Table of Contents
 Editor's page : Robert J....
 Archaeological investigations at...
 The Ortona canals : Aboriginal...
 Prehistoric faunal subsistence...
 The Montague tallant collection...
 Pipe fragments from Ortona, South...
 News and notes
 Florida archaeology week schedule...
 About the authors

Group Title: Florida anthropologist
Title: The Florida anthropologist
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027829/00041
 Material Information
Title: The Florida anthropologist
Abbreviated Title: Fla. anthropol.
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Florida Anthropological Society
Conference on Historic Site Archaeology
Publisher: Florida Anthropological Society.
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Frequency: quarterly[]
two no. a year[ former 1948-]
Subject: Indians of North America -- Antiquities -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Antiquities -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Summary: Contains papers of the Annual Conference on Historic Site Archeology.
Dates or Sequential Designation: v. 1- May 1948-
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00027829
Volume ID: VID00041
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01569447
lccn - 56028409
issn - 0015-3893

Table of Contents
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
    Editor's page : Robert J. Austin
        Page 226
    Archaeological investigations at the Ortona earthworks and mounds - Robert S. Carr, David Dickel, and Marilyn Masson
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
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    The Ortona canals : Aboriginal canal hydraulics and engineering - Ryan J. Wheeler
        Page 265
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    Prehistoric faunal subsistence patterns of the Lake Okeechobee basin - H. Stephen Hale
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
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    The Montague tallant collection of historic metal artifacts - Laura Branstetter
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
    Pipe fragments from Ortona, South Florida : Comments on platform pipe styles, functions, and middle woodland exchange - George M. Luer
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
    News and notes
        Page 309
        Page 310
    Florida archaeology week schedule of events
        Page 311
    About the authors
        Page 312
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Volume 48 Number 4
December 1995

Page Number


Editor's Page. Robert J. Austin 226


Archaeological Investigations at the Ortona
Earthworks and Mounds. Robert S. Carr, David Dickel, and Marilyn Masson 227

The Ortona Canals: Aboriginal Canal Hydraulics and Engineering. Ryan J. Wheeler 265
Prehistoric Faunal Subsistence Patterns of the Lake Okeechobee Basin. H. Stephen Hale 283
The Montague Tallant Collection of Historic Metal Artifacts. Laura Branstetter 291

Pipe Fragments from Ortona, South Florida: Comments on Platform Pipe Styles, Functions,
and Middle Woodland Exchange. George M. Luer 301

Cushing's Cat Figurine Star of Centennial Exhibit. Arthur R. Lee 309

Florida Archaeology Week Schedule of Events 311

About the Authors 312

Cover: Map of the Ortona site in Glades County showing major site features.

Copyright 1995 by the
ISSN 0015-3893


Robert J. Austin

This issue is my first as editor of The Florida Anthropologist.
I have two simple goals. The first is to maintain the standard for
high quality content and appearance established by my predeces-
sors. The second is to make the journal more accessible to non-
professionals. I do not consider these to be contradictory goals.
This journal is different from many scholarly journals because
a significant percentage of its readers possess no, or very little,
formal training in archaeology or anthropology. Consequently,
I view The Florida Anthropologist as more than a forum for the
publication of research results; it is also a vehicle for educating
a much broader audience about Florida's past. I believe this
philosophy is in keeping with the long tradition of mutual
cooperation between professionals and interested avocationalists
which lies at the very core of the Florida Anthropological
Society. My editorial goals are intended to maintain and
strengthen that tradition.
To achieve them I will need the help of potential authors
submitting manuscripts as well as readers of the journal. As
editor I will constantly be reminding authors to be aware of the
journal's audience and to convey the results of their research
simply, concisely, and with a minimum of jargon. By simple,
I do not mean simple-minded. Our non-professional readers are
sophisticated enough to understand complex ideas, but these
ideas should be conveyed so that those who are not as well
acquainted with the subject matter can understand and appreciate
the significance of the research.
As for the readers -- particularly the non-professionals -- I
solicit your input about how to make this journal more "read-
able" and responsive to your needs. Please feel free to write to
me with suggestions. I also encourage you to write articles and
submit them for consideration to be published in the journal.
The avocational archaeologist remains an important ally and
contributor to Florida archaeology. But it is a disturbing fact
that the number of submissions from non-professionals has
dropped dramatically over the past few years. Many of the local
chapters are doing interesting field and educational projects, and
the results of these should reach a wider audience. Documentary
research, field projects, educational projects, or interesting
artifacts or collections are all potential subjects for articles that
should be considered.
This issue is a special one because it focuses on an important
mound and earthworks complex in south Florida, the Ortona
site. Work conducted there by the Archaeological and Historical

Conservancy of Miami has resulted in important information
that contributes substantially to our understanding of south
Florida prehistory. In their lead article, Bob Carr, Dave Dickel,
and Marilyn Masson provide a comprehensive overview of the
site which includes a review of previous work and a description
of the major site features. They then present the results of their
own survey and testing project. The data they present will be of
use for researchers in south Florida for some time to come.
Ryan Wheeler presents an informative article on the Ortona
canals, demonstrating that the prehistoric people who construct-
ed the canals possessed a knowledge of basic engineering
principles that enabled them to modify the natural landscape to
create a more efficient transportation system. The faunal
assemblage from Ortona is the subject of Steve Hale's article.
In addition to describing the species composition of the faunal
sample, Hale compares the Ortona faunal data to those from
other sites in the Okeechobee basin. A high degree of similarity
in subsistence adaptations is indicated, underscoring the
importance of aquatic resources for post-Archaic cultures in
south Florida. An important addition to the issue is Laura
Branstetter's study of historic metal artifacts in the Montague
Tallant collection at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton.
All of the artifacts she describes were obtained by Tallant from
the site's burial mound during the 1930s. Today, such activities
are illegal under Chapter 872, Florida Statutes. Regardless of
what we may think of Tallant's destructive penchant for digging
artifacts, his collection from Ortona deserves to be described
and analyzed. Finally, George Luer provides a short article on
ceramic pipe fragments from Ortona. After describing the
Ortona artifacts, he then compares them to other, similar pipes
in Florida, and discusses their importance as potential indicators
of inter and intraregional exchange. In fact, exchange is a major
theme that reoccurs throughout this issue. After reading these
articles, it is difficult not to conclude that the cultures that
inhabited south Florida's interior were pivotal to the develop-
ment and maintenance of the trade networks that had such an
influence on the social and political evolution of the region.
At this point I should mention that my editorial input for this
issue consisted primarily of readying copy for the printer. The
brunt of the editorial task fell to George Luer and Brent
Weisman. George, especially, deserves much of the credit for
bringing this issue, which has been several years in the making,
to a final, successful conclusion.



Vol. 48 No. 4


Robert S. Carr, David Dickel, and Marilyn Masson

This paper presents results of an archaeological project
conducted in 1990-1991 by the Archaeological and Historical
Conservancy (AHC) of Miami, Florida, at the Ortona site in
Glades County, southern Florida (Figure 1). The work was
funded by a Special Category Grant from the Florida Depart-
ment of State, Division of Historical Resources. In addition to
archaeological field work and analysis, the grant provided for
public education such as the production of on-site exhibits and
signage as well as preparation of this publication about Ortona.
The Ortona site is located in rural Glades County at the
northwestern edge of the Everglades near the Caloosahatchee
River and Lake Okeechobee. Although the existence of large
American Indian earthworks at Ortona has been known for
many years, they have remained very poorly documented until
now. Indeed, this project represents the first comprehensive
archaeological work ever conducted at Ortona. As such, the
project attempts to furnish baseline data for future research.
First, we explain the goals of the Ortona project. Then we
introduce the site's natural setting and previous archaeological
research. Next, we describe Ortona's major site components and
give detailed accounts of excavations. We then analyze the
recovered cultural materials and interpret them and the site.
Finally, we briefly describe public displays and education at

Project Goals

The Ortona archaeological project was conducted with two
principal goals and several secondary ones. A primary goal was
to identify, locate, and determine boundaries of the extensive
mounds and other earthworks at the Ortona site. This project's
emphasis was on site components located in Ortona Indian
Mound Park owned by Glades County. However, other adjacent
site components also were studied.
Unfortunately, the rural Ortona area has been hard hit in the
last 50 years by numerous alterations, such as sand mining and
land clearing. Consequently, much of the Ortona site has been
destroyed or altered severely. Thus, an important part of this
project was a review of archival documents, especially maps
and accounts by previous scholars who visited the site, as well
as interpretation of historic aerial photographs of the area dating
back to 1948. The use of these aerial photographs along with
field checks produced data for determining the location and
form of Ortona's site components. Although some interpreta-
tions are weakened by the subjectivity of our judgement
(because various components are altered or gone and could not

be verified in the field), the resulting site maps (Figures 2 and
3) are the best representations, to date, of the Ortona site.
The project's second principal goal was to determine intra-site
variability in terms of function and chronology of the various
Ortona site components. Existing components were tested to
recover evidence of cultural activity and to assess changes
through time at each tested component. Also, variations between
site components in terms of the material record were assessed.
Testing was limited to those recognized site components and
adjacent areas as determined by archival evidence, informant
data, and field observations. A major challenge was that most
of Ortona's site components, with the exception of the Large
Mound (8GL5) and Mound A (8GL80), are not easily recog-
nized because of prior disturbance and a thick growth of
vegetation that covers most of the Ortona site. It was with the
aid of archival aerial photographs (U.S.D.A. 1948, 1949) that
most of the tested components were identified and located.
A secondary research goal was to recover sufficient data to
provide some basic interpretations of Ortona's ceramic assem-
blage. Another goal was to recover sufficient faunal bone and
floral materials to provide an understanding of environmental
adaptation and the relationship of Ortona subsistence with that
of other sites in the region.




Figure 1: Location of the Ortona site in Florida.


Vol. 48 No. 4



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Figure 2: Ortona site in relation to the surrounding environment. Map produced by AHC team, 1991.


o O8OLS*



. ......... PARK BOUNDARY

0 100 oo500 1000 500

0 50 100 200 00

400 500

Figure 3. Detail map of Ortona showing major site features.

Questions about the occurrence and use of maize in the Lake
Okeechobee area have been debated since maize pollen was
identified in prehistoric contexts at Fort Center (Sears 1982).
Although our work at Ortona included analysis of macro-
botanical remains, pollen analysis was outside the scope of the

The project's final goal was to provide for the preservation
and integration of Ortona's archaeological components in the
planned development of Ortona Indian Mound Park. This was
important because many of the site's components are inconspic-
uous. We faced the challenge of locating and identifying them
so that they did not become unintentional victims of land


, f:.r



clearing and construction during the park's development. This
involved numerous meetings with the park's director, Larry
Luckey, who was always receptive to our findings and monitor-
ing during land clearing. Finally, converting information to a
format for public interpretation, through the park's exhibits and
signage, was a major challenge. This, and publication of reports
such as this one, will help make Ortona's legacy of mounds
accessible to the general public and students alike.

Natural Setting

The nucleus of the Ortona site complex lies within a pine and
oak scrub about 5 km (3 mi) north of the Caloosahatchee River.
It appears that much of the site is at or above the 21 ft elevation
contour (above mean sea level), although many other site
components consisting of small mounds and middens are located
to the south at lower elevations.
The site's location may be strongly linked to several important
environmental attributes of the area. Prior to artificial drainage
projects, the Caloosahatchee River drained westward through
Lake Flirt, an elongated body of water that was southwest of the
Ortona site. The lake was regarded as impassible during historic
times prior to the 1881 dredging of the river. It is possible that
the Ortona site's two aboriginal canoe canals served as a bypass
of some sort.
The Ortona site's location within the pine and oak scrub is
worthy of note because other potential locations for major
mound construction closer to the Caloosahatchee River apparent-
ly were ignored. The areas south of the 21 ft contour, including
Coffee Mill Hammock and the pine flatwoods, probably were
subject to periodic inundation. Also, soils within the scrub area
are well-drained and might have been more useful for mound
and earthwork construction.
The park's director, Larry Luckey, who also is the Glades
County Property Appraiser, says this immediate part of Glades
County, historically known as Citrus Center, was also called
"Chia" which he believes is an Indian word for "high place"
(Larry Luckey to Robert Carr, personal communication, 1992).
Indeed, the Ortona site's scrubby vegetation and well-drained
soil are very unusual in Glades County, which primarily has
swampy vegetation and poorly-drained or inundated soils.
Moreover, the Ortona site's huge sand mound, the Large
Mound (8GL5), reaches approximately 15-20 ft above the
surrounding terrain and is the highest elevation in Glades
County. It would have provided an expansive view of the area
for miles around.
Today, the Ortona site has been severely degraded by develop-
ment, and many of the mounds and earthworks are gone. They
are victims of roads, quarries, and a cemetery (Figure 4). In at
least one instance, artifact collectors simply devastated a burial
mound to extract artifacts.
Other environmental changes include lower water tables
because of artificial drainage. This has stimulated rampant plant
growth that has expanded natural forest communities and
encouraged exotics. Lush growth of cabbage palms and even

cypress trees has totally changed the area's appearance from a
century ago when treeless prairies and savannahs dotted by
numerous discrete cypress sloughs and ponds characterized the

Previous Research

The Ortona earthwork complex is one of the earliest reported
archaeological sites in the southern Florida interior. It was
depicted as early as 1839 by surveyors MacKay and Blake on
a map of the Caloosahatchee River area. They drew the site's
Large Mound and the two canals that connected to the Caloosa-
hatchee River, labeling the canals as "ancient fortifications" on
their map (MacKay and Blake 1839). In 1871, a survey map by
Tannehill also depicted the largest mounds and the canals,
labeling them as "Old Canal or Fortification: dry" (Figure 5).
Conklin (1875:331) and Kenworthy (1883:633) both mention the
In the Smithsonian Institution Annual Report for 1882,
LeBaron's survey of Florida mounds included a description of
the Ortona site by James M. Kreamer, chief engineer of the
Atlantic and Gulf Coast Canal and Okeechobee Drainage
Company. His description of the canal was as follows:

... a canal 4 feet deep by 10 feet wide, [runs] clearly out
through the low flat pine woods, and the excavated sand
and earth thrown up on the sides. It starts from the upper
end of Lake Flirt, and runs in a northeasterly direction, in
a perfectly straight line, as if laid out by an engineer, to a
group of large mounds situated in the pine woods about 3
miles from the Caloosahatchee River, and then returns to
the river in a southeasterly direction between Coffee Mill
Island and Lake Hiakpochee, inclosing a triangular area,
and having a total length of nearly 6 miles. Large pine
trees were growing in the bottom, in places where there
was no water. Many of these trees were as large as any
growing in the surrounding forest (in LeBaron 1884:779).

The earliest known description of Ortona's mounds was by C.
M. Farber and appeared in the journal American Antiquarian in
1887. Farber visited the site in February, 1886. His account
indicated an elaborate earthworks:

Continuing on our way we reached that inland sea, Lake
Okeechobee through which we passed to the head waters
of the Caloosahatchee, where near Lake Flirt is one of the
most interesting mounds in the state. Leaving our boat
about ten o'clock we walked some two or three miles, and
after two hours walking, or rather trying to walk, we came
to the mounds shown in the accompanying diagram. The
most striking object is the large mound with its adjunct,
which is an oblong mound about sixty feet long by forty
feet wide at the base and twenty-five feet high, and about
fifteen feet by twenty feet at the top. Connected to this by
a cause-way of sand is a mound about one-sixth the size of

A- -

Figure 4. Sign at entrance to Ortona Indian Mound Park (top), and gate at entrance to Ortona Cemetery (bottom). Both are
along State Road 78 between Moore Haven in Glades County and LaBelle in Hendry County, west of Lake Okeechobee.

TOWNSHIp H!42Souih of RANGE N! 30 East Of thtL Prin.e
4r C Xz de X~ C

.3 4

C. 4. .r .. p.

.flrt, e e.. l,*j* ee '. ~ sr n ... .........fl ~ 1 1 a

*~~~ 0 ~ .

-~~~t -.16 -* ~ -pC


.V 1-x. es A he.. a L


4-__ 4. ,' v.e'

ei-.,-... .9.A -x.$-.c AG.. r -

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-7-5111 \ : 01" gC*f I

Figure 5. Tannehill's 1871 survey plat map of Township 42 South, Range 30 East showing canals and mounds at Ortona.



the one described. Both of these are situated nearly in the
center of a redoubt about three feet high and eight to ten
feet wide, which runs clear around the two until it is
intercepted by a canal or sort of a grand entrance about
forty feet wide which slopes from embankments to the
middle, where it is about eighteen feet below the level of
the surrounding country. This "grand entrance" is about
fifteen yards long, where the embankments diverge and the
deep depression ceases. The embankment ran on the one
side to the northwest about two-hundred yards and on the
other about one hundred yards to the southwest, where it
reached the conjunction of two canals, one three miles long
running to the Caloosahatchee river, and the other to Lake
Flirt, it being one and one-fourth miles long (Farber 1887).

In January 1917, Capt. R. D. Wainwright visited the Ortona
site and provided a detailed description and dimensions of many
of the mounds (1918:45-47). He dug a hole in one mound
where he encountered charcoal, sherds, and a broken, lithic
projectile point. Other investigators and visitors to the site
included the botanist John Kunkel Small (1923:220, 1929:6263),
anthropologist Ales Hrdlicka (1922:52), and Henry B. Collins
(1929:153). Archaeologist John Griffin visited Ortona in 1940
and sketched a map of part of the mound complex and a cross
section of one of the canals (for the latter, see Luer 1989:Figure
4, lower center; also see Wheeler's article in this issue).
In the 1930s, Montague Tallant, an artifact collector who
resided in Bradenton, Florida, dug extensively in burial mounds
in the Lake Okeechobee and central Florida Gulf Coast areas.
Tallant dug in mounds to remove artifacts to add to his collec-
tion. It is not clear how he learned about the Ortona mounds,
but local informants probably were principal sources of informa-
tion. Tallant apparently drafted a sketch map of the Ortona site
based on his visits (Figure 6). Although not fully accurate, it
includes mound dimensions and elevations. Tallant extensively
dug in the Ortona Burial Mound (8GL35), doing considerable
damage (see Branstetter's article in this issue).
Archaeologist John Goggin visited the site briefly in 1944 and
conducted a cursory examination. It was not until 1949 that he
used information provided by Tallant to locate the Ortona Burial
Mound. Goggin found that previous digging by Tallant and
others had destroyed most of it. In 1952, Goggin and several
students excavated two units on the disturbed burial mound,
digging one to .75 m (2.5 ft) and the other to about 1.1 m (3.5
ft). They recovered a few small human bone fragments and one
large glass bead. However, screening the vandals' spoil piles
produced 131 glass beads and a shell disc (see Branstetter's
article, this issue). Other artifacts included Belle Glade Plain
and St. Johns Plain pottery sherds.
In the early 1950s, Goggin provided state site numbers for
some of the Ortona site components: 8GL4 for the Ortona
Canals, 8GL5 for the Large Mound, and 8GL35 for the Ortona
Burial Mound. He noted that most early travelers believed that
the canals' function was to provide a canoe route around the
falls of the Caloosahatchee. However, Goggin also thought that
it was important that the canals led to the Ortona earthworks

which he considered one of the most significant ceremonial sites
in the Glades area. In 1950, Goggin (1951:52) sent a student,
John Miles, to map the site. The map (Figure 7) is today on file
at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.
In April, 1974, Carr visited the Ortona site as part of his Lake
Okeechobee archaeological site survey (Carr 1974, 1975). He
observed that the site was degraded severely. The Ortona Ceme-
tery had been expanded since Griffin's and Goggin's visits,
removing a number of smaller mounds just north of State Road
78. At the time of Carr's visit, a sand mine was in full opera-
tion and had just expanded into the northern part of Mound D,
destroying part it. At that time, a portion of Mound D north of
the cemetery was still intact.
In 1983, a contact period aboriginal metal ceremonial tablet
was catalogued that reportedly came from the Ortona Burial
Mound (Allerton et al. 1984:40, MT#41, Figures 13G and 21).
The tablet reportedly had been found at the site in 1975.
In 1989, zooarchaeologist Steve Hale described the Ortona site
in his dissertation on Lake Okeechobee earthworks (Hale 1989).
He also constructed a computer map depicting his reconstruction
of the site. Hale noted the similarity in form of Ortona's Large
Mound and associated earthworks to those of Big Mound City
in Palm Beach County, southeast of Lake Okeechobee (Steve
Hale to Robert Carr, personal communication, 1992).
Also in 1989, archaeologist George Luer studied modern aerial
photographs and historic maps to trace the Ortona canals. He
proposed that they were parts of a network of American Indian
canoe canals that once existed in southern Florida. He compared
the lengths and a cross-section of one of the Ortona canals with
several other canoe canals in southern Florida, finding them all
to be similar in many ways (see Luer 1989:Figure 4, Table 1).

Site Description

This section describes the major earthworks of the Ortona site,
as well as other smaller site components that were tested during
this project. In addition to the site numbers assigned by Goggin
to some of Ortona's more prominent features, other site compo-
nents and test areas were assigned alphabetical designations by
the AHC field crew to distinguish them from one another. In
addition, the AHC crew also gave each tested location a field
name such as "Creekside Mound" (Mound A), "Pneumonia
Mound" (Area E), and "Bathroom Mound" (a remnant of
Mound B). Figure 3 shows the locations of the components
described below. Many other mounds and associated compo-
nents were parts of this enormous site complex but are not
described here because they are so poorly known and develop-
ment has destroyed or severely altered them. Nonetheless, much
of what was or remains of the center of the Ortona site is
described below.

Ortona Canals (8GL4)

Two of the most significant features of the Ortona site are the
two linear canals that connect the nucleus of the site with the


3y)tA WAA

GLI\DLS~ 1 CON -J.T2~k

Figure 6. Sketch map of Ortona by Montague Tallant.

Figure 7. 1950 map of Ortona site by John Miles (courtesy of the Florida Museum of Natural History).

Caloosahatchee River. The western canal is 3.7 km (about 2.3
mi) in length (see Luer 1989:Table 1) and approaches the site
from the river (old Lake Flirt) on a northeast axis at 40 degrees
(north of east), terminating at a natural pond. The eastern canal
apparently begins at Turkey Creek, a slough that drained on a
northeast-southwest course through the Ortona site, and then
descends southeastward back to the river. The eastern canal runs
for a distance of about 3.2 km (2 mi) across a low-lying,

mixed-swamp forest until it reaches a large, natural drainage
that flows into the Caloosahatchee River (Figures 2, 4, and 6).
For the purpose of this project, none of the Ortona canals was
subjected to subsurface testing. However, visits to different
sections of the canals indicated that they exist in various states
of preservation. The western canal traverses several privately
owned properties that include vacant natural areas of pine woods
and other tracts under citrus cultivation. In one instance in

1991, a property owner began bulldozing the canal, filling it
with dirt. Author Carr telephoned the owner and asked him not
to destroy the canal, explaining its significance. The owner
agreed to stop the destruction, although considerable damage
had been done already.
The eastern Ortona canal segment is in somewhat degraded
condition from previous land clearing activities. Nonetheless, it
is readily visible along much of its length. One area of the canal
that is less distinct is the small segment that enters Ortona
Indian Mound Park along the park's southwestern border. Here
the canal might have crossed the Turkey Creek drainage way.
Today, a low, basin-like slough characterized by cypress trees
exists at the point of the canal. It is impossible to determine by
cursory observations whether this low, wet area is the canal or
a natural feature. Complicating this interpretation is a cattle
pond that was dug in the lowest point of the basin leaving two
piles of spoil on each side of the pond. Also, Area E, an
elevated area on the western bank of Turkey Creek, rises
several meters above the basin pond, looking suspiciously
mound-like. (Area E is described in more detail below.)

Large Mound (8GL5)

The largest and most dramatic feature of the Ortona site is the
huge sand mound on the eastern side of the site (Figure 8). This
mound was noted by early surveyors (MacKay and Blake 1839;
Tannehill 1871) and was first described by Farber (1887). Table
1 provides dimensions of the mound as described by various

Table 1. Large Mound
various observers.


Farber 1887
Wainwright 1918

Tallant ca. 1935

Goggin 1948

(8GL5) dimensions (in feet) by

Length Width Height Comments

60 40 25 15 x 20 at top
160 110 30 deep vandal pits
150 150 22 data based on
sketch map by
Tallant (Fig. 6)
200 200 16 south part of
mound removed
for road fill

Aside from providing dimensions, each of these investigators
offered descriptions of the Large Mound's shape and complex
relationship to various earthwork ridges and ramps associated
with it. All of the investigators agree on the lack of human
burials or any cultural items observed at the mound. Despite
numerous interviews with local residents, the authors could
locate no one who had ever found anything cultural on the
Large Mound.

Today, the Large Mound rises from the eastern side of a
grassy field situated east of the Ortona Cemetery. Covered with
small oak trees, saw palmettos, and other vegetation, the mound
appears intact on cursory inspection from the outside. However,
a closer look reveals a gap in the mound's southern side from
where the entire center of the mound was removed. Thus, the
mound's exterior rim survives around a huge hole, all of the
mound's center having been removed in the 1930s-1950s by the
Glades County Road Department for use as fill (Larry Luckey
to Robert Carr, personal communication, 1992). In the 1940s,
both Griffin and Goggin noted that the Large Mound had
quantities of sand removed by the Road Department (Griffin
1940; Goggin 1948).
Still intact are most of the earthen ridges and causeways that
connect to the Large Mound on its eastern side. However, most
of these features are on undeveloped property owned by the
Lykes Brothers, and this area was not visited during this

Mound A (8GL80)

This mound was first described by John Griffin in 1940, and
he sketched it on a map showing part of the Ortona site. He
wrote the following description:

One more mound should be mentioned. It is perhaps 100
yards north of the west fence of the cemetery, that is the
northwest corner of said cemetery. The top had been
riddled, but to no great depth, and from outward appear-
ances and the soil in the holes, the composition seems to
differ from the others at the site. The soil is darker and
differs in texture, due possibly to the different growth atop
it, pine. In the discard heaps of the diggers some small
sherds, a broken bead, and other small articles were found
.... Were these accidental inclusions in the building of a
residential mound? The mound is of greater height than the
usual burial mound ... (Griffin 1940).

Goggin does not appear to have noted this mound during his
several visits, nor did Carr see it during his 1974 visit. Mound
A was "rediscovered" in 1990 when Larry Luckey led the AHC
archaeological team to the mound to verify what he believed
was an Indian mound.
Mound A is situated on the eastern bank of Turkey Creek
(Figure 9). In prehistoric times, canoes could have landed at the
northwestern side of the mound. Based on measurements by
author Dickel, the base of Mound A is circular and approxi-
mately 38 m east-west and 39 m north-south. At its crest, it is
about 2.5 m above the adjacent relict bed of Turkey Creek.
Since Mound A is among the best preserved components at the
Ortona site, it was a focus for testing by this project. Three 2
m square units were excavated on top of the mound. They were
dug to a depth of 150 cm and demonstrated that Mound A is
composed of black dirt midden containing faunal bone, pottery
sherds, and other artifacts indicative of habitation and subsis-
tence activities. Data from these tests are discussed below.

Figure 8. Large Mound (8GL5) east of Ortona Cemetery. Top: Scrub oak-covered mound in the distance beyond the edge
of a graded field (view to the east). Bottom: Mound in the center with remnants of two parallel linear ridges extending to the
left from the mound through the field (view to the northeast).

Figure 9. Park's interpretive shelter with ramp (at right center) ascending the north slope of Mound A (view
to the southeast).

Mound B

Mound B was an elongated, breadloaf-shaped mound on the
western side of Turkey Creek (Figure 10). Little of Mound B
remains today, a victim of land clearing that leveled more than
90% of this extraordinary feature. The mound is similar in
shape to Mound D, described below.
Mound B is depicted on the stylized ca. 1935 Tallant map
(Figure 6) and on the 1950 Miles map (Figure 7). Much of the
mound was destroyed in 1958 for use as fill. Larry Luckey, a
lifetime resident of Glades County, describes the mound as
formerly having an elevation of 5 ft (1.5 m) above the sur-
rounding terrain. He said sizeable parts of the mound existed as
recently as 1984.
Measurements based on the 1949 aerial photograph (U.S.D.A.
1949) indicate that Mound B was about 152 m in length and 21
m in width. Today, only a few small portions of its northern
end survive, and they were tested in 1990. The AHC archaeo-
logical crew dubbed this area the "Bathroom Mound" because
of its proximity to the park restrooms. Results of several tests

are presented below, and they suggest that Mound B was a con-
structed sand mound containing diffuse midden material.

Mound C

Mound C is located about 61 m east of the northern part of
Mound D. The 1949 aerial photograph of Ortona (U.S.D.A.
1949) suggests that Mound C measured about 30.3 m in both
length and width, and a narrow earthen ridge or causeway
connected it to Mound D. There is no depiction of Mound C on
the Tallant or Miles maps, nor did Griffin or Goggin mention
it. When Carr observed Mound C in 1974, he saw pottery
sherds on its surface and noted that the mound was about 1 m
in elevation above the surrounding area. Mound C was less
conspicuous and considerably lower than Mound D, and this
may explain why early investigators missed it.
After Carr's visit in 1974, the sand quarry was expanded into
parts of Mounds C and D, and the mounds were bulldozed.
Today, a portion of Mound C still survives and is a small rise
in the park at the edge of the quarry. The rise is 50-70 cm high

* g-,*~*

Figure 10. Top: Park's restroom building behind remnant of Mound B (view to the north). Bottom: Artist's conception of the
Ortona site with Mound B near the left, or west, bank of Turkey Creek (from public interpretive display at Ortona Indian
Mound Park).


and is on the northern side of the park's
main interpretive trail. No testing was
conducted at Mound C because the location
of the degraded mound was not clear during
AHC field work.

Mound D

Mound D was an elongated, breadloaf-
shaped mound that measured about 152 m
in length along its north-south axis (the
same dimensions as Mound B) and aver-
aged 20-25 m in width. The 1949 aerial
photograph (U.S.D.A. 1949) reveals a 16
m wide ramp that extended from the
mound's western side. A narrow "cause-
way" also appears to have extended east-
ward from the northern end of the mound
and connected to Mound C, described
Another interesting aspect of Mound D is
the presence of two conical rises on top of
the mound, one at its northern end and the
other at its southern end. These elevated
"knolls" were suggested from a stereoptic
view of 1949 aerial photographs. They
were not investigated, however, because
subsequent bulldozing has destroyed much
of Mound D.
Mound D has suffered steady degradation
over the last 40 years. Its southern portion
was bulldozed when the Ortona Cemetery
was expanded in the 1950s. Mound D's
remaining northern half was bulldozed in
the 1970s when an adjacent quarry was
expanded. Carr observed the mound in
1974 during destruction of the northern end
by the quarry, and he noted that the upper
meter contained organically-stained, gray
sand with many pottery sherds.
Despite bulldozing, the basal portion of
Mound D's northern half still remains and
is about 50 cm above the surrounding
terrain. The upper portion of the mound has
been pushed southward and redeposited. An
estimated 10 m length of the northernmost Figure 11. Co
part of Mound D was removed by dredge deep east-west
part of M d which border
during expansion of the quarry. Today, all
of Mound D's remaining northern end is
in Ortona Indian Mound Park.

Area E

Area E was identified as a mounded deposit by Larry Luckey
(and tested at his request). Its identification as an aboriginal
mound remains uncertain, although it does contain sparse

mponent F on spoil berm. Top: Summit of sandy berm dug from
ditch (overgrown at left). Bottom: Base of berm and sandy road
the northern edge of Ortona Cemetery (at right). Both views face

ceramics, some faunal bone, and other indications of aboriginal
occupation. However, such evidence of light usage is expected
in or peripheral to an intensely occupied site such as Ortona.
Area E is south of Mound B, downstream and on the opposite
or west side of Turkey Creek from Mound A. The AHC field
team dubbed Area E as the "Pneumonia Mound" because a crew
member was ill with a cold during work there.

Figure 12. 1949 aerial photograph of Ortona. Note the location of Component F.

A small cypress pond next to Area E is possibly a natural
feature since it is in the Turkey Creek drainage way, but it
could be an aboriginal feature. It is in close proximity to one of
the Ortona canoe canals and could be a canal remnant. How-
ever, the pond's origin (whether natural or aboriginal) is
undetermined because the area has been heavily impacted by fill
from adjacent roads and a recently dug cattle pond.

Component F

Component F is on a spoil berm bordering the northern side
of the Ortona Cemetery (Figure 11). The berm consists of spoil
dug from a deep east-west ditch along the cemetery's northern
boundary. The ditch is about 5-7 m wide and 3-4 m deep. The
berm is on its southern side, rising about 1 m above the


cemetery. The ditch carries water from the quarry southward,
redirecting water away from the former bed of Turkey Creek.
This ditch impacted at least two mounds. It cut through the
center of Mound D, the long, north-south, breadloaf-shaped
mound. The vague outline of this mound's elevation can still be
observed in the ditch's northern profile. It also cut through
Mound F, a mound discernible in the 1949 aerial photograph
(Figure 12). Mound F was located about 61 m west of Mound
D and was almost exactly on the alignment of the ditch. The
aerial photograph indicates that Mound F had an oval outline
about 15.1 m by 18.2 m.

Figure 13. Water-filled Unit 9 in the bottom of Pond G.
Note scrub oaks in the background on northwest corner of
the Large Mound (8GL5).

Pond G

This small, artificial pond is northwest of the Large Mound
(Figure 13). It is a basin having an elongated shape with two
long sides extending east to west, a narrow end to the west, and
a rounded, longer end to the east. However, the southern side
has been impacted and partially filled by sand pushed northward
during clearing of the field immediately west of the Large
Mound. In the center of the basin, a deep, wet area usually has
several inches of standing water.

It is worth noting that additional ponds associated with the
Large Mound have been mentioned by other observers, includ-
ing Griffin (1940). While their use as borrows to provide sand
for the construction of the mound and earthworks is plausible,
other functions are also possible. In order to investigate its use,
the AHC field team excavated in Pond G and recovered cultural
remains (see below).

Mound H

This low, elongated mound is directly west of the Large
Mound and is connected to it by two parallel ridges (Figures 3
and 8). Mound H is presently in a grassy field used by model
airplane hobbyists, thus the field crew dubbed it the "Airfield
Mound." The mound is approximately 73 m in length and 15 m
in width, rising about 50 cm above the surrounding field. It
should be noted that when the field was cleared in the 1970s,
Mound H and other features in the field were graded repeatedly.
Despite this, the mound is still apparent.

Burial Mound (8GL35)

This mound was described by Goggin as an oval sand mound
27 m (90 ft) in diameter and 1.2 m (4 ft) high. It was the most
northwestern mound of the Ortona site complex, and also was
in oak and pine scrub. Tallant indicated on his map (Figure 6)
that an earthen causeway led directly to the mound from Turkey
Creek and the Mound B vicinity. The Burial Mound is not on
park property but is on an adjacent parcel owned by the Lykes
Brothers. The mound was not investigated during this project.

Quarry Mound (8GL81)

This small, oval mound is south of the nucleus of the Ortona
site and outside the park near the eastern canal. It is 12 m in
diameter, 75 cm above the surrounding terrain, and covered
with several large oak trees. The mound is conspicuous because
it is east of an adjacent circular artificial pond that is 20 m in
diameter. This pond might have been the borrow for the mound.
An AHC field team conducted a study of this mound that was
separate from the Ortona project (Carr et al. 1991). Results,
however, are included below.

Pestle Earthwork (8GL43)

This site was discovered by Carr during his 1974 Lake
Okeechobee survey by using archival aerial photographs, in this
case dating to 1957 (Figure 14). This remarkable site is a
shallow, artificial pond. Its shape appears to resemble a pestle,
a totem, or even a wooden baton recovered from the Key Marco
site (Gilliland 1975:133, Plate 81B). Of particular note is that
this earthwork's form can be viewed only from the air.
The pond is between 112-117 m in length. The upper segment
is 42.5 m long and the lower "handle" is 70-75 m long. The
pond is approximately 30 m wide at either end. The orientation
of its long axis is 20.5 degrees west of north.

* p

3 -

Figure 14. 1957 aerial photograph of Ortona showing the Pestle Earthwork (8GL43).

The Pestle Earthwork is located in the floodplain of the
Caloosahatchee River. It was not tested during this project;
however, it was visited. Since the 1957 U.S.D.A. photograph
was taken, the site has been impacted by fill activities and
construction of a house. Recently, Johnson (1994:277) noted the
similarity of this site to another shallow effigy pond, the Oxer
Borrow (8GL79), also in Glades County.

History of Project Field Work

This project located and tested as many of Ortona's site
components as possible. The field work was conducted in two
main phases and several lesser ones in 1990-1991. The first
AHC field work was conducted to locate remnants of Mound D,
and was done by Richard Haiduven and Jorge Zamanillo. The
next phase was a study of the Turkey Creek area in the park,
including intensive excavations of Mound A directed by Dave
Dickel. Subsequent testing, directed by Marilyn Masson,
continued in the Turkey Creek area and expanded to recover
samples from throughout Ortona Indian Mound Park, including
at Mounds B, C, D, and Pond G. Another phase, not connected
to work in the park, was excavation by Amy Felmley at the
Quarry Mound. A final test phase was conducted at Component
F by Richard Haiduven, Don Mattucci, and Bill Steele.
Field work during this project focused on three areas of the
Ortona site. The creekside area included Mound A, the rem-
nants of Mound B, Area E or the "Pneumonia Mound," and
"Central Island," a low-lying island in the middle of Turkey
Creek (Figure 15). A second area was dubbed the "Lakeside-
Cemetery" area. This refers to the area around the southern side
of the quarry lake and the northern part of Ortona Cemetery.
Work there focused on remnants of Mound D (labeled "Area J"
during field work) and Component F on the cemetery's northern
boundary. The third area was the Large Mound (8GL5) and
adjacent field on the eastern side of the Ortona site. Work there
focused on sampling Pond G as well as remnants of earthworks
in the field west of the mound.

Excavations: Creekside Area

The relict drainage bed of Turkey Creek runs from northeast
to southwest through the park. During the AHC project,
extensive testing was conducted at three locations in this area:
Mound A, Mound B, and Area E.

Mound A

Mound A (or Creekside Mound), is a moderate-sized habita-
tion mound. This midden is the most intact mound in Ortona
Indian Mound Park, and much of our field work was concen-
trated in this relatively small area. Cultural materials from the
mound have been closely analyzed (for example, see the faunal
analysis by Hale, this issue), and the results provide a basis for
many comparative observations in this paper.

Although initial examination of Mound A revealed a few
indications of superficial disturbances (a possible old chicken
coop, secondary vegetation, gopher tortoise and other animal
burrows), and some evidence of erosion, the mound was
basically intact with few obvious impacts from vandalism or
land clearing. The mound was covered with dense brush
including scrub oak, hog plum, saw palmetto, knicker vine,
wild grape, and greenbriar (Smilax sp.). The vegetation
appeared to consist of about 10 years of regrowth (Griffin had
observed pines on the mound in 1940), which was generally
confirmed by Larry Luckey.
Mound A is on the eastern bank of Turkey Creek, a drainage
way that was probably a permanent water source prior to
modem artificial drainage work. The creek ran southwestward
at the site, with the higher floodplain bordering the northern and
western base of the mound. South of Mound A, the creek led to
the aboriginal canoe canals that connected to the Caloosahatchee
The constructed height of Mound A is approximately 1.5 m,
although the natural contour slopes away from the mound to
about 1.7 m below the mound's highest point. However, below
the 1.4 m contour, the stratification indicates a pre-existing low
hummock or natural flood levee. In general, the 1.4 m contour
below Mound A's highest elevation is a good indicator of the
constructed mound base. Unit recovery (see below) usually
terminated or abruptly decreased near the 1.4 m contour depth,
regardless of what depth below the surface this represented.
Mound A's base is almost round in outline, approximately 38
m (east-west) by 39 m (north-south) at the 1.4 m contour. The
mound is slightly asymmetrical, with the highest area a few
meters north of the center. The top of Mound A is somewhat
flattened, with only about a 20 cm drop in elevation across 12
m. However, from the 0.2-1.3 m contour, the drop averages 11
cm vertically for every horizontal meter. Below the 1.4 m
contour, the mound broadens out, taking about 7 horizontal
meters to drop 10 cm vertically.
Excavation in Mound A. Orientation to magnetic north-south
and east-west coordinates was maintained by using AHC survey
stakes placed on-site by land surveyor Ted Riggs about a month
prior to the start of archaeological field work (Figure 16). These
stakes corresponded to grid coordinates on Riggs' two dimen-
sional (no elevations) blue line map of the park, and the map
grid was used for reference during this phase of testing. Riggs'
stakes N777/E462 and N777/E436 were used to establish an
east-west line of dumpy level shots. A dumpy level, as opposed
to a true transit, allows relative elevation readings to be made
but not distance. Distances were measured with a metric tape,
with some error surely introduced due to mound slope despite
efforts to level all tape readings. The previously given dimen-
sions for Mound A are, therefore, approximations.
For excavation purposes on Mound A, a datum was estab-
lished at N768/E462 on or near the mound's highest elevation,
slightly north of the center of its flat summit. This datum was
used for Mound A only (not the Ortona site as a whole), and the
Mound A datum (N768/E462) is not Riggs' site datum, although
it is defined by Riggs' grid.



'/ B


0 100 200 300 400

1, i .* / ., -.. -
I I 0 /-- .-

,it, .. A 'F.. ... -, CD .-


. .. .... STATE ROAD

Figure 15. Close-up of Ortona Indian Mound Park showing site components investigated by AHC.

~I I-I~ n(-~r(~:L_l"~i:1 ~I~~~-~_~I



782 >
780 >
778 >
776 >
774 >
772 >
770 >
768 >
766 >
764 >
762 >
760 >
759 >
757 >
755 >
753 >
751 >
749 >


4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 6 6 6 6
2 4 6 8 0 2 4 6 8 0 2 4 6


4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
6 7 7 7 7 7 8 8
8 0 2 4 6 8 0 2

R = test interval with recovery
X = test interval with no recovery
D = datum N768/E462
= approximate mound base outline
1, 2, 3 = units

Figure 16. Diagram of post-hole and test unit locations on Mound A based on Riggs' grid-line coordinates (not to scale).

Three 2 m square tests were excavated near the top of Mound
A (Units 1-3). The slope at these locations was relatively slight,
and differences in unit comer elevations minor, so vertical
control was maintained in 10 cm levels with a line level. All
matrix, with the exception of a 1 m square quadrant in Unit 3,
was screened (about 1/32-inch mesh) and recovered material
was bagged unsorted for analysis (especially faunal analysis by
Hale, see this issue).
In addition to these three units, 33 post-hole tests were placed
along the base (E462) and datum (N768) lines at 2 m intervals
(unit areas were skipped). These tests demonstrated the extent
of deposits, confirmed horizontal mound boundaries, and
confirmed consistent vertical termination of deposits at about the
1.4 m contour below datum.
Mound A Stratigraphy. The stratification of Mound A was
found to be similar in the three excavation units, although there
was significant variation due to mound slope. Unit 1 was the
highest (southwest unit datum comer N766/E458 at 0.017 m or

1.7 cm below site datum), Unit 3 was slightly down slope
(southwest unit datum comer N766/E464 at about 8 cm below
site datum), and Unit 2 was lowest in surface elevation (south-
west unit datum N760/E462 at 54 cm below site datum).
The following major strata were noted in all units and midden
post-hole tests, but there were decided differences in the
thickness of strata and the sequence of minor midden substrata
or "bands." The data are taken from north wall profiles of the
excavation units, with thickness of strata based on average of
unit comers.
Stratum 1. The uppermost stratum consisted of white to light
gray sand with dense small roots, but little organic staining
below the duff zone. The quantity of cultural material was
sparse compared to deeper levels, but was great enough to
describe the stratum as a low-density midden. The light color
and lack of staining may be due to leaching by water.
Within Stratum 1, three substrata were consistently noted:
Substratum 1A Gray, sandy duff containing rootlets, insects,

..... R ....
. . R . .
. . . . X . . . .
. . . . R . . . . .
................... R ...................
X X R X R R R R 1 1 1 D R 3 R R R R R .X X X X
............. 1 1 1 R 3 3 3 ............
.................. R ... ..............
. . . .2 2 2 . . . .
. . .2 2 2 . . .
.......... R ..........
.. R ....

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^EAST 462

and sparse ceramics in a homogeneous matrix; Substratum IB -
White or very light gray sand with dense roots and sparse
ceramic and faunal bone in a homogeneous matrix; Substratum
IC Tan sand with a mottled transition to medium gray sand.
Cultural material was sparse, but traces of burned animal bone
and charcoal were noted. The tannish sand color may be related
to a notable increase in bog ore or "bog iron" (a form of
hematite). This substratum was irregular and patchy down slope
in Unit 2, and in the lowest post-hole tests it was often either
not present or thin enough to be overlooked.
Stratum 2. The primary midden stratum was dark gray,
organic-stained (charcoal, etc.) sand containing the largest
amount and diversity of cultural materials, as well as natural
inclusions (limestone, minor amounts of fossil bone, and little
or no fossil shell). Aboriginal ceramics occurred in moderate to
dense amounts, with charred and calcined faunal bone dramati-
cally evident at the top of Stratum 2. Shark teeth, charcoal,
sparse lithic flakes, sandstone, bog iron, and traces of "exotic"
stone such as mica and quartzite pebbles occurred consistently
as minor constituents. The cultural material was present
throughout the matrix, and no discernible concentrations or
features were noted.
Within Stratum 2, three substrata were consistently noted:
Substratum 2A Moderate gray sand (distinct transition from
Stratum 1) with a marked increase in ceramic and faunal
content; Substratum 2B Lighter gray sand with a drop in the
recovery of cultural material; Substratum 2C Very dark gray
sand with an increase in cultural material. This substratum was
especially variable in Unit 3 (down slope), while Unit 2 may
have had an "extra" moderate gray band between Substratum 2B
and Substratum 2C that was not seen in either Unit 1 or 3. (The
word "may" is used because there was no agreement among
excavators on whether the "extra" band was real or an illusion
of light and moisture.)
The bands of lighter and darker sand were not observable
when excavating the moist sand, but were easily discerned on
an air-dried side wall. These faint bands extended across all unit
profiles (that is, they did not appear to be specific hearth or
house pad features). The field hypothesis was that they repre-
sented large areas of minor variations in charcoal (darker), ash
(lighter), and sand (lighter) content, but this has not been
confirmed. There were no apparent differences in cultural
material density or variety associated with the bands. However,
laboratory counts and weights indicated that the highest (moder-
ate gray) and lowest (dark gray) bands have more cultural
material than the middle (light gray) band. Stratum 2 bands may
reflect cycles of varied intensity of occupation on the mound.
Stratum 3. The lower mound stratum was marked by an
abrupt transition to much lighter gray to tan or white sand. The
sand was soft and moist, and had a slight sulfur odor. Most
importantly, the color transition was accompanied by a drop in
cultural material to virtually zero. Stratum 3 appeared to
represent the sterile base of the mound, and closely correspond-
ed to the elevation of the flat areas off the mound. Stratum 3
was screened and shovel-tested to 30 cm below the last artifact
recovery, and post-hole-tested when shovel testing was too deep

to be practical. The stratum was thick, and graded to a decided
pinkish-white color with depth.
Stratum 4. Stratum 4 was culturally sterile and was only
reached by shovel or post-hole test. Stratum 4 was marked by
an abrupt transition to an indurated, dark brown sand. The
stratum was thin (about 10-20 cm).
Stratum 5. Stratum 5 was marked by an abrupt transition to
soft, tan sand. The water table (on 12/4/90) was usually 10-20
cm below the top of the stratum, but in tests left standing open,
the water usually rose to the level of Stratum 4's brown sand
after about 10 minutes.
Most variability in the depth of strata appears dependent on
the location of units relative to the highest portion of the
mound. Units 1 and 3 (closest to the top) have similar thick-
nesses of Strata 1 and 2, although the lowest (2C) band of
Stratum 2 is thinner in (down slope) Unit 3 compared to Unit 1.
Unit 2, about a third farther down the slope of the mound, has
a much thicker Stratum 1 (leached, less dense midden), and a
much thinner Stratum 2 (dense, stained midden), with total loss
of the Substratum 2C band.
The stratigraphic sequence below the base of Stratum 2 is
similar for all three units, reflecting the original pre-mound
surface. In the units, Stratum 3 begins close to the 1.6 m
contour, Stratum 5 at about the 2.7 m contour, and the water
table at about the 3 m contour. Cultural material recovery was
clearly concentrated in Stratum 2 in all three units.
Ceramics. Units 1 through 3 produced the largest quantity of
pottery sherds of the entire investigation (Tables 2-4). A total of
4,120 sherds was recovered from these units with an almost
even percentage of sand-tempered plain (46.7%) and Belle
Glade Plain (48.9%). A small percentage of unclassified chalky
ware (4%) was present, some of which may have been St. Johns
Plain, but no analysis was conducted to attempt to classify these
sherds further. St. Johns Check-Stamped was conspicuously
absent. The small group of unclassified plain pottery included
some smoothed-surface sherds not unlike Weeden Island Plain
and one sherd with micaceous inclusions.
Lithics. Lithic tools were limited to one possible abrader
made from an unidentified, non-local, sandy stone. Twenty-five
lithic flakes were found suggesting tool reworking activities
lithicc projectile points were collected from other parts of the
site). Two lithic cores or nodules were also recovered.
One small flake of mica was recovered from Mound A, Unit
1, at 100-110 cm in depth. Mica has often been associated with
the Hopewellian trait assemblage imported from the Midwest.
Its presence in Mound A suggests possible ceremonial-related
Faunal Bone. Large quantities of well-preserved faunal bone
occurred throughout Stratum 2. These bones were analyzed by
Steve Hale and his results are presented elsewhere in this issue.
Miscellaneous Artifacts. A drilled shark tooth was recovered
from Unit 1. Other artifacts include a highly patinated, conical,
copper piece that measures about 20 mm in diameter. This may
have been an ornament, perhaps a bead or part of an emboss-
ment on a wooden plaque.

Table 2. Unit 1 (Mound A) ceramics.


Lvi. in cm.



17 1017

490 941 123 1 1555

NOTE: Key for this and all succeeding ceramic tables is as
follows STP = sand-tempered plain; BGP = Belle Glade
Plain; UCW = unidentified chalky ware; MISC = micaceous
paste sherd

Mound B

Tests were excavated on five small knolls, three of which are
apparent remnants of Mound B left after modem grading
activities. The knolls were about 1-1.5 m above the surrounding
terrain south of the park's restroom in a location that is the
former west bank of Turkey Creek. The oaks on these knolls
are probably responsible for their preservation since modem
clearing activities tried to avoid removing trees. Recently graded
park trails transect these knolls which we labeled Segments 1-5
during our field project (Figure 15).
Mound B remnants were first tested with a series of shovel
tests. Then, a 1 by 2 m unit (Unit 6) was placed in the area of
greatest artifact density on Segment 2. Segments 1-5 are
described individually below.
Segment 1 Shovel Test. Three 40 cm in diameter shovel
tests were placed on Segment 1 (N901/E413, N898/E413, and
N900/E411). They were at mid-slope on this feature, as a large
oak tree occupied its apex. Except for this tree, Segment 1 was
covered by grass. One sand-tempered sherd and two lithic flakes
were recovered; the latter were gray and apparently heat-
altered. These materials were around 45-65 cm below the

Table 4. Unit 3 (Mound A) ceramics.

Lvl. in cm. STP BGP UCW MISC Total

1 0-10 1 0 0 0 1
2 10-20 63 27 0 0 90
3 20-30 83 34 0 0 117
4 30-40 150 39 3 2 194
5 40-50 90 62 0 0 152
6 50-60 90 32 5 0 127
7 60-70 78 30 9 0 117
8 70-80 90 39 1 0 130
9 80-90 44 23 3 1 71
10 90-100 42 16 0 2 60
11 100-110 27 19 0 0 46
12 110-120 30 25 2 2 59
13 120-130 47 72 2 2 123
14 130-140 160 70 0 2 232
15 140-150 11 10 0 0 21
16 150-160 1 3 0 0 4
17 160-170 1 2 0 0 3

Totals 1008 503 25 11 1547

MISC = unidentified smooth ware

Lvl. in cm.

428 572




Table 3. Unit 2 (Mound A) ceramics.

Segment 2 Shovel Test. Segment 2 was an elongated,
elevated area about 12 m long, covered with oak and thick saw
palmettos. A shovel test was placed to the north of this area
along the edge of a trail leading into the park (N891/E405). No
artifacts were recovered from this lower elevation test. Three
shovel tests were placed in Segment 2 itself, with very different
results. The northernmost test (N886/E408), placed in an
apparent berm of pushed sand on the edge of the segment,
yielded no artifacts. However, two tests to the south of this unit
(N879/E407, N881/E407) -indicated such a high density of
artifacts at a depth of 30-120 cm below the surface that we
chose to suspend further shovel testing in favor of opening up
a larger unit in this area. Materials recovered from these tests
included ceramics, a piece of faunal bone, and pieces of bog
Segment 2 Excavation of Unit 6. This 1 by 2 m unit was
placed immediately south of the productive shovel tests, at grid
coordinates N879/E406. Its purpose was to investigate the
stratigraphic context of the artifact concentration and to search
for associated features.
Stratigraphy. Variation was observed in lenses of sand from
the surface to the base of the unit. In addition to changes in
moisture and color similar to those observed in shovel tests
elsewhere at Ortona, the layer of dense cultural material
exhibited an ashy consistency. Level 1 cut through a duff zone
of dense palmetto roots that contained very little sand and no
artifacts. Levels 2 (10-20 cm) and 3 (20-30 cm) were similarly
characterized by matted roots and loose, dry light gray sand.
Levels 4-8, the high density artifact zone, were characterized by
a fine gray sand with an ashy texture. Some mottling of the
sand and increased moisture were observed in Level 8. The
sand changed to a dark gray color in Levels 9-11. At the base
of the unit, the sand changed to a mottled white color.
Ceramics. In addition to changes in stratification, variation
was also observed in ceramics. Sand-tempered plain sherds were
in all cultural levels beginning with Level 2. The density of
ceramics and artifacts increased significantly in Levels 4-6.
Levels 4-8 correspond to depths from which materials were
recovered from the productive shovel tests to the north on
Segment B.
A total of 212 sherds was recovered from Unit 6 (Table 5). Of
these, 145 were sand-tempered plain and 61 were Belle Glade
Plain. An additional six sherds were unclassified chalky ware
and one was incised. Two ceramic smoking pipe fragments were
recovered, one from Level 4 and one from Level 8.
Lithics. A piece of ground stone was found in Level 4. The
artifact is a fragment, exhibiting shattered edges. Two smoothed
and flattened sides remain. It is made of a schist-like material
that is not known to occur naturally in Florida. Chert was also
found in two levels of this unit. Levels 8 and 10 each contained
a single, primary cortex, lithic flake.
Faunal Bone. Faunal bone was observed in Levels 6 and 7,
including turtle bone and small, mammal long bone, diaphysis
fragments, some of which was burned. The east half of the unit
(1 by 2 m) was thus screened through 1/16-inch mesh in Levels
6-9 in order to collect a fine-screen faunal and botanical sample.
All faunal materials from the unit's west half were collected

Table 5. Unit 6 (Mound B) ceramics.

Lvl. in cm.





145 61 6 1 212

from a 1/4-inch screen.
Pollen Samples. Pollen samples
wall profile below the palmetto

were taken from the north
root zone. Samples were

extracted from the center of each cultural level at depths of 45,
55, 65, 75, 85, 95, and 105 cm below the southwest corner
datum. They were saved for future analysis.
Unit 6 Interpretation. The unit provided a secure stratigraphic
sample of artifacts from what was the northern end of Mound
B. No features were observed, but the nature and density of the
materials recovered (compared to adjacent shovel tests), suggest
that Unit 6 sampled a portion of a habitation area. However,
no structural remains were observed to suggest the location of
a dwelling.
Materials from Unit 6 suggest that multiple activities took
place in this vicinity, specifically ones expected in a household
context. Utilitarian ceramics and ground stone are strong
indicators of household activity such as food preparation. Ash
and charcoal flecks in the sand also suggest cooking. Other
activities are indicated by lithic flakes, which suggest that tool
manufacture or refurbishing took place. The presence of faunal
material indicates the discard of food remains.
Segment 3 Shovel Tests. Segment 3 was an elongated,
elevated area similar to Segment 2. Six shovel tests were placed
in Segment 3 (N868/E395, N866/E395, N870/E395,
N866/E393, N864/E393, and N860/E393). All tests except
N864/E393 contained one ceramic sherd, recovered at depths
ranging from 35-80 cm below the surface. No lithics were
Segment 4 Shovel Tests. Segment 4 is a small knoll located
to the west of Segment 3. It was covered by oak trees and
vines. Two shovel tests were dug but no artifacts were recov-
Segment 5 Shovel Tests. Segment 5 appeared to be a high
knoll located on the western edge of the parking lot, a consider-

able distance from Segments 1-4. A shovel test placed in this
knoll indicated that it is a recent and disturbed earthmoving
phenomenon, with chunks of asphalt recovered at 148 cm below
the surface.
Summary Mound B (Segments 1-5). Shovel testing and
excavation in this area indicate that intact lenses of habitation
debris exist at depths of 35-120 cm below the surface of
Segments 1, 2, and 3. These segments represent remnants of
Mound B, "islands" created by bulldozing and grading of the
area. The initial depth of archaeological materials (35 cm)
indicates that significant sand deposition has occurred since
aboriginal use of this area. The deposition may be a natural
result of the flooding of Turkey Creek.
The archaeological materials recovered indicate that Mound B
was a zone of aboriginal occupation. The materials from 35-120
cm below the surface suggest multiple zones of occupation. A
concentration of materials on Segment 2 indicates that this was
a household-related activity area of some sort, marked by
numerous sherds, faunal bone, and ashy lenses of sand.
Segment 2 likely represents either a portion of a residence or an
associated cooking area.

Area E

Area E was tested with a 2 by 2 m unit (Unit 5), placed in a
dense thicket of young pine trees, saw palmettos, and sabal
palms adjacent to Turkey Creek and the small cypress pond
mentioned above. Unit 5 was not completely sterile, and there
appears to be a sparse, slightly dark-stained, cultural band
below more recent floodplain deposits.
Unit 5 was oriented to Riggs's site grid, and its southwest
comer corresponds to N577/E298. Three major strata were
located in excavation profile, and a fourth by post-hole digger
in the unit floor. Of these, only one stratum contains minor
amounts of cultural material.
Stratum 1 (0-16 cm below surface) was described as moderate-
ly organic-stained sand with a heavy duff, palmetto roots, and
recent organic content. Stratum 2 began as a gradual transition
to moderate gray sand with numerous charcoal flecks and small
amounts of pottery sherds. Recovery of cultural material ceased
about 10 cm above the base of Stratum 2 which was about 95
cm below surface. Stratum 3 was a basal, wet sand that was
excavated formally with no recovery to 120 cm, and then
probed with a post-hole digger to about 187 cm below surface.
Stratum 3 was a uniform, pale white sand that appeared to have
a pinkish tint when moist. The stratum ended abruptly at about
187 cm where a dense and slightly indurated stratum of dark
brown sand began. This terminated abruptly at a very pale,
whitish-tan sand that was barely sampled before water caved the
test. While it appeared that the water table was suddenly tapped
at that point, the water eventually filled to nearly the level of
the brown sand, and settled at that level until back-filled three
days later (December 1990).
It is worth noting that in Unit 5, a large cypress stump was
uncovered. This suggested that the Area E deposits were in an
intermittently shifting bank area of Turkey Creek, or alter-

Table 6. Area E, Unit 5 recovery.

Stratum in cm.

Count Wt.(gm)



Human? Teeth
Count Wt.(gm)


42 106.2

3 0.5

Table 7. Unit 5 (Area E) ceramics.

Lvl. in cm. STP BGP3 UCW Total

1 0-10 3 0 0 3
2 10-20 5 6 0 11
3 20-30 17 2 1 20
4 30-40 5 0 0 5
5 40-50 0 0 0 0
6 50-60 0 0 0 0
7 60-70 0 0 0 0
8 70-80 3 0 0 3
9 80-90 0 0 0 0
10 90-100 0 0 0 0

Totals 33 8 1 42

a These are an earlier style of Belle Glade Plain ware.

nativly, that a mound had been constructed over the tree stump
or disturbed soil had been pushed over the stump (perhaps
during land clearing).
Table 6 summarizes the cultural material from Unit 5, listed
by stratigraphic and absolute levels. With the exception of the
superficial tooth, all cultural material was ceramic. Rodent fecal
pellets were abundant through the upper zones with burrows and
nests found among the palmetto root bundles. A few sherds at
70-80 cm below the main stratigraphic cluster may be from

bioturbation, or they may be indicative of sporadic, low
intensity, aboriginal use interrupted by cycles of stream mean-
ders or higher water levels.
Ceramic type frequencies by level are shown in Table 7. The
sparse ceramics were unremarkable. Combined with the few
sherds located in shovel tests, there were about 80% sand-
tempered plain, 20% Belle Glade Plain, one chalky ware sherd,
and no decorated sherds. No faunal bone was recovered and,
based on these results as well as numerous negative shovel and
post-hole tests, this area was not a primary focus of aboriginal
activity resulting in midden deposition.
Finally, it should be noted that when excavation of Unit 5
began, there was an immediate surprise: a fragment of human
lower molar or some close mimic. Although an excavator's dog
later found pig bones nearby, the tooth is unlikely to be from a
pig due to its flat wear and less oreodontic character compared
to a pig's molar. In addition, the pig bones were from a
sub-adult animal (thus unlikely to show flat occlusal wear), and
were fresh enough to feel greasy and be connected by dried
ligaments, although no longer having odor detectable by human
noses. The tooth was observed by an experienced physical
anthropologist (Dickel) who, while retaining some reservations
about positively identifying even large fragments, thought
human origin most likely and, due to wear and staining, that the
recently deceased pig was an unlikely source. Nonetheless, the
tooth proved to be isolated, and perhaps more significantly, an
anomaly in that it occurred in the upper stratum, while most
cultural material was deeper.
Concerned about possibly having discovered an aboriginal
burial, Dickel initiated a series of 25 post-hole tests along two
lines up and down the ridge (at about 10 m intervals), with
excavators instructed to cease immediately if evidence of human
bone surfaced. Not only were these tests negative for bone, all
but three proved negative for anything else as well, and those
three yielded only small amounts of ceramic. Masson, during a
later phase of testing, dug additional tests which expanded the
area investigated, but again found nothing except a sherd or two
in a single test. The tooth remains unexplained, but excavators
are aware that people lose teeth in odd locations, and isolated
teeth are often fairly common in non-burial contexts.

Central Island (Area Q)

A raised, insular sand bar in Turkey Creek, almost due north
of Mound A and east of Mound B, was tested. Aerial photo-
graphs suggested it might be a natural feature. Ground examina-
tion was not encouraging as the area appeared low in elevation
and subject to occasional sheet-water flooding in the past, and
probably even now during heavy rains. The creek is now dry
because normal water flow has been diverted to a nearby ditch
by sand mining. The island is now covered with a dense outer
fringe of saw palmettos and an inner core of scrub oaks.
Unit 4. Dickel placed a 2 by 2 m test (Unit 4) at the island's
south end at N820/E462. It yielded moderate amounts of
cultural material but did not indicate that the island was a
significant cultural feature. The upper zone of soil (Stratum 1)

consisted of very thin "zebra" bands of alternating fluvial
deposition of silt and sand. The few sherds noted were very
poorly preserved and water-worn. At about 40 cm below
surface, the sand made a transition to a light white, moist
stratum (Stratum 2) that appeared sterile until a few lithic flakes
and sherds appeared. Recovery eventually ended at 90 cm after
a series of levels with only one or two items recovered. The
strata then followed a sequence similar to that seen in Area E:
red-brown sand at about 180 cm, and the water table at about
220 cm.

Table 8. Central Island, Unit 4, Stratum 2 recovery.

Depth Ceramics Lithics
Lvl. in cm. Count Wt.(gm) Count Wt.(gm)




40 85.1

4 4.0

Table 9. Unit 4 (Central Island) ceramics.

Level in cm. STP

1 0-10 0
2 10-20 0
3 20-30 0
4 30-40 0
5 40-50 0
6 50-60 23
7 60-70 11
8 70-80 4
9 80-90 2
10 90-100 0

Total 40

In Unit 4, intact cultural materials were confined to Stratum
2's white sand, as shown in Tables 8 and 9. At 50-60 cm there
was an initial increase in sherd counts (although weight is more
indicative than count of the modest total recovered, as it was
extremely friable material). Lithic debitage (small chert flakes)
was also found in the initial sub-fluvial zone, but disappeared in
lower levels. Recovery steadily and rapidly tapered off, and it

is clear that the cultural deposition, if not secondary from
stream action, is superficial to the original surface though now
under 40-50 cm of sandy silt.
All sherds from Unit 4 were sand-tempered plain, with no
Belle Glade Plain or other minority wares (Table 9). Some of
these sherds were eroded, probably water-worn by Turkey
Creek. Lithics consisted of four chert flakes, two of which were
low grade, "trimming shatter" chips.
Unit 7. Additional testing of Central Island was conducted by
Masson. The recovery of cultural material in productive shovel
tests determined the placement of a large test pit, Unit 7 (Figure
15). Cultural deposits are at least 50 cm below the surface in
this area of the site. The position of this low island in the
middle of the creek bed appears to have subjected it to signifi-
cant sediment deposition. In addition to sand, a layer of silt was
observed near the surface, attesting perhaps to a major flood in
recent times. It might have been a result of modern flooding
during mining operations when water from the sand mine was
diverted into Turkey Creek. The stratification is described by
level below.
Stratigraphy. The island's surface is covered by 7-10 cm of
fine, dry, white sand which is permeated with palmetto roots.
This sand was recorded as Level 1 (0-10 cm). Below, in Level
2 (10-22 cm), was a 12 cm thick zone of dry, densely-packed,
brown silt. Underlying the brown silt was a network of large
palmetto roots. Level 3 (22-30 cm) consisted of a loosely-
packed, dark gray sand with smaller palmetto roots. The sand
changed color in Level 4 (30-40 cm) to a lighter gray. Cultural
materials were recovered in Levels 5, 6, and 7. The gray sand
in Levels 5 (40-50 cm) and 6 (50-60 cm) appeared to become
progressively lighter with depth. This stratum lacked the ashy
texture and charcoal flecks observed in Mound B deposits. The
sand in Levels 7 (60-70 cm) and 8 (70-80 cm) was white,
although pockets of light gray remained. In Level 9 (80-90 cm),
the sand was white with tan mottling, and was quite damp.
Ceramics. Pottery recovered from Levels 5 and 6 was
dominated by sand-tempered plain sherds (Tables 10 and 11).
Level 7 yielded only one poorly preserved sherd with no other
artifacts. The Unit 7 ceramic recovery was 99% sand-tempered
plain sherds.
Lithics. Two lithic flakes were recovered, one each from
Level 5 and 6 (Table 10). The quality of the lithic materials was
poor. The flake from Level 5 is of undetermined material, and
the other flake was of rough-grained quartz.
Shovel Tests. Masson conducted shovel tests on the northern
end of Central Island. Two shovel tests (N832/E462 and
N828/E462) placed at 4 m intervals to the south of Unit 7
indicated that midden deposits encountered in the unit extend in
this direction. A single test placed 12 m to the west
(N836/E470) of Unit 7 was sterile, however. Sand-tempered
plain sherds were in both shovel tests at depths of 50-100 cm
below the surface. Bog iron and turtle bone also were in shovel
test N832/E462.
Results from the shovel tests were similar to results from
Units 4 and 7, except that one hit a small, deep pocket of sherds
(estimated at 100-110 cm), vertically isolated by nearly 40 cm

Table 10. Central Island, Unit 7 recovery.

Lvl. in cm.



Ceramics Lithics
Count Wt.(gm) Count Wt.(gm)


39 63.9 2 0.8

Table 11. Unit 7 (Central Island) ceramics.

Lvl. in cm. STP SJP Total

1 0-10 3 0 3
2 10-20 0 0 0
3 20-30 0 0 0
4 30-40 2 0 2
5 40-50 21 1 22
6 50-60 9 0 9
7 60-70 0 0 0
8 70-80 0 0 0
9 80-90 0 0 0
10 90-100 0 0 0

Totals 35 1 36

of sterile sand. The same test also recovered minor amounts of
faunal bone (the only bone recovered from the island), suggest-
ing that there may be small, isolated, deeply buried midden
patches (although rodent or tortoise burrows are also a possi-
bility). As in the numbered units, all sherds were sand-tempered
plain, and the few lithics were isolated flakes.

Excavations: Lakeside-Cemetery Area

Mound D

The Mound D area was assigned several names during field
work. It was labeled as "Area J" during Haiduven's work, and
as the "East Lakeshore Mound" and "Cemetery Midden" during
Masson's work. However, all these areas represent remnants
and redeposited sediments of Mound D. The area had been

impacted intensely from clearing, commercial quarry operations,
and the expansion of the Ortona Cemetery, leaving little visible
trace of the mound.
Mound D Profiling. During the first phase of field work,
post-hole testing of the Mound D area by Richard Haiduven and
Jorge Zamanillo resulted in the recovery of numerous (1062)
pottery sherds in the general vicinity of Mound D. During
subsequent testing by Masson, a profile was excavated on the
exposed bank of the quarry lake near what was believed to be
the center of Mound D. However, the sloped bank allowed the
AHC field crew to profile only the lower portion of this mound.
The top of the profile was about 53 cm down slope below the
present apex of the mound as measured from the trail. This
profile revealed some changes in sand color but provided little
evidence of the mound's construction or use.
The stratigraphic deposits of Mound D's lower level appeared
to be intact, at least in the area profiled in the bank. No
evidence of disturbance was observed. Below the profile's
humic layer was a thin lens of ashy gray sand, the only
indication of a potential cultural horizon. Below the gray sand
were lenses of brown and gray mottled sand, followed by white
sand, tan-gray sand, more white sand, and at the base of the
unit, black sand. Water was encountered at 220 cm below the
surface. Few artifacts or cultural materials were recovered.
Excavation, Unit 8. A 2 by 2 m unit was excavated on
Mound D to recover a cultural sample, view the stratification,
and assess the impacts of bulldozing on the mound. This test pit
(Unit 8) was placed at the approximate center of the mound, to
the south of the present Ortona Indian Mound Park trail (Figure
It is no longer possible to discern the mound's original
contours. Excavations suggest that at least the top 50 cm of this
mound have been completely disturbed and redeposited by
earthmoving activities.
Stratigraphy. The stratification of Unit 8 revealed the
disturbed nature of Mound D, although intact portions still
remain. Levels 1 and 2 consisted of loosely-packed, dry, white
sand full of roots from a thick growth of wild grape vines that
now dominates the area's disturbed surface. Levels 4 and 5
were comprised of white, loosely-packed sand with fewer
grapevine roots. A change to greater compaction of this sand
was observed in Levels 5 and 6. During excavation, it was
observed in the emerging profiles that Levels 1-4 appeared
churned and mottled with rotting organic material. A rag found
buried in Level 4 confirmed the disturbed nature of the moder-
ately compacted white sand. The base of this disturbed zone
undulated and interfaced with apparent undisturbed strata that
began to be encountered in Levels 5 and 6. The sand in Levels
8-12 was white with brown mottling, and became more damp as
depth increased.
Ceramics. Sherds were recovered from Levels 1-10 (Table
12). They were large and frequent in Levels 1 and 2. We noted
during excavation that the size and quantity of these sherds
surpassed samples collected from the Mound D bank profile
(see above), Central Island, and Mound B. The ceramic paste
appears finer, although it is difficult to be certain in the case of

Table 12. Unit 8 (Mound D) ceramics.

Lvl. in cm.





Mound D sherds from the bank profile which were drier.
Due to disturbance, the only in-situ sherds are those from
Levels 7-9. Although sherds in Levels 1-6 are out of original
context, they probably originated in the immediate vicinity of
Mound D. If they were not dug from the ditch to the south,
then they are churned materials from the original mound's apex.
Thus, they are useful in a general way to characterize the
assemblage of Mound D and to compare it with other compo-
nents of the Ortona site.
Lithics. Lithic flakes were regularly recovered from most
levels of Unit 8. Except for Level 3, flakes were in each level
from the surface to Level 7. Field observations of this chipped
stone debris suggest some variation in materials. The three
flakes from Level 1 were of notably high quality (especially
compared to low-grade materials from Central Island and
Mound B), and may be described as a chert with sparkling,
quartz-like inclusions. They appeared to be small platform-
trimming flakes. In Level 2, a flake was of a different patinated
chert material. Among five lithics from Level 4, one was a
comparatively large blade fragment.
Faunal Bone. Small quantities of faunal material were
recovered from Levels 1, 3, and 4. The only identifiable
fragment was a piece of turtle bone from Level 3.
Floral Material. Levels 1-6 were spot-checked with a 1/16-
inch screen for botanical remains, and Level 6 yielded a charred
seed. For this reason, we collected a 1/16-inch-screened sample
from the northeast quadrant of the unit (1 m square) for the
entire 10 cm level. We continued to collect complete 1/16-inch-
screened samples from this quadrant for Levels 7-10. Screened
residuals were bagged for later analysis by paleoethnobotanists.
Visual inspection of the samples suggests that few cultural
materials are in them.
Shell. Shell fragments were collected from Levels 4 and 9.
Fragments from Level 4 were not identified, and the fragment

from Level 9 appeared to be from a clam shell.
Bog Iron. Levels 3, 5, 8, and 9 contained bog iron. As has
been observed elsewhere at Ortona, bog iron occurred only in
strata that contained other cultural materials.
Summary. Mound D's strata and artifacts appear somewhat
different than those observed from the Turkey Creek (Mound B)
area. Mound D ceramics and lithic materials appear to be of a
finer quality than those from Mound B. Faunal bone is present
in far lower quantity than in the Turkey Creek units. Lenses of
ashy soil found in Mound B are absent in the Mound D unit
profile, although the top 60 cm of strata are disturbed in the
latter location. Ceramic pipe fragments, such as were found in
Mounds A, B, and Component F, were not found in the Mound
D unit. In addition, a few marine shell fragments were in the
Mound D unit, and none were found in the Turkey Creek units.
These differences in artifacts and stratification suggest that
Mound D was different from the Turkey Creek area's Central
Island and Mound B. Two possible interpretations may be
proposed to explain the differences. It has been suggested that
the Turkey Creek deposits represent household midden refuse.
In contrast, Mound D may represent a household of higher
status individuals or a ritual platform.
The strata of Mound D yielded no detectable traces of
artificial construction. It is unfortunately the nature of sand to
obscure evidence of cultural episodes of deposition. However,
by comparing the Mound D profiles to the stratification
observed elsewhere at the site, it is clear that Mound D was an
artificial elevation.

Component F

Component F is on the spoil berm bordering the northern side
of Ortona Cemetery. As described above, the ditch impacted at
least two mounds, Mound D and Mound F. The AHC field
team observed an area of dark midden soil with exposed
artifacts and faunal bone extending about 15 m in length along
the ditch's berm. Shovel testing was conducted along the entire
length of the berm, but particular emphasis was given to this
disturbed midden component, and a 1 m square (Unit 10) was
dug in it. It was hoped that part of Mound F had survived intact
beneath the berm, but the unit demonstrated that all of the
midden material was redeposited. Nonetheless, the recovered
materials represent the densest concentration of artifacts (Table
13) and faunal bone recovered during our project at Ortona, and
the bone assemblage was analyzed (see Hale's article, this

Excavations: Large Mound and Field Area

Pond G

Pond G, located northwest of the Large Mound, is small,
measuring only about 7 m in length. The pond's present form
is partially affected by recent land clearing to the south. It has
a low point of about 1 m below the surrounding terrain. Since

Table 13. Unit 10 (Component F) ceramics.

Lvl. in cm.


UCW UCP" Total



1526 527 1 45 11 2110

a BG Red = Belle Glade Red; UCP = unclassified plain ware

a similar pond at Fort Center has been demonstrated to be a
mortuary component of an earthwork complex (Sears 1982), we
felt that it was imperative that this component be tested at
Initially, Pond G was sampled by three shovel tests. However,
the black sand and muck matrix of the pond made screening
impossible, and no artifacts were recovered (N717/E1052,
N717/E1047, N715/E1050). Thus, a 1 m square test (Unit 9)
was dug in the central area of the pond, and materials were
water-screened through 1/4- and 1/16-inch mesh. This second
attempt was quite successful, and results are described below.
Excavation, Unit 9. Unit 9 was at grid coordinates
N717/E1051. Levels were excavated in arbitrary 10 cm
increments. In order to water screen, the sandy muck was
placed into buckets and transported to Ortona Indian Mound
Park where water and hoses were available.
Stratigraphy. Level 1 (0-10 cm) consisted of a somewhat dry
mixture of black sand and muck, and few roots were observed.
From the base of Level 1 through Level 5 (40-50 cm), the black
muck was mixed with patches of white sand. Although damp-
ness increased with each level, little difference was observed in
the soil of these levels. From Level 6 (50-60 cm) through Level
7 (60-70 cm), the matrix changed to a black and gray sand
without muck inclusions. At the bottom of Level 7 were 2 cm
of water. The sand lightened in Level 8 (70-80 cm) and
contained white sand inclusions. Sand color changed again in
Level 9 as standing water made vertical control impossible. One
post-hole test was placed in the southwest corner of the unit to
sample the material below Level 9 to a depth of 140 cm. A
ceramic sherd was recovered from this post-hole test, indicating
continued depth of cultural deposits.
Distinctive groups of artifacts were recovered from Pond G
deposits including ceramics, charred or stained wood fragments,
fish bone, and botanical material. No lithics were recovered
from the pond.
Ceramics. Pottery fragments (Table 14) were recovered from
Level 5 (40-50 cm), Level 6 (50-60 cm), Level 8 (70-80 cm),
and the post-hole test at the base of the unit. They were most

Table 14. Unit 9 (Pond G) ceramics.

Lvl. in cm.





abundant in Levels 5 and 6. In Level 5, sherds exhibited a
different surface texture than had been observed previously on
Ortona ceramics. The surfaces had gritty, gravel-like exteriors
and smooth interiors. In addition to the gritty sherds, some with
smoothed interiors and exteriors were recovered. Both varieties
were sand-tempered.
An unusual ceramic fragment was found in Level 6. It was in
a poor state of preservation, and crumbled to the touch. The
artifact exhibited one smooth, concave surface. The opposite
side appeared unshaped and rough. The edges of the specimen
form a trifoil geometric shape, although there might have been
a fourth side that was broken off.
Gritty-surfaced sherds were not observed in Level 6, although
the smooth variety was recovered. Smooth-surfaced, sand-
tempered plain sherds from Level 6 were in good condition.
Sherds recovered from Level 8 (70-80 cm) were eroded. One
sherd was in the post-hole test below Level 9 (80-90 cm).
Wood Fragments. These were recovered from all excavation
levels in Pond G, and were the only materials recovered from
Levels 1-4. Much of the wood appeared to be charred, although
the staining effects of the black muck made charring difficult to
assess. Wood fragments appeared to be of cypress and pine.
Some of the wood might have been culturally shaped, but it is
difficult to conclude that any was carved since the pieces were
so small. The most suggestive fragments exhibited two parallel
grooves. All wood was collected, and is available for analysis.
Seeds. Three seed fragments were recovered from Level 7
(60-70 cm). Among them was a Lagenaria sp. (bottle gourd)
seed. Additional seed fragments were recovered from Level 8
(70-80 cm), including a Cucurbitaceae (squash) seed.
Faunal Bone. Two pieces of faunal bone were found in Pond
G. Both elements were identified as fish, including a catfish
spine fragment (Level 7) and a scale (Level 9). The catfish
spine fragment appeared to be altered. Its dorsal serrations were
missing, possibly having been filed away.
Summary. Materials recovered from Pond G verify its iden-
tification as a cultural feature. This pond should be considered

extremely significant because it has preserved perishable
materials, such as gourd and squash seeds, that have not been
recovered elsewhere at the Ortona site.
An interpretation of the function of Pond G in the Ortona
earthworks complex would be premature considering the limited
evidence. However, some preliminary indications may be
explored. It does not appear that Pond G was a charnel feature
as was the pond at Fort Center. No conclusive evidence for
carved wood or human bone was found in our limited investiga-
tion. Other interpretations of Pond G need to be considered.
The pond may represent one of the borrow areas for sand used
to build the Large Mound located immediately to the southeast.
The pond also might have been valued as an aesthetic or ritual
component of the earthwork complex. A third possibility is that
Pond G was dug to be used as a fresh water source or to store
live fish, turtles, and other fresh water fauna. The presence of
sherds and gourd seeds may indicate its use as a fresh water
Whatever the function of Pond G, it is clear that cultural
materials were deposited in it. There appears to be some
vertical variation in these materials. Seeds were concentrated in
lower pond levels, and ceramics were concentrated in upper
levels. Whether this material represents refuse or intentional
offerings is unclear. Except for the unusual ceramic fragment,
the materials do not appear to be of a specialized nature as
might be expected in a ritual context. In order to gain a better
understanding of Pond G's deposits, strata below the water table
should be sampled.

Mound H

Guided by an analysis of aerial photographs of the Ortona
earthworks, a transect of shovel tests was placed along a small
rise in the center of the field west of the Large Mound. This
"plaza" area had a pair of linear ridges that extended westward
from the Large Mound. The ridges apparently terminated at the
small rise that we termed Mound H or the "Airfield Mound."
However, these ridges and mound were graded in the 1960s and
are barely visible today.
In testing Mound H, we hoped to gain an understanding of the
function of this structure and to assess the damage done to it by
clearing activities. The results of shovel testing were not
particularly helpful in assisting with these goals. Of seven
shovel tests forming a north-south transect along the mound's
long axis, only one sherd was recovered (N694/E908). Other
sherds, mostly Belle Glade Plain, were recovered from a
surface collection of the area, and a worn Busycon shell was
found on top of one of the ridges.
At Mound H, no change in stratification was observed to a
depth of 1 m below the surface. An exception was noted in test
N706/E908, which had gray soil from the surface to 14 cm
before changing to a homogenous white sand. It has been
suggested previously that homogenous white sand implies
artificial earthwork construction for such structures as Mound
D. The presence of this kind of deposit in Mound H is problem-
atical, as Mound H does not appear to rise significantly above

the surrounding terrain, at least in its present form. It is difficult
to say whether this is due to the filling and grading of surround-
ing areas, removal of the upper portion of Mound H, or both.
In order to assess the stratification of Mound H, it must be
compared to that of the surrounding terrain. It would be helpful
to dig additional tests or a small trench to expose a cross section
of the mound and adjacent field.
At Mound H, the lack of recovered artifacts from the shovel
tests poses less of an interpretive problem. It is common for
earthwork ridge features to contain very few artifacts. While the
function of such earthworks is poorly understood, they do not
appear to have been the focus of activities which created much
debris. The single sherd found in the Mound H tests appears to
have been of a Belle Glade variety. Several other sherds
observed on the mound's surface were Belle Glade Plain.

Table 15. Ortona intrasite frequencies of sand-tempered
plain and Belle Glade Plain sherds by site component.


Mound A
Mound B
Mound D
Mound D
Area E
Component F
Central Island
Pond G



N Pct. N Pct.

1, 2, 3
4, 7





Summary of Recovered Cultural Materials


4229 57.0 2938 39.6

This section summarizes all the artifacts and other cultural
materials recovered by the Ortona project. Three major classes
were recovered including, in order of frequency: ceramics,
lithics, and bones. Other scarcer classes included botanical
remains, such as charcoal and seeds, and historic artifacts.
Ceramics constitute an important class since we 'believe that
they provide the most sensitive indication of site age, particular-
ly with regard to intra-site temporal variation, and should reflect
a history of development of the Ortona site. Another important
class was faunal bone, also believed to provide some indication
of intra-site function as well as evidence of subsistence patterns.
The analysis of faunal bone was conducted by Steve Hale and
is presented elsewhere in this issue.


The pottery of the Lake Okeechobee area appears on cursory
inspection to be nondescript and plain. Lacking almost all the
decorated types typical of other parts of Florida, the student of
the Lake Okeechobee area must work with several types of plain
ware, most represented by sherds from simple hemispherical
bowls. The recovery of sherds at Ortona by component is
summarized in Table 15.
Three basic categories of pottery are present in the Ortona
assemblage. The primary one is sand-tempered plain, an
informal catch-all category that includes undecorated sherds with
observable quantities of quartz sand. This pottery can vary from
crude and gritty surface exteriors to smooth "floated" surfaces.
Such distinctions undoubtedly have interpretative value and, as
Cordell (1992) has demonstrated in her analysis of ceramics
from various southwestern Florida Gulf coast sites, other
attributes such as clay identification and inclusion of sponge
spicules are important also.
The second category of pottery is the Belle Glade series, the
most common type being Belle Glade Plain. This type is
considered a marker for the Lake Okeechobee area, and figures
prominently in our attempts to establish cultural identity and

a Shovel tests.

temporal variation at Ortona. Belle Glade Plain pottery is
tempered with fine sand and is characterized by distinctive rims
that are expanded rectangularly in profile in later times, and are
less flaring in earlier periods. Surface attributes include a
scoured look, apparently from sand grains having been dragged
across its exterior clay surface when shaved before firing. Other
attributes include a shaved or whittled appearance on the
exterior, suggesting surface finishing that was conducted when
the pot was dry or near dry but unfired (George Luer to Robert
Carr, personal communication, 1992).
Through time, Belle Glade Plain developed a refined, well-
fired appearance, with light gray exteriors and darker cores
becoming common during the Belle Glade IV period. There is
a distinctive metallic sound when this pottery is tapped. Early
pieces are cruder, less well-finished, and tend to be brown or
gray. Early rims have a lip that is sometimes round, and later
rims have a lip that is more often squared in profile (Porter
1951). It is not known when this particular type of pottery first
appeared, but it was probably during the Belle Glade I period
in the Fort Center area.
Belle Glade Plain pottery also can serve as a geographic and
temporal marker. Its late spread to sites throughout southern
Florida, often as a significant type, suggests increasing political
and trade influence from the Lake Okeechobee region after ca.
A.D. 800. Luer (1989:89-130) has noted ratios of Belle Glade
Plain sherds versus other sherds at various central and southern
Florida sites.
The third ceramic category is unclassified chalky ware. This
is a soft, friable pottery with no obvious temper. We hesitate to
type these sherds as St. Johns Plain, or any other type of chalky
ware, until additional analysis is done, although some of these
sherds are probably St. Johns wares. In the Ortona assemblage,
chalky ware is minimal in amount and appears to be linked to
early occupations of the site.

Other minority ceramics include a single incised sherd from
Mound B. This non-local sherd is well-made with a smooth
surface, and it is suggestive of a mortuary ware like Crystal
River Incised. A single sherd of Fort Drum Incised was found
in Level 11 of Mound A, and a Weeden Island Plain sherd was
also found.
Another important kind of ceramic artifact from Ortona is the
smoking pipe, and four pipe fragments were excavated by the
AHC team. One was from Mound A at the 70 to 80 cm level.
Another two were from Mound B, one from 30 to 40 cm and
the other from 70 to 80 cm. A fourth fragment was from
Component F. A fifth, more intact, pipe fragment was found
during construction of Ortona Indian Mound Park. It represents
a pottery platform pipe (see Luer's article, this issue).
A single unidentified ceramic artifact from Pond G is repre-
sented by several small fragments of gritty, sand-tempered
ware. This artifact's several-sided, finished edges suggest a
reworked sherd.

Faunal Bone

This important class is represented by several thousand small,
complete, and fragmentary bone elements. Although some are
charred or burned, most are not. Species identifications and
quantifications are provided by Hale in a separate article in this
issue. The most dense concentrations of faunal bone were
encountered at Mound A and Component F. Both Mounds B
and D produced small quantities of bone despite moderate to
large quantities of pottery.
Although bone artifacts were not recovered, numerous shark
teeth were. These include several that were drilled or modified
by use. It is worth noting that shark teeth were recovered only
from Mound A and Component F. A total of 12 teeth was
recovered from Unit 10 at Component F. Several had drill holes
for hafting, but most showed no evidence of drilling. Many
were fragmentary, and have wear marks and fractures that could
indicate natural breakage or cultural alteration. Most drilled
teeth were probably parts of composite knives that were made
by attaching the individual teeth to the tips of carved wooden


A respectable quantity of chert flakes and debitage was found
on all parts of the site. Such lithics are not uncommon in most
of the Lake Okeechobee area, even though there are no local
quarries of chert, the closest being in the Peace River and
Tampa Bay areas.
Several complete or fragmentary projectile points or knives
were found. Three were associated with Mound D and the
fourth, a crude stemmed point made of quartzite, was from a
disturbed area (the parking lot) near Mound B. Other points
included a fragmentary biface made from whitish chert, and a
small biface fragment with distinctive fossil coral polyps.
Another chert artifact from Mound B appears to be a scraper.
A single fragment of a ground stone tool was in Mound B's

Unit 6, and another was in Component F.
A complete flaked bifacial knife was in sand dug from Ortona
Cemetery. It was associated with sand-tempered plain and Belle
Glade Plain sherds, and a pipe bowl fragment (see Luer's
article, this issue).

Miscellaneous Materials

Several pieces of mica were recovered from Mound A. Mica
is non-local and is associated with some mortuary sites in
Florida. One of the most unusual artifacts uncovered from the
site is a small, oval, copper pendant found on Mound A from
Unit 1 at a depth of 80-90 cm. The artifact is about 3 cm in
diameter and encrusted with patina. Two circular holes at
opposite edges suggest use as an ornament. It seems unlikely
that this artifact is from the historic period considering the depth
of its recovery. It is more likely pre-Columbian; however, no
chemical or other analysis of the pendant's composition has yet
been done to try to determine its age and possible source.
Another material worth mentioning is the large quantity of
what is believed to be a natural form of bog iron. Hundreds of
pieces of this material were found across the entire site and in
most of the tests, including in various mounds and Central
Island. This material caught our attention because many of these
amorphous pieces have a strong resemblance to nail fragments
or rusted metallic artifacts. However, after examination, and
observing their occurrence across the Ortona site, it seems
likely that they are a natural part of the sedimentary matrix.


The following interpretations are offered concerning site
chronology, earthwork function, and Ortona's role in an
interregional trade network.


Ortona's earthworks included horseshoe-shaped ridges,
semi-circular and linear ridges, mounds, and a number of
causeways that connected many of them. At present, the most
prominent earthwork is the Large Mound which has two ridges
or causeways that extend to the west (Figure 15) and a ridge or
ramp that extends to the northeast. The pair of causeways
connects to a smaller elongated sand mound. This particular
mound and earthwork format is nearly identical to at least four
others located around Lake Okeechobee, with Tony's Mound
(8HN3) and Big Mound City (8PB46) being the best known
Another type of earthwork pattern occurring at these four sites
consists of at least one large mound and many smaller ones
radiating outward from a circular or semi-circular embankment.
It is probable that Ortona also had such a pattern. The aerial
photographic evidence of several circular ridges near Ortona's
Large Mound suggest it. Circular-linear earthworks are a
distinctive site type in the Lake Okeechobee region. They occur

at Fort Center with a date of ca. A.D. 1200, and at twelve other
sites around the lake ranging from as far north as the banks of
the Kissimmee River, south into the northern third of the
Everglades, and as far west as Ortona on the Caloosahatchee
River. No similar linear-circular earthworks are known on the
coast around the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River, although
other complex earthworks occur there.
The function of yet another form of earthwork, the "Big
Circle" type, is unknown. Sears believed that these circular
ditches were constructed to permit maize agriculture (Sears
1982). However, despite the identification of maize pollen at
Fort Center, Sears' view has not been demonstrated conclusive-
ly, nor has it gained wide acceptance among scholars. Carr's
survey of earthwork sites in the Lake Okeechobee area (Carr
1975, 1985) left him with serious doubts about the validity of
maize agriculture as a significant economic base in the Lake
Okeechobee area. Further doubts based on soils analysis have
been expressed by others (Johnson 1991:60-78).
The fact that Ortona is not in a savannah, but is in an area of
sandy scrub characterized by higher elevations and well-drained,
sandy soils, suggests that earthwork construction there was not
for agricultural purposes. Since much of the earthwork construc-
tion occurs in an area above the 20 ft elevation contour line (see
U.S.G.S. 1973), which is an area unlikely to be inundated,
there is no foreseeable advantage to creating elevated ridges out
of the same well-drained, sandy soils that characterize the area.
It would appear more likely that the linear-circular ridges of
Ortona have a function that is not agricultural. Author Carr
believes the function is multipurpose, and that these distinctive
earthworks had both religious and practical significance.

Earthwork Orientation

There is a strong probability that the Ortona earthworks and
mounds are aligned on an axis or axes that had particular
significance to the native inhabitants. Alignments relative to
astronomical events, such as the spring solstice, have been
suggested for numerous sites across North America (Aveni
1977) and, in Florida, at Crystal River (Hardman 1971) and
Pineland (Luer 1989:121-123). At Ortona, the Large Mound has
two parallel ridges along an east-west axis. The semi-circular
embankments on the mound's western side could have provided
an opportunity for the placement of wooden posts that could
have marked the setting of various planetary bodies, as well as
the sun and the moon.
The orientation of the Pestle Earthwork along a line running
20.5 degrees west of the north axis raises the question of the
significance of that particular alignment. Other alignments are
possible for the Ortona site, but so many of the earthworks have
been destroyed (many prior to the earliest aerial photographs of
the area) that they are impossible to reconstruct.

Settlement Pattern

The overall Ortona earthwork settlement pattern indicates
varied functions and activities spanning at least 1000 to 1500

years. Although our artifact sample is small, and many site
components have been eradicated or altered, our investigations
suggest that initial occupation might have occurred during the
Belle Glade I period (ca. 500 B.C. A.D. 200), if not earlier.
This earliest occupation concentrated around Turkey Creek.
This period of site occupation is indicated on the low sand bar
feature that we called Central Island where the ratio of sand-
tempered plain to Belle Glade Plain sherds was close to 100%.
The Central Island pottery appeared cruder and less well-made
than that from other parts of the site. Considering its low
elevation, Central Island might have been subject to inundation,
perhaps necessitating construction of mounds near the creek to
provide elevated dry platforms for houses. It is possible that
Mounds A and B were among the earliest of the constructed
mounds, but specific dates of mound construction remain to be
This investigation examined the remnants of at least five
mounds: Mounds A, B, D, F, and H. Less certain of mound
status was the elevated area known as Area E. Interpretation of
aerial photographs and recovered material from the five mounds
indicates that Mounds A and F were very similar in form and
content. Mounds A and F were oval middens rising several
meters above the surrounding terrain. Both mounds had heavy
concentrations of sherds and faunal bones, as well as broken
tools. Shark teeth had their highest frequency in these two
mounds. In contrast, Mounds B and D were elongated, loaf-
shaped mounds. These two mounds also had common attributes.
Sherds were moderate to frequent, but faunal bone, as well as
artifacts, were scarcer than at Mounds A and F. Although
Mounds B and D had organically-stained, sandy soil, they
lacked the distinctive rich midden soils of Mounds A and F.
Interpretation of the function of Mounds B and D is specula-
tive at best. It appears that habitation did occur on these
mounds, but perhaps because of their large size, such activity
did not result in dense concentrations of midden. Another
possibility is that only certain types of activities occurred there.
Mound B's proximity to Turkey Creek may mean that it was the
principal canoe landing for Ortona, and that artifacts occurring
there resulted from transitory activity related to emptying and
filling canoes as well as short-term camping. It is worth noting
that despite similarities, Mound D might have had a function
distinct from that of Mound B. Mound D is close to the major
earthwork center, and activity there might have been limited to
a special priest or ruler group. Mound D also appears to have
had two elevated caps at either end, perhaps for supporting
structures. Such hypothetical structures might have been
occupied only sporadically, perhaps at certain times of the year
during mound-related ceremonies. The sporadic or specialized
use of this mound would explain the low frequency of recovered
cultural material there.
Mound H was intensely impacted by grading, but the very low
frequency of cultural materials there indicates a function very
different from those of previously discussed mounds. Mound H
is physically linked to the Large Mound to the east, and
probably was used in relation to it. Such use probably excluded
subsistence or habitation activities.

Belle Glade Ceramics

Answers to some questions regarding intrasite chronological
variability, and the cultural placement of the Ortona site with
respect to the Caloosahatchee area versus the Lake Okeechobee
area can be suggested by interpreting the site's ceramic assem-
blage. As a marker type for the Lake Okeechobee region, the
occurrence of Belle Glade Plain ceramics outside the Lake
Okeechobee area has been interpreted as an indicator of contact
via trade or tribute. Belle Glade Plain ceramics reportedly began
to appear at sites on the coast of the Caloosahatchee area ca.
A.D. 550-600 (Widmer 1988:84; Luer 1989; Cordell 1992).
Belle Glade Plain pottery has been reported in varying quantities
throughout southern Florida by many investigators (such as
Goggin 1949; Rouse 1951).
Recently, Luer (1989:Table 2, Figure 11) constructed a table
and a map that depicted the frequencies of Belle Glade Plain
sherds at sites in southern and central Florida (Figure 17). His
map indicates that the heartland of Belle Glade Plain ceramics
occurs on the western side of Lake Okeechobee where some
sites have greater than 80% frequency. Interestingly, Luer's
map indicates a Belle Glade Plain frequency of between 20 % to
50% for the area around Ortona and the Caloosahatchee River.
Our investigations indicate some variability in the amounts of
Belle Glade Plain ceramics at the Ortona site, with frequencies
varying from 0% for one unit on Central Island to as high as
45% for Mound A (Table 15). This variation in frequencies
probably reflects chronological distinctions between various
periods of mound construction and occupation. Such intrasite
variation should be expected with any intensive sampling
project, but the overall average Belle Glade Plain ceramic
frequency of 39.6% for Ortona is consistent with Luer's
frequency map.
The site's Belle Glade Plain ceramic frequency could help
determine whether the Ortona earthworks represent an Okee-
chobee cultural development or a Caloosahatchee cultural
development; however, the answer is not as simple as classify-
ing pot sherds. Possible increasing frequency of Belle Glade
Plain ceramics through time may testify to increased influence
from the Lake Okeechobee area. Nonetheless, the majority
presence of sand-tempered sherds at Ortona may indicate
dominant influence from the southwest coast. Sand-tempered
plain pottery is the principal ceramic in the Caloosahatchee
area, including such major sites as Mound Key and Pineland.

Site Chronology

Aboriginal occupation at the Ortona site complex undoubtedly
represents a significant span of time that might have begun in
the Late Archaic period with use of Turkey Creek and the scrub
for resource procurement and perhaps habitation. However, the
exact age of the site's origin and development is still speculative
until radiocarbon dates are determined for various mound levels.
The presence of Belle Glade Plain ceramics and other arti-
facts, such as a platform pipe, do provide some clues to site
chronology. The cultural features adjacent to Turkey Creek

Figure 17. Geographic distribution of Belle Glade Plain
pottery in south Florida (from Luer 1989:Figure 11). Figures
reflect the percent of Belle Glade Plain sherds out of the
total number of sherds.

appear to be some of the earliest site components as indicated
by the near absence of Belle Glade Plain ceramics from Central
Island. The area of Mound B produced a platform pipe frag-
ment, an artifact type often associated with Hopewellian
influences in the Southeast, ca. A.D. 250. Both Mounds A and
B revealed an average Belle Glade Plain ceramic frequency of
23 % to 25 %. This suggests that Belle Glade cultural influences
at Ortona began much earlier than on the southwest Florida Gulf
coast where an age of A.D. 550-650 is associated with the
earliest appearance of Belle Glade Plain ceramics (Luer 1989;
Cordell 1992).
Other Ortona mounds to the east may be more recent as
suggested by a higher ratio of Belle Glade Plain (45% at shovel
tests in Mound D), and by the fact that Belle Glade Plain
pottery there has a higher frequency of well-made late rim
forms. Similar late-style Belle Glade Plain pottery, and a
complete absence of sand-tempered pottery, characterized the
vicinity of Mound H, the mound attached to the Large Mound.
Thus, it is suggested that the Large Mound dates from ca. A.D.
In all probability, at least some parts of the Ortona site were

In all probability, at least some parts of the Ortona site were
used until the period of Spanish contact, as indicated by
European artifacts (including Nueva Cadiz beads) recovered by
Goggin from the Burial Mound (see Branstetter's article, this
issue). However, historic period burials might have been
intrusive, and historic period use of the mound might have been
limited. Our extensive investigations and review of previous
collections revealed no evidence of any European artifacts
anywhere else at the Ortona site. It is also worth noting that we
did not find any St. Johns Check-Stamped sherds, a post A.D.
1000 marker for the Lake Okeechobee area. The absence of late
period artifacts at Ortona suggests a diminished role for the site
during late precontact and early contact times.
It is possible that earthwork construction and its associated
ceremonialism date to as early as ca. A.D. 250. One must
consider the possibility that the Ortona canoe canals and some
of Ortona's other earthworks might have been constructed then,
at an earlier time period than expected.

Canoe Canals and Travel

Luer's article on the aboriginal canoe canals of southern
Florida (1989) explores many levels of significance that these
canals may have. The canal that crossed Pine Island, and the
corollary canal through Cape Coral, appear to facilitate canoe
travel to and from the Caloosahatchee River and Pine Island
Sound. The Ortona Canals probably are part of the same canoe
travel network. During late precontact periods (ca. A.D.
800-1500), the cultural and political affiliations between the
Calusa of southwestern Florida and the Mayaimi of the Lake
Okeechobee area were probably strong, and indeed, some of the
people at Ortona might have been Calusa. Canoe travel between
Ortona and Pine Island represented a distance of 89 km (about
53 mi). A hypothetical canoe travel time of 18 hours would be
necessary based on a travel time of 5 km per hour.
In the opposite direction, possible canoe routes led from
Ortona eastward and northeastward toward Lake Okeechobee.
The distance from Ortona to Fort Center, using a route eastward
via the Caloosahatchee River and thence northward via Lake
Okeechobee, is 48.5 km (about 29 mi). Another possible route
from Ortona to Fort Center is an interior canoe journey
northward from Turkey Creek to Linden Pens Slough, and then
to Fisheating Creek. That journey represents a much shorter 36
km distance (about 21.5 mi). This shorter route to Lake
Okeechobee would have placed Ortona at a very strategic spot
in terms of travel in the region.

Interregional Trade

A transportation corridor, like that provided by the Caloosa-
hatchee River and its associated canal system, would have
facilitated human movement and trade. Luer (1989) has re-
viewed various possible commodities involved in potential trade.
These include shark teeth and dried fish moving inland from the
coast, and ceramic bowls and various plant resources moving to

the coast from the interior.
Ceramic smoking pipes have been a conspicuous artifact
associated with the Lake Okeechobee area. At Fort Center,
Sears (1982) recovered numerous specimens. Our work at
Ortona recovered pipe fragments at Mound A, Mound B, and
Component F. Although some investigators have assigned a
ceremonial significance to such pipes, it is possible that they had
a secular function as well. Their occurrence at Ortona on two
major midden mounds suggests a relationship to daily activities.
It may be that these pipes suggest a common use of certain local
plants for smoking, and that both the pipes and plants were
items of extralocal exchange between the interior and the coast.


The Ortona site is a large, significant, multicomponent
earthwork complex that may date to ca. A.D. 200-1700. The
site is at a strategic location in the Caloosahatcheee River
corridor that controls access between the river's headwaters and
Lake Okeechobee, and possibly between the river and Fisheat-
ing Creek via an interior canoe route. It is likely that Ortona
was a political town that participated in an interactive sphere
that included sites on Florida's southwest coast, such as Mound
Key and Pine Island, as well as sites around Lake Okeechobee,
such as Fort Center. The Ortona site's well-developed canals
suggest a highly maintained communication and transportation
system that would have reinforced resource distribution,
political ties, and movements of people between the coast and
The preservation of a portion of the Ortona site in a public
park is an important first step in recognizing and preserving the
site. Ortona's Large Mound and its associated earthworks still
need to be stabilized and added to the park through future land
acquisition. At present, they are vulnerable to further destruc-
tion. In addition, other important mounds and features are
located on Lykes Brothers property and should be preserved.
Ortona's two canoe canals also are on private property and
should be preserved as part of a public easement or possible
trail system. Unfortunately, destruction of the eastern canal
appears eminent as a result of a permitted sand mine in that

Postscript: Public Education

Last but not least, one important aspect of the Special Catego-
ry Grant at Ortona was to bring the results of our research to
the public. Author Carr and archaeologist George Luer worked
with Wilderness Graphics, Inc., of Tallahassee, Florida, to
produce informative signs presenting some of our results. These
signs (Figure 18) were mounted for public display in a specially
built shelter at Mound A in Ortona Indian Mound Park. Finally,
the formal presentation of our archaeological work in this issue
of The Florida Anthropologist represents the last step in making
our results available to the public.


Many of the Ortona site s original features
have been destroyed by modern land use
Sand mining, road building and the
Orlona Cemetery have altered or
destroyed much of the site. Other
destructive forces have included senseless
digging in the mounds by pot hunters.
Such vandalism destroyed Ortonas burial
mound in the 1930s through the 1950s

Ortona's dramatic complex ot numerous
mounds and other earthworks has been
reduced to a fraction of its former
grandeur. Today, even Ortona's outl-
standing canoe canals are threatened by
future land development. Efforts art
needed to preserve the Ortona site so that
future generations can see and enjoys t

54*.1i ci th. Orton sie located
Living with the Land h.iid...
dtodnidl lil.id rit rie aid -ak

water before n wase ier llt in
-k W ,as drainld in modr

V ultiated gourd- and .o t.h.. W ,

Figure 18. Interpretive signs at the public display shelter, Ortona Indian Mound Park, designed and
produced by Wilderness Graphics, Inc. Photographs courtesy of Ryan Wheeler.


The authors would like to thank the Florida Department of
State, Division of Historical Resources, for the Special Category
Grant that provided the principal funding for the Ortona project.
We would like to thank George Percy, Fred Gaske, and other
agency staff who provided guidance and support. We also thank
the AHC for its leadership in sponsoring this project. George
Luer and Lauren Archibald wrote and submitted the original
grant proposals in 1988 and 1989. Sue Goldman and many
others, including members of the Glades County Ortona Grant
Committee, were instrumental in lobbying for the grant funding.
Assistance from John Beriault, Art Lee, and other members of
the Southwest Florida Archaeological Society was also valuable.
AHC staff who were part of the Ortona archaeological field
team included Jorge Zamanillo, Bill Steele, Richard Haiduven,
Don Mattucci, Mark Duda, Debra Sandler, and Amy Felmley.
Map work benefitted from the drafting expertise of Richard
Ferrer. Initial word processing was done by Maritza Baez and
Ines Olavarria. George Luer edited and readied the manuscript
for publication.
Without the support of the Glades County Commission and
many Glades County citizens, this project could not have
happened. However, no one stands out more than Larry
Luckey, Glades County Property Appraiser and Ortona Indian
Mound Park Director. His love for Glades County's heritage is
a cornerstone of our success.

References Cited

Allerton, David, George M. Luer, and Robert S. Carr
1984 Ceremonial Tablets and Related Objects from Florida.
The Florida Anthropologist 37:5-54.
Aveni, Anthony F., editor
1977 Archaeoastronomy in Pre-Columbian Florida. Univer-
sity of Texas Press, Austin.
Carr, Robert S.
1974 Ortona site forms on file at the Florida Division of
Historic Resources, Tallahassee.
1975 An Archaeological and Historical Survey of Lake
Okeechobee. Bureau of Historic Sites and Properties
Miscellaneous Project Report Series 22, Tallahassee.
1985 Prehistoric Circular Earthworks in South Florida. The
Florida Anthropologist 38:288-301.
Carr, Robert S., Amy Felmley, and Patricia Fay
1991 Archaeological Survey of the Ortona Sand Mine Exten-
sion, Glades County, Florida. Archaeological and
Historical Conservancy Technical Report No. 30,
Collins, H. B.
1929 The "Lost" Calusa Indians of Florida. Explorations and
Field Work of the Smithsonian Institution in 1928, pp.
151-156, Washington D.C.

Conklin, A. W.
1875 Ancient Mounds of Interior Florida. Forest and Stream
Cordell, Ann S.
1992 Technical Investigation of Pottery Variability in South-
west Florida. In Culture and Environment in the Do-
main of the Calusa, edited by W. H. Marquardt and C.
Payne, pp. 105-189. Monograph Number 1, University
of Florida Institute of Archaeology and Paleoenviron-
mental Studies, Gainesville.
Farber, C. W.
1887 Mounds in Florida. American Antiquarian and Oriental
Journal 9:307-308.
Gilliland, Marion S.
1975 The Material Culture of Key Marco, Florida. University
Presses of Florida, Gainesville.
Goggin, John M.
1948 Culture and Geography in Florida Prehistory. Ph.D.
dissertation, Department of Anthropology, Yale Univer-
sity, New Haven.
1949 The Archaeology of the Glades Area, Southern Florida.
Unpublished manuscript on file at the Yale Peabody
Museum, New Haven.
1951 Archaeological Notes on Lower Fisheating Creek. The
Florida Anthropologist 4:50-75.
Griffin, John W.
1940 Field Notes on Ortona Site. Typescript of notes on file
with the Archaeological and Historical Conservancy,
Inc., Miami.
Hale, H. Steven
1989 Prehistoric Subsistence Strategies and Settlement Pat-
terns in the Lake Okeechobee Basin of the South Florida
Peninsula. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Florida,
Hardman, Clark J.
1971 The Primitive Solar Observatory at Crystal River and
Its Implications. The FloridaAnthropologist 24:135-168.
Hrdlicka, Ales
1922 The Anthropology of Florida. Florida State Historical
Society, Deland, Florida.
Johnson, William G.
1991 Remote Sensing and Soil Science Applications to Under-
standing Belle Glade Cultural Adaptations in the Okee-
chobee Basin. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Flori-
da, Gainesville.
1994 Early Aerial Photography: A Remote Sensing Technique
Used to Detect Prehistoric Earthworks in the Kissimmee
River Basin. The Florida Anthropologist 47:269-278.
Kenworthy, Charles J.
1883 Ancient Canals in Florida. Smithsonian Institution
Annual Report 1881:631-635.
LeBaron, J. Frances
1884 Prehistoric Remains in Florida. Smithsonian Institution
Annual Report 1882:771-790.

Luer, George M.
1989 Calusa Canals in Southwestern Florida: Routes of
Tribute and Exchange. The Florida Anthropologist
MacKay, John, and J. E. Blake
1839 Map of the Seat of War in Florida Compiled by Order
of Bvt. Brigr. Genl. Z. Taylor. U.S. Topographic
Engineers Headquarters, Army of the South, Tampa
Bay, Florida. On file, Bureau of Survey and Mapping,
Department of Environmental Protection, Tallahassee.
Porter, Rita K.
1951 An Analysis of Belle Glade Plain Rim Sherds from Two
Fisheating Creek Sites. The Florida Anthropologist
Rouse, Irving
1951 A Survey of Indian River Archaeology. Yale University
Publications in Anthropology No. 44, New Haven.
Sears, William H.
1982 Fort Center, An Archaeological Site in the Lake Okee-
chobee Basin. The University Presses of Florida,
Small, John K.
1923 Green Deserts and Dead Gardens. New York Botanical
Garden Journal 24:193-247.
1929 From Eden to Sahara: Florida's Tragedy. The Science
Press, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Tannehill, J. D.
1871 Map of Township 42 South of Range 30 East. Subdivi-

sion plat map on file, Bureau of Survey and Mapping,
Department of Environmental Protection, Tallahassee.
U.S.D.A. (United States Department of Agriculture)
1948 BUO-1D-26, dated December 5, 1948. Black and white
aerial photograph showing western Ortona canal. Print
on file, Map and Imagery Library, University of
Florida, Gainesville.
1949 BUO-3D-104, dated March 8, 1949. Black and white
aerial photograph showing Ortona mound complex and
eastern Ortona canal. Print on file, Map and Imagery
Library, University of Florida, Gainesville.
1957 BUO-1T-195, dated March 2, 1957. Black and white
aerial photograph showing Pestle Earthwork. Print on
file, Map and Imagery Library, University of Florida,
U.S.G.S. (United States Geological Survey)
1973 Goodno Quadrangle, Florida. 7.5 Minute Series,
Topographic, Photorevised.
Wainwright, R. D.
1918 Further Archaeological Exploration in Southern Florida,
Winter of 1917. Paper II. The Archaeological Bulletin
Widmer, Randolph J.
1988 The Evolution of the Calusa, A Nonagricultural Chief-
dom on the Southwest Florida Coast. The University of
Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.

Robert S. Carr
David Dickel
Marilyn Masson
Archaeological and Historical Conservancy
P.O. Box 450283
Miami, FL 33145


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The Florida Anthropologist,
the scholarly journal published quarterly by
The Florida Anthropological Society since 1948.

Donations are now being accepted from
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section 170 of the code.


Ryan J. Wheeler

Aboriginal canals in Florida served a variety of functions,
most often allowing for a quicker or safer canoe route by
linking natural hydrologic features. Canals also may have served
in ritual or political activities, as some canals run through major
mound centers, while others provide access to burial mounds.
All known canals are associated in one manner or another with
mound or habitation sites, and their possible role in transport of
exchange items or tribute has been discussed by Luer (1989a).
In this paper, I focus on the history of the Ortona Canals, as
well as the relationship of the canals with the natural and
aboriginal landscape. Whereas many of Florida's aboriginal
canals are sea level features, the Ortona Canals appear to be
unique in their arrangement as a simple sluiceway. They are fed
by feeder streams, connecting with Lake Flirt and the Caloosa-
hatchee River.
Measurements made on the Ortona Canals allow for calcula-
tion of channel slope, as well as velocity and flow of water
through the system. These calculations help in interpreting the
aboriginal placement and engineering involved in building the
canals. They reveal that the canal builders had a detailed knowl-
edge of their environment as well as the techniques required to
plan and execute functional hydraulic systems.
Other aspects of aboriginal canal building remain a mystery.
For example, questions regarding dates of construction remain
unanswered. It is likely that the Ortona Canals were built and
used sometime after 2000 B.P. and before 500 B.P., when the
aboriginal site was on its ascendancy. Most aboriginal Florida
canals are known from the southern part of the state, and fall
within the Everglades, Ten Thousand Islands, Caloosahatchee,
and Okeechobee culture regions (Figure 1). The Ortona Canals
were built by inhabitants of the Okeechobee or Belle Glade
region, occupied by the Mayaimi, Serrope, and Guacata tribes
during the European contact era.


Escalante Fontaneda, a young captive of Florida Indians in the
mid-16th century, describes the enigmatic interior region of
southern Florida's Lake Mayaimi (Lake Okeechobee):

On this lake, which lies in the midst of the country, are many
towns, of thirty or forty inhabitants each; and as many more
places there are in which people are not so numerous. They
have bread of roots, wnich is their common food the greater
part of the time; and because of the lake, which rises in some

seasons so high that the roots cannot be reached in conse-
quence of the water, they are some time without eating this
bread (in True 1944:13).

Thus was the land of Mayaimi, a place where earthworks
encircle and radiate from giant sand mounds, a place where the
honored dead were buried with glass beads and metal tablets.
Among the immense earthwork and mound complexes is that of
Ortona (8GL35) in Glades County.
One of the most distinctive features of the Ortona mound
group is the pair of canals (8GL4A and 8GL4B) that link the
large earthwork site with the Caloosahatchee River and the now
drained Lake Flirt. When Ortona was occupied, the canals
provided a means for canoe traffic on the Caloosahatchee to
access the aboriginal town and circumvent narrow or marshy
areas of the river just above Lake Flirt. Morphologically, the
canals correspond to the pattern observed for other southern
Florida canals constructed by extinct Indian groups. Similarities
exist in cross-section, width, and overall placement on the

History and Cartography

The Ortona or Lake Flirt Canals were first noted on military
maps dating to the Second Seminole War (MacKay and Blake
1839). Maps dating to the war era often show the aboriginal
canals, along with Lake Flirt and the military outpost Fort
Thompson, the latter located to the west of Lake Flirt and the
Ortona site (Bruff and McClelland 1846). Following the war,
explorers to the area in the mid-18th through early-20th
centuries noted their more specific configurations (account of
1848 in Smith 1911:46; account of 1883 in Wintringham
1963:51; Collins 1929:153).
The westernmost canal of the pair appears as early as 1839 on
the published military map of MacKay and Blake (1839).
Manuscript maps dating to 1837 or 1838 used in compiling this
published map show the canal, as well as several native trails
and a "ford," probably at the narrow area of the river that the
canal system was designed around (Figure 2). Buckingham
Smith, leader of one of the first civilian explorations of the
Everglades region, notes the presence of the canals in 1848, but
attributes them to the Spanish government or Spanish Cubans,
suggesting such work was "too considerable to have been
undertaken by the Indians of Florida" (Smith 1911:46). There
is no indication, however, that Smith's expedition made first


Vol. 48 No. 4


St. Lucia Inlet
Lake Okeechobee
S\ Loxahatchee River
Ortona Canals I
Pine Island & Lake Worth
Cape Coral Canals Caloosahatchee River
R'ive Spenish River
New River
Naples Canal ,
Miami River

Mod Lake & Snake Bight Canals

Figure 1. Distribution of aboriginal Florida canals (adapted from Luer 1989a:110, with additions. Note natural drainages in
southeast Florida which served the same function as many of the aboriginal canals.

hand observations of the Ortona Canals. Abert's (1857) map of
the region is similar to that of MacKay and Blake, showing
numerous military and Indian trails. The narrows or ford along
the Caloosahatchee River is also evident just south of the Ortona
site vicinity where an Indian trail runs roughly north to south.
The "falls" or "rapids" described by many explorers were just
below Lake Flirt, opposite Fort Thompson (Heilprin 1887:22;
account of 1882 in Peoples and Davis 1951:84; West et al.
1909:126-127). Conklin (1875:331) relates the comments of a
long-time resident of the region who described the Ortona
Canals, and suggested they were a means of skirting the rapids.
However, research indicates the only falls or rapids were below
Lake Flirt, making the suggestion of Conklin's informant
dubious (Peoples and Davis 1951:83-84; Wintringham 1963:50;
Heilprin 1887:22; Wright 1911:143-144; West et al. 1909:126-
127). Drainage activities initiated by Hamilton Disston in 1880
included blasting and dredging the falls, and cutting a series of
canals connecting Lake Flirt, the Caloosahatchee, Lettuce Lake,
Lake Hicpochee, and Lake Okeechobee. These activities
dramatically altered the surface hydrology in the area of the

Ortona Canals (Wiley 1911:75; Wright 1911: 143-144; account
of 1883 in Wintringham 1963:50; Tebeau 1974:3). Further
work on straightening, widening, and deepening the Caloosa-
hatchee River progressed under the auspices of the Everglades
Drainage District from 1905 through the late 1930s.
The initial canal cuts begun in 1881 had dramatic implications,
the results of which could be detected almost immediately.
Members of the first expedition of the New Orleans Times-
Democrat in 1882 witnessed the Disston dredges at work, but
they also encountered the falls below Lake Flirt and witnessed
much birdlife and other wildlife on the "huge hummocks"
surrounding Lake Flirt (in Peoples and Davis 1951:83-84). The
following year, the second Times-Democrat expedition noted
that the falls had been blasted and dug out by the dredges, and
related an enticing account of the canals associated with Ortona.
The members of the expedition camped at Coffee Mill Ham-
mock, just north of the Caloosahatchee, and traveled up to see
"the celebrated Indian Mound." In describing the aboriginal
canals, it was noted that they were dry, and could not have
served for drainage or transport (in Wintringham 1963:51). The

() K E

'.CHO 8-Q F13

, 'I


figure 2. Manuscript map used in preparing "Map of the Seat of War in Florida by MacKay and Blake (1839), probably dating to 1837-1838. Note "old canal," "ford,"
and "Indian trail" leading to the proposed location of Fort Center on Fisheating Creek.

"'' >.


e I

I, -./, o. 1 _
.....J.. / .-o..-. .P

a .. *A V

a. .- o. .a. ,

.- .. .. -- ..

S, "" .

..I.G. I -. O- -..
."-. -.. a" .--- --"o -,- .

So 80 8
S. . i
.ioon ,


ln-u .

L--. ay'r^s'iE7

I 2S I). 3 4,. *:'.A

-^. 1 ---^^
V. ,..-.. / ... _' -'-- :. :

S. .... .-
,,y ,^ ..^.. -_ ,,.^... ,,,. .tf; .v c-_-

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S .. "- -. ..t^ -- __:- ....

/ --.** i~o/ ',
-, !y tJ
-... ._G .. .

X 4
36- i4

-* 36'

Figure 3. U. S. Government survey plat map of Township 42 South, Range 30 East showing Ortona Canals in 1871.



Sa9's_'irso, .i


& .


C~ts ------

9L A K4 E
---------________________ ______ .-______________________ --- _______________________----------------------

------ We-y '\ / -..- ^ ^

^L-----------------------^ -

Figure 4. Portion of "Caloosahatchee River Florida, from Government Land Surveys" (United State Engineer Office 1879), redrawn from copies. "Old Canal" denotes
8GL4B. Note the narrows or ford shown at the river directly below "thick scrub" where the Ortona site is located and compare with Figure 2.

Note WhiVfecrBakprtm ~fM igPiappldi Plawt hhtd iportionof(Map Grain iL.and
Represents Land for Su ,ir (' e Ric .hutt & c

Figure 5. Map "Showing Completed Canal from Lake Okeechobee West" (from Kreamer 1885:Map 2).

writers of the Times-Democrat account had no idea that their
observations of the dry Indian canals might have been directly
related to the dredging they had observed.
The bulk of the published references and cartographic illustra-
tions of the Ortona Canals appears in the late-19th and early-
20th centuries. These include brief mentions by Conklin
(1875:331) and Kenworthy (1883:635), and a more detailed
description by Le Baron (1884:779). The subdivision plat map
of 1871, prepared by J. D. Tannehill, is noteworthy for its
accurate rendering of the canals, as well as the hydrologic
features of the area that were soon to disappear (Figure 3). A
military map of the region dating to 1879 (U. S. Engineer
Office 1879) combines features of Tannehill's plat with those of
earlier maps, depicting the "old canal," as well as the narrows
where earlier Indian and military routes had crossed the
Caloosahatchee (Figure 4). Another interesting map from
Kreamer (1885), accompanying a report of Hamilton Disston's
land company, shows the drainage canalization of the Caloosa-
hatchee River as well as the Ortona Canals and mound site
(Figure 5). The shrinking Lake Flirt and other drainage features
of the area are indicated on this map, and Kreamer (1885:5)
mentions changes in vegetation resulting from completion of the
drainage canals. A civil engineer, W. B. Clay, prepared a map
of De Soto County in 1907 that includes detailed information on
the layout of the Ortona Canals, as well as surrounding surface
hydrology and plant communities (Clay 1907). This map that
depicts the upper portion of Lake Flirt as a sawgrass marsh with
the western end of the western Ortona Canal emptying into a
marshy arm of the lake that is known today as Cypress Branch.
A map in the collection of the South Florida Museum and
Bishop Planetarium, Bradenton, provides the first detailed plan
of the Ortona mound group (Figure 6). This map is attributed
to W. Montague Tallant, an avocational archaeologist who dug

in a contact-era burial mound at the site. This map probably
dates to the 1930s. Tallant's map shows the western canal
draining directly out of Turkey Creek. The proportions of the
map are slightly inaccurate, and the western canal probably did
not extend so far to the north and east as it is shown.
A sketch map was prepared by archaeologist John W. Griffin
on a visit to the Ortona site in 1940. Although simple, this map
is important in that it shows the round pond at the head of the
western canal, as well as Turkey Creek, labeled "stream." A
map dated 1950 (see Figure 7), in the collection of the Florida
Museum of Natural History, was prepared by Eugene Miles,
one of archaeologist John Goggin's University of Florida
anthropology students (Goggin 1951:52). Goggin and his
students excavated at Ortona, as well as other sites in Glades
County during the late 1940s and early 1950s (Goggin 1949,
1951). The Miles map was prepared from aerial photographs
and observations on the ground, although some details are
inaccurate. The map does show the head of the western canal
leaving the round pond, but is unclear as to the arrangement of
the head of the eastern canal. One interesting feature is what
appears to be a small branch canal emanating from the eastern
canal. This branch canal is associated with a mound or group of
mounds. Similar branch canals associated with burial mounds
have been documented for the Pine Island Canal at both its
western and eastern ends (Luer 1991:Figure 3; Luer and
Wheeler 1995). Goggin (1949:325-326) recorded the Ortona or
Lake Flirt Canals as 8GL4, and this designation has been
modified, with 8GL4A applied to the eastern canal and 8GL4B
to the western canal (Carr 1974).
Much of the canal has been obscured by agricultural activities,
although a large portion of the eastern canal appears to have
been redredged to serve as a modern ditch for drainage, and
possibly as a waterway for barging a sand mining dredge. This

~I N PoRTpom or ^
__ _Coufy !

Figure 6. "Map of Indian Mounds in Portion of Glades County Florida" (Tallant n.d.). This map probably dates to the 1930s
when Tallant dug at the Ortona burial mound. The lay-out and proportions of the site are slightly inaccurate, especially in
showing the western canal as an extension of Turkey Branch, labeled "natural slough." The eastern canal is not shown, nor
is the round pond. Reproduced with permission of the South Florida Museum and Bishop Planetarium, Bradenton.

is interesting, in that a similar redredging has been observed at
other aboriginal canals in Florida (i.e., Walker's Canal,
discussed below). Apparently the native placement cannot be
rivaled by 20th century engineering, so some ancient canal

courses are preserved as contemporary canals. Today, a small
portion of the western canal remains relatively intact just where
it enters the round pond. Carr et al. (1991) recently have
described a portion of the eastern canal, which was to be

Figure 7. "Archaeology and Physiography of Ortona" (Miles 1950). Note the branch canal connecting the eastern Ortona canal
with a small mound or mound cluster. Most of the western canal is not shown. Reproduced with the permission of the Florida
Museum of Natural History.

destroyed or impacted by sand mining, indicating that in most
areas the channel was fairly indistinct, shallow and narrow. The
dimensions they give indicate considerable disturbance of the
canal in most places, probably due to land-clearing, agricultural
activities, or improvements for pasture.


Details of the canal morphology can be divided into an exam-
ination of channel hydraulics, including geometric elements of
the channel configuration, placement on the landscape, and
water source, as well as mechanical properties of the canal,
including slope, velocity, and flow.

Geometric Aspects of Channel Configuration

Figure 8 illustrates a profile of the canal made in 1940 by
John W. Griffin and another made in 1995 by Ray McGee and
the author. Both profiles show the canal banks formed from the
spoil dug out of the channel, as well as the truncated V-shaped
or trapezoidal outline typical of aboriginal canals (Luer
1989a: Figure 4). Canals and drainage ditches dating to the early
American period tend to have a more rectilinear profile, and the
difference can often be ascertained from aerial photographs (for
example see Moore [1992] for information on the English
period Gabordy Canal, dating to ca. 1770 in New Smyrna
Beach, Florida). Griffin (1940) measured the depth of the
channel as 87 cm (2 ft, 11 in), and the width as 4.5 m (15 ft).

1 37'
t O a C l 10 12'

West Ortona Canal 1995

Figure 8. Profiles of western Ortona canal (8GL4B) with cross-section measurements. Top, based on Griffin (1940) and Luer
(1989a); bottom, based on measurements by the author made in 1995. Both profiles were made in the area where the Seaboard
Coast Line Railroad crosses State Road 78.

Table 1. Geometric and hydraulic properties of western Ortona canal, 8GL4B. Calculations for two different b values (width
of channel bottom), 6 ft and 15 ft, as measured in 1940 and 1995.

b z y n A P R S V Q

15 ft 1 ft 3 ft .035 54 ft2 23.5 ft 2.3 ft .0012 2.6 fps 138.8 cfs

6 ft 1 ft 3 ft .035 36 ft2 14.5 ft 2.5 ft .0012 2.7 fps 97.2 cfs

NOTE: Formulae for calculating these properties are given at the end of this article. b=width of channel bottom; z=slope of side;
y=depth of channel, depth of flow; n=Manning's roughness coefficient; A=water area; P=wetted perimeter; R=hydraulic radius;
S=canal slope; V=velocity in ft per second; Q=flow or discharge in cubic ft per second.

Based on Griffin's (1940) description and cross-section drawing,
the side slopes are roughly 1:1. Le Baron (1884:779) relates
James M. Kreamer's observations of the Ortona Canal, noting
that it was 1.2 m (4 ft) deep by 3 m (10 ft) wide, with large
pine trees growing in the channel. Recent measurements by
McGee and the author indicate the shape of the cross-section has
not changed dramatically since the 1940s, although the width is
somewhat reduced, apparently from land-clearing and other
alterations. Significant aspects of canal geometry derived from
the above measurements are summarized in Table 1.

Water Source

The water supply for the Ortona Canals is a natural slough
called Turkey Creek that drains the Linden Pens Marsh located
to the north of the Ortona site. This slough branches into two
streams or rivulets just above the Ortona site. The Tallant map
(Figure 6) specifically indicates that Turkey Creek is the water
source for at least the western canal, showing a more direct
relationship than actually existed. The overall placement and
water source of the Ortona Canals has been reconstructed from

study of the maps referenced here, as well as aerial photos
dating to 1948-1949, and color infrared aerial photos dating to
1994 (United States Department of Agriculture 1948, 1949,

Placement on the Landscape

Several descriptions of the placement of the Ortona Canals can
be found in the early literature, though Le Baron's relation of
Disston's engineer, Kreamer, is the most detailed:

It [the western canal] starts from the upper end of Lake Flirt,
and runs in a northeasterly direction, in a perfectly straight
line, as if laid out by an engineer, to a group of large mounds
situated in the pine woods about 3 miles from the Caloosa-
hatchee River, and then returns to the river in a southeasterly
direction between Coffee Mill Island and Lake Hiakpochee
[sic], inclosing a triangular area, and having a total length of
nearly 6 miles (Le Baron 1884:779).

Luer (1989a:97) gives the length of the western canal as 3.7
km (2.3 mi) and the length of the eastern canal as 3.2 km (2
mi). Recent refinement of the arrangement of the eastern canal
indicates that the latter may be somewhat shorter than 3.2 kmn
(2 mi). Figure 9 reproduces a composite of 1948-1949 aerial
photographs of the area, which clearly shows the western
Ortona Canal and a portion of the eastern canal before it enters
a wooded area. These are likely the same aerial images used by
Miles in preparing his map of the canals and mounds.
Comparison of the maps of the canals reveals some confusion
about their exact configuration at the head of the system.
Griffin's sketch map and the Miles map both show that the
western canal "rises" from a round pond. There is a natural
proclivity, as noted in the earlier maps, to connect the canals,
as is done in dashed lines in the Miles drawing. Aerial photos
indicate that while the western canal does enter the round pond,
the eastern canal does not extend that far, instead linking with
Turkey Creek.

Figure 10 shows the course of the canal, as well as the ar-
rangement at the head of the system, as reconstructed from the
aerial photos in Figure 9, and other maps and descriptions of
the canals. Prior to drainage, the branches of Turkey Creek
were more formidable waterways, certainly more so than the
drained and dying cypress slough that now exists in the south-
western portions of Ortona Indian Mound Park. Ground-truthing
confirms that the western canal does indeed enter the round
pond. The two canals were probably linked via Turkey Creek,
which may have been navigable while Ortona was occupied.


Placement of the canals in a roughly triangular plan was a
critical component of the engineering. The western canal rises
from the round pond, which is situated at an approximate
elevation of 25 ft (7.5 m), and enters Lake Flirt at an elevation
of 10 ft (3 m), a drop of 15 ft (4.5 m). Combined with mea-
sures of horizontal distance, or run, slope can be computed as
.0012 (Table 2 summarizes slope calculations for both Ortona
Canals). This means that for every 1000 ft (300 m) of hori-
zontal distance, the canal rises 1.2 ft (.37 m). The northeastern
to southwestern configuration allows for enough distance be-
tween beginning and ending points to achieve this gentle slope.
Examination of the shorter eastern canal indicates a similar
slope of .0011. This similarity is due to a rise of 10 ft (3 m)
over a run of slightly under 2 mi (3.2 kin).
Slope and cross-sectional water area are the major factors
dictating the velocity of water passing through the channel and
the discharge or flow of water. Too gradual a slope would result
in sedimentation and low water levels during drier times of the
year, while too steep a slope would result in rapid flow of water
and quick erosion of the banks (Busch et al. 1976). The slight
bends in the upper and lower portions of the western canal
probably helped mitigate problems of this sort. While the
eastern canal traverses a shorter distance, the overall change in
elevation from beginning to end is also less. Thus, both canals
have similar slopes.

Figure 9. U. S. Department of Agriculture aerial photographs of the Ortona site (8GL35) and the Ortona canals. White
arrows point to aboriginal canals. The photograph is a composite of portions of BUO-1D-26 (1948) and BUO-3D-104 (1949).

Figure 10. Plan of Ortona canals, surrounding topography, and hydrology. Note the small streams above the Ortona site that
feed the western and eastern Ortona canals. Black arrows indicate the direction of surface water flow. Base map is U.S.G.S.
Goodno Quadrangle 1958. The 1973 photorevised quadrangle actually shows the western Ortona canal.

Table 2. Slope calculations for Ortona Canals. Similar
slopes, despite variations in rise and run, are due to the
placement of the canals.

Canal Rise Run Slope Pct.

Eastern Ortona
Canal (8GL4A) 15 ft 12144 ft .0012 .12
Western Ortona
Canal (8GL4B) 10 ft 9504 ft .0011 .11


Velocity refers to the rate or rapidity of water movement
through a channel. This is an important measure in under-

standing channel hydraulics, necessary in reconstructing the
degree of aboriginal engineering knowledge. The aboriginal
builders of the Ortona Canals must have had some knowledge
of velocity and flow, or the canal system would not have
functioned properly. Factors involved in computing estimates of
velocity (V) include hydraulic radius (R), which is derived from
details of channel cross-section, slope (S), and estimates of
channel shape and roughness (n). The following formula can be
used to estimate velocity:

V = 1.49/n RmS1'

Table 1 lists all calculations made for the western Ortona canal,
including velocity, which is estimated as 2.6 to 2.7 ft per
second. Greater cross-sectional water area probably existed in
the past, and would increase these estimates. By way of
comparison, aboriginal irrigation ditches in southern Arizona
have similar estimates of velocity (Busch et al. 1976:532).


The relationship between velocity and water area is referred
to as flow (Q), and is given by the following formula:

Q = AV

Flow represents the discharge, or amount of water, moving
through a channel. Table I indicates that the western Ortona
Canal had a flow of 97.2 to 138.8 cu ft per second. Again, this
figure might have been higher, and reflects measurements made
on the degraded channel in 1940 and 1995. By way of compari-
son, Wright (1911) estimates that the Caloosahatchee Canal, dug
by Disston's company and the state drainage district, had a dis-
charge of 1,440 to 1,735 cu ft per second. Later improvements
increased the flow to 2,500 cu ft per second (United States
Army Corps of Engineers n.d.), over twenty times that of the
aboriginal western Ortona canal. The most recent improvements
estimate the flow of the Caloosahatchee Canal between 7,000
and 8,000 cu ft per second (La Rose and McPherson 1983),
over sixty times that of the native canals. Flow of natural
channels (i.e., Bee Branch, Jack's Branch, Cypress Branch)
along the Caloosahatchee River is presently estimated around 20
cu ft per second and was probably greater in pre-drainage times
(La Rose and McPherson 1983:13). Discharge estimates for
similar drainages in the nearby Big Cypress Swamp range from
37 to 777 cu ft per second (Freiberger 1972). The estimates of
97.2 to 138.8 cu ft per second for the western Ortona Canal fall
well within this range. Of course, the native canals were
primarily intended as avenues of canoe traffic, and probably had
a limited effect on surface hydrology. It is possible, of course,
that by opening the natural sloughs the area occupied by the
Ortona site became drier and less prone to flooding during wet


Calculations and estimates of slope, velocity and flow indicate
the aboriginal canal-builders had a detailed knowledge of local
hydrology, and took the necessary steps required to build a
functional canal system. Slope was probably the most significant
factor affecting placement of the canals. Their gentle gradient
allowed for an artificial continuation of already existing creeks
and sloughs, extending the natural branches of Turkey Slough
down to the Caloosahatchee River. Flows of the artificial
channels closely resemble those of the natural drainages of the
region, again confirming that the canals were designed for
transportation, and not for irrigation or drainage.

Comparative Notes

The Ortona Canals are one of four canal systems known from
southern Florida (this number increases if one includes shorter
canal and ditch features associated with mounds and sites). Luer
(1989a, 1989b) has documented many of these canals, including

the Pine Island-Cape Coral canals, the Naples Canal, and the
Mud Lake-Snake Bight canals. Table 3 enumerates known
Florida canal systems, and their component canals, and com-
pares details of each.

Mud Lake-Snake Bight Canals

The Mud Lake (8MO32) and Snake Bight (8M029) canals
represent the simplest -arrangement on the landscape, allowing
access at tidal level between Whitewater Bay and Florida Bay,
and eliminating the arduous trip through the open, and often
rough, water around Cape Sable (Small 1924:83; Goggin
1949:185-186; Griffin 1988:182-183). Figure 1 illustrates the
location of the Mud Lake and Snake Bight canals, as well as
other aboriginal Florida canal systems. The fact that these two
canals exist in close proximity, and seem to link the same
bodies of water, may indicate that one was constructed after the
first became damaged or unusable. Hurricanes or siltation from
tidal action are the most likely sources of damage. Most
aboriginal canals are directly associated with mound or midden
features, and the Mud Lake Canal is no exception as it passes
near the Bear Lake Mound.

Pine Island and Cape Coral Canals

The Pine Island Canal (8LL34) is perhaps the best known and
most intriguing of Florida canals. The canal cuts across Pine
Island, with one end running through the Pineland mound group
and the other associated with Indian Field on the other side of
the island. Unlike the Mud Lake-Snake Bight Canals, but like
the Ortona Canals, the Pine Island Canal is not a sea-level chan-
nel. However, it apparently differed from the Ortona Canals in
that it seems not to have carried flowing water. Luer (1989a:93)
has suggested that the Pine Island Canal held groundwater in a
series of stepped impoundments. This canal has been significant-
ly damaged by drainage and land-clearing activities, although
several interesting features exist at its east end (Luer and
Wheeler 1995). Lateral extension canals associated with the
Pine Island 8 burial mound are similar to one noted on the
Miles map for the eastern Ortona Canal. Lateral canals also
existed at the western end, associated with the mounds of the
Pineland site (Wainwright 1918; Cushing 1896:342-343; Luer
1991). There is an indication in Kenworthy (1883:631, 633) that
the course followed by the Pine Island Canal continued across
Matlacha Pass to the mainland, where it linked numerous
hydrologic features, and continued for several miles inland
across Cape Coral toward the Caloosahatchee River (Luer
1989a: 105-108). Luer (1989a: 105-108) has designated this the
Cape Coral Canal (8LL756), and noted that further research is
required to authenticate and document this feature adequately.

Naples Canal

The Naples Canal (8CR59) also represents an access across a
coastal peninsula or island. It is shorter than, though similar to,
the Mud Lake-Snake Bight Canals in that it apparently was a

aboriginal canals. Measurements are approximate, and made after considerable








8GL5, 8GL35

8GL5, 8GL35

8MO30, 8MO33,
and small

8LL33, 36, 37,
38, 39, 40,
783, 784

8CR60, 8CR61

8WL35, 334,
335, 339, 340

Griffin 1940;
Goggin 1949
Goggin 1949;
U.S.D.A. 1949
Small 1924, 1929;
Goggin 1949;
Griffin 1988
Goggin 1949

Douglass 1885;
Cushing 1897;
Luer 1989a
Kenworthy 1876,
1883; Luer 1989a
Douglass 1885;
Hrdlicka 1922;
Goggin 1949
Walker 1883, 1884

SOURCE: Adapted from Luer (1989a:97),

with additions.

tide-level or sea-level canal (Douglass 1885:278-279; Ken-
worthy 1883:631-632). This feature may be the earliest aborigi-
nal canal to capture the attention of Europeans, as it appears as
"haulover" on the Romans map of 1775 (Goggin 1949:264-266;
Phillips 1924). The relationship of the Romans map "haulover"
and the Naples Canal may require some scrutiny.

Walker's Canal

Walker's Canal has largely escaped the attention of contem-
porary research. Unlike the other canals discussed here,
Walker's Canal is located in the Florida panhandle and served
to link Choctawhatchee Bay with the Gulf of Mexico (Figure 1).
Like the Mud Lake-Snake Bight and Naples canals, Walker's
Canal allowed avoidance of rough open water. It provided quick
access to the vicinity of Four Mile Point where numerous
archaeological sites are located, preventing a trip around the
false barrier island. Thij canal was reported by S. T. Walker
(1883, 1884). Aerial photographs show the canal in the 1940s,
although artificial drainage work and construction in the 1970s
and 1980s have completely destroyed this feature. The canal
was recorded as 8WL344 during a recent archaeological survey
of the area, but what was actually examined and recorded was
a settler's drainage ditch dating to the early part of this century.

Early aerial imagery clearly shows the aboriginal canal as
Walker plotted it on his map (1884:Map 3). Details of Walker's
Canal, and some of the other canals mentioned here, will be the
subject of future papers focusing on aerial interpretation of these
features (Luer and Wheeler 1995; Wheeler 1995).


As the above summaries demonstrate, aboriginal canals have
not fared well in the modem era. Most canals have been
severely damaged by agricultural activities, filling, drainage,
and construction activities. Intact remnants are rare, and some
canals probably disappeared into oblivion before they were
recognized and recorded. Archaeologists and planners face a
dilemma when confronted with an archaeological feature that is
25 m wide by 9 or 10 km in length. In fact, "negative" features,
such as ditches, canals, and artificial ponds, often are over-
looked in lieu of their "positive" counterparts--mounds, earth-
works, and other built-up features. Johnson (1991:160-161)
makes mention of this in his study of earthwork complexes in
the western Kissimmee River/Lake Okeechobee drainage, noting
that artificial ponds or borrows often are overlooked on aerial
photographs or are identified as mounds. During his study of
Lake Okeechobee basin sites, Johnson (1991:158-160) recorded

Ortona, west
Ortona, east
Mud Lake

Snake Bight
Pine Island

Cape Coral


3.7 km
(2.3 mi)
3.2 km
(2 mi)
3 km
(1.9 mi)

2.4-3.2 km
(1.5-2.0 mi)
4.2 km
(2.6 mi)

6.5-15.5 km
(4-9.6 mi)
2.4 km
(1.5 mi)

1.6 km
(1 mi)

5 m
(15 ft)
5 m
(15 ft)
6-9 m
(20-30 ft)

6 m
(20 ft)
6-9 m
(20-30 ft)

6-9 m?
(20-30 ft ?)
2.5-4 m
(8-12 ft)

3.0-3.7 m
(10-12 ft)

1 m
(3 ft)
1 m
(3 ft)
0.3-0.6 m
(1-2 ft)

0.3-0.6 m
(1-2 ft)
1-2 m
(4-6 ft)

1.5 m
(5 ft)

1.8 m
(6 ft)

Table 3. Comparative data for Florida

a number of geometric ditch features, as well as canal ditches
associated with mound and earthwork sites. These canal ditches
share the morphology described here for canals, but appear to
be the shorter, site-specific features mentioned above.

Canals and Waterways of Southern Florida

The Ortona Canal system or sluiceway is important in under-
standing the high degree of development of aboriginal engi-
neering in Florida. The canals demonstrate a complex knowl-
edge of local topography and hydrologic features. The place-
ment of the Ortona Canals, just south of the aboriginal mound
site and north of the narrows or ford, was clearly not an
accident, as it allowed the Indian inhabitants of Ortona to take
control of a major transportation corridor. This corridor
involved east-west water traffic on the Caloosahatchee River, as
well as north-south travel on the trails that connect with
Fisheating Creek and the vicinity of the Fort Center site. The
canals and overall placement of the Ortona site suggest that it
was a major locus of political power in the western Lake
Okeechobee basin. This power may well have affected groups
on the Florida Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The canals may also
have served to facilitate drainage in the area around the Ortona
mound complex, as the artificial channels certainly improved
discharge of the natural sloughs and creeks. The canals also
represent a tremendous amount of labor invested by native
workers in digging their channels in such a regular fashion, and
may hint at the existence of construction specialists who
designed and supervised mound, earthwork, and canal construc-
On a broader scale, canoe canals represent an adaptation to a
wetland environment. In Florida, dugout canoes were in use by
at least 5,000 years ago, at roughly the time when major
hydrologic features like the Everglades, Lake Okeechobee, and
the St. Johns River were forming (see Brooks 1974; Miller
1992; McGee and Wheeler 1994). Aboriginal exploitation of
these vast interior wetlands was an extension of an aquatic
lifestyle. The Ortona Canals, like many of the other canal
systems discussed here, represent extensions or continuations of
natural waterways. The map in Figure 1 illustrates the known
aboriginal canals and other major southern Florida avenues of
water traffic. Aboriginal canals have not been documented for
the southeastern portion of the state, a fact explained by the
presence of numerous natural waterways, many now drained
and no longer in existence, that linked the coast with the interior
(see Parker 1974).
Paralleling this research on aboriginal canals is Williams and
Mowers (1979:26, 29-30) suggestion that ancient canoe trails
can still be seen on contemporary satellite photos of the
Everglades, preserved through their continued use by military
expeditions, explorers, and modern sportsmen. These canoe
trails, along with natural waterways and those "enhanced"
through canal building, represent an intricate network of travel
and communication for an aquatically-based civilization. Any
future attempts to understand native architectural aesthetics,

intrasite planning or settlement patterns must take into account
these hydrologic or "negative" features. Essentially, the world
of ancient Florida exists as a photographic negative of our own
modem Florida, where water is not a nuisance to be contained
or drained away, but rather a resource to be used and con-
trolled. This is not to suggest that water is not an important part
of both ancient and modem Florida--in both it is a powerful and
prominent element of the landscape that humans must deal with.


I have traced the history of the Ortona Canals, as seen through
the eyes of early explorers, engineers, map makers, and
archaeologists who visited the site and the surrounding Ever-
glades/Lake Okeechobee basin region. Calculations of slope,
velocity, and flow indicate that the aboriginal builders of the
Ortona Canals had a detailed knowledge of local hydrologic
systems, and possessed the engineering skills required to build
a functional canal. The Ortona Canals, like all other aboriginal
Florida canals, were designed to link or extend natural hydro-
logic features, making for safer and more efficient canoe travel.
The placement of the canals and Indian trails in the vicinity of
Ortona gave its inhabitants control over water and land traffic
in the western Okeechobee region, and probably contributed to
the size and complexity of this site.


I would like to thank George Luer for encouraging me to
pursue the study of ancient canals, and for all his help and
suggestions. Ray McGee of Gainesville helped me explore and
profile the western Ortona Canal while we were surveying
another property in the vicinity. Joann Mossa, of the Depart-
ment of Geography, University of Florida, and George Luer
reviewed drafts of the manuscript and made valuable comments.
I would also like to thank Laura Branstetter of the South Florida
Museum and Bishop Planetarium, Bradenton, and Elise V.
LeCompte-Baer of the Florida Museum of Natural History,
Gainesville, and their respective institutions, for access to
collections and permission to reproduce materials used here.


Formulae used above were derived from Chow (1959:21-24,
98-100, 106, 109, 128) and Busch et al. (1976), and are as fol-

A = (b + zy)y; P = b + 2yV'(1 + z2); S = rise/run; R =
A/P; V = 1.49/n R213 S1r2; Q = A V

Manning's roughness coefficient (n) was calculated using the
Cowan formula, which takes into consideration irregularity of

channel, variations in channel cross-section, presence of
obstructions, degree of vegetation, and degree of meandering:

n = (no + n1 + n2 + n3 + n4)m5.

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United States Engineer Office
1879 Caloosahatchee River, Florida, from Government Land
Surveys. Mobile, Alabama. Photostat of map on file,
P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of
Florida, Gainesville.
United States Geological Survey
1958 Goodno Quadrangle, Florida. 7.5 Minute Series,
1973 Goodno Quadrangle, Florida. 7.5 Minute Series,
Topographic, Photorevised.
Wainwright, R. D.
1918 Further Archaeological Exploration in Southern Flori-
da, Winter of 1917. The Archaeological Bulletin 9:28-
Walker, S. T.
1883 Communication. Smithsonian Institution Annual

Report, 1881, pp. 685-686, Washington, D.C.
1884 Mounds and Shell Heaps on the West Coast of Florida.
Smithsonian Institution Annual Report, 1883, pp. 854-
869, Washington, D.C.
West, Theophilus, J. R. Miller, J. W. Hatcher, J. H. B. Miller,
and A. J. Peaden
1909 Report of the Special Joint Committee of the Florida
Legislature for the Year 1909, on the Drainage of the
Everglades. In Everglades of Florida: Acts, Reports,
and other Papers, State and National, Relating to the
Everglades of the State of Florida and Their Reclama-
tion, pp. 121-138. 62nd Congress, 1st Session, Docu-
ment 89. Government Printing Office, Washington,
Wheeler, Ryan J.
1995 Comparative Study of Indian Ditches and Canals in
Florida: Aerial Interpretation, Historiography, and Site
Visits. Typescript on file with the author.
Wiley, H. W.
1911 Report by Dr. H. W. Wiley, of the Bureau of Chemis-
try, United States Department of Agriculture, in 1891,
on the Muck Lands of the Florida Peninsula. In Ever-
glades of Florida: Acts, Reports, and other Papers,
State and National, Relating to the Everglades of the
State of Florida and Their Reclamation, pp. 73-81.
62nd Congress, 1st Session, Document 89. Govern-
ment Printing Office, Washington, D.C.
Williams, Wilma B., and Bert Mowers
1979 Bishop's Hammock, Broward County, Florida. The
Florida Anthropologist 32:17-3 1.
Wintringham, Mary K. (editor)
1963 North to South Through the Glades in 1883: The Ac-
count of the Second Expedition into the Florida
Everglades by the New Orleans Times-Democrat, Pt.
1. Tequesta 23:33-59.
Wright, J. 0.
1911 Report on the Drainage of the Everglades of Florida,
by J. 0. Wright, Supervising Drainage Engineer. In
Everglades of Florida: Acts, Reports, and other Pa-
pers, State and National, Relating to the Everglades of
the State of Florida and Their Reclamation, pp. 140-
180. 62nd Congress, 1st Session, Document 89.
Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.

Ryan J. Wheeler
Department of Anthropology
1350 Turlington Hall
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611






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H. Stephen Hale

The Ortona site, located north of the Caloosahatchee River
between Lake Okeechobee and Charlotte Harbor, has intrigued
tourists, naturalists, physical anthropologists, and archaeologists
for many years, yet no archaeological excavations had been
completed there prior to the recent investigations by the Florida
Archaeological and Historical Conservancy, Inc. (AHC), a non-
profit organization based in Miami. Here, I present results of
my zooarchaeological analysis of faunal samples recovered in
these recent excavations, and I compare them with subsistence
data from three other approximately contemporaneous archaeo-
logical sites (dating to ca. A.D. 200-1500) that are also in the
Lake Okeechobee basin.
All faunal samples from Ortona were from midden compo-
nents. The middens contained vertebrate remains only; they had
no invertebrate remains. The two sample areas that provided
sufficient material for analysis were Mound A (8GL80), located
near Turkey Creek, and Component F, a redeposited midden
component associated with a berm of soil on the southern side
of a ditch bordering the modem Ortona Cemetery (see site maps
and discussion in the article by Carr et al., this issue). A species
list with scientific and common names is provided in Table 1.
The locations of large middens at Lake Okeechobee basin
earthwork sites are highly patterned in their placement (Hale
1989). They were constructed consistently near the openings of
large, sand ridge, semi-circles. At Ortona, they were opposite
the large parallel-linear ridges that extended out from the largest
sand mound and crescent. That pattern would suggest that the
main midden structure at Ortona should have been situated near
the west end of the present Ortona Cemetery. An old black and
white photograph on file at the Florida Museum of Natural
History in Gainesville (with penciled notes by John Goggin
probably dating from the early 1950s) shows that a ramped
structure existed in this area prior to the expansion of Ortona
Cemetery. The leveling and clearing of the land for the ceme-
tery destroyed this large midden structure, but some of its
midden material might have been redeposited into the berm on
the northern edge of the cemetery property. This area was
labelled "Component F" by the AHC archaeologists who
recovered faunal material from a 1 m test square at this location
using 1/16-inch screens.
A summary of the numbers of bone fragments, bone weight,
biomass, heat alteration, and minimum number of individuals
(MNI) calculations for all seven levels of the excavation unit at
Component F is provided in Table 2. MNI was calculated based
on the different sizes and pairing (left side, right side) of bone
elements (Wing and Brown 1979:119).

Other areas on the old Florida Museum of Natural History
photograph were circled at several locations along the creek
west of the Ortona Cemetery. These areas also were tested by
the AHC (again, see Carr et al., this issue). Mound A was
particularly noteworthy because of its high degree of preserva-
tion of faunal material compared to other areas of the Ortona
site. Fine-screen samples were recovered there in November,
1990, under the direction of Dr. David Dickel. A summary of
the number of fragments, bone weight, biomass, and MNI
calculations for all proveniences at Mound A is provided in
Table 3.


The faunal samples excavated from Ortona's Mound A were
from diffuse midden that contained large quantities of palmetto
root fibers. These samples contained very little bone material,
but many of the bones that were present consisted of small bony
fish elements that were highly mineralized. The fact that such
small elements were present and that mineralization had
occurred supports the conclusion that poor preservation is not
a sufficient explanation for the paucity of faunal remains in this
area west of the cemetery. These areas near Turkey Creek were
probably thin, diffuse areas of midden. The total MNI calculat-
ed for the Mound A excavations was only 20 individuals.
The Component F excavation unit, located on the berm along
the northern edge of the cemetery, was screened through 1/16-
inch mesh and recovered in 10 cm levels. The total MNI
calculated for Component F was 81 individuals. The dense
concentration of bone in this unit supports the hypothesis that a
portion of a large midden was bulldozed during expansion of
Ortona Cemetery, and that some of the midden was redeposited
to make the berm along the cemetery's northern edge.
Faunal data from three other earthwork sites in the Lake
Okeechobee basin provide additional data to aid in the interpre-
tation of the Ortona samples. MNI calculations for samples
from Fort Center's Midden A and the Big Circle Earthworks
midden (Hale 1989), and from the U. S. Sugar Corporation Site
13 (Danielson 1990), are provided in Table 4. Only MNI
calculations are given because of variable recovery due to
different screen sizes used during excavation of the samples. At
Fort Center, for example, many of the small bone elements and
fragments were not recovered because of the large size of the
3/8-inch diamond-mesh screen that was used there. The
differences in fragment count, bone weight, and biomass per-


Vol. 48 No. 4


Table 1: Species list for the Ortona site.

Scientific Name

Odocoileus virginianus
Procyon lotor
Sylvilagus sp.
Alligator mississippiensis
Chelydra serpentina
Terrapene carolina
Trachemys sp.
Deirochelys reticularia
Trionyx ferox
Natrix sp.
Farancia abacura
Siren lacertina
Rana sp.
Lepisosteus sp.
Amia calva
Ictalurus sp.
Micropterus salmoides

Common Name

White-tailed Deer
American Alligator
Snapping Turtle
Mud Turtles
Box Turtle
Pond Turtle
Pond Turtle
Chicken Turtle
Sea Turtle
Soft-shelled Turtle
Water Snake
Mud Snake
Great Siren
Bony Fish
Freshwater Catfish
Bream and Bass
Requiem Shark

centages are much greater than those based on MNI. In
addition, classes of animals with small bone elements, such as
fish and amphibians, appear to be less important when fragment
count, bone weight, and biomass are used to assess their
The minimization of bias due to sampling technique by the use
of MNIs can be demonstrated by the faunal data from the Big
Circle Earthworks (Hale 1984:182). Table 5 shows that when
bone weight or bone fragment counts are used to assess relative
importance, mammals are perceived as many times more
important in the 1/4-inch sample than in the 1/8-inch sample.
However, when MNI values are used, the difference in
proportions between the two screen sizes is much less
pronounced. Differences between MNI percentages for 1/4-inch
and 1/8-inch screen samples does vary slightly between classes
of animals, but the differences are always of the same order of

magnitude. This pattern is consistent between sites in the Lake
Okeechobee basin, but needs to be tested in other regions of the
state. Within the basin, however, it appears that differential
recovery techniques affect the proportional representation of
MNIs much less than bone weight or fragment count.

Results and Discussion

When MNI calculations for the four sites detailed in Table 4
are compared, a consistent pattern of three major food resources
is revealed. The three most important food resources at all four
sites are mammals, turtles, and bony fish. Turtles and bony fish
both have higher MNI percentages than mammals in the Ortona
Mound A and Component F samples, and in the 1/4-inch-
screened sample from the Big Circle Earthworks. In the 1/8-
inch-screened sample from the Big Circle Earthworks, however,
bony fish (53.13%) become much more important than both
turtles (15.15%) and mammals (15.15%). The same three food
resource groups dominate the U. S. Sugar Corporation Site 13
sample. The sample from this site is unusual, though, in the
accentuated importance of fish in the 1/4- (37.76%) and 1/16-
inch (65.10%) fractions (the former figure includes bony fish,
sharks, and rays). Concomitantly, turtles are unusually low in
abundance in the 1/4- (16.08%) and 1/16-inch (6.77%) screen
Freshwater turtles are of great importance in the samples from
Ortona and Fort Center. It is quite possible that the emphasis on
turtles at these two sites was related to their proximity to creeks
or rivers. The Ortona site was close to the Caloosahatchee River
and Turkey Creek, the latter draining Linden Pens Marsh. The
Fort Center site was located along Fisheating Creek. William
Sears hypothesized that the location of Fort Center's Midden A
along an elevated levee of Fisheating Creek was to take
advantage of harvesting turtles (Sears 1982:183). He also
attributed the inconsistent stratification and ceramic seriation
problems at Midden A to its intermittent use by small groups of
prehistoric people hunting turtles. Other sites, located along
shallow sloughs close to the Everglades marsh, vary in the
emphasis on turtles. At the Big Circle Earthworks, turtles
comprised 30.51 % of the 1/4-inch fraction of the faunal sample
based on MNI. At the U. S. Sugar Corporation Site 13, turtles
accounted for only 16.08% of the sample.
Diversity and equitability values were calculated for each of
the samples through the Shannon-Weaver Index (Pielou 1966;
Shannon and Weaver 1949:14; Sheldon 1969). These values are
shown in Table 6. Diversity and equitability can be calculated
based on MNI or biomass. These calculations based on MNI
still reflect some of the biases introduced by the use of different
screen sizes during excavation of these samples, but I have
chosen to use MNIs since it can be demonstrated that they are
less biased than bone weights or fragment counts. The
archaeological record, and our samples, are always incomplete.
Rather than avoid analyzing samples that are less than ideal, I
prefer to minimize the biases, and make use of imperfect
samples that are, in some cases, perhaps the only samples we
will ever have.

Table 2. Ortona site, Component F, all levels, vertebrates.

Total Bone Wt. Biomass Heat
Species Frags Pct. (gm) Pct. (gm) Pct. Altered Pct. MNI Pct.

Mammal, large
Procyon lotor
Sylvilagus sp.
Odocoileus virginianus
Total Mammal

Aves, Medium
Aves, Small
Total Birds

Alligator mississippiensis
Total Alligator

Testudines (Large)
Testudines (Medium)
Chelydra serpentina
Terrapene carolina
Trachemys sp.
Deirochelys reticularia
Trionyx ferox
Total Turtles

Natrix sp.
Farancia abacura
Total Snakes

Siren lacertina
Total Amphibia

Lepisosteus sp.
Amia calva
Ictalurus sp.
Total Bony Fish

Total Chondrichthyes










246.6 18.61
0.1 0.01
0.7 0.05
109.2 8.24
356.6 26.91

1.3 0.10
0.1 0.01
1.4 0.11

3.4 0.26
3.4 0.26

635.1 47.92
76.9 5.80
3.9 0.29
36.1 2.72
21.4 1.61
6.9 0.52
34.4 2.60
0.4 0.03
86.0 6.49
46.2 3.49
947.3 71.48

2.2 0.17
0.5 0.04
0.5 0.04
2.6 0.20
5.8 0.44

0.4 0.03
0.4 0.03

0.2 0.02
1.1 0.08
5.2 0.39
0.1 0.01
0.3 0.02
2.7 0.20
9.6 0.72

0.7 0.05
0.7 0.05



25.9 0.23
2.5 0.02
28.4 0.26

47.5 0.43
47.5 0.43






20.01 (a) 0.00
0.05 1 1.23
0.15 3 3.70
1.19 8 9.88
21.40 12 14.81

0.20 4 4.94
0.05 1 1.23
0.25 5 6.17

0.30 5 6.17
0.30 5 6.17

50.32 (a) 0.00
10.00 (a) 0.00
0.10 3 3.70
6.98 7 8.64
0.94 5 6.17
0.50 (a) 0.00
0.20 4 4.94
0.10 2 2.47
0.15 3 3.70
5.25 7 8.64
74.54 31 38.27


5.5 0.05
5.5 0.05



9.6 0.09
9.6 0.09

4 4.94
1 1.23
1 1.23
2 2.47
8 9.88

0.10 2 2.47
0.10 2 2.47

0.05 (a) 0.00
0.30 2 2.47
1.24 7 8.64
0.00 1 1.23
0.05 1 1.23
0.40 6 7.41
2.03 17 20.99

0.10 1 1.23
0.10 1 1.23

Total Speciated Vertebrates 2938

Unspeciated Vertebrates

7299 71.30 1084.8 45.01

3417.3 23.53

3691 64.64 (a) 0.00

(a) MNI not calculated because of the possibility of duplication by speciated individuals.




Table 3. Ortona site, Mound A (8GL80), vertebrates from all proveniences of November 1990 excavations.

Total Bone Wt. Biomass
Species Frags Pct. (gm) Pct. (gm) Pct. MNI Pct.

Mammal (Large)
Sylvilagus sp.
Odocoileus virginianus
Total Mammal

Total Birds

Terrapene carolina
Trachemys sp.
Trionyx ferox
Total Turtles

Total Snakes

Siren lacertina
Rana sp.
Total Amphibia

Lepisosteus sp.
Amia calva
Ictalurus sp.
Micropterus salmoides
Total Bony Fish

Total Chondrichthyes

Total Speciated Vertebrates

Unspeciated Vertebrates

























116.39 61.65

























(a) 0.00

(a) MNI not calculated because of the possibility of duplication by speciated individuals.

Diversity values may range from 0 to 5, becoming larger for
samples with greater numbers of species. The values for all the
samples in Table 6 range from 2.5292 to 3.3537. The two
lowest values represent the 1/8-inch sample from the Big Circle

Earthworks and the 1/16 inch sample from the U. S. Sugar
Corporation Site 13. The diversity values for the 1/4-inch screen
samples from the Big Circle Earthworks and U. S. Sugar
Corporation Site 13 are both higher. The diversity value for the

Table 4. A comparison of MNI percentages from four Lake Okeechobee basin earthwork sites.

Ortona Md. A Ortona Comp. F Ft. Center Mid. A Big Circle Earthworks US Sugar Corp. Site 13
1/16 in 1/16 in 3/8 in diamond 1/4 in 1/8 in 1/4 in 1/16 in
screen screen screen screen screen screen screen

Species MNI Pct. MNI Pct. MNI Pct. MNI Pct. MNI Pct. MNI Pct. MNI Pct.

Mammals 4 20.00 12 14.81 130 23.17 13 22.03 5 15.15 26 18.18 20 10.42
Birds 1 5.00 5 6.17 24 4.28 4 6.78 1 3.03 5 3.50 5 2.60
Alligators 0 0.00 5 6.17 21 3.74 2 3.39 1 3.03 3 2.10 0 0.00
Turtles 5 25.00 31 38.27 169 30.12 18 30.51 5 15.15 23 16.08 13 6.77
Snakes 2 10.00 8 9.88 63 11.23 4 6.78 2 6.06 15 10.49 15 7.81
Amphibians 2 10.00 2 2.47 17 3.03 5 8.47 2 6.06 17 11.89 14 7.29
Bony Fish 5 25.00 17 20.99 137 24.42 13 22.03 17 51.52 52 36.36 125 65.10
Sharks & Rays 1 5.00 1 1.23 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 2 1.40 0 0.00

Totals 20 100.00 81 100.00 561 100.00 59 100.00 33 100.00 143 100.00 192 100.00

Table 5. Effect of screen size on methods of calculating the
relative importance of fauna at the Big Circle Earthworks.

Screen Size
1/4 in 1/8 in
Site Pct. Site Pct. Ratio
Methods Totals Mammals Totals Mammals Dif.

Bone Wt. 1925.1 12.19 3581 .61 21.15
Fragments 7645 4.65 148,380 .16 29.06
MNI 68 20.59 44 18.18 1.13

Big Circle Earthworks sample is 2.9021 and for the U. S. Sugar
Corporation is 3.1476. All of the fauna in the Ortona samples
was recovered using 1/16-inch mesh, including the larger bone
material. One-quarter-inch mesh was not used to segregate the
sample into two fractions. The diversity values are intermediate
in range compared to the values calculated for samples that were
separated into two screen-size fractions. In terms of the breadth
of the vertebrate portion of the diet of the area's prehistoric
people, the diversity values indicate a similar adaptation
throughout the area.
Equitability values may range from 0.0 to 1.0, and the closer
the calculated value is to 1.0, the more evenly each species is
represented in the sample. The Ortona Mound A samples were
from such a sparse midden that the MNI for every species
identified was no higher than one individual. The other samples
are larger and the equitability values are lower. However, all
the values are high, even the Fort Center Midden A sample
which has a MNI of 561. The Fort Center sample has an
equitability value of 0.8573. Kathryn Cruz-Uribe (1988:179-
196) has determined that samples with low MNI values are not
as reliable for calculating diversity and equitability. Elizabeth

Wing and Antoinette Brown (Wing and Brown 1979:119) have
demonstrated that as an MNI of 200 is approached in faunal
samples from the Caribbean region, fewer new species are
identified. The Fort Center sample is of more than ample size,
and the MNI is two and one-half times greater than this
threshold of 200 individuals.
As future work is done in the area, a coordinated research
program with uniform recovery of samples from a number of
these sites needs to be initiated. In some areas of the sites, a
greater number of excavation units may be required. For
example, all of the proveniences from the diffuse midden in
Ortona's Mound A contained only 558 identifiable bone
fragments. In contrast, one 10 cm level of a 1 x 1 m test pit at
the Big Circle Earthworks contained a total of 7449 identifiable
bone fragments. It is obvious that each of these midden features
differs greatly in the concentration of animal bone.
A long-term study of a number of these sites needs to be

Table 6: Diversity and
Okeechobee basin sites.


Ortona Mound A
Ortona Component F
Ft. Center Midden A
Big Circle Earthworks
Big Circle Earthworks
US Sugar Corp. Site 13
US Sugar Corp. Site 13

equitability values



for four Lake

Diversity Equitability



undertaken with feedback between zooarchaeologists and
archaeologists to recover samples that are more comparable and
statistically valid. Analysis of sub-samples while the field re-
covery of faunal samples is in progress is going to be required
to recover samples which are sufficiently consistent in MNI,
fragment count, and bone weight to be as statistically reliable as
they need to be. Feedback from the zooarchaeologist to the field
crew during the excavations will be needed to make these
adjustments. Simply excavating the same size column from each
midden will not guarantee that each sample will be large enough
for statistical validity.


The sixteenth-century Spaniard, Escalante Fontaneda, de-
scribed the plant and animal foods of the early historic period
Indians of the Lake Okeechobee area. They were subjects of the
Calusa chief, Carlos, and paid tribute to him "in all these
things" (Smith 1944:13-14, 68). According to Fontaneda, the
tribute included food items, and turtles were one of the foods he
The importance of turtles is evident in the faunal samples
discussed in this paper. Exchange of turtles, perhaps by means
of the hierarchy through which tribute was collected, or by
means of barter, is suggested by the presence of sea turtle
remains (Family Cheloniidae) in the Fort Center and Ortona site
faunal assemblages. There are five sea turtle shell fragments
from Fort Center in the Zooarchaeology Range at the Florida
Museum of Natural History, and I have seen others from Fort
Center that are stored in the cases of worked artifacts in the
museum's Archaeology Range. Sea turtle fragments also were
found at Ortona in samples from both Mound A and Component
F. Sea turtles were certainly edible, but their exchange might
have functioned to reinforce the tribute hierarchy, exchange
network, and status of individuals. They are not found in
sufficient quantities at Lake Okeechobee basin sites to consider
them an important dietary item. Sea turtles were probably an
exotic item traded inland along with functional items such as
shark teeth.
Drilled shark teeth were found in the Ortona site samples. The
shark teeth were functional, and probably served as knives,
saws, or sabers (Sears 1982:68-70; Gilliland 1975:135). Shark
teeth, many of them drilled, are found at many Lake Okeecho-
bee basin earthwork sites.
In discussing Mesoamerican trade networks, Barbara Voorhies
emphasized the exchange of highly diverse raw materials, "often
nonutilitarian in social function" (Voorhies 1982:81). George
Luer has traced the routes of the Pine Island, Cape Coral, and
Ortona canoe canals and hypothesized a shorter, more protected
route from Ortona to Charlotte Harbor (Luer 1989:89-130).
Luer also outlined the distribution of other artifacts around
Charlotte Harbor and Lake Okeechobee, and suggested that the
canals and the Caloosahatchee River were used for the trade and
exchange of these resources.


Two faunal samples from the Ortona site were analyzed and
compared with faunal samples from three other sites in the Lake
Okeechobee basin, all dating to ca. A.D. 200-1500. The
analyses reveal a heavy reliance on bony fish, turtles, and
mammals at all the sites. Some trade in faunal resources from
the coast, such as sea turtles and shark teeth, is also indicated.


Analysis of faunal samples from the Ortona site has provided
the first available subsistence data from this major Lake
Okeechobee basin site. The entire site has been badly damaged
by modern land alterations, and the primary midden at the site
has been destroyed. It would be ideal to have larger faunal
samples from the site with a larger MNI, but these samples are
the best that we could obtain due to prior site disturbances.
Despite the low MNI, the samples provide data that can add to
our understanding of subsistence and exchange among Indian
peoples of southern Florida.
The need for a long-term subsistence study with feedback to
archaeologists while excavations are in progress has been
mentioned already. Even though the emphasis of this paper is
on the vertebrate subsistence patterns of Lake Okeechobee basin
earthwork sites, the recovery of plant material from these sites
needs to be a part of such a long-term research program.
Native, non-cultivated plant species may be preserved in chapel
ponds and flooded borrow pit features at these sites. Flotation
samples from the sites need to be analyzed for carbonized seeds,
and pollen samples also need to be taken.

References Cited

Cruz-Uribe, Kathryn
1988 The Use and Meaning of Species Diversity and Rich-
ness in Archaeological Faunas. Journal of Archaeologi-
cal Science 15:179-196.
Danielson, Robert A.
1990 An Analysis of Faunal Remains from the Southern
Division Citrus Property of the United States Sugar
Corporation (8HN46 and 8HN56). Unpublished report
on file at Florida State University, Tallahassee.
Gilliland, Marion S.
1975 The Material Culture of Key Marco, Florida. University
Presses of Florida, Gainesville.
Hale, H. Stephen
1984 Prehistoric Environmental Exploitation Around Lake
Okeechobee Basin. Southeastern Archaeology 3:173-
1989 Prehistoric Subsistence Strategies and Settlement Pat-
terns in the Lake Okeechobee Basin of the South Florida
Peninsula. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University
of Florida, Gainesville.

Luer, George M.
1989 Calusa Canals in Southwestern Florida: Routes of
Tribute and Exchange. The Florida Anthropologist
Pielou, E. C.
1966 Species-diversity and Pattern-diversity in the study of
Ecological Succession. Journal of Theoretical Biology
Sears, William H.
1982 Fort Center: An Archaeological in the Lake Okeechobee
Basin. University Presses of Florida, Gainesville.
Shannon, C. E., and W. Weaver
1949 The Mathematical Theory of Communication. University
of Illinois Press, Urbana.
Sheldon, A. L.
1969 Equitability Indices: Dependence on the Species Count.
Ecology 50:446-467.
Smith, Buckingham
1944 Memoir of Do. d'Escalante Fontaneda Respecting
Florida, Written in Spain about the Year 1575. Gable
House, Coral Gables, Florida.
Voorhies, Barbara
1982 An Ecological Model of the Early Maya of the Central
Lowlands. In Maya Subsistence, Studies in Memory of
Dennis E. Puleston, edited by K. V. Flannery, pp. 65-
95. Academic Press, New York.
Wing, Elizabeth S., and Antoinette B. Brown
1979 Paleonutrition: Method and Theory in Prehistoric
Foodways. Academic Press, New York.

H. Stephen Hale
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Georgia Southern University
Statesboro, Georgia 30460

You and

Florida's Past

Florida's history is long: it goes back 10,000
years to people who hunted mammoth with
stone-tipped spears.
It is colorful: 7,000 years ago, Florida's Native
Americans wove cloth as fine as a T-shirt.
It is unique in the world: around 800 years
ago, some Floridians had a civilization so
complex that they built long canoe-canals and
huge pyramid-shaped mounds of shells and
You can be part of it! New pages of this story
are being written every week. Teams of
amateur and professional archaeologists
together are making fascinating discoveries in
the field and in the lab.
You can help save it! Florida's rapid develop-
ment puts many valuable sites in jeopardy.
Amateur and professional archaeologists,
elected officials and planners, and just plain
concerned citizens are working together to
save this history in the soil.
How do you put yourself into this picture? By
joining the Florida Anthropological Society
(FAS) or one of its chapters, or both, as many
interested citizens do!


Each spring, an FAS chapter hosts a state-
wide meeting attended by members of FAS
and its chapters, and the public. Both pro-
fessionals and amateurs deliver papers about
their activities and investigations. A banquet
features a guest speaker who is usually
nationally-known in the field of archaeology
or anthropology. FAS elected officers are
instated at a business session.
During the year, the FAS Executive Board
holds several meetings. FAS chapters have
monthly meetings, field trips, and other


1. FAS publishes a scientific journal, THE
year. Both professionals and amateurs con-
tribute articles about investigations in Florida
and nearby areas. These articles keep FAS
members up-to-date on many aspects of
Florida archaeology, history, folklore, and pre-
servation. Many libraries around the nation
and world subscribe to the journal.

2. FAS publishes a newsletter four times a
year which keeps FAS members abreast of
FAS chapter activities and of pertinent events
and news around the state and wider region.


FAS has chapters throughout Florida
which are open to the interested public. By
joining FAS and one of its chapters, citizens
can take an active part in helping to study and
preserve Florida's heritage. Activities include
meetings, field trips, and archaeological digs
supervised by professionals.

FAS Chapters
Write your area's chapter for membership informa-
tion today!
Archaeological Society of Southern Florida
2495 NW 35th Avenue, Miami, FL 33142
Broward County Archaeological Society
481 S. Federal Hwy., Dania, FL 33004
Central Florida Anthropological Society
810 East Rollins Street, Orlando, FL 32803
Central Gulf Coast Archaeological Society
P.O. Box 82255, Tampa, FL 33682
Indian River Anthropological Society
3705 S. Tropical Terrace, Merritt Island, FL 32952
Kissimmee Valley Arch. & Hist. Cons.
P.O. Box 970, Sebring, FL 33871
Northeast Florida Anthropological Society
10415 Skycrest Dr., Jacksonville, FL 32216
Pensacola Archaeological Society
P.O. Box 13251, Pensacola, FL 32591
St. Augustine Archaeological Association
P.O. Box 1987, St. Augustine, FL 32085
Southwest Florida Archaeological Society
P.O. Box 9965, Naples, FL 33941
Time Sifters Archaeology Society
P.O. Box 25642, Sarasota, FL 34277
Volusia Anthropological Society
P.O. Box 504, New Smyrna, FL 32170



Laura Branstetter

Born in Virginia in 1892, Montague Tallant moved to west-
central Florida's village of Manatee with his family when he
was 14. Tallant eventually inherited his father's furniture store,
and later acquired a hardware store. His interests included
gardening, taxidermy, and archaeology. In his specially
equipped Model A Ford, "The Cacique," and using what is
reported to be the first metal detector, he travelled all over
Florida hunting and digging.
During the 1930s, Tallant wanted to start an avocado grove,
and decided to sell his large collection of artifacts to finance the
project. Turning down an offer from the Smithsonian Institution
for twice the money, he sold it to Bradenton's Junior Chamber
of Commerce so that it would be kept in the area. This was the
stimulus for the founding of the South Florida Museum (SFM)
in 1948. Tallant continued to collect during the latter part of his
life. In 1965, his widow sold his second collection to New York
City's Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation.
The South Florida Museum's collection contains over 5,000
late prehistoric and historic period gold, silver, copper, iron,
ceramic, glass, and other artifacts. Most are from Florida sites,
although some are from sites in other states. The SFM has the
catalogue Tallant kept of his collection, but there are no notes,
maps, or records of any other kind. Tallant reportedly kept
some records of his finds and the sites he visited, but it is not
clear whether these still exist. The artifacts were not excavated
according to the methods of modern archaeology. Therefore,
meaningful information must be gleaned from the objects
The collection is the topic of a recent thesis titled "The Tallant
Collection: Metal Artifacts from Florida's Historic Period"
(Branstetter 1991). Because the collection is so large, this thesis
concentrates on the gold and silver artifacts. This paper is an
excerpt from the thesis. Since metal is not native to Florida, it
is asserted that these objects were obtained by Florida Indians
from wrecks of Spanish ships transporting cargoes from Central
and South America to Spain. Many of the artifacts represent the
reworking of shipwreck-salvaged metal by Florida Indians.
The collection contains 45 artifacts from Ortona, one of the
many sites represented. Although the Ortona group is said to
have had more than 20 mounds at one time, it is believed that
the majority of the metal artifacts Tallant recovered came from
one sand burial mound in the northwest corner of the Ortona
group. This mound (8GL35) was about 27 m (90 ft) in diameter
and 1.2 m (4 ft) in height at one time (Goggin 1949).

Description of Gold and Silver Artifacts

Gold and silver artifacts from Ortona include beads, pendants,
disks and cones, and Mesoamerican and South American Indian
artifacts. Some represent reworking by Florida Indians, while
others retain the original form made by European, Mesoamer-
ican, or South American artists. A definition of each artifact
category is offered, followed by a description of examples.
Where possible, methods of manufacture are discussed.


A good portion of the metal in the Tallant collection consists
of beads. There are different forms and materials, but they are
all thought to be ornamental. Some are unique and will be
discussed individually. The most numerous type of bead in the
collection is the disk bead. They are tiny, flat, and all of nearly
identical measurements. All of the disk beads in this collection
are made of silver, although this bead type is known in gold
(Bray 1978:114-115, 134-135), copper, and shell (Leader
1985:42). Their average diameter is about 0.3 cm. Hundreds of
them are strung together, and the catalogue numbers do not
reflect the actual numbers of beads on the strands. An example
from Ortona is SFM A1715-1939 (Figure ld).
Goggin says that disk beads "appear to be perforated sections
of silver wire" (1949:MO-7). Surely he was just describing the
small diameter of the beads and was not insinuating that they
were made from silver wire. Leader (1985:42) suggests that
silver was used by the Florida Indians to make these disk beads
because when the silver oxidized the color of the beads would
be comparable to the similar and highly prized shell disk beads.
Leader also discusses two possible methods of manufacture that
involve hammering, drilling, and abrasion to fashion the
uniform shape (1985:42-44), although he does not reach a
conclusion about which method was used. Also, Leader does
not mention that this type of bead was made in Colombia and
probably in other areas south of Florida. In the Colombian El
Dorado collection are two similar strands, one of hammered
gold and one of cast gold (Bray 1978:114-115, 134-135).
Therefore, it is possible that these beads may not have been
reworked, but were simply salvaged.
Tube beads are rolled pieces of thin metal crimped together
(Leader 1985:44). These beads are reworked, and there are
many in the Tallant collection. Gold examples from Ortona can
be seen in SFM A6839-A6841 (Figure la). These are the "tubu-


Vol. 48 No. 4


b c

0 5

Figure 1. Gold beads from the Tallant collection: a) tubular and spherical beads, SFM A6839-A6841; b) turtle effigy, SFM
A6740; c) bird-shaped bead, SFM A6739; d) disk beads, SFM A1715-1939.

lar sheet metal beads" referred to by Goggin (1949:MO-8a-9).
These beads are known from many Florida sites.
It is not certain whether the following beads were made by
casting or hammering, or both. They are solid and spherical,
but not uniform. Perhaps these are the "lump beads" to which
Leader refers (1985:47-48). Gold examples of this type from
Ortona are included in SFM A6839-A6841 (Figure la).
A unique bead from Ortona is SFM A6833. It is of a light-
weight, undetermined substance which may be glass or ceramic.
The bead has many uniform ridges, is dark in color, and is
coated with a thin, paint-like layer of gold. It appears to have
been formed by casting. It is 1.3 cm long and 1.2 cm wide.
SFM A6739 is a small hollow bead in the shape of a bird
(Figure ic). It is obviously made of an alloy, probably tum-
baga, the copper and gold combination widely used in Central
and South America. Nodes on the head may be eyes, rather than
horns as described by Tallant (n.d.:90). Bray does not have a
strong opinion, although he did suggest a Colombian or
Panamanian provenience (W. Bray, personal communication,
1991). Birds of various styles are a common Colombian motif

(Bray 1978). Several tiny animal effigy pendants very similar to
A6739 have been found in the Code province of Panama
(Emmerich 1965:96-97, Fig. 118). Given the proximity of the
two countries and the similarities in several styles from both
areas (Emmerich 1965:95-99), it is very likely that this artifact
was made in Panama or northern Colombia.
SFM A6740 from Ortona is easier to identify, stylistically and
geographically (Figure lb). This is a gold turtle effigy with
three small, hollow, bell-type jingles hanging from the bottom.
This type of artifact can be attributed to southern Mexico,
probably to the Postclassic Mixtec culture of Oaxaca. There is,
in the collection of the Museum of the American Indian, Heye
Foundation, an entire necklace of beads from Oaxaca which is
nearly identical to this one (Weaver 1981:465, Plate d). A pre-
contact culture, the Mixtecs were well-known for their metal-
working, and their products were greatly sought after.
Bray reports a similar bead from the cenote at Chichen Itza,
and another necklace of them from coastal Chiapas (W. Bray,
personal communication, 1991). He also refers to a general
Mixtec style that is known all over southern Mexico, so perhaps


Figure 2. Gold pendants from the Tallant collection: a) arrowhead effigy, SFM A6735; b) necklace with pendants and rolled
beads, SFM A6743-A6821.

it is not possible to assign this artifact to Oaxaca, specifically.
However, southern Mexico is definitely its original provenience.


This category consists of artifacts that have suspension holes
indicating that they were worn as pendants. Most of these pieces
appear to have been reworked by Florida Indians from other
metal objects into their present forms, although a few are of
Mesoamerican or South American Indian manufacture.
SFM A212 from Ortona is a silver pendant with one central
embossed circle, similarly embossed tiny circles around the
edges, and two suspension holes at one end. It has dimensions

of 8.7 cm in length and 4.4 cm in width. SFM A6735 is a gold
arrowhead effigy pendant (Figure 2a). It has one suspension
hole and is very uniformly shaped. Presumably this is the
artifact referred to by Goggin (1949:MO-14-15), although he
describes it as thin and crude. Another pendant, SFM A210, is
rectangular, convex, and rounded at the ends. There are two
suspension holes at one end. It measures 12.1 cm by 2.6 cm by
0.2 cm.
One of Tallant's "necklaces" is SFM A6743-A6821 (Figure
2b). Eighteen rolled gold beads of various lengths, a gold v-
shaped pendant, and twelve other gold pendants are strung
together. There is a discrepancy regarding the catalogue
numbers, and possibly the provenience of some of these

VP 16

pendants, but a description is useful nonetheless.
The v-shaped pendant is unevenly formed and obviously
reworked from some other piece of metal. It has three suspen-
sion holes drilled in it, and is 3.1 cm long. Three of the other
pendants appear to be tiny, stylized alligators with large eyes,
spiralled tails, and long snouts. They were cast, and are of
Mesoamerican or South American origin. Spirals are a very
common Colombian motif (Bray 1978). A more specific source
cannot be suggested because the alligator was a popular motif
in many areas (Bray 1978; Emmerich 1965).
Another of the thirteen pendants appears to be a tiny, very
stylized bird or insect effigy. A necklace of similar pendants is
in the Columbian El Dorado collection, but this artifact could
have another origin, as the style is not distinguishable. Like the
El Dorado pendants, this pendant was cast.
The other eight pendants are difficult to interpret. They are all
similar, but do not appear to be identical. They can be described
as having two halves, one rectangular and one diamond-shaped.
The rectangular half on most of the pendants has a line of raised
circles along its length. The other half is not only formed in a
diamond shape, but has lines of concentric diamonds incised
into it. The end on the diamond half is rounded in a semi-circle.
Questions regarding these eight pendants are: what do they
represent, and are they of Mesoamerican/South American
origin, or are they reworked? These tiny pendants may resemble
ceremonial tablets. A more exact comparison is with the wood
plaques discussed in Allerton, Luer, and Carr's ceremonial
tablet article (1984). They are similar in general shape and
"two-partedness" (Allerton et al. 1984:5). However, details on
the pendants, such as the raised dots and the suspension loops
imply that they were cast. Also, the shape and designs of the
pendants are very stylized, as is common in Mesoamerican and
South American artifacts. Therefore, these eight gold pendants
do not appear to be the work of a Florida artist, but of a
Mesoamerican or South American one.

Disks and Cones

The term "disk" is used to describe flat, circular artifacts that
have a single central hole. They are made of shell, wood, and
metal, and great variation occurs in size, shape, and decoration.
Metal specimens commonly have a depressed area around the
central hole. The exact purpose of these disks has not been
determined (Leader 1985:33), although they were probably
ornamental. They are in a number of Florida collections. An
object that is like a disk but that tapers upward toward the
center is a "cone" (Leader 1985:48). They are more scarce than
disks, and their purpose is unknown. All of the disks and cones
in the Tallant collection are metal reworked by Florida Indians,
probably by hammering. Goggin's disk categories are plain,
embossed, and engraved (1949:MO-9a-13). Leader distinguishes
between flat, recurved, chased-ribbed, and punctated disks
SFM A205 from Ortona (Figure 3c) is a small silver disk with
a pattern of depressed semi-circles around its edge. SFM A6737
is a gold-embossed cone decorated with raised circles around its

edge (Figure 3a). It is evident that disks, and probably cones,
were very popular ornaments. As Goggin notes, "they are large
and showy, making attractive ornaments" (1949:MO-12). The
Timucua and Calusa wore them, as did the Seminoles (Swanton
1946:520). Le Moyne depicts Timucua Indians wearing disks of
various sizes suspended around the neck, suspended from a loin
cloth or belt, and strapped above the elbows and below the
knees (1875:Plates 12-14, 16, 18). Le Moyne does not depict
every Indian adorned in this way; only the chief and a few other
men had them.

Figure 3. Miscellaneous metal artifacts: a) gold-embossed
cone, SFM A6737; b) possible lizard or jaguar effigy, SFM
A6736; c) silver disk, SFM A205.


Figure 4. Comparison of metal crested
woodpecker effigies in the Tallant collec-
tion: a) complete specimen of silver from
8GL9 with gold eye cover (SFM 8552),
21.1 cm; b) fragmentary specimen of
copper from Ortona (SFM A1943), 8.2
cm. The example from 8GL9 was broken
and repaired. It lacks the pointed tip
shared by most crested woodpecker

Crested Woodpecker Effigy

Crested woodpecker effigies cut from contact-era sheet metals
are known from a number of sites in southern Florida, as well
as one example from the St. Marks Wildlife Refuge cemetery
(Rau 1878; Goggin 1947). Tallant recovered an extremely
corroded and fragmentary crested woodpecker cut from sheet
copper or copper-alloy from the Ortona burial mound (SFM
A1943). Goggin (1949:MO-579-581) catalogued the known
examples of this artifact type, and inadvertently attributed the
Ortona specimen to 8GL9, another Glades County site. The
Ortona specimen is presently 8.2 cm long and 4.6 cm wide.
Complete specimens range from 21.1 cm to 26 cm, and have a
highly stylized engraving of a woodpecker at their widest end,
with erect crest and ornate eye design. The other end usually
tapers to a point. Figure 4 compares the corroded and fragmen-
tary Ortona specimen with a more complete example from
8GL9. Tallant (n.d.) referred to these objects as "sweat scrap-
ers," and recovered two additional examples from Ortona that
lack the zoomorphic embellishment (SFM A1941 and A1942).

Mesoamerican/South American Artifacts

An artifact which has been the topic of much debate is a solid
gold effigy, SFM A6736 (Figure 3b). Tallant (n.d.:89) refers to
it as a scorpion, but this is doubtful. This animal, with four

legs, a head, a tail, and an all-over pattern of raised dots, could
be a jaguar or a reptile of some kind, such as a lizard. The
nodules on the head appear to be ears, or large, reptile-like
eyes. The markings on this piece may be reptile-like scales, but
they could also be spots, like those of a jaguar.
Comparison with other Mesoamerican and South American
Indian artifacts helps to define this effigy. In the El Dorado
collection is a cast gold jaguar that shares several similarities
with Ortona A6736 (Bray 1978:74, 154, Plate 231). Both have
characteristic cat-like heads, folded limbs in repose, and
upturned tails. Both have stylized representations of a jaguar's
spots the El Dorado jaguar has a series of scrolls down the
head and back, and the Ortona piece has raised dots over most
of the body. The front feet of both objects depict toes, like
those of paws. Similar jaguars are portrayed on a gold El
Dorado breastplate (Bray 1978:154-155, Plate 233).
Two cast effigies in the El Dorado collection share a notice-
able feature with A6736 geometric holes in the back of the
effigy. The Ortona effigy has six open triangles, four centered
on the back and two above the hind legs. One of the El Dorado
lizards also has open triangles in its form (Bray 1978:194, Plate
385). Open rectangles are patterned on the back of an El
Dorado alligator (Bray 1978:194, Plate 386). Also, the legs of
the lizard (Bray 1978:194, Plate 385) are very similar to the
Ortona effigy.
Both the lizard and the jaguar were popular figures in Meso-

american and South American mythology. It is also possible that
this animal cannot be defined precisely, but is simply a "curly-
tailed animal" (W. Bray, personal communication, 1991) or
stylized representation of some animal. However, this artifact
will be referred to here as a jaguar. This artifact was produced
by casting, and its provenience is problematic. The style is not
specific to any particular metalworking culture or area. Bray
(personal communication, 1991) suggests that it came from
either northern Colombia or the Panamanian Isthmus.

Other Artifact Collections from the Ortona Burial Mound

Allerton et al. (1984:40-41) report a private collection that
contains contact-era artifacts from the Ortona burial mound.
The most distinctive artifact from this collection is a silver
ceremonial tablet (Allerton et al.'s MT# 41; see Figure 5). This
artifact class has a wide temporal and spatial distribution in
southern Florida, and its presence at Ortona helps ally this site
with others in the Okeechobee basin. Unusual features of the
Ortona tablet are the concentric arc motif found below the
teardrop designs, as well as the loop in place of the usual
perforated tenon.




Figure 5. Silver ceremonial tablet (MT# 41) from Ortona
(from Allerton et al. 1984:41). Note the loop in place of the
typical tenon, and the concentric arc motifs under the tear-
drop designs.

During a short field trip in 1952, Goggin (1949:329-331) and
his anthropology students from the University of Florida made
a collection of contact-era materials from looters' spoil piles at
the Ortona burial mound. This collection, housed at the Florida
Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) in Gainesville, consists
primarily of glass beads, though some silver beads and frag-
ments of copper also were recovered (Table 1). Smith and Good
(1982:48-49) classify some of the FLMNH beads, which include
green spherical, purple spherical, navy blue seed, turquoise
seed, purple seed, and Nueva Cadiz Plain faceted beads. Tallant
also recovered trade beads, including Florida Cut Crystal and

Table 1. Beads from the Ortona Burial Mound, Florida
Museum of Natural History (from Goggin 1949:330-331).

Glass beads
Seed type
dark blue
opaque white
robins egg blue.
Small ovoid type
Small globular type
Large globular type
Square cane type (Nueva Cadiz Plain)
blue (white lining)

Silver beads
Tubular sheet metal


amber beads (SFM A222-225). Both types are thought to date
to the latter half of the 16th century (see Smith 1983:148;
Deagan 1987:180-181). Smith (1983:153) includes Ortona in his
contact-era chronology of southeastern U. S. sites, as construct-
ed from bead seriation. Smith's (1983:153) seriation places the
Ortona assemblage toward the mid 16th century. Coupled with
the Florida Cut Crystal and amber beads in the Tallant collec-
tion, a mid to late 16th century date is suggested for most of the
Ortona burial mound assemblage. However, a 16th or 17th
century date may apply to the crested woodpecker effigy and the
ceremonial tablet (Luer 1994).


In terms of metal artifacts, a discussion of the significance of
Tallant's Ortona artifacts is limited because of the method of
recovery and the absence of detailed notes. However, a few
important points can be raised.


Given that the artifact types represented in the Fort Center
collection are very similar, and often identical, to the types in

the Tallant collection, and that Fort Center is only a few miles
from most of Tallant's metal proveniences including Ortona,
Leader's conclusions about the manufacture of the Fort Center
artifacts can be applied directly to the Tallant collection. It is
accepted that chiefdom-level societies formed in South Florida
without agriculture, but some researchers have been hesitant to
assign characteristics, such as the ability to work metal into
meaningful objects, to these societies. In South Florida, "part of
the difficulty may be the assumption that there was differentia-
tion between the tools used for metal work and any other kind
of work. We may have the tool kit, and not recognize it"
(Leader 1985:11).
Leader performed numerous tests, including attempts to
reconstruct some of the Fort Center artifacts, to confirm his
theory. Methods of working plant fibers, wood, bone, shell, and
stone were applied to metal. All of these experiments were
successful, affirming that the Florida Indians had the ability to
work salvaged metal into artifacts like those in the Fort Center
and Tallant collections.

Social Organization

Different statuses of people probably were delineated within
most South Florida Indian groups. Most of the information we
have pertains to the Calusa specifically (Goggin and Sturtevant
1964:189-194), where the highest ranks consisted of the chief
at Calos, his political and religious assistants, his principal wife,
and the headmen of other villages. Common people were of
higher rank than Spanish captives, sometimes referred to as
slaves. The principal chief was distinguished by his special
ornaments of gold and silver, forming only a portion of his
personal treasure.
Who were the artisans who reworked salvaged metal into
meaningful South Florida objects? Since the Calusa chief
possessed secretive, ancestral religious knowledge, and often
conferred with his principal men and shamans on important
topics, it would seem to be the chief or someone under his
direct command that would instruct artisans on the manufacture
of meaningful objects. In light of this, it is probable that the
artisans were members of this upper rank.

Trade and Tribute

An archaeological focal point of the South Florida trade
system is the use of aboriginally built canoe canals that provided
short-cuts to important areas for supply and redistribution of
goods. Luer (1989) suggests that these canals served to increase
efficiency of communication, as well as efficiency of transporta-
tion of redistributed subsistence products, and trade and tribute
goods. Exchange occurred in many directions, but the focus was
on supplying the southwest coast with subsistence goods and
finished products. This trade system was probably intact in late
prehistoric times. When metal and other salvaged goods became
available, they were incorporated readily as tribute.
At the time of contact, various political alliances and feuds
existed in Florida (Goggin and Sturtevant 1964:187-188). The

identification of salvaged items illuminates the power structure
that was in place in South Florida. More wrecks occurred off
the east and southeast coasts of Florida simply due to the fact
that the route taken by the fleets followed these coasts more
than the Gulf or southernmost coasts. Given our knowledge of
the Indians that lived in other South Florida areas, it seems that
they were under pressure to send salvaged items to the Calusa
chief on the southwest coast. The memoirs of Escalante
Fontaneda (in True 1944:20-21) provide the best evidence of
this tribute. Fontaneda observed that the Ais, a tribe of the
Indian River region, recovered a treasure of silver, gold, and
jewelry from a wrecked ship. This was given over to Carlos,
the Calusa cacique, who divided the treasure among the
caciques of Ais, Jeaga, Guacata, Mayajuaco, and Mayaca, and
kept the best part for himself. "Archaeological data confirm the
richness of the Calusa. Nearly all of the known excavated gold
and silver artifacts come from former Calusa and Mayami
territory, rather than from the east coast and Keys" (Goggin and
Sturtevant 1964:188-189).
No firsthand accounts of the Serrope or Mayaimi Indians of
the interior region exist, although second-hand information
indicates that they represented a rival to the Calusa. The French
heard that the cacique Serrope had abducted the daughter of
Oathchaqua (or perhaps his sister [Griffin 1988:308]), a chief
in the vicinity of Cape Canaveral, who had been pledged in
marriage to Carlos (Laudonniere 1975:111-112). By taking this
high-status woman for his own, Serrope effectively prevented a
political alliance between east and west coast polities.

Archaeological Distribution of Metal Artifacts

There is an extremely high concentration of metal artifacts
from Lake Okeechobee area sites in the Tallant collection.
Certainly, this concentration can be explained by Tallant's
repeated trips to the area, and by the fact that these remote
inland sites were looted years after many coastal mounds were
looted. However, if the Calusa on the southwest coast were the
dominant historic group, one would expect such a concentration
only at coastal sites. How do we interpret this inland concentra-
tion of metal artifacts?
The concentration of metal artifacts in the Lake Okeechobee
basin has also been documented by Luer (1994) in his discus-
sion of ceremonial metal tablets. Twice as many metal tablets
come from the area surrounding Lake Okeechobee, as opposed
to the Caloosahatchee Area. It has been argued that the Calusa
of the southwestern Gulf coast were the paramount tribe of the
proto-contact and contact era, whose chief exacted tribute from
surrounding groups (McGoun 1981; Marquardt 1987; Widmer
1988). The concentration of contact-era artifacts in the interior
region may indicate that this is not completely true. It is
possible that the Mayaimi constituted a strong chiefdom,
rivaling the power of the coastal Calusa. The position of the
Mayaimi, virtually in the center of the aboriginal world of
southern Florida, gave them control over routes of communica-
tion, travel, exchange, and tribute. Complex earthworks, large
village middens, control of water and overland routes of travel,

and concentrations of contact-era materials help confirm the
importance of the Lake Okeechobee polity.


This paper describes a few of the artifacts that Montague
Tallant dug from the Ortona site and which comprise part of a
large collection of late prehistoric and early historic metal and
other artifacts housed at the South Florida Museum. Such a
large and diverse collection of artifacts, obtained by one
individual and existing in a single repository, is very unusual.
This collection provides a rare opportunity for research into an
exciting period in Florida history and archaeology, and the role
this collection can play in this research is an important one. The
identification of the artifacts in the Tallant collection is as
comprehensive as is presently possible, although there is much
work to be done in the future. Our knowledge must be furthered
by similar work on other collections of metal artifacts.


George Luer and Ryan Wheeler read the original manuscript
and provided valuable comments and suggestions that added to
the quality of the final product. They also provided the author
with information regarding the crested woodpecker, the
ceremonial tablet, and beads in the FLMNH collection in
Gainesville. The illustrations in Figures 1, 2, and 3 are by Ted
Morris; those in Figure 4 are by Ryan Wheeler.

References Cited

Allerton, David, George M. Luer, and Robert S. Carr
1984 Ceremonial Tablets and Related Objects from Florida.
The Florida Anthropologist 37:5-54.
Branstetter, Laura
1991 The Tallant Collection: Metal Artifacts from Florida's
Historic Period. Undergraduate thesis, New College of
the University of South Florida, Sarasota.
Bray, Warwick
1978 The Gold of El Dorado. Times Newspapers Limited,
Deagan, Kathleen
1987 Artifacts of the Spanish Colonies of Florida and the Car-
ibbean, 1500-1800. Smithsonian Institution Press, Was-
hington, D.C.
Emmerich, Andr6
1965 Sweat of the Sun and Tears of the Moon. University of
Washington Press, Seattle.
Goggin, John M.
1947 Manifestations of a South Florida Cult in Northwestern
Florida. American Antiquity 12:273-276.

1949 The Archeology of the Glades Area, Southern Florida.
Unpublished manuscript, on file, Southeast Archaeologi-
cal Center, Tallahassee.
Goggin, John M. and William C. Sturtevant
1964 The Calusa: A Stratified, Nonagricultural Society (With
Notes on Sibling Marriage). In Explorations in Cultural
Anthropology: Essays in Honor of George Peter Mur-
dock, edited by Ward H. Goodenough, pp. 179-219.
McGraw-Hill, New York.
Griffin, John W.
1988 The Archaeology of Everglades National Park: A
Synthesis. National Park Service, Southeastern Archaeo-
logical Center, Tallahassee.
Leader, Jonathan Max
1985 Metal Artifacts from Fort Center: Aboriginal Metal
Working in the Southeastern United States. Unpub-
lished Masters Thesis, University of Florida, Gaines-
Le Moyne de Morgues, Jacques
1875 Narrative ofLe Moyne, An Artist Who Accompanied the
French Expedition to Florida Under Laudonniere, 1564.
Translated from the Latin of De Bry with heliotypes of
the engravings taken from the artist's original drawings.
James R. Osgood and Company, Boston.
Laudonniere, Rene
1975 Three Voyages, translated and annotated by Charles E.
Bennett. University Presses of Florida, Gainesville.
Luer, George M.
1989 Calusa Canals in Southwestern Florida: Routes of
Tribute and Exchange. The Florida Anthropologist 42:9-
1994 A Third Ceremonial Tablet from the Goodnow Mound,
Highlands County, Florida; with Notes on Some
Peninsular Tribes and Other Tablets. The Florida
Anthropologist 47:180-188.
Marquardt, William H.
1987 The Calusa Social Formation in Protohistoric South
Florida. In Power Relations and State Formation, edited
by Thomas C. Patterson and Christine W. Gailey, pp.
98-116. Archaeological Section, American Anthropolog-
ical Association.
McGoun, William E.
1981 Medals of Conquest in Calusa Florida. Unpublished
M.A. thesis, Department of Anthropology, Florida
Atlantic University, Boca Raton.
Milanich, Jerald T. and Charles H. Fairbanks
1980 Florida Archaeology. Academic Press, New York.
Rau, Charles
1878 Observations on a Gold Ornament from a Mound in
Florida. Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for
1877, pp. 298-302, Washington, D.C.
Smith, Marvin T.
1983 Chronology from Glass Beads: The Spanish Period in
the Southeast, c. A.D. 1513-1670. In Proceedings of the
1982 Glass Trade Bead Conference, edited by Charles

F. Hayes, III, pp. 147-158. Rochester Museum and
Science Center, Rochester, New York.
Smith, Marvin T., and Mary Elizabeth Good
1982 Early Sixteenth Century Glass Beads in the Spanish
Colonial Trade. Cottonlandia Museum Publications,
Greenwood, Mississippi.
Swanton, John R.
1946 The Indians of the Southeastern United States. United
States Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C.
Tallant, W. M.
n.d. Artifact catalogue on file at South Florida Museum,
True, David 0. (editor)
1944 Memoir of Do. d'Escalante Fontaneda Respecting
Florida, Written in Spain, about the year 1575, trans-
lated by Buckingham Smith. University of Miami and
the Historical Association of Southern Florida, Miami.
Weaver, Muriel Porter
1981 The Aztecs, Maya, and Their Predecessors: Archaeology
of MesoAmerica. Academic Press, New York.
Widmer, Randolph J.
1988 The Evolution of the Calusa: A Nonagricultural Chief-
dom on the Southwest Florida Coast. University of
Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.

Laura Branstetter
South Florida Museum
201 10th St. West
Bradenton, FL 34205

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George M. Luer

Several ceramic smoking-pipe fragments have been found at
the Ortona site in Glades County, southern Florida. One
resembles a Hopewell-style platform pipe and probably dates to
the Hopewell horizon (ca. A.D. 1-350). In southern Florida,
this falls within the Glades I period, which ranges from ca. 500
B.C. A.D. 500. The horizon equates with middle Woodland
times when a number of American Indian cultures in the
Southeast and Midwest shared many aspects of ceremonial life,
including some paraphernalia such as platform pipes.
In this paper, I first describe known pipe fragments from
Ortona and discuss their intrasite contexts. Then, I briefly
analyze styles of platform pipes in Florida. Finally, I discuss
growing evidence that southern Florida's Indian peoples
participated in far-flung networks of interaction and exchange
with other Middle Woodland peoples to the north. Figures 1 and
2 show the locations and geographic range of the sites men-
tioned in the text.

Ortona Smoking Pipes

Six pipe fragments from Ortona are described below.
Specimen #1. This fragment is from a ceramic platform pipe
that originally had two arms, one on each side of a cylindrical
bowl (Figure 3). One arm was a solid spur whereas the other,
now broken away and missing, apparently had a narrow hole
through which smoke was drawn. The shape of Specimen #1
suggests that it was an equal-armed pipe.
Figure 3 shows that the spur is flattened and tapered, and has
squared edges. Its thinness gives the pipe a delicate appearance.
The bottom of the pipe is slightly curved both in cross-section
and lengthwise. These attributes of form also occur on two
pottery platform pipes from the Crooks site in Louisiana (Ford
and Willey 1940:Figure 52b, d) dating to middle Woodland
times. Ford and Willey (1940:118) observed that such attributes
were suggestive of Hopewell-style, stone platform pipes in
Illinois, Wisconsin, and Ohio, and they seemed to imply that the
Crooks ceramic specimens could have been copies of similar
stone pipes. Indeed, beautifully ground and polished stone pipes
with such attributes (very thin arms with squared edges and
equal-armed, curved platforms) were rare but did exist in the
Southeast in middle Woodland times. Examples include one of
greenstone from the Pharr site in northeastern Mississippi
(Bohannon 1972:Figure 22, left) and one of steatite from the
Mandeville site in southwestern Georgia (Kellar et al. 1962:Fig-
ure 3e). Thus, a similar possibility is suggested here for

Specimen #1. That is, its form and ceramic paste suggest that
it may be a local copy of an imported, Hopewell-style, stone
platform pipe.
Specimen #1 apparently was made in the Lake Okeechobee
region because it consists of chalky Belle Glade paste, a local
kind of pottery. It has a buff and gray exterior, a gray core, and
contains very fine sand. The pipe was finely crafted; its
symmetrical form and even surfaces suggest that it was shaped
carefully by shaving off excess dried clay before it was fired.
Also, at this stage of fabrication, the top of the spur was
dampened and smoothed.
Specimen #1 came from the northwestern portion of the
Ortona site. It was found in April 1990 by Lawrence Cowan
who entrusted it to Larry R. Luckey, Glades County Property
Appraiser. Mr. Luckey was instrumental in the recent creation
of Ortona Indian Mound Park. According to Mr. Luckey, the
pipe fragment was found in brown sand used as fill beneath and
around the park's new restroom building. The sand came from
a large hole, dug to bury debris from land-clearing, that was
about 90 m (300 ft) southwest of the restrooms. The hole was
in a weedy field (used as a dump in the recent past) that is now
a grassy parking lot at the park's entrance.
Several mounds once stood in this field, but they were
demolished several decades ago. They included a large ridge-

shaped midden, now called Mound B, and two small, unnamed
mounds, both circular in outline (see Tallant's map, Figure 6 in
Carr et al., this issue). These mounds were just north and west
of Turkey Creek (or Turkey Slough), a cypress-lined stream
that formerly ran through the Ortona site until nearby open-pit
sand-mining drained it.
Specimens #2, #3, #4, and #5. These fragments were
excavated in late 1990 and early 1991 during archaeological
testing at the Ortona site by the Archaeological and Historical
Conservancy. The fragments are too small to determine the
original shapes and styles of the pipes. They were excavated
from midden deposits at Mound A (8GL80), Mound B, and
Component F (the last derived probably from Mound D; see
Carr et al., this issue).
Specimen #6. Archaeologist Ryan Wheeler and I found this
pipe fragment in April 1995. It consists of approximately one-
quarter of a pipe bowl with a vertical wall and a flat lip that is
slightly thickened to the exterior. The fragment is of gray, sand-
tempered ware with a smooth external surface. It is too small to
determine the pipe's original shape.
This fragment was in a small pile of sand freshly dumped at
the northeastern corner of present-day Ortona Cemetery. The


Vol. 48 No. 4


Figure 1. Some states and archaeological sites mentioned in the text.

sand appeared to represent a midden deposit because it con-
tained many other fragments of pottery, including 44 sherds (8
rim, 36 body) of Belle Glade Plain and 43 sherds (3 rim, 40
body) of sand-tempered plain, all apparently from pottery
bowls. The sand also contained many fragments of charcoal,
three fragments of calcined bone (one probably part of a
softshell turtle carapace), one chunk of reddish, sandy, bog
iron, one flake of reddish chert, and an unbroken, brownish,
chert, bifacial knife. The knife is 9 cm in length, 2.6 cm in
basal width, and 1 cm in maximum thickness. One of its edges
is straight, the other excurvate. Each side of its base has a
shallow notch for hafting. These aboriginal materials might have
originated from the southern portion of the large ridge-shaped
and ramped midden, now called Mound D, that was leveled by
expansion of Ortona Cemetery in the 1950s or 1960s (see Carr
et al., this issue).

Intrasite Context

At Ortona, five of the six known pipe fragments came from
midden deposits (there is insufficient data to determine the

original context of Specimen #1). As discussed below, these
deposits may represent special residential areas where pipes
were used ceremonially in middle Woodland times.

Midden Contexts

At Ortona, pipe fragments came from midden deposits
belonging to Mounds A and B, and probably Mound D (see
Carr et al., this issue, for discussions of these site components).
In southern Florida, additional specimens from midden deposits
include many from Fort Center, a few from Belle Glade, and
one each from Hialeah #2 and Pineland (see below). Elsewhere
in the Southeast, platform pipes also have been found occasion-
ally in midden deposits, such as at Mandeville's Mound A
(Kellar et al. 1962:339-340, 344, 347) and the Pharr site's
"Habitation Area" (Bohannon 1972:Table 7). Most of these
deposits could represent residential areas of important lineages
whose members included religious specialists, as suggested by
their large sizes and locations within major earthwork and burial
At the Fort Center earthworks, just 21.5 km (13 mi) northeast

of Ortona, pottery pipe fragments were excavated from four site
components: the charnel pond, Mound A, the UF Mound, and
Mound 3. The vast majority, consisting of pieces of approxi-
mately 50 pipes (mostly platform and a few elbow pipes), came
from Mound A and the adjoining charnel pond where they were
restricted to midden deposits (Sears 1982:32-36, 144). They
were not found with burials in the pond, and they were absent
from the adjacent burial mound, Mound B.
William Sears has suggested that resident religious specialists
used the pipes on Fort Center's Mound A for ceremonial
functions (1971:326-329, 1982:36, 174-175, 187). Mound A
and the charnel pond yielded other artifacts consistent with
ceremonial activities, such as exotic stone and imported marine
shell plummets (Steinen 1982:83-84, 94-95, 104-106). The close
proximity of these site components (Mound A, the charnel
pond, the Mound B burial mound, and an encircling earthen
embankment) led Sears to interpret them as composing a
mortuary precinct, and to suggest that religious specialists
residing on Mound A included mortuary specialists who tended
the charnel pond and Mound B (1982:175). In addition, the
precinct's faunal remains of raptorial birds and abundant,
unutilized, deer bone suggest that special ritual activities took
place there (Hale 1984:177).

Religious specialists and their families might have lived on
Fort Center's Mound A. The Mound A midden's abundant pot-
sherds and faunal bones indicate intensive domestic activities,
including cooking and eating. Deciduous human teeth suggest
the presence of children (Sears 1982:169, 171). Shell cutting-
edged tools and perforated or notched shark teeth imply the
hewing and carving of wood, perhaps for both domestic and
ritual purposes (Steinen 1982:69-75, 84-87, 104). There were
also large pits containing burned river mussel shells and
abundant human feces. In addition, numerous postmolds suggest
that Mound A supported large (9 m or 30 ft in diameter)
circular- or oval-floored structures (Sears 1982:171).
There is also evidence that platform pipes sometimes func-
tioned as burial items at other sites. A few have been found in
burial mounds in central and northern Florida (Mulberry,
Crystal River, Yent, Green Point, Huckleberry Landing, and
Pierce A -- see below) and in burial mounds elsewhere in the
Southeast such as Mandeville's Mound B (Kellar et al.
1962:351, Figures 3e and 8), Pharr Mound H (Bohannon
1972:7-8, 62, 81, Figure 3), and the Crooks site's Mound A
(Ford and Willey 1940:117-118). While these examples are not
from residential contexts, their occurrences in burial mounds
reflect their social and religious importance (see below).

Figure 2. Locations of some Florida sites yielding platform pipes or other middle Woodland materials.


Mound A Point





Hialeah #2

Table 1. Florida archaeological sites with platform pipes.


Southern Florida

Figure 3. Top and side views of a pottery platform pipe
fragment (Specimen #1) from the Ortona site. Note that one
arm is intact and that the bowl is broken. The possible
outline of the broken-off arm is shown by the dotted line.


Radiocarbon dates are not available for midden deposits at any
of Ortona's mounds. However, midden deposits in Fort Center's
Mound A and charnel pond yielded uncorrected radiocarbon
dates of A.D. 340 110 and&A.D. 80 100, respectively
(Sears 1982:Figure 7.1, Table 7.1). These dates indicate an age
for the Fort Center pipes that is consistent with an age of ca.
A.D. 1-350 for similar platform pipes in the Southeast.


Although Ortona's pipe fragments are from midden deposits,
their intrasite context among major earthworks must be consid-
ered. At Fort Center, Sears (1971:328, 1982:195) linked
platform pipes with a number of Hopewellian traits including
huge and well-planned linear and enclosing earthworks, a two-
stage burial mound, Deptford and Crystal River sacred pottery,
animal effigies (including a stone duckhead plummet and many
wooden animal carvings, especially of birds), and possible use
of maize. At Ortona and Fort Center, these traits occur in the
indigenous Belle Glade tradition with its hunting, gathering, and
fishing economy and heavy reliance on freshwater wetlands.
Sears (1971:325, 1982:189, 197) hypothesized that Fort
Center was, during Hopewellian times, a ceremonial center for
outlying smaller sites scattered around Lake Okeechobee and up
the Kissimmee River. In addition, he suggested that other large
earthwork sites in the region, such as the Ortona site and
Tony's Mound, were also ceremonial centers during these times
(Sears 1982:175).

Style and Florida Platform Pipes

Platform pipes are not common in Florida, but after more than
a century of archaeological work, they have been reported from
several sites throughout the state. Their forms resemble some
Hopewell- or Marksville-style platform pipes from widespread
areas of the eastern United States. Inspection of specimens from
the sites listed in Table 1 indicates that most are ceramic and

3 cm

Mulberry Mound (80R9, 10)

Crystal River (8CI1)
Anastasia Island (8SJ12)

Willey 1949b:36, 135,
Plate 6n
Sears 1982:32-37, 144,
Figure 3.1
McLellan 1984:83,
Figure 1
McLellan 1984:83,
Figure 2
Luer 1986:281,
Figure 1
this article

Moore 1894:102,
Figure 113;
Stewart 1985:257-258
Moore 1903:394
Goggin 1952:146,
Plate 1 lie

Northwestern Florida

Yent Mound (8FR5)

Green Point (8FR11)

Huckleberry Landing (8FR12)

Pierce Mound-A (8FR14)

Block-Stems (8LE148)

Choctawhatchee Bay (80K19)

Moore 1902:265-274;
Willey 1949b:271
Moore 1902:Figure
Willey 1949b:276
Moore 1902:234-238;
Willey 1949b:277-278,
597, Plate 24e
Moore 1902:225;
Willey 1949b:282
Brose 1979:147;
Florida BAR #74-189-
Dilworth 1979:141,

that at least three different forms can be discerned. As discussed
below, conformance to these forms indicates adherence to
stylistic norms apparently associated with ritual use of the pipes.


Most of the pipes from the sites listed in Table 1 are ceramic.

Belle Glade Midden (8PB40)

Fort Center (8GL12)

Hialeah #2 (8DA76)

Everglades Conservation
Area III
Pineland (8LL33)

Ortona, near Mound B

Central and Northeastern Florida


3 cm


Figure 4. Examples of three forms of platform pipes in
Florida: a) Form #1; b) Form #2; c) Form #3 (based on
McLellan 1984:Figures 1 and 2, and Florida Bureau of
Archaeological Research #74-189-64).

Those from southern Florida appear to be of Belle Glade paste
and might have been made in the Lake Okeechobee region. A
few Florida platform pipes were fashioned from stone, including
both local and exotic materials. The pipes at the Belle Glade
midden appear to have been fashioned from local stone de-
scribed as "oolite, coquina limestone, or sandstone" (Willey
1949a:36), whereas a pipe from Anastasia Island was apparently
fashioned from exotic stone and might have been imported
(Goggin 1952:146, Plate lie).


Middle Woodland period platform pipes appear to adhere to
standard shapes, and at least three forms can be identified
among the Florida specimens listed in Table 1. It should be
noted that these are informal categories that can be refined and
augmented in the future. Examples of intermediate or additional
forms do exist, especially elsewhere in the eastern United
Form #1. Pipes in this category have a platform with a
swollen mid-portion that ascends the base of the bowl, giving
these equal-armed pipes a three-pronged side-view appearance
(Figure 4a). Florida examples are from a location in Everglades

Conservation Area III, Broward County, southeastern Florida
(McLellan 1984:Figure 2) and a site in northwestern Florida
(Willey 1949b:Plate 24h). Non-Florida examples include speci-
mens from Mandeville (Kellar et al. 1962:Figure 3f), Pharr
(Bohannon 1972:Figure 22, right), Marksville (Setzler
1933:Plate 5a), and Crooks (Ford and Willey 1940:Figure 52c).
Form #2. Pipes in this category have heavy stems that are
blockish or flat and sometimes decorated; often they have
unequal arms (Figure 4b). Examples include a number of speci-
mens from Fort Center (Sears 1982:Figure 3. l1a-f), several from
Belle Glade (Willey 1949a:33, 36, Plate 6n), one from Hialeah
#2 (McLellan 1984:Figure 1), and one from Pineland (Luer
1986:Figure 1, upper left). This form may occur predominantly
in southern Florida.
Form #3. This category includes pipes with a thin (or
relatively thin) equal-armed platform that is curved (or very
slightly curved) and that may have flat sides. Florida examples
include Ortona's Specimen #1 and a pipe from the Block-Sterns
site near Tallahassee (Figure 4c). Non-Florida specimens
include those from Crooks (Ford and Willey 1940:Figure 52b,
d). As noted above, it may be that, in Florida and nearby areas
of the Southeast, ceramic examples of this form could be copies
of Hopewell-style exotic stone platform pipes.


The conformity of platform pipes to particular shapes indicates
the importance of form. Standard forms would have helped
them be clearly recognizable as symbols. Standard forms also
suggest that prescribed behavior, possibly formal ritual,
accompanied their use. Moreover, the extensive geographic
occurrence of similarly-shaped pipes suggests that the meaning
and ritual that were possibly associated with these pipes were
widely shared.
An examination of some possible meaning and symbolism
associated with platform pipes was offered by Robert Hall
(1977). He used a cognitive approach, combining ethnohistoric
data and symbolic analysis, to suggest an origin for the classic
Hopewell-style platform pipe. He hypothesized that the unusual
flat arms and curved platform might have originated from an
innovative union of the smoking pipe with the atlatl, a sacred
symbolic object associated with rituals of war and peace. Hall
(1977:505) suggested that Hopewell-style platform pipes might
have functioned in rituals that promoted peaceful intergroup
contact and exchange, including the exchange of pipes.

Platform Pipes and Exchange

Eighteenth-century accounts of a number of Southeastern
Indian tribes record that one important function of pipe smoking
was the chiefly ritual of welcoming visitors and communicating
among chiefs and warriors. Among the Seminole, Creek, and
Choctaw, such ritual pipe smoking took place in the council
house or chief's house (Swanton 1918:54, 56-57; Harper
1958:117, 149-150, 284-287). If platform pipes were used

similarly in southern Florida in middle Woodland times, their
occurrence in major midden-mounds among the Ortona and Fort
Center earthworks could suggest that intergroup contact and
exchange took place in such special residential contexts.
The middle Woodland or Hopewell horizon is famous for its
widespread exchange networks. Robert Austin (1993) summariz-
es models of this exchange, and Sharon Goad (1979) describes
several regional exchange complexes in Florida. In light of
recent data, southern Florida needs to be incorporated in these
models. Perhaps large sites, such as Ortona and Fort Center,
were focal points of interregional and intraregional exchange
during middle Woodland times. In southern Florida, it appears
that once exotic items were obtained, they were later deposited
in local burial contexts, as described below.

South to North Exchange

In describing middle Woodland exchange, James B. Griffin
cited abundant Florida items in Ohio and Illinois:

In the Ohio aspect are barracuda and spade-fish ornaments,
shark's tooth pendants and tortoise [sea turtle] shell orna-
ments of a size which preclude a land turtle origin. The great
numbers of Busycon [left-handed whelk shells], Cassis [hel-
met shells], and other tropical gastropods used for dippers,
beads and plummets leads me to believe that there was a
strong trade connection, presumably along the west side of
the Appalachians, between sites in Ohio and Illinois in the
north, and the Florida area in the south. The high fresh water
content of the Gulf west from Pensacola past the Mississippi,
and the scarcity of large marine gastropods in that area, does
not suggest that this region ... could have been the source of
supply for Hopewellian peoples ... (Griffin 1946:65).

In addition, it appears that Florida materials were traded
westward to the lower Mississippi Valley. For example,
possible Florida items among burial goods at the Helena
Crossing Site in Arkansas, dating to middle Woodland times,
were drinking cups fashioned from helmet and left-handed
whelk shells (Ford 1963).

North to South Exchange

In return, exotic items were traded into Florida in middle
Woodland times. Bullen (1978:101-102) lists many imported
items found in northern Florida, and Steinen (1982) describes
a galena cone, plummets of quartz, granite, and shell, a granite
celt, and other imported items found at Fort Center.
Recent archaeological work at two burial mounds in southern
Florida reveals a better picture of exotic items in local middle
Woodland contexts. At the Oak Knoll Mound near Bonita
Springs in Lee County, exotic items accompanied secondary
remains of approximately 90 individuals, possibly from a

charnel house. Exotic items consisted of fragments of two large,
imported, ceremonial stone Dilaces, a copper bvad, a chunk of
galena, a granite grooved cylinder, fragments of four pottery
vessels (of the types Deptford Check Stamped, Deptford Linear
Check Stamped, Deptford Simple Stamped, and Crystal River
Incised), and perhaps a small chunk of a stony meteorite. Two
uncorrected dates from the mound are 1770 60 and 1815
60 radiocarbon years before present (present = A.D. 1950)
(Dickel and Carr 1991). At the Royce Mound near Lake Placid
in Highlands County, testing revealed similar items including
fragments of three large, imported, ceremonial stone bifaces, six
pendants of metamorphic rock, a cube of galena, a fragment of
mica, and two Gulf Check Stamped pottery vessels (Austin
1993). In both mounds, the occurrence of pottery originally
from the Florida panhandle region suggests that "middlemen"
from that area were exchanging exotic items to southern
Finally, it should be noted that Fort Center's Mound B, and
some other Hopewell horizon burial mounds in the Southeast,
were large in size. Examples include several of the mounds
mentioned above, such as at the Pharr and Mandeville sites.
Considering this, the Large Mound (8GL5) at Ortona may date

to middle Woodland times, instead of being a "later" component
(see Carr et al., this issue). A middle Woodland age also may
apply to the Ortona Canals as well as to the Pine Island Canal,
and a goal of future archaeological work should be to determine
their ages.


Six pipe fragments from Ortona are reported here, including
a portion of a pottery platform pipe that may be a local copy of
a Hopewell-style stone platform pipe. The pipe fragments are
from midden contexts in large mounds within the Ortona
earthworks site and may date to ca. A.D. 1-350. Three forms
of platform pipes in Florida are described. Adherence to these
forms suggests that style was important and helped convey the
identity and meaning of the pipes.
Hall (1977) suggests that platform pipes might have helped
promote peaceful intergroup contacts and exchange. Here, it is
hypothesized that, in southern Florida in middle Woodland
times, pipe smoking and exchange of imported items might have
taken place where religious specialists resided, and this could
account for platform pipe fragments in midden deposits among
earthworks at the Ortona and Fort Center sites. These large sites
might have been focal points for interregional trade with north
Florida "middlemen," and for subsequent intraregional exchange
to smaller sites throughout southern Florida.


Larry Luckey of Ortona showed Specimen #1 to Laura Bran-

stetter, Sue Goldman, and me in May 1990. Ryan Wheeler
provided some data and kindly drafted Figures 2, 3, and 4.

References Cited

Austin, Robert J.
1993 The Royce Mound: Middle Woodland Exchange and
Mortuary Customs in South Florida. The Florida
Anthropologist 46:291-309.
Bohannon, Charles F.
1972 Excavations at the Pharr Mounds, Prentiss and
Itawamba Counties, Mississippi, and Excavations at the
Bear Creek Site, Tishomingo County, Mississippi. U.S.
Department of the Interior, National Park Service,
Washington, D.C.
Brose, David S.
1979 An Interpretation of the Hopewellian Traits in Florida.
In Hopewell Archaeology: The Chillicothe Conference,
edited by D. S. Brose and N. Greber, pp. 141-149.
Kent State University Press, Kent, Ohio.
Bullen, Ripley P.
1978 Pre-Columbian Trade in Eastern United States as
Viewed from Florida. The Florida Anthropologist
Dickel, David, and Robert S. Carr
1991 Archaeological Investigations at the Oak Knoll Mound,
8LL729, Lee County, Florida. Archaeological and
Historical Conservancy, Technical Report 21, Miami.
Dilworth, Anne L.
1979 Aboriginal Pipes of the Northern Gulf Coast. The
Florida Anthropologist 32:139-146.
Ford, James A.
1963 Hopewell Culture Burial Mounds Near Helena, Arkan-
sas. Anthropological Papers of The American Museum
of Natural History 50(1), New York.
Ford, James A., and Gordon R. Willey
1940 Crooks Site, A Marksville Period Burial Mound in La
Salle Parish, Louisiana. Louisiana Department of
Conservation, Anthropological Study No. 3, New
Goad, Sharon I.
1979 Middle Woodland Exchange in the Prehistoric South-
eastern United States. In Hopewell Archaeology: The
Chillicothe Conference, edited by D. S. Brose and N.
Greber, pp. 141-149. Kent State University Press, Kent,
Goggin, John M.
1952 Space and Time Perspective in Northern St. Johns
Archeology, Florida. Yale University Publications in
Anthropology No. 47, New Haven.
Griffin, James B.
1946 Culture Change and Continuity in Eastern United States

Archaeology. In Man in Northeastern North America,
edited by F. Johnson, pp. 37-95. Papers of the Robert
S. Peabody Foundation for Archaeology 3, Andover.
Hale, H. Stephen
1984 Prehistoric Environmental Exploitation Around Lake
Okeechobee. Southeastern Archaeology 3:173-187.
Hall, Robert L.
1977 An Anthropocentric Perspective for Eastern United
States Prehistory. American Antiquity 42:499-518.
Harper, Francis, editor
1958 The Travels of William Bartram, Naturalist's Edition.
Yale University Press, New Haven.
Kellar, James H., A. R. Kelly, and Edward V. McMichael
1962 The Mandeville Site in Southwest Georgia. American
Antiquity 27:336-355.
Luer, George M.
1986 Ceramic Faces and a Pipe Fragment from South Flori-
da, with notes on the Pineland Site, Lee County. The
Florida Anthropologist 39:281-286.
McLellan, James
1984 Two Platform Pipes from Southern Florida. The Florida
Anthropologist 37:83.
Moore, Clarence B.
1894 Certain Sand Mounds of the St. Johns River, Florida.
Part 1. Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of
Philadelphia 10:130-248.
1902 Certain Aboriginal Remains of the Northwest Florida
Coast. Part 2. Journal of the Academy of Natural
Sciences of Philadelphia 12:127-355.
1903 Certain Aboriginal Mounds of the Central Florida West-
Coast. Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of
Philadelphia 12:363-438.
Sears, William H.
1971 Food Production and Village Life in Prehistoric South-
eastern United States. Archaeology 24:322-329.
1982 Fort Center, An Archaeological Site in the Lake Okee-
chobee Basin. University Presses of Florida, Gaines-
Setzler, Frank M.
1933 Pottery of the Hopewell Type from Louisiana. Proceed-
ings of the United States National Museum 82. Wash-
ington, D.C.
Steinen, Karl T.
1982 Other Non-Ceramic Artifacts. In Fort Center, An
Archaeological Site in the Lake Okeechobee Basin by
W. H. Sears, pp. 68-110. University Presses of Florida,
Stewart, Marilyn C.
1985 A Partial Archaeological Survey of the William Beard-
hall Tosohatchee Preserve. The Florida Anthropologist
Swanton, John R.
1918 An Early Account of the Choctaw Indians. Memoirs of
the American Anthropological Association 5:53-72.


Willey, Gordon R.
1949a Excavations in Southeast Florida. Yale University
Publications in Anthropology No. 42, New Haven.
1949b Archeology of the Florida Gulf Coast. Smithsonian
Miscellaneous Collection 113, Washington, D. C.

George M. Luer
3222 Old Oak Drive
Sarasota, FL 34239


Cushing's Cat Figurine Star of Centennial

Arthur R. Lee

A feline figurine pulled from the muck of Key Marco a
century ago by the Frank Hamilton Cushing expedition is the
star of a current exhibit at the Collier County Museum in
Naples. The exhibit opened in early December and will run
through March of 1996.
Lagging not far behind in popular interest are other objects
from the famed dig on loan from the Florida Museum of
Natural History in Gainesville. The exhibit also displays
artifacts recovered during this past summer's excavation by
Randolph J. Widmer. Widmer led a volunteer crew in the
excavation of the remains of a mound that overlooks the area
where Cushing worked. Artifacts on display include a Swift
Creek point, and red and yellow ochre, which are believed to
have been ceremonial offerings in building platforms.
What makes this exhibit of unique interest to archaeologists is
the inclusion of the personal mementos of expedition artist/pho-
tographer/cartographer Wells M. Sawyer, including letters
enlivened by sketches. What could be more poignant to those
who have done field work than a pocket-sized notebook, stained
by sweat, and containing lists of artifacts with their photo
negative numbers?
The Key Marco exhibit had its origin with the recently
organized Marco Island Chapter of the Collier County Historical
Society. The chapter's president, Betty Perdichizzi, inspected
and photographed the cat figurine and other artifacts from the
Cushing excavation at the Smithsonian Institution in July, 1994.
A formal request was subsequently made to have the figurine
exhibited locally. A visit from a Smithsonian curator confirmed
that the County museum was the only possible place to exhibit
the artifact, provided that extensive, and expensive, changes to
the museum were made to provide physical and environmental
security. These included the erection of a perimeter fence, con-
struction of an inner room in the main museum building with
24-hour surveillance, installation of humidity and temperature
control systems, and a specially-constructed exhibit case.
Construction funds were advanced to the museum by the Collier
County government.
Named to the exhibit committee was Marion Spjut Gilliland,
author of The Material Culture of Key Marco, Florida and Key
Marco's Buried Treasure. Gilliland loaned the museum a
number of original water colors by Sawyer, as well as other
items of his personal memorabilia, never before seen by the
public. Several of the exhibit paintings are among the color
plates in her recently published biography of Sawyer entitled
Dearest Daught and Popsy Wells: Two Artists Named Sawyer
("Daught" was Sawyer's daughter, and "Popsy" was his name

for himself that he used in their correspondence). Gilliland also
contributed casts of masks, the deer head, and other objects
from the expedition for display in the exhibit.
Loans from the Florida Museum of Natural History include a
number of shell tools, worked bone pins, a carved wooden
bowl, a human figurine, a labret, an ear spool, and a number of
other wooden objects.
The Key Marco artifacts represent a time capsule of a period
in the cultural and material life of a community that from all
evidence inhabited the area for a long period of time. Dendro-
calibrated radiocarbon dates from wooden objects recovered by
Cushing cluster (with a few exceptions) around the A.D. 600-
700 period (M. Gilliland, personal communication, 1995).
Chance played a large role in the survival and recovery of the
artifacts. First, the nature of the material in which the artifacts
were deposited, a tannic-acid-laced muck, provided an environ-
ment favorable for preservation. The variety of objects found,
including fishing nets, stools, ear ornaments, bone awls, spear
throwers, and ceremonial objects, as well as their uniqueness
(nothing comparable has been found in other excavations in
neighboring areas), have caused many to believe that the site
deposits are the result of hurricane damage to the settlement.
Chance entered the picture again in the form of an English
army officer, Lt. Col. C. D. Durnford. While tarpon fishing in
Naples, Durnford learned that Captain W. B. Collier had turned
up artifacts while digging garden muck at Key Marco, and he
eventually did some limited excavations of his own (Cushing
1896:330). He brought his artifacts, including net peg floats,
netting, a wooden trencher, and part of a box, to Philadelphia
where he encountered Cushing at the University of Pennsylvania
where he happened to be visiting. Cushing made a preliminary
exploration of the site that year, 1895, and mounted a full-scale
excavation in 1896 (Cushing 1896:329-331).
Cushing was greatly impressed by the cat figurine which is the
center-piece of the current exhibit:

a superbly carved and finished statuette in dark-colored,
close-grained wood, of a mountain-line or panther god.. .No-
thing thus far found in America so vividly calls to mind the
best art of the ancient Egyptians or Assyrians, as does this
little statuette of the Lion-God, in which it was evidently
intended to represent a manlike being in the guise of a
panther. Although it is barely six inches in height, its dignity
of pose may fairly be termed 'heroic', and its conventional
lines are to the last degree masterly. While the head and
features -- ears, eye, nostrils, and mouth -- are most realisti-
cally treated, it is observable that not only the legs and feet,
but also even the paws, which rest so stoutly upon the thighs
or knees of the sitting or squatting figure, are cut off, unfin-
ished, bereft, as it were, of their talons. And this I would
note is quite in accordance with the spirit of primitive
sacerdotal art generally... (Cushing 1896:387).

References Cited

Cushing, Frank Hamilton
1896 Exploration of Ancient Key Dwellers' Remains on the
Gulf Coast of Florida. Proceedings of the American
Philosophical Society 25:329-448. 1973 Reprint by
AMS Press, Inc., New York.
Gilliland, Marion Spjut
1989 Key Marco's Buried Treasure: Archaeology and
Adventure in the Nineteenth Century. University of
Florida Press, Gainesville.


The room built within the Collier County Museum to
house the Marco cat figurine and accompanying exhibit
has a capacity of 23 visitors. Because of this restriction,
museum hours have been expanded to:

Monday through Friday

9 a.m. 5 p.m.
9 a.m. 8 p.m.
1 p.m. 4 p.m.

The museum is normally closed on Saturdays, but special
arrangements can be made for tour groups (several FAS
chapters have announced plans to arrange bus trips;
SWFAS' adjacent Craighead laboratory can be opened for
such visits). Telephone Nancy Olson at 813-774-8476,
FAX: 813-774-8580, or write her at the Collier County
Museum, 3301 Tamiami Trail East, Naples, FL 33962.
The museum is wheelchair accessible.

Figure 1. "This little statuette of the Lion-God" is what
Frank Hamilton Cushing called the figurine, shown here in
replica, that he pulled from the muck at Key Marco.

C -



- 'A~. -~

Figure 2. Poignant reminders of an historic dig: Wells Sawyer's stained log of photograph negative numbers and illustrated

MARCH 2-10, 1996

Schedule of Events

Dec. 1-Apr. 30
Feb. 17-18
Feb. 19-29

Mar. 2

Mar. 2-9
Mar. 2

Mar. 2

Mar. 2

Mar. 2

Mar. 2
Mar. 2

Mar. 2
Mar. 2
Mar. 3
Mar. 4-8

Mar. 4
Mar. 5,7

Mar. 6
Mar. 7
Mar. 7

Mar. 7
Mar. 9

Mar. 9
Mar. 9

Mar. 9
Mar. 9

Mar. 9
Mar. 10
Mar. 10
Mar. 10

Collier County Museum, Naples
8:30-5 Olustee Battlefield, Olustee
11 Elementary Schools,
Highlands County
9-2 Univ. of West Fla., Pensacola

W.R. Library, Pensacola
Dive Pros, Pensacola

10-2 Pensacola Naval Air Station

1-4 Caladium Arts & Crafts,
Lake Placid
2 PM Caladium Arts & Crafts,
Lake Placid
10-4 Science Center, St. Petersburg
Gulf Islands National Seashore

2 PM

Milton, Florida
Library, Cocoa
Old Jail, St. Augustine
St. Augustine Plaza

10 AM Kennedy School, Rockledge
1-2:30 Washington High School,
9-3 Turkey Creek Middle School
7 PM Lake Placid Historical Museum
7 PM St. Petersburg Museum of
7:30 PM TBA, St. Johns County
9-2 Univ. of West Fla., Pensacola

10-4 Hillsborough River State Park
9-4 Indian Temple Mound Museum,
Fort Walton Beach
10-3 Bernath Place, Avalon Beach
Gulf Islands National Seashore


Mar. 28-31

Milton, Florida
Collier County Museum, Naples
Monkey Jungle, Miami
Fla. Museum of Natural History,
Wekiwa Springs State Park
Lake Placed Memorial Library
Avon Park Public Library
Highlands County Public Library

Key Marco Exhibit
Battle Reenactment
Poster Contest

Ceramics Identification
$10, reservations required
Archaeology Exhibit
Dive the Massachusetts
Walking Tour of
Historic Sites
Archaeology Lab Open
House & Films
Winning Poster Exhibit

Archaeology Day
Film & Tour about
American Indians
Arcadia Industrial Site
Archaeology Day
Archaeology Tour ($3)
Teacher Workshop
Archaeology Institute
Open House
Ceramic Demonstration
Archaeology Lecture
Archaeology Lecture

Archaeology Lecture
Ceramics Identification
$10, Reservations Required
Archaeology Day
Archaeology Day

Tour ($3)
Film & Tour about
American Indians
Arcadia Industrial Site
Archaeology Fair
Archaeology Fair
Open House

"Walk Back in Time"
Archaeology Exhibit
Archaeology Exhibit
Archaeology Exhibit

Nancy Olson
Valinda Subic

Connie Franklin

Gene Fisher
Kerry Freeland

Dr. Judith Bense

Chuck Wilde

Jim Fitch

Loren Blakeley
Ranger Simpson

Warren Weekes
Vera Zimmerman
Margaret Perkins
Margaret Perkins









Vera Zimmerman 407-453-4932
Mike Davis 904-432-2660

Loren Blakeley
Jeanette Hoy
Loren Blakeley

Margaret Perkins
Connie Franklin



Loren Blakeley 813-347-8299
Gail Lynn Meyer 904-243-6521

Frances Elliott
Ranger Simpson

Warren Weekes
Nancy Olsen
Barbara Tansey
Dr. Wm. Keegan

Jim Radz
Anne Reynolds
Anne Reynolds
Anne Reynolds




About the Authors

Laura Branstetter is Curator of Collections and Exhibits at the South Florida Museum and
Bishop Planetarium, Bradenton.

Robert S. Carr is Metro-Dade County Archaeologist and Executive Director of the
Archaeological and Historical Conservancy. He has conducted extensive archaeological
research in south Florida.

David Dickel is Curator of Collections for the Florida Division of Historical Resources,

H. Stephen Hale received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Florida in 1989.
He is presently on the faculty of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Georgia
Southern University.

George M. Luer, past President of the Florida Anthropological Society and a frequent
contributor to The Florida Anthropologist, is currently pursuing a graduate degree in
Anthropology at the University of Florida.

Marilyn Masson is a graduate student in archaeology at the University of Texas. She has
worked with the Archaeological and Historical Conservancy on several archaeological
projects in south Florida.

Ryan J. Wheeler is a graduate student in archaeology at the University of Florida where his
dissertation research focuses on an analysis of Florida's pre-Columbian art.

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