Redefining Safety Harbor


Material Information

Redefining Safety Harbor late prehistoricprotohistoric archaeology in west peninsular Florida
Physical Description:
2 v. (xxiv, 651 leaves) : ill. ; 28 cm.
Mitchem, Jeffrey McClain, 1955- ( Dissertant )
Milanich, Jerald T. ( Thesis advisor )
Gannon, Michael V. ( Reviewer )
Marquardt, William H. ( Reviewer )
Rice, Prudence M. ( Reviewer )
Wing, Elizabeth S. ( Reviewer )
University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Excavations (Archaeology) -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Indians of North America -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Antiquities -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Anthropology thesis Ph. D   ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Anthropology -- UF   ( lcsh )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Florida -- Citrus County


This study presents new data and a redefinition of the late prehistoric and postcontact Safety Harbor archaeological culture of west peninsular Florida. The Indians of this area were the first aborigines contacted by the early sixteenth century Spanish expeditions of Panfilo de Narvaez and Hernando de Soto. A complete review of known Safety Harbor sites is presented, along with descriptions and interpretations of previously undescribed collections, both publicly and privately owned. A description of the results of three field seasons of excavation at the Tatham Mound in Citrus County, Florida, is then presented. This previously undisturbed site yielded abundant evidence of early sixteenth century Spanish contact, including evidence of a probably epidemic and at least two cut human bones indicating violent confrontations with Spanish explorers. Several hundred primary and secondary human burials were recovered. The recovery of dozens of broken pottery vessels and many Busycon shell cups o the mound surface indicated that black drink rituals had been carried out prior to the mound's abandonment. The lower stratum of the mound yielded a small number of precontact burials accompanied by copper objects, ground and polished stone celts, galena, and abundant shell beads. The circumstances of burial suggest that these were high status individuals. Using the newly-obtained data, a provisional phase sequence for Safety Harbor is presented. Four phases are proposed: Englewood (A.D. 900-1000); Pinellas (A. D. 1000-1500); Tatham (A. D. 1500-1567); and Bayview (A. D. 1567-1725). Five regional variants of Safety Harbor are also proposed: Northern; Circum-Tampa Bay; Manasota; Inland; and South Florida. These units are proposed to aid in clarifying the spatial and temporal relationships between Safety Harbor groups and other cultures in Florida and southeastern North America.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1989.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 606-650).
General Note:
General Note:
Statement of Responsibility:
by Jeffrey McClain Mitchem.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 21169237
System ID:

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
    Table of Contents
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
    List of Tables
        Page xiv
        Page xv
        Page xvi
        Page xvii
    List of Figures
        Page xviii
        Page xix
        Page xx
    Key to abbreviations
        Page xxi
        Page xxii
        Page xxiii
        Page xxiv
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Previous archaeological research on Safety Harbor
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Description of Sites
            Page 10
            Dixie and Levy Counties
                Page 10
                Page 11
                Page 12
                Page 13
                Page 14
            Citrus County
                Page 15
                Page 16
                Page 17
                Page 18
                Page 19
                Page 20
                Page 21
                Page 22
                Page 23
                Page 24
                Page 25
                Page 26
            Lake County
                Page 27
                Page 28
                Page 29
                Page 30
            Orange County
                Page 31
                Page 32
                Page 33
                Page 34
                Page 35
                Page 36
                Page 37
            Hernando County
                Page 38
                Page 39
                Page 40
                Page 41
                Page 42
                Page 43
            Pasco County
                Page 44
                Page 45
                Page 46
                Page 47
                Page 48
            Pinellas County
                Page 49
                Page 50
                Page 51
                Page 52
                Page 53
                Page 54
                Page 55
                Page 56
                Page 57
                Page 58
                Page 59
                Page 60
                Page 61
                Page 62
                Page 63
                Page 64
                Page 65
                Page 66
                Page 67
                Page 68
                Page 69
                Page 70
                Page 71
                Page 72
                Page 73
                Page 74
                Page 75
                Page 76
                Page 77
                Page 78
                Page 79
                Page 80
                Page 81
                Page 82
                Page 83
                Page 84
                Page 85
                Page 86
                Page 87
                Page 88
                Page 89
                Page 90
                Page 91
                Page 92
                Page 93
                Page 94
                Page 95
                Page 96
            Hillsborough County
                Page 97
                Page 98
                Page 99
                Page 100
                Page 101
                Page 102
                Page 103
                Page 104
                Page 105
                Page 106
                Page 107
                Page 108
                Page 109
                Page 110
                Page 111
                Page 112
                Page 113
                Page 114
                Page 115
                Page 116
                Page 117
                Page 118
                Page 119
                Page 120
                Page 121
                Page 122
                Page 123
                Page 124
                Page 125
                Page 126
                Page 127
                Page 128
                Page 129
                Page 130
                Page 131
                Page 132
                Page 133
                Page 134
                Page 135
                Page 136
            Polk County
                Page 137
                Page 138
                Page 139
                Page 140
                Page 141
                Page 142
                Page 143
                Page 144
                Page 145
                Page 146
            Manatee County
                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
                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
                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
            Hardee County
                Page 202
                Page 203
                Page 204
                Page 205
                Page 206
            DeSoto County
                Page 207
                Page 208
                Page 209
                Page 210
                Page 211
                Page 212
            Sarasota County
                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
            Charlotte County
                Page 231
                Page 232
                Page 233
                Page 234
                Page 235
                Page 236
                Page 237
                Page 238
                Page 239
                Page 240
                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
            Lee County
                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
                Page 275
                Page 276
                Page 277
                Page 278
                Page 279
                Page 280
                Page 281
                Page 282
                Page 283
                Page 284
                Page 285
                Page 286
            Collier County
                Page 287
                Page 288
                Page 289
                Page 290
                Page 291
                Page 292
                Page 293
                Page 294
                Page 295
                Page 296
                Page 297
                Page 298
            Other counties
                Page 299
                Page 300
                Page 301
                Page 302
                Page 303
        Discussion of known sites
            Page 304
            Page 305
    Tatham Mound: a case study of Spanish/Indian contact
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
        First field season
            Page 312
            Page 313
            Page 314
            Page 315
            Page 316
            Page 317
            Page 318
            Page 319
            Page 320
            Page 321
            Page 322
            Page 323
            Page 324
            Page 325
            Page 326
        Second field season
            Page 327
            Page 328
            Page 329
            Page 330
            Page 331
            Page 332
            Page 333
            Page 334
            Page 335
            Page 336
            Page 337
            Page 338
            Page 339
            Page 340
            Page 341
        Third field season
            Page 342
            Page 343
            Page 344
            Page 345
            Page 346
            Page 347
            Page 348
            Page 349
            Page 350
            Page 351
        Summary of Tatham Mound excavation data
            Page 352
            Page 353
            Page 354
            Page 355
            Page 356
            Page 357
            Page 358
            Page 359
            Page 360
            Page 361
            Page 362
            Page 363
            Page 364
            Page 365
            Page 366
            Page 367
            Page 368
            Page 369
            Page 370
            Page 371
            Page 372
            Page 373
            Page 374
            Page 375
            Page 376
            Page 377
            Page 378
            Page 379
            Page 380
            Page 381
            Page 382
            Page 383
            Page 384
            Page 385
            Page 386
            Page 387
            Page 388
            Page 389
            Page 390
            Page 391
            Page 392
            Page 393
            Page 394
            Page 395
            Page 396
            Page 397
            Page 398
            Page 399
            Page 400
            Page 401
            Page 402
            Page 403
            Page 404
            Page 405
            Page 406
            Page 407
            Page 408
            Page 409
            Page 410
            Page 411
            Page 412
            Page 413
            Page 414
            Page 415
            Page 416
            Page 417
            Page 418
            Page 419
            Page 420
            Page 421
            Page 422
            Page 423
            Page 424
            Page 425
            Page 426
            Page 427
            Page 428
            Page 429
            Page 430
            Page 431
            Page 432
            Page 433
            Page 434
            Page 435
            Page 436
            Page 437
            Page 438
            Page 439
            Page 440
            Page 441
            Page 442
            Page 443
            Page 444
            Page 445
            Page 446
            Page 447
            Page 448
            Page 449
            Page 450
            Page 451
            Page 452
            Page 453
            Page 454
            Page 455
            Page 456
            Page 457
            Page 458
            Page 459
            Page 460
            Page 461
            Page 462
            Page 463
            Page 464
            Page 465
            Page 466
            Page 467
        Mortuary practices and burial associations
            Page 468
            Page 469
            Page 470
            Page 471
            Page 472
            Page 473
            Page 474
            Page 475
            Page 476
            Page 477
            Page 478
            Page 479
            Page 480
            Page 481
            Page 482
            Page 483
            Page 484
            Page 485
            Page 486
            Page 487
            Page 488
            Page 489
            Page 490
            Page 491
            Page 492
            Page 493
            Page 494
            Page 495
            Page 496
            Page 497
        Ancillary studies
            Page 498
            Page 499
            Page 500
            Page 501
            Page 502
            Page 503
        Stratigraphic data
            Page 504
            Page 505
            Page 506
            Page 507
            Page 508
        Dating methods and results
            Page 509
            Page 510
            Page 511
            Page 512
            Page 513
            Page 514
            Page 515
            Page 516
            Page 517
            Page 518
            Page 519
            Page 520
            Page 521
            Page 522
            Page 523
            Page 524
            Page 525
            Page 526
            Page 527
            Page 528
            Page 529
            Page 530
            Page 531
            Page 532
            Page 533
            Page 534
            Page 535
            Page 536
            Page 537
            Page 538
            Page 539
            Page 540
            Page 541
            Page 542
            Page 543
            Page 544
            Page 545
            Page 546
            Page 547
            Page 548
            Page 549
    Safety Harbor: a culture in west peninsular Florida
        Page 550
        Page 551
        Page 552
        Spatial-temporal units
            Page 553
            Page 554
            Page 555
            Page 556
            Page 557
            Page 558
            Page 559
            Page 560
            Page 561
            Page 562
            Page 563
            Page 564
            Page 565
            Page 566
            Page 567
            Page 568
            Page 569
            Page 570
            Page 571
            Page 572
            Page 573
            Page 574
            Page 575
            Page 576
            Page 577
            Page 578
        Non-ceramic aboriginal artifacts
            Page 579
            Page 580
            Page 581
            Page 582
        Site types and settlement patterns
            Page 583
            Page 584
            Page 585
        Subsistence information
            Page 586
            Page 587
        Mortuary practices
            Page 588
            Page 589
            Page 590
            Page 591
            Page 592
            Page 593
        Sociopolitical organization
            Page 594
            Page 595
            Page 596
            Page 597
            Page 598
            Page 599
        Directions for future research
            Page 600
            Page 601
            Page 602
            Page 603
            Page 604
            Page 605
        Page 606
        Page 607
        Page 608
        Page 609
        Page 610
        Page 611
        Page 612
        Page 613
        Page 614
        Page 615
        Page 616
        Page 617
        Page 618
        Page 619
        Page 620
        Page 621
        Page 622
        Page 623
        Page 624
        Page 625
        Page 626
        Page 627
        Page 628
        Page 629
        Page 630
        Page 631
        Page 632
        Page 633
        Page 634
        Page 635
        Page 636
        Page 637
        Page 638
        Page 639
        Page 640
        Page 641
        Page 642
        Page 643
        Page 644
        Page 645
        Page 646
        Page 647
        Page 648
        Page 649
        Page 650
    Biographical sketch
        Page 651
        Page 652
        Page 653
Full Text
August 2007

Internet Distribution Consent Agreement

In reference to the following dissertation:

Author: Jeffrey McClain Mitchem

Redefining Safety Harbor: Late Prehistoric/Protohistoric
Archaeology in West Peninsular Florida.

Publication Date: May, 1989

I, Jeffrey McClain Mitchem, as copyright holder for the aforementioned dissertation,
hereby grant specific and limited archive and distribution rights to the Board of Trustees
of the University of Florida and its agents. I authorize the University of Florida to digitize
and distribute the dissertation described above for nonprofit, educational purposes via
the Internet or successive technologies.

This is a non-exclusive grant of permissions for specific off-line and on-line uses for an
indefinite term. Off-line uses shall be limited to those specifically allowed by "Fair Use"
as proscribed by the terms of United States copyright legislation (cf, Title 17, U.S. Code)
as well as to the maintenance and preservation of a digital archive copy. Digitization
allows the University of Florida to generate image- and text-based versions as
appropriate and to provide and enhance access using search software.

This grant of permissions prohibits use of the digitized versions for commercial use or

g re oCopyright Holder

Jeffrey McClain Mitchem
Printed or Typed Name of Copyright Holder/Licensee

P 0 Box 241, Parkin AR 72373-0241
Printed or Typed Address of Copyright Holder/Licensee

(870) 755-2119
Printed or Typed phone number and email address of Copyright Holder/Licensee

September 6, 2007
Date of Signature

Return this form to: Cathy Martyniak
Preservation Dept.,
University of Florida Libraries
P.O. Box 117007
Gainesville, FL 32611-7007







Copyright 1989


Jeffrey McClain Mitchem


Many people have helped me during this endeavor.

First, I must thank those individuals who read drafts of

Chapter 2 and/or provided me with unpublished

information on Safety Harbor sites. The contributions

of these people were indispensable, and I am extremely

grateful. They are Marion Almy, Walter Askew, Bob

Austin, Jan Ballo, John Beriault, Laura Branstetter,

Bill Burger, Mark Burnett, Bill Dayton, Joan Deming,

Albert Goodyear, Jennifer Hamilton, Laura Kammerer, Paul

Lien, George Luer, Bill Marquardt, Gus Nelson, Don Ness,

Harry Piper, Bruce Smith, Marion Smith, and Ray

Williams. Of these, I must single out Bob Austin, Bill

Burger, and George Luer for truly going way beyond

professional courtesy in providing essential data.

The Tatham Mound project has been a fantastic and

unforgettable experience. When we began working there,

I never dreamed that it would contain such interesting

and scientifically valuable objects and information. I

owe a great debt of gratitude to my colleague Brent

Weisman, who first discovered the site and co-directed


the initial excavations there. Don Sheppard was also

instrumental in organizing and coordinating many of the

early aspects of the project. I also want to thank all

of the students who participated in the three field

schools at the site, sometimes under very adverse

conditions. John Marron served admirably as field

assistant during the third season. Dale Hutchinson, the

project osteologist during the second and third seasons,

has become a close friend and sounding board for ideas

and potential interpretations of the site data. It has

been a pleasure to collaborate with such a scholar. I

look forward with anticipation to his dissertation on

the Tatham skeletal remains.

The many members of the Withlacoochee River

Archaeology Council who volunteered to help with

excavation and laboratory work on the Tatham project

were indispensable. Many of these people gave up

weekends and got up at painfully early hours to

participate. Close to 100 WRAC members volunteered on

the project, and I want to express my heartfelt thanks.

I must single out four WRAC members who faithfully

showed up: George Hamilton, Cheryl Jacob, Jean Kratzer,

and Jack Quinn.

I gratefully acknowledge the Boy Scouts of America,

including Directors George Preston and Bill Ort, for

allowing us to work at Tatham, and for providing

accommodations and laboratory space on their property.

Paul Anderson, the ranger for the McGregor Smith Scout

Reservation, helped out in many ways, especially with

logistical and transportation problems. Paul and his

wife, Barbie, took on many of the tasks of scheduling

volunteers and relaying messages to us during the

fieldwork. Paul also helped us out of several bad

situations, most involving uncooperative vehicles or

septic tanks. I think I speak for the entire crew when

I express great thanks to Paul.

Funding for the Tatham project and other aspects of

my research has come from several sources. The great

majority was voluntarily provided by a single

individual, who wishes to remain anonymous at present.

His generous support of the Tatham project resulted in

the most complete and best-documented body of data from

any known Safety Harbor site. Words cannot adequately

express my gratitude, but I hope that this dissertation

will indicate that the funds were well spent.

Additional support was provided by the Division of

Parks and Recreation, Florida Department of Natural

Resources (four grants to Jerald Milanich for research

on the route of Hernando de Soto); the Division of

Historical Resources, Florida Department of State

(funded the project which resulted in the initial

discovery of the Tatham Mound); the Division of

Sponsored Research, University of Florida (provided a

graduate assistantship); the Institute for Early Contact

Period Studies, University of Florida (provided a

graduate assistantship and other funding); the

Department of Anthropology, University of Florida

(awarded a Charles H. Fairbanks Scholarship); the Tinker

Foundation (awarded a field research grant for travel to

Spain, administered by the Center for Latin American

Studies, University of Florida); the Department of

Anthropology, University of Illinois (provided support

to Dale Hutchinson for analysis and transportation of

collections); and the Bead Society (awarded a grant to

study the Spanish beads). Support in the form of

equipment, laboratory space, and facilities was provided

by the Anthropology Departments of the Florida Museum of

Natural History (FMNH) and the University of Florida.

Many curators and staff members of the FMNH and

students helped with the Tatham project. These include

Nancy Aparicio, Kurt Auffenberg, Dana Austin, Gianna

Browne, Ed Chaney, Ann Cordell, Kathleen Deagan, David

Hall, Ken Johnson, Jon Leader, Elise LeCompte, Robert

LeCompte, William Maples, Mondi Mason, Ed Napoleon, Lee

Newsom, Claudine Payne, Ann Poulos, Guy Prentice, Donna

Ruhl, Mike Russo, Fred Thompson, and Maurice Williams.

I thank them for their help. A special word of thanks

is due to Dara Silverberg.

Bunny Stafford of the UF Institute of Food and

Agricultural Sciences took most of the photographs

included in this study. A number of people at various

institutions also provided help in different forms, and

I would like to acknowledge their help. They are

Jeffrey P. Brain (Peabody Museum, Harvard University);

Bruce Chappell (P. K. Yonge Library, UF); Cheryl P.

Claassen (Appalachian State University); Charles Ewen,

Calvin Jones, John Scarry, Margie Scarry, Jim Miller,

Herb Bump, Jamie Levy, and David Muncher (Division of

Historical Resources, Florida Department of State);

Christopher S. Peebles (Indiana University); T. M.

Hamilton (Miami, Missouri); Thomas F. Kehoe and Claudia

L. Jacobson (Milwaukee Public Museum); George Hamell

(New York State Museum); Clark Larsen (Northern Illinois

University); Alex Lodding (Chalmers Institute of

Technology, G6teborg); Fernando Martin (Real Armeria,

Madrid); Barbara Purdy (UF Anthropology Department);

Betsy Reitz and Marvin Smith (University of Georgia);

Sargento Major Ramon Sanchez Serantes (Museo del

Ejdrcito, Madrid); William L. Stern (UF Botany


Department); Douglas Ubelaker (Smithsonian Institution);

and Bradley Vierra (University of New Mexico).

Each of the members of my doctoral committee has

provided valuable input into my training and into this

dissertation. William Marquardt provided me with much

unpublished information on his work in southwest

Florida, and discussions with him have aided my attempts

to make sense of the complex cultural interactions going

on in that area during the late prehistoric period.

Prudence Rice first introduced me to the scientific

aspects of technological analysis of archaeological

ceramics. Her training has enabled me to investigate

many questions concerning Safety Harbor that otherwise

would have been overlooked. Pru has also provided me

with good advice on matters ranging from job

applications to the writing of grant proposals. Her

constructive comments on my writing have improved many

past papers, as well as this one. She also makes

fantastic chocolate chip cookies.

Elizabeth Wing introduced me to zooarchaeology, and

even though I chose not to pursue this avenue full time,

I can tell a fish bone from a bird or mammal., something

which I could not do previously. In fact, I probably

learned more from Liz's zooarchaeology course than from


any other course in my college career. She is also the

only person I've ever known who had a pet water buffalo.

At the oral portion of my qualifying examination,

Michael Gannon asked me the only question I was unable

to answer. He asked on what evidence I based the claim

that the Tocobaga Indians (a historic group near Tampa

Bay) were a Timucuan group. I didn't have an answer,

but in trying to find out, I came across many other

obscure facts which have helped me interpret some of the

Safety Harbor sites in that area. I have also benefited

from attending and participating in several conferences

sponsored by Dr. Gannon through the Institute for Early

Contact Period Studies.

The chairman of my doctoral committee is Jerald

Milanich. Since 1974, when I took my first anthropology

course from him, Jerry has served as my inspiration and

mentor in archaeology. Though he probably does not

remember, it was he who talked me into majoring in

anthropology as an undergraduate. My first field

experience was under his tutelage in 1976. While I was

working on my Master's degree at the University of South

Florida, I mentioned him so much that some fellow

students began calling me "Little Milanich."

It was Jerry who talked me into pursuing a doctoral

degree, and it was under his direction that I supervised

the Tatham excavations. His style of teaching is to

give students free rein, if they wish. I thrived in

this environment, and Jerry has always been willing to

discuss any problems, questions, or any other aspect of

research about which I was unsure. He also made sure

that I was covered financially, and he lavished funds on

me which allowed me to travel to museums and conferences

to study collections and interact with colleagues. .For

all of this, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. It has

been good to be one of "Jerry's Kids."

I also want to express my thanks to Kathleen A.

Deagan, who was originally a member of my committee, but

her busy research schedule conflicted with my timetable

for completion. She provided thoughtful comments on my

initial proposal, and has helped me to understand many

aspects of early Spanish/Indian contact.

I must also acknowledge the support of my

relatives, who have supported much of my education, and

helped me through many rough situations. Their

patience, love, and support have sustained me, and it is

impossible to repay them. Finally, I thank Bonnie

McEwan, who understands what it is like to complete a

doctorate, and who is a beautiful woman and an excellent

scientist. Her love and support have made it all




ACKNOWLEDGMENTS................................... iii

LIST OF TABLES.................................... xiv

LIST OF FIGURES.....................................xviii

KEY TO ABBREVIATIONS............................... xxi

ABSTRACT.............................................. xxiii


1 INTRODUCTION........................................... 1

HARBOR....................................... 8

Description of ites.......................... 10
Dixie and Levy Counties.................... 10
Citrus County....... ....... ................. 15
Lake County................................. 27
Orange County.............................. 31
Hernando County.. ......................... 38
Pasco County.. ............................. 44
Pinellas County ................... ........ 49
Hillsborough County....................... 97
Polk County........................ ..... .... 137
Manatee County.............................. 147
Hardee County.............................. 202
DeSoto County.............................. 207
Sarasota County............................ 213
Charlotte County .......................... 231
Lee County ............................... 257
Collier County............................. 287
Other Counties............................. 299
Discussion of Known Sites..................... 304

SPANISH/INDIAN CONTACT .................... 306

First Field Season........................... 312
Research Design and Methodology............ 312
Description of Results..................... 317
Preliminary Interpretations................ 321
Second Field Season.......................... 327
Research Design and Methodology............. 327
Description of Results.................... 332
Preliminary Interpretations............... 336
Third Field Season........................... 342
Research Design and Methodology............ 342
Description of Results..................... 346
Summary of Tatham Mound Excavation Data....... 352
Ceramics ............ ................. ..... 352
Lithic Artifacts................................ 393
Shell ..................................... 402
Minerals and Miscellaneous Artifacts....... 408
Faunal Remains ............... .......... 416
Precontact Copper Artifacts ............... 419
European Artifacts.......................... 434
Seminole period or later.................. 434
Spanish glass beads...................... 436
European metal artifacts................. 452
Mortuary Practices and Burial Associations... 468
Mortuary Practices......................... 468
Burial Associations ....................... 474
Precontact stratum....................... 474
Postcontact stratum..................... 483
Cut bones.............. .................. 495
Ancillary Studies............................ 498
Native Copper Sourcing..................... 498
Postcontact Metal..... .................. 499
Shell Sourcing ............................ 499
Botanical Remains ......................... 500
Plant fibers .................. .......... 500
Carbonized and "fossilized" seeds........ 501
Preserved wood and bark.................. 502
Charred wood ........................... 502
Soil Analyses............................ 503
Stratigraphic Data........................... 504
Dating Methods and Results................... 509
Artifact Associations..................... 509
Chronometric Dates......................... 519
Interpretations............................. 527
Sequence of Events......................... 528
Interaction with Other Aboriginal
Cultures................................. 532


Spanish/Indian Contact at the Tatham
Mound...................................... 537
The Tatham Mound in the Context of
Safety Harbor........................... 545

FLORIDA...................................... 550

Spatial-Temporal Units....................... 553
Phase Definition.......................... 557
Definition of Regional Variants............ 567
Non-Ceramic Aboriginal Artifacts............. 579
Site Types and Settlement Patterns............ 583
Subsistence Information...................... 586
Mortuary Practices.......................... 588
Sociopolitical Organization.................. 594
Directions for Future Research............... 600

REFERENCES..... ................... .............. ........ 606

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH........................................ 651




1 Artifacts from Duval Island (8Ci5) in FMNH..... 19

2 Artifacts from Tiger Tail Bay Midden (8Cil36).. 23

3 Artifacts from an Unrecorded Shell Midden on
the Chassahowitzka River..................... 28

4 Artifacts from 80rl2 in FMNH................... 34

5 Artifacts from the Palm Grove Gardens Site
(8He8) in FMNH............................... 40

6 European Artifacts from the Safety Harbor
Site (8Pi2) .......... .............. ......... 54

7 Beads Collected from S. T. Walker's Spoil at
the Bayview Mound (8Pi7) ..................... 62

8 European Artifacts from the Seven Oaks Site
(8Pi8) in FMNH. ............................. 65

9 European Artifacts from the Bayview/Seven
Oaks Mound (8Pi7/8Pi8) Displayed in the
Oldsmar Museum............................... 71

10 Artifacts from the Booth Point Site (8Pi36)
in FMNH..................................... 81

11 Glass Beads from the Picnic Mound (8Hi3) in
the Simpson Collection, FMNH................. 104

12 Artifacts from Mill Point 1 (8Hil6) in FMNH.... 118

13 Artifacts from Old Shell Point (8Hi31)
in FMNH. .... .... ........................... 121

14 Artifacts from the Gardensville Mound (8Hi37)
in FMNH. ..................................... 122


15 Artifacts from the De Shone Place Site (8Hi74)
in FMNH .................................... 123

16 Artifacts from the T. L. Barker Site (8Hi79)
in FMNH ...................................... 125

17 Artifacts from the Elsberry Site (8Hil01)
in FMNH..................................... 127

18 Artifacts from the Henriquez Mound (8Hi1077)
in UMMA...................................... 131

19 Ceramics from Two Sites near Tampa Bay
in NMNH ..................................... 135

20 Artifacts from Parrish Mound #3 (8Ma3)
in FMNH. ........... ..................... 156

21 Artifacts from the Harbor Key Platform Mound
(8Ma13) in FMNH ............................. 164

22 Artifacts from the Snead Island I Site
(8Mal8) in FMNH.. ........................... 170

23 Artifacts from the Feeney Site (8Ma21)
in FMNH ........................................ 173

24 Artifacts from the Rye Bridge Mound (8Ma715)
in SFM ..... ...... ........................ 195

25 European Beads in SFM from an Unknown Manatee
County Site............. ................ ... 198

26 Glass Beads in a Private Collection from the
Myakka Area, Southeastern Manatee County..... 200

27 Artifacts from the Bostwick Mound (8Hr52)
at USF......................................... 205

28 Artifacts from the Weber Burial Mound (8So20)
in FMNH..................................... 224

29 A Collection from Cayo Pelau (8Chl)............. 234

30 A Private Collection of European Material
from Cayo Pelau (8Chl)....................... 236

31 Goggin's Ceramic Collection from Big Mound
Key (8Chl0) ..... ......... .. ...... ....... 241

32 Partial List of Bullen and Bullen's Collection
from Big Mound Key (8Chl0) in FMNH........... 242

33 Goggin's Collection from 8Ch31................. 246

34 Ceramics from the Cape Haze Site (8Ch48)........ 249

35 Artifacts from the Burial Area at the Dunwody
Site (8Ch61) ................................. 251

36 Artifacts from the Shell Ridge Area of the
Dunwody Site (8Ch61) ....................... 252

37 Artifacts from Mound Key (8LL2) at UPM......... 262

38 Metal Artifacts Attributed to Punta Rassa
(8LL7) in MAI, but Probably from 8LL2........ 267

39 Ceramics in a Collection from the Pineland
Burial Mound .......................... ....... 275

40 Artifacts in a Private Collection from the
Pineland Burial Mound........................ 276

41 Artifacts in FMNH from Excavation and Surface
Collection at the Indian Field Site (8LL39).. 278

42 Artifacts Recovered from Burials in the Main
Portion of the Pine Island 8 Site (8LL40)
by C. B. Moore in 1904....................... 282

43 European Beads in a Private Collection from
the Galt Island Burial Mound (8LL81)......... 285

44 Ceramics from the Shell Point Burial Mound,
Lee County................................... 287

45 Artifacts Removed from the Gordon's Pass Sand
Mound/Kirkland Mound (8Cr57)................. 292

46 European Artifacts in a Collection from the
Gordon's Pass Sand Mound/Kirkland
Mound (8Cr57) .......... ........ .......... 293

47 Ceramics from the Lake Trafford Burial Mound
(8Cr80) in YPM................................ 298

48 Ceramics from the Tatham Mound................. 353


49 Ceramic Types Recovered from Precontact and
Postcontact Strata in the Tatham Mound....... 392

50 Lithic Artifacts from the Tatham Mound......... 394

51 Shell Artifacts from the Tatham Mound.......... 403

52 Minerals and Miscellaneous Artifacts from
the Tatham Mound............................ 409

53 Faunal Remains from the Tatham Mound............ 417

54 Native Copper Artifacts from the Precontact
Stratum of the Tatham Mound.................. 420

55 Seminole and Later Material from the
Tatham Mound................................. 435

56 Spanish Glass Beads from the Tatham Mound...... 437

57 European (Pre-Seminole) Metal Artifacts
from the Tatham Mound....................... 453

58 Glass Bead Inter-Site Comparisons.............. 513

59 Uncorrected Radiocarbon Dates from the
Tatham Mound............... .................. 521

60 Calibrated Ages of Radiocarbon Samples from
the Tatham Mound ............................. 522




1 Map of Peninsular Florida Showing Pertinent
Counties ................ .................... 9

2 Map of Florida Showing the Location of the
Tatham Mound ................................ 307

3 Topographic Map of the Tatham Mound Prior to
Excavation................................. 316

4 Englewood Incised and Sarasota Incised Ceramics
from the Tatham Mound......................... 359

5 Safety Harbor Incised Vessel from the Tatham
Mound ............... ... ................. ... 363

6 Safety Harbor Incised, St. Johns Cob Marked,
and Prairie Cord Marked Vessels from the
Tatham Mound................................. 366

7 Point Washington Incised Vessels and Ground
Stone Celts from the Tatham Mound............ 369

8 St. Johns Dentate Stamped, Sand Tempered Plain,
and St. Johns Plain Ceramics from the Tatham
Mound........................................ 374

9 St. Johns Plain Ceramics from the Tatham
Mound ..................... .................. 378

10 Pasco Plain, St. Johns Plain, and Belle Glade
Plain-Like Ceramics from the Tatham Mound.... 381

11 St. Johns Plain Vessels from the Tatham
Mound................................. ........ 383

12 St. Johns Plain Vessels from the Tatham
Mound....................................... 385

13 St. Johns Check Stamped and St. Johns Plain
Vessels from the Tatham Mound................ 388


14 Reconstructed St. Johns Check Stamped and
Sand Tempered Plain Vessels from the Tatham
Mound.................... .................... 390

15 Pinellas Projectile Points, St. Johns Plain
Vessel, and Large Side-Notched Flaked Blade
from the Tatham Mound........................ 397

16 Quartz Crystal Pendants and Busycon Shell Cups
from the Tatham Mound........................ 401

17 Engraved Bark Object from the Tatham Mound...... 414

18 Radiograph of Circular Copper Plate
(Feature #9) from the Tatham Mound........... 422

19 Copper Plume Ornament (in original matrix)
and Copper Ear Spool from Burial #105........ 425

20 Radiograph of Copper Plume Ornament from
Burial #105.................................. 427

21 Copper-Covered Wooden Baton (in original
matrix) from Burial #109..................... 430

22 Radiograph of Copper-Covered Wooden Baton...... 433

23 Glass and Metal Beads from the Tatham Mound.... 451

24 Silver Celt Effigy Pendant and Drilled Silver
Rod Bead from Burial #2...................... 459

25 Armor Plate and Rolled Iron Bead from
Burial #7 .................................... 463

26 Iron Artifacts from the Tatham Mound........... 467

27 Burial #60 from the Tatham Mound............... 472

28 Shell and Glass Beads with Burials from the
Tatham Mound..................... ........... 477

29 East-West Profile of the Tatham Mound.......... 506

30 North-South Profile of the Tatham Mound......... 507

31 Map Showing Locations of Tatham, Weeki Wachee,
and Ruth Smith Mounds........................ 547


32 Map Showing Extent of the Safety Harbor
Culture Area.................................. 555

33 Map Showing Regional Variants of Safety Harbor
Culture .............. ...... ..... ............. 569





Cal. AD











Anno Domini (refers to dates in the Christian


American Museum of Natural History, New York

Before Christ (refers to dates prior to the

Christian Era)

Before Present (for dating purposes, means

years before A.D. 1950)

Calibrated calendar years (used for reporting

calibrated radiocarbon dates)

Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville

Florida Master Site Files

Florida Park Service

Florida State University, Tallahassee

Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology,

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Museum of the American Indian, Heye

Foundation, New York

Minimum number of individuals

Milwaukee Public Museum

















National Museum of Natural History,

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.

(formerly U. S. National Museum)

Ocmulgee National Monument, Macon, Georgia

R. S. Peabody Foundation, Phillips Academy,

Andover, Massachusetts

Sarasota County Historical Commission

Southeast Archeological Center, National Park

Service, Tallahassee

South Florida Museum, Bradenton

Safety Harbor Area Historical Society


Temple Mound Museum, Fort Walton Beach

University of Florida, Gainesville

University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology,

Ann Arbor

University of Pennsylvania Museum,


University of South Florida, Tampa

Works Progress Administration

Withlacoochee River Archaeology Council

Yale Peabody Museum, New Haven, Connecticut


Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate
School of the University of Florida in Partial
Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of
Doctor of Philosophy



Jeffrey McClain Mitchem

May, 1989

Chairman: Jerald T. Milanich
Major Department: Anthropology

This study presents new data and a redefinition of

the late prehistoric and postcontact Safety Harbor

archaeological culture of west peninsular Florida. The

Indians of this area were the first aborigines contacted

by the early sixteenth century Spanish expeditions of

PAnfilo de NarvAez and Hernando de Soto.

A complete review of known Safety Harbor sites is

presented, along with descriptions and interpretations

of previously undescribed collections, both publicly and

privately owned. A description of the results of three

field seasons of excavation at the Tatham Mound in

Citrus County, Florida, is then presented. This

previously undisturbed site yielded abundant evidence of


early sixteenth century Spanish contact, including

evidence of a probable epidemic and at least two cut

human bones indicating violent confrontations with

Spanish explorers. Several hundred primary and

secondary human burials were recovered. The recovery of

dozens of broken pottery vessels and many Busvcon shell

cups on the mound surface indicated that black drink

rituals had been carried out prior to the mound's


The lower stratum of the mound yielded a small

number of precontact burials accompanied by copper

objects, ground and polished stone celts, galena, and

abundant shell beads. The circumstances of burial

suggest that these were high-status individuals.

Using the newly-obtained data, a provisional phase

sequence for Safety Harbor is presented. Four phases

are proposed: Englewood (A.D. 900-1000); Pinellas (A.D.

1000-1500); Tatham (A.D. 1500-1567); and Bayview (A.D.

1567-1725). Five regional variants of Safety Harbor are

also proposed: Northern; Circum-Tampa Bay; Manasota;

Inland; and South Florida. These units are proposed to

aid in clarifying the spatial and temporal relationships

between Safety Harbor groups and other cultures in

Florida and southeastern North America.



In 1949, Gordon R. Willey published his definition

of the archaeological culture centered around Tampa Bay

in the late prehistoric and early Spanish contact

period. He referred to this as the Safety Harbor

Period, and included descriptions and illustrations of

the artifacts typically found on Safety Harbor sites


His definition has been used as the standard

reference ever since, and no attempts have been made to

revise his criteria to any major extent. Archaeological

research in the intervening four decades, especially

since 1970, has yielded a large data base of information

about Safety Harbor sites. In addition, with the advent

of radiocarbon dating and accurate calibration curves,

it is now possible to demonstrate that the earliest

Safety Harbor sites are much older than the A.D. 1500

suggested by Willey (1949a:488). Studies of artifacts,

especially European artifacts, have resulted in the

ability to date postcontact deposits precisely (Deagan

1987; Smith and Good 1982).


Because of these changes, it is time to take a

critical look at Willey's definition and to update or

alter it to include new data. In this study, a

redefinition of the Safety Harbor Culture is presented,

based on a thorough discussion of all known Safety

Harbor sites. Chapter 2 includes descriptions of many

collections which have never been published, as well as

reinterpretations of previously reported sites. Chapter

3 is a site report on excavations conducted in 1985 and

1986 at the Tatham Mound (number 8Ci203 in the Florida

Master Site Files [FMSF] numbering system), a previously

undisturbed Safety Harbor burial mound that contained

evidence from both precontact and postcontact

occupations. The final chapter presents a redefinition

of Safety Harbor, including a proposed phase sequence

and the identification of regional variants. In this

new definition, Willey's (1949a:470-475) Englewood

Period is subsumed as the first phase of Safety Harbor.

This study should not be considered the final word

on Safety Harbor. As originally conceived, it was to

include a completely revised ceramic classification; an

in-depth consideration of the interaction between Safety

Harbor groups and early Spanish explorers, missionaries,

and colonists; and a greatly expanded consideration of

sociopolitical organization and structure. However, the

volume of previously unpublished data was much greater

than anticipated, and time and manuscript length

constraints prevented a full coverage of all of these

categories. Readers of this work should remember these

factors when judging it. More refinements will be

forthcoming, and the final section of Chapter 4 presents

the topics deemed (by the present author) most important

for future research.

In describing the sites and collections in this

study, Willey's (1949a:472-475, 479-486) definitions of

ceramic types are generally followed. However, a few

minor, but important modifications are necessary.

First, Englewood Plain (1949a:474) is not considered a

valid type, because sand tempered plain wares generally

cannot be distinguished from one another. In this case,

this fact is especially important because the

identification of plain ware as Englewood Plain would be

very significant in terms of chronological


The second modification has already been suggested

by George M. Luer (1985:236). Willey's (1949a:474)

definition of the type Sarasota Incised should be

broadened to include sand tempered paste as well as the

chalky St. Johns paste, since specimens with Sarasota


Incised motifs on sand tempered paste have been


The third modification involves Willey's

(1949a:482) definition of Pinellas Plain. He glossed

over the fact that some sherds of this ware tended to

have laminated, crumbly paste. However, when Pinellas

Plain from the village area at the type site (8Pi2) is

examined, almost all of the sherds have very laminated

paste (Griffin and Bullen 1950:10). Examination of

sherds from other Safety Harbor. sites, especially those

in the area around Tampa Bay, indicates that the

laminated paste is the norm, rather than the exception,

for Pinellas Plain. This characteristic should be

incorporated as one of the main identifying traits of

Pinellas Plain.

The most drastic proposed modifications are to

Willey's definitions of Pinellas Incised (1949a:482) and

a Fort Walton type called Point Washington Incised

(1949a:463). William H. Sears (1967:37-39, 57-58)

discussed problems and proposed changes to these types,

but both his and Willey's criteria were vague and

ambiguous. It should be noted that John F. Scarry

(1985:220) subsumed both types under Lake Jackson

Incised for the Fort Walton area. He also subsumed one

variant of Pinellas Incised under the type Cool Branch

Incised (1985:214). However, in the Safety Harbor area,

there are enough differences in vessel form and

decorative motifs to warrant separate types for Point

Washington Incised and Pinellas Incised.

When Pinellas Incised and Point Washington Incised

are referred to in this study, the criteria published in

Mitchem, Smith et al. (1985:187-189) are used to

distinguish them, with minor alterations to the Pinellas

Incised definition. Point Washington Incised includes

sand tempered simple open bowls and jars with multiple

broad-line incisions on the exterior near the rim.

These usually consist of three or four parallel lines

which incorporate loops and U-shaped pendant figures.

Rim adornos and flat handles are common, often

incorporating representations of anatomical features of

birds. Bird head adornos are especially common. Loop

handles and rim nodes sometimes occur.

In contrast, Pinellas Incised as used herein refers

to simple open bowls, carinated bowls, short-collared

jars, and (occasionally) casuela bowls with broad-line

incision on the exterior. Multiple parallel lines

sometimes occur below the rim, but do not incorporate

loop elements. A single line of punctations may also be

present parallel to the rim. On the vessel body,

incised curvilinear elements are typical, sometimes


bordered by one or two lines of punctations, which are

typically square. Adornos and flat handles are lacking

on Pinellas Incised vessels in the Safety Harbor area,

but loop handles are occasionally present.

It is interesting to note that Pinellas Incised,

whether defined using Willey's criteria or those

presented above, is very rare on Safety Harbor sites

(Luer et al. n.d.). Specimens of Point Washington

Incised (as defined above) are much more common.

Readers should note that many of the sites and

collections in Chapter 2 were analyzed by others, and

their definitions of Pinellas and Point Washington

Incised (as well as other ceramic types) may vary.

Every attempt was made to check extant collections, but

in some cases it was impossible.

Before proceeding to the presentation of data on

Safety Harbor sites, it is necessary to explain how the

terminology of archaeological units is used in this

study. The terms "component" and "occupation" have very

similar meanings as used herein. However, there is an

important distinction which should be pointed out.

Component is used in the sense defined by Willey and

Phillips (1958:21), that there are Safety Harbor

artifacts present at a site, but that these may have

been obtained by exchange or some other means, so their

presence does not necessarily indicate that the makers

of the artifacts lived at the site. In contrast,

occupation is used to indicate that a Safety Harbor

group (people who made and used the artifact types)

actually inhabited or built the site. This distinction

is especially important in discussing Safety Harbor

evidence in south Florida, where distinguishing sites

associated with different cultural groups is difficult.

Randolph J. Widmer (1988:86) has noted that the presence

of Safety Harbor artifacts does not necessarily indicate

that the historically-known Tocobaga Indians occupied an

area, as Ripley P. Bullen (1978b:50) believed.


In order to redefine Safety Harbor, it is first

necessary to discuss previous work (both published and

unpublished), so that the state of present knowledge and

interpretation can be evaluated. Numerous site reports

and papers dealing with various aspects of Safety Harbor

culture have been published. There arealso many

collections held by private individuals and in

institutions which have never been thoroughly studied or

described in print. However, any attempt at summary is

doomed to be incomplete, due to inaccuracies in records,

incomplete survey coverage, and other factors.

This chapter discusses known sites by county

(Figure 1), following a roughly north to south course.

Sites that have been previously identified as having

Safety Harbor components, but which do not, are also

included. Collections from sites are generally not

enumerated if they have been previously published. A

section on sites outside of the Safety Harbor culture

area that have yielded small quantities of Safety Harbor

artifacts is also included.





0 100

o CdO

Figure 1
Map of Peninsular Florida Showing Pertinent Counties.


In describing collections, a standard format is

used for sherd counts when counts of rim and body sherds

are available. This format consists of two numbers

separated by a slash (/). The first number represents

the total number of sherds, and the second refers to the

number of these which are rim sherds.

Description of Sites

Dixie and Levy Counties

As will be discussed later, Dixie and Levy counties

are outside of the actual Safety Harbor culture area.

Examination of collections has revealed that there are

no sites in these two counties that convincingly

demonstrate the presence of a Safety Harbor component.

However, there are some sites that have yielded small

numbers of Safety Harbor and Englewood sherds. These

are briefly described here.

In recent surveys of Dixie County, Kohler and

Johnson (1986:25-32) found possible Safety Harbor sherds

at only three sites. At the Lolly Creek-Butler Island

NE site (8Di50), a shell midden on a low island

surrounded by salt marsh, they identified one sherd as

possible Englewood or Safety Harbor Incised (1986:25).

However, since the other ceramics from the site

consisted of Norwood, Deptford, and Swift Creek types,


In describing collections, a standard format is

used for sherd counts when counts of rim and body sherds

are available. This format consists of two numbers

separated by a slash (/). The first number represents

the total number of sherds, and the second refers to the

number of these which are rim sherds.

Description of Sites

Dixie and Levy Counties

As will be discussed later, Dixie and Levy counties

are outside of the actual Safety Harbor culture area.

Examination of collections has revealed that there are

no sites in these two counties that convincingly

demonstrate the presence of a Safety Harbor component.

However, there are some sites that have yielded small

numbers of Safety Harbor and Englewood sherds. These

are briefly described here.

In recent surveys of Dixie County, Kohler and

Johnson (1986:25-32) found possible Safety Harbor sherds

at only three sites. At the Lolly Creek-Butler Island

NE site (8Di50), a shell midden on a low island

surrounded by salt marsh, they identified one sherd as

possible Englewood or Safety Harbor Incised (1986:25).

However, since the other ceramics from the site

consisted of Norwood, Deptford, and Swift Creek types,


the sherd in question is probably actually Crystal River

Incised (Willey 1949a:389), a Swift Creek type which

resembles Safety Harbor Incised.

At the Kenny Land site (8Dil03), they recovered one

sherd of Pinellas Incised or Safety Harbor Incised. The

other artifacts from the site clearly indicate that it

is an Alachua Tradition midden (Kohler and Johnson

1986:25), so the single sherd is probably a result of


A third site mentioned by Kohler and Johnson

(1986:26) remains unrecorded, but local collectors found

Weeden Island, Alachua Tradition, possible Fort Walton,

and Safety Harbor pottery types on the surface. They

illustrated five sherds (1986:Figures 3 and 4) which

appear to be Safety Harbor types (Safety Harbor or

Pinellas Incised and Point Washington Incised), but the

failure to relocate the site and to obtain better

samples precludes assigning a cultural affiliation to

the site.

In the collections of the South Florida Museum

(SFM) in Bradenton there is an engraved bottle (#2328),

reportedly from Dixie County, with red ochre rubbed into

the engraved designs. A Safety Harbor Incised bottle

from the Tierra Verde site (8Pi51) in Pinellas County

had ochre rubbed into the incisions (Sears 1967:46).

However, red pigmented engraved (rather than incised)


vessels are more common from sites to the north, such as

Moundville, Alabama, where such vessels tend to be found

in Moundville I Phase contexts dating to about A.D. 1050

to 1250 (Steponaitis 1983:80, 100). The Dixie County

vessel is probably a trade item from cultures to the


In Levy County, artifacts were collected from

Palmetto Island (8Lv7) in the 1880s by Decatur Pittman,

who later donated the material to the Florida Museum of

Natural History (FMNH). The site is primarily Weeden

Island-related, but one Pinellas Incised sherd was

listed by Willey (1949a:311). This could not be located

in the FMNH collections. Willey (1949a:312) also listed

two Prairie Cord Marked and two fabric impressed sherds

in the collection, which suggest an Alachua Tradition

component (Milanich 1971).

Willey (1949a:313) mentioned that three Pinellas

Plain sherds were surface collected at the Hodgeson's

Hill site (8Lv8) in 1949, and he postulated a possible

Safety Harbor occupation on the basis of this. Pinellas

Plain pottery has since been shown to occur in some

Weeden Island-related contexts, however, which is

consistent with the collection from the site (Luer and

Almy 1980:211).

A single sherd of Safety Harbor Incised and one of

Sarasota Incised were noted by Willey (1949a:313) from


the predominantly Weeden Island-related site of Piney

Point on Cedar Key (8Lv9). A note in the FMNH site

files also indicates that at least one Englewood Incised

sherd was present in a private collection from the site.

A collection in FMNH (#95817) from the Coulter site

on Piney Point contains two sherds of Safety Harbor

Incised (Ripley Bullen identified these as Fort Walton

Incised) and one Englewood Incised sherd. There are two

possible Pinellas Plain or Lake Jackson Plain sherds,

and many sand tempered plain, Pasco Plain, and St. Johns

Plain sherds. The collection also includes cord marked,

simple stamped, and grit tempered check stamped sherds,

which may indicate a Deptford component (Milanich 1973).

Weeden Island types are present as well. It is unclear

whether 8Lv9 and the Coulter site are the same. Notes

with the Coulter collection indicate that the sherds

were collected from the beach below the high tide level.

The site number 8Lv21 was assigned for materials

from various sites on Cedar Keys. According to Willey

(1949a:315), a small collection in the National Museum

of Natural History (NMNH) (#42481-42486) with this

designation includes Weeden Island and Safety Harbor

ceramic types.

A note in the FMNH site files mentions that one

sherd of Pinellas Incised and four sherds of Pinellas

Plain were included in collections from Manatee Springs


(8Lv32). A search of the FMNH collections failed to

locate these artifacts (#72920-72927), however.

Another FMNH collection (#A-11014) was gathered

from the Seahorse Key site (8Lv64) by G. L. Streib.

This small collection contains five sherds from two

vessels which have interlocking scroll designs incised

on the exterior. These are similar to what Willey

(1949a:482-485, Figure 66c) called Pinellas Incised.

Pasco Plain and St. Johns Check Stamped sherds make up

the rest of the assemblage.

Derrick Key (8Lv122), a multicomponent shell

midden, apparently yielded some Pinellas Incised sherds

from beach erosion. The majority of the material from

the site was from earlier periods.

Willey (1949a:315) mentioned a small collection in

NMNH (#42481-42486) from an unidentified mound on Cedar

Key. He described the pottery as mixed Weeden Island

and Safety Harbor types, but no specific details were


Catalog cards from the Cedar Key High School site

in FMNH (#97876) list a single Englewood Incised sherd,

but a check of the collection failed to turn up this

specimen. The site appears to be a single component

Weeden Island-related occupation.

As the above discussion indicates, no Levy or Dixie

County sites appear to have definite Safety Harbor


components. The Safety Harbor and Englewood pottery

sherds (some of which may actually be Fort Walton types)

probably resulted from exchange or other interaction

with Safety Harbor groups to the south.

Citrus County

Citrus County is the northernmost county where

sites with definite Safety Harbor components have been

identified. The Withlacoochee River, which forms the

northern and eastern borders of the county, was probably

a sociopolitical boundary during the protohistoric

period, and possibly earlier (Mitchem 1988a, 1989).

The Crystal River site (8Cil) is a famous

multimound site located on the north side of Crystal

River near its mouth. Clarence B. Moore (1903, 1907a,

1918) excavated in some of the mounds, and much has been

written about various interpretations of the artifacts

from Moore's work and later excavations (A. Bullen

1972:160; R. Bullen 1951a, 1953; Greenman 1938; Hardman

1971; Smith 1951; Weisman 1987; Willey 1948a,

1949a:316-323, 1949b; Willey and Phillips 1944).

In 1960 and 1964, Ripley Bullen (1965:10, n.d.)

excavated portions of a small burial mound at the site

which yielded 35 flexed burials. He believed that these

burials dated to Safety Harbor times, but an examination

of the FMNH collections from these excavations


(#98959-98970) indicates that there is little

artifactual evidence to support this interpretation.

There are sherds of Safety Harbor pottery types

from Crystal River, but they are few in number. Bullen

(1953:11, Figure 3) discussed and illustrated Point

Washington or Pinellas Incised sherds from the east end

of the shell midden extending east from Mound A (this

area is now under a trailer park). He noted that the

site did not appear to have been intensively occupied

during Safety Harbor times, and suggested that the site

served as some sort of ceremonial center during that

period (1953:32). Willey (1949b:43) believed that the

two truncated rectangular mounds at the site could

represent Safety Harbor constructions, but no

stratigraphic or artifactual data have been produced to

substantiate this.

The majority of the work at Crystal River has

demonstrated pre-Safety Harbor occupation (Bullen

1965:10; Willey 1949a:316-323). There does appear to be

a Safety Harbor component, but the intensity of this

occupation cannot be determined on the basis of previous

work at the site.

The Buzzard's Island site (8Ci2) is located on an

island in the Crystal River. The site apparently

consists of a cemetery (not a mound), from which Rainey

(1935) excavated an undisclosed number of secondary


burials and a few flexed and extended individuals. He

also noted evidence of cremation.

The artifacts from the site are of interest because

they reflect primarily Safety Harbor affiliations, but

also an Alachua Tradition connection. Rainey (1935)

illustrated several sherds and an almost complete

vessel. The sherds clearly indicate a Safety Harbor

occupation, consisting of St. Johns Check Stamped, Lake

Jackson Plain with a fluted rim, and Point Washington

Incised types (Willey [1949a:323-324] identified the

latter as Pinellas Incised). There was also a vessel

that Willey (1949a:324) identified as cob marked. This

bowl would be classified as Alachua Cob Marked, a

ceramic type associated with the later portion (ca. A.D.

1400) of the Alachua Tradition (Milanich 1971:28, 32).

Rainey (1935) also illustrated a ground stone celt,

Pinellas points, large stemmed points, a ceramic pipe

fragment, and a quartz plummet. Willey (1949a:323)

added that Rainey's collection at Yale included chipped

celts, long ground stone celts, St. Johns Plain pottery,

and stone pendants. Notes from the Yale Peabody Museum

(YPM) (#22767-22781) in the FMNH site files indicate

that at least four Pinellas Plain and nine Pinellas

Incised or Point Washington Incised sherds were also in

Rainey's collection.


There is a small collection of sherds from the site

in FMNH (#94677) donated by L. W. Harrell in 1958. It

includes 26/5 Pasco Plain, 10/3 sand tempered plain, 1/0

St. Johns Check Stamped, 1/0 sand tempered check

stamped, and 1/1 sand tempered plain with a notched lip.

It should be noted that the latter is not Pinellas

Plain. The types present in this collection do nothing

to alter the Safety Harbor interpretation of the site.

Moore (1903:413-414) excavated a burial mound

(8Ci3) near the Chassahowitzka River, which may have

been a Safety Harbor mound. Unfortunately, the verbal

description of the pottery encountered is too vague to

determine actual types, but it is safe to assume the

site was Weeden Island or Safety Harbor in age, possibly

both. Moore (1903:Figure 73) illustrated a rim sherd

with an effigy lug which could be classified as Lake

Jackson Plain.

A very large multicomponent habitation site (8Ci5)

is located on a peninsula known as Duval Island in Lake

Tsala Apopka. This site was mentioned by Willey

(1949a:324), who suggested a Deptford date for it.

Three collections (#85525-85527, 85977, and 92502) from

the site were donated to FMNH by Edward P. St. John of

Floral City. These collections are listed in Table 1.

More recent collections from the site have included

large numbers of St. Johns Check Stamped sherds, whole


Table 1. Artifacts from Duval Island (8Ci5) in FMNH.

Description Count


Pasco Plain 33/8

Pasco Check Stamped 11/5

Pasco Plain with scratched surface 1/0

Prairie Cord Marked (some with Pasco paste) 27/8

St. Johns Plain 14/1

St. Johns Check Stamped 12/2

Dunns Creek Red 5/3

Sand tempered plain 5/0

Sand tempered plain tetrapod base 1/0

Perico Incised 1/1

Safety Harbor Incised 1/0


Ovate chert biface 1


Iron axe head 1

Busvcon contrarium shells, shell celts, and Pinellas

projectile points (Mitchem and Weisman 1987:156-158).

While test excavations have not been conducted, it

should be noted that the presence of a protohistoric

component (including Safety Harbor ceramics) and the

site size (ca. 8 ha) strongly indicate a large Safety

Harbor settlement, possibly the town of Tocaste


mentioned in the accounts of the Hernando de Soto

expedition, which passed through this portion of Florida

three times in 1539 (Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdds

1973:65; Smith 1968:37; Swanton 1985:142).

A collection in FMNH (#77919-77933) from a site on

the shore of Lake Tsala Apopka (8Ci7) includes 3/2

Sarasota Incised and 1/1 Point Washington Incised

sherds, along with St. Johns types, Pasco types, and

Prairie Cord Marked. Deptford and Perico wares indicate

the site is multicomponent. Unfortunately, the records

do not indicate whether this was a mound or a midden.

S. T. Walker excavated approximately 150 European

glass beads from a mound (8Cil6) somewhere on

Chassahowitzka Bay (Willey 1949a:324). A note in the

FMNH site file describes these (NMNH #59376) as large

blue and large white seed beads, with cut tubular beads

of green, blue, opal, lavender, and colorless glass. A

large (1.2 cm diameter) dark blue bead and four brown

tubular or ovoid beads are also included. The verbal

description, though inadequate, seems to indicate that

these are probably seventeenth century types. No other

artifacts were mentioned from the site. It may have

been a postcontact Safety Harbor mound.

Three shell middens, Crystal River #3 (8Ci37),

Jake's Drop (8Ci38), and Shell Island (8Ci43), are

listed in the FMSF as having Safety Harbor components.


A check of the FMNH collections from these sites (#96065

and 99318; 96067; and 94676, 96071, and 99319,

respectively) yielded no definite evidence of Safety

Harbor occupation, however.

The Wash Island site (8Ci42) is also listed as

having a Safety Harbor component. This site was surface

collected and excavated by Bullen and Bullen (1961,

1963). Their collections indicated a primarily Deptford

occupation, but the presence of Pinellas Plain sherds,

including one rim with a notched lip (the later form of

this type) suggests a minor Safety Harbor component as

well (Bullen and Bullen 1963:84).

The Gard site (8Ci51), a burial mound on Rendevous

(sic) Island in the Homosassa River, was excavated by

Bullen (1951b). At least 11 burials were found, all

secondary interments (1951b:28). Few artifacts were

recovered, but the pottery included St. Johns Plain and

Check Stamped, Prairie Cord Marked, and a Lake Jackson

Plain rim with a loop handle. A greenstone celt, two

bifacial chipped tools, and a Busycon shell bead were

also recovered. Bullen (1951b:31) thought that the

mound was Safety Harbor in date, with a possible late

Weeden Island-related component. This seems reasonable

based on the few artifacts available.

The Pumpkin Creek site (8Ci57), a small midden on

the Chassahowitzka River, was originally recorded as


Hd-7 (Hernando County) by Florida Park Service (FPS)

archaeologists. The FMNH site file lists this as a

possible Safety Harbor site, but the meager FMNH

collection (#99364) contains no diagnostic sherds to

support the contention.

Burtine Island D (8Ci61), a shell midden near the

mouth of the Withlacoochee River, was excavated by

Bullen (1966). Pottery types indicated occupation from

Deptford through Safety Harbor times, the latter being

represented by a few Sarasota Incised and Pinellas Plain

sherds. The relatively small number of Safety Harbor

artifacts suggests only a light occupation of the site

by Safety Harbor peoples (Bullen 1966:16). A small

number of Alachua Tradition types were also recovered,

evidence of interaction with groups north of the


According to notes on the FMSF form, a marine shell

and dirt midden on the Homosassa River, the Tiger Tail

Bay Midden (8Cil36), yielded the artifacts listed in

Table 2. The site appears to be a mixed Weeden Island-

related and Safety Harbor midden.

An extremely large flat-topped shell mound, known

as the Withlacoochee River Platform Mound (8Cil89), is

located on the bank of the Withlacoochee. The site has

never been excavated, but its configuration is

reminiscent of truncated "temple mounds" associated with


Table 2. Artifacts from Tiger Tail Bay Midden (8Ci136).

Description Count


Pasco Plain 12

Weeden Island Plain 12

Sand tempered plain 9

Pinellas Plain 1

Safety Harbor Incised 1

St. Johns Check Stamped 1

Lake Jackson Plain 1


Chert flakes 2

Faunal remains count unrecorded

many Safety Harbor sites in the Tampa Bay area (Luer and

Almy 1981). No artifactual information is available,

but the site could be a possible Safety Harbor mound.

An extensive multicomponent shell midden on the

Withlacoochee River, the Bayonet Field site (8Ci197),

was partially excavated in 1985 (Mitchem, Weisman et al.

1985:44-47). Analysis has revealed that a Safety Harbor

component is present at the site, as indicated by Safety

Harbor Incised sherds. Abundant Prairie Cord Marked

sherds were also recovered from the midden, indicating

interaction with Alachua Tradition groups across the

river. Three radiocarbon samples (charcoal) from two


probable hearths (Features #7 and 13) yielded dates of

1000 60 B.P. (Beta-12679) and 630 50 B.P. (Beta-

12680) from Feature #7, and 1050 90 B.P. (Beta-12681)

from Feature #13 (Mitchem 1985b). When these dates are

calibrated using the computer programs CALIB and DISPLAY

(Stuiver and Reimer 1986), they yield calibrated date

ranges of Cal. AD 984-1150; Cal. AD 1282-1393; and Cal.

AD 891-1146, respectively. Artifacts in this part of

the midden consisted of mixed Weeden Island and Safety

Harbor types. The midden may represent one of the

habitation sites occupied by people buried in the Tatham

Mound (8Ci203).

A multicomponent artifact scatter known as the Wild

Hog Scrub site (8Ci198) is located a few hundred meters

from the Tatham Mound, and probably contains some

artifacts associated with the builders of the mound

(Weisman 1986:12-15, 1989:142; Weisman and Marquardt

1988), though the Safety Harbor component appears to be

minor. The site was probably used on a short-term basis

during Safety Harbor times.

The Alligator Ford site (8Cil99) is located in the

Cove of the Withlacoochee, a wetland area of eastern

Citrus County. Weisman (1986:12) excavated two units at

this site, which appeared to be a habitation site

occupied from Weeden Island through Seminole times.

Safety Harbor occupation was suggested by a possible


Pinellas Incised sherd and a Savannah Fine Cord Marked

sherd. The site may have been occupied by some of the

people buried at the nearby Tatham mound (8Ci203), but

further testing of the site is necessary to determine


The Ruth Smith Mound (8Ci200) is also located in

the Cove of the Withlacoochee area. This site was

vandalized for many years, culminating in its

destruction by bulldozer early in the 1970s (Mitchem and

Weisman 1984:100). Test excavations of the site in 1984

revealed that no portions of the mound were intact

(Mitchem and Weisman 1984).

A number of collectors with material from the site

were contacted and loaned artifacts to FMNH for study.

They reported that many burials were excavated from the

mound, but no records on numbers or positions were kept.

Decorated pottery types from the site included Safety

Harbor Incised, Pinellas Incised, Point Washington

Incised, and St. Johns Check Stamped, clearly indicating

a Safety Harbor occupation (Mitchem, Smith et al.

1985:198). Alachua Tradition types were also present in

small numbers.

The most significant artifacts from the site are

Spanish objects dating to the first half of the

sixteenth century. These include 30 glass beads, 51

silver beads, two gold beads, an iron chisel, a rolled


iron bead, brass rings (possibly representing chain

mail), and a sherd of Green Bacin pottery (Mitchem,

Smith et al. 1985:202). The glass beads included Nueva

Cadiz and faceted chevron varieties, indicating an early

sixteenth century date (Deagan 1987; Smith and Good

1982). Two additional glass beads, one Nueva Cadiz

Plain and one faceted chevron, were recently collected

from the surface of the site and donated to the FMNH

(Walter H. Askew, personal communication 1988). The

location of the site and the assemblage of Spanish

artifacts suggest that the people buried in the mound

made contact with one or both of the expeditions of

Pdnfilo de Narvdez in 1528 and Hernando de Soto in 1539.

A few kilometers away is the Tatham mound (8Ci203),

excavated by FMNH archaeologists in 1985 and 1986

(Mitchem and Hutchinson 1986, 1987). This protohistoric

site is discussed in detail in Chapter 3.

An artifact scatter known as the Weaver site

(8Ci213) yielded St. Johns Check Stamped and Prairie

Cord Marked sherds, as well as Pinellas projectile

points. While the evidence is scant, these artifact

types suggest a Safety Harbor designation for the site.

Weisman (1989:116) stated that the Zellner Grove

site (8Ci215) had a possible Safety Harbor component

represented by a light scatter of artifacts. As he


noted, this was probably related to the larger Duval

Island site (8Ci5), which is located nearby.

A collection from an unnumbered site known as the

"shell midden half way down the Chassahowitzka River on

the right" is in FMNH (#104968). The artifacts in this

collection are listed in Table 3. A note with the

collection indicates that many Pinellas projectile

points were found on the site, to the virtual exclusion

of other point types. The collection seems to indicate

a multicomponent site, with Safety Harbor occupation

possibly represented by the Pinellas points.

Several unrecorded middens are located on the north

bank of the Homosassa River. Pinellas projectile points

and Safety Harbor Incised pottery have been collected

from eroding beaches adjacent to these middens (Walter

H. Askew, personal communication 1988).

Lake County

Lake County, located east of Sumter County, is

outside of the Safety Harbor culture area. A few sites,

however, have yielded evidence which may indicate

interaction with Safety Harbor groups.

In the late nineteenth century, C. B. Moore

(1896:536-539) excavated a previously disturbed mound

west of the town of Tavares (8La52). The sand mound

yielded many secondary burials, shell beads, galena,


Table 3. Artifacts from an Unrecorded Shell Midden
on the Chassahowitzka River.

Description Count


St. Johns Check Stamped 9/2

Sand tempered plain 4/3

Deptford Cross Simple Stamped 1/0

Complicated stamped (faint concentric circle--

Jefferson Ware?) 1/0


Pinellas projectile points 5

Chert biface fragment 1


Polished bone pin fragment 1

plain and red painted pottery, stone celts, projectile

points, and pendants of stone and shell (1896:536-538).

One illustrated sherd (1896:Plate LXXXVI[4]) is typical

Weeden Island Incised. He also made brief mention of a

smaller sand mound (8La53) nearby, which purportedly had

yielded objects of brass or bronze in the past. Though

Moore did not dig in the smaller mound, he noted the

presence of glass beads on its surface (1896:539).

The sites, consisting of the two mounds and a

habitation area, were rediscovered by Sleight (1949),

who excavated in the smaller mound (8La53) and screened

previous workers' backdirt. His work yielded 366 glass

beads, a teardrop-shaped glass pendant, and three

pottery vessels.

The glass beads were primarily seed beads, of a

wide variety of colors. A tubular blue bead with red,

white, blue, and green longitudinal stripes was also

recovered. The pendant (2.5 cm x 1.3 cm) was of light

blue glass (Sleight 1949:27-28), and had a perforation

made by looping the molten glass. He noted the

similarity of this assemblage to that from the Goodnow

mound (8Hg6) in Highlands County (Griffin and Smith


The three vessels from the mound were of the types

St. Johns Plain, St. Johns Check Stamped, and Sarasota

Incised (Sleight 1949:28-30). The Sarasota Incised

vessel suggests either a very early Safety Harbor

component for the site or interaction with Safety Harbor

groups during this time period. However, since the site

is located on the edge of the St. Johns culture area,

the vessel could merely be a St. Johns paste vessel with

designs that coincidentally match those used to define

the type Sarasota Incised (Willey 1949a:474). The glass

beads indicate a much later occupation, but the cultural

affiliations of the postcontact component are not

evident from the available data.


The Mound near Old Okahumpka (8La57) was also

excavated by Moore (1896:542-543). This sand mound

yielded many burials, all of which were apparently

secondary (bundles). Eight stone celts, shell beads,

plain and red-painted sherds, and three copper objects

came from the mound.

One of the copper objects was a plate fragment with

a repousse design embossed on it (Goggin 1949d). The

design consisted of the lower portion (the top had been

broken away) of a human figure in profile. The method

of depiction of this individual is clearly reminiscent

of motifs associated with the Southeastern Ceremonial

Complex (Hamilton et al. 1974:153-161; Waring and Holder

1968). Such motifs are common on Mississippian period

(ca. A.D. 1200-1450) ceremonial objects (Knight 1986),

and the copper plate from Old Okahumpka dates the mound

to this period. Copper and pottery objects with

Southeastern Ceremonial Complex motifs have been found

at the Tatham Mound in Citrus County (Mitchem and

Hutchinson 1987; see also Chapter 3, this volume).

Moore (1896:Figure 91) illustrated a sherd from the

site which bears a striking resemblance to a sherd from

the Briarwoods site (8Pa66), a Safety Harbor burial

mound in Pasco County (Mitchem 1985a, 1988b). The

artifactual evidence suggests that the site was probably

occupied by people who interacted with Safety Harbor


groups, though collections from the site are too scant

to allow determination of whether or not the mound

should be considered a Safety Harbor site. ,

Another site (8La62) in Lake County, known as the

West Apopka site (or Burial Mound on the West Shore of

Lake Apopka), was described by Kunz (1887:222). His

discussion focused on description of two metal objects

(American Museum of Natural History [AMNH] #1/4662) from

the site, one of cast gold (Goggin 1954b:Figure la) and

one of silver (Kunz 1887:Figures 4 and 5). He also

mentioned that the mound contained a stone celt and a

large number of decomposed bones representing hundreds

of individuals. No information on pottery types or

other artifacts was included. The FMNH site file

designates this as a Safety Harbor site, but presently

available data do not allow confirmation of this


Orange County

A note in the FMNH site file (apparently written by

John Goggin) indicates that the East Shore of Lake

Butler site (80rll) was a Safety Harbor mound. However,

the only artifacts recorded from the site are two

artifacts of European metal, one of silver and one of

gold (Kunz 1887:221-223, Figures 2 and 6). There is no


evidence to indicate that the site was a Safety Harbor


A site known as the Mound West of Lake Butler

(80r12), or the Gotha Mound, was excavated in the late

nineteenth century by Adolph Meinecke, a trustee of the

Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM). Material attributed to

this site came from at least two mounds in the area

(Board of Trustees of the Public Museum of the City of

Milwaukee 1892:15, 1893:12-13). One of these mounds may

also have been dug in 1896 by Thomas Featherstonhaugh

(1897, 1899). One of them may have been 80r11.

John Goggin studied the MPM collection in 1945, and

obtained many of the European artifacts from there in

1961. Goggin's notes on the collection were probably

used by Smith (1956:52) to write his brief discussion of

the site, which he incorrectly referred to as 80rll.

Goggin's (1945) notes indicated that Weeden Island

Punctated, Wakulla Check Stamped, Englewood Incised,

"Englewood Punctated," Safety Harbor Incised, Fort

Walton Incised, and St. Johns pottery types were in the

collection. An intact Seminole vessel was also present

(Goggin 1953b:Figures la and 7a).

The European artifacts, most of which are now in

FMNH (#A-20117), consist of a wide variety of glass

beads and metal objects. Several of the metal items

listed in the notes in the site file have disappeared,


including a tanged iron knife blade, a perforated iron

celt, and an iron chisel. The FMNH collection from the

site is listed in Table 4.

The European artifacts from 80r12 provide some

evidence for the date of contact. The glass beads are

most useful for this purpose. The Nueva Cadiz bead and

the oblate transparent purple specimens are early

sixteenth century varieties (Smith and Good 1982), but

most of the collection is later, suggesting that the

early beads were curated items. The opaque turquoise

blue (Ichtucknee Blue), aquamarine, medium blue, heat-

altered compound, and Cornaline d'Aleppo beads probably

all date to the late sixteenth or seventeenth centuries

(Deagan 1987:Table 4, 168, 171, 175; Smith 1983:150,

1987:46). The Gooseberry beads are spheroid, which

indicates a probable eighteenth century date (Deagan

1987:168; Smith 1983:150).

The rolled sheet silver bead is a 4.15 cm long tube

weighing 5.9 g. Beads of this type have been recovered

from many sixteenth and seventeenth century contact

period aboriginal sites in Florida (Mitchem and Leader

1988:54). The brass disc, originally about 11 cm in

diameter, is of a type found on sites in the interior

Southeast dating from the late sixteenth century or

later (Smith 1987:37-38). The two iron "awls" measure

20.3 cm and 20.6 cm in length, are square in cross


Table 4. Artifacts from 80r12 in FMNH.

Description Count

Glass Beads:

Opaque white seed 98

Transparent light blue-green seed 71

Transparent medium blue seed 19

Opaque turquoise blue seed 10

Transparent light purple seed 2

Cornaline d'Aleppo seed 2

Spheroid translucent dark purple seed 1

Large Nueva Cadiz Plain, faceted (transparent

medium aquamarine blue/thin white/transparent

medium blue core) 1

Drawn opaque turquoise blue (Ichtucknee Blue) 27

Drawn oblate or barrel-shaped transparent

aquamarine blue 21

Drawn barrel-shaped transparent medium blue 6

Colorless Gooseberry (1 is oblate, other is double) 2

Drawn barrel-shaped opaque white 4

Heat-altered compound spherical (translucent

turquoise blue/possible thin white/transparent

medium aquamarine blue core) 5

Drawn barrel-shaped transparent medium green 4

Oblate transparent purple (IB1g)* 2

Drawn barrel-shaped translucent dark burgundy 2

Oblate Cornaline d'Aleppo 1


Table 4--continued

Description Count

Small olive-shaped medium transparent purple with

marvered facets 1

Oblate translucent yellow 1

Barrel-shaped transparent medium aquamarine blue

with 4 longitudinal red-on-white stripes 1

Barrel-shaped transparent light blue with 9

longitudinal opaque white stripes 1

Drawn barrel-shaped transparent cobalt blue 2

Spheroid medium transparent blue with 4 longitudinal

opaque white stripes 3

Small oblate transparent medium blue with 4

longitudinal opaque white stripes 1

Large drawn translucent dark brown with 3

longitudinal opaque white stripes 1

Drawn olive-shaped opaque dark burgundy with 1

longitudinal thin white stripe 1

Blue metallic-finish faceted spherical (5 rows of

facets, mold-made, probably modern) 1


Rolled sheet silver bead 1

Broken circular brass disc 1

Miscellaneous flat brass fragments 2

Iron "awls" 2

Iron scissors fragments (from a single pair) 2


Table 4--continued

Description Count

Unidentified iron fragment 1


Polished stone bead (probably hematite) 1


Barrel-shaped beads 2

Disc beads stained with red ochre 3

Small disc beads 3

* Designation in the Smith and Good (1982) typology.

section, have tapered ends, and are 0.7 cm thick at the

widest point. The identification of these items as awls

is speculative. Similar iron awls have been recovered

in seventeenth century Onondaga contexts in New York

(Bradley 1987:141-142, 202) and in eighteenth century

contexts at Fort Michilimackinac in Michigan (Stone

1974:155-159). But specimens from these areas are much

smaller than those from 80r12, and are probably of Dutch

or French origin rather than Spanish (Bradley 1987:142).

Dan and Phyllis Morse (1986) have suggested that these

objects were raw material for blacksmiths accompanying

the early Spanish expeditions. Present

insufficient to determine their function.

Because of the location of the site outside of the

apparent Safety Harbor culture area, a visit was made to


MPM in August, 1988, to study and photograph the

aboriginal artifacts from the mound. This study

indicated that the aboriginal ceramics from the mound

are clearly Weeden Island types. The decorated sherds

of Safety Harbor and Englewood types mentioned by Goggin

(1945) were misidentified. Furthermore, many of the

stone artifacts in the MPM.collection (primarily

projectile points and ground stone objects) are not from

Florida. Specifically, many of the projectile points

appear to be quartzite points typical of the Georgia

Piedmont, and the presence of several grooved stone axes

(typical of northeastern North America) strongly

suggests that the collection was mixed with material

from many sites.

The collector, Adolph Meinecke, owned a winter home

near Lake Butler. During visits there, he and some

associates would excavate in at least two mounds

(possibly more) in the vicinity, subsequently donating

the material to MPM (Board of Trustees of the Public

Museum of the City of Milwaukee 1892:15, 41-42, 1893:12-

13, 44-45, 1894:13, 70, 1896:13, 34). The artifacts in

FMNH and MPM were excavated from these mounds, but

artifacts from other states were mixed in with the

collection at some point. The European artifacts

indicate that the major period of contact was probably

during the late sixteenth or seventeenth centuries, but


there is no evidence to support a Safety Harbor

component at the mound.

Hernando County

The Bayport mound (8Hel) was excavated by Moore

(1903:415-424). This oblong burial mound yielded about

40 burials, most of which were secondary interments,

along with a few cremations (Willey 1949a:325-326).

Though most of the pottery consists of Weeden Island

types, Moore illustrated what appears to be a sherd of

Englewood Incised (1903:Figure 66), and a Safety Harbor

Incised bottle form (1903:Figure 71). A cast of the

bottle is in FMNH (#A-3068). These latter types suggest

a minor Safety Harbor component at the site.

Moore also excavated a mound known as Indian Bend

(8He2), from which he recovered check stamped sherds and

at least one sherd from a St. Petersburg Incised bottle

(1903:Figure 65). Willey (1949a:442) noted that St.

Petersburg Incised is primarily a late Weeden Island

type, but probably also occurs in Englewood contexts.

Therefore, it is possible that this site had an early

Safety Harbor component.

The multicomponent Johns Island site (8He4), first

mentioned by Heilprin (1887:4), was tested by Antonio

Waring in 1948 (Willey 1949a:327-328), who found mostly

Weeden Island pottery types. Bullen and Bullen (1950)


also worked at the site, recovering a small number of

Pinellas Plain sherds in the top stratum of the midden,

along with shell tempered wares (1950:44). These types,

in addition to Pinellas points surface-collected nearby,

would suggest a possible minor Safety Harbor occupation

of the site, though these could also represent a Weeden

Island-related component. A collection in FMNH (#30350)

also includes a Spanish Olive Jar sherd, indicating some

habitation or contact after the early sixteenth century.

A collection in the NMNH (#59368), apparently collected

by S. T. Walker (Goggin thought it was from the Johns

Island site), also includes one sherd identified as

European by John Goggin.

The Bayport II site (8He7) is apparently a

habitation site about 1.6 km south of 8Hel. Notes in

the FMNH site file indicate that a surface collection at

the site produced 73 sherds, supposedly all Safety

Harbor types. Only two decorated sherds were noted,

both of which were Pinellas Incised. The collection is

housed in the Temple Mound Museum (TMM) in Fort Walton


A collection in FMNH (#98449) was obtained in 1963

from the Palm Grove Gardens site (8He8). The artifacts

are listed in Table 5. The Pinellas Plain pottery


Table 5. Artifacts from the Palm Grove Gardens Site
(8He8) in FMNH.

Description Count


Pasco Plain 46/6

Pasco Check Stamped 3/2

Pasco Cord Marked 1/1

Sand tempered plain 39/6

Pinellas Plain 10/0

St. Johns Check Stamped 6/2

St. Johns Plain 4/1


Utilized chert flake 1

suggests a Safety Harbor component, though this could

represent a late Weeden Island-related occupation.

A multicomponent site (8HelO) known as the First

Gardens or Weekiwachee site (not to be confused with the

Weeki Wachee Mound [8Hel2] discussed below) was

collected by Ferguson (1976). This midden, which had

been vandalized, yielded material indicating continuous

occupation from Deptford through Seminole times. The

probable Safety Harbor component was represented by

Pinellas Plain sherds, Pinellas projectile points, and a

Tampa projectile point. Ferguson (1976:Figure 1[3])

also recovered an incised sherd, which he identified as


Ocmulgee Fields Incised, but is Point Washington

Incised. Fifty Olive Jar sherds were also collected,but

these may have been associated with the Seminole

component (1976:76).

The Weeki Wachee Mound (8He12) was excavated in

1970 by Robert Allen. Located near the springs of the

same name, the mound yielded 63 burials, many of which

consisted of more than one individual. Pottery from the

mound included typical Safety Harbor types with some

Alachua Tradition types present (Mitchem, Smith et al.

1985:185). Shell artifacts were numerous, including

Busvcon cups, unaltered whelk shells, beads, and

freshwater mussel shells (as necklaces). The mussel

shells are of interest because they were identified as

Shepard's Filter Clam (Elliptio shepardianus Lea), a

species that occurs only in the Altamaha River drainage

of Georgia. Shells of this species were also recovered

at the Tatham mound in Citrus County (Mitchem and

Hutchinson 1986:17-18, 1987:23).

In addition, the excavations yielded between 123

and 127 glass beads, 151 silver beads, and one spherical

true amber bead. The glass beads consisted of many

varieties of Nueva Cadiz, faceted chevron, and striped

beads, all of which are early sixteenth century types

(Deagan 1987; Smith and Good 1982). The European bead


assemblage is remarkably similar to those recovered from

the Ruth Smith and Tatham mounds in Citrus County

(Mitchem and Hutchinson 1986:27-34, 1987:48-55; Mitchem,

Smith et al. 1985:204-205). The Weeki Wachee Mound was

apparently an isolated burial mound, with no associated

habitation area. This appears to be a typical pattern

in the region north of Tampa Bay (Mitchem 1988d).

A site known as Anderson's Mound (8Hel4) was

destroyed by treasure hunters. Excavations prior to

destruction yielded a beaker-shaped vessel with vertical

bands of parallel incised lines in a zigzag pattern

(probably a variant of Englewood Incised), a stone

plummet, and a ground stone celt fragment (William G.

Dayton, personal communication 1986). The FMNH site

file also records that a sherd of Englewood Incised and

a blue glass bead were recovered after the mound's

destruction. This bead was a heat-altered opaque

turquoise blue specimen (Ichtucknee Blue). These first

show up in sites in the Southeast around 1560 or 1570,

but are occasionally found on sites dating as late as

the eighteenth century (Deagan 1987:171; Goggin 1953a;

Smith 1983:150, 1987:33). Local informants claim that

many similar beads were recovered from the mound. The

scant evidence from the site suggests that it was a


Safety Harbor burial mound, used well into the

postcontact period.

In the files of the FPS (housed in FMNH), a letter

written by Harry L. Schoff (dated December 12, 1935)

includes a basic description of artifacts recovered from

a mound near Istachatta in northeast Hernando County.

The small sand mound yielded 14 pecked and ground stone

celts, projectile points, and "a few silver, stone and

shell beads" (Schoff 1935). Because of the location of

the mound and the presence of silver beads, the site

probably had a postcontact Safety Harbor component.

In the SFM collection in Bradenton, an iron celt

(#35-11, 2120) is identified as having been found in

Hernando County, probably by Montague Tallant. The celt

is 24.2 cm long, 6.0-7.5 cm wide, and 0.7-1.0 cm thick.

Similar iron artifacts have come from sixteenth century

Spanish sites elsewhere in the Southeast (Smith 1975;

1987:34-36, 45-46). It is assumed the celt was

recovered from a postcontact Safety Harbor site. There

is also a large scalloped-rim Safety Harbor Incised bowl

in SFM (#2324), which was found somewhere in Hernando

County. It should be noted, however, that the

boundaries of many Florida counties have changed over

the years.


Large numbers of Pinellas projectile points have

been collected from a site on the Chassahowitzka River

by collectors who screened material eroding into the

water (J. Raymond Williams, personal communication

1988). The site is apparently unrecorded, and no other

information is available. The Pinellas points could

indicate either a Weeden Island-related or Safety Harbor

component. It is possible that this could be the same

site mentioned in the Citrus County discussion above

(Table 3).

Pasco County

S. T. Walker (1880a:392-394) and C. B. Moore

(1903:426-433) both excavated at the Pithlochascootie

River site (8Pa2). This site was described by Walker

(1880a:392) as consisting of two mounds about 90 m

apart. One of these was a flat-topped mound of

alternating shell and sand strata, and the other was an

oval-shaped sand mound with a small projecting ridge.

Walker recovered no artifacts from the first mound, but

encountered numerous primary and secondary burials in

the sand mound (1880a:394). An iron spike, a projectile

point, and decorated sherds were also recovered during

Walker's work.


Moore excavated flexed, extended, and secondary

burials from the sand mound, representing a total of

probably 150 individuals. (Willey 1949a:329). Evidence

of cremation was also found. Many artifacts of stone,

bone, and shell were recovered (Moore 1903:426-433;

Willey 1949a:329).

Pottery from both Walker's and Moore's excavations

consisted mostly of Weeden Island types, but Moore

(1903:Figure 83) illustrated a vessel which appeared to

be Sarasota Incised. Willey's (1949a:330) analysis of

Walker's collection included a sherd of St. Petersburg

Incised. These suggest a minor early Safety Harbor

component at the site. If there is indeed a Safety

Harbor component at the site, it represents the

northernmost occurrence of the Mississippian-style

Safety Harbor village site consisting of truncated

mound, plaza, and burial mound, as described by Bullen

(1955:60-61, 1978b:51).

Several low burial mounds (8Pa9) were destroyed

while clearing land for an orange grove near Dade City

in 1946. FPS files indicate that numerous Busycon shell

fragments were present, as well as human bones from

burials. Two small collections in FMNH (#99658 and

104902) contain chert flakes, St. Johns Check Stamped,

and Pasco Plain sherds, along with a partially


reconstructed sand tempered vessel with a brushed

exterior. Though the latter vessel suggests Seminole

occupation (many Seminole sites are known in the area),

the reset of the pottery types are not inconsistent with

a Safety Harbor date. The presence nearby of a large

Safety Harbor habitation site (the Pottery Hill site)

increases the probability that the mounds were Safety

Harbor burial mounds.

At the multicomponent Grace Memorial Gardens site

(8Pa21), excavations by amateur archaeologists revealed

Archaic, Weeden Island-related, and Safety Harbor

occupations. The Safety Harbor component was indicated

by sherds of Pinellas Plain pottery with notched lips

(Wells and Bull 1978:23).

Members of the Suncoast Archaeological Society

reported an artifact scatter (8Pa37) in 1978 which

yielded aboriginal ceramics, lithic artifacts, and

faunal remains. On the FMSF form, the site was dated to

late Weeden Island and Safety Harbor times, but the

artifacts were not described.

Another multicomponent artifact scatter (8Pa54),

known as the Upper Hillsborough 9 site, also contained

ceramics and lithic artifacts. Though artifact types

were not described on the FMSF form, the site was


classified as occupied from Deptford through Safety

Harbor times.

The Briarwoods site (8Pa66) was a small Safety

Harbor burial mound salvaged in 1980. Two flexed

burials were recovered, with many secondary remains

above them. Some of the burials were surrounded by sand

stained with red ochre (Mitchem 1985a:162). Artifacts

included a ground stone celt, a shell gorget, a flaked

stone celt, shark teeth, shell beads, and aboriginal

ceramics. Pottery types indicated that the site was a

Safety Harbor mound (1985a:163-164). Attempts to locate

an associated habitation site were unsuccessful.

Four artifact scatters (8Pa123A, 8Pa125G, 8Pa126E,

and 8Pal29) were located in 1983 (Wharton 1984). The

FMSF forms indicate that aboriginal ceramics and lithic

artifacts were recovered at each of these sites, and

they were dated to Weeden Island and Safety Harbor

times. Pinellas points were recovered at 8Pa123A,

8Pa125G, and 8Pal29 (Wharton 1984).

The River Road Site A (8Pal58A) is a lithic scatter

that yielded a single Pinellas projectile point base

(Wharton 1984). The site is identified as a Safety

Harbor site on the FMSF form based on this artifact, but

it could be a late Weeden Island-related site.


The Pottery Hill site is a previously unrecorded

site near Dade City. The site originally had a mound

which was levelled with a bulldozer many years ago.

Local informants claimed that this mound was flat-

topped, about 2 m high, and about 12 m across (William

G. Dayton, personal communication 1986).

A habitation area is located adjacent to the

supposed mound site. Surface collections from this area

contained many projectile points, including specimens of

the Pinellas, Tampa, Hernando, Bolen, Lafayette, Newnan,

and Florida Archaic Stemmed types (Bullen 1975).

Pottery consisted of Pasco Plain, sand tempered plain,

St. Johns Plain, St. Johns Check Stamped, Prairie Cord

Marked, and Safety Harbor Incised. Various lithic

artifacts and Busycon fragments were also recovered.

The artifacts indicate a Safety Harbor component at the

site, with possible earlier components. Several low

burial mounds (8Pa9), which were destroyed in 1946, were

located less than .75 km north of Pottery Hill, and may

have been associated (see discussion of 8Pa9 above).

Another site, the Evans Creek site (8Pal68), is

located about 1.6 km away. Local informants report that

Pinellas projectile points and Safety Harbor pottery

types were surface-collected from this site (William G.

Dayton, personal communication 1986).


A Safety Harbor Incised bowl with a restricted neck

and a flared rim is in the SFM collection (#2325). The

lip is also notched. The vessel came from an unknown

site in Pasco County.

Neill (1978:224-225) indicated that Safety Harbor

sites are abundant in Pasco County, primarily in inland

areas which have recently been developed. Though he did

not mention any specific sites, he noted that at least

three Safety Harbor cemeteries (as opposed to mounds)

had been found in the county, and that majolica had been

recovered from some of the area's larger Safety Harbor


Pinellas County

Pinellas County, along with Hillsborough and

Manatee Counties, is the region of the greatest

concentration of Safety Harbor sites. Unfortunately, it

is also an area that has undergone very heavy

development with consequent destruction of numerous

archaeological sites (Williams 1975).

One of the most famous sites in Pinellas County is

the Weeden Island site (8Pil), which was partially

excavated by archaeologists from the Smithsonian

Institution in 1923 and 1924 (Bushnell 1926:129-132;

Fewkes 1924; Willey 1949a:105-113). Though this was the


type site for the Weeden Island period, there was a

minor Safety Harbor component at the site, as evidenced

by some of the pottery types recovered. Willey

(1949a:109-111) listed a small number of Englewood and

Safety Harbor sherds in the NMNH collection from the

site. Their exact provenience is unknown. Bushnell

(1926:131-132) collected and illustrated part of a

Sarasota Incised vessel (NMNH #330622) from the surface

of the burial mound. A collection from the site in FMNH

(#A-2612) contains some Safety Harbor Incised sherds

mixed with a predominantly Weeden Island assemblage. A

collection in YPM (#4572) also includes some Safety

Harbor Incised and probable Pinellas Incised sherds, as

well as a sherd with a notched lip (possibly the late

variety of Pinellas Plain).

The Safety Harbor site (8Pi2), on the west side of

Old Tampa Bay, is the type site for the Safety Harbor

archaeological culture. It was first mentioned in print

by Daniel Brinton (1859:118, 171). Several decades

later, S. T. Walker (1880a:410-411) visited the site,

then known as Phillippi's Point, but was refused

permission to excavate. Twenty years later, C. B. Moore

(1900:356) was also refused permission to dig at the



Two mounds were present, one a low sand burial

mound located at the northern end, and the other a large

truncated "temple" mound at the southern end. At the

time of Walker's visit, part of the truncated mound had

been eroded by storm action, and he was able to observe

that it was composed of alternating sand and shell

layers (1880a:411). Habitation areas were apparently

located around the latter mound, close to the bay shore

areas (Griffin and Bullen 1950:Figure 1).

Several major episodes of excavation have been

undertaken at the site during the twentieth century.

Stirling (1931:171-172) excavated the burial mound in

1930, removing about 100 secondary burials, along with

aboriginal and European artifacts. Fifty of the crania

were studied by Hrdlicka (1940:339-340, 373), but

apparently most of the skeletal remains were discarded

(B. William Burger, personal communication 1986). A

contemporary newspaper account indicates that over 1400

burials were removed during these excavations (Anonymous


Willey (1949a:138) listed the sherd counts and

types from the burial mound (NMNH #351513-351525) and

from the habitation area between the mounds (NMNH

#351526-351536, 362378-362386), which was also tested by

Stirling. Stone, shell, bone, and European materials


from both contexts were also described. The ceramic

assemblage from these excavations consisted almost

completely of Safety Harbor types, with no earlier

Weeden Island types present.

In August, 1948, the FPS excavated in the top of

the large truncated mound and in portions of the

presumed habitation area (Griffin and Bullen 1950). The

artifacts recovered from this work (FMNH #97199-97225,

97231-97234) consisted of Safety Harbor and

Leon-Jefferson (Mission Period) types, with no Weeden

Island materials. Great quantities of Pinellas Plain

sherds were recovered from the presumed habitation area,

indicating that this was the primary utilitarian ware at

the site.

A small collection of faunal remains collected

during these excavations is housed in the FMNH

Zooarchaeology Laboratory (#91). The collection is

heavily biased toward large elements because the

material was not screened, and only those bones noticed

during excavation were kept. As would be expected from

a coastal site, the assemblage consists primarily of

marine fauna, with some terrapins, birds, and mammals

(Kozuch 1986:Table 1).

Additional excavations were conducted at the site

in the late 1960s by several local groups of amateur


archaeologists (Gustave A. Nelson, Sr., personal

communication 1986). The results of this work have not

been published, but material from the excavations

displayed in the Oldsmar Museum and in the Pinellas

County Courthouse in Clearwater includes Pinellas

projectile points and sherds of Safety Harbor Incised,

Pinellas Incised, Point Washington Incised, Englewood

Incised, Lake Jackson Plain, and Pinellas Plain pottery.

Some bird head adornos from the site were illustrated by

Gorges (1979).

The site has been surface collected many times in

the past, and some of these collections are housed in

FMNH (#3041-3373, 5202-5218). They contain typical

Safety Harbor sherds and lithic artifacts, as well as a

surprising number of Archaic projectile points. A

possible stone tool was collected from the site by

Armistead (1949).

The European items found at the site are of great

interest, because most researchers feel that the Safety

Harbor site is the town of Tocobaga visited by Pedro

Mendndez de Avilds in 1567 (Bullen 1978b; Solis de Merds

1964:223-229). European artifacts from the site in

FMNH, NMNH, and other places are listed in Table 6.

Goggin (1953:11, 1954a:152-153) indicated that the

sherd of Yayal Blue on White majolica and the Portuguese


Table 6. European Artifacts from the Safety Harbor
Site (8Pi2).

Description Count

Ceramics (all in FMNH, except where noted):

Olive Jar (includes 2 strap handles) 43/2

Melado 2/1

Green Lebrillo 1/0

Unglazed red coarse earthenware 1/0

Unglazed coarse earthenware strap handle 1

7 Yayal Blue on White majolica (Florida State

University [FSU]) 1


/ Portuguese copper ceitel coin (location unknown) 1

/ Iron axes (NMNH #351513 & 384087) 2

SRolled sheet silver bead (NMNH #351514) 1

/ Sheet silver ornament 1


Clay pipe fragments (1 is a green-glazed human head

effigy) (NMNH #351536 and 362386) 3

coin were collected from the beach adjacent to the site.

The iron axes, rolled sheet silver bead, and sheet

silver ornament were recovered during the burial mound

excavations (Goggin 1953:11; Stirling 1931:172; Willey

1949a:139). Willey (1949a:Plate 57) illustrated the

three European pipe fragments from the site, and noted


that they came from excavations or surface collections

in the village area (1949a:139). The green-glazed pipe

fragment matches a reproduction of a Moravian pipe in

the type collection at FMNH. The 8Pi2 specimen was

probably associated with the early nineteenth century

homestead of Count Odet Phillippi on the site (Griffin

and Bullen 1950:7-8).

The Olive Jar handles are from early style Olive

Jars, indicating a date of 1500-1570 or 1580 (Deagan

1987:33; Goggin 1960:23, 27). The copper Portuguese

ceitel (identified by Sydney P. Noe of the American

Numismatic Society in 1952) could have been minted any

time during the reign of John III of Portugal

(1521-1577) (Goggin 1954a:153). Melado is generally

found in early sixteenth century contexts, while Yayal

Blue on White majolica and Green Lebrillo date from the

late fifteenth to the early seventeenth centuries

(Deagan 1987:Table 4-1). The diversity of these

artifacts, along with the presence of Leon-Jefferson

wares (Griffin and Bullen 1950:11), suggests the

possibility that several different episodes of contact

may be represented at the site. However, it is likely

that some of the artifacts were obtained by exchange

with other aboriginal groups in the area, or as tribute

from subordinate settlements.

The description of the town of Tocobaga and its

location, provided by Solis de Merds (1964:224),

strongly suggests that the Safety Harbor site was indeed

the cacique Tocobaga's town, which was visited by

Menendez. The town was 20 leagues inland (this

apparently means 20 leagues from the mouth of Tampa

Bay), "and one could sail up close to the side of his

house by a channel of salt water" (Solis de Meras

1964:224). The account also mentions steering north

from the mouth of the bay to reach the town. Once

contact was established, Menendez left 30 soldiers and a

captain (1964:228), who then constructed a blockhouse in

the town (1964:242).

The Jesuit priest Juan Rogel, along with Pedro

Menendez Marqudz, visited the garrison some months later

and found things going well (Lyon 1976:202; Zubillaga

1946:276). However, when they returned in January,

1568, they found the town deserted and that all of the

Spaniards had been killed (Lyon 1976:203; Zubillaga

1946:295-296). The European artifacts from the Safety

Harbor site could represent material evidence of this

garrison, as none of them dates solely to a post-1568

period. The Leon-Jefferson wares could also be from

this episode of contact.

The Safety Harbor site is remarkable because it

appears to be a single component site with two mounds

and a large habitation area, representing an intensive

Safety Harbor occupation with no underlying Weeden

Island-related component (Griffin and Bullen 1950;

Willey 1949a:137, 141). Many Safety Harbor sites in the

Tampa Bay area are multicomponent, and unmixed

habitation or midden areas are rare.

The Safford Mound (8Pi3) near Tarpon Springs was

excavated by Frank H. Cushing (1896:352-354), who

provided only a brief general description of his

findings. W. H. Holmes (1903) illustrated some vessels

from the mound. Moore (1903:433) claimed that this was

the Ormond Mound excavated previously by Walker

(1880a:396-399, Plate III), but the evidence is

inconclusive. Walker's description was of a sand mound

29 m in diameter and 1.5 m high, which yielded secondary

burials, cremations, and sherds (1880a:396-399).

Using Cushing's notes and photographs along with

the collection (now housed in the University of

Pennsylvania Museum [UPM] and FMNH), Bullen et al.

(1970) and Smith (1971:131-133) published descriptive

reports on the excavations and the recovered artifacts.

The reports included descriptions and illustrations of

pottery and other artifacts from the mound. The pottery


types revealed occupation from Deptford through Safety

Harbor times. The Safety Harbor component was

represented by Englewood Incised, Sarasota Incised,

Pinellas Plain, Pinellas Incised, Lake Jackson Plain,

and Safety Harbor Incised sherds and vessels (Bullen et

al. 1970; Smith 1971:131-133). Unfortunately, exact

provenience information was not recorded, so very little

is known about associations.

The mound was originally roughly circular in shape,

with a diameter of approximately 39 m, and a maximum

height of 1.8 m. It was surrounded by borrow pits. Two

pottery caches were noted on the east side, and Cushing

identified at least three strata of burials (Bullen et

al. 1970:84). More than 600 burials were excavated,

consisting mostly of secondary interments with a few

primary extended burials (Cushing 1896:353).

The Johns Pass Mound (8Pi4), located on a small

island along the Gulf coast, was first excavated by

Walker (1880a:401-403). He described an oval-shaped

sand mound measuring about 15 m by 7.6 m, with a height

of less than 1 m. He mentioned a large number of

sherds, apparently concentrated beneath extended

burials, many of which were subadults. An undescribed

glass bead (NMNH #35643) and a well-made rolled sheet


silver bead (#35642) were recovered from the mound


Moore (1903:434-436) excavated at the site several

decades later, removing flexed burials and discovering a

large secondary bone deposit. He mentioned staining

from red ochre and 10-12 Busycon cups, but generally the

burials were not accompanied by artifacts. His

illustration of sherds (1903:Figure 88) reveals that

Safety Harbor Incised and Pinellas Incised wares were

abundant. Check stamped sherds and fragments of a

single shell tempered vessel were also mentioned. This

may be the site mentioned by Bethell (1914:54-55), who

dug part of the mound (he encountered no artifacts), and

collected some human bones which he intended to send to

the Smithsonian Institution. Whether or not these

reached the Smithsonian is not known. Additional

collections from the Johns Pass site are in YPM (#21582)

and the R. S. Peabody Foundation (RSPF) (#38978 and


A collection of sherds from the site was

illustrated by Ostrander (1960). These sherds represent

vessels of Pinellas Incised, Safety Harbor Incised,

Point Washington Incised, and (according to William

Sears) Fort Walton Incised. Sears also identified Lake

Jackson Plain, St. Johns Plain, St. Johns Check Stamped,


Pinellas Plain, and sand tempered plain sherds in the

collection (Ostrander 1960:77).

Griffin and Smith (1948:28) cited Bushnell

(1937:34) as identifying the glass bead recovered by

Walker as a Florida Cut Crystal specimen, but it appears

that they were in error. The bead described by Bushnell

was from the Maximo Point site (1937:33).

The Clearwater site (8Pi5) was apparently a complex

of two large (approx. 90 m long and 3-4.5 m high) linear

shell mounds with a smaller one between them, and a

graded path leading to a freshwater pond about 140 m

away (Walker 1880b:419). Willey (1949a:332-333)

classified sherds and a Busvcon pick in NMNH (#35638,

43098-43101, and 88409), which were probably from this

site. The pottery indicates a Safety Harbor occupation

with an underlying late Weeden Island-related component

(see also Table 19).

A collection in NMNH (#363066) from an island site

(midden?) known as the Boca Ciega Island site (8Pi6)

contains mixed late Weeden Island and Safety Harbor

pottery types, along with sand tempered plain sherds

(Willey 1949a:333). A single rim sherd of shell

tempered ware from the site is in FMNH (#A-2614).

Willey (1949a:333) also listed two Pensacola Plain (a

shell tempered Fort Walton type) sherds from the site.


The Bayview site (8Pi7) was a mound excavated by S.

T. Walker (1880a:410). He described it as a sand mound

14 m in diameter, and less than a meter high at its

summit. Burials were deposited in three strata. Most

interments were apparently secondary, though his

description suggests that some primary burials may have

been present. In association with burials in the upper

two strata, Walker (1880a:410) found large numbers of

glass and metal beads, brass and copper ornaments, a

pair of scissors (NMNH #35313), and a looking glass

fragment (#35314). The large collection in NMNH also

contains a Flushloop bell (#35318), an early style Olive

Jar neck (#35320), and the basal portion of a majolica

vessel (#35327). This latter specimen is of particular

interest. It appears to be part of an albarelo, or drug

jar (Lister and Lister 1976:13). It is sloppily

decorated with dark green enamel over a gunmetal gray

glaze. There is a carefully executed round hole in the

base, suggesting that the aborigines "killed" the vessel

prior to interment. Willey (1949a:334) identified four

of the aboriginal sherds from the site as Safety Harbor


A card in the FMNH site file indicates that the

beads listed in Table 7 were collected from Walker's

spoil dirt. The present location of this collection is


Table 7. Beads Collected from S. T. Walker's Spoil
at the Bayview Mound (8Pi7).

Description Cou


Drawn opaque turquoise blue (Ichtucknee Blue)

Drawn transparent dark blue

Yellow oval

Spherical yellow

Spherical colorless

Ovate royal blue with 3 spiral white stripes

Gooseberry (spherical)

Gooseberry (ovate)

Cornaline d'Aleppo

Short royal blue cane with 3 groups of 3 red stripes

Chevron (undescribed)

Transparent dark blue seed

Drawn transparent dark green

Fragments of opaque turquoise blue unkno


Spherical silver coin beads

Rolled sheet silver


Disc beads

unknown. However, it may have been catalogued as part

of the Seven Oaks (8Pi8) collection (see below). A




















silver tablet (NMNH #35343) was also recovered from

Bayview by Walker (Allerton et al. 1984:28).

The NMNH collection (#35334-35345) includes many

strings of glass beads from the mound. These have not

yet been analyzed, but a cursory inspection revealed the

presence of tumbled chevrons, faceted chevrons, opaque

turquoise blue, eye beads, transparent green spheroid,

barrel-shaped gooseberry, Florida Cut Crystal, spheroid

Cornaline d'Aleppo, a few faceted transparent blue

(typically found on Seminole sites), and a diverse

collection of seed beads.

Willey (1949a:333) noted that the exact location of

the Bayview mound was uncertain. It is probable that

this is the same site as the Seven Oaks mound (8Pi8),

said to be "located about one-half mile west of Seven

Oaks" (Willey 1949a:334). This statement suggests that

there was a town or settlement called Seven Oaks at one

time. However, a local resident who directed

excavations at the site in the 1960s noted that Seven

Oaks was merely the name of a U. S. Post Office

southwest of Alligator Lake in Pinellas County (Gustave

A. Nelson, Sr., personal communication 1986). He

produced a map which had the locations of the Seven Oaks

Post Office, the town of Bayview, and the excavated

mound plotted. From this, it appears that both sites


are the same, a single mound south of Alligator Creek.

The location matches both Walker's (1880a:410)

description of Bayview and Willey's (1949a:334) location

for Seven Oaks.

In addition to Walker's excavations, a number of

episodes of excavation and collecting have occurred at

this site, which is now completely destroyed. A

sizeable collection of material from the site is curated

at FMNH, some of which was identified by Willey

(1949a:334-335). His identifications indicate a Safety

Harbor mound with both a Weeden Island-related component

and substantial evidence of European contact.

Most of the FMNH artifacts were obtained during the

first two decades of the twentieth century by T. Van

Hyning. Local residents obviously knew of the site,

because three of them donated many artifacts to FMNH,

including an extensive collection of European beads. In

addition to the aboriginal pottery reported by Willey

(1949a:334) and a large collection of shell beads, the

FMNH collection includes the European items listed in

Table 8.

The FMNH catalog lists 228 glass beads from the

site, but only 147 are present in the collection.

Goggin (1954b:Figure Ib) illustrated a brass or bronze

plummet from the site, but it is not in FMNH. The FMNH


Table 8. European Artifacts from the Seven Oaks Site
(8Pi8) in FMNH.

Description Count


Columbia Plain majolica (early variety) 5/2

Lead-glazed coarse earthenware (probably Spanish

Storage Jar) 2/0

Glass Beads:

SFaceted chevron (olive/barrel-shaped: navy blue/

white/red/white/transparent light blue/white/

thin transparent light blue core) 2

7 Faceted chevron (barrel-shaped: cobalt blue/white/

red/white/transparent medium blue/white/

transparent medium blue/thin white core) 1

SSmall Nueva Cadiz Plain (transparent cobalt blue)

(IIAle)* 1

/Small Nueva Cadiz Plain (transparent medium blue)

(IIAlf)* 1

Opaque white seed 5

Translucent dark purple seed 3

Wire-wound transparent light-medium blue seed 24

Drawn medium transparent blue seed 5

Patinated translucent yellow or amber-colored seed,

possibly wire-wound (VIDlc?)* 1

Transparent light green seed 1

Spherical transparent medium green seed 2


Table 8--continued

Description Count

Oblate colorless seed 1

Opaque turquoise blue seed 2

Olive-shaped/spheroid opaque turquoise blue seed 2

Donut-shaped opaque turquoise blue large seed 2

Oblate transparent medium aquamarine blue large seed 1

Spherical drawn opaque turquoise blue 8

Barrel-shaped drawn opaque turquoise blue 2

Drawn spherical translucent navy blue 1

Drawn barrel-shaped medium translucent blue 1

Drawn barrel-shaped medium transparent blue 3

Drawn barrel-shaped medium translucent cobalt blue 2

Spherical transparent light/medium blue 6

Spherical translucent cobalt blue 1

Drawn barrel-shaped transparent aquamarine blue 1

Spherical/oblate transparent aquamarine blue 9

Oblate transparent yellow 2

Olive-shaped transparent yellow 1

Olive or barrel-shaped translucent cobalt blue with

marvered facets 4

7Spherical transparent purple (IBlg)* 2

SOlive-shaped colorless Gooseberry 1

SSpherical/barrel-shaped colorless Gooseberry 3

Small oblate colorless Gooseberry 1


Table 8--continued

Description Count

Spherical colorless 1

Spherical transparent emerald green 1

Small short tubular medium transparent blue 1

Small heat-altered tubular transparent cobalt blue 1

Small spherical colorless 2

/Small olive-shaped opaque medium blue (VIDlh)* 2

Small olive-shaped/spheroid transparent medium blue 3

Small olive-shaped/spheroid transparent cobalt blue 1

Small olive-shaped transparent medium green 3

Small olive-shaped/spheroid translucent medium blue

with marvered facets 7

Small oblate transparent medium blue with marvered

facets (large seed size) 2

Small spherical transparent medium green with

marvered facets 2

Small spherical transparent medium emerald green

(large seed size) 3

Drawn tubular opaque medium blue 1

Small barrel-shaped opaque turquoise blue/thin

white/turquoise blue core 1

/Small spherical Cornaline d'Aleppo 1


Table 8--continued

Description Count

Spheroid transparent light green with 2 opaque white

and 2 opaque brick red alternating longitudinal

stripes 1

Tubular transparent emerald green with 3 opaque white

on wide brick red stripes 1

Drawn olive-shaped transparent yellow-green with

2 opaque white and 2 opaque brick red alternating

longitudinal stripes (a double bead) 1

Spherical transparent medium blue-green with 2 wide

opaque red and 2 thin opaque white alternating

longitudinal stripes 1

Spherical transparent medium blue with 2 opaque

white and 2 opaque brick red alternating

longitudinal stripes 2

Large drawn olive-shaped transparent medium blue

with 2 opaque white and 2 opaque brick red

alternating longitudinal stripes 1

Small olive-shaped translucent yellow with 3 opaque

white and 3 opaque brick red alternating

longitudinal stripes 1

Spherical transparent medium green (large seed size)

with gilded exterior 1


Table 8--continued

Description Count

Olive-shaped molded colorless or pale transparent

yellow with gilded exterior 1

Large olive-shaped spiral flute molded pale

transparent yellow with gilded exterior 1

Olive-shaped opaque medium blue Eye bead with

4 chevron insets 1

Tubular composite bead (translucent cobalt blue/thin

white/translucent cobalt blue core): 3 sets of

3 opaque red spiral stripes on exterior 1

Lapidary Beads:

Florida Cut Crystal (oblate, faceted) 3

Florida Cut Crystal (oblate, spiral faceted) 1

Spherical smooth polished colorless quartz 1

Large spherical true amber 1

Faceted garnet (12 linear facets, olive-shaped, sharp

equatorial ridge, 6 facets on each hemisphere) 2


Large spherical clay bead with gilded exterior 1


Drilled silver rod bead 3

Barrel/olive-shaped silver bead 3

Spherical/oblate silver bead 3

Silver coin bead 3


Table 8--continued

Description Count

Hammered silver object with engraved design 1

Perforated copper or brass disc 1

* Designation in the Smith and Good (1982) typology.

catalog also listed a musket ball in the collection, but

this could not be located.

In the late 1960s a group called the Safety Harbor

Area Historical Society (SHAHS) excavated what was left

of the mound. Though a report has not been completed,

they reportedly excavated 76 secondary burials, with

many aboriginal and European artifacts (Gustave A.

Nelson, Sr., personal communication 1986). Some of

these objects were on display at the Oldsmar Museum, and

are listed in Table 9. Many other glass beads similar

to the ones in the FMNH collection were also excavated

by SHAHS. Several Busvcon cups and shells, and a large

number of sherds of Safety Harbor and Weeden Island

pottery types were also on display at the Oldsmar


Many of the glass beads from Seven Oaks (and those

attributed to Bayview) are early sixteenth century types

(Smith and Good 1982), but a large percentage are late

sixteenth or seventeenth century or later types (Deagan


Table 9. European Artifacts from the Bayview/Seven Oaks
Mound (8Pi7/8Pi8) Displayed in the Oldsmar Museum.

Description Count


Olive Jar (some with handles) many

Lead-glazed coarse earthenware many

Columbia Plain majolica (early variety) 3

Glass Beads:

Faceted chevron 5

Olive-shaped white with 3 wide spiral blue stripes on

exterior (IB3e)* 1

Colorless Gooseberry (shape not recorded) 1

Drawn opaque turquoise blue 6


Drilled silver rod bead 2

Spherical silver bead 4

Iron scissors 1

Possible spoon 1

Possible knife 1

* Designation in the Smith and Good (1982) typology.

1987). The Columbia Plain majolica, Olive Jar sherds

with handles, and early style Olive Jar neck suggest an

early sixteenth century contact (Deagan 1987:33, 56-57;

Goggin 1960, 1968). These data indicate at least two

episodes of European contact. This interpretation is


supported by ethnohistoric accounts of early sixteenth

century and later contacts in the area (Solis de Meras

1964; Swanton 1985). The mound may have been used by

people occupying the Safety Harbor site (8Pi2) during

the protohistoric period. Other protohistoric

habitation sites have not been recorded in the immediate


The Karlton Street Mound (8Pil3) is about 200 m

south of the Hirrihigua Mound (8Pil08), near the

southern end of the Pinellas peninsula. It is

apparently the same site known as the Circle Drive site

(8Pi30), which Walker (1880a:406-407) called Pinellas

Point 1 (Robert J. Austin, personal communication 1988).

Local informants report that a sand and shell causeway

previously connected this site to the Hirrihigua Mound

(Robert J. Austin, personal communication 1988). The

site is described as a midden or mound of sand and

shell, measuring 30 m across and 1.5-1.8 m high. The

proximity of this site and the Hirrihigua Mound suggests

that they are contemporaneous, but a collection in FMNH

(#A-2616) from 8Pi30 contains a single Busycon shell,

some quartzite pebbles, and sherds of sand tempered

plain and Norwood pottery. The Norwood pottery

indicates a late Archaic date (Phelps 1965), and no


diagnostic Safety Harbor artifacts are known from the


The Mullet Key site (8Pil6), consisting of a shell

midden and two possible sand mounds, was recorded by

John Griffin (1951b), who collected eight sherds of

Pinellas Plain from the surface (FMNH #99708). Based on

these, he assigned a Safety Harbor date to the site.

However, it should be noted that Pinellas Plain also

occurs in late Weeden Island-related contexts in the

region (Luer and Almy 1980:211).

Private collections from a site recorded as 8Pi105,

east and south of 8Pil6, include Pinellas Plain (with at

least one notched lip), possible Pinellas Incised, sand

tempered plain, Pasco Plain, St. Johns Plain, grog

tempered sherds, faunal remains, and a chert flake

(Robert J. Austin, personal communication 1988). These

materials probably came from part of the same site, and

indicate that a Safety Harbor component is present.

The Dunedin Temple Mound (8Pil7) is listed in the

FMSF as a Safety Harbor mound, but Walker (1880a:399)

recovered no artifacts in his excavations there. The

rectangular, flat-topped mound, now destroyed, measured

24 m x 48 m, with a height of 2.7 m (Luer and Almy



The site called the Point Pinellas (sometimes

spelled Pinellos) Mound (8Pil8) presents a problem in

interpretation. This is recorded in the FMSF as a

large, flat-topped mound composed of sand and shell, and

was first described by Walker (1880a:407). He assigned

No. 10 to the mound, and noted that it was oblong, 7.6 m

high, had a ramp on the west side, and was steep-sided

(1880a:407). His excavations yielded burials, pottery,

projectile points, and tools, but these were

subsequently lost in an accident.

The problem involves the location of the site.

Walker's (1880a:406) map was not very accurate, and he

seems to have confused cardinal directions in some of

his descriptions. Two decades later, C. B. Moore

(1900:355-356) visited the site and excavated part of

it, encountering plain pottery, a bone tool, and a chert

point fragment. He also mentioned a sand and shell

causeway extending about 34 m to the south. The same

site was described some years later by Bethell (1914:51-

52) and Wainwright (1916:142-143).

This site is probably the Hirrihigua Mound

(8Pil08), which is still preserved in a residential

neighborhood of St. Petersburg (Goodyear 1972:29; Luer

and Almy 1981:131). This mound originally had a shell

causeway extending out from the south side (Goodyear