ARCHAEOLOGICAL DISCOVERY WITH THE ALCILLA RIVER PREHISTORY PROJECT
VOLUMlE IX NO.1
The Big Picture
C.B. Moore's excavations on the Aucilla River
Way down upon the Aucilla River
Latvis/Simpson site in Little River explored
Sloth Hole site excavations
The Bolen surface
Page/Ladson deep site excavations
Enigmatic bola date resolved
Slave Canal mound excavations
Florida's lost city of Atlantis
View from the screendeck
Dive team salutes screendeck crew
The class of '95
Farewell, Miss Fossil
Adventures in learning
The Governor's visit
Floridas funding of historic preservation
State funds archaeology project
Distinguished service awards
Representative Marjorie Turnbull's insite visit
Public outreach and educational presentations
UF Diving support to ARPP
Presenting the colors
Dr. Richard Ohmes and the ivory collection
Access to tools
STUDENT CAREER DEVELOPMENT
Introducing ARPP's students
View from graduate school
View from undergraduate school
ANOTHER DAY AT THE WATER HOLE
ABOUT "THE AlUCILLA RIVER TIMES
THE BIG PICTURE
(Click on image for full size
View from the bridge
S. DAVID WEBB PROJECT DIRECTOR
In 1995 The Aucilla River Prehistory Project abbreviatedd ARPP) embarked on the first large-scale
effort to recover and interpret the rich prehistoric record entombed in the Aucilla River. This does not
mean that prior efforts were unimportant: on the contrary, previous expeditions made crucial
investments in locating the best resources and in developing practical systems for conducting credible
underwater paleontology) and archaeology. The accelerated commitment of ARPP in 1995 is evident in
such parameters as funding. personnel. equipment, sites workedd and scientific outreach Some of these
points are highlighted here: others are more full\ explored elsewhere in this ne\\sletter.
Continued support fiom the National Geographic Society. Inc., now for the tenth year.
Order of magnitude increase in funding, thanks to the Florida Department of State and the Florida
Legislature which provided a Special Category Grant of about $1 "0.000 for 1995-96 (see "Slate Funds
Archaeology Project". page 23 ) The Committee for Historic Preservation ranked the ARPP among the
top ten proposals (and as the highest archaeological proposal) providing strong independent
endorsement of this project Participants in this grant program are invited to help shepherd it through the
legislati\ e appropriation process.
On January 10, 1996 following the preserv\aton rally organized by the Secretary of State. nine project
members divided into three teams, and stalked the halls of the Florida Capitol, inviting their legislators
to support another historic preservation. The nine were Jack Simp-son. Wilder Bassett. Steve Glover.
Joe Latbis. Ed Green. Brinnen Carter. Jody Barker. Dean Sligh and Dave Webb. We would like to take
credit for elegant demeanor and eloquent per suasion. but it may ha\e been the beautiful trophy cases
that Mark Nlumz loaded with per feet Paleo point replicas and a fishhook. that made the good
impression. In any event. each of our dozen contacts in the Senate and the House promised strong
support for the Historic Preser action Program (see accompanying comment from the Secretary of State.
ARPP warnml acknowledges increased sup-port b\ prnxate and corporate benefactors (see "Boosters".
page 26). Their contributions are especially xital since neither of the two grants aboxe provide for
acquisition of permanent equipment. Virtually every critical piece of field equipment upon which our
logistics increasingly rely, bears the name of a pniate or corporate supporter who N\ isely earmarked it.
Rest assured that these gifts receive affectionate care and maintenance.
Ne\er before has the ARPP been able to work so effectively at three malor sites In 1995 we made major
advances at Sloth Hole (n the West Run. belo\ High\\ay 98). fully opened the ne\\ Lat\is. Simpson Site
(in Little River. abo e Nutall Rise). and extended our largest excavations at the Page Ladson Site (in
Half-Nlile Rise). Preliminary indications as to the scientific importance of these operations are gi en in
some of the en-closed articles.
To staff its increased commitment to field \\ork. ARPP made a malor effort to recruit new volunteers.
Dixe logs show that they invested a total of nearly 800 hours of bottom time last year Their names are
listed inside (see "Class of9.5". page 17 It is a pleasure to report that the quality of ne\\ volunteers \\as
trul\ remarkable. The new recruits are exery bit as good as our old stalwarts, and that is sa ing a lot!
At last the ARPP \as able to place two of its longest-suffering volunteers on the payroll. Jack Simpson
became Site Manager and Joe Latvis was appointed as Museum Operations Specialist.
A few years ago. during our Board of Director's meeting at the Ladson House. \\e \vere charged by UF
Provost Andy Sorensen with in\ olving more students in our project. With stronger funding. w\e have
been able to pursue that challenge Fix e outstanding students hae no\\- hitched their professional \\ag-
ons to ARPP's star. Although some programs treat graduate students like "cannon fodder we regard these
five as "our franchise". The first three are already\ enrolled as Unixersitx of Florida graduate students in
Anthropology, studying with Jerry Milanich and Dav id Webb. Brinnen Carter is now \\ritin his
doctoral dissertation on the Bolen level at the Page Ladson Site, (see "The Bolen Surface". page 8).
And\ Hemmings is working g on his Master's degree featuring Paleoindian material from Sloth Hole (see
"Sloth Hole Site excavations". page 7) Andy came here from the Universitx of Arizona in Tucson. one
of the country's best programs in Archaeology. where he studied with Vance Haaynes among others. And
Mark Nluniz. who has just entered graduate school. plans to select one of the Little Rixer Paleoindian
sites for his research A fourth student. Matt Nlilllbachler. currently a senior at the Uiiiersity of
Southern Illinois. has worked with the ARPP both in the field and as a research associate analyziing
proboscidean digesta (see "Mlastodon Dung". page 12) He has now applied to the Unixersity of Florida
Zoology Department, and e\ trust that he will be joining us official\ next fall. Last but by no means
least. Lance Carlson is a UF junior pursuing a double major in Anthropology and Geography. Lance
plays an active role in the ARPP. and S David \Webb will feature some of its sites and findings in his
As the ARPP delves more deeply into the ife and times of the first Floridians, it must announce and
authenticate its results in scientific and public forums I.n 1995 the ARPP substantially increased the
number of publications prepared and in press (see "Suggested Readings"). It has also greatly increased
the number of public presentations by staff and students. Audiences from Berlin to Detroit and from
Monticello to Orlando haxe been thrilled by the underxNater \ideo and splashy discoveries of our team.
(See "Public Outreach and Educational Presentations" ).
ARPP is proud of its 1995 achievements They place us precisely w\her e \\e ant to be in our fixe-year
plan. Early next century the students no\\ joining the program \\ill be finishing, and some of us old
veterans may be seeking honorable retirements. If \e maintain approximately the same intense effort.
and sustain equivalent levels of public and private support. we may be sanguine about accomplishing
most of our goals. The Aucilla River's prehistoric wealth \arrants nothing less.
During these next fe\ \ ears the ARPP \\ill begin to alter the emphasis of man\ of its activities. devoting
a greater share of its energies to public outreach. education, exhibits and \ideo Exploration and primary
field \\ork will be balanced by a greater investment in museum curation and scientific analyses. E\en
next vear we are considering inv iting volunteerss to help in tie museum as \\ell as the field Maturing
students \\ill balance collecting efforts with producing publications, as they realize the seriousness of the
academic adage. "publish or perish".
Even no\\ the ARPP definitely needs more money\ for carbon dates, for precise chronology lies at the
heart of all prehistory. ARPP's advanced studies \\ill increasingly iolve other labs and other experts to
fill in the multidisciplnary details that are uniquely preserv-ed in our health h of river sediments. An
essential effort with Joe Lat is' \-ideography and Gene Row-e's photography is to provide a clear and
enticing record of ARPP's work both for scientific scrutiny and for public pleasure. These are some of
the directions the ARPP is going as \\e all join in pursuing its destiny into the next century.
iClick Onl image for full size)
C. B. Moore's excavations on the Aucilla River
JERALD T. MILANICH
More than ninety y ears ago Clarence Bloomfield Moore. a resident of Philadelphia. initiated
archaeological investigations on the Aucilla Ri\er. In the spring of 1902 and again in 1918 Moore
excavated in a \Veeden Island culture mound located on the east side of the river said to be about 2.5
miles from its mouth on a farm owned by Mr. B. F Le\\is of Monticello, Florida (I will refer to this
mound as Lew\is Moound A. on the 1955 Nutall Rise USGS topographic sheet Ingher ground and an
access road are indicated at approximately this location, probably marking the site of the farm In 1918
following his excavation of Mound A oore put several "trial-holes" in a second mound (Mound B)
located near the first. He also examined other sites along the river
Born ill 1852. Moore spent the first forty \ears of his life enjoying the healthh and privilege that he
inherited fiom his father But he also sought adventure outside of his life as a Philadelphia socialite. In
1876. three years after graduating from Harvard University. lie made a \\est-to-east journey across the
Andes and then traveled do\\ n the Amazon Rier to its mouth. Moore also participated in big-game
safaris and he traveled \\idely in Europe
In 1892 Moore turned to a newN diversion. archaeology. For the next quarter century lie devoted a part of
almost every year to excavating archaeological sites in the southeastern United States, initially in Florida
on the St..Johns Ri\er but eventually along the coasts and major ri\er systems of the entire southeast. In
1918 at the age of sixt\-six lie ceased field excavations. Moore .k died ill 1936 at home in Philadelphia.
leaving a legacy of twenty-one well-illustrated volumes reporting on his excavations.
Throughout most of his archaeological career Moore traveled aboard his steamship the GopheT Each
year an assistant traveled to the region \\here the next field season's explorations were to take place to
locate sites, make arrangements with land o\\ners, hire crews. and the like Field seasons generally
began in November and lasted to late April The other months \ere spent in analysis and writing
With the flat-bottomed Gopher Moore could navigate the waterss of the coasts and larger rivers. To gain
access to shallo\\er rivers or to cross bars at the mouths rivers Moore and his assistants used small boats
carried aboard the steamship. In the 1917-1 YLS season he replaced these ro\wed boats with a motor
launch The launch \\as used in 1918 to explore sites on the Aucilla River north of the Lew\is mounds
Moore summarized those later ill\estigations b\ noting. "A number of other places v visited by us on the
Aucilla ri er proved to be only aboriginal dwelling-sites. yielding nothing of interest "
Moore published the results of his 1902 and 1918 Aucilla River investigations in the Journal of the
Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (the 1902 report is in \olume XII, part 2. pp. 3 2-3 0. the
1918 report is iln \olume XVI. part 4. pp. 564--56-). The following information comes fiomn those
reports. Moore's field notes are archived in the Huntington Free Library associated \\ ith the Museum of
the American Indians i now a branch of the Smithsonian Institution's National N museum of American
Indians-NNIAI) in the Bronx. Ne\\ York. The Lew\is mounds are in Notebooks 21 and 45.
When Moore first excavated in Mound A at the Le\\is farm a large portion of it \\as covered with a log
"stable" and conal probably used in cattle ranching At the time the 6.5-foot high mound was 64-feet in
diameter In 1918 when he returned to the site tie enclose nclo had been removed, allo\ ing Moore to
excavate the remainder of the mound
Numerous limestone rocks from the size of a human head to irregular masses perhaps 1 foot b\ 2 feet by
1 foot" lay atop the mound and were found within n it. The mound had been constructed in two stages: an
upper zone of "clayey sand. black and tenacious. probably from adjacent s\ amps" overlay a 1- to 2-foot-
tlick stratum of packed cla\ Human burials were found in both strata, all in poor shape probably
because of the erosive action of ground\\ater acids.
In the 1902 excavations three flexed burials \\ere found in the lo\\er Jerald T. Milanich stratum and
fifteen in the upper zone. The latter included two "bunched" groups representing eight and four people.
respectively. These probably \\ere groups of bundled remains. One flexed interment wx-as present in the
upper stratum as were two single crania. Some of these burials were covered by clusters of limestone of
rocks. Also found \ere a chert knife or point and several shell cups \\ith perforations (presumably
Moore's 1902 exca\ nations centered on the eastern portion of the mound. Ther e he uncovered a cache of
fourteen whole or broken Weeden Island I period pottery vessels as well as sherds from other \ essels
Six of the items are Ilustrated in the 1902 report: a dog-head effigy adorno. a \Veeden Island Punctated
beaker, a Weeden Island Incised turkey vulture effigy vessel, a Weeden Island Incised crested bird
effigy \essel. and two Weeden Island Plain compartmentalized vessels.
During the 1918 excavations Moore "dug the mound completel)" Skeletal remains representing fift\-
two additional individuals were found. Interments again were flexed. bundled. and single crania burials
and some were covered with rocks. A shallow \ grave apparently dug into the ground surface before
mound construction contained a child burial. The individual. eight to ten years old. was covered with a
large deposit of limestone rocks Another individual had red ochre next to the pelvis. while two others
were interred with shell cups.
A Sw\ift Creek Complicated Stamped squared ceramic beaker with a constricted mouth is illustrated in
the 1918 report Moore notes the beaker and "numerous sherds and a number of vessels, some ha\iing
parts missing" also exca\ ated that year were the remainder of the pottery cache partially excavated
sixteen \ears earlier
Another of these cache v essels. also illustrated, is a Weeden Island pedestaled human effigy \ essel. The
individual depicted wears a headdress that may be the nubs of newly developed deer antlers. On the
effi-y's back is an open basket or pack: arms are folded across the stomach and the person is attired in a
belt or breech clout (or. perhaps, an animal pelt \\ith the head attached, the face bears some resemblance
to Andy Hemmings).
Elsewhere in Mound A \ere "about half a dozen parts of vessels in fragments and piles of sherds from
various \essels." chert tools. a fragment of a polished quartz bannerstone. a bone a\\ and a sheet of
Mound A is a typical Weeden Island I period burial mound, probably dating between A.D. 400-750. The
presence of \Veeden Island pottery. an east-side pottery cache. limestone rocks, two-stage construction.
and flexed. bundled, and single-crania interments all are characteristic of Weeden Island mounds of that
Modern archaeologists probably would interpret the mound as having been used by a single kin group
Most likely the lo\\er stratum Nl-as a low platformnn mound on which a charnel house for the storage of
deceased relatives bones was built. An initiatory burial was made in the ground surface under the
primary mound Bundles of cleaned bones-skulls and long bones-\\ere later taken from the charnel
structure. laid down on the platform's surface. and covered with cla\ey sand and. at times, rocks. The
"black and tenacious" clayey sand may have been a humic zone that had fornned on the floor of the
charnel house. Over time additional burials were placed on the mound's surface and covered with more
clay and occasionall. limestone rocks.
At the time the charnel house \as removed and tie first burials laid down on the platform. a cache of
pottery vessels probably was placed on the east side of the mound. These probably had been used for
The sequence of construction, mound use. human intennents, and pottery cache deposit resulted in a
typical Weeden Island I burial mound. [For more on the Weeden Island culture. including mounds, see
chapter 5 in Archaeology of Precolumbian Florida (Universit\ Press of Florida. 1994).]
Moore's excavations in Mlound B at the Lewis farm \ere far more cursory The mound. "located a short
distance from the landing. was a low sand mound blackened by organic matter Test units uncovered
thirteen flexed burials and three bundled burials No Weeden Is land pottery or east-side pottery deposit
was found, suggesting the mound may ha\e been similar to post- A.D 750 Weeden Island mounds. One
individual was interred \\ith an S-inch long greenstone celt, other artifacts in the mound were a flat
limestone tool 3 5 inches long. a bone a\l. a sheet of mica, and several chert tools
Both of the mounds probably were associated with a nearby villagee Moore states "in all directions near
the landing at the Le\\ is Place, the ground gil es evidence of former aboriginal occupancy. and the
discovery of several objects of interest in it are reported by Mr. Lewis." We might guess that these
artifacts \\ere associated with a village midden that \as eroded when the area \\as cleared for the Lew\is
At least several of the Mound A ceramic vessels are curated in the NMAI's New\ York branch. An
interesting project would d be to relocate the Le\\ is mounds. read Moore's original field notes, and
examine the N IAI collections. Perhaps there is infonnation that would help us to better understand the
prehistory of the Aucilla River.
(Click on image for full size)
Side \iew. Mound A human effigv (From Moore 1918)
SClick on image for full size)
Way down upon the Aucilla River
BY BRINNEN CARTER
Canoes were and still are to some extent the favored means of transporting people and goods into the
most remote areas in Florida I want to gi\e everyone \\-ho reads this article an idea of tle tilne-depth of
water transport in the New World and the prospects for extending that record \\-ith finds from the Aucilla
River and fiom other rivers in Florida. Of course, no archaeological story begins with the discovery of
an artifact: it actually begins when the object is originally created. In the case of canoes. even indication
is that American Indians of the Southeast constructed them fiom single logs. hollowed out by a
combination of fire and stone tools-until the introduction of plank-built boats.
Barbara Purdv and Lee Newsom (1991) categorized and described the various types of canoes found in
Florida bogs. lakes. and rivers. According to them. there are four principle types of mono-hull canoes.
con\- enently tenned Types one through four. Type one canoes (Fi.ure I) are roughly made. They often
ha\e indistinguishable bo\\s and sterns with a fair amount of carbonized \\ood (charcoal) remaining in
the interior. Type t\o canoes (Fieure 2) are made the same \ay as type one (fire hollowing), but tle
bo\\ and stern are be\ eled on the bottom and flattened on the top. They appear to be better finished.
Type three canoes (Figure 3) are made in much the same style as the other two. but the bo\\ has a large
over iang. which is presumed to help the canoe deal with larger \aves and rougher conditions. The final
type appears to be made late in the prehistoric period with metal tools. This fourth type is similar to
Type two in general shape and configuration. Ages for the canoes range fiom 5110 radiocarbon ears
before present (B.P) to several hundred \ears B.P. (Purdy and Newsom 1991-265-2"5).
You might ask \why ou hal e just been treated to a brief review of mono-hull canoe types in Florida.
Well. in 1993 the Aucilla River Project \\as proceeding with excavation of the paleosol see "The Bolen
Surface". page 8 that dates to 10.000 \ears ago \Ve opened up t\\ o square meters of the area to the \\est
of our old Test C excavation in anticipation of finding in-place archaeological materials. The two one-by-
one meter units \ere called Test ( and H. After having successfully removed the o\-erburden and
documented Unit G. \e began removing overburden fiom Unit H. When \\e were between 50cm and a
meter abo\e the Bolenage paleosol tle team ran across a large unidentified woodenn object. We needed
to remove it in order to successfully document the underlying unit so \e carefully sa\\ed the object off
at the south boundary of the unit The removed piece was put in a matrix bag (Iylon mesh) and set aside
for documentation. We proceeded with excavation of the surface.
When the season was o\er. \e transported the cut-off piece back to the Florida Museum of Natural
History. I subsequently dre\ and sampled it for a carbon date. After se eral weekss in storage at the
museum we decided to repatriate the section and we put it back in the same unit from whence it had
come. Ho\-el er. the general configuration of the section had already\ piqued our interest. It looked
somewhat like the end of a Type one canoe. It also appeared to have some soil of burning on the upper
surface Our suspicions were raised enough to spur additional Nwork in the same area the following year
In tile meantime. a sample was sent to Beta Analytic (thex do carbon dating) and they returned a date of
Y960 B.P. +80 An additional sample \\as sent to Lee Ne\\soi. \\ho identified the \ood as cypress, a
common canoe- building wood in sw ample Florida environments during later periods.
May 1994- "\as designated as "uncover the 'canoe'" month By this time we all felt moderate\
comfortable \\ith designating the large wooden object as a canoe. The results of the N ay 1994
excavation were inconclusive ho\\ ever. Indeed. the additional 2m of the object we uncovered was
partially cupped on the upper surface and fully rounded on the lower surface. but the other end of it \\as
nowhere in sight. \e \ere increasingly tantalized. You \\ill find a synopsis of the 199- excavation in
the previous Ai/Lt l// R/iv1e /Il m'.
lMay 1995 was eannarked fo further excavation of the large \ooden object. B\ this time I had
determined that the object rested or in-ersected the paleosol on which \e had found diagnostic Bolen
artifacts and had a distinct southward tilt to it We would d need to be extremely careful as we excavated
to the south not to disturb artifacts that might be sand wiched between the log and the surface.
Excav action proceeded as it normally does. slo\ but steady I was pri ileged to have a crew that \\as in
tune to tie amount of work that needed to be done and the limited amount of time \\e had to do it The
cre\ \\as composed of Paul Aughey. Daxe Ball. Graval Farr. Ed Green. Andy Hemmings. Joe Lat\ is.
Chuck Nleide. and mI self.
We extended the exca action to the south. removing clay layers above the wooden object up to 2m thick.
The wooden object lost its canoe-like appearance as we uncovered it and it took on the shape of a large
cypress log, about 50cm in diameter. But that's not the end of the story. As \e uncovered further and
further south, the "log canoe"-as xwe now call it-had a unique feature. The entire log canoe had a large
gap in it approximately 4-in from the end we first uncovered. This gap has been interpreted as either cut.
as in worked d with human tools. or broken. To make matters e\en more intriguing, the log canoe
continued on into the as-yet-unexca ated underwater sediment bank At the point it disappears into the
bank. the overburden lasers are 2mn-3m deep. Ainy additional work on further uncovering the "log/canoe"
\ill require daxs of using our six-inch dredge to remo e these compacted clays and peats.
While the site lies idle. we took a section out of the log 'canoe and sent it to David Stalle at the
Uni ersitv of Arkansas. He does tree ring dating on c press in the Southeast (Taxodium sp '. We are
optimistic that we max be able to collect enough wood from this laver to begin constructing a "floating
chronology" of tree I11n dates for the region. This \\ill require finding and sampling at least tell cypress
logs from this same stratum-not an eas\ feat. But the potential re\\ads are large It would be the first
tree-ring chronology from this period (10.500-9.500 B.P.) in the region.
The identity of the "lou canoe" is not yet clear, but the great thing about tils type of research is that there
is no wrong g answ er to the question "\What is it"' If it is a canoe. \e have the oldest one in the Amnericas.
If it is a log. our samples begin to build a tree-ring chronology for a critical period of environmental
transition in North America. Ho\\ever, until the other end of the "log canoe" is excavated, this question
remains unans\\ered. Additional excavation of this fascinating part of the Aucilla River Prehistory
Project \\ill contilLnue.
r -^% Click on image for full size)
Latvis/Simpson site in Little River explored
BY ANDY HENIMINGS
The focus of this year's May' June field season \\as the Lat\is Simpson Site in the lo\er end of the
Little River Section of the Aucilla. Our purpose \\as tw\ofold- 1 To excavate and sample a 30 foot
verticall sediment bank for paleoenvironmental data (and possibly to find archaeological remains as
w ell): and 2) to excavate and collect the remains of a proboscidean embedded in the sediment at the
bottom of the 30 foot \\all. As it turned out the full month \as required just to sample the column of
sediment. leading no time to collect the bone bed at the bottom or excavate the Mastodon or Mammoth
stuck in the mud. To accomplish our second goal \e scheduled an additional two week foray to the
depths in early A.ugust. Fortunately, the second effort was enough to reach our goals
The excavation of the sediment bank was painstakingly slow due to the compacted nature of tle clays.
Four Nlarshalltown tro\\els and countless off-brand tro\\els made the supreme sacrifice for the effort. In
the end \e made a stairway just over eight meters deep in eleven 1 b\ 1 meter steps. Two of these steps
idi iidually were over two meters high. For the entire height of eight plus meters \e took 4 one liter
bulk samples and 8 pill bottle carbon and pollen samples at increments of 20 centimeters (there \\ere
additional samples taken when changes in the sediment occurred I This sediment was taken to the
Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville \\here it was frozen until it can be processed.
Several samples have been thawed. and or ganic material has been remo\ ed for radiocarbon dating the
middle and top of the site. Currently \\e hae two dates. Between tle upright tusks a seed of cucurbita
pepo \\as recovered in the stra\\ mat that returned an accelerator mass spectrometer (AMNS) date of
31.550 rcybp +240. Roughly two meters above this a piece of wood \as dated to just o\er 25.000 years
old Our expectation is that the sediments up from here will be progressively younger. how e er. whhat
we are anxious to find is the probable large break in the continuity of deposition. The thought is that six
meters of sediment \\ill not be a full record of 25.000 years of deposition. At the moment the story is
incomplete and \\ill unfold o\er the next \ear or so.
Because \\e did not reach the bottom of the sediment column In June the exciting \\ork had to \wait until
August. At the bottom of the bank \e surface collected 22 one meter units of faunal. and some cultural.
remains that -were mostly disarticulated. The artifacts included a Bolen Beveled point and a reworked
Simpson point ( Fiure 1) (much to our surprise). This is not to say that tlhe are associated \\ith the
animals at the bottom The artifacts. and most of the bones, are remo ed from their original context' The
only clear exception are the tusk fragments that fit onto the tips as they came out of the clay and
stra\\mat. These associated pieces can safely be said to lie in situ. The verticall angle of the tusk tips \\as
measured when they \\ere exposed, the \\ere 5T for the north tusk and 74 for the south tusk
respectively It certainly appears that this individual died face do\wn in the mud. Four other completely
unstained juvenile proboscidean bones \ere re covered. including a humerus and a rib fragment that also
stood \ertically ill the sediment Further excavation \ill be quite re\\arding because we know of another
ten unstained bones protruding from the stra\\mat and overlaying clay layer.
Practically everyone currently \ith the Aucilla River Prehistory Project \as involved in this operation
and I would like to personally thank each and everN one who helped \\ith a wonderful site that \\ill yield
enormous amounts of information about prehistoric Florida for years to come. I would also like to
apologize for whistling the "I Dream of Jeannie" theme song ever \\ making moment, however tils
apology is not extended to Bill Gifford because lie made me do it.
r -- (.' Click on image for full size)
Sloth Hole site excavations
BY ANDY HENIMINGS
Belo\\ Highway 98 in the Aucilla Ri\er is a site that Dick Ohmes collected hea\-ily for many \ears (See
"Ohmes Ivory Collection") His incredible collection of stone. bone and ivory artifacts n(much of which
has been donated to the Florida Mluseum of Natural History) prompted our desire to examine this site
thoroughly and decide if it warrantss more full scale excavation. This site is of course Sloth Hole
(8JE121) where we spent nearly two weeks. testing and surface collecting, split between the June and
August field seasons
In June e we relocated the area \\here we had found tremendous amounts of Mlastodon remains during the
sure\ of 1994. This area also included a large number of nondiagnostic artifacts, all of which were
lai ing on a fresh-looking reddish peat. Because of the thick soup of loose sediment and leaf litter \\e
only cleared one square meter and dug a test excav action 20 by 20 centimeters. Radiocarbon dates for
samples of wood from 22cm and 69cm belo\\ the surface of this stratum came back at 411.000 and
43.000 years before present respectively Clearly our artifacts are at least vertically deflated, and we
were looking in a area that w as too old to represent a human occupation. The dates came in prior to our
return to the site in August and afforded the opportunity to rethink our strategy
In August we ino\ed to shallower areas of the relict sinkhole looking for intact sediments. hopeful.
bearing cultural remains. Three units were excavated in different parts of the site All contained artifacts
in the upper le\ els abo\ e the clay peat sediments ()lne unit did contain litlics that \\ere not stained and
in fact seem to be fiom a chert source about half a mile a\\way Part of the 1996 field season \\ill be spent
excavating the immediate area of this unit and de\ eloping a thorough map of the entire site.
The area with the 41.0010 year old sediment is literally covered \\ith bones and artifacts. While \e kno\\
this is not a primary deposit it appears that this may be an area that is only \ ertically deflated. This
seems reasonable be- cause the remains of the lastodon are pretty much articulated. \\ith everything in
the right order. When \\e general a map that plots all the bone by unit then this should become clear.
We surface collected tw\-el e units in a continuous block above the 41.000 \ear old area The artifacts we
recovered include- Several Aucilla Adzes, Bolen points: Ivory foreshaft fragments, a broken lauceolate
point FIigure I ): Many varietiess of unifacial tools generally associated with paleoindian occupations: A
fluted Burin (Fi. ure 21 : man forms of bone pins. including one that may ha e remains of a mastic on it:
and last but not least Terry McKibben found a nearly complete J shaped bone fishhook (Flure 3) almost
three inches long in one of our units.
To date. we hale 586 artifacts from this site in the Florida Museum of Natural History. This number
includes over half of all academically known worked i\ori in the New \Vorld. As work progresses at
this ver rich site it is our greatest hope that intact sediments containing extinct faunal remains and
paleoindian artifacts will be found in situ in the sediments After much deliberation, and some digging.
we have two \ery intriguing areas within Sloth Hole to examine this summer. Lacking a good stratified
context this site would still warrant more investigation simple because of the large and ard ae number of
paleoindian and earl\ archaic artifacts that ha e been recovered to date.
The motley cast of characters \ho worked at Sloth Hole all desert e a big hug and a cookie. \\What you
will actually get is an extra turn as pond scum if I ha e am thing to sa\ about it. In all earnest the daily
circuitous commute to the site and severe black\iater conditions at the bottom make the amount of
information we were able to gather all that much more amazing. Thanks you all. Let's go find the in situ
The Bolen Surface
A story of Opal and precious stones
BRINNEN S. CARTER, M.A.
The 1995 Excavations of earliest Archaic levels at the Page Ladson Site \ere an unqualified success.
The target was to complete final field excavations for In\ doctoral dissertation featuring the Bolen
Culture as represented b\ an occupation level on a 10.000 year old paleosol. We sur\ ived a hurricane
and still accomplished 1 "5% of the season's object\ es.
In the research plan for October I indicated that \\e would exca ate a 2 by 2 meter square in the allotted
three \eek period Because the field crew "\as \ell prepared and the equipment performed perfectly, the
net result \\as a full seven square meters. This three-w\eek blitz included the initial exercise of renmoing
loose leaves and intact overburden to get down to the critical levels. and the final steps of detailed
mapping and careful recover\ of flint, bone. stone and \ood artifacts as \\ell as other samples.
As \\ith any successful excavation, much planning and paperwork \ere done before the season began.
Joe Lat\ is had nailed down commitments from \ volunteers as early as May for our October-No\ ember
season, and Jack Simpson had workedd out the logistics for feeding and supp)l)ying our small army.
Kno\\ ing that personnel and logistics were covered. I was able to develop a research design in late
August. and pro ide it to Joe and to like Faught for further planning and coordinating like's plan for
the deeper excavations in the second half of the season depended to a great extent on \\hat I planned for
the first half. In mid September I trucked much of the Museum gear tip to the Aucilla Rixer. A final trip
on September 30th coincided \\ith the arri al of most of the crew at the river cabin for a pre-season
greeting and briefing. Joe reviewed the stringent safety procedures. I reviewed the scientific objectives.
and \\e all retired for the evening so \e \\outld be fiesh for the weeks ahead
On October 1 we transported and assembled all the equipment at the site Joe and I made the first di\e to
determine ho\\ much leaf-litter had accumulated since our last \\ork eight months earlier. The ri er had
looked fav orably upon us. and the six-inch dredge worked \ell. for \e were able to renmov e most of the
grunge on that first day The next day \-e began to renmoe many meters of overburden sediments abo\e
the target area of four square meters. This \as a new\ area south of our old Test C pit. We cut the south
bank almost \ertically. a decision that turned out to be important later. Then came The Storm.
Hurricane Opal s\\ept up the Gulf and pushed inland at Panama City In \ie\\ of its dire threat, \\e had
evacuated most of our equipment from the site t\o miles back down the Jeep trail to the Ladson's boat
shed. Only t\wo inches of rain fell directly on the Aucilla Ri\er. but \e waitedd two and a half precious
days, first for the storm to pass and then for the tidal surge that had s\\amped tie road to the site
Once \we re-established our position at the site. w\e removed the gray clays do\\Lnward until \\e \vere 20
to 4-0 cm above the Bolen level Then \ve more carefully excavated sediments in 10 cm levels within n
one b\ one meter units. At t at point \\e laid out a grid two meters \\ide b\ three meters long marked by
orange survey stakes The research plan called for controlled exposure of the uppermost layer of the dark
paleosol that \\e call "the Bolen surface" Almost immediately we exposed three Bolen points from tle
gray clay immediately above the paleosol Two are black. covered \\ith iron-oxide stain (Figure 1 ) and
the other \\as light gra., the original hue of the translucent local chert i Fiu re 2). These early discoveries
ga\e a tremendous lift to everyone's spirits and made Opal seem like a distant memory. We continued to
excavate the levels above the paleosol. We noted repeatedly that as we worked d do\\wnward closer to tile
paleosol the cla\ became progressively shellier and \\as interspersed with fractured dolomite and
rounded limestone cobbles Next \\e began to expose the paleosol itself. again w working within one by
one meter units. The surface itself yielded an exciting arra\ of ne\\ material. There \ere numerous tools.
worked wood. and. of special interest, two bola stone reforms (Figure 3). In addition to these obvious
artifacts, x\e mapped a \\ide scattering of fractured gras dolomite, rounded gray dolomite, round lime
stone cobbles and accumulations of charcoal. We numbered ke\ items and mapped all items. We set two
concrete datums on the surface to control precise contours of this rich Bolen surface. We used both a
line lex el and a bubble tube to develop conours. Joe took a \ideo record of each square, using Ed Green's
specially designed frame. Then the artifacts \\ere removed. After completing the six units. \\e also
opened another to the west of Test C. bringing the total coverage for this season to seen meters.
One of the most interesting features appeared in Unit P (the north central unit of the six). A circular
depression about 40 cm in diameter and about 10 cm deep had a large. flat carbonized piece of wood in
the center Numerous fractured gray rocks surrounded the depression The \\hole setting strongly
suggests that this feature is a hearth
We completed a detailed vertical profile map of the strata from tile I0.000 \ ear-old paleosol upward
Our earlier work cutting a verticall profile rendered this task much easier than if \we had sloped it. T\\o
gray clay layers lie abo\e the paleosol. Abo\e the clays occurs a peat layer containing Deptford pottery.
Several peat and sand couplets stand above the Deptford-age peat, and finally the stratigraphic column
gives way to loose twigs. leaves and sand We video-recorded this entire profile as part of the permanent
record of this excavation. And finally\ \\e took diverse samples for soil analyses of the Bolen paleosol.
including northwest and southwest corners of Test C and the corners of each newly excavated unit.
Sylvia Scudder \ill research these samples for chemical signatures that nma reveal much about the
environment and human impacts on the bank of the Aucilla 10,000 years ago.
When this half of tle season was done. \\e had logged 240 key specimens and samples. The specimens.
the data and further processing ha\e now moved back to the Florida Museum of Natural History. We
have already washed d and dried all zone-collected materials and are analyzing the maps and video inputs.
ARPP is fortunate to have the help of Nlarnie Ward to identify and catalog the bone. Tanya Peres. a grad
student at Florida State University will anal ze faunal remains from the upper strata for her Master's
thesis. Mark Muniz is analyzing the rocks from the Bolen surface and comparing their characteristics
with rocks from older strata. When all the x ork is done from this and previous seasons it \\ill lead to
several papers. a thesis and my dissertation
Ui'lick on inage for full size)
Page/Ladson deep site excavations
BY DR. MICHAEL FAUGHT
The Aucilla River Pie history Project's October 1995 field acti\ ities focused on the sinkhole at the Page
Ladson site to continue the undert\ater excavation of sediments and surfaces dating from late
Pleistocene and earl\ Holocene time frames. [The Page Ladson site is located inI the Half Mile Rise
section of the Aucilla Riv er. about 2 miles from Nutall Rise. Page Ladson is a deep river sinkhole
located at the confluence of the Wacissa and Aucilla Rivers]. Over the decades, divers have found
abundant chipped stone tools, chipping debris (debitage) and the bones of both extinct and extant fauna
at the bottom of this sinkhole. The diagnostic artifacts found there reveal a long history of site use. and
include at least one fluted projectile point. se\ eral Suwannee points, and abundant Bolen and Greenbriar
like points There are some Kirk-like points, but these are so similar to the Bolen that a distinction is
often difficult These items date from Paleoindian to Early Archaic times i possibly 12.000 to 9.00()0 years
ago More recent artifacts. such as Florida Archaic stemmed points and Deptford ceramics. are also
found in and around the sink indicating occupation by Middle Archaic peoples of those cultures.
The great possibilities of finding the earlier artifacts in sedimentary contexts compelled Jim Dunbar and
Da\e Webb to initiate excavations there in 1983. and this research is the well fiom which h this newsletter
springs. Since that time variouss dredge exposures and vibra cores hale revealed that the sediment bank
preserved on the westernn margins of the sinkhole contains a remarkably complete stratigraphic record of
what \\e call the Pleistocene'Holocene transition, that is the end of the Ice Ages. and subsequent
(Holocene environmental progression. The upper two meters of this sediment bank include early
Holocene sediments do\\n to the Bolen le\el worked d durim Binnen Carter's watchh The Stra\ mat-
limesand stratigaphic unit contains abundant remains of extinct fauna. proboscidean digest and possible
evidence for Paleoindian presence.
In the final two weekss of the season. I directed continued exposure of about four vertical meters of
sediments in a three by two meter area below the Bolen aged soil surface. Our mandate was to explore
the late Pleistocene Gray Clays and below the Stra\\mat-Limnesand
When \e \went into the field \\e \anted to determine if the Stra\\ mat Limesand contact exhibits erosion
orpedogenesis. suggestive of desiccation. Therefore one task to perform underN after was the study of the
lo\lennost Gray Clay. to describe the nature of the initial sediments, and to search for appropriate items
to date the absolute beginning of Gray Clay sedimentation. The sediments were dug with the six inch
induction dredge and shovels. kiinives. tro\els. fingers an a anything else \\e could tr Tie clays are
dense and it \as an arduous but ultimately satisfying experience
Under after archaeology is challenging, if nothing else. The research design I wrote in September called
for a detailed study and drawing of the stratigraphic section, which w\e accomplished, thanks especially
to Mark Muniz and Binnen Carter. Joe Lat is and Eddie Green fabricated an excellent platform for
taking videotape "stills" which worked well on the upper portions of the section, and pretty well on the
Bolen surface. Nh desiie to study the lo\\er stratigaphic column as if I \\ere in a terrestrial situation
(staling and testing for as much as two or three days) resulted in three two hour dives dedicated to this
purpose. These came during the last three days in the field. and the few significant equipment failures
that did occur. happened at that time, of course. We did get some great shots of the contact and the
sediment beds \\ith hand held ideo, thanks to Joe Latvis.
From the stratigraphic study it became apparent that the lower Gray Clay stratigraphic unit is actually
colmprised of t\o major clay beds. and another band of color constituent change at the base. just above
the Stralwmat It's all still gray clay. but there are differences in it. As it turned out \\e relocated the
remains of "Cring's Log" (10.600 \ears old) Its presence sho\\ed that the lower clays filled in the time
between 10.600 and 12.000 years old.
Dan Crig \\as a UF graduate student w ho participated in several of the ARRP field seasons. He had tile
dubious honor of discover ing and extensively carvingn" a very large ancient log that had fallen into the
late Pleistocene sediments below the Bolen level The radiocarbon date on that log still series as an
imnpoItant chronological control point in the Page-Ladson site.
The lower clay bed exhibited abundant vegetation fiagments resembling those familiar inl the Stramimat.
The sequence of clays below is also somewhat analogous to the sequence of clays a6o e the Bolen
surface (two major beds and a color constituent change just above the Bolen surface). All of this is very
interesting from the perspecti e of reconstructing the way the sinkhole became filled with sediments,
where the Paleoindian artifacts might be found in situ and what happened in the natural environment
during and after extinction's.
An unplanned contribution of the crew to the ARPP \as the development of a useful and manageable
ne\\ tool for survey and mapping under\\ater Mark Nluniz and Andy Hemmings were particularly
helpful with this intention. a float witl three tapes attached for trilateration and depth determination
Finally,. there \ere three evening lectures presented, and these included my rendition of "The Peopling
of the Ne\\ World". Da iid Webbs great discussion of the differences between Mammoths and
Mastodons and then I got to present the offshore research There was an atmosphere of intellectual
exercise and discipline. This is due to the great cre\\ of volunteerss and staff that man (and \\onan) the
Aucilla River Prehistory Project. It certainly \as a great exercise and discipline for me.
Given the flakes, the bola stone and the cut tusk. there is a fair amount of circumstantial evidence of
cultural activity in. or on. the Stravwmat. Ho\\ev-er, for the "Oasis Hypothesis" to be true in Page Ladson.
there must be a place, presumably at. or belo\\. the Gray Clay'Strawmat contact. where there is evidence
for subaerial exposure and human presence do\\n in the sinkhole something that would probably be
similar to what the Bolen surface looks like. Tils kind of situation was not found in October. but this is
the kind of in situ situation that I believe is there. Jim Dunbar and Jack Snnpson think it is to the north
and \est in the western sediment bank, and I agree. Indeed. two weeks of the spring 1996 field season
w-ill be devoted to exploring tils very area.
.41 LHo'-"^ ^
^^^ ^^HMHHHUBI ^-
(iClick on image for full size)
Enigmatic bola date resolved
BY JIM DUNBAR
Of the sev eral dozen carbon dates taken at Page Ladson only two from Test B are in reverse order (i.e.
an older level above a younger level). suggesting a problem for stratigraphic interpretation Brinnen
Carter's lN y5 work on the "Bolen surface" (see "The Bolen Surface") no\\ suggests a solution to tohe
problem of the reversed carbon dates. Bola stones ( AKA club-heads) and side-notched Bolen Be\eled
serrated points \\ere recovered in 1995 near the "Bolen surface The implication that bola stones
represented a Bolen-aged artifact (10.000 to 9.500 years old) \\as an unproved possibility during the
1988 season \hen a fragment of possible bola fiom the "Bolen surface" had no diagnostic features for
confident identification. Also. in 1985 a bola stone (Figure I had been recovered from a le\el in Test B
that dated 12.300 \ears old. suggesting bolas were much older than Bolen age.
In 1985 a one meter north by 3 meters east-v est expansion of Test B uncovered Bolen components
embedded in still-\ after deposited peats followed b\ a thin. sandy-shell lens belo\\ thatt peat (Fure 2)
The still-water peat deposit produced side-notched Bolen Be\eled serrated artifacts which h carbon dated
to 9.730 \ears old. the deep water equi\ talent to the "Bolen surface The sandy-shell lens below the still-
water peat produced a Bolen Plain side notched point, but the level \as ne er carbon dated. Belo\ the
sandy-shell lens \\as a level which looked like and carbon dated to the age of the 12.300 year old
Limesand stra\\-mat. Ho\\-ever the Test B limesand did not ha\e the familiar "straw\-mat" \which rested
abo\e and has been found in the Limesand levels of Test A. Test C and Test F
Test B also lacked the gra\ silty sediments which separate the "stra\\-mat" level by more than a meter
from the younger Bolen levels. We knew there \\as an erosional gap in the sedimentary record The Test
B minesand level carbon dated 12.330 + 110 ears before present: ho\\e\ er a carbon date from a sample
more than 2 meters belo\ the Test B limesand dated younger at 12,120 + 120 years before present.
Something was \\rongi
Before \e go further. just assume \e had an archaeological site which developed as sediment "rain"
buried tw\o different aues of artifacts at different times in two different levels of sediment inl a la er-cake
of time Applying the stratigraphic principle of superpositlon,. younger artifacts should occur in a level
above an older le\el \\ith older artifacts. In Test B \e \ere left \\ith three possible scenarios that might
explain the inserted carbon dates hilch indicated an older le\el above a younger one:
1). The bola stone was somehow intrusive into the Test B in phice Limesand level and represented a
younger artifact in an older level. There \as no evidence of disturbance in the stratigraphic profile
which may have caused contamination. This scenario also demanded that the deepest level. which h had
carbon dated to a younger 12, 120 + 120 years before present. was not correct.
2). The bola stone \\as recovered from in place undisturbed Lniesand sediments and the deeper 12.120
+ 120 year old level is not correct. or:
3). The Test B limesand did not reflect tile correct age because an erosional e\ent had caused
stratigraphic mixing and transport of the older Limesand with younger Bolen-aged sediment into tile
Test B area. In other wordss the deeper 12.120 + 120 year old level reflects a good date. while the older
but shallower date reflects the correct age of a redeposited Limesand displaced b\ an erosional e\ent
which h took place during a Bolen-age time frame. Because Carter found bola stones in unquestionable
Bolen context in 1995. it no\\- appears that option 3 is most likely
Therefore, the deepest i/l plae c level of Test B dates 12.120( + 120 years old and may indicate \\e never
reached undisturbed elements of the Limesand in that area. This implies that the equivalent of the Test F
mastodon bone bed will occur at a lower elevation of 10 feet or more in the Test B area.
Follo\\ing this line of reasoning also suggests the late ice-age Page/Ladson sinkhole \\as deepest on its
southern end and became general\ shallower to the north And. from \\hat \e have established in Tests
D. D'. E. F. and II. the shallow side and entrance into tile sink \\as on the northeast end. There is a
decline in the elevation of Paleoindian aged sediments from 15 feet belo\ the present after's s surface on
the northeastern end of the sink to 30 feet belo\ the present water's surface in the central area of the
western bank (the Test F area) Sediment coring conducted by David Kendrick to the north, north est of
Test F suggest it becomes shallower until rock cliffs are encountered
Among other objectives. it is our intent to move testing from the Test E area towards the north northwest
in order to follow \ the uneroded sections of Paleolndian age sediments into the known bone bed and
toward a shallow\er profile
(iClick on image for full size)
Slave Canal mound investigations
BY ROBERT PATTON
Often as I work in the FLNINH Southwxest Florida Project computer lab. Dr. Jerald Mlilanich gaits
through and surprises me with a fex- humorous words s of gold advice. When he did so back in April
1995. lie really caught mx interest. It seems there \\ere several aboriginal mounds close to the Aucilla
River which, whilee of interest to the ARPP. were "too .young or dr for its regular research program.
The Project and its supporters \\ere interested in having someone check the mounds out Milanich's o\\n
surface collection at some of these sites had turned up oyster shell, about 6 miles from the coast! Could
these sites have been closer to the Gulf in the past, possibly during a period of higher-than-present sea-
lexels0 I quickly responded that. since I was planning to conduct an archaeological survey in May and
June. I could probably find time and wh\erewxithal to slog out there in July or August.
Little did I realize what a treat lay in store. After speaking with Dr. Webb. I traveled \\ith Mark Moons
(the good), Dan Palt (the bad. veterann of Max's surnve or "The Brazilian Pepper Nightmare"). and Andy
Hemmings (the ugly), to the ARPP facilities. I \\as warmly greeted by Jack Simpson. after which I
proceeded to jump off the dock and break an eardrumn on the after's s surface A freak accident" No.
Andy, was not involved. That night I learned the true value of a great project support team Dr. Hoyt
Home. thank you again. Nevertheless. the next day revealed "wonderful things"
Traveling north up the Slave Canal (itself a historic and archaeological treasure) \\e stopped and
conducted surface collections at four sites. The first two \\ere lithic scatters in the canal and on the
stream Robert Patton banks. where a slight rise was noted most likely\ a natural levee \\ith cultural
deposits on it The third site \\as a collection of historic structures and features, including what appeared
to be at least one small building and three small (3') circular stone enclosures. Some pieces of metal that
appear to be barrel-hoops suggested that the enclosures were used for storage. Ceramic \\hite\xare sherds
found nearby date to about 100 years ago.
The fourth site we came to was the place e had come to see A small slough running fiom the
Southeast joined the Slave Canal stream on its east bank. To the north of this small slough and up the
eastern bank of the Sla\e Canal was a crescent-shaped ridge about 6 feet high and 200 feet long. The
ridge \\as \\ide enough to taper gradually into a distant stream-terrace. about 100-150 feet from the
running water. It \\as widest at the confluence of the slough and stream. with most of its thickness to the
east of that point. Our surface collection that da\ included se\ eral chert flakes. potsherds. and a few
ouster shells, just as Nlilanich had described E en though Jack said that a larger mound \vas farther
upstream, I kne\\ that this site could ans\\er the relevant questions. Could the inhabitants of the Slave
Canal mound sites ha e been obtaining their o\ sters in the immediate vicinity? What culture inhabited
the mounds (and ho\\ long ago)' I returned to Gainesville determined to explore these questions.
In late November. And\. Mark. Dan. and I \ere able to return to Site 4 for four days. I had decided that
the best way to proceed \\as to do a small ( I il x 1 i) test excavation in an area that appeared to contain
the full stratigraphic sequence: Potters and shell would d provide materials for accurately dating the
mound's development and use: Bulk samples taken from each stratum could be used to answer the
question "ho\\ far were these people going for their seafood?" At the same time, w\e needed to know
ho\- far the mound is above present-day Mean Sea Level. If present Gulf sea level curves are correct and
the midden materials do not seem to ha\ e been transported long distances, then the mound might be
expected to date to a time of higher-than-present sea level The distance above present NISL should then
correspond to the proposed magnitude of that hIgh water stand. So while t\\o of us worked on the test
pit. the other two sought to link Site 4 to the elevation marker at the Page Ladson site.
The sur eying ended up taking more time than was expected. simply due to the distances we had to
co\ er and our inability\ to secure a laser transit for the weekendd Additionall. \\e found that the Page'
Ladson datum is not tied to MSL. How\-exer. an absolute elevation benchmark \\as located (on the main
highway bridge) in preparation for finishing the instrument work quickly next time.
The most exciting aspect of the four days T-as the test Pit Although several (3'- 8' in diameter) looter's
pits pocked the surface of the mound. \\e found an area near its greatest thick ness that appeared
unspoiled and was ery close to the afterr I proposed that this area might contain the fullest
stratigraphic sequence for the midden. A mI x Imi excavation unit was laid out there with sides facing
the cardinal directions Exca\ation proceeded in 10cm levels. Where soil color. texture, or inclusions
changed during excavation, the natural stratigraphy was traced. All soil \as screened through hardware
The first stratum consisted of black (10 YR 2 1). sandy humus with numerous small roots, some king's
crown ( IPEongena corona. a brackish saltwater snail ) other shell. bone. some potsherds. and a nail.
Le el 1 \\as entire\ within this stratum. Although formal analysis is not complete, the majority\ of
sherds found in this level \\ere Sand-Tempered. Plain.
In Level 2. \\e began to notice a slight color change (10 YR 3/1 very dark grayish brown) in the
southeast and northeast corners of the excavation These areas turned out to have little depth. forming
shallow "lenses" within n Stratum 1I They may represent small deposits of ash or other refuse dumped on
the surface of the midden. More oyster shell appeared in le\el 2. along \\ith pieces of freshwater snail
shell Perhaps most signifigantly. Level 2 contained a great number of Deptford check-stamped sherds
and Swift Creek complicated-stainped sherds. Also. pieces of low -grade quartz crystal and a biface were
recovered. The biface appears to be a knife. although it may have been reworked fiom a spearpoint.
From its style. it originated either as a member of the Lost Lake group (here. Bolen Plain: 8000-7000
BC). or its slightly later form. the Kirk Corner Notched group ("500-6900 BC From A.: its appearance
in a ceramic lexel. and B : through careful examination of the tool's surface. it seems clear that the
inhabitants of the site found this knife which had been lost or discarded millennia earlier. resharpened
one working g edge. and put it back into use
On the basis of soil color alone, it is unclear if Level 3 is still part of Stratum I. After a full profile is
uncovered d ad all materials are analyzed, this \\ll be resolved. Level 3 contained many less Sw\ ift Creek
sherds than level 2. several Deptford sherds. and several pieces of partial -baked clay and sandstone.
Under three especially large pieces of grittI material (6-10 cm 1. a heat-altered biface preform \\as
recovered. Both the associations between these artifacts and their respective conditions indicate an area
where (at least one instance of) heat-alteration of chert \\as conducted.
( lark Muniz excavates a test unit in the mound)
As exciting as these preliminary results are. they are all w\e hax e for now. Running out of
time as our classes. jobs. and cold weather bore do\\n. e had to cease excavation. Much
time and effort was put into devising a \way to shelter the test unit from the elements. This
spring \\e hope to complete the test unit and elevation readings. It's exhilarating to
consider the information we \\ll gain onDeptford peoples. We already kno\\ the\ lied in
the area from 500 BC to AD 200. with an economy that emphasized aquatic resources (see
Milanich. The Archaeology of Pre-Columbian Florida, pp. 111-150). Most large Deptford
sites are near the coast. and several smaller inland sites are known. The Slave Canal
Mound ma\ tell us more about the interactions between coastal and inland sites. Further.
the transition from Deptford to Swift Creek assemblages occurred in the eastern
panhandle about AD 250-300, indicating the spreading influence of traditions from
Georgia. Understanding the environmental setting of the Sla e Canal Mound may help
explain how\ and why this transition occurred.
(Click on image for full size)
Mastodon dung (It's a dirty job but.....)
BY MATT MIHLBACHLER
One could say that the main goal of the Aucilla River Prehistory Project is romantic excitement The
search for Florida's first people is certain\ one of the most special scientific endeavors currently taking
place \within the region. In the stud\ of the past. the search for the oldest or the first of anything can be
among the most exciting aspects of field work. Discoveries of this sort are of the kind that make major
headlines. On the flip side of the coin, the Aucilla River Project has revealed a first of another sort. This
first is certainly not glamorous nor romantic. \et for the paleontology enthusiast and for the scientific
community it remains overwhelming exciting. This discoverly consists of literally tons of mastodon
digesta To be more blunt, lying on the bottom of the Aucilla are loads and loads of dung from extinct
In case youi are wondering just what mastodon digest looks like. it consists of abundant little sticks and
small chunks of bark. with an occasional seed here and there (see Figure I for a comparative specimen
of modern African elephant dung. It seems to be concentrated within the deepest portions of the Aucilla
river. Matt NMihilbachler These deep areas are sinkholes that at one time served as waternin holes for the
huge beasts during drier portions of the yNear in the late Pleistocene. The digest was laid do\\w rapidly
by these creatures as they relief\ ed themnsel\ es while drinking from the water hole or even wading in it as
modern elephants do toda\ in Afica. Elephants produce a lot of waste. and presumably so would a
mastodon. This fact is largely responsible for the unique preservation of this material. The rapidity at
which the dung layer \as built up and compacted quickly isolated the lower layers from any exposure to
oxyvgeii thus gi ing us beautifully presexred plant remains eaten by the mastodon
So far. two sites hale revealed the presence of this wonderful material. Latxis/Simpson contains
mastodon dung that dates to at least 30,000 years old, prior to human occupation in Florida The Page
Ladson site has gifted us with much younger dung dating to at least 12.000 \ears old. a time when
people did inhabit Florida You might think of tius as a reassure chest full of gold because it giv es us ne\\
insight into the interactions of Paleolndians and the now extinct Pleistocene megafauna.
Strangely enough. the mastodon digesta has traveled all the \\-a\ to Carbondale. Illinois at the Southern
Illinois University It \as brought to this unlikely destination b\ Lee Ne\\som. a University of Florida
graduate and archaeobotanical specialist for the Aucilla Project, \\ho no\\ acts as curator for the
Southern Illinois Unilersity Archaeology program. Fortunately at this point, I was able to become
involved with this \\ork.
It is not surprising that there is no standard procedure for the analysis of mastodon digest. Certainly the
only way that \e know to go about this process is by tediously picking through countless thousands and
maybe even millions of individual plant fragments. sorting out whatev er seeds and other identifiable
plant remains can be found. The material is then identified, counted and recorded. Individual sticks and
bark fragments are measured and dra\\n. Also. \e ha\e looked at how the sticks ha\e been broken to
detennine if and ho\\ the\ have been bitten off and chewed b\ the proboscideans.
The waste products of an animal can reveal a potpourri of otherwise unavailable in formation about
1. Most importantly \e now ha e a way of interpreting tile exact diet of the Florida mastodon, which
consisted of man bro\\ se plants including c press. \\ild grape. buttonbush. willow, pine. poke\\eed.
mexican poppy. and wild gourd seeds
2 Wild gourd seeds \ere found in the digest This is \ery interesting because most scientists
previously believed that the gourd was first domesticated in Mexico and gradually reached Florida
through the hands of Indians. We ino\ know that this is too simplistic. Gourds reached Florida at least
30.000 years ago and \were here before the arrival of Florida's first people. Indians in the eastern United
States ma\ have independently domesticated gourds, most likely\ without the outside influence of others.
3 The fact that some of the seeds reco\ ered are dry land species that could not exist near the watering
hole tells us a substantial amount about the ranging behavior of mastodons. They probably went on
feeding sprees lasting for possibly utp to t\o or three daxs. ranging far from the water source as the food
supply) was diminished in an exer growing ring centered around the wateringg hole during the driest
months of the year. This tells us that the waterhole \\as one of a fe\\ limited areas for large animals to
come and satisfy their thirst during dry season "starvation periods" of the Florida Pleistocene.
Stay tuned for more enlightening information deilned from the mastodon dungl research. We are
continuing research on the digesta and are continually finding ne\\ tlllngs to learn from it. Some topics
planned for tile future are an examination of the preferences for different species of tree bark by
mastodons. Like elephants. mastodons could have debarked, stripped, and knocked over trees, thus
creating a substantial impact on the environment. The digesta can provide valuablee infonnation on the
behavior and ecology of the Florida mastodon. W\e hope to discover ways to examine the chewing
process exhibited by mastodon teeth and to differentiate bet ween vegetation chewed by young and old
mastodons. Another interesting avenue of research wouldd be to compare the population dynamics before
and after the presence of native Americans in Florida.
Museum receives ancient spearthrowers
BY S. DAVID \VEBB
During the December season of gift-iv\ ing the \ ertebrate paleontology collection at the Florida Mluseum
in Gainesville receive ed contributions from tw\o of its finest amateur friends. Eric Taylor and John
Clavtor. Each of these Imerry gentlemen provided a piece of fossil deer antler. collected under Florida's
fossil vertebrate pennit system. from the bottom of the Santa Fe Ri\ er As each of them suspected.
ho\\e\ er. these are no ordinary deer antlers, for they had been modified as anlrcl hook.s.
The word a~ldll is appropriated from the Nahuatl ( or Aztec \\ord for a spearthrower (some purists
argue that the \\ord is misappropriated. since different kinds of spearthrowers appear in different hunting
cultures around the worldd. ) A common t pe of atlatl consists of a stout piece of wood about the length of
a human forearm with a hook near one end (Fieure I). This device fits into the butt of a spear andhelps
hurl it. Acting as an extra segment of the human arm. the atlati generates forces ten times greater than
the unaided human ann (Figure 2). A fastball pitcher can tluhow a hardball at about 100 miles per hour
by snapping the wrist. the elbow and the shoulderioint in a sequence of smoothly accelerating motions
alonu a single trajectory. By tying a .\%cta (basket) onto his Wrist. and thus adding another segment to
his forearm. a Jai Alai player can propel the pelota at more than 150 miles per hour. An atlatl similar\
adds another segment to the arn of a spearthrowing hunter. The hbuok at the distal end f the tdltlll/ also
valuablee in providing a nice lodgement for the spear base as it is propelled from its launchpad In the
hands of an experienced hurler, the extra force delivered \with an atlatl sacrifices no accuracy On the
other hand, an atlatl hurler probably required at least the same amount of practice and degree of
proficiency as a professional baseball pitcher does in our culture.
In \various ancient cultures. going back into the Paleolithic in Eurasia. the hook was fashioned separately
and then attached to (lodged inl the longer piece. making a L Inupoutndtl l/// In each of the new
examples fiom the Santa Fe River. the hook made from deer antler i Figure 3) is between eight and nine
centimeters long ( under four inches) and is elegantly modified from a piece of ()hJ i/L'n. virgunian
(white-tail deer) antler. Another antler atlatl in a private collection from the Aucilla Ri er is said to be
much longer \\ith a socket at the front end In each of the Santa Fe Ri\er antlers the upper surface
leading back to the hook is flattened and polished, presumably from the action of many launched spears.
The proximal end of each piece (opposite end from the hook) appears to ha\e been snapped off. and
suggests that the torque of hurling spears e entually strained this portion of an atlati hook.
There is no exact context to these finds. and that is the scientific problem with most of the wonderful l
discoveries from the Santa Fe river Each specimen was found on the river bottom among the sand. silt
and other elastic sediments. One bone is tan in one case and jet black in the other. Each is typical of late
Pleistocene bones from this river. but there is no solid evidence proving that these atlatl hooks are of late
Pleistocene age If they were that ancient. they wouldd provide tile first clear instance of Paleoindian
atlatls in the Nex\ worldd In the Old World, spearthrow ers occur as early as the upper Paleolithic. Today
they play an essential role in the hunting technology of male Australian Aboriginals (where the\' consist
of very broad woodenn pieces called a Woinlera) Tw\o ears ago in Atherton (northeastern Australia) I
video-recorded an old man using a W'ooiiLra to throw a bamboo spear (,tipped with stone) halfway
through a four-inch wooden post at about 50 yards.
There is one hope for determining whether these antler atlatls from Florida rivers might be Paleoindian
spearthro\\ers The N luseum has no\ loaned the tan-colored specimen to the leading bone-dating
laboratory., run by Dr Thomas Stafford at the Universit\ of Colorado in Boulder Ther e he has begun to
extract a small sample of bone protein (collagen) from the Santa Fe atlatl hook If there is enough he will
anal\ ze the several component amino acids and date each amino acid separately bI the tandem
accelerator mass spectrometer (TAMS) method. This is all expensive effort. but the Museum and Dr.
Stafford are pleased to try because the potential interest in obtaining a date from this implement is so
great. Tune in again next year for a possible date
Meanwhile, these ne\\ finds add an exciting ne\\ kind of cultural artifact to the collections of tile Florida
Museum. We congratulate Eric Ta lor and John Cla\tor on their outstanding discoveenes. We are
sending them each a beautiful replica produced b\ Florida Museum of Natural History preparator Russ
MlcCartx's lab. along with an accession certificate. We know that they share our pride in preserving tins
valuablee heritage for Floridians and their visitors
(Click on image for full size)
Florida's lost city of Atlantis
BY MARK RENZ
Just as that curmudgeon of a philosopher Henri David Thoreau journeyed inside his mind for two years
at Walden Pond. ill t\o Aweeks at the Aucilla River w\as a mental sojourn. But unlike Thoreau. \\ho
returned to civilization \ith many more answers than questions about \\wh humans behave as they do. I
came a\\a' even more curious about Paleo people and their relationship to their environment than \\hen
I first arrived at this remarkable ri\er.
It is one thing to read about such ancient sites as the Aucilla holds, but to actually participate in
underwater excavations as a volunteer and explore the remnants of this long-ago world firsthand is
likened to di in\ inl search of the lost cit\ of Atlantis
In spite of having permission to be there, I couldn't help but feel like I was trespassing as I drove onto
the site. Who \\as I to come traipsing into the past. taking part in disturbing o\er 12.000 years of a
biuied x\aay of life? I quickly assured inm self that my intentions as an amateur, as well as those of the
professionals I would d soon be working \\th. \\ere honorable
We came here to better understand a \way of life. one \which is tied to us as intrinsically as the immediate
generation before us. Because. like it or not. \\e are all interconnected b\ time and space. no matter
where or when \\e \\ere born
I wish I had some kind of crystal ball that would allo\\ me to gaze into the past. The Aucilla, as \\ith
many Florida ri\ers. didn't exist 12,000 Years ago. Instead. fresh\\ater springs and \\ater-filled sinkholes
dotted the region. Animals and humans frequented these spots not onl\ to drink, but to hunt one another.
At night I would d squat next to a Paleo campfire and sample some of the local chefs mammoth chops.
deer burgers, side-of-sloth or sabercat stew\ After dinner. I would d love to hear family\ fireside chats in
whatex er strange dialect the\ spoke.
Ho\\ frightened \here the\ about what lay beyond their campsite and the protection they received inl
armed lllnbers" Did they \ie\ themsel es as the dominant life form for their world or as an equal.
fighting for survival like all the other animals' What were the roles of the \omen and men as \ell as the
children" What did they do when the\ were just goofing off? What gaines were played? Did they have a
weatherman and \\as lie as off-base as those on television today?
And \what about their reverence for life? When they killed a mastodon, did it disturb them to see it die.
even though the\' were killing for food and other necessities? Did tihe\ observe the social interaction
between these gentle giants the way \we do elephants toda\' Modern elephants have been seen standing
guard over their dead and "burying" them by piling- leaves and twigs on their bodies. If the t o kinds of
Florida proboscidians' behavior patterns were similar. then mammoths and mastodons, like elephants.
may ha\e gone through a mourning process w\\hen one of their kind died.
I wouldd also look into the future w ith that crystal ball and perhaps see my o\-wn culture studied by
scientists I personally can think of no greater contribution to humankind after I die than to ha\e my
bones, nm work space. myn living quarters. the tools I handle ev\erl day. whether they be a word
processor, a tooth brush or an electric razor. studied under a future generation's microscope. Think what
they can learn fi-om our culture!
NMy first fe\\ work da s at the site were not \\hat I had expected. although it \as challengng.l In two-
person teams each of us were asked to dive down to an oak tree submerged to a lexel just abo\ e the site
and. with bo\\ sa\\ in hand, cut off the large overhanging branches that inght later snag our di\ e gear as
we worked .
Visibility \\as so poor you couldn't see your hand ill front of your face So one person sawed while the
other held a powerful dive light \\lch \\as driven by a generator oil dr land. Breathing was
accomplished not b\ tanks but by a Bro\\nie Third Lung. which is a compressor that feeds fiesh air to
divers. The rest of the t\\o weeks, as \ell as the t\\o weeks spent working the site after I \\as gone,
consisted of t\o-person, tw\o-hour shifts excavating and collecting sediment samples every 20
centimeters to the bottom.
During excax nations conducted with a hand tro\\el a bone pin. bifacial chopper tool, flint flake and
unidentifiable point (stem was missing) turned up. Ho\ve\er, since the items \ere not found wedged ill
place \\ within sediments but rather lying loose on the surface or sucked up in the debris-clearing dredge.
it \\ill be difficult to gi e them a precise date
From the sediment samples. whichh sometimes contained seeds, leaves and tw igs. scientists will be able
to decipher weather patterns. determine \\hen a plant or tree began growing in this area, and when it
altered its form or died out altogether.
And then there \-as the mastodon graveyard in 30 feet of afterr The sediments at that depth are 31.000
years old. That probably means the animal died then. But careful analysis of its context \\ill be made to
determine whether it may have been washed do\\ n fom a higher and more recent elevation
The crew itself was a hodgepodge of women and men from all ox er the United States. with a variety of
backgrounds. (See "The Class of195") They were fiom such places as Arizona. Illinois. Virginia. Georgia
and Florida. Their occupations included everything from a welder to a \eterinarian. dentist, soldier. dive
instructor and undergraduate archaeology student. They were as young as 20 and as old as "1.
Once all the data for this projectare assimilated, papers are published and puzzles are pieced together.
we should all kno\\ considerably more about Florida's first residents and perhaps even about ourselves.
As rhetorical as it ma\ sound, \\ho we are and how we became who \\e are. has a lot to do \\ith who our
ancestors \\ere. The better we understand the mechanics of our past. the better equipped we w\ ill be to
cope with the present and future.
." (C'lick on image for for full size)
View from the screendeck
BY MARY GOUC'HNOUR
\Wh do I return season after season. spending my actions freezing in October or fighting off s\\anus
of bugs in lMa\" Nlany of m\ friends sa' this is a sickness digging through dirt and rier sludge
looking for some old bones and artifacts, living in primitivev" camping conditions out in the middle of
no\\ here, keeping company with a bunch of scuba di\ ers and science co\\ boys. Hopelessly afflicted \\ith
the same sickness. we all return season after season to rise before the dawn. shiver and shudder as we
step into those cold \\et suits, and \ork hard until dusk. exhausted and star ing. At the Aucillal like the
Eagles' "Hotel California". "You c c check out aln time \'ou like. built \yol can never leave"
What magic lurks beneath the cold. dark \\aters of this ancient Aucilla Rixer? There is magic too among
the \\oods and many animals native to this old and sacred land. As w\e toil together in search of man and
mastodon or gather b\ night at the Nutall Rise project cabin, telling tales, playing cards, and preparing
feasts. \\e share more than a common interest in an exciting scientific expedition. We share enthusiasm.
dedication., and the intensity of a great quest. Solid and lifelong friendships are fonred here at the
Aucilla. as well as professional ties that \\ill ennch our lies for \ears to come. The experience of being
part of this project changes and directs our lies, both personally and professionally. One cannot be a
part of this project and walk a\\wa unchanged. Therein lies the secret to the magic (or sickness, as some
ima call it of the ARPP.
We come together as an extended family. Even the poet writer r Robert BI\ surely would remark on the
bonding and nurturing that exists among the variouss ages and levels of education and experience among
the team members. Most of this goes unspoken. and yet, I believe it is felt by everyone. The \alue of
field work goes far beyond the scientific information acquired during the fast paced seasons of \\oik and
toil. The interaction of various professional scientists, avocational \ volunteers. students, and financial and
political supporters all have their place of importance in the success of this prioect. And it is the
relationships that are formed which h create its soul. The strongest asset \\e ha\e as a project is our spirit.
and that rests upon the individuals in\ ol ed ad their relationships to each other
I have many teachers here at the Aucilla who are \ery eager to share their knowledge and \\ho patiently
answer my many questions Watching from the screen deck or fiom some other \antage point. I see
e\erNone involved in teaching This is an ongoing phenomenon. Newcomers as \\ell as veteranss are
actively in\olhed in teaching and learning from the \ery start. This initiates motivation and interaction
and provides the basis for the respect ev ident for each individual involved in the project. This in turn
promotes much enthusiasm and gratification. It is ery satisfying to see everyone not only feeling good
about the impollant \work we are doing. but also feeling good about themselves.
I feel indebted to each and every person I haxe met on tius important and wonderful endeavor. To ties
that bind and deeds that weave the fabric of our journey into a life full of adventure, purpose, and
meaning. I leave you all with your own special memories of tius \\ild ad magical project. and the place
that it embraces deep \within our hearts.
I\ IllI A iiI/I iklerCl .cr lill .C iiiS lille i t'ai7L' A office cilh/,l i i i rev'C'l 'ile
1/' /11 l ' l'11' l /ti \LCltht'CI'Ih/Clk
(CLICK ON IMAGES FOR FULL SIZE)
icIi (olh rIloIU., (/t/'IC Iu Bob~ KuIgIIh/I( a/i I I-ng theirH miL-r0 Iver vieii Irou)
SClick on image for full size)
Dive team salutes screendeck crew
BY MARK IMUNIZ
Often the \erN end product of thousands of hours of research. excavation and analysis is a two column
article in a newspaper (or if you're lucky. a sensationalized episode of ARCHAEOLOGY with John
Reece Davies). \What tle multitudes \\ho read or see these reports cannot appreciate are the people
behind the scenes: the fear less undergraduates who volunteerr hundreds of hours in a lab, procrastinating
on their regular coursework because archaeology is "wa\ cooler": the lab technicians who pick through a
bone cla\ matrix trapped in a plaster jacket. using only a fluorescent light and a dental pick. or e\en the
zooarchaeologists that sort through .5nmm screen samples looking for the remains of shrimp mandibles.
Of all the people involved in the Aucilla River Prehistory Project. I would like to raise a toast to those
\\ho work the screendeck. In archaeology the two most important people in the field are the person
doing the actual digging. and the person working the screendeck. Often times. especially in an
under after env ironment. the exca\ ator can become distracted from their usual keen observational skills.
Maln times there is such concentration on not missing a stratigraphic change. or not dig going too deep.
or remembering to breathe through your mouth, that one ima' miss something important going up the
dredge. The person on the screen is like a back up set of eyes to the exca\ator Especially in dark water
situations, the person on the screen is usually the first one to notice a sediment change-either in color.
texture or inclusions within n the material discharging from the dredge. The screen person also has the
power to stop the excavation and should) if an artifact is inadvertently removed floin the bottom In
essence. the screen person should be as observant as the excalator-and in fact even more so due to the
non-archaeological distractions that the divers must sometimes deal with
Beyond all this is stamina. The screen person must be able to withstand a barrage of smoking. rattling.
white noise horsepo\\er from an internal combustion engine only a fe\\ feet away. Not to mention the
harsh inidday Florida sun While the divers may complain about a chilly first dive, once the sun clears
the trees (and the diners retreat to the shade). the screen person must catch a second \\ind, and settle in
for a long hot day
Since the Aucilla River Prehlstory Project deals \\ith underwater archaeology. there is obviously a need
for more diving than nondiving personnel at any one time Among the diners there is Instructor, Dive
Master. Research Di\er and Diver in Training status. Any of these qualified individuals may be
excavating during a di\e. balanced with an equally competent person on the screen deck. In the quest for
rank and order, long-standing hallmarks of the human species. let us not subjugate our topside brethren.
for digging alone does not archaeology make.
I)11-ij luIk',' sltI/hImilm '.uiuuI. aL m givciicle ha l? n m I01 \/1'%%P-ubau-A n d701.
(CLICK ON IMAGES FOR FULL SIZE)
Tom K i//cr working ilh' scrIhIeLk on a %II/yw iidaY.
P/heimt MARK MUNIZ
The class of '95
One ofthe mun y ever-L hantgun. ti.ield c'relv' troni 1)95. Sitndin,./roni left- Dr. Billy I M. I )I ( iene Ri'\e'.
,fotIn H,-errer. Hill ( i1/toi', 1)on A./ iir/e. M\ark Re/z, Ke/n Kiu l/iri7'k /II../A n Hini/lin1/,. .l1'/ P'ozi/f.ky,.
Ie,'rr L IT Al Ki/h/be/. ,tidn.l"ck- ,inp'Ion. KJneelin/t ,/u./e Lviris aid Briain } t,.. / On l/l t'ir -\i/%% 1-Fos.il
I'Phl, Jack Simpson
BY MARK RENZ, MARY GOUCHNOUR, KEN KIRKPATRICK AND DA\WN PINDER
We never cease to be amazed at the diversity of personalities, occupations, educational backgrounds.
socioeconomic stations. geographic origins, a\ vocational interests and ages represented among volunteers
\\ho collecti\el\ become the field crew each year. The follow\ ing nlli-biographies are a glimpse into the
multidisciplinary. multidimensional, multifaceted "Class of '95"
PAUL AUGHEY, 28, is a computer programmer in Tallahassee. and is pursuing a degree in archaeology
and computer science He's also in charge of dry ca\e surlve\s in North Florida
DAVE BALL, 30, of Oakland. CA. is pail of the Academic Di\ing Program for Florida State Universitv
He is working toward a Master's degree in anthropology at FSU. The Aucilla is one of at least 12
archaeological projects for Dav e
JODY BARKER, 39, lives in Orlando. FL, where he he works as a \\elder. "I've worked as a volunteerr for
many projects." said Jody, "but none like this one".
LAN('E C'ARLSON, See "ARPP"
Student Profile Spotlight"
BRINNEN CARTERR See "ARPP"
Student Profile Spotliuht"
STEVE DOORBAR, 31, of Los Angeles. CA is pursuing a degree in archaeology at tile University of
Florida. He has a B.A. in philosophy
DANIEL FALT, 23, of Gaines\ille is currently completing his master's thesis on terminal Pleistocene
lithic artifacts from Somalia. and he looks forward to doing more research on maritime adaptations in
both the Old and New' World.
GRAYAL FARR, 52, of Winter Haven, FL. is retired from tle Armi. holds a B A. in history from
Florida State Unixersity and is currently a first semester graduate student in anthropology' archaeology at
JONATHAN FAUCHER, 23, has a B A in anthropology from the Universit\ or Arizona. is a grad
student at Texas A&M, and a dive instructor. Jonathan has archaeological project experience from
Arizona's NMorona Mound
W ILLIAM O, GIFFORD, 46, of DeLeon Springs. FL is a di\e instructor, and has participated in at lease
20 natural science projects.
STEVE CLOVER 47, has a B. A. degree in English. and is senmi-retired from advertising graphic arts
"Witnessing the elephant remains \as a transcendental experience," lie said.
MARY ELIZABETH GOUCHNOUR, 37, of Ne\\berry. FL was educated as a radiation therapist, and
is culrently pursuing an A.A. degree in anthropology. Because her dad \\as a surgeon and respected
amateur archaeologist/river diver. she gre\ up in a house full offossils. artifacts and great discussions
about the natural sciences.
EDW\ARD 1, GREEN, 65, of Springhill. FL is retired from Ford Motor Company. He has a B.A. degree
in history from Michigan State University. He's a 35 year member oftle Michigan Archaeological
Society, and a longtime veteran volunteer for the Aucilla project
ANDY HEIIMINGS. See "ARPP"
Student Profile Sootlight"
TOM KELLEY, 45, of Miami. FL. Tom lives in Tallahassee. where he works as a residential building
KEN KIRKPATRICK, 26, of Moody Air Force Base. GA is in maintenance management with the L S
Air Force. "This project enables one to connect himself with the past through expostue to a 12,000 year-
old Paleo Indian site." he said.
ROBERT L, KNIGHT, 47, of Gaines\vlle. FL is an environmental scientist with a Ph.D. in ecology.
"This is the most exciting archaeological project underxway in Florida right now\." he said.
JOE KOESTELNIK, 35, of Gainesville. FL works as an environmental analytical chemist, Joe has a B.
S. in chemistry from the Umniersity of Florida
HANK KRATT, 33, of Tallahassee, FL is an undergraduate in anthropology at Florida State Universitv.
"This \\as definitely a chance to work with a great bunch of people," lie said
WILLIAM B, IAY, 67, of Richmond. VA is current\ a dentist in Richmond He has a B S. degree. a
Master of Humanities degree and is a D.D.S. His volunteerr projects are many. including the Dry Tortugas.
Bermuda, Ethiopia. Ken\ a. Beliz. Turks and Cacos.
TERRY NICKIBBEN, 35, of Orlando FL is an ex-carpenter \\ho holds an A.A. degree and is working on
a B.S in engineering
CHUCK NIEIDE, 24, of Jacksonville. FL teaches underwater archaeology as a graduate student at
Florida State University. Chuck has an lI S degree in anthropology He has helped with under\\ater
excavations for the LaSalle shipwreck in Mlatagorda. TX. and Little Salt Spring near Punta Gorda
MATT MIHLBACHLER, 22, of Sigel. IL is currently an under graduate anthropology major at
Carbondale. IL As a direct result of his 1995 participation in the ARPP. Matt is applying to the
Universit\ of Florida as anl undergraduate specializing in \ertebrate paleontology.
MARK PETER MIUNIZ. See "ARPP"
Student Profile Spotlight"
DON MUNROE, 45, of Gaines\ille. FL has a degree in Nuclear Engineering from the Uni\ersity of
Flonlda and workss there as radiation safety officer. It's his second season \\ith the Aucilla project. "This is
a great opportunity for amateurs to \ork side by side \ith professionals". lie said.
MIC(HAEL L, NOLAN, 33, of Pierson. FL is a broker and urower of decorative foliage. This is
Michael's second natural science project, the first being an archaeological sur\ e at DeLeon Springs. "We
are over-payed". lie said refemng to the work the volunteers took part in.
ROBERT PATTON, 25, of Gainesville is no\ researclhng the development of complex political
relationships among the prehistoric peoples of Florida. His master's thesis (soon available from the
Florida Museum of Natural History's Southw est Flonda Project) explored this topic through the shell
artifacts from the Pmeland site. in Lee count\.
DAWN FINDER, 37, of .acksonville, FL has a B.A. in religion and a Master's degree in social \ork In
the "real world she's a private consultant and human resources trainer "I don't really have a great interest
in science". said Da\\n. "but I lo ie playing in the mud."
JEWEL K. POZEFSKY, 71, of Altamonte Springs, FL has an lI S. degree in math. Her volunteerr
projects include the lMuseumI of the Rockies in Mlontana. Hunters Creek in Kissnunmee. and Thomas Fann
in Gilchrist Count\ "I'm looking for\\ard to the results of the Aucilla project t fom \hat \\e found in Nla\.
The pictures were great: the tape looked as if we were in the Amazon."
MARK RENZ, 4-0, of Punta Gorda FL works as operations manager for Babcock Wilderness
Adventures He also operates Fossil Expeditions a guide service to local \ertebrate fossil beds and teaches
"Fossilinu Without A Ph.D." a continuing education class at Edison Community College in Fort IM'ers.
EUGENE T. ROWE. See "Volunteer Profile Spotliiht"
RANDY RUSH, 49, of Nliami, FL has a B.A degree in business administration and is currently a diver
for an engineering company as well as part o\\ner of Sea Hawk Diving Center in Homestead. FL.
DAVE THULNIAN, 40, Tallahassee has a B A. degree in anthropology from the University of
Penns\ylvania and a J.D. from George Washington University. Dave is a senior attorney for the Florida
Department of En ironmental Protection.
BILL TILDEN, 61, of Sopchoppy, FL has worked d extensively as a surveyor in the E\erglades. Naples.
Fort \Myers. Brooksville and Tampa. "We're trying to get the dead to talk." said Bill of the project
FRANK W\ILLSON, 68, of Lake County. FL has a B.S. in chemical engineering, and is retired from the
petrochemical industry. Besides the Aucilla. he has worked d as a volunteer for the DeLeon Springs project
LOIS WILLSON, 64, of Lake County. I'L is a retired legal secretary. "You should ha\ e seen the look on
my face when I sa\x ho\\ quickly the food I cooked (for project members) disappeared," she said "I had a
ball lip there, all the people \ere great and workedd well together."
BRIAN PATRICK W\OODS, 28, of Northern Ireland no\\ lives in Minneaprrlis. NIN. \\here he workss in
the banking industry He ihas a B.A. in journalism, a B.A in history from the Umiversity of Minnesota.
and an M.B.A. from the Universit\ of St. Thomas in Minneapolis.
BRIAN YATES, 24-, of Tallahassee. FL is a graduate student in anthropology at Florida State
University. focusing on underl\ater archaeology. human osteology and diving sciences. He's been
involved in at least 10 projects. and is a member of Florida State Unliersity's Academic Di\ing Program.
Farewell, Miss Fossil
Six days after returning home from a gruelling August 1995 campaign of 100-plus degree days ARPP
charter mascot Rhodesian Ridgeback "Miss Fossil" sucumbed to a failing heart condition. She
represented us proudly during eery expedition, from the \ery beginning as a sprightly yearling in 1983
'til the end. Through it all she shared the privations and exhilaration of life in the field with the
resilience. grace and humor so characteristic of our finest team members Farewell, old friend.
-Jf] LE/1i. A
I OLUYTEER PROFILE SPOTLIGHT
Adventures in learning
Gene Rowe. 1rl g, iian Bill Ma.l
(click on image for full size)
BY LEANNE \WADE BEORN
Reprineci'/\ i/ 'prn1u,/ion' from Life Sivle. coiiuri'' of Sitdle /1 k/v, Inc.
Far up in the hills of Yellow\stone Park, with temperatures 20 degrees belo\\ zero. Richmonder Gene
Ro\\e mo es careful\ on the sno\\shoes he's just learning to manipulate He clambers up a bluff and
pauses at the top to catch his breath. "I looked up and there, not 20 feet a\\ a. a huge buffalo stared back
at me. We'd been earned d to stay 100 yards from buffalo, because of their unpredictability. but there I
Was, knee-deep in snow. with tins massive head and horns facing me. They say you can't go back\\ards
on snowshoes. but I'm here to tell you I did. And fast."
Relating this anecdote. Rowe, a retired veterinarian. seems deliglited at having been there. despite
possible peril. Ne\\ experiences and adventures and helping the environment while learning. This is
what keeps the energetic and amiable Rowe going. He made his Yello\\stone trip as an Earth Corps
Stolunteer under the auspices of Earth watch. This institution organizes \orld\\ide environmental
expeditions, using \ volunteer and professional staffers. Row\e went to Yello\ stone to investigate the
feeding habits of elk
Since 1983. Rowe has volunteered on 34 environmental trips, sponsored b\ Earthwiatch. the Smithsonian
Institution, universities and other groups. He's monitored the eating habits of kangaroos and sheep in the
Australian cutback. measured \olcanmc fallout n the Siberian peninsula, reported on seagulls in Ne\\
Zealand. observed baboons in Ethiopia and lied underwater for Paleoindian Artifacts in Florida.
The walls of Rowe's to\\wnhouse are covered \\ith awards for under\\ater photography, a hobby he picked
up as a result of his volunteer expeditions. Diving gear. camera equipment and slides in trays, cardboard
boxes and paper bags clutter the shelves. tables and floors in the basement of Rowve s townhouse. As
Virginia state representative for Earthwatch. Ro\\ e fiequentlI gi es talks and slide sho\\ s to interested
groups. sharing his commitment to environmental volunteering. He's packed lhs two underwater cameras
and lenses into Igloo coolers, ready for his upcoming archaeological diving trip to Florida. In lls garage
are three small engines he's repaired for the Uni\erslit of Florida, which is sponsoring an upcoming dive
to study a paleoindian canoe. which ma\ be tens of thousands of years old As with his photography,
Ro\we says modest\ that "engine repair is.lust something I found out I can do. People bring me engines
to be fixed and I tinker \\ith them."
Even a brief conversation with Rowe reveals his boyish enthusiasm for life and his eagerness to learn
about everything. After growing up in Ginter Park. Rowve went into the familyl trade" of veterinary
medicine. (His father and uncle were ets. He founded and ran Fairfield Veterinary Hospital on North
Side. "NIxM work didn't leave me time to do much else." Row\e recalls. "and as I look back, I was burning
out." In the late 1970s. he turned his hospital over to another veterinarian, and began to travel and see
the worldd often on di ing trips.
He took his first environmental volunteer trip in 1983. with boyhood friend and fellow \ diver Bill May. a
Richmond dentist "We \\ent to the little islands of Turks and Caicos. just south of the Bahamas. to teach
po0erty-stricken locals ho\\ to get more protein into their diet by 'farming the ocean for crabs'." Rowe
sa.s. "We staged on the Smithsonian research vessel for two weeks. built containers. captured crabs and
put them into containers we built." Rowe launches into a detailed scientific discussion of the farming
method and an explanation of its effect on the islands' economy. He talks like this about all of his
Row\e knows exactly\ why hle goes on \vohlteer research trips: "Well, number one. it's fun I lo\e
meeting people, doing different work in different places.. and I enjoy working with scientists and feeling
useful. T\\o. I have a strong feeling that the accumulation of kno\\ledge \vill lhave a positive impact on
protecting the environ ment As an individual. I'd be tilting at windmills, but as part of a research team. I
can make an impact. Three. I get the most value from my travel dollar. On research trips you pay all
your own expenses. but it's tax deductible because the research is for non-profit organizations Four. I
learn a great deal-I love to learn."
Ma\. Row-e's frequent dining and traveling companion says. '*Gene's brain is constantly workingg I don't
kno\ anyone like him He loves learning and has a great understanding of humans and annals. I ha e
never seen lhiii upset. short or angry w ith an one." With rudd\ cheeks. \\ hitish-gra hair and beard and
wire spectacles. Ro\\e looks a bit like a miniature St. Nicholas. His blue eyes gaze perceptivel\ and
kindly out at the worldd He's quite fit physically, from regular simlming. diving and racquetball. Since
Ils early retirement. lie's taken tw o courses a semester at VCU. Before he turned 60. when he \\as
paying tuition. Ro\we "always took the courses for credit But did \ou kno\\ after age 60, Virginia
citizens can audit courses at any state school tuition-free? lihe asks eagerly. "I do all the assignments and
take the tests. I lo\e to pit myself against the smartest kids in the class."
The Governor's Visit
(Office of t4e (Seirrnt
Deai Di. Webb:
I wanted to take a momeln ut say what a pleasure
iI wa to visiL.your prehistory project at Nu tall Rlr.
What an interesting Site you have. dJi.Ivc,-rv!:dl
Dr. Wehh, thank fnr the hisiouri i iinr yuu pre-
lsnted TC w1 ith. I have a special place picked our
there I plan LtL display them.
A~ao. te] your wife. Rarbrara, hnw nn'r.h T r-"..'i-
are the shirt she f .ave re.
Aga.n, T tho. ouh'ly etLjuyed my~telE, ind I appre-
ciale all you did.
With kir.d personal regards, I am
I .wxvtin Chile's
,Ji/ k Sinpsion
Governor Chiles visits A RPP Open House
/P'1,1n Ic'/l. ( iov ''rnir ( '/i/1'S, ./Jak SiII npsoi uah/ l)Ir H// .\i 1
.fI / k SiI/i/ip\Oi
I 'ieifrom the riverbank
t'/,r,, l'/1. ,IJcAk S'lup1ou/ gov) 'r'llr" ( 'fillu/ vi7 / 'L lc1/'hh /IIlU.IIU /.)hlill t'llc'u live' t 1i/I \'ii '/ '
F'.o 1ll'.llul/ l / //1 p 'U f I la h' ,MilitC/'l
(Ojuv. L.ait'Lon ( '/Ail'% ('L uni I froni Iglil) ia/ked i'i i AI -ll//il Rilver PII/1.Il,%l1r PIroj'cl liimlbher St /11/1/'ii
near Ni/talcl Ris/'e. ]' (jovelrnr along willll Rep Al/en Bo1d, Rep. \ liujorie ulrnhill and somie (lr) other
people (IieuI/d'd ithe pen huil.e W/L//h /1h1,LeIL/ed the prIjec ai/di as quel to10 learn more abm11 ecir/I
Tn an c IM /l l Ce.O' .IAi'JI e L/' /1 ilh /it'-I.CVlI I annual/.. (Reprinenle 'iI/ p'eriii////. %1.i T.f'lor Counnry' Times,
MaJ' 24, 1995)
S (Click on large for for full size)
Florida's funding of historic preservation
HONORABLE SANDRA B. NIORTHANI
FLORIDA SECRETARY OF STATE
Each year since 1984 the Bureau of Historic Preservation. Di\lision of Historical Resources, Department
of State has administered a grants-in-aid program for restoration and rehabilitation of historic properties.
Florida's historic and archaeological sites. as well as its history miuseuims, are major contributors to the
quality of life enjo\ ed by our citizens and visitors to the state. The\ biny a special "sense of place" and
provide us with tangible links to our heritage. NMajor archaeological sites such as those being studied by
the Aucila River Prehistory Project contribute valuable kno\\ ledge about Florida's earliest inhabitants.
and are of national and international scientific significance
In an effort to draw\ attention to the needs of historic and prehistoric sites and to help them gain needed
financial assistance. the Department of State solicits a special category of grant proposals for major
restorations. excavations and exhibitions During the 1995 solicitation 105 were received requesting a
total of approximately $28 million. The t\el\ e members of the state Historic Preser\ ation Council
reviewed these at a public meeting held in Tallahassee on September 11-13. 1995. The Advisory
Council recommended to the Secretary of State that 49 of these projects. representing about 25% of the
total requested. be forwarded to the Florida Legislature We are currently engaged in the process of
shepherding this request through the legislative process
The Aucilla River Prehistory Project Phase II \as ranked among the top ten projects in the special
category grant competition. This grant \\ill be used for underwater excavation. anal sis and curation of
recox ered matenals. It \\ill also provide for publication of the findings. material for a ne\\ exhibit at the
Florida M museum of Natural History to be titled 1/,'rlw/it AmerIcaLns uId lthcir ]:nv lonn .011111. and a home
page on the Internet. Many other sites will also benefit from the Department of State's grant program.
Allocation of funds to historic preservation has allowed the people of Florida and around the worldd to
better understand Florida's rich history.
State funds archaeology project
"Taylor County Times" Sept. 6, 1995
Archaeological and Paleontological work being conducted b\ scientists from all over North America in
tile Aucilla River \vill be funded b\ a special category grant from the State of Florida. According to Dr.
S. David Webb of the Florida Museum of Natural Histor\. "Tins funding \\ill allo\\ work to continue in
this ancient river channel. Many exciting discoveries concerning early man and now extinct animals
haie already been uncovered." The Aucilla Ri\er Prehistory Project and the Aucilla River Times ha\e
been financed in part with historic preservation grant assistance provided by the Bureau of Historic
Preservation. Division of Historical Resources. Florida Department of State. assisted by the Historic
Preservation Advisory Council. Ho\\e\-er. the contents and opinions do not necessanlil reflect the
opinions of the Florida Department of State. nor does the mention of trade names or commercial
products constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Flonda Department of State
^^r~~~ ~ A00U1HHUHK'
Distinguished senrice awards
Longtime friends of the Aucilla River Prehistory Project recognized the stalwAart contributions of
Jack Simpson and David Webb, presenting them with Seiko self-wninding dive watches during the
May 21, 1995 Open House ceremonies at Nutall Rise. Appreciation is extended to all those project
boosters w ho helped make these presentations possible: W\ilmer Bassett, Mary Gouchnour, Ed
Green, Joan Herrera, Dr. Hoyt Home, DavidJanet, David Kendrick, Brice Ladson, John Ladson,
Joe Latvis, Dr. Billy May, Don Munroe, Irvy quitnlyer, Dr. Andrei Rogers, Dr. Gene Rowe and
I31 k111 A 1 Jim
Representative Marjorie Turnbull's insight visit
BY JOE LATVIS
During the ARPP Open House held Nla\ 21. 1995 State Representative Nlaiorie Turnbull confessed to
being more tantalized than satisfied at having \ ie\\ed the live action videoo of the underwater excavation
that \\e \ere able (for tie first time ev\en to transmit up to a TV monitor on the ri\er bank After
di\ulging further that she already possessed a recreational scuba certification from a nationally
recognized agency. \ve resol ed to explore the possibility that she might actually dive on the excavation
with us sometime as part of an insight visit to this state funded project.
After discussing the possibilities with UF Dive Safety Officer Dr Robert lMillott during the summer
hiatus. a "visiting dignitary" status \\as extended to Rep. Turnbull for the fall field season. \\ giving the
emergency\ medical certifications normally required of our working g volunteers. in exchange for a
requirement partnering her on the dive with Director of Diving Operations. Joe Lat is
Undaunted by the di\e buddy assignment. Nlaijorie (as \e all came to address her at her own genuine
insistence) arrived at Nutall Rise on the appointed day in October driving a pickup truck with a gearbag
full of di\ ing equipment in the back. After a fe\\ welcoming remarks from site manager Jack Simpson
and a brief but thorough dive orientation discussion \\with Joe Lat\ is \\e proceeded down the tw\o-nile
long.leep trail through the swx-amp to\\ard the world d famous Page Ladson site Pausing on the trail only
for a few ilniutes to observe close-up a family of \\ild hogs
Foraging through the swamp. \\e arrived without further memorable interlude Mlarjore engaged in
several conversation groups while e circulating among, the topside cre\\ members, asking perceptive
questions about the project, and disarming ever one's initial formality with her channing wit. DonninU
wetsuits and scuba equipment \\e descended onto the site. where Brinnen Carter and Don Munroe \\ere
mapping a fossilized deer antler rack they had just excavated fiom the 10.00(0 xear old Bolen surface.
Representative Turnbnul and Joe Lathis don dive gear in preparation for a first-hand tour of the site.
(click on images for fill size)
Divers in the water!
P'HO( S Mark Mluniz
During the course of the 38-minut lie dive se \as able to observe e additional excaationl. mapping and
photo documentation activities firsthand. Her initial concern that she not jeopardize the integrity of the
fragile site proved completely unfounded, as she demonstrated excellent dining skills. hovering neutrally
above the exposed Bolen surface and communicating via the prearranged hand signals.
Upon our return to tile surface. she was quite unabashedly infected \\ith the enthusiasm that comes from
having borne witness to tius vault of fossils, artifacts, paleobotanical and paleoenvironmental treasures
that lay undisturbed where they came to rest 10.000 years ago. It is an enthusiasm \ve ha\e come to
recognize from the man\ volunteers who return to the surface intoxicated by thwir first dive on these
amazing time capsules. The field crew's pleasure on that sparkling north Florida autumn day \\as to ha e
shared the otherworldly\ transcendental experience \\ith someone \\ho so thoroughly appreciated it's
Representative TurnbIll, left, meets some of the field crew. From left, Mlichael Fanght, Jack Simpson
and Randr Rush at the Page Ladson site.
Public outreach and educational presentations
The crew of the Aucilla River Prehistory Project have been busy presenting lectures to various types of
interested groups, including professional archaeologists. avocational clubs. community organizations.
and school groups The interest generated fiom earlier talks often lead to subsequent lectures in the same
HrIni7icn C(''la r tl I\OL '1 ('nigres.s in HL'er/'I
David Webb narrates Ii\e action video to riverbank crowd during May 21. 1995 open house
I'Ho( ) S Jack Simpson
NiI 4Lfl k
i W'31 .IL hrcIIL/k ,.LuLl't' I u/i// 8 .%UC
UF diving support to ARPP
BY DR. ROBERT MIILLOTT
The past teln ears of the ARPP activity on the Aucilla Ri\er \ell demonstrates that \\ith proper
planning and attention to detail, a potentially hazardous environment can be studied in detail safely.
Thus, in a riner \\ith nllited \isibilit., moving current, entangling tree limbs, multiple hooked trot lines.
sinkholes, suction dredges, and a fascinating bottom scene. \e see a \ide varietyy of divers from across
the U.S. (see "The Class of95") with experience in many different sub-aquatic acti cities provide year
after year of productive research into the earl\ history of man and beast.
The Di\ing Science and Safet\ Program (DSSP) has worked closely \with the Aucilla Ri\er Prehistory\
Project for several years. The general concern of the DSSP is for the safety of the participants. This has
been evidenced by the careful planning and pre-di\ e contacts between the proJect and the DSSP. Each
season prior to the actual dil ing, Joe Latvis and Dr \Vebb ha\e presented the requirements of the DSSP
to all prospective ARPP applicants. In addition, they hale written n into their dive plan a solid basis for
emergency response. and with careful planning established a minimal risk procedure for the dives. The
concern for safety has even included simulated accident scenarios, one of whichh caused the chief
scientist a major insect infestation w~ith attendant discomfort.
The DSSP locker attempts to provide equipment to supplement that of the ARRP and its many diners.
The Dive Officer completes check out dies and establishes scientific diver status for ne\\ volunteerss
During the 1995 year. the Di\ e Officer made several trips to the Aucilla for check out di\ es, thus saying
out-of-state divers the need to travel to the Gainesville area for such a challenge. During the last year, 1'
ne\\ ARPP volunteerr divers were certified to the university's research diver status. Several of these came
from long distances and were necessarily g\ien aquatic skills evaluations on-site. The remainder of their
paperwork had been submitted earlier
Diving conditions at the Aucilla River sites in 1995 \\ere better than in the recent past. and the project
established its own historical record in terns of the amount of bottom time accomplished DSSP
operational diving statistical summaries for 1995 reveal that the Aucilla Rixer Prehistory Project logged
55" dies in accumulating, 794 6 hours of bottom time. all without t a single di ve-related accident.
Congrauatulations are due everyone in ol ed in these landmark achiex events.
Presenting the colors
UF Pro \ost
And\ Sorensen. far left. presents tle school flag to ARPP principals. fiom left. Jerry nilanich. Jack
Simpson and Da\id Webb for display at the project site.
I'HOJ() Mark Mnliiiz
We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the many contributions of fiuds. equipment and
services to the Aucilla Riv er Prehistory Project since our last new letter. We especially thank the Ladson
family\ for their continuing hospitality. encouragement and support of this project's activities on their
Sustaining Boosters $5,000 to 24,999
Supporting Boosters $1,000 to 4,999
Contributing Boosters $100 to 999
George Bailey' Jody Barker Huddle Cheney
Kurt NI. Cox Herve Cunningham Steve Glover Byron Herlong
Joan Herrera Elizabet Hoffman Roy Hoffman
Dr Hoyt Home Hungry Ho\ie's of Florida
Roy Lilly Dan F. Morse Don Munroe
D. H. Padgett.Jr. Da\\n Finder Patty Sch\\arze (Old Spanish Sugar Mill)
Dean Sligh George Surratt Da\ id Thulman TonmJ. Vereen
Boosters $10 to 99
Robert F. Acker Richard A. Canes .erry.. H\ de
B. F. Inman Rutlh Maxwell D. Bruce Means
Andre\\J Rogers Rantiv Rush Robert Thornton
Dr. Richard Ohmes and the ivory collection
The Aucilla Ri\er has Nielded the richest collection ofivory shafts in the New World. An important
piece ofARPP research. describing and interpreting this collection. \\as submitted bi Dave Webb. Jim
Dunbar and Ben Waller to the journal American .Antiquiit A majority of the remarkable pieces f'rom
the Aucilla River \ere donated by Dr Richard Ohmes of Bremerton. Washington Dick. sho\wn here in
his studio circa 19"0. and his son Don worked extensi\el\ m the Aucilla during the sixties Diving on
t\\o different occasions they\ found the t\wo halves of the i\ory shaft that represents the earliest piece of
alrt\ork in North America (featured in the 199-1 edition of this newsletter).
PHOTO) Dr. Dan Morse
JI 4Home- Fk
Access to tools
Boating. scuba diving. archaeology and camping are all equipment intensive activities. The science of
remote-site under\\ater archaeology, requiring a synthesis of all these disciplines, is of necessity
extremely "gear" intensive. The Aucilla River Prehistory Project has survived since it's inaugural year of
1983 solely because volunteers ha e contributed not only their considerable talent. but the use of their
expensive personal equipment as well. Indeed. volunteerisn and donations from our supporters were
recognized by UF Provost Dr. Aind Sorensen at our spring 1994 Advisory Council Meeting as
exemplary strengths of the ARPP.
While \\e salute the many' individuals. institutions and organizations for their generous support. \e
bt-lieve that if e\ are to continue exploring these world-class archaeological sites safely. professionall.
and efficiently, it is time to provide the equipment and services necessary\ to accomplish the mission.
In the course of preparing funding request documents. \\e have had to designate \hat the project's
longtenn objectives \1ll be. Fulfilling these objectives requires certain pieces of specialized (sometimes
Restrictions attached to institutional and public funding prohibit us from purchasing the capital operating
equipment that sustains our perennial field seasons We are therefore entirely dependent upon private
donations for all such purchases.
If \ou \\wish to help our multidisciplinar\ team of professionals and volunteers accomplish any' of these
object es. we w ill be deeply indebted. Listed below are some key goals. Donations in any amount or
form are administered through the University of Florida Foundation. and are tax deductible to the limits
of the la ..
Dr. S. David Webb
Florida Museum of Natural History
University of Florida. Gaines\ille, FL 32611-"800
Access to tools equipment/services
* Need: To upgrade Aucilla River data exchange
*Item: Modem for live communication
Need: To mail Aucilla River Times
*Item: Bulk mailing and labelling
* Need: To \ie\\ (and rev-iew dive action on land
*Item: Telex ision set (24" or larger)
Cost: $300 and up
Need: To excavate tough cla s
*Item: Six NIlarshallto\\n tro\\els
*Need: Direct date on rare bone artifact
*Item: Carbon date on bone apatite
Cost: $1l100 at Boulder. Co. lab
*Need: Modern oxygen delivery s stein
*Iten: DAN oxygen first-aid kit
STUDENT PROFILE SPOTLIGHT
Introducing ARPP's students
No one on the ARPP gains a greater range of experience than our four regular students. On one hand.
because of their youthful \vigor. the\ often serve as paw\ns or roustabouts From hurricanes to the
Governor's visit. they pride theinselves oil rising to special occasions. On the other hand. the\ also
participate at the highest. most creative levels of research design and scientific analysis They are an
essential part of the brain trust that designs ne\\ ways to recover and interpret some of the Ne\\ World's
richest records of earl humans and their environments. Each of them must produce workable plans for
reconnaissance. preliminar\ probing. subsequent excavation and analysis of new site results And finally
these students \\ill \\rite grant proposals and prepare publications that represent the ultimate products of
The four Universit\ of Florida students \\ho are fully invested in the ARPP are. in order of their
seniority. Brinnen Carter. Andy Hemmings. Mark Iluniz. and Lance Carlson. \'e are proud of
these students. and bele e that their indi idual successes are entwined with the project's destiny. \'e
provide a short sketch of Brnnnen's history with the project, and a brief biography of each of tile other
View From graduate school
BY MARK NIUNIZ
\My ImoIn tells me a story about when I \as 10 \ears old. As a fifth grade writing assignment I had to
describe imy likes and dislikes. and ei en forecast what I would be doing in 20 years. While I wrote that I
would be an orthodontist to make lots of mone\. I said im hobby (and true lo\el) would be archaeology.
Even as far back as first grade I can remember dilgin, for dinosaurs in my friend Kevin's back ard.
After \e had dug a rather large hole, Kevini pulled out a round object and proudly proclaimed that we
had found a fossil. To this da\ I can distinctly remember quitting the game and going to look for real
fossils by himself because all Ke\in had found was a big rock. (Although there is the possibility that the
object may ha\e been a Clovis period chopper. or perhaps a unifacial scraper. \e will ha\e to wait for a
phase two survey of Ke\in's backward before any conclusions can be dra\\ )
So now I'mn in a big university\ l'\e graduated \\ith a B.A in Anthropolog. and l'ml in the graduate
program (ranked 13th nation-\\ide What next" Research, reading and reports I am basically doing the
same thing no\\ as when I \\ill ha\e earned a Ph D.. except right no\\ I don't ha\ e tenure or a
comfortable salary. Not to mention that m\ graduate sla\ e-i mean student status means that I get to do
most of the dirty work for the Principle In\ estigators. But that's O.K.. I'm losing it.
The big deal at the Master level of graduate school is the thesis research that is new. or \\ill shed light on
a unique aspect of archaeology that has never been looked at before That's \here I'm at
"On the Aucilla River we repair more internal (infernal) combustion engines bI 9:00 am than most
people do in a year." Welcome to the real world of archaeology. When I \\-as a child my hero \\as
Indiana Jones Travel. adventure-and he e\en got to kiss the girl! The game is a lot different \\lien you
have to disassemble the six inch dredge screen and load it into a truck that is parked 20 feet uphill of a
wet muddy bank with trees growing out of it. Or when you ha e to go through about 100 screens of tiny
bone fragments all the same color of brown. and pick out the significant pieces.
The Aucilla Ri\er Prehistory Project has allo\\ed me to become an archaeologist I know\ I am still \ery
young. and there are volumess of information yet to be read-but I've got the basics do\\n The plaster has
been poured and the cast is no \\drying. But more than that. the ARPP has offered more to me. and
e\er one else. than mere vocational training.
At the Unixersit\ of Florida, and the Florida Museum of Natural History, archaeology has several
excellent representatives. There is an effort headed by Dr. Keegan in understanding the prehistory of the
Caribbean region Dr. Kathy Deegan is one of the leading Spanish colonial archaeologists in the nation.
Florida history. both pre-Columbian and post contact falls into the domain of Dr Milanich. \\ho is also
one of the most respected archaeologists in the Southeast. The recent recruitment of Dr. Lynette Norr
adds the Central American Fonnati e Period as a ne\\ dimension. And then there's Dr. Webb heading.
the Aucilla River Prehistory Project
The ARPP adds a much deeper temporal aspect to Florida prehistory In its outstanding accomplishments
over the past twelve years-it has sought to explore and document what local Florida collectors ha\e
believed for years-that the Paleoindian presence in Florida is one of the richest and most diverse in
North America. This is what dra\ s me to the research going on at Nutall Rise.
The terminal Pleistocene environment in Florida was unlike any place else in North America at that
time. The distinctive karst environment of artesian springs and perched \\ater holes resulted in aboriginal
subsistence strategies different from the rest of the Southeast. What were these people doing here" Whlen
did they first arrive" Ho\ did they make their day to day livingm What traits did they pass on to
successive Archaic groups" These and many more questions are slow ly being pieced together as each
season passes on the Aucilla River
Beyond the archaeology in volved. there are a multitude of interrelated disciplines that contribute to our
kno\\ledge of the Pleistocene, Holocene transition in the Southeast. To full\ understand what was going
oon e must include zooarchaeologists, paleontologists, palynologists. soil scientists. geomorphologists.
paleoecologists and by no means least of all. a collections manager to insure that e\erynthin is curated
and properly organized. The archaeologist is just the hub of the wheel.
So what will I end up with after all the dust settles? An NI A.? Sure. but I will take a\\ a much more
than just that I \\ill have experience beyond description. I \ill have learned how to excavate (or not to
excavate). I will have learned how\ to interpret 10,000 years of stratigraphic sequence under the dim
orange haze of a 1000 \\att light beneath 30 feet of Aucilla River water. I \\ill ha\e learned how to gi\e
a 4-5 minute presentation with 20 minutes of material. I \\ill have learned how to lead. and more
importantly, how to follow. I will ha\e learned that a group of people who would have ne\er known
each other in one million years can become a family And in the end. I guess you could say. I \\ill ha\e
learned how to be an archaeologist.
i click on iinaue tf for fill size
View From undergraduate school
BY LANCE CARLSON
As an undergraduate student. opportunities such as those the ARPP affords are fe\\ and far between It
\\as a high honor to be part of the August and October field seasons In addition to all the \wonderful
experiences I had in the Field. the opportunity to be in on the academic and curatorial processes
undertaken in the Florida Museum of Natural History \\as unbelie\ able. I \\as able to observe the
findings from their discovery in the sediments of the Aucilla to their curation and prepublication finish
The ARPP has always committed itself to the implementation of sound scientific techniques and
rigorous academic pursuits. With all the commitments that the project has had to li\e up to. it has never
failed in its efforts to produce excellent scholars. No\\ more than ever. the project is living up to this
commitment by including undergraduates. "We must get the young people in\ol\ed They are the ke\ to
the future of this project." suggests Jack Simpson.
As the October field season came to an end. I couldn't hell but feel that this \as another successful field
season to reflect on Beyond all of the intense academics, glorious finds and remote locations lies the
key to continued success of the ARPP. the people. Of all the wonderful opportunities the ARPP has to
offer. the most rewarding has to be in the friendships that are forged. During the field season and
beyond. many of the team members act one big extended family
I believe these types of friendships not only provide a more enjoyable working en-ironient. but act to
strengthen the credibility of the excavations. E\ eryone kno\\s what e\ery one else is capable of. and the
stimulus to do the very best is ever-present. There is almost no limit to where this project can go with all
the wonderful people involved.
(click oi ilna ge for fill size
Another day at the water hole
BY JODY BARKER
Rand\ Rush and I were dive partners last August oil the Aucilla at the Lat\is Simpson site It \\as your
typical, hot afternoon in the northern Florida Panhliandle ith a pleasant breeze This would be my first
experience with under after communication. We would be able to communicate between each diver and
also with the divemaster on duty topside \ia radio sets built into our full-face AGA masks. We had lo\\
visibility in the dark tannic-stained water. We were "hogging" out overburden sediment with the six-inch
dredge. We had been down for a little over all hour, and the one thousand watt snooper light was giving
us a hard time. The light blinked a few\ more times and Elnally went out completely. Randy called
upstairs to advise them he was sending nme up to get a hand-held light to finish out our shift. No\\ you
have to understand one tling about Randy. lie has been a professional di\ e r for many years Traelng
around the world doing connlercial diving he has acquired an expertise in getting the job done
efficiently. He has a tendency to be on the serious side. \\here. an the other hand. (which wouldd be m\
left e\ sport divers are not quite so serious A fe\\ minutes later I returned withl the hand-held light.
and operations resumed. Randy was using the shovel, whilee I held the dredge in my right hand and the
light with the other We were hunkered down. going to to\\n. cooking on the front burner, going through
that overburden sediment as if there were no tomoiro\! Well. just about that time the light got just a tad
too close to the dredge and whomom" Il the blink of a eye. it sucked that baby right out of mI hands and
right up the hose! \e both watched the light go up through the transparent hose all the \way to the
surface \\here it would be discharged unceremoniously onto the screendeck. I \\as laughing so hard I
could hardly stand it. Looking o\ er into in' partner's mask. all I could see \\as Randy's patented "I don't
believe this" look. About then, our radio silence w\as broken b\ the divemaster on the surface. "Hey. big
boys. did vou lose something" I took a deep breath, and \ith a calm. cool. collected. even official
sounding voice, I keyed my mike.
"YES. RANDY DID. OVER!"
Diving Operations Supervision
From left: Nlark NMuniz, Michael Fadght and Ste\e Glover speek no evil. hear no evil and see no evil
'HOT( Joe Latvis
Archaeology, beer can collecting launch career
lReprin/eii ,'/ Ih /'per .i %/)jn. St. Paul Dispatch. St Paul Pioneer Press. "Romnte .-lou". li 7ner-Np. n I 'Mt
Andy Hemmings desired to be an archaeologist ever since he has been able to define the word
Archaeology is the study of past cultures and their remains As might be expected. Andy collects fossils
and has about eight arrowheads he found at a building site near his home. How\everl. Andy's pet hobb\ is
gathering something some people feel is reflective of our culture beer cans
As a result of can collecting, the upper half of the back wall of And\'s bedroom looks like a montage of
beer commercials. ro\\ after ro\\ of beer cans held up by clips. That is only a sample of his collection.
The majority of it is in storage. He has been at it for three years.
"I started collecting with a friend." Andy said "Of course I had to try and outdo him. It just stuck."
Andy also enloy s playing on the St. Peter's basketball team. He is in "th grade. His fa\ orite subject is
history. In fact. lie is taking an evening course in Minnesota history through Oneida Communit\
College with lls father
"The question I would like to ans\\er is 'who was in America first and why."' Andy said. "If someone
said Columbus. all I'd ha\e to do to defeat them is say. ho\\ come the Indians met him?".
In spare time. Andy likes to read I "th century historical books. But he keeps pretty busy He has had a
new spaper route for four ears His major plans are to buy a car aid to go to college. He has one sister.
Shannon. 10. They have three cats, Buttons. Spook and Bits.
A funny thing happened on the way back from the screendeck.........
Ed Green piilotin a rummnan submersible
PHOTO Michael Faught
Flasback to the flood of October '94
~'r d~as """
Jack Sinmison. left. and Ed Green relocaline the outhouse to higher around
P HOT7) Joe Latvis
Editor: Joseph Latvis
Art Director: Kristin Herzo,
Production Manager: Steve Glover
Production Assistance: Mark Rosica. Debi Gross
Website Formatting: John Turne\. Michael Nolan. Stan Hord. and Russ McCarty
Dr, S. David Webb
Curator of Vertebrate Paleontoloug Florida Museum of Natural History
University\ of Florida Gainesville, Florida 32611-7800
Dr.Jerald T. Milanich
Curator of Anthropology Florida IMuseum of Natural History
University of Florida Gainesville. Florida 312611-'800
The Aucilla River Times is published on an annual basis to update a readership interested in the
status of the Aucilla River Prehistory Project. This ongoing archaeological/paleontological
research is sponsored by the Florida NMuseum of Natural History. This newsletter is published by
the project management based at:
Florida Museum of Natural History
Dr. S. David \ebb
University of Florida Gaines\ille. Florida 32611-"800
Subscription to the Aucilla River Times is FREE.
"First Floridians" by Marisa Rent. Permission to publish courtesy of the artist