)LOGICAL DISCOVERY \ITH
RIVER PREHISTORY PROJECT
Vol. XI No. 1
. THE BIG PICTURE
View from the bridge
Florida's indians from ancient times to the present
Universities share commitment to underwater
. SCIENTIFIC ANALYSIS
Underwater site opens window on big environmental
Page/Ladson faunal remains and the Paleoenvironment
Paleoindian tool from a horse tibia
Underwater archaeology, Paleoindian origins, and
histories of settlement
Ecological implications of ivory foreshafts from
underwater sites in Florida
. SITE REPORTS
Page/Ladson site update
Sloth Hole site update
Little River site update
Latvis/Simpson site update
. TECHNIQUES IN ARCHAEOLOGY
Underwater archaeological techniques
Coring is not boring
Ground Penetrating Radar on the Aucilla River
Removing iron from artifacts and fossils
. PUBLIC OUTREACH/EDUCATION
"A Naturalist in Florida": an update
FAS video features ARPP
River diver meeting and workshop
Archaeology in depth
Good times and good friends: ARPP open house
ARPP Live Presentations
. THE FIELD CREW
The class of'97
Volunteer spotlight Mary Gouchnour Hudson:
"Indiana Jones she isn't, an archaeologist she is"
Role of the Safety Diver
Field Health Beat: Hyperthermia
Too old to dive? Not at 75!
A new volunteer's ARPP experience
(all for volunteers
Atcilla nianimnoth: past present future
Dr. Webb appointment to Distinguished Research
Building has potential to become museum, Aucilla River
Project lends museum purpose
Tavlor C('ontv Historical Society open house
1998 FAS annual meeting
Florida Archaeology Month, March 1998
Donor ackno- ledgment
THE FAR SIDE OF THE AUCILLA
ABOUT THE "AUCILLA RIVER TIMES"
Return to ARPP Homepage
Cop> riliht (t 1998, Aucilla River Prehistory Project.
All rights resern ed No portion of these pages may be used for any reason without prior
The view from the bridge
By Dr. S. David Webb
As the millennium turns we tend to look in judgment on what has been accomplished. This applies as
much to our Aucilla River Prehistory Project (ARPP) as to any other long-term enterprise. So how will
the ARPP score two (or three) years hence? It is not too soon, even now, to consider our long-term
trajectory. What will be our legacy to future Floridians? What will be the substance of our ultimate
contribution to science?
In reality such questions have surrounded and suffused our project's daily decisions for more than a
dozen years. Only one concern ranks higher than our scientific contribution: and that is safety.
Throughout the ARPP's existence we have stated as our purpose the avid pursuit of three goals: they are,
in order of their priority, Safety, Science, and Smelling the Roses. So far it seems that we have adhered
rather well to this formula of "The three S's". But let us return to this millennial matter of the ARPP's
In a recent essay Ed Wilson, Pellegrino Professor of Biology at Harvard University, defined science as
the "organized systematic enterprise that gathers knowledge about the world and condenses that
knowledge into testable laws and principles." He goes on to describe some of the features of science that
distinguish it from pseudoscience such as repeatability of results and scrutiny of evidence by testing. He
notes that "the best science stimulates further discovery, often in unpredictable new directions." And
finally he cites the importance of consilience. Consilience of evidence takes place when "explanations of
different phenomena... prove consistent with one another."
The scientific thrust of the ARPP is to learn firsthand what happened in prehistoric times in the area
through which the Aucilla River now flows. Meticulously we collect specimens and samples and submit
them to a variety of experts and analyses in order to gather knowledge and condense it into meaningful
patterns \which approximate the true history of events involving the first Floridians and their natural
Some of the ARPP's most exciting discoveries have come during our underwater excavations, notably
the seven-foot, glowing-orange tusk found on October 24, 1993. Much smaller, but equally important,
was recovery of a large sample of seeds representing the oldest gourds, Cucurbita pepo. These seeds
have now been used as a basis of comparison for the first domesticated organisms in the New World:
gourds from a cave in Oaxaca, Mexico. Many other discoveries came later, in the laboratory, for
example when a series of carbon-dates showed that we have "stair-step stratigraphy", representing a true
chronological series of events. Likewise the orange tusk took on added significance when lab
experiments showed that it had been repeatedly cut by a lithic tool in order to remove it from the
Sometimes the best science involves unexpected cross-connections between diverse disciplines.
Someone once remarked that the ARPP research team includes "all of the -ologies". And I suspect that
our most important scientific achievements, building on our solid field collections, will come from
consilient discoveries, that is by intertwining the results from multiple disciplines. My favorite ARPP
example of a consilient discovery, thus far, is the recognition that some of our peat deposits are in fact
mastodon stomach contents, thus revealing the mastodon's diet and habitats, and that they contain
steroids and epithelial cells. So far this study cross-links field collecting, plant analyses, and animal
physiology, but this resource offers still other scientific ramifications. We are currently studying with
colleagues many more samples ranging from more than 12,000 years ago to about 11,000 when
mastodons became extinct. Possibly some patterns in these digesta will elucidate the cause of mastodon
extinction, such as human hunting or rapid climatic shift. Furthermore, the presence of 30,000 year old
mastodon digesta at the Latvis/Simpson site offers yet another point of comparison still to be studied.
New research on carbon and strontium isotopes present in mastodon (and other extinct animal) teeth
illuminates diet and migration patterns that bear on human hunting strategies. The ARPP research engine
has not finished generating new kinds of evidence. I predict that multidisciplinary scientists studying
Aucilla River results will give us all still more incredible thrills from consilient studies well into the next
If indeed the ARPP is attaining a degree of scientific success, then we share our pride in these
attainments with our many friends, students, volunteers and supporters. This is where our third goal,
"smelling the roses" comes in. Repeatedly we hear from participants in the ARPP how their individual
lives and perspectives have been enriched by the shared work and adventure. I certainly concur. When
we are working at the river, typically ten weeks each year, the technical details of the scientific quest
and the mundane matters of logistical support melt into the mystery and beauty of the Aucilla River
itself. Some days are exhausting and discouraging, yet the sense of pride in our accomplishments wins
out. I cannot say enough in praise of our project's friends and personnel. At the end of our October
season (or was it early November by then?) we were deeply touched by a cash gift presented by Dr.
David G. Anderson. He was donating to our project (as well as to the Dust Cave Project in Alabama and
the Big Pine Tree Project in South Carolina) the royalties from his recent book "The Archaeology of the
Mid-Holocene Southeast". Somehow this captures for us the sense that our heads and our hearts are
working well. We welcome all students of the lessons to be learned from the past to join us as we march
forward to fulfill our goals for the rest of the millennium.
Florida's indians from ancient times to the present
By Dr. Jerald T. Milanich
Since at least the 1920's residents of Florida have been finding Indian artifacts in the bottoms of rivers
in the northern part of the state. The Simpson family of High Springs were pioneers in river collecting,
diving the depths and wading the shallow portions of the Ichetucknee River long before it became a state
One artifact found by the Simpsons would offer dramatic proof of the antiquity of humans in Florida.
That artifact-a broken portion of a harpoon-like spear point-was made from the ivory tusk of a
mammoth, an elephant which lived in Florida during the Ice Age but became extinct shortly after. Not
only was the point made from an elephant's tusk, it was identical to an ivory artifact found at the
Blackwater Draw archaeological site near Clovis, New Mexico. In the 1930's at that site Paleoindian
artifacts were found for the first time in America in association with the bones of extinct Pleistocene
animals. Blackwater Draw proved humans-Paleoindians-lived in the Americas at the end of the Ice
Age. The Ichetucknee River point, as well as other artifacts and animal bones found by the Simpsons,
showed Paleoindians were living in Florida at the same time and they, too, must have hunted now
extinct animals. Today we know that the earliest Paleoindians lived in Florida 12,000 years ago.
Who were these Paleoindians, these "ancient Indians," and how did they live? What was the significance
of their stone, bone, and ivory artifacts being found with animal bones in the bottom of rivers, not only
the Ichetucknee but the other limestone-bottomed rivers of northern Florida like the Santa Fe, Aucilla,
The Florida Paleoindians were descendants of people who crossed into North America from eastern Asia
during the Pleistocene epoch. At that time the oceans of the world were several hundred feet lower than
they are today and Asia and Alaska were connected by a bridge of dry land more than a thousand miles
in width. The higher sea levels that followed the Ice Age have covered that bridge, leaving the two
continents separated by the narrow Bering Strait.
Exactly when humans crossed Beringia, as the land bridge is known, is still a matter of discussion. What
is certain is that it first occurred more than 12,000 years ago. These early American Indians rapidly
spread throughout the Americas. In North America, including Florida, these ancient people lived by
roaming over large tracts of land hunting game and by gathering plants and catching small animals.
Among the animals they hunted were elephants-mammoths-as well as many other species, some of
which are now extinct.
The Florida of the Paleoindians would not be ...:...::: .:. .... .i;i;.:;
recognizable to you or me. Lowered sea levels meant .. ..
that the coasts were much farther out than they are
today, especially along the Gulf of Mexico. As a result,
Florida's land area was about twice what it is today;
modern Pinellas Peninsula where St. Petersburg is
situated was some 50 miles from the Paleoindian ::
From the cover of "Florida's Ind-
ians from Ancient Times to the
Present"' this oil painting entitled
"Potano Male", is by Theodore
Morris, of Sarasota. The Potano
Indians live in north-central
Florida at the time of European
Lower sea levels and massive glaciers created a climate that was much drier; ground water levels in the
interior of the state were greatly below what they are today. Florida was cool and arid; the springs, lakes,
rivers, and other wetlands so important at present did not exist. There were some fluctuations in climate,
with slightly wetter conditions replacing drier ones, but it always was much more arid than it is in
More arid conditions meant that a different array of animals and plants was present. Some of those
animals, like mammoths, Pleistocene horses, and a now-extinct species of bison, had prospered during
the Ice Age, but would disappear as the climate warmed and they fell prey to human hunters. Typical
vegetation included plants which could live in the dry conditions; scrub oaks, pine forests, open grassy
prairies, and savannahs were most common. In the restricted localities where water was present plants
better suited to wetter conditions were found. Because the climate did fluctuate, the vegetative
communities present in any one location fluctuated over time.
When the Paleoindians first lived in Florida it was during one of the more arid periods. How did the
climate affect their way of life? The answer to that question explains in large part why Paleoindian
artifacts are found in the river bottoms of the northern half of Florida.
The Paleoindians, like ourselves, needed water to drink and for other necessities. Because water was in
short supply, the places where water was available drew the Paleoindians. These same watering holes
attracted animals as well. In Florida such water sources were found in the limestone catchment basins of
northern Florida. Although limestone formations are found throughout Florida, it is in the northern half
of the state that limestone is common on or very near the land surface. Water from rain or ground
seepage collected in pockets in the limestone, forming water holes not terribly unlike the watering holes
found today in parts of Africa.
At the time of the Paleoindians what are now the Ichetucknee, Aucilla, Santa Fe, and other northern
Florida rivers were not flowing rivers but series of small limestone catchment basins or watering holes.
At times, perhaps during slightly less arid times, surface water also collected where clay or marl deposits
provided somewhat impermeable catchments. Water also could be found in a few very deep sinkholes
fed during wetter intervals by springs.
But over time the most consistent watering holes were those in the northern half of the state where the
limestone formations reached the surface of the ground and formed catchments. That region is from
Tampa Bay north through the western half of peninsular Florida into the panhandle to the Chipola River.
Such formations also extend out into what is today the floor of the Gulf of Mexico, but was then dry
land. It is this limestone region of Florida that drew the Paleoindians.
The same oases that provided humans with water also were used by animals. Consequently, not only
were watering holes places where people camped, they were sites where animals were ambushed,
butchered, eaten, and their remains discarded along with other debris discarded by the Paleoindians.
Today these camps are river bottoms and in sinkholes. Over two and a half millennia there must have
been thousands of such camps and kill sites. It is no wonder Paleoindian-age tools and butchered animal
bones are found in those rivers and sinkholes.
Now we know who the Paleoindians were and why we find their artifacts and debris in inundated
archaeological sites in Florida. What else have we learned about them? Although artifacts picked up
from rivers and sinkholes have been important for understanding where Paleoindians once lived and
what their environment was like, other types of information must come from the excavation of sites. But
if most Paleoindian camps today are underwater, how can they be excavated? The answer: go in after
them. This is exactly what researchers in Florida are doing, combining scuba diving and archaeology.
At the present time the largest of these underwater Paleoindian projects, the Aucilla River Prehistory
Project, is taking place in the river of the same name, one of northern Florida's many limestone-
bottomed rivers. Under the auspices of the Florida Museum of Natural History and directed by Dr. S.
David Webb, the Aucilla River Prehistory Project has located nearly 40 inundated Paleoindian sites in a
short stretch of the river.
Webb and his research team were originally drawn to the site by reports of Paleoindian tools and
animals bones being found there. A short distance away in the Wacissa River which empties into the
Aucilla, sport divers had found a Bison antiques skull (a now extinct species of large bison) with a
broken stone point in it, dramatic evidence for Paleoindians and Pleistocene animals having lived there
at the same time.
The excavations in the Aucilla River have yielded seeds and rind fragments from wild gourds, evidence
that Paleoindians were collecting a plant not previously known to even have been in Florida at such an
early time. Preserved hickory nuts have been found, as have carved wooden stakes, perhaps items
associated with small, temporary tent-like structures or lean-tos.
The Aucilla River underwater excavations also are providing new information on the animals hunted by
the Paleoindians. Analysis of growth rings of mammoth tusks suggest that these animals may have been
moving seasonally from north to south and back again. That raises an interesting possibility: did the
Paleoindians move with the herds, following them as they made their seasonal treks northward in
summer and southward in winter?
An offshoot of Webb's team's excavations is information about the diet of these giant creatures.
Hundreds of samples of elephant digesta, the remains of the plants eaten and then defecated by the
animals while standing in the watering holes, have been preserved. Plant fibers in the digesta give clues
not only to the elephants's diet, but are indicators of the climate as well. Scientists have even extracted
elephant hormones from the digesta!
Some day comparisons of digesta samples and skeletons might even shed light on the extinction of the
elephants. Both pre-Paleoindian samples and samples from Paleoindian occupation are known. Evidence
of stress caused by over-hunting may show up in the latter, perhaps in dietary changes, in comparisons
of bone densities, or in the ages of the animals hunted. For instance, as herds became smaller and
animals harder to find, the Paleoindians may have become less selective in the animals they hunted,
seeking to kill not only easy prey-youngsters or weaker individuals-but healthy adults as well. Only a
few short years ago studies such as these would have been unthinkable.
Collecting the Ichetucknee
As an undergraduate student assistant in the Florida State Museum, then located in the Seagle Building
in downtown Gainesville, one of my duties was to write catalogue numbers on the many objects of the
Simpson Collection. It was definitely menial labor, but I became very interested in the collection,
assembled by the Simpson family of High Springs, Florida, and later donated to the Museum.
Thirty years have passed and today I am back at the Museum, which has a new name and is in a new
building. I often have occasion to refer to artifacts in the Simpson collection, using the very numbers I
wrote three decades ago. Of great importance are the many bone tools from the Ichetucknee River.
Recently, I ran across a charming article written by Mrs. H. H. Simpson, Sr., and published in 1935:
"Until the summer of 1927 our collection consisted of flint and stone implements, shell ornaments and
pottery, but in June of that year began the addition of a section that to us is more interesting, if possible,
than any of the others. At that time we found, by accident, a clear river [the Ichetucknee] about sixteen
miles from our home. I would have to be an artist to describe the beauty of the place. At all times the
river is perfectly transparent. In the sandy portions of the bed of the river vari-colored grasses grow,
waving back and forth, the different colors blending and forming a beautiful underwater moving picture
in the swift current.... The day we found it we waded in the clear water close to the bank, and could see,
out in the deeper water, pockets in the rocky bottom which were full of bones of different shapes and
sizes. Swimming out and diving Clarence brought up handfuls of the material for examination. Some of
the smaller pieces were smooth, and shaped as though made by hand but they were such small
fragments that we couldn't arrive at a definite conclusion. We returned on a second trip hoping to find
some large pieces of what we suspected were bone implements of a vanished race of people. As we stood
on the bank and watched him, Clarence dived again and again. In shallow water he picked the bones up
with his toes, which have been trained to serve him for various purposes beside the ordinary use of toes.
Finally we saw him make a high leap, and run toward shore as fast as he could. Racing to where we
stood, and taking a small black object out of his mouth, he exclaimed, excitedly: 'Now, I know these
things are handmade!' Upon examining it we found it to be a upper section of a bone artifact,
ornamented with lines at the top.... We were overjoyed" (Hobbies, 1935, 40, pp. 93-94).
Editor's Note: This article is excerpted from "Ancient Floridians" chapter of Florida's Indians from Ancient
Times to the Present, by Jerald T. Milanich, published by University Press of Florida in 1998.
IPRF-4 10 US IQ4NT NTS1 RT I
Universities share commitment to underwater archaeology
By Dr. Michael K. Faught
The Department of Anthropology at Florida State University recently hired me to direct the Program in
Underwater Archaeology working with George Fischer and Gregg Stanton at the Academic Diving
Program in teaching underwater archaeology, focusing on anthropological issues associated with
underwater sites-be they prehistoric or historic, continuing a hands-on approach to training, and
conducting research on local underwater cultural resources. There is a group, a Cadre, of very capable
staff and students, both at Anthropology and at the ADP, who are already experienced in underwater
archaeological projects, and enthusiastic about learning and doing more. The fact that Anthropology
hired an underwater archaeologist demonstrates their belief that this subdiscipline has much to offer our
understanding of the past.
Some readers of the Aucilla River Times may not know it, but over the thirty or forty years that this
subdiscipline of archaeology has been developing, both UF and FSU have undertaken some landmark
projects, developed innovative techniques for doing underwater archaeology, produced influential
publications, and trained numerous underwater archaeologists in the process. There isn't space here to
detail all of the projects that have accrued over this history, but there are some milestones and new
developments that need to be shared.
In 1960, John Goggin, of the University of Florida, published "Underwater Archaeology Its Nature and
Limitations" in American Antiquity. This early article described several underwater projects Goggin and
his students had conducted in the late 1950's in the rivers and springs near Gainesville. Goggin detailed
the kinds of sites to be expected in underwater settings, as well as their condition. This article is
pertinent even today, both for its historical value, and for its clear exposition of principles. Another early
project undertaken in Florida was Stanley Olsen's research at the Wakulla Springs, which originated
from FSU. Olsen, then State Paleontologist, brought up an amazing array of extinct and modern faunal
bones from deep in the spring head, as well as numerous bone pin artifacts. The mastodon currently on
display at the Florida Museum of History in Tallahassee is one of these paleontological samples. These
two projects rival any others in the United States for their early occurrence and contributions to theory
In the 1960's and 1970's, much shipwreck archaeology was conducted at FSU in cooperation with the
Park Service's Southeastern Archaeological Center. George R. Fischer came to prominence in the field
of underwater archaeology during this time, and he has been involved in several significant shipwreck
projects, such as the H.M.S. Fowey (1748) and the Nuestra Senora de Rosario (1622). George has also
been instrumental in developing legislation and policies regarding submerged remains, as well as
instructing numerous underwater archaeologists over the years. Gregg Stanton has directed the
Academic Diving Program at FSU since the early 1970's. FSU's ADP is a premiere diving institution,
capable of assisting archaeological projects in a wide range of diving conditions. Wilburn Cockrell's
well known operation at Warm Mineral Springs was organized through the Academic Diving Program at
FSU for several years in the 1980's and early 1990's. These projects and others are highlighted in FSU's
award winning web page (http://www.adp.fsu.edu/uwarch.html).
The Aucilla River Prehistory Project, initially under the leadership of David Webb and James Dunbar,
had its beginnings in the early 1980's out of the Florida Museum of Natural History and the University
of Florida. Over the years, as you know, the ARPP has produced a wealth of new discoveries, developed
new and innovative methodologies for conducting underwater research, and has provided a training
ground for interested and capable students. For the last few years, the Aucilla River project and the
Academic Diving Program at FSU have engaged in active cooperation by sharing equipment,
underwater research expertise, and students. Many students from FSU have been involved with the
Aucilla River Prehistory Project through the years. Here are some Cadre names you may remember:
Dave Ball, Chip Birdsong, Rhonda Brewer, Melanie Damour, Grayal Farr, Peter Frank Edwards, Hank
Kratt, Alyssa McManus, Chuck Meide, Tammy Montes, Thadra Palmer, Jerry Smith, Brad Stackpoole,
Susan Tuttle, and Brian Yates. Tanya Peres got her Master's Degree from FSU working on faunal
remains from Page/Ladson (see "Page/Ladson Faunal Remains and the Paleoenvironment"), and she is
now in the doctoral program at UF, under the direction of Dr. Lynette Norr. Jim Dunbar, a leader in
prehistoric underwater archaeology nationwide, is working on Page/Ladson related research for his FSU
With so many cultural resources available for underwater scrutiny, it is no wonder that other Florida
Universities are also beginning to conduct underwater archaeological projects. The University of Miami,
Rosensteil School of Marine Research has a state of the art research project at the prehistoric site of
Little Salt Spring, under the leadership of John Gifford. The University of West Florida has a growing
program in underwater archaeology which is focused on the excavation of the early Spanish shipwreck
at Emanuel Point under the leadership of Judy Bense and Roger Smith of the Bureau of Archaeological
Research. Their conservation lab is world class, thanks to the fine efforts of John Bratten. I might add
that FSU students have also worked on both of these fine projects.
One question that might be asked is how these institutions can work together in the future to conduct
more research, offer more experience and instruction for students, and contribute to the management of
the State's remaining cultural heritage? There are lots of ideas going around, we are already making
some plans, and more are sure to follow. For instance, this April members of the Cadre will be joining
the ARPP team to conduct a remote sensing survey of several sites in the Aucilla River, using an ARPP
vessel specially modified to tow FSU's new sidescan sonar. Sidescan is a device that reconstructs the
seafloor bottom with sound waves, making virtual photographic images (to be published in the 1999
issue of the Aucilla River Times). These images will be used to illustrate details of the channel system in
publications, and to look for new areas for research sites.
My own research plans are to focus FSU based research on the PaleoAucilla offshore; to find, excavate,
and evaluate submerged prehistoric archaeological sites. I think we all agree that the offshore research
represents a kind of sister operation to the ARPP, in so far as it is focused on the PaleoAucilla offshore.
In the Aucilla River Times of September, 1993 (p. 12) Dr. Webb envisioned: "From the Clovis
Shoreline .... to several sites on the Wacissa River; the Aucilla River Project has a powerful string of
relevant options for further research." The Clovis Shoreline is approximately 85 miles out to sea and it is
a logical step to continue investigations out there searching for early Paleoindian sites. An offshore
archaeology field session is planned for this coming July, and students from both FSU and UF have
expressed great interest in participating in this research effort.
There is a lot of water in Florida, and archaeological and paleontological remains have been found in
many of the rivers, sinkholes, lakes, bays, inlets, and on the offshore. Many of these finds demonstrate
that water levels (both fresh and salt) were lower in the past, and that there was a greater area of
landscape on which successive cultures could "make a living". Many shipwrecks of all ages since the
times of Columbus are known, and many more remain to be discovered and investigated. Surely there is
plenty for all of us to do, and surely more work will get done if we approach it with a commitment to
cooperation, rather than a sense of competition or isolation, and this is exactly how we are proceeding.
Frankly, there has been much damage done to sites underwater in Florida, by natural forces, urban
growth, and artifact collectors, well intentioned, or not. These sites are truly nonrenewable resources,
and there is much to do in order to manage and interpret what remains. We need to do more than just
find the physical remains-we need to save the stories that these sites and artifacts have to tell us, and
train students in the process.
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Editor's Note: Dr. Michael Faught is Director of the Program in Underwater Archaeology, Department of
Anthropology, Florida State University.
Underwater site opens window on big environmental
By George Wisner
Florida researchers are opening a window on a time when Paleoindian hunter-gatherers were adjusting
to a dramatic climate shift at the close of the last Ice Age. Early Floridians were poised on the knife-
edge of transition to a more sedentary lifestyle.
Evidence from an underwater site in the Aucilla River southeast of Tallahassee is presenting a unique
view of the cultural dynamics of the change occurring about 10,000 years ago, according to Brinnen S.
Carter, a doctoral archaeology student at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He is overseeing
excavation of the site that has yielded projectile points, an apparent hearth, and what probably are bola
stones. Also recovered in the excavation were wood fragments that may be tent stakes or building poles.
Wooden artifacts are seldom preserved at sites of this age.
Colloquially known as the "Bolen component" of the Page-
SELadson site, the late-Pleistocene strata are being investigated
as part of the long-term Aucilla River Prehistory Project
("Underwater Site Details Mastodons' Life History,"
Mammoth Trumpet 10:1). Research has been in progress for
more than a dozen years, and scores of Paleoindian sites and
Pleistocene-mammal sites have been discovered beneath the
waters of the lower Aucilla and other rivers in northwest
Florida ("Florida Archaeologists Plunge into the Past,"
Mammoth Trumpet 3:2).
A ~rsnifrie .wirnt r cila corner iwotced
Bden projectile pictured in silft on a pale-
osol at thie thden rYmfument rof'a site
abLnd 15 jSee deep in rrrkhwth.' Florida's
Aucilla River. ILten points date to
10.M00 and 9,9(#L years. (2ee "Thel CO er"
in ".Abort tke 'Audcila River lrIsneS).
The Bolen component is providing "the first step in being able to say what the people living then were
doing in the local area, and how they adapted to the rapid environmental changes that were occurring,"
Carter said in a telephone interview. There is little question that the changes were dramatic.
Before the end of the last Ice Age, the site-now under 15 feet of water-was part of a considerably
drier landscape. It was about 100 miles from the Gulf of Mexico and the river was intermittently dry.
From 10,000 to 5,000 years ago melting glaciers had brought the site to within about five miles of the
Gulf by raising sea levels approximately 80 meters. The inhabitants 10,000 years ago must have watched
as pine ecosystems initially gave way to thick oak forests. Scientists believe that the greatest degree of
change in Florida's flora occurred at precisely that time.
The change would have deprived people of familiar resources while offering them new ones. Carter
believes that the people were well enough adapted to their environment before the changes that they
could easily withstand them. Environmentally initiated cultural adaptations soon followed. These
Paleoindians probably became less nomadic. Carter says they settled in villages, and produced new
styles of stone projectile points and a variety of new hunting and gathering instruments. Later
generations ultimately turned to agriculture as a survival strategy.
Researchers believe the window presented by this site, which Carter believes was a seasonal camp,
allows them to clearly view a transition point for a culture.
"These people were the region's first humans who weren't big- F-
game hunters," says Carter. Mammoths and mastodons, which
formerly had been hunted or scavenged, vanished, so the '
people came to rely on smaller animals. Faunal materials are
sparse at the site, Carter said. But fish bones and burned turtle
bones are evidence of one potential shift in subsistence. And
they had to adapt to changing vegetation.
A white PRkf n project e xhitner.s in the
bright fglft.i fw.fd to penetrate. the tannmi-
.atined .arp waKer.-
Iriomnen Cacrter cap~tred tilf migev of
untlernwtr subj-ctfrmtn Hi- irideo
Owgcfv mrade in f905 by ffrchetaoivt
"My guess is they were well attuned to those resources prior to changes and were merely shifting their
emphasis to the new resources. It doesn't look to me like they really changed their essential way of
interacting with the environment; they didn't simply adopt agriculture, they remained hunter-gatherer
He estimates that people lived at the site for only a few generations, until rapidly rising water levels
about 10,000 years ago forced them to move. Rising water also sealed the remains of their camp under a
protective layer of clay that enhanced artifact preservation.
The density and amount of artifacts preserved in the Bolen component of the site is quite amazing, says
Dr. David Webb, Curator for Vertebrate Paleontology at the Florida Museum and a principal
investigator of the Aucilla River project.
The site is in the middle of a swamp on the west bank of
the Aucilla River. Tannin in the swamp water allows
daylight to penetrate only to a depth of seven or eight
feet. At a depth of 15 feet, Carter says, the crew must
work in "a Heart of Darkness" environment using
powerful lights for illumination. Though stained, the
water is relatively clear. Excavation is time-consuming,
and field workers must be competent divers. Carter, who
has a master's degree in nautical archaeology from
Texas A&M University, has been working at the site
S CEORGCA since 1988. His specialty is the late-Paleoindian period.
A buried soil surface, or paleosol, is the focal point for the excavation that so far has covered about 22
square meters. The site seems to extend farther into the river's bank, but to follow it is not yet practical
because it would require removal of up to five meters of overburden.
The underwater archaeologists have found side-notched Bolen projectile points, which have been
stylistically dated to between 10,200 and 9,900 years ago. One piece of cypress wood recovered from
the Bolen level yielded a date of 10,000 80 radiocarbon years (Beta 21750); a piece of wood in
compacted soil below the paleosol's surface produced a date of 10,280 110 radiocarbon years (Beta
Other cypress wood that may have been part of either a canoe or a large log, believed to have washed
into the site after the flooding, yielded a date of 9,930 60 radiocarbon years (Beta 58858). Carter says
he has more samples to be radiocarbon dated-hickory nuts and seeds carefully teased from the surface
of the paleosol and overlying clay layers.
In a layer dating to the Bolen period, team members recovered what they believe is a completed bola
stone from another part of the site. Carter described it as teardrop-shaped, four to six centimeters in
diameter, with a small dimple on top. It was part of a weapon of thong or cord thrown to ensnare
wildlife. They also found what is probably a bola-stone preform that broke before it was finished, and
another bola-stone fragment on the paleosol surface.
'It looks like this could be some kind of bola-stone manufacturing site,' Carter said. Possibly bolas were
being pecked to proper shape. Alternate hypotheses to these stones being for bolas could be that they
were heads for maces or clubs, or perhaps hammerstones for percussion knapping of flaked stone tools.
Another interesting feature is a hearth, depressed about eight centimeters into the surrounding surface,
which contained a piece of wood charred on one side but not on the other. Carter says it presumably is
the same age as other materials from the Bolen surface.
Among small wooden stakes recovered was one found driven vertically through the paleosol. Carter said
that stake yielded an accelerator mass spectrometry date of 8,905 65 radiocarbon years (UA-7454). "It
is difficult to say this is evidence of some kind of shelter, but my inclination is that it is some kind of
structure. The stake in the paleosol was about three meters from the hearth.
The team has recovered what appear to be adzes or adze reforms, but no lithic flakes. "We are not
seeing any debitage, just finished flaked and ground stone tools," Carter says. "Maybe we are seeing
some new type of site that's only found in an underwater context or adjacent to a stream."
At the very least, he added, the site is providing researchers with a significant opportunity to gain new
insights into a critical period of human adjustment to sweeping climatic changes.
The Aucilla River Prehistory Project has financial support from the National Geographic Society and a
Florida Department of State Special Grant.
Editor's note: This article is reprinted from the Center for the Study of First Americans' newsmagazine
Mammoth Trumpet, Volume 12, Number 2, April 1997.
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Page/Ladson faunal remains and the paleoenvironment
By Tanya M. Peres
Many of the reports and articles in this newsmagazine are site updates and field
reports. However, the majority of this work that is not seen or publicized is the
actual analysis of artifacts and remains. Over May and June 1997, I identified and
analyzed faunal remains from the Page/Ladson site, which resulted in my Master's
thesis at Florida State University. The assemblage that I looked at was excavated in
October 1995 by Brinnen Carter and the ARPP crew. Remains were recovered
from strata above, and perched on, the Bolen level.
I began my research thinking that I would be looking at the prehistoric meals of the ancient people that
inhabited this site long ago. About halfway into the analysis I realized that there was little or no evidence
left on the remains of use by humans. After confirming my suspicions with my professor, Dr. Rochelle
Marrinan, I designed a system that scores certain attributes of an assemblage (in a presence/absence
fashion), with the total score determining if the assemblage is a result of a) human use (cultural); or b)
environmental deposition (natural). The criteria that I used are: butchering marks, worked bone,
association with artifacts/features, thermal alteration, and presence of "exotic" taxa. The assemblage
from the Bolen level had an overall score that denoted it as an environmental assemblage. There were
three bone "pins" in the sample, but they were most likely out of context, thus even though they were
cultural in origin, they were natural in deposition. Since the assemblage did not support my original
hypothesis that the collection would demonstrate human activity at the site, little can be said about
subsistence practices. We do know, nonetheless, that the identified taxa were present in the environment,
and thus available for selection by humans.
Taxonromic Name Common Name
Chmas of boNy fisb
Family offreshwater catfish
Order of rogs and toads
Family of toads
Order of sla manders
Order of rtulle
Family of mu/musk turtles
These findings may be disappointing to some,
but in actuality they are just as important, if not
more so, than a culturally deposited sample.
This sample is unique in that it is the first to be
analyzed and quantified from this site and time
period (ca. 10,000 years BP) in particular, and
along the Aucilla River in general. The species
list (Table 1) that has been derived from this
collection will aid in future analyses of
additional samples from the project's
excavations. The preservation of the faunal
remains is excellent and allowed for
identification of individuals to the species
level, which is important in determining the
Macidemlr ys ferrca'
Rodeutia cf. Ralfw spi
Eq Iivus sp.
Odbcodkiis w agrnus
VniLr VI IUFIIU~
Family of mud/musk Murtles
Family of cootm, sliders, box
castcm box tunic
Order of snake
family of wi2 snakes
Subfamily of geese, swuds
Class o fa males
Order of deer, pi&g catfe
Family of mCoos, Clk, deer
type of environment that would have existed to
support such faunas.
Table 1: Page/Ladson Vertebrates
This sample is also of value to the interpretation of the environment of the Aucilla River area at the time
of the late Pleistocene to early Holocene transition. Using modern habitat data on extant species and
paleobotanical data from Florida and southern Georgia, I proposed a picture of what the natural setting
would have been for the people that lived in this area. These data, added to what is already thought to
have existed, allow us to form a clearer view of this important site of prehistoric activity.
I will summarize the paleoenvironmental data that were used in my thesis. Researchers believe the late
Pleistocene period (ca. 12,000 10,000 BP) in the Southeastern United States was characterized by
much lower water levels than at present, because much of the earth's water was frozen in the glaciers at
high latitudes. During this time, Florida experienced some of its driest ecological conditions. Wood and
organic remains recovered from sinkholes in the panhandle region of Florida imply shallow water
environments in the late Pleistocene followed by what appears to be deeper water in the early Holocene.
It seems that at the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary, much of Florida and southern Georgia was already
covered by a dry, oak-dominated, grass and herb forest punctuated with prairie-like areas. The Holocene
began around 10,000 BP with the rise of pine and oak dominated environments, as a warm, dry phase
ended with an increase in precipitation in the late Pleistocene (ca 14,000 BP). The Aucilla River corridor
was no different. The area was probably surrounded by an oak dominated forest, with scrub vegetation
consisting of grasses (Gramineae) and herbs such as ragweed (Ambrosia). The water levels were in a
state of flux at this time, and the Page/Ladson sinkhole was a steady source of water in a relatively dry
The early Holocene environment is reminiscent of what is present at the Aucilla River today. The
Florida Department of Natural Resources describes this area as being composed of a number of
vegetative communities. On the higher banks of the river, hardwood forests are present, while cypress
swamps dominate the low-lying areas. Most of the river corridor is undeveloped. Many of the lands
adjacent to the river are owned and managed by various state agencies as wildlife refuge and
management areas. Private landowners account for the balance.
Various animals live in this area, a number of which are endangered or threatened, such as: Atlantic
Sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrhynchus), Suwanee Bass (Micropterus notius), wood stork (Mycteria
americana), West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus), bald eagle (Haliateeus leucocephalus), red-
cockaded woodpecker (Dendrocopos borealis), Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis), and black
bear (Ursus americanus). All animals that have been identified in the prehistoric collections are present
today in the environment, except Equus.
As a result of this study, some questions have been answered, but many remain for future research.
Since this is an isolated study for this time frame, more faunal collections, pollen analyses, and
hydrological studies are needed to support the proposed paleoenvironmental reconstruction of the
Pleistocene-Holocene boundary. Fortunately, Erika Simons and I are currently analyzing earlier faunal
remains from all excavation years at the Page/Ladson site to add to this database and to test my
paleoenvironmental model. I am also identifying, analyzing, and quantifying faunal remains from the
Little River Rapids Site that were excavated as part of Mark Muniz' thesis project. The data collected
from this study will be added to the existing knowledge of faunal remains at the Pleistocene-Holocene
boundary, and afford us a more holistic view of the Aucilla River area. Thus, the Page/Ladson site has
afforded scientists a unique opportunity to recover, document, and study the presence of the earliest
occupation of Florida by humans, as well as the environment that shaped and supported their subsistence
practices. The Aucilla River, along with other river corridors in Florida, is rich with these types of
deposits and should be explored further to expand our understanding of this little known time period of
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By Andy Hemmings
Prehistoric fishhooks have been found in several of Florida's rivers. Florida's
prehistoric fishhooks were made of bone, shell, antler, and possibly stone. All of
the examples I would like to discuss here are bone hooks found in the Aucilla
Bone hooks exist in various forms:
a) Gorge bipointed bone about four inches long, often with a hafting groove in the center.
b) Composite from more than one piece of bone, lashed together to make the shank and point a usable
c) Raccoon Bacula roughly two inch curved bone with a sharp tip. Some have a hafting area near the
d) J-shaped long bone hook most common, probably made from deer long bones. Arm curve is -180
degrees making a J of the shank and point.
e) V-shaped long bone hook probably made of deer long bones. No real arm, point comes from base of
the shank, generally -130 degrees of curvature- thus you have a rough V in profile.
f) Phalanx J-shaped hook made from deer phalanges almost exclusively, arm has distinctive flat
squared bottom, shank and point approaching parallel as in the other J-shaped hooks.
Gorge hooks may represent a stage between
leisters or bone point tipped spears on the one
.... A. NHemmings hand and modern style hook and line fishhooks
Figure 1: Gorge hook on the other. It is not unlikely that this was the
first kind of line-fishing hook. The gorge works when a fish swallows and the line is pulled, thus turning
the hook sideways so that the points stick in the throat of the fish when it is set.
The shank of a composite bone fishhook found in Sloth Hole appears to have fine thread imprints in
mastic residue on the flared head. It will probably take a destructive test to determine the true
composition of the ridges because a thin coating of geothite prevents clear examination, even with a
microscope. The bottom of the shank is slightly bevelled, as though prepared to haft a point to make a V-
shape. Several semi-triangular short bone points have been found that fit snugly against the bevelled end
making a large serviceable hook.
Raccoon bacula have been cut nearly in half, the distal end removed, and then sharpened to a point to
form this type of hook. One Aucilla example has a hafting area 1cm long cut into the top of the shank.
Singly these hooks seem unlikely to be very effective. Probably they were combined to form a
composite treble hook. I plan a replication study of this hypothesis to see if it will work.
The most common type of bone fishhook in the Aucilla collections is the J-shaped long bone hook.
These large hooks are probably made from the cannon bones of deer. Frequently the interior curvature of
the bone is preserved in the arm of the hook. Generally these hooks are quite large, greater than 4cm.
However, a single tiny J hook (shorter than 2cm) from the Aucilla is in the museum collection. Three J-
type hooks have been found at Sloth Hole in the last three years.
A close relative is the V-shaped long bone hook. As a rule these are smaller than J-shaped long bone
hooks. The arm between the shank and the point has been nearly removed from this form of hook. The
point comes right out of the base of the shank and the hook looks almost like a check mark in profile.
Possibly the most interesting fishhook from the Aucilla River is a Phalanx J-shaped hook that Jack
Simpson found several years ago. Normally this hook type is made by grinding a section of a deer toe
into a flat bottomed expanded J-type hook. The flat bottom is very diagnostic of the hook being made
from a phalanx. This particular hook is very large to have come from a deer and may well be from the
extinct Pleistocene Equus. If this is indeed the case it puts a very early date on hook and line fishing in
North America. Many measurements of deer and horse toes will have to be made before this can be said
with much certainty.
All of these forms have been found in the Aucilla River, and
many have been found in Sloth Hole during ARPP operations. In
1995 Terry McKibben found a J-shaped long bone hook that had A B
a broken head (Fig. 2a). This hook was pictured in the 1996
Au1 illt River Times. Also in 1995 we recovered a complete
composite hook shank and a complete bipointed gorge with a
faint hafting groove at the center (Fig. 1). During the 1996 field
season Alyssa McManus found a complete J-shaped long bone
hook in the screen from the upper leaf/peat stratum (above Level ;. ,
2B). See Figure 2c and please note that the ball shaped head is --.. *
very unusual. This hook was not found in situ, but a date on the
strata containing it will be useful nevertheless. In 1997 we found
Figure 2: J-shaped hooks,
collected in a. 1995,
a 7cm long J-shaped fishhook in Unit 41. This hook is broken at
the bottom of the shank as it started to curve into the arm ( Fig.
Figure 2: J-shaped hooks,
collected in a. 1995,
b. 1997,c. 1996.
The total sample of Bone fishhooks known to archaeologists in Florida is very small. I have been
working on a typology that tries to account for as much variation as possible. As more hooks are donated
or loaned to the Florida Museum of Natural History for measurements and casting this typology can be
refined and grow. If you have prehistoric fishhooks of any material I would very much like to talk with
you. If you would be willing to give us access to them please contact me through the ARPP or at the
Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.
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Paleoindian tool from a horse tibia
By Dr. S. David Webb and James S. Dunbar
In our recent chapter entitled "Bone and Ivory Tools from submerged Paleoindian Sites in Florida" Jim
Dunbar and I de-scribed, figured, and interpreted a number of Paleoindian tools. Since most Paleoindian
sites yield only lithic tools, most of these items were either rare or unique. Some items were comparable
to tools known only from Old World Paleolithic sites. The one item that strikes me as most unusual is
made from a horse tibia. This is one of the very few pieces of evidence in all of North America that
demonstrates that Paleoindians utilized the horse. This does not prove that humans butchered the horse,
but it certainly indicates that they knew the animal well enough to utilize freshly recovered parts of its
skeleton. Furthermore there is strong evidence of prior knowledge in the Old World. The ancestors of
these Paleoindians knew Equus intimately, rendering its likeness exquisitely on cave walls, and New
World peoples continually encountered horses as their range extended into Florida. For this reason the
tibia described here seems to close the circle of evidence that late Pleistocene people continued to track
and use the horse as they entered the New World. The tibia is a stout, triangular element from the lower
part of the hind limb. Its distal articular end feels good in the grip of one's hand. We are pleased to place
this important piece from late Pleistocene sediments in the Waccasassa River on record.
Equus left tibia
Figure 1: Distal left half of tiba ofEquus,
UF 16822, used as an awl handle, distal
end downward, midshaft elaborately bevel-
ed: (a) anteror face; (b) mediolateralface.
Site and context: This specimen was recovered from 2 meters of water in the Waccasassa River,
locality 9, Levy County, Florida. Collected by Robert Armistead and donated to the Florida Museum of
Natural History in 1966, it was associated with abundant Late Pleistocene megafauna.
Description of specimen: Specimen UF 16822 (Fig. 1) represents the distal half of a mature left tibia of
a medium-sized Equus (horse) species. It is nearly black, strongly mineralized, and quite dense. Its
overall length is about 140 millimeters, with the break at about the narrowest part of the bone near the
middle of its shaft. Two large chips of bone were broken from the lateral side of the shaft; these
breakage scars, one about 80 millimeters and the other about 60 millimeters long, are coarse and
occurred as brittle breaks after the bone had become fossilized.
The most interesting features of the tibia occur near the midshaft break, where the natural diameter of
the shaft narrowed to about 40 x 30 millimeters. That area is dominated by a set of at least two dozen
conchoidal flake scars, each about 10 millimeters long and directed from the broken end of the tibia. The
major removal scars were modified by innumerable smaller pecks. All of these features evidently were
produced while the bone was still fresh. One must conclude therefore that the midshaft break that they
modified also took place while the tibia was green. The effect of this elaborate flaking and pecking was
to produce a gently roughened and beveled zone extending 30 to 40 millimeters toward the narrowest
part of the tibia (top of Fig. 1).
Other interesting features appear inside the marrow cavity of this tibia. That cavity was smoothed and
somewhat enlarged toward the beveled end of the specimen. Its maximum cross section is ovate with a
mediolateral diameter of 14:1 millimeters and a transverse diameter of 10.2 millimeters. About 54
millimeters toward the distal (intact) end of the tibia, the marrow cavity ends as a smooth pocket.
At its distal end, the tibia is nearly 70 millimeters wide and made of very dense bone. It was nearly twice
as wide as the midshaft area. A number of fine striations at various oblique and transverse angles occupy
the anterior and posterior faces of the tibia in a middle zone between the beveled region and the distal
expansion of the tibia. Presumably, these were scratches acquired incidentally during use of this Equus
Comparison: A number of researchers have recovered prehistoric flaked bone specimens. Some
subsequently conducted bone-knapping experiments in order to replicate raw bone manipulation (e.g.,
Morlan and Cinq-Mars 1982; Stanford et al. 1981). The oldest previous example of a Florida flaked
bone tool is an awl-and-scraper combination from an Early Archaic stratum (about 10,000 years old) at
Warm Mineral Springs (Cockrell and Murphy 1978). Socketed antler handles of Early Archaic age were
recovered from that spring and also from numerous rivers, including sites in the Ichetucknee, Aucilla,
and Santa Fe rivers. Such examples show that the use of knapped and socketed bones (and antlers) as
handles was well established by the Early Archaic in Florida. We now offer older but similar evidence
from an extinct Equus tibia. Evidently, the broad tradition of fashioning socketed handles from heavy
bones had Paleoindian roots.
Proposed function: When one grasps the tibia by the broad and dense distal end, it is immediately
evident that it provides an excellent handle, which could be grasped in the center of the palm and
surrounded by all five fingers. The elaborately beveled surface surrounding an enlarged marrow cavity
must be for holding some additional part of the tool, possibly an awl, probe, or dagger.
Editor's note: Most of this article is reprinted from "The Paleoindian and Early Archaeic Southeast", eds. D.
G. Anderson and K.E. Sassman, University ofAlabama Press, Tuscaloosa. 526pp.
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Underwater archaeology, Paleoindian origins, and histories of
By Dr. Michael K. Faught
These are exciting times we live in, at least for those of us curious about how people came into the
Americas. Last year, American Antiquity the premier publication of the American archaeological
community- published an article by a group of distinguished scholars that accepted Monte Verde as the
earliest Early Man site in the New World (Meltzer et al. 1997). This is to say that they accepted the
artifacts found there as unequivocally man-made, that the stratigraphic position of the artifacts was not
disturbed, and that the radiocarbon dates were associated with the artifacts and not contaminated by
natural factors. Other early sites have been proposed and argued about over the years, but Monte Verde
holds a rare distinction, along with the Folsom site in New Mexico in 1926, of being a watershed event.
It is intriguing, however, that Monte Verde is in Chile, at the wrong end of the world from where such
an early site would be expected. This questions older models of migration pathways and chronological
estimates. The fact is that the story of migrating Paleoindians coming through an inland corridor
between lobes of glacial ice-what we call the Ice-Free Corridor Model-has not held up to
accumulating evidence for Paleoindian site distributions and radiocarbon control. We don't have an
array of earlier sites in the north, with younger sites spreading out progressively to the south.
So what does all this have to do with underwater archaeology? Well, several researchers have noted the
possibilities of a coastal pathway for migrating Paleoindians, a concept first made palatable to the
archaeological community by Knut R Fladmark in the late 1970s. This coastal pathway is appealing
now, because a coastal migration route may explain why Paleoindian sites are so dispersed early on. The
idea is that Paleoindians would have migrated down the western coast of North America and come into
the continent from various places, coming across the isthmus of Panama, and down into South America,
very early. Adding to the appeal of this concept is the fact that most of the land masses where this
coastal pathway would have taken place-the continental shelves-are now submerged and we don't
know very much about what's out there. Therefore, prehistoric underwater archaeology sits in a unique
position to address the early history of Paleoindian settlement.
Another interesting problem raised by the Monte Verde site, and of Paleoindian studies in other areas, is
the realization that there may be more than one kind of Paleoindian on the scene at the end of the
Pleistocene. Many readers of the Aucilla River Times are probably familiar with "Clovis" and other
varieties of fluted points that are distinctive markers of early people in the New World. As it turns out,
however, there are other early sites in the Western United States, and in Middle and South America, that
have different kinds of chipped stone tools, and suggest to some researchers that there were separate
groups of people. Examples of these other tool assemblages include Western Stemmed Point
assemblages in the western United States, Lerma in Middle America and El Jobo in South America.
Monte Verde is one of these other kinds of sites, probably a representative of El Jobo, which strengthens
the concept of people with technical and cultural backgrounds different than those of fluted point
groups, as Meltzer et al. brought out in their important article. But let's ignore these other kinds of sites
for the moment, and concentrate on the origins of Clovis (fluted point) Culture, and its relationship with
In the last issue of the Aucilla River Times, I presented a map showing the distribution of Fluted points
in North America. The map showed several areas of the United States having dense clusters of Fluted
points, and other areas having very few: Most of these diagnostic points are known from, or at least
recorded from, the Eastern portions of the United States, even though there are significant clusters of
points known from the Southern Plains and California. Many of us equate these points with a group, or a
Culture, of Paleoindians that spoke dialects of the same language stock, and resembled each other
biologically. But the point distribution map combines about a thousand years of evolution, and doesn't
really tell us where these people came in first, or when that was, or how the pattern of their settlement
evolved and expanded over time.
So, what is the evidence for the timing and progress of fluted point entry in the continent? There are
many Paleoindian sites that have been radiocarbon dated, and I believe they offer a sample for modeling
this trajectory. In my dissertation research I compiled radiocarbon data from 72 sites in North, Middle
and South America. Of these, forty represented "well dated" sites, that is sites with more than one
radiocarbon date associated with the fluted points. Having multiple radiocarbon assessments means that
the dates can be averaged, and offer more confidence. These "well dated" sites are in the High Plains,
the Southern Plains, and in the Far Northeast.
These data show that the earliest fluted point sites are in the Southern Plains. Four sites (Aubrey and
Lubbock Lake, in Texas, Blackwater Draw, in New Mexico, and Domebo, in Oklahoma) span the period
from 11,500 years ago to 11,000 radiocarbon years ago. Aubrey is at the early end of this range (11, 565
+/- 95), and the others cluster between 11,200 to 11,000 BP. Fluted point sites in the desert Southwest,
the High Plains, and possibly the Great Lakes return dates of 10,900 to 10,800 BP. In the East and far
Northeast the earliest dates accumulate after 10,600 radiocarbon years ago. Fluted point sites known
from South America date after 10,800, while those known from Alaska, and the Ice Free Corridor appear
to date sometime after 10,500. The hypothesis that I am proposing is that the earliest fluted point sites
are in the Southern Plains of North America, and later sites radiate away from this center.
In the last Aucilla River Times article I pointed out that the gaps in dating fluted points were in the
Northwest and California, the Great Lakes, the confluences of the Mississippi / Tennessee / Ohio
drainages and in the Florida karst regions. You can see better now why it is important to know the
radiocarbon data from these places. Even though there are four early sites in the Southern Plains, one
well dated site in the High Plains is also an early fluted point site (Colby in Wyoming at 11,032).
Nevertheless, Aubrey in Texas, is comfortably in the lead for earliest fluted point site, and so there is a
simple problem to solve. Did fluted point Paleoindians come in through the Ice Free Corridor and spread
out south, somehow ending up in the Southern Plains early on, or did they come in from the Gulf of
Mexico, and spread north?
If the current evidence for the earliest fluted point sites crudely approximates the actual dispersal of
fluted point groups, then their dispersal pattern is not what we expected. Can it be true that people were
out at the coastline back then, and that their sites were submerged by sea level rise? Were they traveling
along these coastlines using boats? Did they procure fish, shell fish, birds and other coastal resources
along the way? Is it possible that our vision of the past is veiled because the Clovis Shoreline is currently
There are places where clusters of fluted points occur near coastlines with continental shelves, places
where we might expect to find evidence offshore. These include Northeastern Alaska, Southern
California, the Gulf of California, the east coast of Texas, virtually the entire Eastern Seaboard, and right
here in Northwestern Florida. There are early sites known from the offshore in Florida, a result of my
field research there. But, so far, these sites are later Paleoindian and Early Archaic of age. We still have
a lot to do to discover and excavate these important offshore sites. Florida is probably the area with
greatest likelihood for Paleoindian discoveries underwater because of its unique set of regional features:
high density of early sites onshore, not much sediment cover to deal with offshore, a relatively gentle
marine environment, and institutional infrastructures for research diving at the Florida State University,
the University of Florida, and other institutions (see "Universities Share Commitment to Underwater
In addition to the continental shelves, there are other places where water is now deeper than it was at the
end of the Pleistocene, where people could have left evidence on landscapes that are now inundated.
Various natural lakes hold great potential for submerged sites. For example, the Great Lakes had lower
levels at the end of the Pleistocene and high densities of Paleoindian sites, therefore sites may be found
underwater there. Man-made lakes are also potential for discoveries of early sites, particularly in the
Southeast and Middle America. Lake Alajuela (formerly Lake Madden) in Panama is a great example of
a fluted point site submerged by the manmade lake. Al Goodyear's underwater research at Big Pine Tree
in South Carolina is also a fine example of managing an early archaeological record submerged by a
Rivers which contain submerged evidence are mostly in the Southeast, in the karst geology here. It has
been known for many years now that Florida's sinkholes, rivers, and lakes contain Paleoindian and Early
Archaic sites. John Gifford's University of Miami work in the cenote-like sinkhole at Little Salt Spring
in Sarasota County is another example of research in these submerged settings. Of course, our own
Aucilla River Prehistory Project conducts research in these submerged sites as well, and you can see
why the project has spent so much effort in the elusive task of dating Clovis fluted point occupation. I
don't mean to imply that all the answers for Paleoindian migration, settlement, and subsistence activities
can be resolved with data from underwater sites. Nevertheless, is should also be clear that important,
new data might be obtained underwater. It is also true that these sites are difficult to find, excavate, and
interpret. The ocean is a big place, and sites were altered by the rising sea levels, by wave and current
action, and by thousands of years in a marine environment. Much time needs to be spent out at sea, and
the methods and principles by which this is done need more development. We have a real opportunity in
Florida to contribute to this nascent subdiscipline of underwater archaeology.
As I said, these are exciting times we live in. Acceptance of Monte Verde has called into question old
models of migration, timing, and adaptation. Previous models of inland routes have not held up to
accumulating evidence, and several researchers have noted the possibilities of now submerged coastal
pathways for migrating Paleoindians. Prehistoric underwater archaeology has the potential to access and
investigate sites that may contain clues regarding Paleoindian origins, and a better understanding of the
history of their settlement.
I PREVIOUS I CONTENTS I NEXT I
Ecological implications of ivory foreshafts from underwater sites in
By Dr. S. David Webb, James S. Dunbar, and Benjamin I. Waller
Study of several dozen ivory foreshafts (IF's) from late Pleis-tocene underwater sites in Florida sheds new
light on their usage and ecology. A Florida IF is typically about 300 mm long, 12 mm at the maximum
diameter, with anterior end flatly bevelled and roughened for about 60 mm (presumably for hafting to a
lithic spear point), smoothed along its length, with posterior end tapered (presumably for engaging in a
wooden spear). An IF was made by cutting and husking outer ivory lamellae in four segments around and
many segments along a fresh tusk of a mature Mammuthus columbi.
Ditfa half of decorated ivo~y fre.hft frfwo t he Ohmes (collection at Sloth Hole.
Incised (zig-zag) artwork enlarged.
Florida IF's are best known from two sites each in the Aucilla River and the Ichetucknee River, and also
from a few other submerged sites. This distribution is quite localized within the broader range of abundant
Paleoindian lithic sites in Florida. It does not appear to reflect either distinct age or preservational bias,
but probably reflects specialized usage of a particular favorable ecological setting. The common feature
shared by IF sites in the late Pleistocene of Florida may have been shallow watering sites surrounded by
open grazing systems. Such settings probably resembled present "Florida prairies" and were the very sites
where mammoths were ambushed with spears incorporating IF's.
Editor's note: This article is reprinted from the program of the Sixth International Conference for
Archaeozoology which met May 21-25, 1990 at the U.S. National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian
Institution), Washington, D.C.
- -- --- ----
Page/Ladson site update
By Dr. S. David Webb and James S. Dunbar
They say that "all good things must come to an end", and that aphorism certainly applies to Page/
Ladson, the ARPP's primary site in the Half-Mile Rise section of the Aucilla River. Many of us
affectionately call this productive place "the center of the universe", and that's no great exaggeration
within the purview of the ARPP. Page/Ladson packs a powerful punch both scientifically and
sentimentally. Its location, where the clear waters of the Wacissa River's eastern branch spill over a
resistant chert race into the widest and deepest expanse of the Aucilla, is breathtakingly beautiful. One
senses intuitively that this is truly a noble place, and probably has been so for eons. And so to those who
knew the region, it came as no surprise that this underwater site, which SCUBA divers of the Cousteau
era had dubbed "Booger Hole", would play a special role in illuminating the prehistory of the eastern
Gulf of Mexico.
At the end of our inaugural 1983 season the first team of ARPP explorers visited this site with Buddy
Page, a former U.S. Navy SEAL and our lead diver. The paleontological and archaeological returns
drew us back for our second season. And that is when the true potential of Page/Ladson began to dawn
on us. Continuous deposits of sediments stood five meters (ca. 15 feet) vertically along the lower
(submerged) reaches of the river bank. Upon our return for the third season we thrilled at the sight of
these orderly stacks of ancient sediments still standing in the walls of the previous year's excavation. By
then we had some preliminary carbon dates demonstrating that the Page/Ladson site spanned the five
critical millennia of the waning Ice Ages from latest Pleistocene into early Holocene. We had a detailed
sedimentary record (about a millimeter per year) spanning the time when seas rose dramatically (as ice
sheets shrank), when mammoths and other megafauna went extinct, and when the first humans
colonized the New World. During most of the ARPP's next 11 seasons we excavated a number of test
pits at the Page/Ladson complex, until finally this past year we determined to complete our work. After
all, we had a book contract with Plenum Press for our multidisciplinary team to report its work (The
First Floridians is to be released in late 1999). As befits this very special site, Page/Ladson gave us
another fabulous season.
We dedicated the end of May and the first
week of June, 1997 to removing nearly 12 feet
of leaf litter and relocating old test pits along
the west bank, including our most important
long trench, dubbed "the stairway into the
past". Its foot lay in 35 feet of water when we
reached it on June second. We laid out new
excavations to the north and east of the old
ones and emplaced upon them our two-by-
three-meter rail-track grid-frame. We were
W. GffnrnfA. Hammrnid
_intent on getting to the deeper parts of the
W. GftrA. Henings section, as we already had made a huge haul
W. GiffordA. Hemmings
L a m a wh from the Bolen layer in 1995 (see "Underwater
Figure 1: Llama marxilla with three-
molars intact site..." and "Page/Ladson Faunal Remains...").
The older beds obliged us by dipping upward,
and soon we saw familiar sandy sediments
mingled with "straw mat" (yellowish peaty material that we had learned five years earlier represents
mastodon digesta, see "Latvis/Simpson site update"). On June 7 this eastern promontory produced both
a flint flake and the right maxillary of an extinct llama bearing three molars (Fig. 1). The screen
operators also collected a piece of fresh proboscidean tusk sent up the dredge from the same deposit. As
another week passed we exposed a large volume of productive sediments and a very outstanding sample
of mastodon bones (pelvis, scapula, vertebrae and ribs) in deep, approximately 12,000-year-old, sandy
sediments. On June 13th we had to quit at noon out of respect for the first ferocious thunderstorm of the
The final excavation of the '97 season is
recorded in our field logs as "97-2 northeast
extension". It reached out to the center of the
river with the sediment top in 20 feet of water.
Among our first discoveries was a magnificent
mastodon maxillary bearing all three molars
(Fig. 2), the upper edges of the cheek region
slowly eroding in the water column. This mid-
river section is surely the source of the wealth
withdrawn by early amateur collectors. We .
spent the final ten days making detailed maps
and recording 202 field specimens of
archaeological and paleontological material. W. G fford/A, Haemm ings
The pile of sediments in mid-river looked FgIre 2: Mastodon ia w h tree
familiar to us veterans of the west bank, but we
carefully measured new stratigraphic sections
and gathered numerous samples for carbon dating. At this writing (February 1998) we anxiously await
the results of our new series of carbon dates. We anticipate that they will mirror those from the west
bank. If so our 1997 season will have corroborated the supreme value of the Page/Ladson Site as the
richest and most detailed prehistoric time capsule in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
I .PREV1 US I CONTE NTS I j
Sloth Hole site update
By Andy Hemmings
The October 1997 field season at Sloth Hole proved to be the most productive and archaeologically
rewarding to date. 35 square meters were excavated, mapped and collected. The entire season was spent
recovering data from the deepest part of the site. The 35 meters we excavated this year complete a block
of 53 square meters of stratified and mixed layers of fluvial deposits in a U-shaped recess. This recess
was protected upstream and to the east and west by vertical bedrock limestone walls.
In August, a brief survey of the lower West Run of the Aucilla included some surface collecting from
exposed areas south and north of our large excavation area in Sloth Hole. A distal phalanx of a monk
seal was our most unanticipated discovery. It is possible this animal really was alive at Sloth Hole, as
they have only recently become extinct in the Gulf of Mexico. Another possibility is that the seal skin
was a prehistoric piece of clothing that had the flippers intact (the distal finger bones would have been
very difficult to remove). This last speculation would probably be impossible to prove but does offer a
reasonable explanation for the presence of a monk seal in Sloth Hole.
The August survey also turned up
several stone and bone tools of note.
An unstained 10cm Paleoindian
bifacial knife was found (Fig. 1) a few
meters from a white Bolen Beveled
point, while a river stained Bolen
Beveled was found in a concentration
of artifacts with an archaic stemmed
knife and several bone pins. One
T'", Pi i~ l ill I |~ 1 complete bone pin was 21cm long.
'- ONE DECIMETIER ...... .... .
A. Hemmings/W. Gifford
Figure 2: Ivoryforeshaft fragment.
Remains of at least two moderately articulated mastodons constitute the bulk of the faunal material
recovered in October. One of the mastodons is a juvenile that may have been butchered on the edge of a
Pleistocene pond prior to being inundated as the water table rose. Trampling scars or cut marks are
visible on numerous bones and await microscopic examination to make solid determinations regarding
the possibility of human agency being their cause.
Another line of evidence tends to support the butchery scenario, namely the lithic artifacts of this area.
The 12cm biface and large hammerstone in close proximity to the fibula with good cut marks were
described last year. The 1997 work added many worked and utilized flakes as well as several
Paleoindian and Early Archaic unifacial and bifacial tools. These various tool forms are dominated by
cutting, chopping and scraping forms.
One diagnostic unifacial tool that is not thought to be involved in butchering activities is becoming
common at Sloth Hole, the Aucilla Adze. This year we recovered three of them in Sloth Hole and an
Aucilla Adze Preform was found downstream in August during survey work. The total at Sloth Hole is
now seven. This type of adze has been dated only from a Page/Ladson specimen to 9450+/-100 RCYBP.
The Aucilla Adze is a relatively rare artifact with probably fewer than 200 known, less than 10 are in the
Florida Museum of Natural History collections. This tool is thought to be a hafted woodworking tool
from the Late Paleoindian or Early Archaic period in Florida. Our finding seven of them at Sloth Hole
seems to indicate an occupation of the site after the mastodon butchery that is related to tool
manufacture, or at least tool discard, at a habitation site. The discard theory seems unlikely because only
one adze appears to be exhausted, whereas another appears to be virtually unused. The majority have
some use wear visible but remain functional. We have plans to replicate and use Aucilla Adzes on
several materials such as bone and wood to help understand what they were used for.
We recovered an 11.5cm long Aucilla Adze from a well stratified unit while Joe Latvis and Tim Barber
were respectively videoing and photographing procedural activities. Needless to say we are overjoyed to
have the discovery documented in two media. Tim Barber is to be credited with sighting this artifact
first. The other two adzes recovered this year were from units that have had the intact organic sediments
above them disturbed, either by erosion or collector activity. These latter adzes were found by William
Owen Gifford and myself.
The area of greatest sediment disturbance was right down the middle of our 53 meter block in the
deepest area that we have worked since 1995. Concerns regarding stratigraphic integrity of this area are
mitigated by the fact that the same sequence of strata has been encountered on each side of the disturbed
area. Also, the mastodon bones are roughly in anatomical order and related to two discrete individuals
all the way across this area. These two features may indicate spacial integrity, even when the overlaying
strata are disturbed.
Several more stone tools discovered in October merit discussion. The broken concave base of a
lanceolate Paleoindian point or preform and two lanceolate Bolen Beveled points with pressure flaked
edges broken from impact were found in the course of our work. Unfortunately all three came from
disturbed units. We unearthed a 7cm teardrop shaped biface that had been split at the round end and
evidently used as a hafted end scraper. This tool may have affinities with Paleoindian tools in the
Northern United States but is really unlike anything in the literature. T
he August survey recovered nine bone tools, and the October season located 41 bone tools. In October
we averaged better than one bone tool per unit. This brings the total to over 200 bone tools from Sloth
Hole in our collections since 1994 and the material donated by Dick Ohmes in 1993. For our third year
running we found a bone fishhook. This one is 7cm long and unfortunately is broken at the bottom of the
shank (see "Bone fishhooks").
The best artifact discovery, of course, has been
saved for last. In a well stratified fluvially
deposited level an 8cm long fragment of an
ivory foreshaft was found (Fig. 2). This level is
well above a 4500 year old sediment and
probably only dates to 2000 years ago. This
late date of deposition is disappointing, and
surely indicates redeposition. Having an XYZ
coordinate on any location for a worked ivory
artifact is very rare. In fact, this may be the first
found east of the Mississippi with precise
provenience, albeit redeposited.
ON4E DE ON VE TE
00e 091 02-, 091 Mi Ot
I n 1
4xa OCh fliL
A. Hemmings/W. Gifford
Figure 1: Bifacial knife.
The possible mastodon butchery discussed above lacks most tools normally associated with killing
proboscideans, the ivory foreshaft notwithstanding. It is possible we are seeing remains of scavenging
activities of an individual that was naturally trapped at a waterhole, not unlike the Latvis/Simpson
situation discussed in Milhbachler's article (see "Latvis/Simpson site update"). This line of inquiry will
be pursued in the future along with detailed analysis of the bone, stone, antler and ivory tools of Sloth
I PREV10US C ONTE NTS 1 14 RT I
Little River Rapids site update
By Mark Muniz
Research on the Little River Rapids site (8Je603) has been progressing on two
fronts over the past year. The first half of the year saw a coring project and 17 days
of excavation during the May/June field season. The second half of the year was
spent looking at data (cores, sediment samples, faunal remains, artifacts,
stratigraphic profiles, carbon dates, etc.) from Little River Rapids in the lab. So
now it's newsmagazine time again, and while I feel a sense of incompleteness in
reporting my activities, at least I can present what we have so far.
In the May field season, our primary focus at Little River Rapids was on unit 2' (2 prime), which was a
2x2 m extension of unit 2 (excavated in 1996). Excavation of this unit proved to be difficult and time
consuming as the conglomerate mass of clay, sand and limestone cobbles often sloughed into the unit
and forced us to erect plexiglass barriers to maintain site integrity and to protect divers. The unit was
placed on the submerged bank of the northern side of the river at about a 45 degree slope, and while
encompassing unit 2, extended another one meter both upstream and toward the bank (hence the 2'
The excavations uncovered eight main stratigraphic units (Fig. 1), which we were happy to discover
represented the Pleistocene/Holocene transition. We proceeded to remove what was considered modern
detritus and designated zone one (loosely consolidated leaves and twigs) until we encountered a hard,
brittle, green clay (zone two). This sediment was almost entirely clay and occasionally contained aquatic
faunal remains. Continuing downward, we uncovered zone three. Zone three was a soft, light gray clay/
silt, also containing aquatic fauna in the upper portions, yet picking up some mammal remains and
limestone pebbles in the lower portions. Finally, we uncovered zone four, which consisted of a gray
sandy clay, with pebble to cobble size limestone, as well as gastropod and bivalve fragments throughout.
Zone four lay directly above an intact paleosol, which contained terrestrial faunal remains such as tapir,
horse, camel, muskrat, sloth, and mammoth embedded in its surface. This paleosol was designated zone
seven (as zones five and six designated sand and peat beds overlying the paleosol to the south) and all
faunal remains were mapped in place. Several carbon samples were collected from the unit, as well as
bulk sediment samples that could be used for dating (Fig. 1).
S1.73 70 bp Hard. rifntk gBm diy ZOC 5 S(ot MXuhwn)
(Zo 46 *aw o ,,Aows) Mrd ,,, %iai bed
2.43*0 + M0 bp zo 3 10O9 110 IObp ZoIne6 (nor sIwn)
(Zi.M6-BM JAw) Soli. h tgay 0 PFlo,,d. wiI d Iw mM
Pesbiy, gry mrdy Ct--
,12.13+0 + 1 ,4S50 b t 9..bp
'*^Or7bp ._Zoare 4C Tramtkiian (cKlizWd ooarrmem)
13i,130+ p 20 p.--- .Llrt
zoels _eo, Paiool. wih pebbles
Figure I. 8J e603, mi 2'. West wdl ara riVphk; proik (ai dates uncahbwaied
As can be seen from the carbon dates and the extinct faunal assemblage, the paleosol encountered in unit
2' predates the paleosol occurring at Page/Ladson (8Je591) on which Bolen style artifacts have been
dated at 10,000 bp. As of yet the relationship between the two sites is not fully understood, however, the
presence of an intact paleosol, similar to, yet older than the "Bolen soil" implies a high potential for
there to be human activity preserved on its surface. Although we did not encounter any unequivocal
artifacts within unit 2', diagnostic artifacts of Clovis through Bolen aged cultures are present at the site,
and thus are likely to show up on this paleosol, if any are left in situ.
The second major area I have been concentrating on has been a reanalysis of the artifact assemblage
collected during the 1987 Palenotological and Archaeological Research Team (P.A.R.T.) survey. While
the survey did a wonderful job in describing the formal artifact types, little attention was paid to the
debitage and informal tools. Thus I have been analyzing the debitage using a Sullivan and Rozen (1985)
approach, as well as Ahler's (1989) mass analysis method. Informal and formal tools are undergoing
analyses related to Southeastern U.S. typologies. A study of thermal alteration (heat treatment) will also
be included. The goal of the analysis is to test the hypothesis that the artifact clusters documented by
Willis (1987) are in fact representative of real activity areas, and not products of the fluvial erosion
caused by the Aucilla River over the past 11,000 years. If the artifact clusters do represent real activity
areas, then the debitage, informal and formal tools should all be in agreement. If the artifact analysis
reveals incongruity between activities and artifact clusters, then these same clusters are more probably
the result of site formation processes.
Results of the excavation and analyses from this site will appear in a paper at the 1998 S.A.A.
conference, as well as a chapter in the upcoming book, The First Floridians, and hopefully at the 1998 F.
A.S. meetings in Gainesville (May 22-24), before the final picture is presented as my M.A. thesis.
Ahler, Stanely A. 1989. Mass Analysis of Flaking Debris: Studying the Forest Rather Than the Tree. In
Alternative Approaches to Lithic Analysis, eds. D.O. Henry and G.H. Odell, Archaeological Papers of the
American Anthropological Association, No. 1.
Sullivan, III, Alan P. and Kenneth C. Rozen. 1985. Debitage Analysis and Archaeological Interpretation.
American Antiquity, 50(4):755-779.
Willis, Craig. 1988. Controlled Surface Collection of the Little River Rapids Site (8Je603): A Stratigraphically
Deflated Site in the Aucilla River, North Florida. The Florida Anthropologist, 41(3):453-470.
I PREV10US C ONTE NTS I q RT I
Latvis/Simpson site update
By Matthew Mihlbachler
While the focal point of the ARPP is to investigate the earliest humans in Florida,
we often make numer-ous unintentional discoveries along the way that are very
important contributions to our endeavor to reconstruct the past. A case in point is
the Latvis/Simpson site, located at the lower end of the Little River section of the
In 1995, a preliminary field investigation took place at this site. Like the Page/Ladson site, Latvis/
Simpson is a sinkhole that contained a rich layer of bones and artifacts at the surface. The bottom of the
hole is filled by a stratigraphic deposit of mastodon dung composed of coarsely masticated sticks, twigs,
bark fragments and an occasional seed. Originally, we hoped that Latvis/Simpson was roughly the same
age as Page/Ladson (between 12,000 and 10,000 years old) and that the dung layer contained more
evidence about early Americans and their interactions with the extinct megafauna.
In typical fashion, the site did not turn out to be what we had hoped for. Collecting the exposed artifacts
and bones was a fulfilling endeavor, but unfortunately they were a mixed accumulation, and there was
no direct evidence that the artifacts were in any way associated with the faunal remains. Additionally,
the carbon dates from plant material contained in the dung layer turned out to be considerably older than
we had expected. In fact, they were about three times older than Page/Ladson! (between 32,000 and
31,000 years old). The Latvis/Simpson deposits were laid down long before the arrival of any humans.
Despite our unfulfilled expectations, Latvis/Simpson contains a number of surprises that are excellent
avenues of research. Most importantly, it is providing us with clues about the ecology and behavior of
proboscideans that utilized Florida sinkholes and springs. For instance, we can now compare the
contents of the gut remains and look for differences in the diet, health and nutrition of the mastodons
that lived before and during the arrival of humans. Differences may lead us to clues about how
environmental changes and, possibly, humans influenced these beasts at the time of their demise. Sorting
through dung is a lengthy, mind-numbing process, and as a result, this research is still in its earliest
The remains of a single semi-articulated
mastodon were found embedded within the
dung deposit at Latvis/Simpson. During the
1995 field season, the ARPP team excavated
two 1X1 meter units into the dung matrix and
recovered the distal ends of both tusks, a limb
bone and a rib of a subadult mastodon. The
excellent preservation of the bones and the
surrounding dung deposit gives us an excellent
chance to understand the significance of the
springs and sinkholes of North Florida on the
paleoecology and behavior of the
E. Rowe proboscideans that utilized them.
Figure 1: Distal end of mastodon tusk
embedded in dung deposit at
The seeds (e.g. grape and gourd) found in the dung indicate a summer deposition. This was probably a
dry season, and most proboscidean activity probably occurred around the springs and sinkholes at this
time of scarce water when hordes of animals thronged to the remaining sources of standing water.
The positions of the recovered bones have allowed us to roughly reconstruct the scenario of the death
and deposition of this animal.
1. While the skull was completely destroyed, the tips of the tusks jutted down into the matrix in
anatomical position (Fig. 1). Apparently the animal died in or very near the sinkhole and eventually
ended up lying face down in the bottom of the hole.
2. The recovered long bones and limbs were positioned vertically and jutted deeply into the dung
deposit. It is possible that the animal, weakened by thirst or starvation, ventured into the sinkhole to
bathe or wallow, became mired and died trying to free itself from the perilous glue-like sucking grasp of
3. Many of the mastodon bones contain deep grooves and scratches, indicating that the bones were
trampled and stomped into the mire by other proboscideans which depended on the use of the water
source. The trampling may also be responsible for the vertical orientation of the bones.
Most of the potentially butchered mastodon material recovered from the archeological sites at the
Aucilla, such as Page/Ladson and Sloth Hole are remains of subadults. The question remains whether or
not Paleoindians selectively hunted subadult individuals for some reason. The Latvis/Simpson site
reinforces the notion that large numbers of proboscideans and other potential game animals annually
congregated around the sinkholes and springs during late summer and early spring. The preserved
juvenile mastodon indicates that the annual die-off of younger or weaker individuals in these areas was a
natural phenomenon occurring during the most stressful time of the year. Possibly, ancient hunters
simply took advantage of this natural phenomenon when they arrived in this region.
As of yet, none of these conclusions are definite, and more Latvis/Simpson fieldwork is needed. The
goal is to excavate more units into the dung layer to collect fresh dung samples and to remove the rest of
the juvenile mastodon material. We are ever in search of better evidence and better theories. For the
ARPP, Latvis/Simpson will be invaluable in interpreting what the Late Pleistocene of North Florida was
like before humans appeared. It will be invaluable in providing a framework for understanding what
changes take place when humans enter into the scenario.
PIREVIOUU CONTENTS I NEXT
Underwater archaeological techniques
toryooara aocumenung au in situ
y Tim Barber and Joe Latvis
The October 1997 field season
greeted the field crew with the best
underwater visibility we have ever
experienced at Sloth Hole since our
initial survey in 1994. Veterans of
previous Sloth Hole campaigns
surfaced from their initial October
'97 dive ebullient at the very real
prospect of actually seeing the layout
of this complex 3-dimensional site in
more than the three-foot vignettes
attainable under normal Aucilla
River tannic conditions.
Andy Hemmings excavates with
fingers. Note the transparent
coretube preserving stratified
sediment column (left). Megafaunal
bones and Aucilla Adze exposed in
situ (below). Bill Gifford records
three-dimensional coordinants of in
situf artifartk and fn .ilv frihahtf
Close quarters close-up
videography of artifacts and fossils.
Resolving to exploit these rare
hydrologic conditions before one
Big Bend downpour reversed our
good fortune we began documenting
the underwater archaeological
techniques that we have developed
throughout our 14 years of collective
diving experience under blackwater
conditions. We present this
photoessay to illuminate some of
these heretofore "unvisible"
techniques whereby fossils, artifacts,
sediments, radiocarbon samples,
paleobotanical samples and
bathymetric features are discovered,
excavated, and spatially mapped in
three dimensions, documenting in
situ measurements with copious
written observations, still
photography and videography.
IPREV10USI CONTENTS 1 1 RX I
Coring is not boring
By Dr. S. David Webb
The Aucilla River Prehistory Project (ARPP) committed the first two months of 1997 to recov-ering
sediment cores from three key research areas on the river. The purpose of coring was to get a broad
overview of the sedimentary types, ages and distributions in areas targeted for excavation during our
summer field season. This gave ARPP scientists a huge headstart in knowing where to excavate. We
estimate that each well-placed core saved, on average, a week of exploratory excavation. There are two
reasons for doing our coring in the winter months: first, because we have relatively few other
commitments during that time of year; and secondly, because that gives sufficient lead time to get
laboratory results back in time for the major summer field season. The biggest drawback to this schedule
is that the water is at its coldest, but as we discovered, divers can be fairly efficient under such
The ARPP is deeply indebted to Dr. Joe
'Donoghue of the Geology Department
at Florida State University for loaning
Sus his vibracoring rig and to Jim Hunt
of Perry, Florida for providing his large
block and tackle for retrieving the cores.
We began by modifying the project's 21-
foot aluminum pontoon boat by cutting
a six-inch hole in the deck amidships.
SThis allowed ample working room for
the tripod frame, the vibracore engine
and at least three crew-members to
drive the core at a balanced entry point.
We spent one long weekend on each of
the three research areas. For each area
the scientific field director selected and
Frum left: Bob Millott, Matt MihlbachIer, prioritized up to six core sites. We
Bill Gifford, Mark Mwutz, and Ed Green purchased enough thin-walled four-inch
driving a coretube into the riverbotto aluminum coring tube in 30-foot
lengths. The first weekend was
scrubbed due to a stripped gear in the
vibracore rig. Subsequently we succeeded in each of the target areas, with three cores at Nutall Rise, six
in the upper end of Little River, and seven cores down-river in the West Run.
Divers were employed first to spot the precise river bottom locations for the cores. They were needed
again after the core was driven and partly retrieved, to cap the bottom of the aluminum tube. This was
essential to prevent loss of sediments that were not well consolidated. Some cores encountered hard
bottom prematurely and therefore required relocation to an adjacent location. Such cases required divers
to remobilize on an unpredictable schedule. Survey and depth data were recorded for each core.
When the cores were returned to the ARPP's field headquarters at the river, they were placed
horizontally on a wooden rack designed by Ed Green and then cut in half longitudinally with a metal-
cutting circular saw. The core sediments were then photographed while freshly exposed. Next, they were
measured and described. From one half of the core, samples were bagged and wood fragments or other
carbon-datable samples were taken. For most cores, at least the bottom carbon sample was sent off for
dating. As the dates came back and the core logs were compared, a general three-dimensional view of
the sediment stacks in each research area were developed.
We are pleased that the coring season was so successful. For a total of four long weekends of coring, and
an almost equal time doing analyses, we obtained very valuable advance knowledge of the field areas to
be excavated that summer. For Matt Mihlbachler and Lance Carlson at Nutall Rise, for Mark Muniz at
Little River Rapids, and for Andy Hemmings in the West Run, the coring results offered a sophisticated
perspective on where to focus their scientific excavation plans. Ultimately the core data will be
integrated into the fabric of the entire research area. One feature of good science is learning how to
develop testable hypotheses from limited data. ARPP's winter 1997 coring operations on the Aucilla
River exemplify the early stages of developing a sound prehistoric framework on which to base more
Editor's note: Reprinted with permission from the Summer 1997 issue of The Dive Log, UF Diving Science
and Safety Program.
I PREVIOUS CONTENTS I NEXT I
Ground Penetrating Radar on the Aucilla River
By Mark Muniz
In case anyone was wondering why that big red box was being dragged all over the river during the May/
June field season, and what it had to do with archaeology, let me explain. And who were those strange
people in the blue Suburban anyway? First of all, the box was actually sealing an antenna, and this
antenna served as the ears for a type of remote sensing device called Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR).
And believe it or not, radar can be just as useful to archaeologists as to air traffic controllers (or pretty
close anyway). And those people in the Suburban were a team of environmental pedologists (soil
scientists) led by Dr. Mary E. Collins of the Soil and Water Science Department at the University of
Florida, who graciously agreed to come out and give the Page/Ladson and Little River Rapids sites the
once over with their GPR.
Remote sensing in archaeology can take many forms. From satellite imagery with heat sensitive film to
bosing (where a huge hammer strikes the earth to produce sound waves), there are many different
techniques available, often, each most suited to a particular application depending on what information
the archaeologist requires. The greatest benefits of remote sensing are the large amount of area that can
be covered in a comparatively short amount of time, as well as the low impact these techniques have on
the extremely limited archaeological record.
So why choose GPR for our setting on the Aucilla? To quote G.L. Barr (1993):
"Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is a useful surface geophysical method for exploring geology and
subsurface features in karst settings. In GPR surveys, a radio-frequency electromagnetic signal is
transmitted into the ground, and the signal reflected from subsurface lithologic and hydrologic features
and boundaries can be interpreted to identify sediment thicknesses, depths to the water table and to clay
beds, breaches in confining beds, karst development, buried objects, and lake-bottom structure."
As the limestone bottom of the Aucilla River reminds every diver who visits it, we are definitely dealing
with a karst environment. However, since the time frame we are interested in is generally older than
10,000 years ago, we can not rely on what we see exposed at the surface to always accurately indicate
what is buried below. Thus one can immediately see the advantages of remote sensing to try and locate
sediment "signatures" that represent buried paleosols (e.g. "Bolen soil" and Little River Rapids
paleosol), sand beds that seem to occur near the Pleistocene/Holocene transition, or even limestone
bedrock that may thwart our plans at excavation. As we will see, however, these "signatures" are not
nearly as clean as the proverbial "John Hancock."
As the radar passes through the ground, different types of sediment will either allow the signal to pass
through (thus providing conductivity) or will in essence adsorb the signal (thus providing resistivity).
The signal itself (in MHz) can be altered to produce different wavelengths that travel at different speeds
(in nanoseconds). A long wavelength (e.g. 100 VMHz) will penetrate deeper, but produce a coarser
resolution than a shorter wavelength (e.g. 500 MHz). Unfortunately for the ARPP, much of the banks of
the Aucilla River are clays, which resist radar flow and tend to attenuate the signal. As if this is not bad
enough, when GPR was used on the water surface within the channels of the river, the signal was so
adsorbed that there was barely any return to the antenna at all. While GPR is often used in freshwater
settings with success, salts can have an adverse affect on the signal. However, the Page/Ladson site
(where this was attempted) has little to no salt content in the water. Thus the resistance seems to have
derived from, what at this point, is an unknown source.
IDOYR 2, sand high organic content, modern root, ma
1 OYR 21, sand, high orgauic content, rooms present
IOYR 2/2, lowmy sad, high organic comment
S- 10YR2/3, loam
i ~ ~-- IYR 3/3, fih cont i xreaing upwards, tramsitiaona horizn
l,'ti ,11 "-- ^10YR "ailayy r
# 1OYFL 413,upwtMil
O YR 3/, silty oay, some mnling 10YR 2/2, tmnsitioMal horizon
S\ ; 2,+SY 42, silly day
S.T YR .. (pro be*y gkyed), sih y day, i tnfeqruei redoCamoqlieC retures
.. 7.SYR 6/, large conc ati of redompc features
S l iOYR 4/1, elayy silt, infireuent r orphic feaues
SOYR 21, sihy day, high orgnuic ontent
SC-Y .-10YR 3/1-3/2, sldy lm w/ hmeslone degrading inplace
ibgre I. GPR rout at 500 MHz, 4Ons (leA) ofCore 3, 1. 3m oial ]ength right ) at 8Je603
To interpret the results of a typical GPR readout, the archaeologist must ground truth the signal. This is
accomplished by either coring or excavating near the path of the GPR transect in order to record what
the different "shades of gray" are referring to. As we can see in the example from Little River Rapids
(Fig. 1), it takes a very experienced eye to accurately decipher which bumps and lines are resultant from
buried limestone, for example, or which are really invasive tree roots. In situations like these, we need to
call out the experts like Dr. Collins. However, when archaeologists have a good ground truth, we can
generally venture an interpretation that will at least point out major stratigraphic units and obvious
features such as boulders or water pipes. While remote sensing will never replace excavation, it is a
valuable contribution to the characterization of an archaeological site that can not only save time and
effort under the right conditions, but expose features that may never have been seen using more
traditional survey techniques.
Barr, G.L. 1993. Application of Ground-Penetrating Radar Methods in Determining Hydrogeologic Conditions in
a Karst Area, West-Central Florida. U.S. Geological Survey, Water-Resources Investigations Report 92-4141.
Sellmann, Paul V., Allan J. Delaney and Steven A. Arcone. 1992. Sub-bottom Surveying in Lakes with Ground-
Penetrating Radar. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, CRREL Report 92-8.
PREVIOUS CONTENTS I NEXT I
Removing iron from artifacts and fossils
By Russ McCarty
Those of you who collect in Florida's northern and central rivers have frequently
encountered specimens that would be perfect except for the disfiguring hematitic
(iron) stains and encrustations on them. In fact, in some rivers in the Florida
Panhandle, this is the norm. Attempts to remove these stubborn deposits by
physical methods, such as grinding or using air abrasive tools, most often results in
permanent damage to the specimens regardless of their composition.
In 1974, Francis Howie, of the British Museum described a method for removing hematitic matrices
from vertebrate fossils by using a dilute aqueous solution of thioglycollic acid. Howie first coated all
exposed surfaces of the bone with the resin, polystyrene, to provide a protective barrier. After the resin
had cured for six hours, he immersed his specimen in a 5% aqueous solution of thioglycollic acid (19
parts distilled water to 1 part thioglycollic acid). To this solution was added 0.9% calcium
orthophosphate by weight. The addition of the calcium orthophosphate is to prevent the thioglycollic
acid from scavenging phosphate from the bone. Howie left his specimens in acid for 24 hours. They
were then removed, allowed to drain, and then immersed in a 5% ammonium hydroxide (ammonia)
solution to neutralize the acid. The specimens were then washed in several changes of water for four
days. He then used gentle brushing, and air abrasive to finish removing the deposits.
As you can see, even this "easy" method is
fairly time consuming and meticulous. But for
an important specimen, the time spent in
chemical development would be repaid. My
first experiment on removing iron deposits with
thioglycollic acid was on a chert tool from the
Aucilla River. The chert specimen was so
heavily encrusted with iron deposits that it was
Shard to discern the true nature or shape of the
W. G iffordeA. Ilern ri ngs
Artifac ts, before (left) and after (right)
thioglycollic acid treatment.
I placed the tool in a 5% solution of thioglycollic acid made up as above-except that I left out the
calcium orthophosphate. I felt that this was an unnecessary buffer since there was no bone involved. The
specimen was left in the acid solution for 48 hours. It was then removed, rinsed in water, and placed in a
5% ammonium hydroxide solution for a few minutes to neutralize the acid. At this point the specimen
was placed in a water bath for several hours. The iron deposits had turned to a soft, powdery film that
brushed away easily with a soft toothbrush. All traces of the iron deposit were gone.
Thioglycollic acid is available from Fisher Scientific supplies at a cost of about $25 dollars per 100 ml
bottle. That would make about 2000 ml of 5% solution. When working with any chemicals, one should
always read the materials safety data sheets which the suppliers provide and follow all rules for safe
usage. Thioglycollic acid produces hydrogen sulfide as it digests the iron compounds. Hydrogen sulfide
is a poisonous gas, but familiar to everyone as the smell of rotten eggs and sewer gas. In the small
quantities used for removing iron from flint tools, the use of this acid should present few problems,
especially if the process is performed in a fumehood or in a covered container placed in a well ventilated
Howie's method (Howie, F.M.P. 1974. Introduction of thioglycollic acid in preparation of vertebrate
fossils. Curator 17:159-166) has proven successful for many applications and should be reviewed before
attempting to remove iron from fossil specimens. Using thioglycollic acid, while applicable to many
situations, does have a few drawbacks such as the foul odor produced by the acid. An alternative
noncorrosive method which uses no acid was developed by Rob Waller, a Canadian conservationist, and
adapted to vertebrate fossils by Blum, Maisey, and Rutzky (Blum, S.D., J.G. Maisey, and I.S. Rutzky.
1989. A method for chemical reduction and removal of ferric iron applied to vertebrate fossils. Journal
of Vertebrate Paleontology. 9(1):119-121. This method is a bit more complicated than Howie's method.
I PREVIOUS CONTENTS NEXT I
"A Naturalist in Florida": an update
By Joan Herrera
SIn April of 1996, several members of the Aucilla River Prehistory Project crew
assisted WUFT filmmakers Dennis Gaston and Dennis Ogle in reenacting scenes
From the life of local and international naturalist, and author, Dr. Archie Carr. This
television documentary, produced by Letitia Langord, based on Dr. Carr's literary
work "A Naturalist in Florida: A Celebration of Eden", aired in November, and
during WUFT's funding drive in December, of 1997 on UF's channel five. The
film is reported to have done very well during this drive to support public
programming on this station. Additional prints of the film are in production and
will be made available to other PBS and APS stations in the state of Florida and
around the southeast. Watch for it to air on your local station.
Archie Carr was a Professor of Zoology at the
University of Florida and headed the Archie Carr Center .iA
for Sea Turtle Research. He was also a world renowned
naturalist and the author of many scholarly articles and rohie
popular books. The Archie Carr National Wildlife rc
Refuge is located just south of Melbourne. Many of Dr.
Carr's popular works are available in local bookstores.
His work, "A Naturalist in Florida: A Celebration of r
Eden" is the basis of the documentary and tells of his A aturalist in Rr
experiences of over 60 years of roaming through natural
Florida. Filming for the special was conducted at
various wild areas around the state, including the
Everglades, Cork Screw Swamp, Melbourne Beach, the Rainbow River, and Ichetucknee Springs.
Aucilla River Prehistory Project members participating in this project included Dr. S. David Webb, Joe
Latvis, Andy Hemmings, Lance Carlson, and Joan Herrera. Dr. Webb portrayed Dr. Carr skindiving in
local spring runs, discovering mammoth and mastodon teeth, and other fossils, among shoals of waving
rivergrass. Joe Latvis filmed underwater sequences, while Andy, Lance, and I provided dive support.
A preview of the film was presented during events surrounding the awarding of the Archie Carr medal
on November 12, 1997. Cast and crew members were invited to the preview reception. Dr. Webb, Joe,
and I attended and enjoyed viewing the completed documentary and expressing our congratulations to
the filmmakers. We were pleased to learn that Marjorie Carr, Archie's wife and his life's partner, was
able to view the documentary prior to her death last year. Through his writing and teaching Dr. Carr
inspired an entire generation of naturalists.
FAS video features ARPP
The Florida Anthropological Society has
commissioned Chaos Productions of Fort
Myers to produce a thirty minute video on
Florida prehistory titled "Shadows &
Reflections On The Past". The theme of this
video is the qeust for knowledge and
understanding of the past cultures of Florida.
The cultures and sites chosen to represent the
five time periods examined are:
Paleoindians The Aucilla River
Tequesta Cutler Ridge Mound
Apalachee Lake Jackson Mounds
Timucua Fort Caroline National Monument
Calusa Mound Key
Artwork by Theodore Morris
Photographed by M. Muniz
Opening scenes feature the natural environment of the Aucilla, as well as underwater excavation footage
by the Aucilla River Prehistory Project, and narration by ARPP Director Dr. Webb.
The FAS plans to make the documentary available to PBS television stations, but perhaps more
important will be its educational use in the school system. The video is currently in production, and the
premier showing is scheduled for Saturday May 23rd during the 1998 Annual FAS meeting in
Gainesville (see "1998 FAS annual meeting").
PREVIOUS CONTENTS I NEXT I
River diver meeting and workshop
Field work on the 1997 Santa Fe River Survey conducted by the Florida Bureau of Archaeological
Research culminated in an informal meeting and workshop with river divers to share the results of the
survey and to discuss implementation of the Bureau's policy on isolated river finds. Announcements
about the workshop were circulated through local dive shops and river concessions, as well as by word
of mouth throughout the river diving community. The function took place on Saturday, August 2, at
Fanning Springs State Recreational Area, and was attended by approximately 35 persons, including
veteran collectors, avocational archaeologists, and local river residents. Also in attendance were staff of
the Suwannee River Water Management District, the Florida Division of Forestry, and the Florida
Museum of Natural History, as well as officers of the Game and Freshwater Fish Commission, and the
Florida Marine Patrol.
The meeting began with a cook-out hosted by the survey team to allow participants to become
acquainted with one another, and to thank several volunteers and informants who had provided
assistance and input to the survey. Afterwards, the gathering adjourned to a meeting room overlooking
the Springs for the informal workshop. The survey team had assembled visual materials, such as aerial
photographs, sidescan sonar images, and computer-generated maps and diagrams of the Santa Fe River,
as well as handout materials, including Isolated Finds brochures and reporting forms.
Dr. Roger Smith convened the workshop by introducing the Bureau's program of underwater
archaeology, and its mission to identify, inventory, assess, and interpret Florida's submerged cultural
resources. He discussed the program's partnerships with other state and county agencies, state and local
museums, universities and other educational institutions, and stressed the contributions of volunteers, as
exemplified by the Santa Fe River survey project. After an overview of the Bureau's policy regarding
isolated river finds, Jim Dunbar explained the procedures and forms for reporting discoveries and
encouraged attendees to pass along information about the policy to other river divers. There followed a
general discussion about the benefits of reporting river finds, the Bureau's concern for the accumulation
of data rather than additional artifacts, the prospects for conducting inventories of some of the larger
private collections from Florida's rivers, and the desire for continued communication and cooperation.
Joe Latvis spoke about the Aucilla River Prehistory Project and the diversity of participants of all ages
and backgrounds as an example of a successful endeavor that combines academic research with
avocational interests. Dr. Michael Faught discussed the prehistory of Florida as reflected by artifacts
found in rivers, and stressed that accurate reporting of past finds can help to provide information about
early sites that previously has been unavailable to scholars.
Many workshop participants expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to meet and to explore
ways in which to share knowledge about relics found in Florida's rivers. The gathering concluded on an
optimistic note, with expectations of increased communication and cooperation.
For more information on the Isolated Finds Program see "Discovering Artifacts in Florida Rivers"
available from :
Division of Historical Research
Bureau of Archaeological Research
R. A. Gray Building, Room 312
500 South Bronough Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0250 P
hone (850) 487-2299
Editor's note: This article excerpted from An Underwater Archaeological Survey in the Santa Fe River,
Florida, July 1997 by Roger C. Smith, James S. Dunbar, and Michael Faught with assistance from Grayal
Farr and William O. Gifford, December 1997.
I PRE 10 US C ONTF-NTS I N EX7 1
Archaeology in depth
Global warming may bring the water-front to many Floridians' doorsteps. But considering that the
Sunshine State's Gulf of Mexico shoreline has shifted north and eastward over the past 10,000 years,
forcing prehistoric populations to move several hundreds of miles inland, this phenomenon should not
come as a surprise.
If approval goes through next spring as anticipated, students will be able to sign up for a specialty
certificate in underwater archaeology, which will make FSU one of only three institutions in the U.S. to
offer degrees with a particular emphasis on underwater archaeological research. The preliminary
program was launched this fall within FSU's Department of Anthropology.
The program aims to focus
study on many of these
archaeological sites, some of Vi
which date back to 12,000
years. FSU's close proximity
to numerous underwater sites
in the Aucilla River, Gulf of
Mexico and other rivers
attracted Dr. Michael Faught, -
the new program's director. JA
The former field director of Bay County Shipwreck Survey, and an archaeological consultant for the
Aucilla River Prehistory Project, both located in Florida, Faught says the program is being established in
conjunction with the university's Academic Diving Program and the FSU Marine Laboratory on the
shores of Apalachicola Bay. "Our goal," says Faught, "is to focus on both historic and prehistoric
underwater research themes."
The better-known historic shipwreck sites, located in salt as well as fresh water, may soon be eclipsed by
research on freshwater sites located within the Gulf of Mexico, says Faught. Sinkholes, numerous
freshwater springs, and ancient riverbeds where humans might have lived before the seawater level
began to rise at the end of the last Ice Age, are covered by water today, and a number of such sites are
within easy striking distance of FSU's marine lab.
FSU has conducted underwater archaeological fieldwork since the 1960s, longer than any other
academic institution. Collaborating with the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research and the
National Park Service's Southeast Archaeological Center (SEAC), the new specialty certification
promises students a rich experience in both shipwreck and prehistoric underwater archaeology. See the
program's web site at http://www.anthro.fsu.edu/research/uw/.
Editor's note: This article appeared in the Fall/Winter 1997 issue of Florida State University, Research in
PREVIOUS CONTENTS I NEXT I
Good times and good friends: ARPP open house
By Alyssa McManus and Tammy Montes
Near the end of each field season, the Aucilla River Prehistory
Project welcomes its crew and the public to journey down to
Nutall Rise for an open house. It is a time for unity and
community, when the staff and volunteers who work endless
hours underwater, on the screen deck, and in the lab can share" I
with the public, among them respected colleagues and supporters,
the story that is constantly unfolding each season we are there. For
crewmembers, who do not weather out the entire season on the
Alyssa McManus river, and for those not able to participate in a hands-on manner, it Tammy Montes
wonderful opportunity to congregate, and fit the pieces of the puzzle together. As a result, we all
develop a greater understanding of Florida's first people and their natural history. That's a good enough
reason to travel to the event.
In 1997, the ARPP hosted two open houses, attended by many crewmembers, supporters, friends, and
family. One could meet naturalists, archaeologists, paleontologists, anthropologists, flint knappers,
divers, enthusiasts, and students all in the same group. Somehow, we all unite in our desire to know
what happened at this place THOUSANDS of years ago. It's a bit like going to a "Paleofest"-complete
with atlatl throwing, and displays of artifacts and fossils. We had site tours in the spring, where visitors
could see underwater archaeologists at work, and the operation that supports them. The highlight of the
fall open house was a wonderful slide and video presentation narrated by Andy Hemmings that really
brought the big picture into view. These events are fun, and great for informing people just what it is that
we do, and why we do it.
At every open house, the ARPP acknowledges
those whose efforts have helped the project.
During the spring field season's open house,
the crew presented a fabulous cake to Alyssa
and Al McManus, in honor of their recent
marriage (Thanks guys!!!). The dedicated and .
long-standing support of Dr. Hoyt Horne, Jim
Hunt, David Janet, and J.R. Walker was
acknowledged during the fall field season open
house with presentations of Ken Kirkpatrick's .
"The Past Made Present" artwork (featured on .
the cover of the 1997 Aucilla River Times. Al'
National Geographic Society patches were Oi 'T
presented to each crew member.
Operations manager Joe Latvis (right)
presents J.R. Wlker with a print of Ken
Kirkpatrick;s compelling artwork "The
Past Made Present" at the October
'97 open house.
If you have never been to an open house, you should make the drive next field season. Although veteran
ARPP volunteer Ken Kirkpatrick II was unable to join us for the fall open house (due to a previous job
commitment in Saudi Arabia), his family's friend Cass McKown-Heavener, her daughter Calli, and
Ken's father, Ken Sr. drove 8 hours from their homes in South Carolina to join in the festivities. The
drive alone is like a natural history field trip through the wilderness preserves of Florida's coastal
lowlands deer, bear, and herons are often sighted. And there is always a grand feast. We had a great
cookout in May, and this past fall a delicious barbecue dinner was provided by Jim Hunt's Zaney Foods
catering. A good time is always had by all down at the rise.
Special thanks go out to all those who make our open houses so memorable and fun. It is great to get
together with fellow crewmembers and people in the community to share such a special project.
Everyone contributes to the success and good spirit of our endeavor to tell the story of Florida's distant
I PREV 10US I QONTE NTS I N EX7 I
ARPP Live Presentations
1997-1998 Place Presenter Type of Talk
1997-- Wakulla Hist'l Society unbar Popular
January 14 Wakulla, FL
Seattle, WA American
February 15 Advancement of Dunbar Professional
FSU Academic Dive
February 20 Progm. Tallahassee, Dunbar Academic
February 21 FMNH Powell Hall Muniz, Hemmings,
February 21 1 Dedication
Gainesville, FL Mihlbachler, Webb
Tampa Bay Fossil Club
March 1 ampa Bay Fossil Club unbar Popular
March 4 IFSU Tallahassee, FL Dunbar Academic
Explorer Scouts Post
March 6 lorer Scouts Post Dunbar Academic
909 Wakulla, FL
Marh 9 Archaeology Week,
March 9 Dunbar Popular
FMNH Gainesville, FL
Rotary Club (Heritageb P ar
March 19 Webb Popular
Club) Gainesville, FL
March 24 Arch'cal & Histo'cal Dunbar Academic
April 5 Soc. American Arch. carter Professional
May 21 ie Conference Webb Academic
Center Arlington, VA
Perry Rotary Club -
July 2 Kiwanis Club Perry, Latvis Popular 40
First Annual Meeting of opur
August 2 River Divers Latvis Popular 35
August 14 Let's Get Wet Scuba B r ar
August 14 Barber Popular 25
Club Largo, FL
October 5 NH D ins Muniz, Carter, Webb OpenHouse 150-200
Hall Gainesville, FL
FMNH Powell Hall .
October 22 Pow Webb Legislative Weekend 25
October 29 Latvis Popular 140
October 29 Taylor Cnty Hist'l Soc.Latvis Popular 140
November 12 St. Patrick's Elem. Gramig, Jr., Gramic, academic
November 12 Academic 80
School Gainesville, FL III
dams Middle School -
November 19 ams Barber Academic 10
Hidden Oak Elem.
November 20 n Ok Gramig, Jr. Academic 120
School Gainesville, FL
November 25 Soil & Webb Academic 32
UF Gainesville, FL
No. Am. Arch. Class,
1998-- January 2 om. Hemmings Academic 35
UF Gainesville, FL
Anthropology Class .
February 16 Ant ly Class. Muniz Academic 15
UF Gainesville, FL
Belle Terre Middle
February 20 School Flagler Peres Academic 100-120
Soc. American Arch. .
March 27 oc. American Arch. Muniz Professional 75-100
S.C. Institute of Arch/
May 18 Anth Big Pine Tree Hemmings Academic 20
MayAS Annual Meetin- ARPP Professional 300
IPREV10USI CONTENTS I ITiR T
The Class of '97
By Dawn Pinder
The Aucilla River Prehistory Project draws an amazingly diverse group of
volunteers each year. The project drair\ energy from those who lend their
expertise, personalities and ent]i,\i,anm to the project. The "Class of '97" is no
exception. Here is a brief look at this multi-talented group of individuals.
BOB ACKER, of Salem, South Carolina worked on quality control and research at U.S. Gypsum for 40
years. Bob has participated in four projects with the Center for American Archaeology in Kampville,
Illinois and five Earth Watch Expeditions from Maine to Chile. He finds the Aucilla Project
TIM BARBER, a divemaster and underwater photographer in Tampa, joined the project to learn more
about paleontology, but says he has found "the greatest benefit to be the wonderful friendships formed
while working together toward some very important goals." Tim also worked on the 1997 Santa Fe
JAN BLUE, of Tallahassee is an attorney with the Florida Legislature. She spends vacations
backpacking in the West and in Alaska and enjoys kayaking the rivers of North Florida. Jan says she is
"very impressed by the dedication and level of experience of the staff and volunteers."
RHONDA BREWER, 31, of Jacksonville is a graduate student of anthropology at Florida State
University and works at the Southeast Archaeological Center in Tallahassee. During 1997 Rhonda also
assisted on the Allendale Paleoindian Project in Allendale, South Carolina.
LANCE CARLSON, 22 of Gainesville is a graduate student at the University of Florida. He has been
involved with other projects including the Cornell University underwater archaeology field school in
BOB COUGHTER, 23, of Tequesta graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the
University of Florida. He has also been involved in a project in Panama and a survey in southwest
Florida. Bob states "the project (ARPP) continues to prove its importance as a source for gaining insight
into the life ways of the earliest Floridians."
MELANIE DAMOUR, 21 of Tallahassee, Florida is currently an undergraduate student in underwater
archaeology at Florida State University. She also worked on other projects including the O'Connell
Mission site in Tallahassee and the Jefferson II site in New Hampshire. The Aucilla River Project was "a
fun and educational experience," for Melanie.
JOHN DAVIDSON, 33, of Melbourne, has a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Florida. He
has worked on the project for the last two years.
JOHN EVELAND, 62, of Monticello is a retired operating Engineer. He has been looking for fossils and
artifacts for 25 years. John hopes to someday see a museum in Monticello to exhibit a representative
collection of fossils and artifacts from the Aucilla River Project.
WILLIAM GIFFORD, 48, of DeLeon Springs is a dive instructor. He has participated on over 25 natural
science projects, most recently on the 1997 Santa Fe River Survey.
STEVE GLOVER, 49, has a B.A. degree in English. He is retired from an advertising and graphic arts
career. After spending time on the project Steve comments "I now have a notion of the magnitude of the
work we have to do."
JERRY GRAMIG, JR., 35, of Gainesville, FL, holds a B.S. from the University of Florida and works as
a senior portfolio analyst. The avocation of archaeology is shared by his wife, son and father, who have
volunteered on various projects around Florida. To be among such a diverse group of fun people,
collectively caught up in the sheer excitement and sense of wonder about what mysteries unfold here
daily, makes life rich for us."
EDWARD GREEN, of Spring Hill, FL is retired from Ford Motor Company. He's a 37 year member of
the Michigan Archaeological Society. Ed has trained dozens of screen crew volunteers on the Aucilla
ANDY HEMMINGS, holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Arizona in Tucson and is
currently working on his Master's featuring the archaeology and paleontology of Sloth Hole. He has
worked at Paleoindian sites in AZ, NH, NM, SC, and, of course, Florida.
JOAN HERRERA, from Gainesville, has an M.Ed. in Science Education from the University of Florida.
She is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Zoology at UF. She has been a divemaster
with the ARPP for 7 years, and has worked on several underwater zoological and archaeological
MARY HUDSON, 39, is a Radiation Therapist in Gainesville. She is currently enrolled at Santa Fe
Community College as an Anthropology major and plans to continue studies at University of Florida.
Mary says an opportunity to be a part of this project is "a privilege and a blessing."
TOM KELLEY, 47, of Miami, currently lives in Tallahassee where he is a residential contractor. When
not pursuing his interest in archaeology, Tom loves to fish.
BIRGITTA KIMURA, 46, is currently working toward a Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of
Florida. She has also done field work in Ethiopia, Panama and Sweden. She is currently analyzing DNA
from stone scrapers collected in Ethiopia. She said her time at the Aucilla was "very interesting and fun."
HANK KRATT, 35, of Tallahassee is a
first year graduate student majoring in
rI I I 1 [, h 1s 1,1 B 1 anthropology at Florida State
I i~"~ ';.~I tatn ,, University. Hank believes "the project
1, -:-'. 411 g tt:-1.-A d .k 'F will continue to add to our knowledge of
He a a nr ield-.,',, r nsh Florida's past." He has also participated
in FSU's Field School excavation of the
O'Connell Mission Site.
BILLY MAY, 71, works as a dentist in
Richmond, VA. He has been involved
with many projects all over the world
One of the many field crews from 1997. Standing from including the Dry Tortugas, Bermuda,
left: Melanie Damour, Mark Muniz, Bill Gifford, Andy Ethiopia, Kenya, Belize, Turks and
Hemmings, John Davidson, Matt Mihlbachler. Kneeling: Caicos, of this project he says it's the
Thadra Palmer, Joe Latvis, Birgitta Kimura, Jerry "greatest experience of my life."
Smith, Tim Barber, Bob Coughter, and Lance Carlson.
ALYSSA MCMANUS, 27, has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in anthropology from Florida State
University. "The research is important and should continue for many seasons to come. Project
participants have become some of my closest friends."
CHUCK MEIDE, 26, is a graduate student at Florida State University studying underwater archaeology.
He also teaches underwater field research classes at FSU. Chuck has participated in a number of
underwater research projects from Florida to the Dry Tortugas.
MATTHEW MIHLBACHLER, 25, of Sigel, IL has a B.A. degree in Anthropology and is currently
working toward a Master's degree in Zoology at the University of Florida. He has been involved with
various projects in Florida, Illinois and Maboko Island in Kenya. Matt says "it's the 'accidental'
discoveries that we make along the way that are the most fun."
MARK MUNIZ, 25, of Gainesville, is seeking a Master's Degree in Archaeology from the University of
Florida. Mark has participated in numerous archaeological projects in Florida, South Carolina, and New
Mexico. He has also made several public presentations on behalf of the ARPP.
DON MUNROE, 47, holds a degree in Nuclear Engineering and works at the University of Florida as a
radiation safety officer. This is Don's third year working on the project.
MICHAEL NOLAN, 35, of Pierson, FL is a broker and grower of decorative foliage. He has also
volunteered with the DeLeon Springs Survey.
JEREMY OGLE, 24, is an undergraduate student at the University of Florida working towards a B.A. in
Anthropology. He says "this project is the most exciting project I have been involved with." Jeremy also
spent time this summer in the Yucatan studying Maya sites.
HOLT OLIVER, of Eatonton, Georgia works as a paramedic with a special interest and specialty in
rescue diving. This season was his first experience as a volunteer and he says he "has a whole new
THADRA PALMER, 22, is a fulltime student at Florida State University working towards a B.A. in
Anthropology. She has been involved in a variety of other projects while at FSU including Little Salt
Springs and Marathon wrecks.
TANYA M. PERES, 25, from Flagler Beach, holds a B.A. and an M. A. in Anthropology from Florida
State University. She is currently working on her Ph. D. in Anthropology at the University of Florida.
She analyzed faunal material from the Page/Ladson site for her thesis. She has been with the ARPP
since 1996, and has worked on a number of archaeological projects in Florida and the Southeastern
ROBERTO QUINONEZ, 16, from Gainesville, is a student at Gainesville High School. He is a member
of Key Club. Roberto was new to the ARPP this year, working the screen deck during the 1997 fall
season. He plans to dive with us this spring. He has been diving since 1992.
EUGENE ROWE, 68, a retired veterinarian from Richmond, VA has been on close to 50 scientific
projects worldwide, most with Earthwatch of Watertown, MA. The ARPP is one of his favorites because
of the "good science and methods." Gene thinks "we are near some important revelations."
MICHAEL SIMPSON is a Metro Dade Fire Department Haz-Mat Paramedic. He is also working on a
Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Administration. This was Michael's first season with the project.
JO ANN SUGGS, of Brandon, FL, is a fulltime housewife who raises turkeys and is "big on flowers."
She and her husband Melvin have a second home on the Aucilla where they plan to retire. Jo Ann
showed quick reflexes during the summer when she dodged a snake that came up through the dredge and
onto the screen.
MELVIN SUGGS, of Brandon, FL, works as a technician (mechanic) with Reynolds Metal Company.
He loves to fish and turkey hunt, and raises turkeys to gain insight into their behavior in the wild. Melvin
and his wife Jo Ann plan to retire to the Aucilla River. Melvin says while at the ARPP, he "didn't meet
anybody he didn't like."
DAVID THULMAN, 42, is an environmental attorney with the Florida Department of Environmental
Protection in Tallahassee. He has always been interested in paleontology and prehistoric archaeology,
and this project is a perfect mix of both. "The people are terrific and the science is great, and except for
the bugs, the setting is beautiful." He hopes to participate for years to come.
BINION WILLIAMS, 55, of Jacksonville is a Production Controller at Jacksonville Naval Air Station.
He holds a B.S. in Business Administration. Bin likes to spend his free time outdoors hunting, boating,
fishing and camping. The ARPP gives him one more excuse to pitch his tent.
BRIAN WOODS, 30, of Northern Ireland now lives in Minneapolis, MN, where he works in the
banking industry. He holds a B.A. in history from the University of Minnesota and an M.B.A. from the
University of St.Thomas in Minneapolis.
JIM WYNN, JR., see "A new volunteer's ARPP experience".
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Volunteer Spotlight Mary Gouchnour Hudson:
"Indiana Jones She Isn't; An Archaeologist She Is."
By Dr. Jerald T. Milanich
For every university-trained archaeologist engaged in research in Florida there are hundreds of people
who make significant contributions to our knowledge of Florida's precolumbian Indians. Often these
avocational archaeologists contribute their time, money, and expertise to work on projects conceived and
led by those of us who work in Florida's museums and universities. The reality is that archaeology in
North America depends on the contributions of volunteers, avocational archaeologists like Mary
What makes an avocational archaeologist? By day Mary, a native of Florida, is a Radiation Therapist
and CPR instructor in Gainesville and a student majoring in anthropology at Santa Fe Community
College. But on weekends, vacations, and evenings she does all those things archaeologists do: read
professional journals, participate in field investigations, co-manage the field office, work to raise
funding for research, and undertake public education initiatives.
Most recently she has written articles for the Aucilla River Times, the Florida Museum of Natural
History's Aucilla River Prehistory Project (ARPP) newsmagazine, on 'Understanding Radiocarbon
Dating' and 'Water Moccasins and the ARPP.' The latter recounts close encounters of the third kind
experienced by ARPP personnel and what to do if bitten. About her participation in the ARPP, Mary
"Why do I return season after season, spending my
vacations freezing in October or fighting off swarms of
bugs in May? Many of my friends say this is a sickness-
digging through dirt and river sludge looking for some
old bones and artifacts, living in 'primitive' camping
conditions out in the middle of nowhere, keeping
company with a bunch of scuba divers and science
cowboys. Hopelessly afflicted with the same sickness, we
all...rise before the dawn, shiver and shudder as we step
into those cold wet suits, and work hard until dusk,
exhausted and starving. At the Aucilla, like the Eagles'
'Hotel California,' 'You can check out any time you like,
but you can never leave.'... As we toil together in search
of man and mastodon..., we share more than a common
interest in an exciting scientific expedition. We share
enthusiasm, dedication, and the intensity for a great
quest.... 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 project.... Newcomers as well as
veterans are actively involved in teaching and learning....
This initiates motivation and interaction and...promotes
much enthusiasm and gratification" (Aucilla River Times,
1996, p. 15).
Mary Gouchnour Hudson
Editor's note: This article is excerpted with permission from "The Ancient Floridians" chapter of Florida's
Indians from Ancient Times to the Present by Jerald T. Milanich, published by University Press of Florida in
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Role of the Safety Diver
By John Davidson
There are many jobs on the Aucilla River Prehistory Project which are vital to the
safe and smooth conduct of dive operations. The most important of these is that of
the Safety Diver. The Safety Diver is responsible for the safety of the all the divers
on that dive rotation. This person must be able to don their SCUBA equipment and
enter the water in one minute once an emergency situation has been declared by the
divemaster in charge.
The duties of the Safety Diver include helping divers into their gear and then assisting them into the
water. While doing this, the Safety Diver will check air pressures and make sure the diver's scuba rig
has been turned on. Once the diver enters the water the Safety Diver will call out "Diver in the water"
loud enough for everyone to hear. The Safety Diver will also ensure that the diver is OK by the use of
hand signals. Hand signals become necessary because the number of internal combustion engines used
during daily operations makes verbal communication difficult. The Safety Diver will then pay out the
surface air supply lines, being careful to remove any kinks that could hinder air flow.
Once the divers are ready to descend they will ..Bi
communicate this through hand signals to the
Safety Diver who will return the hand signal
back. Once the divers begin their decent the ...
Safety Diver will call out "Divers down".
While the divers are down the Safety Diver will
constantly monitor their bubbles. The Safety
Diver will also keep an eye on the weather,
watch for other boats and be on the lookout for
any wildlife that may pose a threat to the
Safe't Diiver, Thadra Palmer checks
A4ndy Hemmning. SCUL .'LKA gear.
Because the Safety Diver must focus her/his senses of sight and hearing on constantly monitoring as
many as six divers, as well as the open water environment they operate within, the social conversation
usually engaged in by off duty divers and screendeck operators is ignored by the vigilant Safety Diver.
She/he reserves their audio channel for monitoring real-time events which may bear on the safety of
During conversation which does have bearing on the status of the divers being monitored, the Safety
Diver also exempts her/himself from the social convention of establishing eye contact while conversing,
in order not to interrupt the more relevant visual data stream. To minimize distractive pressures on the
Safety Diver's ability to concentrate on her/his primary responsibility the diving operations barge is
specifically declared off limits to all personnel besides the Safety Diver, Divemaster and on-deck dive
When the dive is over and divers come to the surface, the Safety Diver will call out "divers up" and get
an OK from them using hand signals. The Safety Diver will then assist the divers out of the water and
neatly coil the air lines so they can be easily deployed on the next dive rotation.
While the Safety Diver is not the most glamorous job on the ARPP it is one of the most important. The
Safety Diver could be called on to enter the water at any time during her/his watch to lend assistance to a
diver in distress. Therefore the Safety Diver must be mentally and physically alert at all times because
her/his actions could literally mean the difference between life and death for divers in the water.
I PREVIOUS CONTENTS NEXT I
Field Health Beat: Hyperthermia
By Mary Gouchnour Hudson
ARPP field crew are often subjected to extreme environmental conditions during
field operations. Wide fluc-tuations between hot and cold temperatures can be
exacerbated by brutal humidity, wind, and rain. In addition to exposure to these
factors, field crew endure long hours of heavy, physical exertion either in the
Elements on the screendeck, or underwater for two-hour long-and-hard dive
rotations. When not working the screen or diving, those remaining topside are
engaged in other, sometimes strenuous activities vital to the project. No shelter is
readily available, and operations are suspended only for storms accompanied by
lightning, hail, or high winds. (We actually enjoy this.)
It is extremely important that field crew understand the nature of sudden illness caused by exposure to
the above environmental conditions. Knowing what to do and what not to do in case of emergency will
aid in the successful recovery of a victim, and prevent further injury or even death.
The normal temperature of the human body is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (F). Using complicated
mechanisms, the body normally regulates and maintains this temperature, regardless of the temperature
of the environment. Illness results when these regulating mechanisms are overwhelmed.
The following is Part One of a two part series. Part Two (addressing Cold Exposure) will appear in the
1999 issue of the Aucilla River Times.
Sweating, evaporation of sweat, and dilation of surface blood vessels allow the body to rid itself of
excess heat. Since sweating depletes the body of fluids and electrolytes (salts), it is important to
maintain adequate fluid levels by drinking at least 8 ounces of water or electrolyte beverage (i.e.
Gatorade, etc.) about every 30 minutes. Do not take salt tablets. Also, wearing either clothing that
breathes, like cotton, or wearing layers of clothing that can be peeled off allows for proper evaporation
of sweat. Humidity interferes with evaporation, so excessive sweating can be a problem, especially when
wearing layers. Wearing a full wetsuit is great for insulation against the cold or underwater; however,
that same insulation prevents heat from escaping and prevents sweat from evaporating. Everyone should
keep an eye on the safety diver who stays fully suited up when it's hot. Keep a watch on crew who push
themselves too hard without adequate rest (you know who you are!). Last, but not least, we should all
watch each other, remember to take occasional breaks, and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
When sudden illness does occur, it takes one of three forms : heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heat
stroke. Heat cramps present as painful muscle spasms in the extremities during or just after vigorous
exercise. To treat, move the victim to a shaded, cooler area, rest the cramps by having him/her lie down,
and give water or Gatorade like beverage. Heat exhaustion presents with the following signs and
symptoms: cold and clammy skin, gray face, dizziness or weakness, nausea, headache, sometimes a
rapid pulse, and usually normal to slightly elevated temperature. High temps around 104 degrees are
serious, and imply the victim may be progressing towards heat stroke (watch carefully). To treat,
immediately move the victim to a shaded, cooler area, loosen clothing, remove excess layers, and urge
him/her to lie down. Give water or Gatorade only if the victim is fully alert (up to a liter if possible). If
symptoms do not clear within about 30 minutes, the victim's level of consciousness decreases, or the
temperature remains elevated or continues to rise, the victim should be transported to the hospital
promptly, for proper monitoring and IV fluid therapy. Heat Stroke is a life threatening illness which, if
left untreated, will always result in death. Victims present with hot, dry, flushed skin, although some
heat exhaustion victims who progress to heat stroke may still retain some moisture (sweaty clammy
skin). Sweating does not occur because the sweating mechanism has been overwhelmed. As the body
temp rises rapidly (up to 106 degrees), the level of consciousness decreases to an unresponsive state.
The pulse progressively becomes weaker, and the blood pressure falls rapidly. Recovery depends on the
speed and vigor of treatment. The senior most qualified medical crew member will decide whether to
call 911, activate helicopter transport, or proceed by surface evacuation immediately to the nearest
medical facility. In the meantime, in the field, the victim must be cooled by any means necessary.
Remove clothing, place wet towels, etc., on the victim, even place ice packs in the groin areas, arm pits,
neck and wrists. The hospital, by receiving prior notice, can have ice water baths and other medical
interventions available for immediate treatment. Remember, heat stroke, left untreated, will always
result in death, and time is of the essence!
The ARPP's commitment to safety through education, policy, and procedure enforcement continues to
provide staff, volunteers, and visitors with the best security possible in a potentially hazardous
environment. Good science, combined with dedication to safety first, allows us all to experience and
enjoy the wonders of the Aucilla River.
I PREVIOUS CONTENTS I NEXT I
Too old to dive? Not at 75!
By Bob Acker
Professionally I had a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from the
University of Minnesota. I was employed by the U.S. Gypsum Co. from 1948 to
retirement in 1987. I started work at a plant in Ohio. After a few years, I was
transferred to the Corporate office in Chicago. The rest of the time I spent in the
Chicago area either in the Corporate Quality Control Dept or the Research
Laboratory. My chief physical activity has always been swimming. It was the only
athletic sport I was ever any good at. I swam in college and incidentally was a
finalist in the Big 10, and was on relay teams that made the finals in the NCAA
national championships. Our best finish was a 4th or 5th.
After college I swam fairly regularly for exercise. About 1972, Masters swimming (which is like kids
age group swimming, except it starts with 19-25 age group and goes up) was started as an organized
program, and I've participated in it ever since.
I've never won a National championship or set an individual record in the normal swimming events. In
the 1970's I was on several relay teams that set National records.
Nearly every year since about 1972 I've had one or more swims that rank in the top 10 nationally. The
highest I've ever finished in a National Championship was in 1991 when I was second in the 200 yard
and 400 yard individual medleys. (The competition thins but as you get older). I have won a couple of 2
mile open water swims that were considered National Championships, but those events don't draw all
the better swimmers. This year (1997) I swam in three 5K (3.1-mile) races and one 2-mile race in this
area. Overall, I finished last twice and next to last twice but the next oldest competitor was in the 60-65
year age group.
During the last 10 to 15 years of my
professional career my exercise
regimen consisted of hour-long 2500
meter interval swimming sessions
every weekday. I have maintained this
workout on a 3-5 days per week basis
since my retirement.
B. Purt n
Bob Acker conducting an Earthwatch
archaeological survey in Bermuda, 1986.
I'd always had a reading interest in archaeology, and in the 1970's I heard about a program in Southern
Illinois that offered adult field schools where you could participate in archaeological projects. The group
started with the excavation of the Koster site near Kampsville, Illinois. Koster was a famous site first
investigated by Stewart Struerer of Northwestern University. There are hundreds or maybe thousands of
sites in Southern Illinois ranging from Paleo to Mississippian. Koster had over 10,000 years of good
stratigraphy and superimposed village sites.
I eventually went to four of their field schools. The organization is now known as the Center for
American Archaeology and is headed by Jane Buikstra. In the four trips down there I worked on a
Mississipian village, a middle woodland occupation of some sort (salvage archaeology, the river was
eroding it away), and the last two times (last 1984 or 85) on the Elizabeth mound group. The last one I'd
worked up to the point where they let me work on removing a burial.
My son did some high school and college swimming and in 1978 or 79 decided he'd like to learn
SCUBA diving. Once he was certified I decided to take the course so I could take him on some dive
trips. I got my first certification in 1979, and we went on a dive trip to a resort in Jamaica in March,
1980. A depressing note was that we had a bag stolen while we were snorkelling and lost all our ID's
(including C cards) some money and other valuables.
In 1983 I took the Open Water dive course to get recertified. Son Jim took his down in Florida and we
dove together on a trip around Florida. I did some local diving in Wisconsin and a SCUBA safety course
about that time.
1. In August 1986 I went on my first Earthwatch expedition. This was to Bermuda and included land
archaeology and underwater surveys around the old British Marval Base. Over the next few years I went
on the following Earthwatch trips.
2. Summer 1987 Isle of Shoals Maine/New Hampshire Historical Archaeology. This was supposed to
include underwater work, but the dive master cancelled at the last minute. No diving.
3. November, 1988 Easter Island, Chile. No diving but a chance to visit a fabulous site.
4. November 2-11, 1990 Wildlife Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. I had set up an expedition fund
with Earthwatch, and the main object of this trip was to use up the balance before it reverted to
Earthwatch. Also I was in the process of moving from Illinois to South Carolina.
5. July 7-15, 1992. The Clovis Underwater Project (directed by Michael Faught) focused on exploring
archaeological sites inundated by the Florida Gulf of Mexico's Apalachee Bay.
Between 1986 and 1990, I did some local diving in Wisconsin and had one great Coral Reef trip to
Cozumel, Mexico with our local dive club. Between my two trips to the Aucilla I made just one dive in
our local lake in So. Carolina. Counting this last trip with the ARPP in October '97 I have about 64
logged dives. Not much when you think about it.
Now that I have resumed SCUBA diving, I think I'd like to continue at least on an occasional basis. My
research dives with various veteran ARPP partners at Sloth Hole last October gave me valuable
experience with black water archaeology in a remote site.
Editor's note: Bob Acker, from South Carolina, rose to the occasion of every physical exam, swimming and
SCUBA skills test, and written exam required of all ARPP divers under the rigorous standards set by the
University of Florida's Diving Science and Safety Program and the American Academy of Underwater
Sciences. We could not let Bob's accomplishment pass without soliciting this amazing story from our most
senior volunteer diver ever.
I PREVIOUS CONTENTS NEXT I
A new volunteer's ARPP experience
By Jim Wynn, Jr.
Being a lifelong avocational archaeologist, I had always dreamed of some day
participating in an archaeological research expedition! When I first met Dr Webb
at the Florida Museum of Natural History, I had no idea that he could make those
dreams come true. I was elated when he invited me to the Aucilla River Prehistory
Project's open house, thinking I would at least come close to my dream. But that
was just the beginning.
Thanks to encouragement from Dr. Webb, Jim Dunbar, Jack Simpson, and Joe Latvis, I submitted the
ARPP Volunteer Application Form for the project's upcoming (Spring '97) field season. I assumed that,
if accepted, I would be assigned some menial task away from the actual site so as not to interrupt the
experts. Instead, after an instructive orientation program by veteran team members, I was put right into
the middle of things. I had also assumed that I would have to be on my best behavior and not ask too
many questions, interrupting these great minds as they unraveled the mysteries of the past. Wrong again!
I was encouraged to ask questions, and even asked for my opinions on some of the developments! I was
Later I found myself to be wrong yet again in assuming that the dig was the major focus of the project's
work. I found out that it was probably less than 20%. Andy Hemmings, Mark Muniz, and Matt
Mihlbachler encouraged me to participate in some of the lab work back at the museum. I soon realized
that an overwhelming amount of painstaking work goes on for years after a few scant weeks of digging.
I hope to be a part of the whole process, following those bits of bone, rock, and vegetation that I
separated on the screen deck (with the help of Alyssa McManus, Jo Ann Suggs, and Dawn Pinder) all
the way to their final destination as documented components of Florida's archaeological heritage,
conserved in perpetuity at the Florida Museum of Natural History.
Once again, thanks to each of you on the Aucilla River Prehistory Project. Staff and volunteers all made
me feel like a part of the ARPP family, and it has been a rich and fulfilling experience that I hope to
continue for a long time to come.
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Call for Volunteers
From: Aucilla River Prehistory Project
Date: March 1998
We are frequently contacted by individuals from all walks of life (See "The Class of '97") interested in
participating in the Aucilla River Prehistory Project. Although our primary focus in the field requires
scuba divers, there are positions for non-divers as well. The following is designed to help prospective
volunteers evaluate their level of interest in applying for a position on the team.
We are currently organizing the volunteer roster to staff field operations at the Tallahassee-area site for
the two major expeditions scheduled in 1998 (May 4 through June 14 and October 5 through 31). If you
think you can qualify, and are interested in volunteering four consecutive days (or more) of your time
and talent to advance the scientific understanding of the peopling of the New World, read on.
The Aucilla River Prehistory Project is sponsored by the Florida Museum of Natural History, and has
been funded annually since 1987 by the National Geographic Society. Substantial grants from the
Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources, assures our ability to continue expanded
field campaigns through 1998. All field activities are organized and supervised by professional
archaeologists and paleontologists from the University of Florida and/or their designees.
These expeditions are conducted in remote reaches of the Aucilla River basin, consisting of pristine gulf
coastal lowland swamps and wilderness preserves.
The work environment can be taxing (heat/cold, long hours, humidity, insects), with occasional periods
of heavy physical exertion. No one is expected to perform beyond their capabilities, but applicants
should be in good physical condition.
Because the project is so remotely sited, emergency medical evacuation procedures are in place
throughout the term of the expedition with Lifeflight Helicopter Service of Tallahassee Memorial
Hospital and Shandscair Helicopter Service of Shands Hospital, University of Florida, Gainesville.
Basic medical equipment and emergency medical personnel are on-site whenever field operations are in
progress. Divers and non-divers alike must present proof of a current CPR and First Aid certification
prior to their tour of duty with the project. The First Aid requirement can be waived for nurses, EMT's,
These are scientific research expeditions. All fossils and artifacts recovered become part of the
permanent collection of the Florida Museum of Natural History.
The preparation of field notes documenting activities and observations is a daily obligation for all team
members. Participants will be required to sign liability releases and photo/publication agreements
restricting uses of any recorded images or written accounts of the project.
Main camp tents will be pitched in a mowed field in the village of Nutall Rise, the nearest outpost of
civilization to our sites. Bathing takes place in Nutall Rise spring. A smaller, more primitive site camp
will be established in the swamp on the riverbank nearby the excavation for logistical and creature
support during the work day. Sanitation is by portolet at the main camp, and pit latrine at the site camp.
Each team member must provide their own camping equipment, with the exception of cooking gear.
Prepared meals will be delivered daily to the main camp cabin at Nutall Rise. All meals are provided by
the project. Meal setup and cleanup duties are shared equally by all team members.
All dive operations are conducted in accordance with University of Florida's Diving Science and Safety
Program (DSSP), and the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS). All dive participants
must certify to DSSP's entry level of Diver-In-Training, however candidates should certify to the
highest level (Research Diver, Divemaster or Instructor) for which they are qualified. AAUS standards
now require current Oxygen Provider certification of all research divers.
Proof of a current nationally recognized open water scuba certification is a prerequisite to DSSP
certification. The longest lead-time DSSP requirements are the CPR, First Aid and Oxygen Provider
The most expensive requirement is the dive physical. For out-of-state volunteers DSSP's written exam,
as well as the pool and open water tests, can be scheduled immediately prior to the participant's tour of
duty at the project.
Expedition divers must provide a complete set of standard, well-maintained recreational dive gear for
their own personal use. Three two-hour dives are scheduled each day. Team members rotate throughout
other duty stations (screen deck operator, safety diver, equipment maintenance, activity documentation,
etc.) when not diving on the excavation.
Flexibility in scheduling can be an asset for applicants. The project requires a relatively constant
volunteer staff throughout the duration of its field operations. Hence, an applicant who wishes to
participate for a period of one week, but can permit the dates for that week to be designated by project
management (via prior consultation with you), improves their chance of acceptance over someone
similarly qualified, but restricted to one specific week which may already be oversubscribed.
All veteran team members as well as first-time volunteers must apply for positions on the 1998 field
roster(s) using the application form.
There will be no separate invitation to apply, as there has been in the past. Due to operational logistics
four consecutive days is the minimum commitment permissible. Project activities are conducted six days
1998 Site Schedules, (Field Scientific Director):
May 4 18, Latvis/Simpson (M. Mihlbachler)
May 19 June 14*, Sloth Hole (A. Hemmings) *May 21 24 FAS Annual Meeting break
October 5 31, West Run (A. Hemmings).
Now, if you would like to be considered for a position on the team, here's how to proceed:
Fill out the ARPP volunteer application form (or photocopy thereof), and return it postmarked not later
than April 1st for the spring field season or September 1st for the fall season.
Your application will be evaluated confidentially by a panel consisting of the project co-chief scientists
and principal investigators, project operations manager, project operations supervisor, and field
You will receive a response to your application within one week following the application deadlines.
Return to ARPP Homenage
I PREVIOUS CONTENTS I NEXT I
Aucilla River Prehistory Project
Volunteer Application Form
Date of Birth:
Social Security Number:
Professional archaeologist/paleontologist/geologist? Institution:
Field of Specialty: Institution:
Course Specialty: Institution:
Course Specialty: Institution:
High School Student
Course Specialty: Institution:
Avocational archaeologist, Amateur group affiliation?
Avocational paleontologist, Amateur group affiliation?
Previous experience on other field research projects? (please list briefly.)
Spring '98 Field Season (April 1 deadline)
I would like to volunteer for
consecutive days during the May 4 through June
My first choice dates are from
My second choice dates are from
I can permit project management to schedule my
participation any time within the following dates;
Highest level certification:
I am applying for a position on the dive team.
I am applying for a position on the land team.
Special related skills
Land Surveying Writing
Equipment repair Drawing
Boat handling Computer apps.
I will be consulted by project management
before a final assignment is made
Fall '98 Field Season (September 1 deadline)
I would like to volunteer for
consecutive days during the October 5 31
My first choice dates are from
My second choice dates are from
I can permit project management to schedule my
participation any time within the following dates;
I will be consulted by project management
before a final assignment is made.
Mail this application to:
Aucilla River Prehistory Project
Attn: Joe Latvis
5364 Cyril Dr., Dade City, FL 33523
If you have any questions, call us at
Return to ARPP Homepage
I PREV10USI CONTENTS I NEXT I
Aucilla mammoth: past present future
By Dr. S. David Webb
Important new developments at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville bring the Aucilla
River mammoth one giant step closer to its ultimate destiny. On January 29th when Powell Hall, the
Florida Museum's new Exhibition and Education Center, opened its doors to the public, Bruce
MacFadden, Associate Director for Exhibits, announced that the Aucilla River Mammoth was to occupy
the signature site in the central gallery and also that articulation of the skeleton was going out
immediately for bid. In earlier plans the construction date was indefinite and its place would have been
in the Florida Fossil Hall with first Floridians and other extinct megafauna. The paleontology staff have
reviewed and fully tallied every bone that will go into the magnificent mounted mammoth. The skeleton
will be the first real mammoth exhibited in the southeastern United States. (Elsewhere in the region there
are a handful of mastodons and one mammoth cast).
The story of this mammoth began thirty years ago when Dr. Richard Ohmes guided me down Half-Mile
Rise and showed me a wealth of mastodon and mammoth bones, several of which appeared to be
articulated sets each representing a single individual. Within the year we had a museum team in the rise
supported by a grant from the National Geographic Society. We collected three fairly complete
skeletons, but this was by far the best. It was illustrated (in its river bottom repose) in the February 1969
issue of National Geographic Magazine. It came from a freshwater marl deposit in the upper part of Half-
Mile Rise and was carbon-dated at about 16,000 years old. This mature male skeleton, which will stand
over 12 feet high at the shoulder, is 90 percent complete, with its tan to dark chocolate-colored bones
exquisitely preserved in every detail. Erection of the articulated skeleton in its ultimate place of honor
will take place by 1999, a mere moment from now in the ageless perspective of the Aucilla Mammoth.
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Dr. Webb appointment to Distinguished Research Curator
On March 20,1997 U/F President Dr. John Lombardi announced, upon the recommendation of the
Florida Museum of Natural History, the appointment of Dr. S. David Webb to the rank of Distinguished
Research Curator. Senate criteria used for determining this rank require that:
"Those selected should have truly distinguished themselves in teaching and/or service while at the
University of Florida....they should have gained a reputation on this campus among undergraduate,
professional and/or graduate students and among the alumni for being a superior and highly influential
teacher....their undergraduate and graduate programs have turned out leaders in their field: their service
on regular University and ad hoc University committees has resulted in truly beneficial contributions to
the university: their service to the state and nation has brought distinction, honor and fame to the
Dr. Webb's service as cofounder and 14-year Director of the Aucilla River Prehistory Project certainly
confirms the Senate's lofty criteria.
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The Aucilla River Prehistory Project has expanded its website! The site, including back issues of the
Aucilla River Times (1996 1997), can be viewed at http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/natsci/
vertpaleo/arpp.htm. Thanks go to Joan Herrera for formatting the 1997 Aucilla River Times onto our
website. The 1998 issue will be online soon. This year's issue will feature color graphics. So keep
checking back at the above URL.
Aucilla River Prehistory Project "Virtual Museum Exhibit"
A "virtual museum exhibit" of some of the highlights of the ARPP is now online at URL: http://www.
Designed as a "slide show", the exhibit includes graphic representations of many aspects of the project.
The exhibit is designed to give the viewer background information on the geological/hydrological
history of the Aucilla River area. Modules on the flora and fauna of the area during the Pleistocene,
human artifacts recovered by the project, and the personnel and equipment that make the project such a
success, are included with a special section on highlights of the project's major accomplishments since
its inception in 1983.
Congratulations to Joan Herrera and Dr. S. David Webb for designing the Aucilla River Prehistory
Project's "Virtual Museum Exhibit", and to Joan Herrera and Dr. Wayne King for site design and html
programming of the exhibit. Special thanks go to Dean Quigley, Marisa Renz, Chris Kreider, and Jim
Dunbar for allowing us to use their artwork on the site.
FLMNH Web site wins gold, again!
NetGuide selected the Florida Museum of Natural History's website as a GoldSite one of the BEST
ON THE WEB- again this year. The Gold Award recognizes websites that meet very stringent criteria
for overall excellence.
NetGuide screens over 100,000 URLs and their Gold Award goes to only 15,000 of the Web's best sites.
The museum will continue to display the Gold Award logo on its site, again this year.
The ARPP would like to congratulate Dr. Wayne King, office of museum technology supervisor, and
webmaster Dick Ruble on their continued success.
Visit NetGuide at: http://www.netguide.com
Office of Museum Technology Florida Museum of Natural History Gainesville, FL 32611 Tel. (352)
392-8085 Fax (352) 846-0287
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Building has potential to become museum
Aucilla River Project lends museum purpose
By Ray Cichon
The celebrated Building A, built in 1852 by slave labor and the oldest brick school building in Florida,
located on the Jefferson County High School campus, may well be on the way to becoming a unique
museum, if all goes according to plan.
Speaking at the School Board meeting Monday, David Janet, Dr. John Ward and Lou Waldmann
outlined how this can be done if the board approves the project.
"There are a plethora of grants available from the state, the federal government, and from the State
Department of Education that can be accessed," Janet said in his presentation.
Because of the archaeological treasures that
continue to be unearthed in the Aucilla River,
one of the most recent which establishes the
Paleoindians lived on Florida's plains some
12,000 years ago, the fact has been established
that people were living in Florida 1,000 years
earlier than previously thought.
Jefferson County High School,
This makes the Aucilla River site older than the oldest known Paleoindian sites in the western United
States, David Webb of the University of Florida reported at the time.
In his presentation, Janet said that curators of the museum at the University of Florida offered to loan
exhibits on a rotating basis, if the museum here becomes a reality.
Ward in his comments said that a collection of Winchester guns, might also be part of the museum's
exhibit, since a number of these were collected here and the collection might be supplemented by the
In addition, other possible exhibits include a local hall of fame for professional ball players from the
area, such as Clemon Johnson and Jack Youngblood, Janet said.
Waldmann, president of the Committee of 99, said that the group has made some inquiries along the
lines of establishing a museum in Building A, and would be happy to work with others on this project.
Principal Kelly Kilpatrick of JCHS said "I'll do all I can to support the project. That building is a real
Janet said that estimates to restore Building A run in the neighborhood of $1.5 million and noted that
this was a project that had to be funded by major grants because of the dollar amount.
Should a museum come to pass in the building, advertisements on the interstate and elsewhere would
draw tourists and their dollars to the community, presenters believe.
The uniqueness of the findings of the Aucilla River Project, make the location ripe for a historical
museum and for grant funding which favors unusual projects, they believe.
The School Board, under whose domain the building lies, told the group to come back to the board for a
decision when they have a task force formed and a project manager named.
Editor's note: This article appeared in the September 12, 1997 issue of the Monticello News. Monticello is the
county seat of Jefferson County, which borders the west side of the Aucilla River. The author, Ray Cichon is
managing editor of the Monticello News.
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Taylor County Historical Society open house
By Angela Fulford
The Taylor County Historical Society hosted an Open House for the newly renovated second floor of its
118 East Main Street building on October 29, 1997. Vintage W.A.V.E. uniforms, a "permanent wave"
haridresser's chair and a hand-cranked Victrola were just.a few of the new displays unveiled. Glass
cases hold a variety of local memorabilia--from a sword dating back to the Civil War to faded photos of
turpentine fields and letters from foreign shores. The Aucilla River Prehistory Project displayed fossils
and artifacts freshly recovered from the fall field season concurrently underway at the Sloth Hole site.
A gallery of faces greet visitors, among them
Cary Hardee, a native Taylor Countian and one-
time Florida governor and W.T. Cash, Florida's
first state librarian and noted Taylor County
Taylor county Historical
The society's building was formerly the Bank of Perry (1903), First National Bank (1906-1930); and
was used as office space for various county agencies until 1967.
The late Claude Pepper established his first law office in the building, working with Perry attorney W.B.
Davis in the 1920's.
Doomed for demolition, the building was "rescued" by the society in 1971. Its restoration process has
been an on-going project for members ever since...
.. . . ... ..
...... ..... --
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Projects currently underway: The society is working on a 50-year time capsule, publication of a
"History of Taylor County", publishing Vol. 10 in their "They Were Here" series which details notables
of the county who have passed, and a display of fossils and artifacts from Taylor County's world famous
river sites by the Aucilla River Prehistory Project.
Of interest: Founder Alton H. Wentworth, long-time educator and noted local historian, will celebrate
his 101st birthday in March of this year.
In a nutshell: The Taylor County Historical Society is dedicated to records keeping and preserving the
history of Taylor County and its people. Meetings are held the third Monday of each month. Annual
dues are $5. The Historical Society Building is located on the downtown square at 118 East Main Street,
Perry, FL 32347.
About the renovations: An estimated $20,000 worth of renovations were completed on the upstairs.
Pigeons had been the most notable residents of the rooms for the past 30 years. Ceilings were replaced,
carpet laid and walls painted. Funding was provided by a matching grant from the state and help from
the county commission as well as private contributions. Volunteers carried the bulk of the work with
help from inmate labor crews from the local jail.
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Editor's note: Angela Fulford is President of the Taylor County Historical Society.
1998 FAS Annual Meeting
The 1998 Annual Meeting of the Florida Anthropological Society will be held in Gainesville at the
Matheson Historical Center on May 22-24. Papers will focus on Florida archaeology and related topics.
A student prize will be awarded for the best undergraduate or graduate student paper. The meeting will
feature a Saturday Night barbecue at Austin-Cary Forest, guided tours of the Florida Museum of Natural
History, and a special archaeological tour of Paynes Prairie.
Two workshops will also be conducted on a reserved-space basis:
Friday morning Barbara Mattick of the Florida Bureau of Historic Preservation will conduct a workshop
on nominating archaeological sites to the National Register of Historic Places.
Friday morning a 4-hour workshop on archaeological monitoring at Florida State Parks will be held at
the Florida Museum of Natural History.
Friday night at 6:00pm a reception will be hosted by the Florida Archaeological Council at Powell Hall,
the new exhibit center of the Florida Museum of Natural History.
Saturday from 8:00am to 5:00pm presentation of papers on all topics of Florida archaeology (including
research by the Aucilla River Prehistory Project) will take place at the Matheson Historical Center.
Two optional field trips have been scheduled for Friday afternoon and Sunday morning. Conference
attendees must preregister for these as space is limited participation will be on a first-come, first-serve
Friday afternoon behind-the-scenes tours of the Florida Museum of Natural History will be conducted
by museum staff and highlight some of the research currently underway, including displays featuring
Aucilla River Prehistory Project discoveries.
Sunday morning a tour of the La Chua Ranch site at Paynes Prairie State Preserve will be led by
archaeologist Henry Baker and will feature the 17th century Spanish cattle ranch that has lent its name to
modern-day Alachua County.
Early registration for the conference will be available until April 15,1998 at $25.00 per person. After
that date registration will be $30.00.
If you have any questions please contact:
Ryan J. Wheeler
5932 NW 28th Terrace
Gainesville, FL 32653
FAS Membership Information
FAS is open to people interested in anthropology, archaeology, preservation of cultural resources, and
community education. FAS members receive the journal The Florida Anthropologist and the FAS
Newsletter. For information or address changes write to:
FAS Membership Secretary
P.O. Box 82255
Tampa, FL 33682
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Florida Archaeology Month
Walk in the footsteps of a Calusa King, watch historians and archaeologists re-create tools, ceramics and
weapons of times past, visit a Confederate garrison and hear about the first 11 months of the Civil War,
or hear some of Florida's preeminent archaeologists, anthropologists and historians present reflections
on Florida's colorful past. You can do all this and more during Florida Archaeology Month 1998.
Florida Archaeology Month is a statewide event held to encourage Floridians and visitors to learn more
about the archaeology and history of our state, and to preserve these important parts of Florida's rich
cultural heritage. This statewide observance is sponsored by the Division of Historical Resources;
Florida Dept. of State; Secretary of State, Sandra B. Mortham; Florida Anthropological Society; Florida
Archaeological Council; and Florida State Parks.
Shadows and Reflections on the Past is the theme for Archaeology Month 1988. Special events,
exhibits, lectures and programs will be held statewide during the month of March 1998. For information
on events in your area, contact Nancy E. Olson, Collier County Museum, 3301 Tamiami Trail East,
Naples, Florida 34112, or call (941) 774-8476.
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The Aucilla River Prehistory Project gratefully acknowledges support by the State of Florida Division of
Historical Resources, Florida Department of State, Tallahassee, Florida. During 1997 the ARPP received
its third major grant for its archaeological research on First Floridians and Last Megafauna.
The ARPP also received major funding from National Geographic Society, Committee on Research and
Exploration. Neither of these funding organizations was liable for injury or property damage that might
have resulted from ARPP activities. Nor are they responsible for opinions or interpretations derived
from the archaeological and paleontological research conducted under these grants.
The Aucilla River Prehistory Project also acknowledges vital support from several dozen volunteer
scuba divers from Florida and beyond, who freely dedicate their time, energies and personal dive gear to
participate in this important research. The University of Florida also provides fundamental offices, labs,
collections, equipment, vehicles and personnel to carry forward this project.
We especially thank the Ladson family for their continuing hospitality, encouragement and support of
this project's activities on their land.
Finally we are deeply indebted to many individual friends of the project who have contributed both
emotional energy and material gifts to its success. We offer our heartfelt thanks to the following list of
private and corporate boosters.
Supporting Boosters Contributin2 Boosters Contributin2 Boosters
$1,000-4,999 $100-999 $100-999
George F. Bailey G Bill Wright
Jerry Gramig, Jr. .
(for CSX Transportation) (for Perry Pepsi Cola)
Joan Herrera Dr. Hoyt Home $10oo
Dawn Pinder Jim Hurin .
Robert & Julia Acker
(for Innovation Consultation) (for Scuba Haven)R
Contributing Boosters Pat & Sam Lamar A
Anna M. Hansen
$100-999 (for The Canoe Shop
Dr. David G. Anderson Dave E. Martinelli Lucy M. Hughes
Rotary Club .
Tim Barber (Downtown G. Erin Murphy
Jody Barker Patty Schwarze Randy Ogden
(for Alpha Welding) (for Old Spanish Sugar Mill) (for Daffin Food Service)
Jan Blue S Dr. Andrew J. Rogers
(for Gainesville Fire/Rescue)
Dr. & Mrs. Robin Brown Mike Simpson William V. Short
Hervey L. Cunningham Mr. T.J. Vereen Robert G. Teeter
John Eveland David Thulman
(for J.R.'s Aucilla River Store)
Bill Gifford Bin Williams Yarbrough Tire Company
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The Mammoth Trumpeteer
m l ._ r-
Music provided by
"The Mammoth Trumpeteer"
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About the Aucilla River Times
Editor: Joseph Latvis
Text and Graphical Layout: Joan Herrera
Layout Assistant: Dawn Pinder
Website Formatting: Joan Herrera
Printer Liaison: Bill Gifford
Dr. S. David Web, Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, Florida Museum of Natural
History, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611-7800
Dr. Jerald T. Milanich, Curator of Anthropology, Florida Museum of Natural History,
University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611-7800
A curious freshwater Coastal Shiner (Noptropis petersoni) interlopes between the camera and a corner-
notched Bolen projectile point lying in situ on a 10,000 RCYBP paleosol submerged in 15 feet of
Aucilla River water at the Page/Ladson site. Original image was captured on Hi 8 mm videotape in 1995
by Joe Latvis. Lighting by Bill Gifford. Frame grabbing by Brinnen Carter. Image enhancement by Joan
Herrera. (See "Underwater site opens window on big environmental change").
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 Musuem of Natural History. This newsletter is published by
the project management based at:
The Florida Museum of Natural History
Attention: Dr. S. David Webb
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32611-7800
Subscription to the Aucilla River Times is FREE. Address changes or new subscriptions may be
requested by writing to the address above.
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