1987 Application of Allometry to Zooarchaeology.
American Antiquity 52(2): 304-317.

Reitz, Elizabeth J., and Elizabeth A. Wing
1999 Zooarchaeology. Cambridge University Press,

South, Stanley
1977 Method and Theory in HistoricalArchaeology.
Academic Press, New York.

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Spirek, James D.
1998 The Fort Frederick Barrel Well. Legacy 3:24-25.

Tampa Daily Times
1914 Mrs. Haskins Says Tampa Never Was a Fishing
Village. 17 December 1914.

Taylor, R.F.
1923 History ofFlorida: Past and Present Historical and
Biographical. 3 Volumes, The Lewis Publishing
Company, Chicago and New York.

Thorn, C. Jordan
1947 Handbook of Old Pottery and Porcelain Marks. Tudor
Publishing Co., New York.

Walker, Karen Jo
1984 8HI 13 Garrison Glass Site. Unpublished manuscript in
the possession of the author.

Waters, Zack C.
1991 Tampa's Forgotten Defenders: The Confederate
Commanders of Fort Brooke. Sunland Tribune 27:3-
13. On line version, http://digital.lib.usf.edu:8080/
fedora/get/usfldc:S57-vl7nl 91-354/.
2009 Chateau Lafite Rothschild-History.
Chateau-Lafite-Rothschild/History, accessed
February 2009.

The Florida AnthroDoloeist

1 102 Vol. 64(3-4)

Appendix A. Inventor of artifacts recovered from Features 3 and 5.


M 5o

Brick, red 12 1 2 49 11 3
Brick, handmade 27 1 3
Brick, indeterminate 8 2 1
Brick or daub 1
Mortar 49 1 9 24 3 3
Mortar with Brick 2
Concrete 2 _____
Plaster 48__
Nail, cut 30 6
Nail, wrought 1 __
Nail, cut or wrought 8 6 9 4
Nail, wire 3
Nail, indeterminate 31 2 21 112 35 8 34
Glass, window, clear 19 63 46
Spike, iron 1 __
Clothing _
Button, bone, 4-hole 1
Button, bone, 5-hole 1
Button, bone, fragment 1
Bead, glass, round 1
Bead, glass, faceted, clear 1 1
Bead, glass, faceted, cobalt blue 1 2
Bead, glass, wire round, clear 1
Hook and eye closure, brass 1 3

Artifacts w e

eu i a e
O k"

Earthenware, coarse, tin-glazed 1
Stoneware, brown salt-glazed 2 1
Stoneware, alkaline-glazed pane 1
Stoneware, salt-glazed 4
Creamware 3
Pearlware 4 1 7 2 1 1
Pearlware, green underglaze edgeware 5 1
Pearlware, blue underglaze edgeware 2 ____
Pearlware, blue underglaze hand-painted 2__
Pearware, black underglaze hand-painted
Pearlware, green overglaze hand-painted 1
Pearlware, polychrome painted 2a
Pearlware, annularware 3
Pearlware, landscape underglaze stippled transfer print 1
Pearlware, blue underglaze stippled transfer print 14 1
Whiteware 1 4 8 2
Whiteware, molded 1____
Whiteware, blue underglaze transfer print 3 1 2 8 3 1
Whiteware, various colors, underglaze transfer print 3
Whiteware, blue underglaze hand-painted 1
Whiteware, hand-painted, scalloped rim 1
Ironstone 5 4
Ironstone, green scalloped edgeware 1
Ironstone, green underglaze transfer print 3
Yellowware 1
Ceramic, burned, unidentifiable 1
Bottle folded lip, free blown, olive green 3
Bottle glass, olive green 4 4 8 61 18 6

Bottle finish, applied string, olive green 2 1
Bottle finish, crude lipping tool finish, olive green 1
Bottle base, glass pontil, olive green 1 2
Bottle base, sand pontil, olive green 1 1
Bottle base, olive green 1 2 4
Bottle glass, olive green/amber 2
Bottle glass, soda green 1 2
Bottle glass, dark green 1
Bottle glass, amber 3 1 1

Bottle glass, aqua 32 6 5
Bottle finish, applied string, aqua 12
Bottle base, aqua 2 1 2
Bottle finish, clear 1 1
Bottle glass, clear 5 2 23 3 1
Bottle gass, melted, clear 12
Bottle glase, embossed, clear 1
Bottle base, glass pontil, clear 1
Bottle base, clear 1
Bottle glass, teal 4
Bottle glass, frosted 1
Bottle base, amethyst 1
Probable tableware 1
Animal bone 25 12 66 664 22 20 51
Shell 60 38 46 2532 7 1
Straight pin 2 2
Bugle fragments, brass b
Marble, ceramic 2
M arble, ceram ic______ __ ___2___ _____


Artifacts 3
Clay ip bol red 1

Earthenware cosmetic pot, coarse, tin-glazed, blue enamel I
Ironstone chamber pot Id
Lead shot 3 1
Gunflint, gray/black, French round-heel 1__ _
Clay pipe bowl, plain_ 2 1
Clay pipe bowl, molded 3 2
Clay pipe bowl, red opetrcnrahl 1
Clay pipe stem 1 4 2
Ceramic, unidentifiable 1
Curved glass, very thin, lamp globe or bottle 1 1
Clear glass 1 5__
Metal fragments, iron 21 6 83 122 18
Metal fragment, iron, possible buckle or hinge 1
Metal fragments, copper or brass 7
Metal fragments, brass 13 3
Metal object, lead or pewter, central hole 1
Barrel hoop, iron (fragments) 9
Slate 1
Charcoal 36 9 29 38 36 41
Coal 1
Barnacle shell 3 2
Concretion 1
Cobble, quartz 1
Unidentified organic material 137.8 g .4 g 2.4 g

Unidentified material 238.6 g 151.7 g 155.9 g 1794.7 g 40.9 g 7.5 g 50.1 g
Chert waste flake 1 7 2 15 5

Ceramic, Pasco Plain 1
Totals 286 81 420 3927 209 53 193
a 6 sherds from a single vessel, counted as 1
b 29 fragments from a single bugle
0 3 sherds cross-mend
d 10 sherds cross-mend

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Florida Anthropological Society
Tallahassee, May 11-13,2012


www. missionsanluis.org

Mission San Luis is administered by the Florida Department of State / Support is provided by the Friends of Mission San Luis, Inc

2011 Vol. 64(3-4)

The Florida Anthropologist

Swift Creek Paddle Designs from the Florida Gulf Coast: Patterns
and Prospects

Neill J. Wallis' and Amanda O'Dell

'130 Dickinson Hall, UF, Gainesville, FL 32611-0001 (nwallis@flmnh.ufl.edu)

Swift Creek Complicated Stamped pottery is distributed
throughout most of Georgia, northern Florida, and eastern
Alabama, and was produced for roughly 700 years, from A.D.
100 to 800 (Stephenson et al. 2002; Williams and Elliot 1998).
Like many other types of pottery in the southeastern United
States, carved wooden paddles were used to finish the vessels
and achieve the desired surface treatments. The carvings on
the wooden paddles left impressions on the still-wet vessels
that became indelibly preserved through subsequent firing.
The designs remaining on potsherds have left archaeologists
with a remarkable tool for studying Woodland period
migration, mobility, exchange, and other social interactions,
as well as worldview and symbolic representation. With these
potentials in mind, we have begun to reconstruct designs from
Swift Creek Complicated Stamped pottery and to document
their distributions among sites on the Florida Gulf Coast. This
work builds on a significant corpus of designs reconstructed
by Frankie Snow (1975, 1977, 1998, 2007) and Bettye Broyles
(1968), primarily from sites in southern Georgia, and also
profits from comparisons with designs published by Keith
Ashley (1992, 1998; Ashley et al. 2007; Ashley and Wallis
2006), Rebecca Saunders (1986, 1998), and Neill Wallis (2011)
from the Atlantic Coast, and Gordon Willey (1949), Joseph
Caldwell (1978), William Sears (1956), and Louis Tesar (2009;
and in Jones and Tesar 1996; Tesar and Jones 2009) from the
Gulf coastal plain. Using collections at the Florida Museum of
Natural History, we have so far documented and reconstructed
251 unique designs or design fragments from 10 sites in Dixie,
Franklin, Leon, Levy, Jackson, and Wakulla counties (Figure
1; Table 1). This work represents the beginning, not the end,
of our study of Swift Creek iconography and our attempts to
decipher patterns in the movement of pots, wooden paddles,
and people.
The purpose of this paper is to present newly recorded
designs, discuss trends in design content and style, and note
paddle matches among sites on the Gulf Coast and beyond.
We begin with a brief description of the project background
and describe our methods of design reconstruction. Based on
these reconstructions, we define 10 unique categories among
the designs, delineate patterns in the width of design lands
and grooves, and record three designs from unique paddles
with newly noted distributions at multiple sites. Finally, we
discuss the potential of these data as the foundation for studies
of Woodland period iconography and social interaction.

The Significance of Swift Creek Iconography

The importance of this study stems from the fact that
Swift Creek Complicated Stamped pottery preserves valuable
evidence of social interactions and a robust assortment
of iconography, both fairly unique in the archaeology of
Woodland period cultures. The designs represent a variety
of themes, including fauna, flora, anthropomorphic and
zoomorphic faces, and seemingly abstract patterns that may
be cosmological references (Snow 1998). The designs are
therefore a rich source of information, but they are not easily
comprehended. Many vessels were overstamped with the
wooden paddle, leaving portions of an unadulterated design
in one place, and obliterating it in the next. Intact impressions
of a portion of a design from one area of a vessel or sherd
can sometimes be matched with other areas where adjoining
portions of the design were also left unmarred. In this way a
design can be reconstructed as it would have appeared on the
wooden paddle.
This work can be done with imaging and GIS software,
georeferencing lands and grooves from adjoining areas
of a paddle stamp. However, for the purposes of design
reconstruction, we prefer hand drawing, which can be used
to essentially standardize the variation in stamping execution
within and between vessels (cf. Snow 1998). Variation in the
amount of pressure applied, and the degree of rocker-stamping,
over-stamping, and subsequent smoothing before drying and
firing, all lead to disparities in the impressions recorded on
vessel surfaces. To our knowledge no electronic means of
imaging has been employed that can see through the range
of variation in stamping execution as well as the human eye.
Until better automated methods are developed, we argue that
overstamped and smoothed surfaces often require an artist's
reconstruction to best approximate the image that would
have appeared on a carved wooden paddle. In studying Swift
Creek iconography, therefore, we find it easier to compare
reconstructed drawings rather than photographs of sherds or
composite images from sherds.
These standardized drawings are also a useful tool for
initially identifying potential design matches between vessels;
however, drawings should never be used as definitive evidence
of paddle matches. The identification of paddle matches
requires sherd to sherd comparison or at least high resolution
images to locate diagnostic elements of paddle stamp
impressions. Preserved on vessel surfaces are the random
signatures of particular carved wooden paddles, comprised of
minute striations of the wood grain, wood crack patterns, or
asymmetrical design "flaws." These unique signatures enable

Vol. 64(3-4)) The Florida Anthropologist September-December 2011

Vol. 64(3-4))

The Florida Anthropologist

September-December 2011

The Florida Anthropologist 2011 Vol. 64(3-4)

Figure 1. Distribution of sampled sites.

archaeologists to identify paddle matches, that is, multiple
vessels, sometimes hundreds of kilometers apart, stamped
with a single paddle. Paddle matches allow archaeologists
to trace social interactions with high spatial and temporal
resolution (Ashley and Wallis 2006; Broyles 1968; Kirkland
2003; Snow 1975, 1977, 1998; Snow and Stephenson 1998;
Stephenson et al. 2002; Stoltman and Snow 1998; Wallis et
al. 2010; Wallis 2011). Hundreds of paddle matches have
been identified, indicating that either vessels or the paddles
that were used to stamp them were frequently transported (e.g.
Snow and Stephenson 1998; Stoltman and Snow 1998). To
record the data necessary to identify a paddle match, imaging
is best. The most basic method is to use high-resolution digital
images taken with low angle light. Other more advanced (and
more expensive) methods such as polynomial texture mapping
will probably prove fruitful in the future (e.g., Earl et al. 2010).
These design data can be combined with studies of vessel
technology, function, and provenance to construct models of
interaction. Paddle matches might reflect group residential
mobility, post-marital residence patterns, exchange, or
pilgrimage, and these alternatives can only be inferred from
integrated analyses of pottery from large assemblages from
multiple sites (Wallis 2011). With this ultimate goal in mind,
here we present new design data from the Florida Gulf Coast,
for which comparatively few complicated stamped designs
have been systematically recorded and published.


The reconstruction process is fairly simple, if painstaking.
Sherds from each provenience are first examined beneath a
strong, maneuverable light source. Being able to adjust the
angle of the lighting is critical for detecting faint impressions.

Using this method, all of the complicated stamped sherds
are identified and separated from the rest of the assemblage,
and subsequently divided according to similar design
The majority of designs in this study each come from a
single sherd. However, when more than one sherd with the
same design is present, the sherds with the clearest stamp
markings are used as the basis for each reconstruction. At
select points, the lands and grooves of a design are measured
directly from the sherd with calipers and recorded to the nearest
millimeter. Using these measurements as a guide, each design
element is recreated to scale on graphing paper and the scale is
continuously checked via calipers and a protractor.' Graphite
is used to make the initial sketch, which, in some cases, is
gradually added to and fleshed out as more sherds bearing the
same design are identified from other proveniences.
After completing the sketches for each design or partial
design from the entire site assemblage, the designs are then
transferred onto tracing paper with archival ink. Points used
are no greater than 0.45mm in width to maintain accuracy
in measurements throughout the transfer process. In keeping
with the format established by Frankie Snow (1975, 1977,
1998, 2007) the raised lines of the design (i.e. "lands") are
darkened and the grooves are left white. The transfers are then
digitally scanned and organized according to site.
Admittedly, in our present sample most of the
reconstructions are incomplete due to small sherd sizes and
design obliteration from overstamping, smearing, and erosion.
This limitation, however, has not prevented us from identifying
matches between different sites using fragmentary designs.
Some designs are so fragmentary that they may not be very
useful in identifying matches; however, they are still helpful
when analyzing the distribution of particular design elements
among sites.

Table 1. Distribution of analyzed designs.

No. of
Site No. Site Name Designs
Di4 Garden Patch 30
Di45 Hughes Is. 2
Di7 Shired Is. 21
Fr4 Tucker 44
JA60 State Hospital 7
JA62 JX Field 38
JA63 JY Field 71
LE6 Shelly Mound 2
LV2 Graveyard Is. 32
WA4 Hall 6
Total 253*

*includes 2 designs that are each represented at 2 sites.
The total number of unique designs is therefore 251.

The Florida Anthropologist

2011 Vol. 64(3-4)

Wallis and O'Dell Swift Creek Paddle Designs from the Florida Gulf Coast


The ten sites represented by the study assemblages
are diverse in form and function, including villages, burial
mounds, and multi-mound ceremonial centers. Three village
sites near the Chattahoochee River in Jackson County,
including J-X Field (8JA62), J-Y Field (8JA63), and State
Hospital Farm (8JA60), were excavated by Ripley Bullen
(1950, 1958) between 1948 and 1952 prior to the construction
of the Jim Woodruff Dam. Each of these sites contained
multiple components but was dominated by extensive midden
from Santa Rosa-Swift Creek and Weeden Island occupations
(Table 2). Work at J-Y Field (8JA63), in particular, produced
a very large assemblage of Swift Creek Complicated Stamped
Four of the sites in this study contain burial mounds,
including the Hall site (8WA4; Allen 1953), Hughes Island
Mound (8DI45), Shelly Mound (8LE6), and Graveyard
Island (8LV2; also called Palmetto Island), all excavated in
the first half of the twentieth century. Each of these burial
mounds date to the early Weeden Island period and therefore
contained Late Swift Creek Complicated Stamped pottery
in their assemblages. The remaining three site assemblages
in this study come primarily from shell middens at Shired
Island (8DI7; Goldburt 1966), Garden Patch (8DI4; Kohler
1975), and Tucker (8FR4; Sears 1963). These shell middens
may represent habitation sites, but all of them are also
adjacent to roughly contemporaneous mortuary areas and
sand mounds. Thus, these sites may be ceremonial centers as
well as villages. In particular, the Garden Patch site includes
at least five mounds spread out over nearly half a kilometer.
In addition to midden samples, some sherds from the Garden
Patch site also come from the edge of what Tim Kohler (1975)
and Timothy Thompson (1960s) described as a sub-structural
mound. The Tucker site midden is located between the Tucker
mound (an early Weeden Island mound) and the Yent mound
(a late Deptford/Early Swift Creek mound), about 350 m apart.

The midden assemblage at Tucker contained primarily check-
stamped and plain pottery, and the Swift Creek Complicated
Stamped sherds included both early and late varieties.
Other than some examples associated with early contexts
in the Tucker collections, and a podal support from J-Y Field
(8JA62), the vast majority of complicated stamped sherds in
this study are Late Swift Creek, probably dating to circa AD
300 to 750 (Table 2). In fact, of 63 rims and 5 vessels within
the study assemblages, all exhibit the diagnostic folded rims
of Late Swift Creek pottery. The few radiocarbon assays that
are documented from the sample sites confirm a Late Swift
Creek age for the assemblages. Crane and Griffin (1958:1101)
report a radiocarbon age of 1600+250 from J-X Field and
Phelps (1966:20) records an age of 1605+325 from Tucker.2
Better chronological control is desirable but probably not
obtainable among the present collections without extensive
absolute dating. Smith (2009:87) has recently offered a
relative chronology for the Middle and Late Woodland
period of the Chattahoochee and Appalachicola River valleys
based on a frequency seriation. Unfortunately, building on
Smith's (2009) seriation with the present sample is not an
easy task, mostly as a result of problems inherent to treating a
multicomponent assemblage as a single unit of analysis. Many
of the sites in the present sample (and a few in Smith's sample
(2009)) have multiple components that are mixed and records
of artifact provenience from each site range from general site-
level to specific unit level or feature number. Consequently,
a frequency seriation can do little to better clarify temporal
relationships among sites in this study, although this may
be possible for select controlled contexts within some sites.
Another possibility that may be more feasible when more
complete designs are reconstructed and more paddle matches
identified, is an occurrence frequency of designs at each site
(e.g., Stephenson and Smith 2008). Moreover, there may
be particular attributes of designs, such as width of lands
and grooves, that may be temporally sensitive and could be
analyzed with a frequency seriation (e.g., following Sears

Table 2. Woodland period archaeological cultures and pottery types on the northern Florida Gulf Coast
(adapted from Milanich 2002:354; Willey 1949:351-452).

Dates Culture Representative Pottery Types/Series
Weeden Island II (a.k.a. Late W.I.)/ Wakulla Check-Stamped
A.D.750 Wakulla W.I.
Swift Creek Complicated Stamped (Late Variety),
Weeden Island Plain,
Carrabelle Punctated,
Weeden Island series incised and punctuated types,
A.D. 300 Weeden Island I (a.k.a. Early W.I.) Weeden Island Zoned Red
Swift Creek Complicated Stamped (Early Variety),
Franklin Plain,
Santa Rosa series,
A.D. 100 Swift Creek/ Santa Rosa-Swift Creek Crystal River series
Deptford Check-Stamped,
Deptford Linear Check-Stamped,
500 B.C. Deptford Deptford Bold Check-Stamped

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Swift Creek Paddle Designs from the Florida Gulf Coast

Th lriaAthooogs 01 o. 434

(1956:30-46) early attempt). Traditionally, archaeologists
have not recorded or reported these data systematically, but we
hint at some possibilities of temporal relationships based on
the data from the present sample. For now the overwhelming
occurrence of diagnostic Late Swift Creek rims and paddle
matches among sites must suffice for establishing a degree of


Ten specific design categories were identified among the
assemblages: mask-like, "four-ness," concentric circle, spiral,
teardrop, nested triangle, figure 8, oblong figure, snowshoe,
and eye. These designs generally follow those originally
described by Gordon Willey (1949:378-437) for the Gulf
Coast and also borrow terminology from Snow (1998). We also
recorded the frequency of generally curvilinear and generally
rectilinear designs, which sometimes contained these 10
motifs and other times contained no recognizable elements.
Finally, a few motifs were considered anomalous because they
did not contain recognizable elements and their patterns could
not be categorized alongside other examples. We discuss each
of these designs, motifs, and elements in more detail below.
Following Rice (1987:248-249), we use terminology
that distinguishes hierarchical components of each design. A
design "element" is the smallest unit of analysis that is "self-
contained" and "manipulated or moved around as a single unit"
within a design (Rice 1987:248). "Motifs" comprise a larger
unit of analysis and contain multiple elements "that are used
to form larger components of the decoration" (Rice 1987:248).
Rice (1987:248) also notes that defining the smallest unit
of analysis has long proven problematic. Our definitions
are necessarily contextual and hierarchical. For example, a
teardrop might incorporate a concentric circle element and we
therefore refer to the teardrop as a motif. However, a teardrop
might also be present in a figure-8 motif, and here we would
refer to the teardrop as an element. In addition, we tend to use
the term "design" as the largest unit of analysis, which can
be made up of multiple motifs. The term "category" is used
throughout each level of the hierarchical taxonomy.

Design Categories

Mask-like. This category represents complete or nearly
complete design reconstructions that resemble faces or
"masks," as they are called by Snow (1998). Masks typically
have two circular or oblong elements that could be identified
as eyes, an elongated or triangular element descending from
between them that represents a nose, and some form of mouth
at the bottom of the design. Based on these criteria, there are
as many as seven mask designs in the present sample, two
of which are nearly complete reconstructions. One of these
masks comes from Graveyard Island (8LV2) and we speculate
that it might depict a panther face, although other animals
with whiskers might be indicated (Figure 2). The other nearly
complete mask design derives from J-X Field in Jackson
County, and features half-oval eyes, a triangular nose, and a

large concentric circle mouth (Figure 3). Compared to many
mask designs from southern Georgia reconstructed by Snow
(1998:73), the eye elements in this mask are unusual. Many
masks have concentric circular or central oblong elements for
eyes, but in this mask the elongated center elements connect
to the line below. This is also the case with other eye elements
that are not necessarily a part of mask designs, which we will
consider later.
Four-ness. The "four-ness" category (a term coined
by Snow 1998) includes designs that have four identical or
nearly identical quadrants (Figure 4). In terms of symmetry,
this category is the result of mirror reflection and two-fold or
four-fold rotation (Pluckhahn 2007). Many of these designs
are similar to Snow's (1998:76) "cosmological" category,
potentially referencing the Native American four divisions
of the earth. These designs typically, though not always,
incorporate spiral or concentric circle elements. In our small
sample of four designs in the "four-ness" category, all but one
comes from mortuary contexts.
Concentric Circle. Concentric circles are ubiquitous
elements within many designs (Figure 5) and are frequently a
central feature. They are found at every site with a sample of
greater than seven designs. There are several variations of the
central element within concentric circles, including an open
circle, a filled circle, and an oval shape.
Spiral. While not as common as the concentric circle, at
least one spiral element was found at half of the sites (Figure
6). In our sample of 10 categories, spirals typically rank as
the third or fourth most recurring at each site. Given that the
center of the paddle is the area most likely to leave behind
the clearest impression (Snow 1998:71), the spirals we have
recorded may have been the central focus element of larger,
more complicated motifs. Beginning at the central tip, the
majority of the spirals have a counterclockwise rotation, with
only three of ten in our sample turning clockwise. One of the
clockwise examples comes from the Tucker site, where it is
represented in conjunction with a counterclockwise spiral
(Figure 6, top center). Spiral shapes vary, from the most
basic circular form to triangular and even rectilinear shapes.
The design of the central tips also varies and can be basic
continuations of the line curvature, or abruptly hooked or
forked. In one case from site 8JA63, the central tip is shaped
like the figure P and bears a filled circle in the center.
Teardrop. The distribution of the teardrop mirrors the
distribution of the spiral, although typically in greater quantity.
At site 8JA62 it is the most commonly recurring design. The
teardrop can be a small fill element within a larger design or
it can be the focus of a motif, as seen in the example from
8JA62 (Figure 7). Size varies and the center of teardrops can
be empty or filled, barred or more elaborately carved, such as
the example shown from 8LV2.
Nested Triangle. The nested triangle was not a
common element in our sample, with only three examples,
all from 8LV2 (Figure 8). The fragmentary nature of nested
triangles indicate that they may have been fill elements in
quadrants on the periphery of a larger design, or perhaps
simply portions of Crooked River Complicated Stamped

The Florida Anthropologist

2011 Vol. 64(3-4)

Swift Creek Paddle Designs from the Florida Gulf Coast

Fig 2. "Mask" design from 8LV2 (FLMNH Cat. 88-11-213).

Fig 3. "Mask" design from 8JA63 (FLMNH Cat. 92560).


Wallis and O'Dell



Th lriaAthooogs 01 o. 434

Figure-8. The Figure-8 is one of the few motifs not
found at our largest sample site 8JA63, though it occurs
most often at site 8JA62, less than 100 meters away (Figure
9). Consequently, these sites probably represent separate
occupations that are not contemporaneous. Willey (1949:380)
lists the Figure-8 as an Early Swift Creek element but does
not mention it among Late Swift Creek designs. Accordingly,
perhaps 8JA62 predates 8JA63. One example from 8JA62
has thick lines and is rendered in a style that resembles the
examples found at 8DI45. At 8DI45 we also find the most
complex Figure-8 design, which incorporates teardrop and
fourfold elements.
Oblong Figure. The oblong figure is a design not recorded
by Willey (1949) or Snow (1998), yet occurs a total of twelve
times in our sample, distributed across four sites (Figure 10).
This element is also depicted by Tesar (2009; Tesar and Jones
2009) at Hartsfield (8LE120A) and Block-Stems (8LE148)
in Leon County and Waddell's Mill Pond (8JA65) in Jackson
While possibly similar in some respects to the D-shaped
figures that are noted from the Hartford site in central Georgia,
(Snow and Stephenson 1998:105), there may be differences
that distinguish the oblong figure as a separate category. Most
notable is its elongated pill-like shape, as opposed to the
shorter length that would presumably describe a "D" shape.
Oblong figures typically have one end capped by a circle. The
center is normally filled with concentric lines, surrounding
a narrow oval, which either can be filled or delineated by
negative space. There is one case recorded in our sample (see
fig. 10, Tucker site FR4) of an oblong figure in which a central
element incorporates what could be construed as a distended,
somewhat D-shaped figure, but it is clear that this shape is a
product of the concentric lines following the curvature of the
circle capping the oblong figure and the curvature of the oval
in the very middle.
Snowshoe. In contrast to the oblong figure, the snowshoe
is a design recorded by both Willey (1949) and Snow (1998),
and occurs eight times in our sample. The shape closely
resembles a snowshoe, hence the name (Figure 11). In all but
one example, the center of the snowshoe figure is lined with
horizontal bars, though the width and spacing of the lines vary.
Eye. After nested triangles, the eye is the rarest design
in our sample, with only four examples from three sites.
Like the Figure-8, the eye design is not found at 8JA63 (the
largest sample), but is recorded at adjacent 8JA62. The eye is
distinguished by an almond shape, large or small, that encloses
a circular or another almond-shaped element (Figure 12). The
almond-shaped central element, or Slit-Eye, is considered
by Snow (1998) to be an artistic divergence from the more
traditional circle-within-an-almond design. Only one of the
eye designs recorded in our sample fits Snow's description of
the classic eye motif. Two of them more closely resemble a
Slit-Eye design and the third bears a central circular element
connected to the upper lid of the eye. This attached eye design
has not been published by Willey (1949) or Snow (1998).
General Curvilinear General Curvilinear is a catchall

category that includes designs that may contain the various
elements previously described (Figure 13). This category
also includes designs that are too abstract or too fragmentary
to discern a definite theme and, unlike the design elements
previously mentioned, there does not appear to be any
symmetry in their design.
General Rectilinear General Rectilinear is also an
inclusive category that describes any design with rectilinear
elements, most frequently rectangles, squares, triangles, and
diamonds (Figure 14). This category also includes designs that
have no recognizable elements and no apparent central focus,
but have a recognizable angular quality. Most of these angular
designs can be defined as St. Andrews Complicated Stamped,
and more rarely, Crooked River Complicated Stamped. In this
category we also include rectilinear designs that conjoin with
certain curvilinear elements, such as concentric circles.
Anomalous. The anomalous category is a catchall
for singular elements or motifs that do not readily fit the
descriptions of any other design. For the most part, they bear
elements of curvilinear and rectilinear designs, as in the case
of an example from 8FR4 (Figure 15, bottom right). Often
their line widths and spacing are inconsistent, which makes
categorizing them even more problematic. The anomalous
design from 8LV2 may be a case of negative-space imagery,
which can occur when a sherd from another vessel is impressed
into the wet clay rather than a wooden paddle. Snow (1998)
refers to this phenomenon as a "convenience stamp," but
the reuse of an image in this way also may have been an
artisan's attempt to appropriate for their own work whatever
significance this particular design carried.

Line widths and spacing

Distinct differences are readily apparent in the width
and spacing of the lines comprising the designs. When line
widths and spacing varied within a design, the average of
the maximum and minimum of each were recorded (except
for Thick/Thin category, see below). We grouped line widths
and spacing into several distinct ranges. Regular lines range
between 2 and 2.5 mm wide, with anything less than 2 mm
being considered thin. Lines that range between 3 and 4 mm
are considered thick and any lines thicker than 4 mm are
considered very thick. The examples we have recorded of very
thick lines range between 5 and 8 mm thick (Figure 16).
A fifth category of line width is designated "Thick/
Thin" and includes lines that alternate between thick and thin
(Figure 17). While there was some variation in line widths
on many sherds, all examples of the Thick/Thin category are
distinguished by having thick lines that are more than twice
the width of thin lines. These alternating thicknesses occur
most frequently in designs from the Hall site, although they
are also noted at four other sites. This distinctive thick/thin
style has not been explicitly described at any other site, and
its somewhat limited distribution may be geographically or
temporally circumscribed.
The categorization of spacing is analyzed in relation to the
width of the lines. A design that exhibits regular spacing will

The Florida Anthropologist

2011 Vol. 64(3-4)

W s an O'De I Swift Creek.Paddle eigns' from the Floid Gulf Coast

Figure 4. "Four-ness" design from 8LV2 (FLMNH Cat. 10394 and 10395).


DI7 JA63


Figure 5. Concentric circle elements (FLMNH Cat. 92557, 92560, 103555).

Wallis and O'Dell

Swift Creek Paddle Designs from the Florida Gulf Coast

The Floid Anthroooist 2011 Vol..64(3-4)



Figure 6. Spiral elements (FLMNH Cat. 95237).



Fig 7. Teardrop elements (FLMNH Cat. 92551B, 92557, 88-11-219).


The Florida Anthroooloeist

2011 Vol. 64(3-4)

i CI

Swift Creek Paddle Designs from the Florida Gulf Coast


Figure 8. Nested triangle elements
(FLMNH Cat. 88-11-213, 88-11-215, 88-11-225)..

Figure 9. Figure-8 elements (FLMNH Cat. 92553A, 88-11-221).

Wallis and O'Dell



The Florida _.shrono----s V 4

Figure 10. Oblong elements (FLMNH Cat. 95237).

S JA63



Figure 11. Snowshoe elements (FLMNH Cat. 92560).




The Florida AnthroDolofist

2011 Vol. 64(3-4)

Wallis and O'Dell Swf Cre Pd fo th Florid Gujulfi Coast._.

Figure 12. Eye elements (FLMNH Cat. 92553A).

Figure 12. Eye elements (FLMNH Cat. 92553A).




Figure 13. Curvilinear designs (FLMNH Cat. 88-11-214).


Wallis and O'Dell

Swift Creek Paddle Designs from the Florida Gulf Coast


The Foi r lo 201 Vol. ...... )

have grooves equal to the width of the raised lines, regardless
of the thickness of those lines (Figure 18). Therefore, a very
thick or thin-lined design can be considered regularly spaced
so long as the grooves do not exceed or fall below the average
width of the lines. Condensed designs have grooves that are
thinner than the width of the lines and expansive designs have
grooves that are more than twice the width of the lines.

Trends in Site Distribution of Designs

Comparing the distribution of the design categories and
characteristics discussed above, we note several trends. This
discussion does not include the small sample of designs so far
recorded from Shelly Mound (8LE6; n=2) and Hughes Island
Mound (8DI45; n=2). In comparing the other eight sites, the
designs in our sample are predominantly curvilinear, and
rectilinear designs make up between 15 and 40 percent of most
assemblages (Figure 19). Rectilinear designs are not common
at 8LV2 (Graveyard Island) or 8WA4 (Hall), but the latter site
suffers from a small sample (n=6) compared to most others.
As mentioned before, some design elements, like the
concentric circle, are fairly ubiquitous and can be found at
every site with a sample size greater than seven (Table 3). Other
design categories, however, are found exclusively or primarily
at select sites. For example, while one or two Figure-8 designs
are found at four other sites, the largest number of Figure-8
designs (n=4) occurs at 8JA62. The discrepancies in design
distributions among sites may be due to limited longevity in an
element's popularity, and Willey (1949:380) lists the Figure-8
as common on Early Swift Creek vessels. However, Willey
(1949:431) also notes that lines are thicker in Late Swift
Creek than in Early Swift Creek sherds, and some Figure-8
designs have thick or very thick lines, which may indicate that
they are late. Alternatively, thick lines may have a bimodal
distribution. For example, at Kolomoki, types currently
understood to represent varieties of Early and Middle Swift
Creek, such as Blakely Complicated Stamped and Kolomoki
Complicated Stamped, have relatively wide lands and grooves

(Thomas Pluckhahn, personal communications, 2011; Sears
1956). The snowshoe element, which Willey (1949:431) lists
as a Late Swift Creek design, is most common at 8JA63, a site
that presumably postdates adjacent 8JA62.
Regular spacing and regular line widths predominate at
most sites. As a percentage, regular spacing makes up between
75 percent and 87 percent of designs at all sites except 8LV2
and 8WA4 (Figure 20). Condensed spacing is the next most
frequent, with numbers nearly equal to those of regularly
spaced designs at site 8LV2. Expansive spacing occurs most
infrequently. The highest number of designs with expansive
spacing occurs at 8JA63, but the proportion is similar to other
sites with smaller samples.
Following the pattern set by style and spacing, regular line
widths are by far the most prominent, occurring in the highest
frequency at most sites (Figure 21). Regular line widths make
up between 50 and 72 percent of design assemblages except at
Shired Island (8DI7), where thick lines predominate, and 8WA4,
a small sample comprised mostly of distinctive thick and thin
combinations of line widths. While one or two examples of the
Thick/Thin style do occur at other sites (8JA62, 8FR4, 8DI7
and 8DI4), all but one of the six designs reconstructed from
site 8WA4 displayed the distinctive thick/thin lining (Figure
17). The one exception at 8WA4 has uniformly thick lines.
Very thick line widths are the most uncommon in the sample,
with a total of five distributed between 8DI4 and 8JA63. If line
thickness generally increases through time, a hypothesis that
remains to be tested, then perhaps these two sites contain the
latest Swift Creek components in the sample.

Paddle Matches

Finally, we turn to paddle matches, which result from multiple
vessels being stamped with a single wooden paddle. As
previously discussed, paddle matches are especially significant
for inferring contemporaneity and social connections between
sites. In this study, we have so far documented three unique
paddle designs that link several sites. As evidenced by rim

Table 3. Distribution of Design Categories by Sites

Site Con. Circle Spiral Teardrop Figure 8 Triangle Mask Oblong Snowshoe Eye Fourness
8DI4 2 2 1 1 3 2
8DI45 2
8DI7 4 5
8FR4 4 2 1 1 2 3 1 1
JA60 1 1
JA62 3 1 6 4 1 1
JA63 17 4 13 4 1 6
LV2 7 1 4 1 3 1 3
Total* 38 10 25 9 3 7 12 8 4 4
*No designs from 8WA4 or 8LE6 could be assigned to these categories.

2011 Vol. 64(3-4)

The Florida Anthrovologist

Swift Creek Paddle Designs from the Florida Gulf Coast


Figure 14. Rectilinear designs (FLMNH Cat. 92565).


Figure 15. Anomalous designs (FLMNH Cat 88FR411

Figure 15. Anomalous designs (FLMNH Cat. 88-11-211).





Figure 16. Thin, Regular, Thick, and Very Thick lands ((FLMNH Cat. 92563, 92564, 103555).

Wallis and O'Dell


The Flrd nhoooIst21 o 43


y li

Figure 17. Thick/Thin designs from the Hall site (FLMNH Cat. 2001-90-1).





Figure 18. Condensed, Regular, and Expansive spacing all site (FLMNH Cat. 2001-90-1).

forms among the matching specimens and rim forms more
generally among site assemblages, these matches are all Late
Swift Creek.
The first paddle match discovered through the
reconstruction process occurs at two village sites on the
Chattahoochee River (8JA60 and 8JA63) located only 5.4
km apart. While no identifiable design flaw is present for
verification, we were able to make the match by examining the
sherds side by side, and measuring the line widths, spacing,
and angle of each element within the design (Figure 22).
The predominance of folded rims at 8JA60 and 8JA63, and
lack of crenulated, scalloped, or notched rims, indicate that

the sites are both Late Swift Creek. This connection between
contemporaneous village sites may represent residential
mobility of individuals or groups, or possibly exchange
relationships between co-resident groups.
The second paddle match, which occurs between
Garden Patch (8DI4) and Graveyard Island (8LV2), was
also discovered and verified using diagnostic line widths and
geometry of elements (Figure 23). The match is definitively
Late Swift Creek as both sherds have diagnostic folded
rims. The distance between these two sites is 33.5 km, and
both sites are large complexes with ceremonial and mortuary
components. This paddle match establishes contemporaneity

The Florida Anthropologist

2011 Vol. 64(3-4)


Wallis and O'Dell Swift C Pd en f th F Gl Coast

* Rectilinear

* Curvilinear

Di4 Di7 Fr4 JA60 JA62 JA63 LV2 WA4
Figure 19. Distribution of Curvilinear and Rectilinear designs among sites.


m Very Thick
m Thick
Regular Width
n Thick&Thin

Di4 Di7 Fr4 JA60 JA62 JA63 LV2 WA4
Figure 20. Relative frequency of design spacing among sites.

* Regular Spacing
* Expansive
* Condensed

Di4 Di7 Fr4 JA60
Site Numbe

JA62 JA63 LV2 WA4

Figure 21. Relative frequency of thickness of design lands among sites.

20 -

15 I-

10 -


I~ ,m

Wallis and O'Dell

Swift Creek Paddle Designs from the Florida Gulf Coast

The Florida Anthropologist 2011 VoL 64(3-4)

in the construction or use of portions of these two major
mound centers, and given their relative proximity, a direct
connection is not surprising.
The third and final paddle match discovered so far links
the Shelly Mound site in Leon County to the nearby Block-
Stems site (LE148), as well as probable matches to at least
four sites distributed throughout the southern half of Georgia
(Figure 24). This match has not been confirmed by direct
sherd to sherd comparison, but photographs from the Block-
Stems sample show distinctive geometry of the design that
are unlikely to represent mere similarity or an attempt at
duplicating the carving. This paddle design was documented
by Snow (1998) at Hartford (9PU1) in Pulaski County near
the Ocmulgee River, along with one site on the Chattahoochee
near Columbus and one in Coffee County near Douglas. Sherds
bearing this design were also recovered somewhere in Twiggs
County, Georgia, a straight line distance of over 250 km from
the Shelly Mound. Snow (1998) dubs this the "cross-eyed S"
design. This very probable long-distance paddle match may
indicate exchange connections between residential sites and
mortuary centers. In fact, Snow (personal communications,
2010) has already recorded a few other paddle matching
designs between Block-Stems and central Georgia sites.
We should also mention that we have recently identified
another possible match with a drawing and photograph from
Louis Tesar's (2009; and in Jones and Tesar 1996; Tesar and
Jones 2009) work, which would link Block-Sterns and Tucker
(about 60 km apart). However, we need to make sherd to sherd
comparisons and record surfaces with high resolution imaging
before we confirm these possible connections. Tesar has also
documented several other potential matches that need to be
assessed by sherd to sherd comparison. Based on preliminary
comparisons with designs from Ashley (1998; Ashley et al.
2007), Saunders (1986, 1998), Snow (1975, 1998), and Wallis
(2011), so far there are no potential matches with sites on the
Atlantic coast.3

Summary and Conclusions

In summary, 251 unique designs or design fragments have
so far been documented among Late Swift Creek assemblages
from ten sites on the Gulf Coastal Plain of Florida. We
outlined two categories of whole designs and eight unique
design elements. We recorded the distribution of these designs
among sites and variability in design style, and recognized
three designs that exhibited paddle matches among at least
two sites and as many as six.
Based on our work so far, design elements and patterns of
spacing and line widths may be circumscribed geographically,
temporally, or both. While we are confident that the vast
majority of sherds and vessels we examined are Late Swift
Creek, this period of several centuries may have witnessed the
waxing and waning of several design styles. Our data so far
seem to largely agree with Willey's (1949) idea that certain
elements and the widths of lines are temporally sensitive. This
is most apparent in two adjoining sites in Jackson County. The
ostensibly earlier site, 8JA62, has Figure-8s and more thin
lines compared to the presumably later site, 8JA63, which
has snowshoes and thick lines. But these observations remain
tentative. We need to couple these design records with a robust
series of absolute dates in order to sort out the nuances of
variation through time, and, where large enough samples are
available, use frequency seriations of design elements.
There is also the possibility that certain elements or
styles are regionally specific, corresponding with a specific
population or community of woodcarvers. For example,
Ashley and colleagues (2007) have noted that some motifs
are rendered in locally specific ways on the Atlantic coast of
Georgia when compared to adjacent inland areas. We may have
discovered one such localized style for the Florida Gulf Coast
in the "drop-down" eye motif. While Snow (1998) argues that
these eye motifs occur singly and not as anatomical eyes of
masks or animals, we have recorded at least two instances
where they are paired and may have been used as anatomical
eyes. Perhaps this use of the eye element is also locally



Figure 22. Paddle match between JA60 and JA63 (FLMNH Cat. 92561, 95909).

The Florida Anthropologist

2011 Vol. 64(3-4)

Walls and O'Dell Swift Creek Paddle Designs from the Florida Gulf Coast




Figure 23. Paddle match between LV2 and DI4 (FLMNH Cat. 88-11-227, A3137).

While we only recorded three designs with paddle matches
in our sample, this is actually a significant number among a
sample of eleven sites (including Block-Stems) distributed
across 250 km. We are confident that analysis of more
assemblages from sites in the region will yield more paddle
matches, and as the corpus of known designs grows, so too will
the likelihood of identifying new paddle matches. These data
can ultimately be combined with technofunctional, chemical,
and mineralogical characterizations of assemblages to explore
patterns of social interaction on the Gulf Coast and beyond.
For the present, and until more of these data are generated,
we will hold off on interpretations of the meaning of designs
and the social practices that might be implicated. We hope that
this article stimulates Swift Creek design studies on the Gulf
Coast and provides an accessible reference for archaeologists

searching for paddle matches and design similarities on other


1. This method apparently differs from Snow (1998),
who doubles the size of designs in his reconstructions.
Presently unclear are the effects of these different methods
in executing faithful design reconstructions. However,
we suspect that the difference is negligible and stress that
all design reconstructions facilitate an approximation of
whole or partial carved paddle designs and should never
be relied upon as the sole evidence of paddle matches.
Indeed, many design themes were carved more than once
and could appear identical when viewed through the

Figure 24. Vessel and reconstructed design from the Shelly Mound (FLMNH Cat. 103710),
and distribution of sites with paddle matches.



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Swift Creek Paddle Designs from the Florida Gulf Coast

The Florida Anthropolo2ist 2011 Vol. 64(3-4)

lens of artists' reconstructions (see Wallis 2011:85 for an
example of similar, though not identical, designs).
2. All are conventional radiocarbon ages.
3. As one reviewer of this article commented, there are
many other potential paddle matches in northern Florida
and southern Georgia. Other than Tesar's unpublished
reports, however, none of these design matches have been
reported. One of the main purposes of this article is to
begin publishing design data and recorded matches to
increase accessibility. In the case of paddle matches, we
have proceeded with utmost cautiousness. In comparing
the FLMNH sample to photographs and drawings from
Moore (1901, 1902, 1903, 1907, 1918), Willey (1949),
and Broyles' and Snow's unpublished drawings, we have
begun a long list of many other potential matches between
sites on the Florida Gulf coast. However, we have chosen
to refrain from listing these potential matches until the
artifacts themselves (or at least detailed photographs)
have been compared. This protocol avoids the tendency to
codify intersite connections that are essentially anecdotal.


We would like to thank Ellen Walker for her excellent
photography and Ann Cordell for help with collections. We
also thank reviewers Tom Pluckhahn, Karen Smith, Frankie
Snow, and Keith Stephenson, and editor Keith Ashley, all of
whom made helpful suggestions that improved this article.

References Cited

Alien, Glen T., Jr.
1953 A Stratigraphic Investigation of the Hall Site, Wakulla
County, Florida. Florida State University Notes on
Anthropology 2.

Ashley, Keith H.
1992 Swift Creek Manifestations along the Lower St.
Johns River. The Florida Anthropologist 45:127-138.
1998 Swift Creek Traits in Northeastern Florida: Ceramics,
Mounds, and Middens. In A World Engraved:
Archaeology ofthe Swift Creek Culture, edited by M.
Williams and D.T. Elliott, pp. 197-221. University of
Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.

Ashley, Keith H., and Neill Wallis
2006 Northeastern Florida Swift Creek: An Overview
and Future Research Directions. The Florida
Anthropologist 59:5-18.

Ashley, Keith, Keith Stephenson, and Frankie Snow
2007 Teardrops, Ladders, and Bull's Eyes: Swift Creek on
the Georgia Coast. Early Georgia 35(1):3-28.

Broyles, Bettye J.
1968 Reconstructed Designs from Swift Creek Complicated
Stamped Sherds. Southeastern Archaeological

Conference Bulletin 8:49-74.

Bullen, Ripley P.
1950 An Archaeological Survey of the Chattahoochee
River Valley in Florida. Journal of the
Washington Academy of Sciences 40:101-125.
1958 Six Sites Near the Chattahoochee River in the Jim
Woodruff Reservation Area, Florida. Bureau
ofAmerican Ethnology Bulletin 169:315-357.

Caldwell, Joseph R.
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Hare's Landing, Seminole County, Georgia. Edited by
B.A. Smith. Ms. on file, Southeastern Archaeological
Center, Tallahassee.

Crane and Crane, H. R., and J. B. Griffin
1958 University of Michigan Radiocarbon Dates II.
Science 127:1098-1105.

Earl, Graeme, Kirk Martinez, and Tom Malzbender
2010 Archaeological Applications of Polynomial
Texture Mapping: Analysis, Conservation, and
Representation. Journal ofArchaeological Science

Goldburt, Jules S.
1966 The Archaeology ofShiredIsland. Unpublished M.A.
thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of

Jones, B. Calvin and Louis D. Tesar
1996 Emergency Archaeological Salvage Excavation
Within the Swift Creek Subarea of the Block-
Stems Site (8LE148), Leon County, Florida: A Public
Archaeology Project. Report on file, Division of
Historical Resources, Tallahassee.

Kirkland, S. Dwight.
2003 Human Prehistory at the Sadlers Landing Site,
Camden County, Georgia. Early Georgia 31:107-

Kohler, Timothy
1975 The Garden Patch site: a minor Weeden Island
Ceremonial Center on the North Peninsular Florida
Gulf Coast. Unpublished M.A. thesis, Department of
Anthropology, University of Florida.

Phelps, David S.
1966 Early and Late Components of the Tucker Site. The
Florida Anthropologist 19:11-38.

Pluckhahn, Thomas J.
2007 Reflections of Paddle Stamped Pottery: Symmetry
Analysis ofSwift Creek Paddle Designs. Southeastern
Archaeology: 1-11.

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Saunders, Rebecca
1986 Attribute Variability in Late Swift Creek Phase
Ceramics from King's Bay, Georgia. Unpublished
M.A. Thesis, Department of Anthropology,
University of Florida, Gainesville.
1998 Swift Creek Phase Design Assemblages from Two
Sites on the Georgia Coast. In A World Engraved:
Archaeology of the Swift Creek Culture, edited by
Mark Williams and Daniel Elliott, pp. 154-180.
University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.

Sears, William H.
1956 Excavations at Kolomoki: Final Report. University
of Georgia Series in Anthropology, No. 5. The
University of Georgia Press, Athens.
1963 The Tucker site on Alligator Harbor, Franklin County,
Florida. Contributions of the Florida State
Museum, Social Sciences 9.

Smith, Karen Y.
2009 Middle and Late Woodland Period Cultural
Transmission, Residential Mobility, and Aggregation
in the Deep South. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation,
University of Missouri-Columbia.

Snow, Frankie
1975 Swift Creek Designs and Distributions: A South
Georgia Study. Early Georgia 3:38-59.
1977 An Archaeological Survey of the Ocmulgee Big Bend
Region: A Preliminary Report. Occasional Papers
from South Georgia, Number 3. South Georgia
College, Douglas.
1998 Swift Creek Design Investigations: The Hartford
Case. In A World Engraved: Archaeology of the
Swift Creek Culture, edited by M. Williams and D.
T. Elliott, pp. 61-98. University of Alabama Press,
2007 Swift Creek Design Catalog. Report on file, South
Georgia College, Douglas.

Snow, Frankie, and Keith Stephenson
1998 Swift Creek Designs: A Tool for Monitoring
Interaction. In A World Engraved: Archaeology of the
Swift Creek Culture, edited by M. Williams and D.
T. Elliott, pp. 99-111. University of Alabama Press,

Stephenson, Keith, Judith A. Bense, and Frankie Snow
2002 Aspects of Deptford and Swift Creek on the South
Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains. In The Woodland
Southeast, edited by D. G. Anderson and R. C.
Mainfort, Jr., pp. 318-351. University of Alabama
Press, Tuscaloosa.

Stephenson, Keith, and Karen Y. Smith
2008 Middle Swift Creek/Weeden Island I Ceremonialism
in the Interior Coastal Plain of Georgia. Poster

presented at the 73th Annual Meeting of the Society
for American Archaeology, Vancouver, B.C.

Stoltman, James B., and Snow, Frankie
1998 Cultural Interaction Within Swift Creek Society:
People, Pots, and Paddles. In A World Engraved:
Archaeology of the Swift Creek Culture, edited by M.
Williams and D. T. Elliott, pp. 130-153. University of
Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.

Tesar, Louis D.
2009 A Sign of the Times: Swift Creek Ceramics at the
Hartsfield Site (8LE120A). Report on f i e ,
Division of Historical Resources, Tallahassee.

Tesar, Louis D., and Calvin B. Jones
2009 The Waddells Mill Pond Site (8JA65): 1973-74
Test Excavation Results. Report on file, Division of
Historical Resources, Tallahassee.

Thompson, Timothy
1960s A Preliminary Analysis of the Faunal Remains from
the Garden Patch Site. Ms. On file, Florida
State Museum, Gainesville.

Wallis, Neill J.
2011 The Swift Creek Gift: Vessel Exchange on the Atlantic
Coast. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.

Wallis, Neill J., Mathew T. Boulanger, Jeffrey R. Ferguson,
Michael D. Glascock
2010 Woodland Period Ceramic Provenance and the
Exchange of Swift Creek Complicated Stamped
Pottery in the Southeastern United States. Journal of
Archaeological Science 37:2598-2611.

Willey, Gordon R.
1949 Archaeology of the Florida GulfCoast. Smithsonian
Miscellaneous Collections 113. Smithsonian
Institution, Washington D.C.

Wallis and O'Dell

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Typological, Functional, and Comparative ContextualAnalyses of Woodland
Hafted Bifaces from Kolomoki (9ER1)

Thomas J. Pluckhahn' and Sean P. Norman'

'Department ofAnthropology, University of South Florida, 4202 E. Flowler Ave., SOC107, Tampa, FL 33620-7200
2Department ofAnthropology, University of South Florida, 4202 E. Flowler Ave., SOC107, Tampa, FL 33620-7200

Woodland period hafted biface assemblages of the Gulf
Coast and adjacent interior regions of Florida, Georgia, and
Alabama, are comprised of a variety of forms: from spikes,
ovates, and other forms that contract at the base; to straight-
and expanding-stemmed and corner- and side-notched types
that expand at the base; to large and small triangulars. Subtle
gradation between many of these forms can make point
identification challenging.
The problem is exacerbated by a rampant state
parochialism that has resulted in a excess of formal types. A
quick survey of standard compendiums of point types reveals
the severity of the problem. Bullen (1975), in his seminal
guide to Florida points, describes 18 named point types dating
to the Middle or Late Woodland period; five more of his points
could probably be added to this list based on contemporary
dating. Cambron and Hulse (1990) describe another 29
different Middle/Late Woodland types for Alabama. Whatley
(2002), in his more recent overview of Georgia points, lists
18 points dating to the Middle/Late Woodland; most of these
overlap with Bullen and Cambron and Hulse, but he also adds
five different types. Thus, these three guides alone describe a
combined 53 Middle and Late Woodland types. To this could
be added two additional types described by Schroder (2006).
Finally, Baker (1995) has added a dizzying array of new types,
including eight specific to Weeden Island alone and dozens of
others relating to the Middle and Late Woodland periods in the
Southeast more generally.
In addition to the obvious problems it poses for the
identification of individual specimens, the proliferation
of types also obscures the understanding of hafted biface
function. Many of these point type compendiums simply put
forth unsupported claims of functional identification. Baker
(1995), for example, routinely classifies point types as either
dart or arrows but provides little or no rationale for such
Finally, the ever-expanding roster of Woodland point
types serves as an impediment to comparison of assemblages
and the identification of social processes that may account for
similarities and differences between them. Even relatively
modestly-sized Woodland point assemblages can easily
include dozens of distinct types, a single example of which
may be represented by only one or two specimens. This
makes comparison-particularly statistical comparisons-

challenging. As a result, we have a very rudimentary
understanding of how hafted biface styles and functions
changed through time. For example, it is widely acknowledged
that the Middle and Late Woodland periods witnessed the
widespread adoption of the bow and arrow (Blitz 1988; Cobb
and Nassaney 1995:209; McElrath et al. 2000:17; Milanich et
al. 1997:188; Muller 1997:129; Nassaney 2000:716; Nassaney
and Pyle 1999). Yet the precise timing, tempo, and context of
this transition have rarely been the focus of concerted study.
Clearly, the time is ripe to reevaluate the plethora of
Woodland point types. Farr (2006) has usefully re-evaluated
Bullen's Paleoindian and Archaic point typology, suggesting
that some types be dropped due to chronological refinements
or lack of morphological distinctiveness, and placing the
remainder in aggregate clusters based primarily on gross
morphology. To our knowledge, however, no such effort
has been directed to point types of the Middle and Late
Woodland periods. And, while Middle and Late Woodland
points from elsewhere in the Southeast have been analyzed
for discrimination of function-specifically the differentiation
of dart and arrow points (e.g., Nassaney and Pyle 1999)-
this task has rarely been attempted for the eastern Gulf Coast
region (but see Ste. Claire 1996).
This paper represents a preliminary attempt at such
endeavors. Our analysis is based on an assemblage of more
than 200 Middle and Late Woodland period hafted bifaces
from the Kolomoki site (9ER1) in southwestern Georgia
(Figure 1). Focusing primarily on metric divisions of hafting
areas, we classify the collection into increasingly specific
taxonomic categories, from clusters to types. We then examine
the clusters, types, and individual points for evidence of
function-specifically use as darts or arrows. We illustrate why
we think the cluster approach is more useful for comparison
of assemblages.
The samples includes points collected by various
researchers and projects, including: surface collections and
test excavations by Fairbanks and Wauchope in the 1930s
(Fairbanks 1946); the intensive excavations by Sears in the
late 1940s and early 1950s (Sears 1956); surface collections
and testing by Blanton and Snow in the 1970s and 1980s (see
Pluckhahn 2003); and, finally, the most recent investigations
by Pluckhahn (2003, 2011).
The focus on points from Kolomoki, to our minds, avoids

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Th lriaAtroooit 01VL 434

contour interval = 1 m
Figure 1. Map of Kolomoki showing locations of Blocks A and D.

ome of the problems that plague discussions of hafted biface
types at a state or regional level. Specifically, we think the
narrow focus satisfies the conditions established by O'Brien
and Lyman (1999) for seriation. First, the collection spans an
interval of relatively limited duration. Second, the collection
is derived from a localized area. Finally, the collection is
associated with what could be considered a single cultural
tradition; namely, the overlapping and closely-related Swift
Creek and Weeden Island traditions.


Typological Analysis

The hafted biface collection was initially sorted into types
by the senior author, who presented the results at a meeting
on the archaeology of southeastern coastal plain in Douglas,
Georgia (Pluckhahn 2007). Pluckhahn's type assignments were
subsequently submitted to John Whatley and Lloyd Schroeder
(personal communication 2008), who recommended revisions
to type nomenclature and assignments. The data discussed
herein reflect many, but not all, of their suggestions. We thank
Whatley and Schroeder for their opinions, but emphasize that
they are not responsible for any of the data or interpretations
presented here.
Our first basic question in this paper is the following:
can typological assignments (whether types or clusters)
be justified on the basis of objective metric attributes?
Following Farr's example, we begin by placing the points into
general clusters based on similarities in basic morphological
attributes. We then look for measurable differences that would
permit finer divisions. Ideally, where the differences are clear

enough, our comparisons will lead us to the types we assigned.
Where measurable differences are less pronounced, we are
left with groups of closely related types. We suggest that, at
least in some cases, the lack of clear measurable differences
among these types may be indicative of redundancy in type
designations. Our original intent was to compare types using
statistical measures. However, variations in sample size and
high standard deviations made this very difficult. We have tried
to devise taxonomic divisions that we believe are meaningful,
albeit not necessarily with any degree of statistical certainty.
Our typological analysis emphasizes hafting areas to
minimize effects of use wear, damage, and re-sharpening
(Andrefsky 1998:178; Bacon 1977; Binford 1963).
Nevertheless, it must be borne in mind that hafting elements
are also subject to the same processes, if less often and less
severely affected than blades.
We generally focus on ratio of measurements (for example,
the ratio of blade width to haft length), to accommodate the
constraints on the size of finished bifaces relative to raw
material (although they are manufactured primarily from
various cherts of the Coastal Plain, there are also specimens
made from cherts of the Ridge and Valley, as well as Tallahatta
Quartzites/Sandstones of southern Alabama). Hafted bifaces
were measured using a dial calipers to the nearest .1 mm. Our
measurements focused on 9 basic dimensions: Maximum
Length (ML), Maximum Width (MW), Blade Length (BLL),
Blade Width (BLW), Base Width (BW), Haft Length (HL),
Neck Width (NW), Neck Height (NH), and Maximum
Thickness (MT) (Figure 2). These dimensions generally
conform to those defined by Andrefsky (1998:179), with a few
exceptions. First, measurements of haft length and neck width
are reserved only for points with relatively well-defined hafting


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2011 Vol. 64(3-4)

Pluckhahn and Norman Woodland Hafted Bifaces

Figure 2. Illustration showing hafted bifac

elements, as delineated by shoulders. Thus, triangular points by
our definition lack hafting areas (although we recognize these
were indeed hafted in most cases). Perhaps most important,
we restrict the use of the term "neck" to an area of constriction
below the shoulders of width roughly equal to or less than that
of the base. So defined, proximally contracting stemmed and
triangular points lack necks. We would note that our method
also differs from Whatley (2002:10), who measures haft width
and length relative to an undefined point on the contracting
stem. In addition to these dimensions, we also recorded weight
(WT), measured to the nearest gram.

Functional Analysis
The second basic question we ask in this paper regards
hafted biface function: specifically, based on formal attributes
alone, can we differentiate darts from arrow points at the level
of individual specimens, types, or clusters? Archaeologists
have proposed various criteria for the discrimination of dart
and arrow points. In one of the first modern studies in this
vein, Thomas (1978) examined a collection of still-hafted (and
thus securely identified) dart and arrow points in ethnographic
collections of the American Museum of Natural History and
archaeological collections from various sites, mostly in the
western United States. Once the points had been measured, a
step-wise discriminant analysis was performed to determine
the most salient of four attributes (length, width, thickness, and
neck width) for delineating arrows from darts. This resulted in
two equations, one for darts and the other for arrows. Raw
metric data for hafted bifaces of unknown function can be
fitted into the equations; the equation producing the higher
value indicates the proper category.
Thomas's (1978) discriminant analysis is not applicable
to the point assemblage from Kolomoki (or from many sites
in eastern North America more generally) in that the majority
of points are unnotched and lack true necks (the assumptions
of discriminant analysis do not allow one to simply omit
one variable such as neck width from the equations) (Shott
1997:94). Fortunately, Shott (1997) revisited Thomas's
(1978) analysis, producing four-, three-, two-, and one-
variable solutions. Shott's two- and one-variable solutions
are applicable here. The former includes only shoulder width
and thickness, the two variables that Shott found to be best at
discriminating the two hafted biface types. The two-variable

tensions that were measured for this study

classification functions proceeds as follows:

Dart: 1.42 (shoulder width) + 2.16 (thickness) 22.50
Arrow: .79 (shoulder width) + 2.17 (thickness) 10.60

Shott's (1997) one-variable solution includes only
shoulder width, the attribute he found most relevant for
discerning dart and arrow points:

Dart: 1.40 (shoulder width) 16.85
Arrow: .89 (shoulder width) 7.22

As with Thomas's (1978) equations, raw metric data
for hafted bifaces of unknown function can be fitted into the
equations, and the equation producing the higher value can be
assumed to represent the proper category.
It may seem inappropriate to employ formula developed
primarily from western North America to evaluate the
function of hafted bifaces from the Southeast. However, the
same approach has employed by researchers working on
Late Woodland assemblages in the Midwest (Seeman 1992;
Shott 1993). Shott (1993:431) argues that the application is
appropriate because "ballistic-performance properties that
influence the size and form of projectile points are universal,
not somehow specific to certain areas and cultures." As Shott
also notes, Thomas made use of a hafted tools from a wide
range of cultures and areas. Finally, Shott points out that
similar ethnographic and archaeological collections of known
function are simply unavailable for eastern North America.
Nevertheless, archaeologists in the eastern United States
have attempted to discriminate function from the form of
archaeological specimens. Particularly noteworthy in this
regard is the analysis of dart and arrow points in central
Arkansas by Nassaney and Pyle (1999), given that it deals with
collections from the same general time period as Kolomoki,
and containing generally similar point forms. Examining
histograms of metric data for a collection of 93 points from
sites within 20 km of the Toltec Mounds, the authors noted
bimodal distributions in five attributes: neck width, thickness,
weight, length, and maximum width. Based on the data
distributions, Nassaney and Pyle proposed that arrow points
could be differentiated from dart points as follows:

Pluckhahn and Norman

Woodland Hafted Bifaces

Th lriaAthooo~s 01 o. 434

arrow: (length < 36 mm) and (neck width < 10.5 mm)
and (thickness < 6 mm) and (weight < 3.0 g)

Dart points are those measuring equal or greater than any
one of these attribute values. As with Thomas's equations,
the inclusion of neck width makes it impossible to apply
these criteria in their entirety to the Kolomoki assemblage.
However, since this is not a statistical equation, we can here
simply omit neck width to form a three-variable solution for
the identification of arrow and dart points:

arrow: (length < 36 mm) and (thickness < 6 mm)
and (weight < 3.0 g)
dart: (length < 36 mm) or (thickness < 6 mm) or
(weight < 3.0 g)

Our analysis of function has several limitations. First and
foremost, we focus on the discrimination of darts and arrow
points, but other functions are obviously possible. Some of the
bifaces in the Kolomoki assemblage undoubtedly functioned
as hafted knives, for example. It is also likely that points were
used for a variety of purposes over the course of their use-
lives. Analysis of edge damage and fracture patterns could
provide a useful complement to our consideration of form in
the discrimination of hafted biface function but is beyond the
cope of this paper. Moreover, our intention here is to suggest
which points and point types could have functioned as arrows,
based on attributes of form.

Comparative Contextual Analysis

The third and final basic question we address in this paper
is the following: can we apply the typological and functional
divisions to a comparison of sub-assemblages from two
different contexts in order to identify social process? Each of
these sub-assemblages represents the hafted bifaces associated
with an archaeological household; one dating to the early or
middle Late Woodland and the other to the late or terminal
Late Woodland.
The first subset is from Block A, a small block excavation
north of Mound A (see Figure 1), as previously reported by
Pluckhahn (2003). Including a nearby 1-x-2-m test unit (Unit
10), Block A included 29 m2, of which 19 m2 formed a single
contiguous block (Pluckhahn 2003:148-165). Within the
contiguous block we excavated a small pit structure measuring
about 3 m square, with a projecting entrance ramp and a
prepared central hearth. As argued elsewhere (Pluckhahn
et al. 2006), the pit house appears to have filled relatively
rapidly and deliberately after the house was abandoned. Five
radiocarbon assays have been taken on materials from Block
A (Pluckhahn 2011). Two of the dates appear to be in error,
probably reflecting the introduction of more recent roots
into the material that was dated. The three remaining dates
from Block A, taken on a maize kernel and Carya nutshell,
are more precise and cluster closely together in time, with 2
sigma calibrated ranges extending from A.D. 420 to 660. The
calibrated dates overlap between A.D. 570 and 610. In the

discussion to follow, we adopt cal A.D. 550 to 650 as a slightly
more conservative estimate for the occupation of the Block
A archeological household and its hafted biface assemblage.
This range of time is generally described as the early or middle
Late Woodland period.
The other subset of the overall assemblage comes from
more recent excavations in an area referred to as Block D,
about 150 m south of Mound A (Pluckhahn 2011) (see Figure
1). Including one previously excavated 2-x-2-m test unit
(Unit 18), Block D encompasses 52 m2. Of this, 38 m2 were
contiguous 1-x-1 -m units that together form a block about 8 m
long (north-south) and 6 m wide (east-west) (Pluckhahn 2011).
The evidence for domestic architecture was less conclusive
here than in Block A, but an arcing patterns of post features
suggest the presence of an oval structure of single set posts
measuring about 7.3 m long and 5.2 m wide. Four radiocarbon
dates have been retrieved from Block D. The two sigma ranges
for the three youngest dates overlap between A.D. 890 and
980. On the other hand, the ranges for the three oldest dates
overlap in the interval from A.D. 780 to 880 and two of the
dates-from separate features in or near the presumed house-
have nearly identical two sigma ranges that overlap between
A.D. 780 and 980. These older ranges are more consistent
with the ceramic assemblage from Block D, which would
seem to place the Block D occupation before around cal A.D.
750 to 800-when check stamped pottery begins to dominate
assemblages in the area (Mickwee 2009; Milanich 1974). We
adopt an estimate of cal A.D. 750 to 850 for the occupation of
the archaeological household in Block D. We refer to this as
the late and terminal Late Woodland.

Cluster and Typological Analysis

The Kolomoki hafted biface assemblage includes 216
specimens that are sufficiently complete for typological
classification, and that appear consistent with Woodland types
and forms. Appendix A lists these hafted bifaces with their
measurements and other descriptive data.
As noted above, our broadest division of the Kolomoki
Woodland hafted bifaces is into three general clusters (Figure
3). The proximally expanding cluster (N=127), which includes
expanding and straight stemmed and notched bifaces, is
most common, forming slightly less than 60 percent of the
assemblage. Proximally contracting forms (N=82), which
include contracting stemmed, lanceolate, spike, and ovate
bifaces, make up about another one-third of the assemblage.
Triangular points (N=7) are the least common, making up only
about 3 percent of the collection. We discuss each of these
clusters and the finer divisions into types in turn.

Proximally Contracting Cluster

The proximally contracting cluster is composed of points
with clearly discernible hafting areas but which lack true
necks in the sense of points of constriction in the haft area that
are less than or equal to the width of the base. Table 1 provides
summary data for the point types that fall within this cluster.

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2011 Vol. 64(3-4)

Pluckhahn and Norman Woodland Hafted Bifaces

Figure 3. Diagram illustrating the three basic
morphological clusters.

Selected examples of these points are illustrated in Figures 4
and 5.
The proximally contracting cluster can be broadly divided
first on basis of the width of the blade relative to the length
of the hafting area (Figure 6). At one extreme are group
of points with blade width to haft length ratios generally
greater than 2; in other words the blades on these points are
more than twice as wide as the length of haft. Put even more
simply, these have short but wide hafting areas. We use the
Ebenezer type discussed by Cambron and Hulse (1990:42) to
describe five such points in the contracting stemmed cluster,
following a suggestion from Schroder and Whatley (personal
communication 2008).
At the opposite extreme are points with blades that are
narrow relative to length of the hafting area. We further
subdivided these based on the ratio of blade width to base
width. The first group, with a with long haft area and narrow
base, is represented by two points we classify as the Little Bear
Creek type as defined by DeJarnette and colleagues (1962) and
summarized by Cambron and Hulse (1990:82).
More common, with 26 specimens identified, is a variety
of spike (arbitrarily assigned as Variety 1) with long haft but
relative wide base. We have opted not to assign these to one
of the many varieties of named spikes and lanceolates. They
would probably correspond best with lanceolate types such as
Benjamin (Cambron and Hulse 1990:11) and Flint River Spike
(Cambron and Hulse 1990:53; DeJarnette et al. 1962).
Our third division of the proximally contracting cluster,

falling between the two extremes, are a number of points
with blades of intermediate width relative to haft length. We
divided these into three categories on the basis of the ratio of
blade width to base width. One point, exhibiting a wide blade
relative to base, is a good match for the Florida Adena type,
described by Bullen (1975:22). As is typical for this form, the
biface is long, slender, and well-made.
The other extreme, with blade and base width nearly
equal, is represented by six points we have classified as Florida
Copenas, again as described by Bullen (1975:23). We use this
term specifically to refer to the variety of Florida Copenas with
forms that could be best described as trianguloid, lanceolate, or
perhaps pentagonal. In our classification scheme, the notched
form of this type falls into a completely different cluster, since
the base expands instead of contracts (see discussion below).
Between the extremes of the Florida Adena and Florida
Copena lie a variety of points with intermediate blade width
to base width ratios. We are unable to reliably sort these types
based on metrics of the hafting area. We do not suggest that
the range of variation should be subsumed into a single type.
There are, for example, relatively obvious differences in the
shape of the blade and shoulders. However, we reiterate that
such differences are more likely to include the effects of re-
sharpening. Based on our focus on hafting areas, we would
suggest that these four types bear additional scrutiny. Most
common in this group are points corresponding to the New
Market type (N=21), as described by Cambron and Hulse
(1990:96). We classified six points in this group as examples of
the Swannanoa type described by Keel (1987). Consistent with
the type description, these have weak shoulders and excurvate
blades. Two of the points of this type are manufactured from
cherts from the Ridge and Valley province of Tennessee and
northern Georgia and Alabama, where the type name is more
frequently employed. Nine points in this group are tentatively
identified as a second variety of spikes (Variety 2), separated
on the basis of their short hafting areas and wide bases.
Finally, six points in this group have ovate forms resembling
Bullen's (1975:10) Tampa type. Bullen describes this as a
Mississippian type, but there is no reason to believe this is the
case at Kolomoki; several examples have been recovered from
features dated to the Late Woodland period.

Proximally Straight and Expanding Cluster

Our second and largest cluster is designated as straight,
expanding, notched. Recall that this cluster is defined by points
that evidence conspicuous hafting areas set off by shoulders,
as well as some semblance of a true neck in the sense of a
constriction narrower than or roughly equal to the base. Table
2 presents summary data for the points of this cluster and its
14 constituent types. Selected examples of points assigned to
this cluster appear in Figures 7-9.
We divide this cluster first on the basis of the ratio of
neck width to base width (Figure 10). On this basis, we can
differentiate three groups. One group, represented by a single
type, consists of points (N=11) with neck width to base
width ratios of 1.7 or more; thus defined, these points would

Pluckhahn and Norman

Woodland Hafted Bifaces

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2011 Vol. 64(3-4)

Table 1. Summary Data for Constituent

Type Variable


Florida Copena (Lanceolate Variety) ML 6

Little Bear Creek

New Market

Spike (Variety 1)






















Types of the Proximally Contracting Cluster (N>1).

Sample Size Range Mean Standard Deviation





































Pluckhahn and Norman

Woodland Hafted Bifaces

Type Variable Sample Size Range Mean Standard Deviation

BLL 25 19.9-54.1 32.7 6.7

BW 25 4.7-15.8 9.2 2.7

HL 25 9.1-23.5 14.0 3.5

MT 25 4.8-9.6 7.3 1.3

WT 25 2.0-9.0 4.5 1.9

Spike (Variety 2) ML 9 38.4-64.0 47.5 8.4

















































The Florida Anthropologist

2011 Vol. 64(3-4)

Table 2. Summary Data for Constituent Types of the Proximally Straight and Expanding
Cluster (N>1).

Type Variable Sample Size Range Mean Standard Deviation

Bakers Creek (N=47) ML 38 28.8-52.3 40.8 5.4

MW 38 14.6-25.9 18.8 2.6

BLW 38 14.6-25.9 18.8 2.6

BLL 38 18.4-40.6 29.6 5.2

BW 38 10.8-22.8 14.9 2.5

HL 38 8.8-16.6 12.3 1.8

NW 38 10.7-19.5 13.4 1.9

NH 38 5.2-13.3 8.1 1.9

MT 38 4.4-11.7 7.1 1.3

WT 38 2.0-9.0 4.9 1.7

Bradford (N=10) ML 8 33.0-46.8 40.1 4.5

MW 8 13.5-23.7 19.2 3.2

BLW 8 13.5-23.7 19.2 3.2

BLL 8 25.9-37.0 30.8 4.8

BW 8 11.0-18.2 14.0 2.3

HL 8 8.0-14.8 11.6 2.4

NW 8 10.1-15.5 12.6 2.0

NH 8 4.0-7.6 6.0 1.2

MT 8 4.5-7.8 6.8 1.1

WT 8 1.0-6.0 4.3 1.5

Broward (N=16) ML 10 40.4-63.2 51.7 7.2

MW 11 20.1-26.5 23.0 2.2

BLW 10 20.1-26.5 23.0 2.2

BLL 11 31.7-52.1 40.2 6.6

BW 11 9.7-20.6 14.7 2.7

HL 11 8.3-15.4 12.4 2.3

NW 11 11.2-16.8 13.3 1.7

NH 11 5.9-10.3 7.8 1.4

MT 11 2.0-12.8 7.6 2.8

WT 11 5.0-11.0 8.0 1.8

Duval Type 2 ML 6 40.7-56.5 45.7 5.9
MW 6 16.6-20.2 17.9 1.5

BLW 6 16.6-20.1 17.9 1.5

BLL 6 32.6-46.7 36.8 5.3

BW 6 6.1-13.0 9.9 2.2

HL 6 8.1-13.0 10.3 1.7

NW 6 8.7-16.6 10.8 2.9

NH 6 2.8-10.1 6.5 2.6

Type Variable Sample Size Range Mean Standard Deviation

Duval Type 3 (N=4)

Florida Copena (Notched Variety)

Mountain Fork

Provisional Type 1 ML 4









































Pluckhahn and Norman

Woodland Hafted Bifaces

Type Variable Sample Size Range Mean Standard Deviation

Swan Lake ML 5

Weeden Island Straight Stemmed ML 10























The Florida Anthropologist

2011 Vol. 64(3-4)

14A r

Pluckhahn and NormanWodadHfeBfce

LZ3 z/4 256 257


44 45 61 63


67 66 73 76 249 192 68

Figure 4. Selected examples of the proximally contracting cluster. Top row: Ebenezer. Middle row, left two: Little Bear
Creek. Middle row, center: Florida Adena. Middle row right: Florida Copena (Lanceolate variety). Bottom row: Spike
(variety 1). Shown approximately actual size. Hafted bifaces are identified by number (see Appendix A).

Pluckhahn and Norman

Woodland Hafted Bifaces

The Florida Anthropologist

, .. I .,a

T 13.1 '1

131 136

40 130

140 132

143 142



219 222


Figure 5. Selected examples of the proximally contracting cluster. Top row: New Market. Middle row, left three:
Swannanoa. Middle row, right three: Tampa. Bottom row: Spike (Variety 2). Shown approximately actual size.
Hafted bifaces are identified by number (see Appendix A).

2011 Vol. 64(3-4)

Pluckhahn and Norman Woodland Hafted Bifaces

Figure 6. Diagram illustrating divisions of the proximally contracting cluster.

technically have stems that are slightly contracting. However,
visual inspection reveals that most are more or less straight
or even expanding on one side, and slightly contracting on
the other. Pluckhahn (2007) originally described these as an
unnamed provisional type. However, Schroder and Whatley
(personal communication, 2008) pointed out that these points
match Baker's (1995) Weeden Island Straight Stemmed type.
We have been reluctant to employ this type designation, in
that it was defined on the basis of unspecified finds. However,
we have been unable to find another corresponding published
type, and thus have tentatively employed Baker's type name
here. As an additional caveat, we note that a few of the examples
from Kolomoki may be reworked distal point fragments, and
others may be re-sharpened.
At opposite extreme within this cluster, we have a small
number of points with neck width to base width ratios less
than 0.85; these are side and corer notched. In the Kolomoki
assemblage, these two types of notching can be reliably sorted
on the basis of the ratio of blade width to haft length. For side
notched types, this ratio is greater than 2.5. We see two types
represented here, easily distinguished by the ratio of neck width
to base width, although we have not attempted to quantify
this because the sample size is so small. The Swan Lake type
(Cambron and Hulse 1960, 1990:120) is the most numerous of
the two side notched types, with five examples identified. In
addition, two points exemplify Bullen's (1975:13) Subtype 1
of the Duval type.
The second subdivision, defined by blade width to haft
length ratios less than 1.5, corresponds with comer notched
points. Again, we see two types which could be differentiated
on the basis of the ratios of blade width to neck or base width.
But again, the sample size is far too small to justify this for
the Kolomoki assemblage. Included here is one example of

Bullen's (1975:12) Leon type and one possible example of
the Jacks Reef Corer Notched type as originally defined by
Ritchie (1961:26-27) and subsequently described by Cambron
and Hulse (1990:68).
More problematic are the great number and variety of
expanding stemmed points with neck width to base width
ratios a little above, to a little below, one. In other words, these
points are more or less straight stemmed. We can confidently
sort a small group of these (N=4) into a distinct type based on
their wide but short hafting areas. We cannot find a published
name for these points, however, and thus refer to them here
simply as Provisional Type 1. They bear some resemblance
to the previously described Weeden Island Straight Stemmed
type. However, these are differentiated by their minimal stems.
We have been less successful justifying finer divisions
in the rest of the expanding stemmed points. We sorted these
into a number of distinct types based on size, blade, and base
morphology. While these types may hold up well at the level
of ideal individual specimens, however, they break down with
the range of variation exhibited by larger samples, at least in
regard to the metric dimensions of hafting areas. We suggest
that some of these types may need to be collapsed, unless
significant differences in other attributes---such as blade
shape or length---can be demonstrated to be independent of
resharpening. Included here, in order of decreasing frequency,
are eight types: Bakers Creek (Cambron and Hulse 1990:8;
DeJamette et al. 1962) (N=47); Broward (Bullen 1975:15)
(N=16); Florida Copena (Bullen 1975:23) (notched variety)
(N=14); Bradford (Bullen 1975:14) (N=10); Duval Types
2 and 3 (Bullen 1975:13) (N=7 and N=4, respectively);
Mountain Fork (Cambron and Hulse 1990:93) (N=4); and,
finally, Columbia (Bullen 1975:19) (N=1).

Pluckhahn and Norman

Woodland Hafted Bifaces

The Florida Anthronoloaist 2011 Vo 4

238 236

237 265

261 112

32 33 241 276

233 232 229 231

Figure 7. Selected examples of the proximally straight and expanding cluster. Top row, left four: Weeden Island
Straight Stemmed. Top row, right three: Swan Lake. Middle row, left two: Duval Type 1. Middle row, right center:
Leon. Middle row, right: Jacks Reef. Bottom row: Provisional Type 1. Shown approximately actual size. Hafted
bifaces are identified by number (see Appendix A) Figure 7. Selected examples of the proximally straight and expanding
cluster. Top row, left four: Weeden Island Straight Stemmed. Top row, right three: Swan Lake. Middle row, left two:
Duval Type 1. Middle row, right center: Leon. Middle row, right: Jacks Reef. Bottom row: Provisional Type 1. Shown
approximately actual size. Hafted bifaces are identified by number (see Appendix A)
approximately actual size. Hafted bifaces are identified by number (see Appendix A)

The Florida Anthroooloeist

2011 Vol. 64(3-4)


Pluckhahn and Norman

87 238

2 108

117 106

32 210 163 99 166

125 103 104 124 109

Figure 8. Selected examples of the proximally straight and expanding cluster. Top row: Bakers Creek. Middle row:
Broward. Bottom row: Florida Copena (notched variety). Shown approximately actual size. Hafted bifaces are identified
by number (see Appendix A).

Woodland Hafted Bifaces

222 The Florida Anthropologist 2011 Vol. 64(3-4)


121 95 97 93

161 263 58 159 160 148

I ,

96 86 212

Figure 9. Selected examples of the proximally straight and expanding cluster. Top row: Bradford. Middle row, left three:
Duval Type 2. Middle row, right three: Duval Type 3. Bottom row, left two: Mountain Fork. Bottom Broward. Bottom
row: Florida Copena (notched variety). Shown approximately actual size. Hafted bifaces are identified by number (see
Appendix A).

Pluchah andNoran Wodlnd Hfte Bifces223

Figure 10. Diagram illustrating divisions of the proximally straight and expanding cluster.

Triangular Cluster

Our third and smallest cluster is composed of triangulars,
defined here as points lacking necks and clearly defined
hafting areas. Table 3 provides summary metric data for this
cluster and the two types we identified within it. Points of this
cluster are illustrated in Figure 11.
We make one simple division of this cluster based on
an absolute measure of base width (Figure 12). First, two
triangular points have base widths greater than 28 mm. These
correspond most closely with the O'Leno described by Bullen


The remaining triangulars (N=5) have base widths less than
17 mm. We have lumped these under the generic categories of
Woodland/Mississippian triangular, although they could easily
be classified to more specific type names such as Pinellas
(Bullen 1975:8). All five of these have widths less than 18
mm, and thus would be classified as Mississippian triangulars
under the rule of thumb devised by Sassaman and colleagues
(1990:165) for the Savannah River Valley. Whatley (2002:64),
however, puts the threshold between the Late Woodland and
Mississippian varieties at 17-20 mm, and all fall within this
range (one is smaller but falls in this range when breakage is

277 279


Figure 11. Hafted bifaces of the triangular cluster. Top row: O'Leno. Bottom row: Woodland/Mississippian triangulars.
Shown approximately actual size. Hafted bifaces are identified by number (see Appendix A)

Pluckhahn and Norman

Woodland Hafted Bifaces


The Flrd nhoplg 01 o 434

Figure 12. Diagram illustrating divisions of the triangular cluster.

Ylid. v...ftowkss iIMFlihl. a__

1I l:4 3L 2 .914.4

MM 2 X.4-MJ

EL 2 34I.4

I 2 L4-+3J

UT 2 C.4UI

r a asj

hm amdko

FR. pamplh a *N ft 4 3Zs3J M a U

MW 3 133-17J ISA L

W 3 133-7.1 I1M 1




Vt S IA 6.7

The Florida Anthropologist

2011 Vol. 64(3-4)

'Tr 3

-1 K7

Pluckhahn and Norman

Woodland Hafted Bifaces

E[BlockA EBlodD I

contraing stnaight/expanding ta~gulaz

Figure 13. Comparison of the relative frequencies of point clusters in the assemblages from Blocks A and D.

accounted for). In support of this assignment, three of the five
points were found in pits dated to the Late Woodland period.
Notably, two of the four points are manufactured from Ridge
and Valley chert, suggesting these might have been introduced
from the north.

Functional Analysis

Recall that the second basic question we ask in this paper
regards the differentiation of hafted bifaces by function. The
three criteria described above for the identification of dart and
arrow points were applied to a limited sample of 189 points
in the Kolomoki assemblage for which the necessary metric
attributes were not only reasonably complete-allowing
for slight (<2 mm) apparent breakage-but also adequately
recorded. The results are presented in Table 4 Table 5
compares our functional classifications against those of other
Shott's one- and two-variable solution produced similar
results, classifying a relatively large fraction (61.9 and 63.0
percent, respectively) of the points in assemblage as arrows.
Comparing the results by clusters, a slightly higher percentage
ofproximally contracting bifaces are classified as arrows (75.3
percent) than are triangular bifaces (71.4 percent). The relative
frequencies of proximally expanding bifaces classified as
arrows under Shott's one and two variable solutions are lower
(61.9 and 63.0 percent, respectively).
Only five types are consistently (100 percent) classified
as arrows under Shott's one and two variable solutions. These
include Variety 2 of the Spike type, Jacks Reef, Mountain
Fork, Swan Lake, and Woodland/Mississippian triangulars.
It should be noted, however, that sample sizes are small for
each of these types, particularly for the Jacks Reef (N=I) and
Mountain Fork (N=3) types. Two additional types are slightly
less consistently (>75 percent) classified as arrows. These
include the New Market type and the notched variety of the
Florida Copena type.
The three-variable modification of Nassaney and Pyle's
criteriaproduces very different results. Specifically, this method

of differentiating function proves far more conservative in the
classification of arrows; only 4.8 percent of the points in the
assemblage are so classified. Points of the triangular cluster
are classified as arrows with much greater regularity (71.4
percent) than those of the proximally contracting (6.5 percent)
or proximally expanding (2.6 percent) clusters.
Using the modified Nassaney and Pyle criteria, the only
type that is consistently (100 percent of specimens) classified
as arrowheads are the Late Woodland and Mississippian
Triangulars. A limited percentage of a few other types are also
classified as arrows. These types include, in order of descending
frequency of arrow points: Swannanoa and Mountain Fork
(each with 33.3 percent), Tampa (16.7 percent), Bradford (12.5
percent), Weeden Island Straight Stemmed (10.0 percent),
New Market (5.9 percent), and Spike (Variety 2) (4.0 percent).
While the Shott and Nassaney and Pyle classification
criteria produce divergent results, some general patterns are
apparent. Only points of the triangular cluster are regularly
classified as arrows under all three methods. However, there
is obvious diversity in functional classification within each
cluster, particularly under the Shott methods. This could be
taken as evidence that the cluster approach (or at least our
approach to clusters in this assemblage) subsumes too much
functional variability.
However, less variability is apparent within clusters using
the Nassaney and Pyle criteria, and for this reason we see this
as the preferred method for functional classification of the
Kolomoki assemblage. Moreover, if we divide our triangular
cluster into large and small triangular clusters (using the clear
breaks in ML and BLW described above), the results would be
quite consistent within clusters using the Nassaney and Pyle
method: small triangular (100.0 percent arrows), proximally
contracting (6.5 percent arrows), proximally expanding (2.6
percent arrows), and large triangulars (no arrows).
Woodland/Mississippian Triangulars are the only points
unfailingly classified as arrows under all three methods. This
consistency suggests that these bifaces were manufactured
specifically to function as arrow points, as others have
suggested (see Table 5). A reduced percentage of points of

The Florida AnthroDoloeist

2011 Vol. 64(3-4)

Table 4. Summary Data for Functional Classification of Hafted Bifaces (based on restricted
sample of complete points).

N Shott's 1-variable
discriminant equation

Shott's 2-variable
discriminant equation

Nassaney and Pyle's 3-
variable classification

Ebenezer 5

Florida Copena 6

Florida Adena 1

Little Bear Creek 2

New Market 17

Spike (Variety 1) 25

Spike (Variety 2) 9

Swannanoa 6

Tampa 6

dart %










arrow %









dart %










arrow %









dart %










arrow %










Total Proximally Contracting Cluster 77 24.7 75.3 24.7 75.3 93.5 6.5

Bakers Creek 38 44.7 55.3 44.7 55.3 100.0 0

Bradford 8 62.5 37.5 62.5 37.5 87.5 12.5

Broward 11 100.0 0 100.0 0 100.0 0

Columbia 1 100.0 0 100.0 0 100.0 0

Duval Type 1 1 100.0 0 100.0 0 100.0 0

Duval Type 2 6 66.7 33.3 66.7 33.3 100.0 0

Duval Type 3 3 66.7 33.3 66.7 33.3 100.0 0

Florida Copena (notched) 13 15.4 84.6 15.4 84.6 100.0 0

Jacks Reef 1 0 100.0 0 100.0 100.0 0

Leon 1 100.0 0 100.0 0 100.0 0

Mountain Fork 3 0 100.0 0 100.0 66.7 33.3

Provisional Type 1 4 100.0 0 100.0 0 100.0 0

Swan Lake 5 0 100.0 0 100.0 100.0 0

Weeden Island Straight Stem 10 40.0 60.0 40.0 60.0 90.0 10.0

Total Proximally Expanding Cluster 105 48.6 51.4 46.7 53.3 97.4 2.6

Woodland/Mississippian Triangular 5 0 100.0 0 100.0 0 100.0

O'Leno 2 100.0 0 100.0 0 100.0 0



Pluckhahn and Norman

Table 5. Comparison of This and Previous Functional Classifications of Woodland Hafted
Biface Types.

Previous Functional Classifications

Functional Classification Proposed Here
(Using modified Nassaney and Pyle method)

dart (Baker 1995:393)


mostly darts, some possibly used as arrows

Jacks Reef

Woodland Triangular


Little Bear Creek

Mississippian Triangular

Mountain Fork

New Market


Swan Lake


arrow (Baker 1995:452)

arrow (Sassaman et al. 1990:167)

dart (Baker 1995:274)

arrow (Sassaman et al. 1990:167)

arrow (Baker 1995:442)

arrow (Baker 1995:443)

arrow (Baker 1995:446)


Weeden Island Straight Stemmed

Woodland Spike

arrow (Bradley Spike) (Baker






mostly darts, some possibly used as arrows

mostly darts, some possibly used as arrows



mostly darts, some possibly used as arrows

mostly darts, some possibly used as arrows

mostly darts, some possibly used as arrows

Variety 1: mostly darts, some possibly used as arrows
Variety 2: darts

seven other types also match all three criteria for classification
as arrows; these types include New Market, Spike (Variety 1),
Swannanoa, Tampa, Bradford, Mountain Fork, and Weeden
Island Straight Stemmed. While points of these types could
have functioned as arrow points (at least according to the
criteria employed here), the fact that they were often classified
as darts suggests that they were not specifically manufactured
as arrows. Another possibility is that these, as well as other
points classified as darts, served as knives or similar cutting
It is perhaps worth noting that the single specimen of the
Jacks Reef narrowly misses classification as an arrow under
the Nassaney and Pyle criteria due to the fact that it is about
2 mm longer than the threshold of 36.0 mm for maximum
length. Seeman (1992) has argued that this point type was
used as an arrow. He has further suggested that the type was

introduced to the Midwest from the Northeast during the Late
Woodland. While it would obviously be premature to make
this case for Kolomoki, the possible Jacks Reef point from
Block D is manufactured from what appears to be an exotic
chert and is very much unlike most of the other points in the
Kolomoki assemblage.

Comparative Contextual Analysis

In our final analysis, we compare the sub-assemblages
from two distinct contexts at Kolomoki: Blocks A and D. This
analysis has two distinct but related goals. As noted above,
Blocks A and D represent the remains of temporally and
spatially distinct archaeological households. Block A, located
to the north of Mound A, dates to around cal A.D. 550 to
650, or the early and middle Late Woodland period. Block D,

Bakers Creek






Florida Adena

Florida Copena

Woodland Hafted Bifaces

Table 7. Comparison of the Relative Frequencies of Point Types in the Assemblages from
Blocks A and D.

Type Block A Block D
(N=31) (N=38)

Bakers Creek 25.8 13.2

Broward 12.9 2.6

Duval Type 1 3.2 0

Duval Type 2 6.5 7.9

Duval Type 3 3.2 2.6

Ebenezer 3.2 10.5

Florida Copena 6.5 0

Florida Copena (notched variety) 9.7 0

Jacks Reef 0 2.6

Late Woodland/Mississippian Triangular 0 13.2

New Market 3.2 15.8

Provisional Type 1 3.2 0

Spike (variety 1) 9.7 5.2

Spike (variety 2) 0 7.9

Swan Lake 3.2 7.9

Swannanoa 3.2 5.2

Tampa 0 2.6

Weeden Island Straight Stemmed 6.5 2.6

The Florida Anthropoloeist

2011 Vol. 64(3-4)

Woodland Hafted Bifaces

located to the south of Mound A, dates to approximately cal
A.D. 750 to 850, or the late or terminal Late Woodland. Thus,
the two excavation blocks span the Late Woodland period,
an interval marked by significant changes in settlement and
social organization. In archaeological terms, these changed
are marked by a general decline in mound construction, a
diminishment in long-distance exchange, and a more dispersed
or "balkanized" settlement system (McElrath et al. 2000).
Previous research suggests that many of these same
changes took place at Kolomoki (Pluckhahn 2003). Carbon
dates indicate that mound construction continued into the early
Late Woodland period, coeval with the Block A occupation.
Exotic goods such as copper and shell are relatively common
in mound contexts from this time period. Swift Creek
ceramics-presumably mainly of local manufacture-
dominate the domestic ceramic assemblages from this era,
but continued exchange of exotics is evident in the presence
of mica debris and finished ornaments of exotic stone in the
Block A assemblage.
Although additional dating of earthworks is needed, there
are presently no indications of mound construction during the
late and terminal Late Woodland, when Block D was occupied
(Pluckhahn 2003). The occupation of the site may have become
less permanent, as evidenced in Block D by more ephemeral
house construction and greater seasonality in botanical
remains (Pluckhahn 2011). Domestic ceramic assemblages
become more diverse-including, for the first time, significant
proportions of Weeden Island types (Pluckhahn 2010, 2011).
However, the Block D assemblage contains few or no
exotic artifacts, consistent with the notion that long-distance
exchange declined during the late Late Woodland.
Thus, the assemblages from Blocks A and D would appear
to straddle an interval marked by significant social change.
Are these social changes also manifested in hafted biface form
and function? Could changes in biface form and function-
perhaps most obviously changes associated with a switch from
dart to arrow technology-have played a role in the wider
social changes evident at Kolomoki?
Building a general chronology of Woodland hafted
bifaces is beyond the scope of this paper. Nevertheless,
because the Block A and D assemblages are relatively large
and well-dated, it bears mentioning some implications of these
collections for hafted biface chronology more generally (Table
7). Specifically, point types that are present elsewhere at
Kolomoki but not in the assemblages from these blocks can be
assumed to have been used primarily before approximately cal
A.D. 550, when Block A was occupied. Those that are found
in Block A but are comparatively rare or absent from Block
D can be assumed to have been used primarily or exclusively
before cal A.D. 650. Conversely, those types that appear in
the Block D assemblage but not in Block A or elsewhere at
Kolomoki can be assumed to have been used primarily or
exclusively after cal A.D. 750.
Comparison of the assemblages from Blocks A and D
(Table 8) provides finer temporal resolution and permits greater
inference regarding function. As noted in the introduction
to our paper for Woodland hafted biface assemblages in

general, the diversity of points and related the low counts
and relative frequencies for many types makes systematic
statistical comparison difficult. Still, some trends are obvious.
The frequency of the Woodland/Mississippian Triangular type
increases dramatically, from zero in Block A to over 10 percent
in Block D, strongly suggesting the introduction of this type
in the late Late Woodland. There are also relatively steep
increases in the relative frequencies of Ebenezer, New Market,
and Spike (Variety 2), and Swan Lake types, suggesting points
of these types were more frequently manufactured and used
during the late Late Woodland at Kolomoki. Conversely, Block
D witnessed dramatic declines in the relative frequencies of
the Bakers Creek, Broward, and Florida Copena types. Points
of these types would thus seem to date primarily to the Middle
and early Late Woodland periods.
Identifying variation in hafted biface function through
an analysis of the types represented in Blocks A and D is
somewhat difficult. Again, one change is clear; as noted
above, Late Woodland/Mississippian triangulars are the only
type that consistently meets all three criteria for classification
as arrow points, and this type is only represented in Block D.
This suggests the introduction of a new, or at least improved,
bow and arrow technology during the late or terminal Late
Woodland. As noted above, however, several other types
also meet the criteria for arrows, albeit with less consistency.
With these, the patterns are less clear. A few of these types-
New Market, Swannanoa, and Tampa-increase in relative
frequency through time from Block A to Block D. However,
several other types that meet the classification as arrows in at
least some cases (Spike (Variety 1), Bradford, Mountain Fork,
and Weeden Island Straight Stemmed) show no such increase,
or are not represented at all in the Block D assemblage.
The contrasts between the two assemblages are more
apparent in a comparison of clusters. Here, based on the
analyses presented above, we use a combined morphological
and functional approach that recognizes four clusters: small
triangular (arrows), proximally contracting (mostly darts,
some possibly used as arrows), proximally expanding (mostly
darts, rarely used as arrows), and large triangulars (darts).
Figure 13 compares the relative frequencies of these four
clusters in Blocks A and D. Points of the small triangular
cluster increase from zero in Block A to 13 percent in Block
D, again consistent with the notion of a significant change in
hunting technology involving more efficient arrows. Points of
the proximally contracting cluster, which our analysis suggest
may also have been used as arrows in some cases, increase
markedly in relative frequency. On the other hand, there is
a pronounced decline in the relative frequency of points of
the proximally expanding cluster, which seem to have rarely
been used as arrows. Large triangulars, which our analysis
suggests functioned only as darts, are unrepresented in either
It is clear from the comparison of both types and
clusters that there were significant changes in hafted biface
technology in the transition between the early/middle Late
Woodland occupation of Block A and the late/terminal Late
Woodland habitation of Block D. Specifically, the comparison

Pluckhahn and Norman

The Florida Anthropologist 2011 Vol. 64(3-4)

suggests that the Block D occupation was coincident with
the introduction of new, or at least much improved, arrow
technology at Kolomoki. This new or improved technology
was not adopted until around A.D. 750 at Kolomoki and-
at least judging from the low relative frequency of small
triangular points-for the next 50-100 years remained a
relatively minor addition to the long-established tradition of
spear-thrown darts and generalized cutting tools.
Judging from work elsewhere in the region, households at
Kolomoki appear to have been relatively slow and reluctant in
adopting improved bow and arrow technology. Milanich and
colleagues (1997:188) argue that arrow points (resembling
those in Block D) were present at McKeithen by A.D.
500-several centuries earlier than the Block D occupation.
The identification of a triangular arrow point in the bone of
a woman buried on top of one of the mounds at McKeithen
provides evidence that these arrow points were not used solely
for hunting game.
Various authors have discussed the advantages of the
bow and arrow for hunting. Relative to the spearthrower, the
bow and arrow is generally credited with improved hunting
efficiency owing to its greater range, velocity, and accuracy
(Blitz 1993; Muller 1997:129; Seeman 1992:42; but see
Shott 1993). Given the apparent superiority of the bow and
arrow, why were households at Kolomoki slow to adopt the
new technology? Seeman (1992:42) notes that there are costs
associated with bow and arrows relative to spearthrowers;
they have more component parts, require a wider range of
materials to manufacture, require more skill to produce, and
have higher maintenance costs (due primarily to the higher
rate of arrow loss). None of these costs precluded the rapid
adoption of the bow and arrow in most areas of eastern North
America by around A.D. 700, however (Blitz 1988; McElrath
et al. 2000:5; Nassaney and Pyle 1999; Shott 1993).
Rarely considered in previous discussions of the adoption
of the bow and arrow are the potential social costs of this new
technology for communally-organized societies. For the Great
Basin, Bettinger (1999) has argued that the introduction of the
bow and arrow around 1500 BP had dramatic and far-reaching
effects on the organization of production. Specifically, he
argues that the greater accuracy of the bow and the ability it
conferred to hunters to stay more still during release facilitated
individual hunting and negated the advantages of hunting in
cooperative groups. Bettinger further proposes that while
larger game may still have been shared, the higher returns on
individual hunting would have reduced the social pressures
to share less valued resources, including plants. Hence, "the
social relations of production were transformed from a system
in which all resources were treated as public goods, to one in
which some resources, notably plant resources...were regarded
as private property" (Bettinger 1999:73).
There is evidence for such a transformation from public to
private goods during the Late Woodland period at Kolomoki,
around the time small triangular arrow points appear in the
archaeological record. The faunal assemblage from the early
Late Woodland archaeological household in Block A displays
high minimum number of individuals (MNI) for white-

tailed deer-particularly the meaty cuts. Because most of
the assemblage was recovered from the fill of the house pit,
which appeared to have been deposited rapidly, Pluckhahn et
al. 2006) suggest that the assemblage represents one or two
episodes of communal hunting and small-scale feasting. Also
in keeping with the notion that production and consumption
were publicly organized, this household included very few
storage pits, all of which were small and located external to
the structure.
The MNI for white-tailed deer is similarly high for the
late/terminal Late Woodland household in Block D, but here
the faunal remains are dispersed across a number of features
and a longer time interval, consistent with more individual
hunting (Pluckhahn 2011). At the same time, there appears
to have been a dramatic increase in storage; pits in Block D
are more numerous, much larger on average, and located both
within and outside the structure.
We suggest that the social costs associated with the
adoption of the bow and arrow may have discouraged the
adoption ofthis technology at Kolomoki while supra-household
institutions were still strong, in the Middle and early Late
Woodland periods. However, as community-level structures
waned and households began to assert greater autonomy over
production and consumption during the late/terminal Late
Woodland, the bow would have been an attractive option for
households faced with provisioning themselves in the absence
of supra-household task groups.
It is worth emphasizing here that we are reversing the
order of causality in the relationship between the bow and
arrow and household autonomy as discussed by most previous
authors (e.g., Muller 1997:127). Given that arrows form a
decided minority of the points in Block D, even while there is
evidence for increased household autonomy in other aspects of
material culture (from storage to ceramics) (Pluckhahn 2011),
it would appear to us that households chose to adopt the new
technology only after they had achieved greater independence
from the supra-household institutions that bound them together
in the Middle and early Late Woodland periods.


Nassaney and Pyle (1999:244) have argued that "...there is
significant historical variation in the timing, rate, and direction
of the transmission of the bow and arrow" in eastern North
America. To address the meaning of this variation, they call
for additional quantitative studies set within comparative and
historical contexts (Nassaney and Pyle 1999:260). To date,
however, such studies have been slow in coming, at least for
the Woodland societies of the Gulf Coast.
There are probably many reasons for this. First, there
appear to be relatively few large and well-provenienced
Woodland period hafted biface assemblages from the region,
or at least few that are well-reported. In addition, hafted
bifaces-and flaked stone assemblages in general-have been
overshadowed by ceramics in the excavation reports of some
of the most prominent Woodland sites in the region (e.g.,
Milanich et al. 1997; Sears 1956). As we suggest in this paper,

The Florida Anthropologist

2011 Vol. 64(3-4)

Woodland Hafted Bifaces

another impeding factor may be the diversity of hated biface
typologies, which makes comparative analyses difficult.
The Kolomoki assemblage represents one of the largest
collections of Middle and Late Woodland hafted bifaces from a
single site in the Southeast. We hope our classification system-
--while far from perfect---may serve as a guide to bring some
consistency to hated biface nomenclature for Kolomoki and
the surrounding area. We need more contextual comparative
studies from the Gulf Coast to identify the timing, tempo, and
context of changes in Woodland hated biface technology,
particularly the important transition to arrow points.


The hated bifaces described in this paper are curated
at the University of Georgia Laboratory of Archaeology
in Athens. This paper benefitted from the comments and
suggestions of John Whatley, Lloyd Schroeder, and two
anonymous reviewers.

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2011 Vol. 64(3-4)