The Florida anthropologist

Material Information

The Florida anthropologist
Abbreviated Title:
Fla. anthropol.
Florida Anthropological Society
Place of Publication:
Florida Anthropological Society.
Publication Date:
Quarterly[<Mar. 1975- >]
Two no. a year[ FORMER 1948-]
Physical Description:
v. : ill. ; 24 cm.


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


Contains papers of the Annual Conference on Historic Site Archeology.
Dates or Sequential Designation:
v. 1- May 1948-

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
01569447 ( OCLC )
56028409 ( LCCN )
0015-3893 ( ISSN )


This item has the following downloads:




























































































































































Full Text


2000 Florida Anthropological Society Inc.

The Florida Anthropological Society Inc. holds
source text of the Florida Anthropologist
considered the copyright holder for the text
these publications.

all rights to the
and shall be
and images of

The Florida Anthropological Society has made this publication
available to the University of Florida, for purposes of
digitization and Internet distribution.

The Florida Anthropological Society reserves all rights to this
publication. All uses, excluding those made under "fair use"
provisions of U.S. Code, Title 17, Section 107 are restricted.

Contact the Florida Anthropological Society for additional
information and permissions.



Volume 47 Number 2
June 1994

Page Number

Editor's Page. Brent R. Weisman 89

Excavations at Fort San Luis. Bonnie G. McEwan and Charles B. Poe 90

Fifty Years of Archaeological Research at the Lake Jackson Site. Claudine Payne 107

The Lake Jackson Mound Complex (8LE1): Stability and Change in Fort Walton Culture. B. Calvin Jones 120

An Analysis of Artifacts from the Safety Harbor Site (8PI2), Pinellas County, Florida. Jeffrey M. Mitchem 147

Episodic Sea Levels and Human Occupation at Southwest Florida's Wightman Site. Karen J. Walker,
Frank W. Stapor, and William H. Marquardt 161

A Third Ceremonial Tablet From the Goodnow Mound, Highlands County, Florida;
With Notes on Some Peninsular Tribes and Other Tablets. George M. Luer 180

The St. Augustine Historical Society and Archaeology: New Directions from Old Data. James Gregory Cusick 189

The Benton Mound: Evidence of Burial Ceremonialism in the St. Johns I Period. James J. Miller 207

John Griffin on Florida Archaeology: Excerpts From a Conversation. Brent R. Weisman 223


Scarry (ed.), Foraging and Farming in the Eastern Woodlands. Reviewed by William F. Keegan 226

Back Issue Sales from Graves Museum 228
Join the Florida Anthropological Society 229
About the Authors 230

Cover: John Griffin excavating at the Oldest House, St. Augustine, 1959. (Courtesy of the St. Augustine Historical Society)

Publication of this issue of The Florida Anthropologist was made possible in part by the financial generosity of the Wentworth
Foundation and Louis D. Tesar. Their support is gratefully acknowledged.

Copyright 1994 by the
ISSN 0015-3893


Brent R. Weisman

This issue of The Florida Anthropologist is dedicated to
the memory of John W. Griffin, a true friend of Florida
archaeology and a friend to many of us currently active in the
field. The articles that appear herein were carefully solicited
from a younger generation of archaeologists who bring fresh
insights to archaeological sites, problems, or issues that earlier
had been central to John's Florida work. Although many of
John's major concerns are represented here, such as the
relationship between sea level and cultural development in
southwest Florida (see Walker et al.), the distribution of
European artifacts in contact period sites (see Luer), Florida
mission archaeology (McEwan and Poe), urban archaeology in
St. Augustine (Cusick), Mississippian influences on the
Florida sequence (Mitchem, Payne, and Jones), and
archaeological resource management (Miller), the reader is
reminded that John had a long and distinguished career outside
of Florida, which included important excavations at Russell
Cave, the Booker T. Washington cabin, Osceola's gravesite at
Fort Moultrie, and the Petersburg battlefield, to mention only
some. Nonetheless it is my hope that the articles presented
here provide some measure of John's legacy and are a fitting
tribute to one of the founding fathers of Florida archaeology.
Acknowledgment is long past due of the many hours
donated by others to assist in the editing and production of this
and previous issues of the journal. Clara Gualtieri, our
technical editor, has labored long and hard to improve the
quality of the publication. Chris Newman and Louis Tesar
also continue to put in numerous extra hours when called upon
for assistance. Chris, George Luer, Ryan Wheeler, and Bob
Austin, members of the ad hoc mailing committee, do what

they can to assure that you receive your issue on time. Irv
Quitmyer has come promptly to my rescue in times of
computer crisis more than once. Others who have provided
editorial review assistance (beyond the hardworking Editorial
Review Board) include John Hann, Jerry Milanich, Bonnie
McEwan, Roger Smith, Irv Quitmyer, and Gary Ellis. To all
of you, many thanks, and I hope I can count on your continued
A recent unfortunate situation has occurred in which an
author failed to get the proper permission to publish an artifact
photograph. Although the author's error was unintentional and
the result of a misunderstanding, potentially serious
implications arose because the artifact was subject to certain
contractual constraints pertaining to its publication. Further,
the principal investigator, responsible for fulfilling the
contractual obligations, had not yet published on the artifact,
thus the priority of his scholarship was undermined. Although
it is standard practice for this journal to require proof of
permission to publish previously published material (such as
artifact illustrations that have appeared in books or other
journals), authors must now provide written proof of
permission to publish any material that did not originate from
their own work. This would include photographs or
illustrations borrowed from someone else, even if they have
not been published.
Finally, on a more positive note, I would like to thank
William Goza of the Wentworth Foundation and Louis D.
Tesar for their financial contributions to the production of this


Vol. 47 No. 2

JUNE 1994


Bonnie G. McEwan and Charles B. Poe

Among the myriad contributions to archaeology made by
John W. Griffin during his distinguished career, one
particularly complex topic for which he laid a solid foundation
was that of Spanish mission research. For example, Griffin
was the first archaeologist to conduct systematic excavations at
mission San Luis de Talimali (8LE4), where he tested portions
of the moat and possibly a section of the blockhouse at San
Luis (Figure 1) (Griffin 1951:139-160). The implications of
his research were far-reaching because Griffin's collaboration
with a number of historians during this period impressed upon
him the inherent benefits of interdisciplinary research,
particularly between archaeology and history (Griffin 1945).
As Griffin noted in the preface of Here They Once Stood: The
Tragic End of the Apalachee Missions more than 40 years ago,
"Although history and archaeology are often considered as
distinct and unrelated disciplines, they are, in fact, but
different techniques of approaching historical problems" (Boyd
et al. 1951:vii).
With the benefit of hindsight, we now appreciate how this
growing sentiment eventually revolutionized archaeology
during the course of the ensuing decade as historical
archaeology gained recognition as a subdiscipline in its own
right (e.g., Cotter 1993:9). At San Luis, the interdisciplinary
tradition established by John W. Griffin remains a hallmark of
our research program and is one of our greatest strengths to
this day.

Historical Background

The present site of San Luis was selected by the Spaniards
in 1656 for its strategic location atop one of the area's highest
hilltops, approximately 200 feet above sea level. The powerful
Apalachee chief of San Luis probably moved his village from
the site recognized today as Anahaica to be near the Spaniards.
The Apalachee provided the labor responsible for building the
numerous substantial structures within the widespread
community that included a church, friary, council house,
residential areas, and a series of blockhouses.
A 1675 census documented San Luis as being the most
populous mission in Apalachee with 1,400 people, most of
whom were Christianized Apalachee (Calder6n in Hann
1988:171). Unlike most Franciscan missions which had a lone
friar in residence, however, San Luis was the capital of the
missions in western Florida with a deputy governor and the
largest garrison in Apalachee. By the 1670s, a substantial

number of Spanish civilians also were residing in Apalachee to
take advantage of its agricultural potential (see McEwan 1993).
An unknown number of these civilians were reformados
(inactive reserve) who remained on-call in the event of a
military crisis.
The Spaniards and the Apalachee living at San Luis
forged a complex alliance that lasted almost 50 years and
resulted in several generations of mestizo offspring. Like most
multifaceted frontier communities, San Luis maintained
important religious, economic, and social functions. However,
the historical setting within which San Luis was established
dictated that the site be selected, and eventually abandoned, in
response to overarching military circumstances. This article
describes the archaeology of the military complex at San Luis
and offers possible interpretations of its basic configuration.

The First Archaeology at San Luis

John W. Griffin began the first thorough reconnaissance
of San Luis in 1948 using a surplus mine detector (1951:142).
The instrument gave off a positive reading when it passed over
a buried cannon fragment associated with wrought nails and
European and Indian pottery (Griffin 1949:4). Griffin opened
his initial excavation trenches in the vicinity of this artifact
concentration (Figure 2) and determined that the cannon was
situated in the east moat. At that particular location, the moat
measured 8 feet wide at the top, narrowed to 4 feet wide at the
base, and extended only 3 feet deep (Griffin 1948). A second
trench southwest of the first revealed the south moat, but the
west moat proved elusive. Additional tests consisting of 12 5-
foot units near the hypothesized location of the blockhouse
revealed several postholes that were thought to be from a
blockhouse wall (Griffin 1949:4).
Griffin not only located the fort complex at San Luis, but
generated real interest in mission archaeology. Along with
Hale G. Smith, he helped define distinct attributes for mission-
period assemblages in Florida and described the emergence of
a post-Fort Walton period (late prehistoric to early historic)
ceramic complex in the panhandle. They called this complex
"Leon-Jefferson" after the two adjacent counties in which it
was first defined (Boyd et al. 1951; Smith 1948; Willey 1949).
Griffin and Smith correctly attributed the origin of this
complicated-stamped pottery tradition to the Lamar area of
central Georgia. It is still a matter of debate whether or not
the shift from the earlier incised Fort Walton pottery to a


Vol. 47 No. 2

JUNE 1994

Figure 1. John Griffin (kneeling) conducting the first excavations in the San Luisfort complex. Photograph originally published
in the Tallahassee Democrat, June 20, 1948.

predominantly Lamar-like tradition was the result of extended
trade networks or actual immigration of Lamar peoples into the
panhandle (e.g., Worth 1993:28).
Hale G. Smith followed up on Griffin's excavations at the
San Luis fort in 1950. His tests were limited to four
excavation units situated near the southeast corer of the fort
(Smith 1950) (Figure 2). The surviving notes from Smith's
excavations are very sketchy, and the whereabouts of any
associated material culture is unknown.
During his tenure at Florida State University, Charles H.
Fairbanks also tested in the fort complex at San Luis (1956-
1957). Among Fairbanks's most lasting contributions to
archaeology at San Luis was his permanent concrete marker,
which is still intact today. He carefully tied Griffin's and
Smith's excavations into his thoroughly documented grid
system, enabling us to reconstruct these excavations decades
later. Fairbanks's testing of the fort was successful in

relocating the east and south moats previously found by Griffin
(Fairbanks 1956). He may also have found the north moat
(Figure 2).

Recent Testing At The Fort

Owing to the wisdom of the State of Florida, San Luis
was purchased in 1983 and a full-time interdisciplinary
research program was initiated. The site's first archaeology
director, Gary Shapiro, completed a broad-scale survey of the
site in 1984 including topographic mapping and auger testing
(Shapiro 1987). Although the general location of the fort
complex was already known, the results of broad-scale survey
reaffirmed this interpretation. The topographic survey
revealed a significant rise resulting from massive quantities of
blockhouse wall fall (Figure 3), while concentrations of
hardware and European-tradition pottery were recovered from

Figure 3. Topographic map of San Luis showing distinct features associated with the fort complex.

auger tests in the immediate vicinity. Taken together, these
data provided a clear archaeological signature of a European-
style structure and associated activity areas. The topographic
survey also clearly delineates the "covered way," or approach,
to the seep springs in the ravine from the southeast bastion of
the fort.
After the initial site-wide survey, no additional work was
undertaken in the fort complex until 1987 when Charles Poe,
working under Shapiro's direction, conducted a coring survey
in an attempt to relocate the moat (Poe 1987). The results of
the survey, using a 1-inch soil core sampler, suggested the
locations of the eastern and southern moats; however, the
results from the areas presumed to be around the north and
west moats were equivocal.
This was followed in 1990 by the excavation of a 1 m by
12 m trench. The objectives of this investigation were to
confirm the results of the coring survey and to verify both

Griffin's and Fairbanks's identification of the south moat (Poe
1992). The moat was identified in Zone 2 and designated as
Feature 66. Unlike Griffin's findings in the east and south
moats, it was determined that the south moat (at least near the
southwest corner) had stepped sides and measured 3.4 m (11.2
ft) wide at the top, and narrowed to 1.0 m (3.3 ft) wide at the
base. It extended 1.39 m (4.6 ft) deep (Poe 1992:43) (Figure
4). The difference between the two descriptions of the moat
may have resulted from varying construction methods in
different areas around the blockhouse. Although it has been
suggested that Griffin's excavations of the south moat were
suspended prior to reaching true sterile soil (Poe 1992:43),
more recent testing on the moat has demonstrated that its depth
is highly variable from one section to another.
In 1993, extensive excavations of the fort complex were
conducted under the direction of Bonnie G. McEwan, with
Jerry W. Lee serving as field supervisor. The objective of the





] o r ---


I ---


0 20

X SMITH 1950
E_ FAIRBANKS 1956-57
I POE 1990
1 McEWAN 1993



Figure 2. Documented excavations within the San Luisfort complex from 1948 through 1993.



,'-:y ,-.

.,;.. East Moat

Facing North
O_ 1 Griffin 1948


, % South Moat [

'" ""","''' '' "';' Facing W est
Griffin 1948
o 7


.; ,s .5 . .,

. .
-'-', ,-. ,- 7'' -,-.,'-,-- -- --, -, -,- ,;-,'' ,'' '-

-. -.. .'-' South Moat
,,, Facing East

Poe 1990


Figure 4. Profiles of the San Luis moat.


ir.vestigations was to establish baseline information about the
location, configuration, and construction of the fort
blockhouse, palisade, and additional sections of the moat.

The Blockhouse
Historical Data

There are numerous descriptions of the fort and its ruins
through the centuries (Boyd et al. 1951; Hann 1988; Poe
1992). Taken as a whole, these accounts might be described as
contradictory and vague. The only surviving mission-period
cartographic evidence relating to Fort San Luis identified to
date is the sketch of the fort complex made by Admiral
Antonio de Landeche (Figure 5). Although it was drawn in
1705, the year after San Luis was burned and abandoned,
several soldiers who had been stationed at San Luis
accompanied Landeche on his reconnaissance and lend some
credibility to the map. The bizarre spatial relationship of
various features on the map (for example, Apalachee Bay and
the rest of the province) call its accuracy into question,

The legend accompanying Landeche's sketch describes
the San Luis blockhouse as measuring 31 Castilian yards (85
ft) by 21 yards (57 ft) (Boyd et al. 1951:Plate II). Although
Landeche's measurements of the fort blockhouse are quite
specific, many architectural features are not as clear. For

example, the blockhouse is described as being “faced with
palm posts and backed with clay bricks and above strengthened
within and without by a platform of planks" (Boyd et al.
1951:Plate II). Although the description seems unambiguous
enough, it does not ring true. We have no evidence of palm
posts or clay bricks being used at any Spanish mission in
Apalachee. However, a structure similar in appearance to that
illustrated in the Landeche sketch could have been achieved
using a variety of commonly used local construction techniques
and building materials. In fact, a different account of the
blockhouse, which describes the building as having walls of
mud that were sheathed with boards about three fingers thick
(Fuentes in Hann 1988:211), suggests different construction
techniques than those described by Landeche.

Another document recently transcribed and translated by
John H. Hann provides additional details of the 1695
blockhouse constructed under the supervision of Captain
Jacinto Roque Pérez: "And he saw him [Jacinto Roque Pérez]
build the blockhouse out of timbers and within, a guardroom,
high and low quarters for the soldiers, a room for the powder,
and warehouses for the provisions, its curtains and four
bastions with artillery and wall-guns..." (Hann 1993:23).

In addition to the well-known blockhouse documented by
Landeche that was constructed between 1695 and 1697, the
historical record indicates that there were at least three
different casa fuertes, or blockhouses, at San Luis during its
occupation. This original blockhouse was constructed by the

Figure 5. Sketch of Apalachee Bay and the area around San Luis made by Admiral Antonio de Landeche

during his 1705 reconnaissance.

chief of San Luis to house the small garrison (Hann 1988:210).
It was described by Bishop Calder6n on his 1675 visitation as
follows: "In the mission of San Luis, which is the principal
one of the province, resides a military officer in a country
house defended by pieces of ordnance and a garrison of
infantry" (Wenhold 1936:9).
There also appears to have been an interim blockhouse
that was alluded to in a 1709 document that provided testimony
about Captain don Jacinto Roque PNrez: "To the ninth question
he said that he saw them make not only the blockhouse that the
question cites [the 1695 blockhouse], but also before it, the
said captain built another middling lodging for the soldiery,
which cost him many pesos from his own money because of
the former house of the King having been demolished, which
was threatening to collapse" (Hann 1993:35).
It seems likely that all of the blockhouses noted above
would have been situated in approximately the same location
because this part of the hilltop would have offered the greatest
visibility and provided the greatest accessibility to water from
the covered way into the ravine directly below.

Archaeological Data

To refine our ideas about the location of the blockhouse,
a 1-inch coring device was used to test the approximate area of
concentrated wall fall at 1-meter intervals. Stratigraphy and
relative concentrations of debris from each test were recorded
on standardized forms. The results of the survey indicated that
charcoal and burned clay were concentrated east of the 360E
line (Lee 1993).
A total of 112 square meters was excavated during the 12-
week field season, 76 square meters of which were
concentrated in the area of the blockhouse (Figure 6). Zone 1
of the blockhouse consisted of relatively evenly dispersed
modern (twentieth century) debris thought to be associated
with a small residence located just north of the fort complex
until it burned in 1960 or 1961. It is presumed that the
occupants of this house discarded their trash in their front yard
rather than taking advantage of the ravine less than 50 m away.
The greatest concentration of wall fall was encountered in
Zone 2 and consisted almost exclusively of burned clay. The
pattern of wall fall in itself is extremely informative about the
destruction of the building. The two walls thoroughly exposed
in profile (west and south), indicate that the blockhouse fell
inward as the structure burned (Figure 7). Although it appears
as though the blockhouse imploded, architect Herschel Shepard
(personal communication 1993) has suggested that the building
was probably set ablaze and, as the walls weakened, the
residents pushed them inward to ensure that no part was
inadvertently left intact.
Although one anonymous account described the
blockhouse as having been constructed with bricks (in Griffin
1951:141), no bricks or fragments thereof were recovered
during the excavations. Much of the burned clay had flattened

surfaces and was whitewashed, however. Many of the daub
fragments had wattle impressions and some pieces also had
post impressions that were virtually identical in size to
fragments of recovered burned pine post. Interestingly, some
of the daub impressions and burned pieces of pine logs were
approximately two inches or three fingers thick, lending some
veracity to the Fuentes account (in Hann 1988:211). Remains
of burned horizontal planks were found in situ and may be
remnants of a wooden floor in the blockhouse (Herschel
Shepard, personal communication 1993).
A number of major support posts were identified
approximately 1.5 m apart from center to center along what are
believed to be the north and south walls of the blockhouse
(Figure 8). The close intervals at which these posts were set
suggests a substantial building. The north and south walls
were determined to average just over 12 m apart, measuring
very close to the 40 foot building width provided in the
Landeche legend. The west wall of the blockhouse may have
been identified, but will require additional testing. The east
blockhouse wall has yet to be located, but if the dimensions
given on the Landeche sketch legend prove to be as accurate as
it was for the north and south walls, the east wall should be
identified approximately 70 feet from the west wall.
A number of additional, smaller posts were identified
within the blockhouse walls and provide evidence of internal
partitioning. This was anticipated based on documentary
descriptions in which a guardroom, soldiers' barracks, powder
magazine, and storage rooms were mentioned. The
distribution of artifacts analyzed to date has provided little
evidence of specific functional areas within the blockhouse.
The orientation of the blockhouse is also noteworthy to
the extent that it sheds light on the overall town plan at San
Luis. Unlike the church and convento whose long axes were
closely aligned at 75 and 73 degrees west of north,
respectively, the fort's long axis is situated 74 degrees east of
north. This indicates a marked difference in the orientation of
two of the major building complexes within the mission town
and supports the hypothesis that structures at San Luis did not
follow a gridded pattern as mandated for all New World
Spanish colonial towns by royal ordinance (Crouch et al.
The blockhouse was undoubtedly a substantial two-story
earthwork that supported a number of cannon on the roof.
Herschel Shepard, of the Department of Architecture at the
University of Florida, has provided two possible
interpretations of the blockhouse wall construction (Shepard
1993) (Figure 9). Alternative 1 closely reflects the description
provided by Landeche with the use of palm posts and clay
bricks. The second interpretation, Alternative 2, is based on
our recent archaeological findings and suggests a blockhouse
constructed of a series of upright posts reinforced with clay.
Although most of the remains identified during the 1993
investigations are thought to be associated with the "Landeche
blockhouse" constructed between 1695 and 1697, some

App-ox Centarof
.. ...F%!



0 5 10

North 1993

Figure 6. 1993 excavations in the fort complex.

0 Post Hole
SPost Mold
- Post Location Based
on Soil Coring
[ Moat


-- 0--bl


Figure 7. Profile of the collapsed western wall of the blockhouse (facing north).

Figure 8. Profiles of major support posts along the south wall of the blockhouse.

484N 364E 2X2
L42893 PIL

postholes and other features fall outside of the projected
blockhouse walls. They appear to be associated with an earlier
building and may be the remains of the first "fortified country
house" or the interim blockhouse. As noted above, there is
every reason to believe that all of the military fortifications at
San Luis would have been situated in this strategic area.

The Moat

Historical Data

The moat at San Luis was not discernible from the
topographic survey and was certainly filled in at some point.
It is highly possible that the original fill excavated from the
moat was used to construct the banquette terreplain (firing
platform). During the destruction of the fort complex, it is
very likely that the same dirt from the firing platform was used
to refill the moat while the fort complex was being destroyed.
Orders consistent with this interpretation were given for razing
the blockhouse in Apalachicola: "My lieutentant of the
province of Apalachee should send it to him [my order] so that
he may set about the work of demolishing the said blockhouse,
removing all the nails that it may have, without leaving any
behind, fill the moats with dirt and obstacles that remain after
it has been set afire, [doing] all of this in such a way that the
nations of Indians [who are] enemies will not be able to defend
themselves and fortify themselves in it" (Quiroga y Losada

Archaeological Data

During the 1993 excavations in the fort complex, the
moat was identified on the north, east, and south sides of the
fort complex (Figure 6). The location of the northwest bastion
also may have been located in the northwesternmost unit
Based on available data, the moat appears to have been
quite variable in size. Profiles of the moat have been limited
to those drawn by Griffin (1948) and Poe (1992), whereas
other moat data were derived from limited excavation and
coring. The approximate dimensions are as follows:

The bottom of the dry moat was probably planted on all
sides with prickly pear cactus or another type of plant that
would have served as an additional deterrent (Luis Arana,
personal communication 1992).

The Palisade

Historical Data

There is very little documentary evidence regarding the
fort palisade at San Luis. The legend accompanying
Landeche's sketch described the palisade surrounding the
blockhouse as measuring 84 Castilian yards (231 ft) east to
west, 48 yards (132 ft) north to south, and stood 4 yards (11
ft) above the ground surface. A recently transcribed document
also suggests the possibility that the palisade surrounding the
blockhouse was connected to a stockade that was constructed
around the church complex: "...And for that he at once
ordered the playing of retreat and to demolish a defensive
structure that there was consisting of a stockade in the convent
with a trench that ran up to the house of the King
[blockhouse]. This trench was filled in. He demolished the
enclosure and it was all reduced to firewood for the house of
the King" (Hann 1993:37). The extent of this additional
stockade is unclear in the document and it has yet to be
identified either around the church complex or between the
church and fort complexes.

Archaeological Data

During the course of the 1993 fort investigations, the first
evidence of the palisade was found. Located 2 m from the
northern edge of the south moat, a flat-bottomed posthole (PH
15) was identified (centered at 466.25N 358E) (Figure 6).
Although the postmold was not clearly discernible, the south
half of the posthole was somewhat darker and may be the
remains of the post (Lee 1993). Measuring 50 cm in diameter,
the posthole was first identified at 31 cm below surface (62.14
mmsl) and extended to 109 cm below surface (61.36 mmsl).
Although there was no time to open additional units, a limited
coring survey revealed two other possible major palisade posts


North (1993)

East (1948)

East (1993)

South (1948)

South (1990)

Width at Top

2.00 m

2.44 m

2.10-3.00 m

3.80 m

Width at Base


1.25 m


1.15 m

3.40 m 1.05 m


0.90 m

0.91 m

0.95 m

0.90 m

1.39 m

2.3 m to the east (at 466.25N 360.70E and 466.25N 363.00E)
where sterile soil was not encountered until 95 cm below
ground surface (Lee 1993). As with the blockhouse, the
palisade appears to have been constructed by setting in major
load-bearing supports at regular 2.3-meter intervals. There
was no evidence of posts in between these, which suggests that
the interim posts or planks simply may have rested on the
ground surface. Shepard's interpretation of the palisade based
on historical descriptions and recent archaeological findings is
shown in Figure 10 (Shepard 1993). Although the Landeche
sketch suggests that the lower two-thirds of the palisade was
reinforced with clay, no concentrations of burned clay were
recovered in or around the base of the palisade post indicating
that it was covered with clay.

Material Culture

As noted above, the distribution of materials from the fort
excavations have provided little evidence of discrete functional
or activity areas within the proposed boundaries of the
blockhouse or within the larger fort complex. This is no doubt
due to the carefully planned destruction and abandonment of
San Luis during which most valuables were transported from
the missions by the retreating Spaniards (for example, see
Hann 1986).
Table 1 is a summary of remains from the fort
excavations conducted by Fairbanks (1956), Poe (1992), and
McEwan (1993). Additional fort data have been published in
Griffin (1951). Although the analysis of materials from the
1993 fort excavations is still in progress, Table 1 summarizes
the remains from posts and postholes associated with the
palisade and blockhouse, the moat, and Zone 2 within the
blockhouse because most of the fort materials were identified
with this stratum. Although there was some admixture in Zone
2, only colonial-period materials are reported in Table 1.
The most abundant type of material remains from the fort
was burned clay. As noted above, many daub fragments had
diagnostic characteristics such as wattle or small post
impressions, and whitewashing. More than one-half ton of
burned clay was recovered from the limited 1993 proveniences
selected for this study. These counts, in conjuction with the
stratigraphic profiles, suggest that the blockhouse was an
imposing building with massive clay walls.
The ceramic assemblage from the fort was highly
functional and utilitarian in nature. As is the case in most
other areas of San Luis (with the exception of the church and
cemetery), plain aboriginal ceramics dominated the material
assemblage from all three fort excavations, accounting for
between 75 and 77 percent of all aboriginal pottery types.
Predictably, Lamar Complicated Stamped pottery (including
varieties Curlee, Early, and Jefferson) was the most common
type of decorated aboriginal pottery from each of the three fort
excavations. It is presumed that most of these vessels were

used for food storage and preparation by Spanish soldiers, their
Indian counterparts, or the native women who presumably
prepared meals for them.
Very little Colono Ware or Hispanic ceramics were
recovered from the fort complex, indicating that European-
tradition food service was not routine. The only type of
Spanish pottery found in significant quantities in the fort
complex was unglazed olive jar. These vessels probably held
stored foodstuffs such as wine and olives, and were likely
recycled as containers for water, among other things, once
their original contents were used.
Hardware was recovered in relatively large quantities;
however, it was not as plentiful as one might expect from such
a massive structure. It could be that, as at the Apalachicola
fort, at least some of the hardware was retrieved when the fort
was burned because it was a relatively scarce commodity. The
size of nails was highly variable, ranging from 64 to 98 mm
long. Six clinched nails have been identified to date, but they
give no uniform indication of board width as they range from
31 to 77 mm from head to the bend. The length of spikes was
also variable, ranging from 105 to 240 mm. Other forms of
hardware recovered from the fort complex included snipe
hinges, pintel hinges, padlocks, keys, furniture tacks, and
As would be expected, a number of items were related to
military activities, including part of a cannon muzzle, mortar
fragments, gunflints, and lead shot. It is interesting to note,
however, that the number of military objects from the Spanish
village where the soldiers lived was greater than from the fort
complex (McEwan 1993). This is probably related to the fact
that the Spanish residential area was presumably inhabited for
most of the 50-year period that San Luis was occupied,
whereas the fort functioned as such for less than a decade. The
relatively small counts of military-related materials from both
areas of the site may be an indication of just how thoroughly
ordnance and munitions were collected prior to the
abandonment of the site.
Very few objects of a personal nature were found in the
fort complex and consisted primarily of pipe fragments and
beads. Small numbers of glass, jet, and copper tube beads,
and a rosary were recovered by Griffin and are described in
detail in Mitchem (1992). Only one glass bead was found
during the 1990 fort excavations, and only six were recovered
from the 1993 tests. In comparison to other areas of the site,
such as the Spanish village and church complex, the number of
beads recovered from the fort complex is miniscule (Mitchem
Although most of the materials recovered from the fort
complex were typical of those found in other areas of the site,
some objects were unique to the fort. Perhaps the most novel
artifact was a plunger from a clyster pump (James Levy,
personal communication 1993). These are commonly found in
shipwreck sites and were used to give enemas and to treat



------- --

0)----- -
m __



0 oi


- WiOW wlli 3AL., JAMeS




6 12 BUAM

I WHoo" PO rT*,




SCA LE 3/4"I'- 0

Figure 9. Two alternative views of the blockhouse wall construction based on historical documentation

(Alternative 1) and archaeological investigations (Alternative 2) (from Shepard 1993).

fo -, I = W-,,


+5 ,, r IC I-.

Figure 10. Conjectural views of the palisade construction at San Luis based on archaeological and
historical data (from Shepard 1993).

Table 1. Mission Period Artifacts from the San Luis Fort Complex*
(*artifacts from Griffin's excavations are reported in Boyd et al. 1951)


KITCHEN: CERAMICS Count Percent Count Percent Count Percent Count Percent
Plain Aboriginal Ceramic 2336 75.35 941 76.26 1575 78.67 4852 76.58
Other Aboriginal Ceramic 2 .06 2 .03
Unidentified Aboriginal Ceramic 183 5.90 112 9.08 80 4.00 375 5.92
Norwood Plain 1 .08 1 .02
Colono Ware, Plain 11 .89 21 1.05 32 .51
Fort Walton Incised 12 .39 11 .89 4 .20 27 .43
Lake Jackson Incised 4 .13 10 .81 14 .22
Marsh Island Incised 13 .42 4 .20 17 .27
Ocmulgee Fields Incised 41 1.32 1 .08 3 .15 45 .71
Point Washington Incised 1 .03 1 .08 1 .05 3 .05
Unidentified Incised (No Punctates) 91 2.94 16 1.30 32 1.60 139 2.19
Unidentified Punctate 3 .24 3 .15 6 .09
St. Johns UID Decorated 1 .03 1 .02
Weeden Island Incised 2 .16 2 .03
Lamar Complicated Stamped 198 6.39 82 6.65 178 8.89 458 7.23
Swift Creek Complicated Stamped 5 .16 1 .08 5 .25 11 .17
Leon Check Stamped 16 .52 36 1.80 52 .82
Cross Simple Stamped 1 .03 1 .02
Wakulla Check Stamped 7 .23 2 .16 7 .35 16 .25
Unidentified Stamped 45 1.45 21 1.70 9 .45 75 1.18
Unidentified Complicated Stamped 36 1.16 36 .57
Unidentified Simple Stamped 1 .05 1 .02
Alachua Cob Marked 1 .03 1 .08 2 .03
Chattahoochee Brushed 6 .19 2 .16 8 .13
Unidentified Impressed 12 .39 1 .05 13 .21
Mission Red Filmed 89 2.87 16 1.30 42 2.10 147 2.32
(Subtotal) ABORIGINAL CERAMICS 3100 100.00 1234 100.00 2002 100.00 6336 100.00

Bisque 6 .88 6 .58
Lead Glazed Coarse Earthenware 4 1.25 7 1.03 11 1.07
Tin Enamel Coarse Earthenware 1 .31 1 .10
Olive Jar, Unglazed 259 81.19 19 59.38 597 88.05 875 85.03
Storage Jar, Unglazed 1 .31 1 .15 2 .19
Olive Jar, Glazed 8 2.51 1 3.13 32 4.72 41 3.98
Yayal Blue on White Majolica 1 .31 -- 1 .10
San Luis Blue on White Majolica 2 .63 1 3.13 3 .29
Aucilla Polychrome Majolica 12 3.76 12 1.17
Abo Polychrome Majolica 1 .31 6 .88 7 .68
Puebla Polychrome Majolica 7 2.19 3 9.38 3 .44 13 1.26
San Luis Polychrome Majolica 4 1.25 1 .15 5 .49
Castillo Polychrome Majolica 2 .63 2 .29 4 .39
San Agustin Blue on White Majolica 1 .15 1 .10
Unidentified Majolica 16 5.02 8 25.00 22 3.24 46 4.47
Grey Saltglazed Stoneware 1 .31 1 .10
(Subtotal) EUROPEAN CERAMICS 319 100.00 32 100.00 678 100.00 1029 100.00
TOTAL CERAMICS 3419 46.42 1266 17.19 2680 36.39 7365 100.00

Bottle, Glass, Square Mold Blown (Case) 1 3.33 1 25.00 4 7.27 6 6.74
Bottle, Glass, Fragment 29 96.67 3 75.00 17 30.91 49 55.06
Bottle, Blown Glass, Unidentified 33 60.00 33 37.08
Mano, Mexican 1 1.82 1 1.12
TOTAL OTHER KITCHEN 30 100.00 4 100.00 55 100.00 89 100.00

Hinge, Snipe 1 5.00 -1 .28
Key, Door, Iron 2 1.10 2 .56
Tack, Iron, Hand-Wrought 4 2.21 4 1.11
Nail, Iron, Hand-Wrought, Whole 150 94.94 16 80.00 163 90.06 329 91.64
Spike, Iron, Hand-Wrought, Whole 7 4.43 1 5.00 12 6.63 20 5.57
Pin, Cotter, Iron 1 .63 1 .28
Wire, Drawn, Iron -1 5.00 1 .28
Bolt, Fragment, Iron 1 5.00 1 .28
TOTAL ARCHITECTURE 158 100.00 20 100.00 181 100.00 359 100.00


Table 1. Mission Period Artifacts from the San Luis Fort Complex (Cont.)

Barrel, Gun, Fragmentary, Iron
Cannon, Fragment, Iron
BoNb, Iron, Fragment (17th/18th c. mortar)
Shot, Lead
Bullet, Lead
Gunflint, Spall, European Manufacture
Gunflint, Local Manufacture

Stem, Kaolin Tobacco Pipe 6/64 1.D.
Pipe, Tobacco, Aboriginal (Ceramic)
Bead, Unidentified Wire Wound
Bead, Unidentified Tube
Buckle, Iron, Unidentified

Hook, Fish, Iron
Clyster Pump, Brass

Count Percent
1 12.50

1 12.50

1 12.50

5 62.50
8 100.00

3 100.00

3 100.00



POE 1990
unt Percent

1 100.00

1 100.00

1 100.00

1 100.00

- 1
- 1

Tack, Brass

Bell, Religious, Brass

Chert Core w/ Cortex
Chert Point, Projectile
Chert Flake, Not Utilized/Retouched, w/ Cortex
Chert Flake, Utilized/Retouched, w/ Cortex
Chert, Tool, Unifacial
Chert Tool, Bifacial
Chert Fragment/Shatter
Chert Cortex Fragment
Coral Core with Cortex
Coral Flake, Not Utilized/Retouched, w/ Cortex
Coral Flake, Utilized/Retouched w/ Cortex
Coral Tool, Bifacial
Coral Fragment/Shatter
Other Stone Tool, Bifacial
Ground Granitic Stone
Ground Sandstone

1 100.00
1 100.00








Weight/Gm Percent Weight/Gm Percent Weight/Gm Percent

Fragment, Iron
Fragment, Brass
Strap, Brass
Tube, Copper
Sheet, Copper
Fragment, Lead
Lead, Lump

Spanish Brick
Clay, Burned
Clay, Burned, with Flat Surface
Clay, Burned, Whitewashed w/ Flat Surface
Clay, Burned w/ Finished Surface
Daub with Impression



1250.00 100.00 268.90

188.20 46.23 3036.30
218.90 53.77 69.00

407.10 100.00 3536.30





577.70 78.55 2032.80
60.20 8.18 99.70
24.40 3.32 24.40
40.40 5.49 40.40
15.60 2.12 20.80
17.20 2.34 21.60
735.50 100.00 2254.40




McEWAN 1993
Count Percent

2 22.22
1 11.11
1 11.11

2 22.22
3 33.33
9 100.00




1 100.00
1 100.00

Count Percent
1 5.56
2 11.11
2 11.11
1 5.56
2 11.11
2 11.11
8 44.44
18 100.00



1 100.00
1 100.00

1 100.00
1 100.00


Total Percent







syphilis (Kathleen Deagan, personal communication 1993).
Very little fauna was recovered from the proveniences
excavated. This may well have resulted from sampling bias
because excavations were concentrated on the structural areas
rather than more open spaces where trash pits would more
likely be found. Based on excavations elsewhere across the
site, it has been demonstrated that Spaniards tended to dispose
of their refuse in large pits away from buildings (McEwan
1991, 1993). Weinand and Reitz (1992) identified only cow
and turtle from the fort, with cow comprising the vast majority
of the biomass.


Although the excavations in the fort complex at San Luis
potentially provide a unique glimpse of the colonial military
experience in Apalachee Province, our image appears to be
limited by the fact that the relationship of the military complex
within the larger Spanish-Indian community was somewhat
specialized. Because the town of San Luis had well-established
religious, domestic, and public areas, the fort complex played
a relatively limited role as a workplace for the garrison, a
storehouse for supplies and munitions, and a safehouse in the
event of a siege (which never occurred). This stands in sharp
contrast to our image of frontier military life from other
outlying forts, such as Fort Pupo, where the entire universe of
the garrison revolved around one fortification (Goggin 1951).
As a result, the material remains from the fort complex
excavations at San Luis are largely restricted to those
functional objects directly associated with building
construction, maintenance, and military activities.
Although our recent investigations are too preliminary to
draw any definitive conclusions about military life or
organization, we have nonetheless come far toward
establishing the location and spatial relationship of various
components within the fort complex. The size and
configuration of the fort complex closely conform to the
description provided on the Landeche sketch, but we have
determined that many of the construction details vary
considerably. And although we are now faced with many
tantalizing clues about the construction methods used on the
blockhouse and palisade, interpretation remains conjectural
until further research can be undertaken.

References Cited

Boyd, Mark F., Hale G. Smith, and John W. Griffin
1951 Here They Once Stood: The Tragic End of the
Apalachee Missions. University of Florida Press,

Cotter, John L.
1993 Historical Archaeology before 1967. Historical
Archaeology 27(1):4-9.

Crouch, Dora, Daniel Garr, and Axel Mundigo
1982 Spanish City Planning in North America. MIT Press,

Fairbanks, Charles H.
1956 Field Notes. Ms. on file, San Luis
Historic Site, Tallahassee.

Archaeological and

Goggin, John M.
1951 Fort Pupo: A Spanish Frontier Outpost.
Historical Quarterly 30(2): 139-192.


Griffin, John W.
1945 History and Archaeology in Florida. Florida Historical
Quarterly 23(3):184-190.

1948 Field Notes. Ms. on file, San Luis Archaeological and
Historic Site, Tallahassee.

1949 Excavations at the Site of San Luis De Talimali. Draft
ms. on file, San Luis Archaeological and Historic Site,

1951 Excavations at the Site of San Luis. In Here They Once
Stood: The Tragic End of the Apalachee Missions, by
Mark F. Boyd, Hale G. Smith, and John W. Griffin, pp.
139-160. University of Florida Press, Gainesville.

Hann, John H.
1986 Church Furnishings, Sacred Vessels and Vestments Held
by the Mission of Florida: Translation of Two
Inventories. Florida Archaeology 2:147-164.

1988 Apalachee: The Land between the Rivers. University
Press of Florida, Gainesville.

1993 The Juana Cathalina de Florencia Document of 1709:
The Tallahassee Area's First European Settlers.
Transcribed, translated, and annotated by John H. Hann.
Ms. on file, San Luis Archaeological and Historic Site,

Lee, Jerry W.
1993 Field Report of Block 4 Excavations, 1993. Ms. on
file, San Luis Archaeological and Historic Site,
Tallahassee, Florida.

McEwan, Bonnie G.
1991 San Luis de Talimali: The Archaeology of Spanish-
Indian Relations at a Florida Mission. Historical
Archaeology 25(3): 36-60.

1993 Hispanic Life on the Seventeenth-Century Florida
Frontier. The Spanish Missions of La Florida, edited by

B. McEwan, pp. 295-321. University Press of Florida,

Mitchem, Jeffrey M.
1992 Summary Description of Beads from the Fort at San Luis
de Talimali. Ms. on file, San Luis Archaeological and
Historic Site, Tallahassee.

1993 Beads and Pendants from San Luis de Talimali:
Inferences from Varying Contexts. In The Spanish
Missions of La Florida, edited by B. McEwan, pp. 399-
417. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.

Poe, Charles B.
1987 Summary Report of Soil Core Investigations: Fort San
Luis. Ms. on file, San Luis Archaeological and Historic
Site, Tallahassee.

1992 1990 Moat Investigations at San Luis. Ms. on file, San
Luis Archaeological and Historic Site, Tallahassee.

Quiroga y Losada, Diego de
1691 Auto by Governor Diego de Quiroga y Losada to the
King. Enclosure in a letter to the King on April 10,
1692. Archive de las Indians, Santo Domingo 228,
Jeannette Thurber Connor Collection, vol. 4 of "Misiones
Guale" of the Thomas Jefferson Library of the University
of Missouri, St. Louis. Transcribed and translated by
John H. Hann. Ms. on file, San Luis Archaeological and
Historic Site, Tallahassee.

Shapiro, Gary
1987 Archaeology at San Luis: Broad-Scale Testing, 1984-
1985. Florida Archaeology 3.

Shepard, Herschel E.
1993 Research Report. Ms. on file, San Luis Archaeological
and Historic Site, Tallahassee.

Smith, Hale G.
1948 Two Historical Archaeological Periods in Florida.
American Antiquity 13(4):313-319.

1950 Field Notes. Ms. on file, San Luis Archaeological and
Historic Site, Tallahassee.

Weinand, Daniel C., and Elizabeth J. Reitz
1992 Vertebrate Fauna from San Luis de Talimali. Ms. on
file, San Luis Archaeological and Historic Site,

Wenhold, Lucy
1936 A 17th Century Letter of Gabriel Diaz Vara Calder6n,
Bishop of Cuba, Describing the Indians and Indian

Missions of Florida.
Collections 95(16).

Smithsonian Miscellaneous

Willey, Gordon R.
1949 Archeology of the Florida Gulf Coast. Smithsonian
Miscellaneous Collections 113.

Worth, John E.
1993 Prelude to Abandonment: The Interior Provinces of
Early 17th-Century Georgia. Early Georgia 21(1):24-58.

Bonnie G. McEwan and Charles B. Poe
San Luis Archaeological and Historic Site
2020 Mission Road
Tallahassee, Florida 32304


Claudine Payne

Early in his archaeological career (in 1947, at the age of
27), John W. Griffin carried out excavations at the Lake
Jackson site north of Tallahassee. For 32 years, Griffin's
(1950) report of his investigations stood as one of only two
published sources of information on this spectacular site.
Many archaeologists have followed in Griffin's footsteps at
Lake Jackson, but for various logistical reasons, little has been
published on those investigations. Although Griffin went on
to focus his energies on other aspects of Florida archaeology
and history, his name is inextricably linked with the
archaeology of the Lake Jackson site. In this article, I present
a history of archaeology at the site and dedicate it to John
Griffin, not only for his pioneering work at Lake Jackson but
for his many contributions to the archaeology of Florida.

The Lake Jackson Site

The Lake Jackson Mounds site (8LE1) is a group of
seven earthen mounds occupied between about A.D. 1050 or
1100 and 1500, the time period generally termed
Mississippian. The site's occupation falls into the Lake
Jackson phase (A.D. 1100 or 1200 to 1500) as defined by John
Scarry (1984) and Marion Smith (Smith and Scarry 1988) in a
regional chronology for the Tallahassee area. Several further
chronological divisions became apparent as I examined ceramic
materials from many of the investigations described below. As
a result, I divided Scarry's and Smith's long Lake Jackson
phase into three shorter phases at the Lake Jackson site: Lake
Jackson I, Lake Jackson II (with further divisions into early
and late subphases), and Lake Jackson III (Payne 1991). Table
1 summarizes the characteristics and durations of these new
divisions. After A.D. 1500, occupation at the site appears to
have been small-scale and sporadic.
At the Lake Jackson site (Figure 1), six of the mounds are
pyramidal flat-topped mounds; one is a low, rounded rise.
The major mound precinct consists of five large flat-topped
mounds and the low mound. These are arranged on both sides
of Butler's Mill Creek, which flows into Lake Jackson. The
seventh mound (Mound 1) is situated about 300 m (about 1000
ft) north of the main precinct. The entire site, including
mounds, living areas, and probably some large cleared spaces,
encompasses about 24 ha (60 ac). The mounds range in size
from about 1 to 11 m (3 to 36 ft) high. The largest mound

(Mound 2) covers an area of more than half a hectare (more
than an acre). The site is one of the 10 largest Mississippian
mound centers in the lower Southeast, and it is the largest
mound site within a radius of nearly 200 km (125 mi).
The Lake Jackson site stands on the southwestern shore of
Lake Jackson in western Leon County, Florida (see Figure 2).
The site lies in a broad, flat plain at the foot of the 15 to 30 m
(50 to 100 ft) bluffs of the lake basin. Meginnis Arm, an
offshoot of Lake Jackson, lies directly east of the site about
100 m (about 300 ft). Butler's Mill Creek rises 30 m (100 ft)
above on the ridge to the west and flows east through the site
to Meginnis Arm (about 1500 m or approximately 1 mi). The
site is located in the eastern part of Section 10 and the extreme
western part of Section 11 of Township 1 North, Range 1
West. The section line between Sections 10 and 11 runs
through the site; indeed, Mound 2 extends to the line.
The first written description of the Lake Jackson site
came from A. M. Randolph, who surveyed Township 1 North,
Range 1 West in 1852. The area had been surveyed 27 years
earlier by James and John Donelson, but they did not mention
the mounds in their notes (Donelson and Donelson 1825).
Randolph, however, noted "three Indian mounds" about
halfway along the section line between Sections 10 and 11
(Randolph 1852:69). The mounds were owned at this time by
Colonel Robert Butler, the first Surveyor General of Territorial
Florida. Butler had arrived in Tallahassee in 1824 and, by the
1830s, had acquired about 365 ha (900 ac) of prime farmland
on the southwestern shore of Lake Jackson west of Meginnis
Arm (Groene 1971:43; Paisley 1968:5).
At the time of Randolph's survey, open fields occupied
much of Section 10. A "canal" (probably Butler's Mill Creek)
flowed east from a mill near the center of Section 10 and cut
between two of the mounds. The locations of the "canal" and
other watercourses differ from those described by the
Donelsons, and it may be that Butler altered the landscape
somewhat when he built the mill. Indeed, today there is clear
physical evidence of land alterations west of the mounds along
Butler's Mill Creek and near the ruins of the mill (Robert
Morley, Lake Jackson Mounds State Archaeological Site
manager, personal communication 1989).
In the late nineteenth century, most of the Butler
plantation (including the mounds) was apparently sold to the
Florida Planting Company, which owned 400 ha (990 ac) in


JUNE 1994

Vol. 47 No. 2


Figure 1. The Lake Jackson site with locations of selected archaeological investigations indicated.

Lake Jackson Site



Gulf of Mexico

Cl een res semi


CP 1990

Figure 2. Location of the Lake Jackson site.

1911 (Paisley 1968:67). In that year, the former Butler
plantation was sold to the Florida Pecan Endowment Company
(FPEC) (Paisley 1968:67). The FPEC planted pecan trees (20
to the acre), then sold 5-acre lots with the promise to manage
the lots for the mostly absentee owners for 5 years. This
investment scheme began collapsing in the 1920s when pecan
production dropped, and many lots were forfeited to the state
for delinquent taxes. By the early 1940s, all the former pecan
endowment land had been sold (Paisley 1968:66-71).
In the early part of the twentieth century, researchers
began to take an occasional interest in the Lake Jackson site.
The first reference to the site in a research publication came in
1918 when Nels C. Nelson noted merely that he had visited (in
1917), "among other things of antiquarian interest, a group of
artificial sand mounds on the shore of Lake Jackson near
Tallahassee" (Nelson 1918:77). Twenty years later, historian
Mark Boyd mentioned the site briefly in an article on
seventeenth-century Spanish missions (Boyd 1939:272). His
interest in the site lay in its location which he thought fit the
description of the mission of San Damian de Escambi (Boyd
Not long after the reference by Boyd came a visit to the
site by two young archaeologists. Gordon R. Willey and
Richard B. Woodbury, graduate students at Columbia
University, surveyed the Florida Gulf Coast for the National
Park Service in the summer of 1940. They came to Lake
Jackson in June and carried out limited excavations (Willey
1940:1). Theirs was the first of many archaeological
investigations at the site.

The 1940s

The Site in the 1940s

Willey's and Woodbury's brief visit to the mounds
provides us with a fair amount of information regarding the
condition of the site 50 years ago. The following description
is taken from Willey's reports (1940:2, 3, 14, 15, 16,
1949:95). That summer a pecan grove lay north of the main
mound precinct, between Mounds 1 (the northernmost) and 2.
A dirt road led to the main part of the site from the northwest,
ending a short distance west of Mound 4. The mounds were
partly covered by oak and gum trees. The areas between the
mounds were planted in grass. A local informant told Willey
and Woodbury that the part of the site east of the mounds (in
Section 11) had been used in recent years by a tenant farmer
for grazing cattle. The area around the mounds showed signs
of having been under cultivation at some time (presumably
from the pecan grove, but possibly also from Butler's
plantation). The mounds appeared to be largely intact and
unharmed by cultivation, although several had sustained some
damage in the form of old excavations. Mounds 3 and 7 were
undamaged. The site was divided into 18 lots, many of these


(judging from their size and regular shape) undoubtedly the
original 5-acre FPEC lots. The 18 lots were owned by eight
individuals and the State of Florida.

Test Excavations North and South of Mound 2

During their short visit to the site, Willey and Woodbury
dug two 3 m by 3 m units on either side of Mound 2. The
southern unit (about 20 m [65 ft] south of the mound) yielded
very few artifacts and little evidence of occupation. Willey
speculated that the creek which ran nearby (Butler's Mill
Creek) had washed away any midden that might have existed
there (Willey 1949:98). The northern unit (about 60 m [200 ft]
north of the mound) yielded cultural deposits to a depth of
about 40 or 50 cm (around 18 in) and a moderate collection of
sherds which Willey classified as belonging to the
Mississippian Fort Walton period. Nearly 10 years later,
Willey reported the results of the excavations at Lake Jackson
in his massive compendium of data on the archaeology of
Florida's Gulf Coast (Willey 1949:95-99).

Excavations between Mounds 2 and 4

A few years after Willey's and Woodbury's visit, John
Griffin (then with the Florida Park Service) excavated a fairly
large area west of Mound 2 (Griffin 1950). Griffin placed 87
5-foot-square units between Mounds 2 and 4. In this area, he
found evidence of occupation that averaged 45 cm (18 in) deep
and included many overlapping pits, post holes, and other
features. A series of tests south of the main excavations,
however, turned up very little. The contrast between the two
areas, along with the barrenness of Willey's unit south of
Mound 2, led Griffin to speculate that the area between
Mounds 2 and 4 and between Mounds 2 and 3 represented a
cleared plaza (Griffin 1950:103). Griffin classified the 8,000
sherds recovered as belonging primarily to the Fort Walton
period. Based on my later examination of Griffin's collection,
it appears that the area between Mounds 2 and 4 was used
continuously throughout Lake Jackson's 400 to 500 years of
Griffin also cleaned and profiled a vandal's cut on the
south side of Mound 2. Griffin's (1950:99-100) description of
the profile provides the first glimpse into the interior of a
mound at Lake Jackson. The profile revealed two apparent
building episodes (one of black muck and one of varying soil
types and colors), each capped with a layer of clay. These
building levels represented only a small part of the mound's
history; the profile was only 2 m (6 ft) deep, less than a fifth
of the total height of the mound (11 m or 36 ft).
Just before the fieldwork ended, Griffin (1950:101)
cleared the humus off the top of Mound 4 to look for structures
on the summit. Seven possible post holes turned up just under
the humus layer, but time was getting short, and the operation

Table 1. Ceramic Chronology for the Lake Jackson Site.

Ceramic Assemblage
Site Phase Ceramic Assemblage Suggested Dates

Wakulla Check Stamped
Fort Walton Incised
Lake Jackson I W A.D. 1050 or 1100 to 1150
mica inclusions
unaltered rim forms
Wakulla Check Stamped
Carrabelle Punctated, var.
cob-marked pottery
Fort Walton Incised
Early Lake
Cool Branch Incised
Jackson II Inci A.D. 1150 to 1250
Marsh Island Incised
Lake Jackson Incised
red-filmed pottery
unaltered or folded rims
loop and strap handles
occasional mica inclusions
Fort Walton Incised
Cool Branch Incised
Marsh Island Incised
Lake Jackson Incised
Late Lake red-filmed pottery A.D. 1250 to 1400
Jackson II altered rim forms (notched,
ticked, scalloped)
loop and strap handles
occasional mica inclusions
Fort Walton Incised (some
varieties no longer occur)
Lake Jackson Lake Jackson Incised A.D. 1400 to 1500
II red-filmed pottery
altered rim forms (notched,
ticked, scalloped, fluted)

Note: Dates attached to phases are based on a limited number of associated radiocarbon
dates and on cross-dating of some artifact types with those from other areas. The dates of
phases should be regarded as tentative and open to revision.

had to be abandoned without going any deeper.

The 1950s

The Site in the 1950s

Air photos reveal some alterations to the site in the
1950s. Images from the 1954 series show a house south of
Mound 3, with a small pond to the northwest of the house.
This pond was probably created by damming Butler's Mill
Creek, because the pond seems to be near the course of the
stream. Generally, the site was more wooded than in earlier
years, and the mounds themselves, all still largely intact, were
covered in vegetation.

Excavations in Mound 1

In the middle to late 1950s, Hale G. Smith and Charles
H. Fairbanks of the Department of Anthropology at Florida
State University undertook a small excavation in Mound 1 (the
northernmost mound). Unfortunately, little documentation of
this operation remains today. One picture of the excavation
(from a distance) exists, along with a very general list of items
recovered. Despite the assistance of staff and faculty at the
Bureau of Archaeological Research, Florida State University,
and the Florida Museum of Natural History, I have been
unable to locate either field notes or the artifact collection from
this excavation.

The 1960s

The Site in the 1960s

On January 24, 1965, an article appeared in the
Tallahassee Democrat documenting a proposal by the State of
Florida to purchase 80 ac (32 ha) including the main mound
precinct and surrounding areas (Boyles 1965). The article laid
out an ambitious and somewhat impractical plan (they placed a
parking lot across the floodplain of Butler's Mill Creek) for the
development of a new park. This proposed park included a
small museum, an amphitheater, large parking lots, restrooms,
and nature trails. The article stressed the tentative nature of
the plans, and, in fact, most of the plans were never
implemented. At the time of the article the State had yet to
negotiate sales with the various landowners.
A map accompanying the article and an aerial photo from
1966 yield additional information about the condition of the
site at the time. At the time of the article, Butler's Mill Creek
had been diverted to flow from the small pond near Mound 3
to a larger one just to the north (between Mounds 2 and 4).
Because this larger pond does not appear on the 1960 aerial
photo of the site (taken on March 22, 1960), we can place the
pond's construction between March 22, 1960 and January 24,
1965. A branch of the creek also continued out of the first

small pond, flowed to the east between Mounds 2 and 3, then
curved to the northeast to run just north of Mound 7.
In May 1966, the State of Florida purchased 11.5 ac (4.7
ha) (Robert Morley, personal communication 1989). This was
far smaller than the original plans and included only part of the
main mound precinct. The tract was T-shaped and
encompassed about three-quarters of Mound 2, all of Mound
4, and half of Mound 5. The State designated the park the
Lake Jackson Mounds State Archaeological Site and assigned
the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to manage it.
The rest of the site remained in private hands.

Test Excavations North and East of Mound 2

Near the end of the 1960s, DNR planned several
improvements to the park. The first alteration involved the
construction of a drainage ditch along the north boundary of
the property (this is about 100 m [300 ft] north of Mounds 2
and 4). This ditch allowed water from the pond between the
mounds to drain into Lake Jackson. Although not clear from
aerial photos, this construction probably resulted in the
effective diversion of Butler's Mill Creek which no longer runs
in the course shown on earlier maps and air photos. In 1968,
Daniel Penton of the Bureau of Historic Sites and Properties
(BHSP) excavated two 2-meter-square units along the route of
the ditch, one northeast of Mound 2 in the easement along the
neighboring landowner's property, the other 72 m (236 ft)
west of the first on park property (Penton 1968).
Test Pit 1 yielded a moderate number of artifacts but little
in the way of features. Three possible post holes appeared in
Level 3 (between 30 and 40 cm [12 to 16 in.]) just before the
cultural deposit stopped at about 40 cm (16 in.). Test Pit 2,
which was north of Mound 2, proved the richer of the two
units. Penton found numerous features, much darker soil, and
nearly three times more artifacts than in Test Pit 1. Pits, post
holes, and large areas of burned clay at varying depths
indicated the presence of several overlapping structures and
associated features. This evidence of occupation extended to
about 50 cm (20 in.) below the surface. My later analysis of
the artifacts from these units indicated that the two areas were
occupied during Lake Jackson III times (around A.D. 1400 to

Excavations North of Mound 4

In 1969, DNR requested archaeological excavations at
three proposed building construction sites in the park. In
December of that year, Frank Fryman (also of the BHSP)
excavated 28 square meters in a proposed restroom location
north of Mound 4 and 14 square meters on the nearby hilltop
where a residence and shop were to be constructed. He also
placed shovel tests in the parking lot area northwest of Mound
4 (Fryman 1969, n.d.). The buildings and parking lot were
built in the early 1970s.

The restroom location was only about 100 m (300 ft)
northwest of the rich and complex deposits uncovered by
Griffin in 1947, and Fryman expected that it would be
archaeologically productive (Fryman n.d.:2). And part of it
was. The eastern side of the excavation revealed cultural
deposits to a depth of 30 cm (12 in.) along with various
features including a portion of a wall trench with post holes
15-20 cm (6-8 in.) in diameter. When I analyzed the excavated
material in the early 1990s, I found Fort Walton artifacts
typical of the Lake Jackson I and II phases (around A.D. 1100
to 1400). In the western side of the excavation, much less
cultural material appeared, and there were no features. These
findings prompted Fryman to recommend that the restroom site
be moved at least 10 m (30 ft) west. This was a wise decision.
The results of my auger survey 20 years later (see below)
indicated that Fryman had placed his units right at the western
edge of the site. Shifting the building location 10 m west
probably prevented much damage to the site. Fryman's other
tests, at the top of the hill and where the parking lot is now
(west of Mound 4), produced no features and little aboriginal

The 1970s

The Site in the 1970s

In January, 1974, the State of Florida bought
approximately 70 ac (28 ha) adjacent to and west of the earlier
purchase (Robert Morley, personal communication 1989).
This parcel contained at least two outlying aboriginal farmstead
sites (Payne 1989, 1990) and the remains of Colonel Butler's
nineteenth-century mill on Butler's Mill Creek. However,
only a small portion of the Lake Jackson site (an occupation
area related to the main mound group [Payne 1989]) stood on
the newly acquired land, and the State did not acquire any
more of the mound group itself. This purchase brought the
total park property up to almost 82 ac (33 ha) (Robert Morley,
personal communication 1989). At this time, up to the
present, virtually all the site not owned by the State was owned
by various members of one family, the Crowders (Rockford
Map Publishers 1974; Florida Plats 1986; Leon County
Property Appraiser's Office 1989).
Despite being listed in the National Register of Historic
Places in May, 1971, alterations to the site continued in the
1970s; several of these resulted in the loss of irreplaceable
archaeological data. In the early 1970s, landowners graded
away the east half of Mound 5 and the top of Mound 6 (Jones
1982:5). In 1975 and 1976, the owner of Mound 3 removed it
to expand a workshop next to the mound (Jones 1982:7).
Another alteration occurred on park property. The
artificial pond between Mounds 2 and 4 was refilled sometime
between 1976 and 1979 (Robert Morley, personal
communication 1989); Calvin Jones monitored this operation.
Butler's Mill Creek, which had flowed into the pond and then

to a ditch along the northern park boundary, continued in its
diverted course to flow north through the park then east to
Meginnis Arm rather than directly east between Mounds 2 and
3 as it had in earlier times (Randolph 1852; Willey 1940).

Salvage Excavation of Mound 3

The destruction of Mound 3 in 1975 and 1976 resulted,
ironically, in the acquisition of important information about
the people who built the mounds and about Lake Jackson's ties
to the rest of the Mississippian world (Jones 1982, this issue).
Mound 3, standing just south of the main mound (Mound 2),
was 4.9 m (16 ft) tall in 1975, a somewhat taller-than-average
Mississippian platform mound. When Calvin Jones of the
BHSP learned of the mound's impending destruction, he
persuaded the landowner to allow salvage excavations. In the
face of severe constraints set by the landowner, Jones and a
small crew put forth a heroic effort and, though unable to
rescue everything, managed to save burials, grave goods, and
structural data that otherwise would have been lost forever.
Jones reported his findings in a 1982 article, the first published
information on Lake Jackson since Griffin's 1950 article 32
years before.
Jones (1982:8-9, 20) found an occupation area below the
mound dating to around A.D. 1240 +- 90. On the earliest
floor lay a clump of charred corn, testifying to the importance
of cultivated crops to the people of Lake Jackson. Overlying
this were 12 structural floors separated by episodes of fill,
consisting of lenses of various types of soils. On some of
these floors, rectangular buildings had been constructed. A
carbon sample from the top of the mound yielded a date of
A.D. 1476 +- 85. The radiocarbon dates from Mound 3 place
it in the middle and late stages of Lake Jackson's occupation
(A.D. 1250 to 1500).
The most spectacular discoveries in Mound 3 were 24
burials and their accompanying grave goods. This extensive
collection of Mississippian copper, shell, pearl, and other
elaborate and beautiful items is one of the most significant
known. Not only are the contents of Mound 3 intrinsically
interesting, but studies of their nature and distribution within
the mound have yielded information on political structure
(Scarry 1990; Payne and Scarry 1990), social structure (Jones
1982, this issue; Payne and Scarry 1990), health (Storey
1991), technological capabilities (Leader 1988, 1991), and
exchange networks (Jones 1982, this issue; Payne and Scarry
1993; Scarry 1993). Details of the Mound 3 excavation can be
found in Calvin Jones's article in this issue.

Excavations in Mound 6

Less spectacular but still informative were excavations in
Mound 6 (east of Mound 3) by Louis Hill, a resident of
Tallahassee (Hill n.d.). He excavated ten 2 m x 2 m units in
the northern part of the mound. Hill donated his artifact

collection and field notes to the Bureau of Archaeological
Research (a successor to the BHSP) in the 1980s (John Scarry,
personal communication 1989; Hill n.d.).
Like Mound 3, Mound 6 was built over a previous
occupation area, but unlike Mound 3, the earlier occupation
had been covered with a layer of light-colored sand before
mound construction. Hill found several possible living floors
in the mound but no burials. When I examined the artifacts
from this excavation, I found that they were characteristic of
the Late Lake Jackson II phase (around A.D. 1250 to 1400).

The 1980s and Early 1990s

The Site in the 1980s and Early 1990s

Alterations to the site itself slowed somewhat in the
1980s, although the general area remained endangered by
encroaching development. A small housing development was
built adjacent to the north and may have resulted in the loss of
some data. A house constructed south of the development may
have impinged upon outlying occupation areas (John Scarry,
personal communication 1990). A trailer park south of the
mound precinct also compromised the integrity of the site.
The owner of the northernmost mound (Mound 1) graded away
the top of the mound (apparently accidentally) while preparing
an area nearby for house construction (Robert Morley,

personal communication 1989).

Small-scale Tests in Mound 2

Mound 2, the largest of the seven mounds (Figure 3), is
almost entirely owned by the State of Florida. Possibly
because it has been protected by the State for nearly 25 years,
possibly because of its large size, Mound 2 is in excellent
condition. When necessary park maintenance impacts on the
archaeological resources in the part of the site managed by
DNR, an archaeologist is sent to monitor the operation. Two
such operations occurred on Mound 2 in the 1980s. These
included the repositioning of wooden stairs to the summit
(monitored by Henry Baker of the Bureau of Archaeological
Research) and the placement of a sign (which I monitored) near
the top of the mound.
Both operations provided a small amount of data about
the last construction levels of the mound. The 24 small holes
dug for the stairs on the north side of the mound showed that
an orange-brown clay cap still exists on that slope. The hole
dug for placement of the sign on the northwest side of the
mound showed the same thing and that underneath this final
cap is a zone of varying soil types and colors. Both tests
essentially corroborate the top portion of Griffin's profile of
the south slope (see above). Artifacts from these investigations
suggest that the final construction stages date to no earlier than

Figure 3. Mound from the northwest.

the Lake Jackson III phase (A.D. 1400 to 1500).

Auger Survey

Other archaeological operations during these years were
more extensive. In January and early February of 1989, with
the help of Rochelle Marrinan and the Florida State University
Department of Anthropology Field School, and in cooperation
with DNR, I conducted an auger survey of about half of the
main mound precinct for the Florida Museum of Natural
History. This survey and later test excavations in Mounds 4
and 5 were carried out under the auspices of an archaeological
research permit issued by the Bureau of Archaeological
The survey area encompassed the north and west sides of
the main mound precinct, about 3 ha (7.5 ac) in an L-shape
around Mounds 2, 4, and 5 (Figure 4). We dug 377 auger
holes (20 cm [8 in.] in diameter and generally about a meter
deep) at intervals of 10 m (32.8 ft).
The survey showed that the heaviest occupation occurred
in the immediate vicinities of Mounds 2 and 4 and in the area
just north of these. Artifact densities dropped off and cultural
deposits became shallower to the northwest and west of Mound
4 and southwest of Mound 5; the small floodplain of Butler's
Mill Creek prevented much occupation between Mounds 4 and
5. Shallow midden deposits and low artifact density in the
area between Mounds 2 and 4 supported Griffin's view that a
plaza existed between the mounds. Artifacts recovered during
the auger survey date mostly to the Mississippian era, although
one blue glass bead from the seventeenth century was found at
the bottom of a borrow pit just southwest of Mound 4.

Test Excavation in Mound 4

In April, 1989, I returned to the site to excavate (with the
help of DNR and volunteers) a 2-meter-square stratigraphic
test unit in the south flank of Mound 4 (Payne 1989). (Mound
4 is shown in Figure 5.) This unit was opened in two stages,
beginning with a 1 m by 2 m unit, excavated in arbitrary
levels. The profile of this unit was then used to excavate the
adjacent unit by natural levels.
As with all the other mounds excavated at Lake Jackson
to date, evidence of occupation lay beneath the first stages of
mound construction. Above this zone, a thin layer of light-
colored sandy clay had apparently been laid down, perhaps in
preparation for the construction of the mound, for above this
was 60 cm (2 ft) of lenses of varied soils. This apparent
basket-loaded fill was topped by what seemed to be the
remnants of an orange-brown sandy clay cap. An ash layer in
the northwest corner of the unit indicated that the top of this
first mound may have been used as a living surface at some
time. Two more episodes of alternating gray-brown fill and
orange-brown sandy clay caps followed the basket loading.
Artifacts from the submound occupation zone are similar to

those from below Mound 3, suggesting a date of A.D. 1200-
1300. The mound itself contained artifacts indicating that it
was built no earlier than the Late Lake Jackson II phase
(around A.D. 1250 to 1400).

Test Excavation in Mound 5

The following year, I opened another stratigraphic unit on
the north slope of Mound 5. This excavation was made
possible by the Florida Museum of Natural History with
assistance from DNR. Due to time limitations, the Mound 5
unit was smaller than the one in Mound 4--only 1 m by 2 m.
At the bottom of the unit lay a dark, charcoal-rich occupation
layer. A radiocarbon date of A.D. 1040 +- 110 (Beta-47654)
makes this area the earliest known occupation at the site to
date. Artifacts from this layer are generally comparable to
those from early Fort Walton components on the Apalachicola
River (Scarry 1984), lending support to the early radiocarbon
Mound construction stages were not as clear for Mound 5
as they were for Mound 4, but basket loads of earth were
apparent as were clay mantles. There appear to have been at
least two construction episodes, with the first occurring
directly above the submound occupation zone (with no

intervening light-colored sand layer). Artifacts in and around
the mound suggest that the mound may have gone out of use
by the Late Lake Jackson II phase (A.D. 1250 to 1400).

Other Small Investigations

In addition to the Mound 5 test, 1990 saw several other
archaeological investigations. Calvin Jones and Robert Morley
conducted an auger survey along the boundary of the park in
response to the need for a fence surrounding the park. To
facilitate fence construction, holes were placed approximately
3 m (10 ft) apart; more than 150 holes were excavated (Calvin
Jones and Robert Morley, personal communications 1990).
Preliminary survey results suggest the presence of one or two
farmstead sites on the hill southwest of Mound 5. In the
spring, Morley built a footbridge over Butler's Mill Creek
between Mounds 2 and 4; Calvin Jones monitored the
construction. About the same time, Jones also excavated
several shovel tests north of the park (Calvin Jones, personal
communication 1990).
During the summers of 1990 and 1991, the Museum of
Florida History conducted archaeological summer camps in the
vicinity of Jones's tests (Terzis and Smith 1990; Lozowski
1991). Archaeologists and summer camp participants dug 22
shovel tests in an area about 20 m (65 ft) wide that extended 85
m (280 ft) north of the fence that marks the park boundary.
The distribution of aboriginal pottery was highest in the units
closest to the fence. Numbers of sherds per unit dropped off to
the north and west, with several of the northernmost and
westernmost units containing no cultural materials. One unit

Rest rooms






Figure 4. Extent of 1989 auger survey.


Figure 5. Mound from the north.

5 m (16 ft) north of the fence yielded two San Luis Blue on
White majolica sherds, perhaps indicating the presence of a
seventeenth-century ranch or mission nearby (Terzis and Smith
1990; Calvin Jones, personal communication 1990).

The Structure of the Lake Jackson Site

The archaeological investigations carried out at Lake
Jackson over the course of 50 years provide a clear picture of
the structure of the site. Occupation areas surround the
mounds and extend northward 50-100 m from Mound 2. The
area north and west of Mound 2 contains the densest
occupation known from the site so far. Artifact density and
evidence of midden drop off immediately west of Mounds 4
and 5, just southwest of Mound 5, and not too far east of
Mound 2. A cleared area, perhaps a plaza, occurs between
Mounds 2 and 4. The boundaries of settlement to the south
and southeast are not known. All mounds for which we have
data (Mounds 3, 4, 5, and 6) were built over earlier
occupations. At least two of these areas (under Mounds 4 and
6) were covered with clean sand or sandy clay before mound
construction began. Mound construction was similar in all five
of the platform mounds at the main precinct: varied types of
soil were laid down in lenses suggestive of basket loads, then
covered by mantles of orange-brown clay. Two mounds
(Mounds 3 and 4) revealed evidence of structures on their
summits, and one mound (Mound 3) contained elaborate and
wealthy burials, presumably of nobles. That Lake Jackson was
part of a pan-Southeastern exchange network seems
indisputable. Artifacts from Mound 3 show many similarities

to artifacts from Tennessee and Georgia. Radiocarbon dates
and ceramic data indicate that the cultural florescence of Lake
Jackson occurred between about A.D. 1250 and 1500, with
settlement dating perhaps as far back as around A.D. 1050 or
1100. Although major occupation at the site appears to have
ceased around A.D. 1500, a few later artifacts suggest sporadic
occupation in the seventeenth century, perhaps including a
Spanish cattle ranch north of the main mound precinct.

The Lake Jackson Site Today

From mound-leveling to pond-digging, much harm has
been inflicted on the Lake Jackson site in the 50 years since the
first archaeologists visited it and saw a nearly intact mound
center. Nonetheless, the sheer size of the site means that there
are many areas still intact. Even those parts subjected to
alteration may, with care, yield valuable information when
studied. This situation may not last long, however. Today, in
1994, only the small portion (about 5 ha [12 ac]) owned by the
State is protected. Most of the rest of the estimated 24 ha (60
ac) of the site stands in constant danger of damage or
destruction from development.


For assistance in compiling the information presented in
this article, I would like to thank Henry Baker, the late John
Griffin, Calvin Jones, Rochelle Marrinan, Bonnie McEwan,
Jerry Milanich, Jim Miller and his staff at the Bureau of
Archaeological Research, Jeff Mitchem, Robert Morley, John

Scarry, KC Smith, Marion Smith, and Louis Tesar. I am also
grateful to Brent Weisman and several anonymous reviewers
for their constructive comments and editorial advice on an
earlier draft of the article.

References Cited

Boyd, Mark F.
1939 Mission Sites in Florida. Florida Historical Quarterly

Boyles, Hallie
1965 Florida Might Buy Lake Mound Area. Tallahassee
Democrat January 25, 1965.

Donelson, James, and John Donelson
1825 Survey of Township 1 North, Range 1 West.
Unpublished survey notes on file, Bureau of Survey and
Mapping, Title and Land Records Section, Tallahassee.

Florida Plats
1986 Leon County, Florida 1986 Plat Directory. Florida
Plats, Clermont, Florida.

Fryman, Frank
n.d. Lake Jackson Park. Ms. on file, Florida Division of
Historical Resources, Tallahassee

1969 Lake Jackson Site (8LE1). Unpublished field notes on
file, Florida Division of Historical Resources,

Griffin, John W.
1950 Test Excavations at the Lake Jackson Site. American
Antiquity 16(2):99-112.

Groene, Bertram H.
1971 Ante-Bellum Tallahassee. Florida Heritage Foundation,

Hill, Louis
n.d. Mound 6 Excavations at the Lake Jackson Site.
Unpublished field notes on file, Florida Division of
Historical Resources, Tallahassee.

Jones, B. Calvin
1982 Southern Cult Manifestations at the Lake Jackson Site,
Leon County, Florida: Salvage Excavation of Mound 3.
Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology 7(1):3-44.

Leader, Jonathan M.
1988 Technological Continuities and Specialization in
Prehistoric Metalwork in the Eastern United States.
Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Anthropology,
University of Florida, Gainesville.

1991 Lake Jackson Metal: Manufacture and Trade in a
Florida Mississippian Period Site. Paper presented at the
48th annual meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological
Conference, Jackson, Mississippi.

Leon County Property Appraiser's Office
1989 Ownership Records Relating to the Lake Jackson Site.
Records on file, Leon County Property Appraiser's
Office, Tallahassee.

Lozowski, Jennifer
1991 Shovel Testing at the Lake Jackson Mounds Site (8LE1)
by Museum of Florida History Summer Campers, June
1991. Ms. on file, Museum of Florida History,

Nelson, Nels C.
1918 Chronology in Florida. American Museum of Natural
History Anthropological Papers 22(2):75-103.

Paisley, Clifton
1968 From Cotton to Quail: An Agricultural Chronicle of
Leon County, Florida, 1860-1967. University Presses of
Florida, Tallahassee.

Payne, Claudine
1989 Archaeological Investigations at the Lake Jackson
Mound Group, Tallahassee, Florida, 1989. Paper
presented at the 46th annual meeting of the Southeastern
Archaeological Conference, Tampa.

1990 Auger Testing at the Lake Jackson Site, Leon County,
Florida. Paper presented at the 42nd annual meeting of
the Florida Anthropological Society, Naples.

1991 Structure and Development at the Lake Jackson Site.
Paper presented at the 48th annual meeting of the
Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Jackson,

Payne, Claudine, and John F. Scarry
1990 Apalachee Prehistory: The Origins and Evolution of the
Lake Jackson Phase. Paper presented at the 47th annual
meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference,

1993 Town Structure at the Edge of the Mississippian World.
Paper presented at the 58th annual meeting of the Society
for American Archaeology, St. Louis.

Penton, Daniel T.
1968 Lake Jackson Site (8LE1). Unpublished field notes on
file, Florida Division of Historical Resources,

Randolph, A. M.
1852 Survey of Township 1 North, Range 1 West.
Unpublished survey notes and map on file, Bureau of
Survey and Mapping, Title and Land Records Section,

Rockford Map Publishers
1974 Atlas and Plat Book, Leon County, Florida, 1974.
Rockford Map Publishers, Rockford, Illinois.

Scarry, John F.
1984 Fort Walton Development: Mississippian Chiefdoms in
the Lower Southeast. Ph.D. dissertation, Case Western
Reserve University. University Microfilms, Ann Arbor.

1990 The Rise, Transformation, and Fall of Apalachee: A
Case Study of Political Change in a Chiefly Society. In
Lamar Archaeology: Mississippian Chiefdoms in the
Deep South, edited by M. Williams and G. Shapiro, pp.
175-186. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.

1993 The Apalachee and Mississippian Exchange:
Speculations on the Impact of Geographic Location. In
Mississippian Economies, edited by Jon Muller and
Charles Cobb. Ms. submitted to the University of
Alabama Press.

Smith, Marion F., Jr., and John F. Scarry
1988 Apalachee Settlement Distribution: The View from the
Florida Master Site File. The Florida Anthropologist

Storey, Rebecca
1991 Bioanthropological Studies of the Lake Jackson Elite.
Paper presented at the 48th annual meeting of the
Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Jackson,

Terzis, Lee, and KC Smith
1990 Shovel Testing at the Lake Jackson Mounds Site (8LE1)
by Museum of Florida History Summer Campers, July
1990. Ms. on file, Museum of Florida History,

Willey, Gordon R.
1940 Archaeological Site Report on the Lake Jackson Site.
Ms. on file, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville.

1949 Archeology of the Florida Gulf Coast. Smithsonian
Miscellaneous Collections No. 113. Washington, D.C.

Claudine Payne
Florida Museum of Natural History
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32611


B. Calvin Jones

The concept of the Fort Walton Period in Florida's
chronological framework was originally defined by Willey and
Woodbury (1942). In his Archeology of the Florida Gulf
Coast, Willey (1949:453, footnote 75) writes that the
distribution of Fort Walton sites was "one of the reasons for
establishing the northwest coast region as apart from the other
subdivisions of the Gulf Coast area." Willey (1949:453-458)
noted the continuity of Fort Walton with the earlier Weeden
Island culture, although he also noted changing settlement
patterns, societal organization and ceramic traits in response to
Middle Mississippian influences. He further (Willey
1949:454) identified the Lake Jackson mounds site (8LE1) as
an example of a multimound inland Fort Walton site.
The Lake Jackson mounds site is located at the
southwestern end of Lake Jackson, a 43 square mile karstic
basin with with a surface elevation of 88 feet above sea level
(Hughes 1969). The approximately 26.5 ha (66 acres; 600 m
north to south by 450 m east to west) area occupied by the
mound portion of the complex in situated on a "low, poorly
drained sandy lake terrace one-half mile long and one-quarter
mile wide. The terrace gradually rises to an elevation of 110 ft
AMSL" (Jones 1982:4).
As previously reported (Jones 1982:4), six of the seven
mounds are located located in the south quarter of the site and
form two east-to-west rows of three mounds each; the rows
were originally separated by a spring-fed stream (Figure 1).
The mounds in the northern row have been numbered 2, 4, and
7, while those in the southern row are numbered 3, 5, and 6.
The seventh mound (Mound 1) is located at the north end of
the site. A large open area situated north of the main mound
group is interpreted as a plaza, because of the general absence
of cultural material in that area. Village areas are located both
north and south of the main mound group, and evidence of
scattered homesites is also found in the uplands hills to the
There are several recognizable borrow pits. The two
largest pits are located adjacent to Mound 4, while three small
pits are located to the southeast of Mound 1, the northernmost
mound. However, the quantity of soil obtained from these pits
is insufficient to have allowed construction of the mound
Willey placed two test pits at the site, one between
Mound 3 and the large mound (Mound 2) to the north (Griffin
1950:100). In 1947, John W. Griffin conducted limited

excavations within the village area lying between Lake Jackson
Mounds 2 and 4, cleared a two-meter long face of a
pothunter's trench near the top of Mound 2, and stripped the
humus layer from the top of Mound 4 (Griffin 1950; personal
communication, 1980). Griffin's (1950) report provides a
comprehensive review of the artifact types found at the site.
Griffin (1950:111) concluded:

The major contribution of the excavations at the
Lake Jackson site was the suggestion of successive
stages within the Fort Walton Period. As we have
seen, the pottery of the earlier part of the time range
can be derived from Weeden Island types, under the
influence of Mississippian ideas, and the later stage
can be at least in part derived from the earlier, with
perhaps stronger influences from Mississippian
centers at this time. A process of culture change
can, therefore, be deduced from the Fort Walton
data from Lake Jackson.

Griffin's work served as the foundation for future studies
at the site, although, with the exception of the author's Mound
3 excavation and an unproductive 1950s test pit placed on the
east side of Mound 1 by Charles H. Fairbanks and Hale G.
Smith, work has generally been of limited scope and restricted
to the village area (Fryman 1969; personal communication,
1971; D. Penton, personal communication 1968).
Subsequent research in the Northwest Florida area has
identified a number of regional variants of Fort Walton (cf.
Gardner 1971; Tesar 1980). The Middle to Late Mississippian
Fort Walton cultural variant represented at the Lake Jackson
site occurs at several hundred sites. These site occur in a three
county area--Leon, Jefferson and Wakulla counties, bounded
by the Aucilla River on the east and the Ochlockonee River on
the west in Florida, and extend northward into Grady and
Thomas counties, Georgia. Further, there is a direct
developmental linkage with the area's historic occupants, the
Apalachee, who are known to have had a complex chiefdom
and hereditary offices at the time of early sixteenth century
European contact (Hann 1988; Swanton 1939).
With seven mounds, the Lake Jackson site is the largest
of the known Apalachee tribal centers. While its Middle and
Late Mississippian affiliation had been established, it was not
until the author's late 1975 to early 1976 emergency salvage



JUNE 1994

Vol. 47 No. 2

Figure 1. Map of Lake Jackson Mounds Complex (8LE1).

work at Mound 3 that the site's importance in the Southeastern
Ceremonial Complex interaction network was demonstrated by
the excavation of a number of high status burials (Jones 1982,
1991). Continuing research by the author (Jones 1990) and
others (Tesar and Jones 1989; Payne 1989; Scarry 1991; Tesar
1981) provides further information on the Apalachee and their
interaction with their Southeastern neighbors.
Because of the emergency nature of the excavation and
the time, staffing and funding constraints under which the

work on Mound 3 was conducted, efforts had to focus on the
recovery of burial data and only very limited data was obtained
on structures and other aspects of mound usage. The mortuary
and mound construction data gleaned from these activities,
however, demonstrate cultural continuity and change over a
250-year period. Construction of Lake Jackson's Mound 3
occurred in twelve phases, beginning near the peak of the
"Southern Cult" (ca. A.D. 1250) and ending with its demise
around A.D. 1500. Data on structural phases and associated

interments with both personal adornments and mortuary
furniture from Mound 3 reflect a changing socio-political
system that was undoubtedly influenced by other polity
systems, such as those found at Etowah, Moundville and

Data Recovery Constraints

As previously reported (Jones 1981, 1982, 1991), data
recovery efforts were undertaken under less than ideal salvage
excavation conditions, literally in advance of front-end loaders
and backhoes, with no funding available for staff, conservation
and analysis of excavated materials, nor their reporting.
Indeed, portions of the mound had already been removed prior
to the author learning about its impending destruction; a
copper axe found in fill dirt by a local resident was traced to
the site. At the time, there was no legal protection of the
human interments, such as now exists in Chapter 872, Florida
Statutes, for unmarked human burials, nor were there any
applicable Federal or State environmental review laws.
When the author arrived at the site, a large portion of the
eastern (waterward) half of the mound and portions of its crest
had already been removed and otherwise disturbed.
Nonetheless, in view of the significance of the artifacts which
had already been uncovered (i.e., the copper axe found in the
fill dirt and the materials excavated by a local collector), the
owner was approached to determine if permission would be
granted to conduct formal excavations.
Agreement on the manner in which work would be
conducted and the disposition of the artifacts was undertaken
following a handshake contract with the property owner, the
late Sam Crowder. Removal of the mound by Mr. Crowder
was prompted by his need to expand a construction work
building, by a need for construction fill dirt, and by other
factors. Crowder was flexible on more than one occasion
when it became necessary to hold up his equipment to
accommodate archaeological data recovery.
Field work activities focused primarily on the recovery of
burial data over a five month period, beginning in October,
1975 and ending in February, 1976. Efforts began with thin
scraping of the exposed mound face to obtain profile data on
mound construction sequences and an indication of the nature
of grave pits. Features were photographed and drawn during
all excavation phases.
Data recovery activities were constrained by fill dirt
removal conditions. Soil would be obtained first from
excavation spoil piles and then from elsewhere within the
unexcavated portion of the mound, as needed. These
conditions compelled the use of somewhat hurried excavation
methods. The salvage excavation work was completed by the
author with limited volunteer help. One of the owner's
conditions was a limitation on the number of fieldworkers for
liability reasons. In spite of these constraints, and while it
cannot be denied that important data was lost since less than

half the mound was subjected to salvage excavation, a
remarkable amount of data was recovered.

Structural Data

Mound 3, in its final construction phase, was a five meter
high, roughly square based truncated platform mound with a
maximum basal length of 48 meters. Prior to its removal for
fill dirt, it was located slightly south of the largest of the seven
mounds, Mound 2. Thin scraping of the exposed mound
interior surface at the beginning of the project provided
information on the construction sequence and burial patterns
(Figures 2 and 3).
Twelve structural building phase floors were observed
and recorded. Eleven of these floors were associated with
mound sumit levels recorded from top to bottom, youngest to
oldest (Structural Levels 1-11), and a shallow premound floor
(Structural Level 12) found on the surface of the underlying
midden (Level 13). Six structural floors occurred within the
lower 2.0 m, while the remainder occurred in the upper 2.9 m
of the mound.
Although data were recorded on additions to mound
elevation, it was not possible to strip individual floor levels to
determine structural data on buildings placed on each platform
level, nor to determine whether the mound configuration
changed (i.e., from rectangular to square). As a result,
volumetric data is essentially absent and information on the
orientation, dimensions, construction methods and material,
and function of structures is likewise missing. Nonetheless,
some data were recorded.
Floors were distinguished by flat surfaces and associated
post molds, pits, and features originating from those surfaces.
The upper seven floors had thicknesses ranging from 4 to 14
cm, with variable thicknesses of fill between them. All of
these floors apparently had been baked when the structures on
them were burned. Basket loads of fill for floors and subfloors
were noted throughout the mound, particularly above the
Structural Level 2 floor where 132 cm of fill had been placed
above the charred remains of a structure with well-preserved
wooden posts. The lower five floors (Structural Levels 8-12)
were composed of thin sand and clay layers, evidencing
partially burned, compacted surfaces. Floors 8 and 9 were
apparently recaps of Floor 10, which was capped with fill
containing a large quantity of cultural refuse. In the north-
central portion of the mound, this uneven submound fill
reached 112 cm in thickness. Floor 12 consisted of a thin
veneer of compact clay atop the premound midden refuse.
Floor level thickness between mound floor surfaces on
the mound crest varied, ranging from as little as 1.5 cm to
some 180 cm. The 1.5 cm thick level and some slightly
thicker ones represent resurfacing of previous floor levels;
however, as indicated, it is not known whether the surface
dimensions of the mound crest were enlarged during this
reconstruction phase by adding fill to one or more sides. Most

Figure 2. Looking northwest at mound 3, Lake Jackson site, Leon County, Florida. From left to right: mechanical shop in
background; the late Herb Spillan; author holding stadia rod; Chad Braley; and, wooded edge of Mound 2.

*l;"f-;;^^ ;^.


floor levels had fill placed on them to create a more elevated
floor level than that of the previous construction phase. Fill
soil, especially in thicker level additions, was most often
composed of local red clays (i.e., Dothan-Orangeburg and
Norfolk soils) typical of the Tallahassee Hills area, although
some were composed of compacted midden soil and contained
refuse charcoal, potsherds and faunal remains.
It is tempting to speculate that the individual basket loads
of soil used in each mound construction phase were brought
from the homesites of the people owing allegiance to the
leaders of the Lake Jackson Mound Complex. The logic used
in such speculation is that such soils would represent an actual
and spiritual linkage between the members of the community
and their ceremonial center. While the truth of such
speculation remains unknown, as a hypothesis it seems to be
supported by the absence of borrow pits in the site area
sufficient to account for the volume of soil in the mounds.

The amount of labor involved varied with each mound
construction phase (Figures 3 and 4), at least as indicated by
changes in mound elevation with the volumetric data bias
already noted for other mound construction aspects. The
volume of soil required to enlarge the mound crest and sides
increased with each construction phase from earliest to latest.
The original mound (Level 12) was constructed on a village
midden surface (Level 13), and subsequent construction phases
involved adding soil to the mound crest and sides.
During the first six phases of mound construction, Level
10, the third mound construction phase or second mound
expansion phase, represents the greatest addition of soils
(Table 1). Eighteen percent of the mound's final height was
added to achieve the Structural Level 10 mound cap level.
However, it was during the last construction phase, Level 1,
that the most intensive mound construction effort occurred
with a doubling of mound height. It is noted that there may

Table 1. Chronology of Structural and Feature Associations of Mound 3, Lake Jackson Site.

Floor levels and
elevations above
pre-mound midden

Number of associated
burials (burial nos.)*

Floor Dates

Top of Mound
Fl 1 481.5cm

FI 2 -
Fl 3 -
Fl 4 -
Fl 5 -
F1 6 -
Fl 7 -
Fl 8 -
FI 9 -
F110 -
Fl11 -


10+ (B1-B4, BK1-BK6)

1 (B10)
1 (BK9)

1 (B16)

3 (B5, B13, B14)
3 (B7, BlI, B15)
3 (B2, B8, B12)
1 (B6)

F112 1.5cm
pre-mound midden

[1496 A.D.]
954 + 90 A.D. (burial cha
1476 + 85 A.D. (trash pit)
[1437 A.D.1
[1417 A.D.]
[1398 A.D.]
[1378 A.D.]
[1358 A.D.I
[1339 A.D.]
[1319 A.D.]
[1299 A.D.]
944 + 90 A.D. (burial cha
[1279 A.D.]
[1260 A.D.]
1240 90 A.D. (charcoal)



* East mound slope burial numbers 17 and 18 have post- floor levels 10 and 11 associations.

** Radio carbon dates TRC corrected. Original dates based on Libby half-life of 5568 years were obtained
from Teledyne Isotopes (New Jersey) in 1977. From top to bottom, mound sample uncorrected B.P. (1950)
dates include C-76-1 (1025 80), C-76-2 (365 + 75), C-76-8 (1035 80), and C-76-4 (715 80).

*** Date calculations for floor levels or mound construction phases are based on consideration of the latest
dates and a number of recognized phases, each of which is assumed to have averaged 19.7 years.

During the first six phases of mound construction, Level 10--the third mound construction phase or second
mound expansion phase, represents the greatest addition of soils (Table 1). Eighteen percent of the mound's
final height was added to achieve the Structural Level 10 mound cap level. However, it was during the last
construction phase, Level 1, that the most intensive mound construction effort occurred with a doubling of

have been a level more recent than that identified as Structural
Level 1; however, soil removal on the mound crest had already
progressed into Level 1 fill with Level 2 being the first
observed floor surface. Nonetheless, post mold features were
observed in the Level 1 fill, suggesting that data recording
began close to the Level 1 floor surface.
Partial information on the nature of the structures placed
on each platform level was obtained only from structural levels
1, 7 and 11. Post patterns for Levels 1 and 7 indicate
rectangular, non-wattle-and-daub walled structures. In
contrast, the parallel wall trench and rows of single post holes
associated with the Structural Level 11 floor indicate a long
narrow structure, presumed to be a mortuary temple rather
than a residential structure or one of priestly use for other than
mortuary purposes. Most wall posts were from 10 to 15 cm in
diameter. Buildings appear to have been largest in the early
periods of mound construction and to have become
progressively smaller as the mound was raised to form a
truncated platform.

Burials and Their Proveniences

Twenty-five interments were identified during research at
Mound 3, although several more may have been hauled away.
A large irregular hole, representing about 25 percent of the
east side of the mound, was dug with heavy equipment prior to
any specific effort to look for graves. Burials were numbered
sequentially in the order in which they were encountered
during excavation. Eight of the identified burials were
disturbed prior to the author's arrival: six (BK1-BK6) initially
excavated by Conrad (Joby) Kidd, an avocational collector,
most of burial eight (B8), and at least one other containing a
mass of shell beads that was hauled away by Sammy Crowder,
son of the landowner. The author interviewed Mr. Kidd to
record data on the burials that he had excavated. Sixteen more
burials (B1-B7 and B10-B18) were excavated by the author,
and another burial (BK9) was excavated by Mr. Kidd after
salvage excavations had begun. Although it had been
identified by the author, Burial 9 (B9) was renumbered as BK9
after Mr. Kidd had to remove it following heavy equipment
damage during the 1975 Christmas holidays, when the author
was out of the state.
Seven of the 25 burials were incomplete (BK1, BK3,
BK6, BK9, B4, B5 and B8), as portions of them had been
hauled away prior to beginning salvage excavation. Indeed,
only a small portion of one of them (B8) remained. Few
unidentified burials, unless they were cremations, however, are
believed to have been carried away in fill soil, as only one
burial (B16) was found exposed along the east edge of the
excavation hole after the author's arrival. Thus, the east slope
of the mound from the mound sumit to its toe seems to have
contained few burials. Supervised excavation revealed that the
north, west and a portion of the south sides of the mound also

contained no burials. Few burials occurred beyond the mound
summit area.
The 25 identified burials are assumed to represent about
80 percent of the graves contained in Mound 3. Nonetheless,
this sample provides considerable information on Fort Walton
burial customs for high status individuals and about the site's
changing role in the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex
interaction network.
Burials were determined to have originated in at least
eight of the 12 mound cap floor levels. From top to bottom,
one or more graves were determined to have originated with
Structural Levels 1, 2, 3, 8, 10 and 11. These were all located
near or under the edge of the mound's summit. One other
burial (B16), recovered near the eastern edge of the mound
could not be specifically linked to an individual level. Two
other burials (B17 and B18) occurred after the second or third
mound construction phases, Levels 10 or 11, but could not be
identified with any specific level. Unmonitored mechanical
soil removal prior to the author's arrival and the location of
B17 and B18 on the mound's side, rather than summit, made
determination of their structural floor level origin impossible.
No graves were found with the mound's earliest construction
phase, Level 12, which capped a shallow premound Fort
Walton period midden.
Nine burials were definitely associated with Structural
Level 1 (or intrusive through it from a post-Level 1 surface),
one burial occurred with Level 2, and another with Level 3.
No burials were definitely associated with Levels 4, 5, 6, or 7,
although it is suspected that Burial 16 comes from one of these
levels, most likely Level 5 or 6. Three burials originated with
Level 8 and another three with Level 9. Two burials
originated with floor Level 10, and one (the earliest burial)
with floor Level 11. Furthermore, a dog burial was found on
top of floor Level 11. A large mass of charred corn,
previously reported as occurring near the center of the mound
on top of floor Level 12 (Jones 1982:9), is now believed to
have originated from floor Level 11. It had been placed as an
offering on top of the wooden tomb covering of B6. No
burials were found associated with Level 12. Several burials
throughout the mound contained both charred and unburned
split-log coverings which had been placed across the widths of
graves as tomb coverings.
As previously reported by the author (Jones 1982:11-12):

Collective data from several provenience locations
in different burials indicate a series of body
encasements (see Table 2). The outermost layer was
usually the wooden tomb covering. The next layer
included leather wrappings or coverings over cane
matting (covering?), followed by woven cloth
coverings, wrappings, or clothing over the body.
The body usually lay on leather. When copper
plates were present over the body, cloth--usually


several layers in thickness--was found between the
plates and the body, probably indicating that the
plates were wrapped. If more than one plate was
found, cloth occurred between each plate.

The leather beneath the body may have been from litter
Both cultural continuity and change are indicated in the
burial pattern and in Mound 3 construction phases. As
indicated, no burial was identified with the first mound
construction phase, Level 12, nor as a pre-mound dedication
burial in the underlying midden soil. Subsequently, with the
single exception of a cremation burial and the multiple burials

in the uppermost Structural Level 1 fill, continuity in interment
patterns is indicated by the repeated burial of single individuals
in graves. There were no mass, single grave burials. While
single burials per floor level might be interpreted as the event
marking the death of the mound's keeper and, as a
consequence, the end of each mound structure use phase and
the beginning of the next mound construction phase, the
occurrence of multiple interments in some levels suggests that
other factors must be considered.
In Levels 8, 9 and 10, individual burials were placed
within the floor of the mound summit structure. While they
formed a cluster, it was noted that grave placement alternated
from near one end of the structure floor to another with

62$ 5" 54S 50$
.4 + -4 -

prunay salvage aoe

Ic //
unaexcovled /

northwest profile 2720 t o no
northwest profile 27*20' "st of north

Organic surfac: sand (dark gray)
ScpP: sandy :clIy lelowish brown)
- llororu : uSnd (gray)
- Floor 1:cay(yellowishbrown)
-capp: cly (while and reddish yllow)

Fll or refuse: sendclay lenses (brown, yellowish gray)

S-' 1;< .=yt. 7-r Floor 2: dclay (reddlsh yellow)
'' use or I ': clay senses (br-yellow. d. gray)
S.Floor 3 clay (rellowish brown)
SFloor 4 clay (yeeowlsh brown)
---- cappm sandy clay Id. yelowish brown)
Srefuse or IU: sandy day (d. yellowish brown)
2 Floor : clt (rddisi ylow)
S luse o- r lm: sandrWay)
FI or: cday (yeowish red)
S refuse or fill: sand (yelowIsh brown)
Flo- Floor 7: lay (roed)
refuse or ut: sand grayishh brown)
S- Floo 8: nd (d. grayish brown)
Floor u sand gray)l
1- Flo 10: sandelay (reddish yellow. grayb4rown)

-refouse o fill: sandclay lnses (gray-br. hr. while)

= -Floor 11: sand (t yellowish brown)

m.b refuse or fill: sand sand lenses (gray. wh e)
.. -- Floor 12: clay (yeowish red)
p- prenound midden: sand (gray)
-- sterile: s :nd m brown)
asltem: dcs reddish yellow)
color from Munseml color chart (1973) Does nol include some lenses and sub floor delall m some instances because of lack ol space

Figure 3. Profile sketch of Mound 3 levels.

successive floor levels. Presumably this was so that graves
would not intrude into earlier underlying ones. A variation on
the alternating grave location process occurred with the
individual graves placed in the floors of Levels 2, 3 and 4. In
those levels a counterclockwise order for inter-floor burial
placement is suggested by the burial pattern.
The alternating pattern of burials suggests that some
record was maintained concerning grave placement. Since no
red ochre or other staining nor any depression or rise was
noted on the floor surface overlying the burials, it might be
speculated that the occupant of the following phase of mound
building participated in the interment of the previous mound
custodian and in any associated ceremonial cleansing (i.e.,
burning and so forth of the previous mound summit structure),

as well as in the subsequent mound enlargement and summit
structure construction. The knowledge of the burial placement
would, of course, have to be passed on to the individual being
trained as the next successor, and so forth. However, more
than this simple successor memory explanation is needed, since
some levels contained multiple interments.
Cultural change is indicated by the number of graves
associated with each structural level's use and in the amount of
labor apparently invested in each construction phase. Three
burials (B16, B17 and B18) placed near the edge of the
mound's summit or on its flank, as well as the cremation
(B12), are exceptions to the general pattern of burial within
summit structures. Most early period burials were fully
extended, while later ones were flexed or semi-flexed. Grave

65 percent

60 -'+

55 -

50 -

45 -

+ + + +


+ + 30

+ 25

+ 20

+ 15

+ 10

+ 5

A \.

1+ 2
Floor associations

3 4-7

8 9 10 11 12

Figure 4. (A) Proportion of burials by floor levels in Mound 3. (B) Proportional elevation of mound by
floor level construction. Floor levels 4 through 7 are collapsed, since only one burial (B16) is associated
with these four levels.

+ +

40 -

35 -

30 +

25 -

20 -

15 -

10 -

5 -

I \


I I | | | |I


L m I I


pits marked distinct breaks in mound fill and intruded into
multiple mound levels (see Figure 3). Seven of the eight
structural levels with burials had from one to three graves
each, while the uppermost and last construction level had at
least ten interments. The volume of soil used in the last
construction phase to double the mound's height also marks a
departure from previous patterns (see Table 1).
However, with the exception of the last level (Structural
Level 1), there appears to be no correlation between the
number of identified burials per floor level and increases in
mound summit height between levels, although it is recognized
that the unrecorded loss of some burials is a biasing factor.
Forty percent (n = 10) of the mound's recorded burials
occurred during the first five phases of the mound's
construction (Structural Levels 8-12), during which period
only 30 percent of the mound's height was added. In contrast,
60 percent (n = 15+) of the mound's burials occurred during
the last seven mound construction phases (Levels 1-7), during
which period 70 percent of its height was added (Table 1;
Figure 4). Since the transition from Level 8 to Level 7 seems
to mark a break in burial patterns and materials, Levels 8-12
will be referred to as the early developmental period and
Levels 1-7 will be referred to as the late period.

Burial Artifacts

The 7,525 mortuary artifacts, mostly beads, from Mound
3 have been provisionally separated into 54 categories. These
include 15 types identified as personal adornments and 39
identified as burial furniture. Items are identified as personal
adornments when they were placed on the person in the correct
anatomical position in which they would have been worn.
Items placed in the same grave pit or separately in mortuary
contexts, but not in settings suggesting personal adornment
functions are identified as burial furniture. Some types of
artifacts occurred in settings suggesting use in each function.
Table 2 lists the categories of mortuary artifacts and their
occurrence provenience. Repeated occurrences of artifact
categories and function suggest cultural continuity, while
modified functional patterns and the introduction of new types
suggest change. It is recognized, however, that the absence of
several classes of organic artifacts may be a factor of non-
preservation, rather than whether they were or were not
originally placed in the graves. Thus, that biasing factor must
be kept in mind.

Personal Adornments

Five of the seven personal adornment types found in graves
originating with Structural Levels 8-11 continued to occur
during the later Levels 1-7 phases. These include pearl and
shell beads, red ochre rubbed on skeletal remains, copper hawk
breast plates, and copper hawkman breast plates (see Table 2).

Pearl and shell beads were the most frequently found
artifact. Pearl bead necklaces were more common in the
earlier mound stages (Levels 8-11) than later. However, pearl
and shell bead necklaces were most commonly used in the
upper, more recent levels. Pearl and shell beads were also
used to form bands around arms, wrists, knees and ankles.
Furthermore, shell beads decorated the cuffs and hem of a
possible cloak on B11 (Structural Level 9) and perhaps as a
collar of another late mound stage burial (BK9, Structural
Level 3). In three instances in which engraved shell gorgets
were found, they lay behind or under the occipital area of the
skull suggesting their use as hair ornaments.
Red pigment, presumably hematite powder, occurs on the
forehead of one early stage burial (B2, Structural Level 10)
and on the mandible of one of the last stage burials (Bl,
Structural Level 1 or later). It was also found rubbed on one
of the spatulate form celts and on the limestone palette in
Burial 2.
Decorated repousse copper hawk plates first occur with
Burial 13 associated with Structural Level 8 and also occur in
the last two or more mound levels (Levels 1, 2 or later). The
Burial 13 hawk plate post dates the earliest copper hawkman
dancer breast plate, which comes from Burial 7 associated with
Structural Level 9. These personal adornments were found
over the torso in three instances, but also appear as mutilated
("killed") burial furniture in one or two graves with the last
group interred in Mound 3.
Please note that burials were excavated in a manner that
left the skeletal remains and associated artifacts on earthen
pedestals within grave pits so that their association could be
photographed. Because of the fragile and deteriorated
condition of the copper breast plates and in some cases the
beaded bands, a protective layer of cloth was draped over their
surface and then a plaster jacket was formed around the
pedestled feature. In the case of objects placed over the chest
area this required careful excavation to remove the skeletal
elements at the hips, neck and shoulders and then excavation to
below the vertebral level before the plaster jacket was poured.
After the plaster jacket had dried, a thin metal sheet was
worked under the torso to separated it from the soil pedestal.
It was then rolled over and the exposed surface sealed with a
plaster "lid" to permit transport to the Bureau's Conservation
Laboratory. There, the lid was removed and dental picks and
brushes were used to carefully remove the overlying soil and
skeletal elements and to expose the surface of the copper
artifacts. The basin-like plaster sides resulting from this
process were then cut to a level slightly higher than that of the
copper artifacts which they encased. For this reason the
photographs of the individual copper repousse breast plates
show the underside of the plates, not the in situ side viewed
when they were excavated. For instance, Figures 5 and 6
show the large hawkman dancer copper breast plate in situ over
the torso of Burial 7, while Figure 7 provides an inverted view


Figure 5. Mound 3, Lake Jackson, two-meter wide trench
showing Burial 7.

of the same plate in the lab. Note the depressed area on the
tail, which resulted from ground pressure compression of the
deteriorating specimen over the hip and upper leg bones. The
interior view also exposes the riveted patches of many small
sheets used in its manufacture as well as several repair
episodes. Likewise, the Copper "Elder" hawkman breast plate
and hawk plate from Burial 10 (see Figure 8) are inverted,
since the larger plate was placed over the smaller plate which
was closer to the torso and both were covered with a wooden
object or slat.
The 23 cm by 54 cm hawkman repousse plate from Burial
7 apparently has no attachment holes. Its overall style is
similar to the two hawk dancer Rogan plates from the Etowah
site in Georgia. Both the Lake Jackson and Etowah plates
depict a hawk cape, and a dancer holding a baton or mace and

Figure 6. Detail of in situ large hawkman dancer copper
breast plate in Burial 7.

a human head (Hamilton et al. 1974:153-176). "The head and
neck silhouette are cut out, and the figure has a forked mouth,
beaded choker, and conch-shell pendant. There is a silhouette
of the torso and the depiction of one nipple, a cut-out beaded
forelock, an ear spool, and a bilobed arrow headdress. To one
side of the waist there is a detailed pouch, and the moccasins
have flaps" (Jones 1982:16).
There are also significance in the plates. The Lake
Jackson plate has a right-facing orientation versus a left-facing
one, a circular sun shield with an ogee symbol on the forehead,
a long nose and shoulder decorations, to name a few.
However, there are other traits shared with Spiro and other
Southeastern Ceremonial Complex sites (Waring 1968;
Hamilton et al. 1974; Brown 1976; Phillips and Brown 1978).
Overall, the Burial 7 plate and that from Burial 16 undoubtedly


fit into the "Classic Etowah" style suggested by Phillips and
Brown (1978:189).
Copper hawkman breast plates placed on the torso of
individuals continue from the early phases of mound use,
beginning with Structural Level 9, and continues through the
occupation of the next to last level, Structural Level 2, by
which time there has been a significant stylistic change.
The earliest two hawkman breast plates are both hawkman
dancer styles (Figures 7 and 10), while the latest plate (from a
Structural Level 2 burial) is an elder hawkman, based on his
outstretched arms depicted in the wings and skull face,
possibly signifying death (Figure 8A). These plates and the
smaller repousse decorated hawk plates (Figure 8B) are the
most distinctive "Southeastern Ceremonial Cult" artifacts from
the site.
Based on present TRC corrected radiometric dates and an
average projected 19.7 (see Table 1 note) years use of each of
the mound's floors between construction events, the earliest
hawkman dancer plate should date around A.D. 1319 and the
latest between A.D. 1358 and 1417. The elder hawkman plate
would date to around A.D. 1457 and seems to mark the
beginning of style devolution or simplification exemplified in
the latter stages, which may have ended around A.D. 1500.
A factor which must be considered with respect to
cultural continuity interpretations at this and other "cult" sites
is that of curating heirlooms. That is to say that a group of
similar artifacts may have been obtained at one time and
maintained over several generations, with one or two, perhaps
more, being lost through interment ceremonies each
generation. Further analysis on the chemical composition of
the metal and detailed study on the method of manufacture and
stylistic attributes might help resolve this issue. It certainly
seems clear that the same craftsperson likely manufactured the
repousse plates found at a number of key Middle-Late
Mississippian Southeastern sites, and other classes of artifacts,
such as shell gorgets, stylistically also appear to have been
made by the same person or at least at the same site.
Cultural change is further indicated through the addition
of eight other types of personal adornment artifacts found in
the last one to three stages (Structural Levels 1-3). Two of
these artifacts, a pendant made from solid columella spire
cylinders and three scalloped edged unidentified copper
pendants or spangles found between the elder hawkman plate
and hawk plate in Burial 10, appear for the first time in
association with Structural Level 2. Copper hawk plates occur
with several burials as personal adornments. The remaining
artifact types occur only with the last burial group in Structural
Level 1. These include galena neck and waist band fasteners,
small univalve shell pendants and large decorated shell gorgets
of the Williams Island type (Figure 9; Muller 1991), a shell
hairpin, and beaded waistbands.
Unique early period mound burial adornments include a
shark tooth-covered clothing (vest or cloak ?) found with
Burial 2 in Structural Level 10 and two small circular copper

eyes found with Burial 7 in Structural Level 9. Neither type
artifact occurred with other burials, although two bone hair
pins found with Burial 3 in Structural Level 1 had similar
copper inlaid, diamond-shaped eyes.
Several of the copper objects, particularly the breast
plates, have preserved the impression of fabrics in the
surrounding copper salts (see Figure 10, Burial 16). It is
assumed that now-deteriorated fabrics occurred with several
burials, as did feather plumes; however, it is only in the
presence of copper salts that their existence is preserved. For
this reason, little can be said about the fabrics, although their
analysis will be included in the more detailed report planned
for the site.

Adornments and Burial Furniture

Shell beads, red ocher, copper pendants or spangles, and
copper breast plates (except hawkman plates) are the only
artifact types that appear to have occurred as both personal
adornments and burial furniture. Copper pendants or spangles
and copper breast plates were found as furniture only with the
last group of burials (Structural Level 1 or later) and were
found to one side, above, or underneath the skeletal remains.
They were found in clusters or stacks, often with bird feather
plumes. Breast plates in furniture contexts were often broken
or in scrap piles. Pendants or spangles were found as
adornments only in Burial 10 (Structural Level 2). Most of the
last phase burials with copper plates (mostly cut-out hawks and
plain oval and round types) had them placed over the torso and
above copper celts (Figures 8B and 11). These plates are
considered as furniture since they did not lay directly on the
individual's remains, although they were placed close to
correct anatomical positions. This is in contrast to early
burials where copper hawkman plates lay directly on the torso
and stone celts lay to one side of the individual.

Burial Furniture

Cultural continuity and change is dramatically
exemplified in Mound 3 burial furniture. Six of the eleven
types found in the ten early mound construction phase burials
(Structural Levels 8-11) reoccur in late stage burials (Levels 1-
7, or later). These include sheet mica, stone celts, projectile
points, shell cups, shell beads, and red ocher lumps. Most of
these goods were placed to one side of the body, although
some were placed near the head and feet. Two celts were also
placed on a burial shelf in one burial (B1) where a stepped
burial pit was excavated. This pit was wider at the top with
recessed areas along its sides, apparently so that wooden logs
could be placed as a covering protecting the burial chamber
when the grave pit was filled..
Mica occurred only with one early period burial, (B2,
Level 10) and in two last stage burials (BK1 and B3). The
mica appeared to be encased in galena in the early period

L i
Figure 7 Large hawkanan dancer copper breast plate from burial 7. View of the side that faced the burial; note stress crack repair
patches and surrounding plaster cast used to preserve specimen integrity.



Figure 8. Copper plates from Burial 10. (A) "Elder" hawlakman breast plate. (B) Hawk plate. Note underlying (actually overlying
in in situ grave setting) wooden object or slat near hawk wing and head.
in in situ grave setting) wooden object or slat near hawk wing and head.

Mound 3, Lake Jackson Site (8Lel)

.. I:IFbJu~in~
'~ F ~-
i Y
` ? Cs. r

S*** #* -


~t~ ~

'i I I 1 i! III I 1 1 1 1 i I 11
S 10 1ii 12 13 14


Figure 9. Williams Island type shell gorget from last occupation phase in Mound 3, Lake Jackson site (8LE1).



? -
%-T b
.; ~, '




Figure 10. Copper hawkman dancer breast plate from Burial 16, Mound 3, Lake Jackson site (8SLE1). View of interior sides; note
fabric pattern preserved in copper oxide.



)1 -





Figure 11. Round type copper breast plate or shield associated with the last occupation phase of Mound 3, Lake Jackson site

* I .'*
v '

^***, ~ .,l,

v~ ,~.L

'' ~

4 i ~ CI


EL* W I.


burial, but was too fragmentary for positive identification as a
backed mirror. It occurred near the knees in one grave, near
the left shoulder in another, and near the right side of the
pelvis in the third one.
Stone celts or axes were found with the second oldest
burial (B2, Level 10) found in the mound, and again in a grave
(B5, Level 8; Figure 12) at the end of the first half of mound
development. In both cases they were placed beside the body
near the shoulders. Both spatulate and celtiform or pole type
axes are represented. These types are again present in the last
two or more phases of mound use.
Two of the burials had stone celts and seven had copper
ones. Both stone and copper celts occurred in one grave,
although the stone celts only lay on a burial shelf above the
deceased. In another grave, a stone celt lay to one side of the
individual. Copper celts were placed on either side of the
individuals or lay crossed directly over the body. These are
heavy functional types, the longest measuring 33 cm. Stone
spatulate celts of the early period are replaced with copper
spatulate forms in late period burials. Parts of wooden handles
with round inlaid eye impressions appear on two of the late
copper celt examples.
Small triangular-shaped chipped stone projectile points,
made of both local and nonlocal material, were found with
only two burials: on the right side of the pelvis in Burial 2
(Structural Level 10) and with a last stage burial (BK6, Level
1). However, a projectile point cache was found in a
cylendrical-shaped hole in the premound midden and associated
with the first mound construction phase. While it is possible
that they fell into the hole, it is also possible that they were
deposited as part of a mound construction dedication
ceremony. It seems unlikely that they were cached for later
recovery and use.
Plain conch shell cups or dippers were found only with
Burial 2 in Structural Level 10 and in three burials in the last
structural level, Level 1 or later. In Burial 2, a cup was found
next to a spatulate-shaped stone celt adjacent to the right side
of the skull, while they were found 20-30 cm behind the head
in the last three burials. The late burial cups are very large
(over two gallons), much larger then the early period cup
found with Burial 2. Presently, large helmet shell conchs of
this size are found only off the Florida Keys.
As previously noted, shell beads were found in both
personal adornment and burial furniture contexts. In the early
phases of the mound's use, they appear as furniture only in
Burial 7 (Level 9), where they lay as a strand next to the left
knee. In later period burials they appear as furniture in strands
placed on top of plain oval breast plates (BK1; Figure 13) in
one instance and in front of the chest in another (B1).
Small irregular-shaped lumps of red ocher pigment
occurred as furniture with three burials. An ocher lump lay
next to the knees in an early period burial, and next to a
shoulder and a pelvis in two of the last stage graves (BK1 and

The last seven mound construction and use phases saw the
addition of 26 new artifact types--nearly half of the 58
identified artifact categories--placed as burial furniture.
Twenty-four of these types appeared only in the ten or more
burials associated with Structural Levels 1-7. They mark a
significant cultural change by their addition, but not
necessarily in the functions served. They seem primarily to
enhance the variety of tools, weapons, and costumes
established during the earlier mound construction and use
phases (see Table 2). Nine of the artifacts types, some 71
artifacts, are made of copper. Like personal adornments of
copper, they represent a significant increase in the use of
nonlocal raw materials, if not finished artifacts.
Seven of the copper artifact types, including decorated
hawk plates, plain oval and round breast plates, cut-out hawk
plates, arrowhead-shaped pendants, spangles, and plumes, are
personal adornment type artifacts that were found primarily in
burial furniture contexts during the latter half of mound use.
Pendants, spangles, and plumes apparently occurred in stacks
as much as 75 cm above the body in two instances and below
the body in another (BK1-BK3). A set of 13 key-sided
spangles in Kidd Burial 9 (BK9) in Structural Level 3 were
placed to one side of the head, instead of on the deceased.
Pipes appear for the first time in the last two or more
burial phases, though broken clay elbow ones were found in
the premound midden. They include a Chandler "T" self-
stemmed type (Brown 1976:227) of steatite (Figure 14), four
knobbedd" clay elbow specimens, and one clay lizard effigy
pipe. Knobbed pipes of the Pee Dee type (Griffin 1958:
Figure 165) were placed together in front of the knees in one
grave (BK4) and separated in another (B1). Here, one was
placed in front of the knees near the steatite pipe and the other
above the knees. Similar knobbed pipes where identified by
Griffin in the Lake Jackson village area (Griffin 1950). The
lizard pipe lay next to the right side of the pelvis in another
grave (B3). This pipe has a plain stem with the three-
dimensional lizard standing on it with its front legs grasping
the bowl, which is formed like a miniature Lake Jackson Plain
vessel, and the head elevated above the bowl (Figure 15).
(Unfortunately the head was broken at the neck and the
screening of several yards of soil failed to find it.) The steatite
pipe in Burial 1 is of a type expected to be found in
Hopewellian contexts and may have been found in eroded river
bank contexts elsewhere and then traded to a prominent Lake
Jackson site occupant.
Two late stage burials contained vessels. One of these is
a thick, crudely-formed limestone bowl with lugs shaped
similar to those found on Lake Jackson Plain and Incised
ceramic styles. The other vessels consist of parts of three Lake
Jackson Plain ceramic vessels. The limestone bowl lay in front
of, but not touching, the knees of Burial 1. The ceramic vessel
fragments were found in pit fill above the another burial


Figure 12. Close-up view of Burial 5, an early phase (Floor
8) grave with two stone celts.

Figure 13. Large conch shell columella beads from BK1,
Mound 3, Lake Jackson site (8LE1).


Figure 14. Chandler "T" self-stemmed type steatite pipe from
Bl, Mound 3, Lake Jackson site (8LE1).

round 3. Lake Jackson Site (8Lel)

S lil 1;2 1!3 1.-;
Figure 15. Ceramic pipe with lizard effigy holding Lake
Jackson Plain bowl as pipe bowl from Mound 3, Lake Jackson
site (8LE1).

Anthracite hones or paint palettes were found with two
last phase burials (BK6 and B1). They have poorly smoothed
surfaces and were probably scraped to obtain black pigment.
Examples occurred between the tibia in one burial (BK6) and
in front of the chest in another (BI). A similar palette of
graphite was found with an early phase burial (B2, Level 10).
Other small containers or pigments and related tools were
found in several later stage burials. They include small stone
cups, lumps of yellow ocher (limonite), small clay lumps, and
chert scrapers. They were placed to one side of the individuals
and appear to have served to enhance costume design.
Other late phase burial furniture includes antler projectile
points, a large eroded small pendant, large concave-sided
polished stone discoidals, small flat-sided polished stone
discoidals, a polished gravel stone, a sack of small sandstone
pebbles, a cluster of 38 human teeth, and small mammal
remains. A cache of antler tine projectile points was found
only in BK9 in Structural Level 3, where they lay next to the
left arm. A large eroded plain (?) pendant of undetermined
shape was found adjacent to the right side of the pelvic area in
a mid-level mound burial (B16). Two large concave-sided
polished stone discoidals of local stone were also found next to
each shoulder of Burial 16 (Structural Level 4, 5, 6 or 7).
Two small flat-sided polished discoidals of a hard imported
gray stone (possibly basalt) were found only in one of the last
stage burials (B3). They formed part of a cluster of small
artifacts next to lumps of red ocher and are, therefore, assumed
to be paint palettes. A sack of small sandstone pebbles and
human teeth found in one of the last phase burials (BK2) may
be amulets. The pebbles lay on top of an upside down round
breast plate and the human teeth were in a cluster on the
pelvis. Fragmentary small mammal remains found near the
left shoulder of another last phase burial (BK1) may have been
a food offering.
Unique burial furniture, primarily artifacts found in
Burial 2 (Structural Level 10), not found in late mound burials
include a possible shark's jaw knife, an irregular-shaped
limestone paint palette covered with red ocher, a chert core and
spall cache spread in an area from the knees to the feet. Some
of these artifacts seem to have substitutes, as do personal
adornments, in later phase burials, e.g small flat-sided
discoidals, possible anthracite hones, and small stone cups that
may have been used for paint palettes.

Stability and Change

Data controls over the construction phases of Mound 3,
its associated burials and their mortuary goods provide
significant insight into Fort Walton cultural stability and
change at the Lake Jackson site. This is possible through
analysis of the quantity and quality of the material remains,
even though Mound 3's grave sample is incomplete, due to the
tragic removal of much of the mound prior to the author's
arrival to begin salvage excavation, and small sample size (25

burials) compared to those from other Southeastern Ceremonial
Complex sites such as Moundville and Spiro.
The estimated 7,525 artifacts found in Mound 3 burials
are composed of both local and imported materials. Some
artifacts like copper breast plates and engraved shell gorgets
are probably finished imports. Such artifacts or those made
from nonlocal materials are composed of at least eight kinds of
resources, including copper, lead, steatite, anthracite, graphite,
mica, hard stone (i.e., cherts and basalt), clay, and perhaps the
feathered plumes, if they came from South Florida flamingos
rather than local ibis of herons. Most high status artifacts
associated with the "Southeastern Ceremonial Complex" in
Mound 3 are made of these materials. Artifacts of non-local
materials, however, form less than 2 percent of all artifacts
recovered from burials. Mortuary artifacts made of local
materials are composed of at least eight resources, including
polished hard stone, limestone, chipped chert, shell, pearl,
bone, sharks' teeth, clay, and pigment.
Although the total sample of burial artifacts has not yet
been counted, a sampling of those from ten complete graves
from a range of Structural Levels in the mound reveals a
significant increase in nonlocal material artifacts through time
(see Figure 16). There is an initial increase in these goods
beginning with Structural Level 10 burials, and an increase to
12 percent of all imported artifacts in the next level (Structural
Level 9), when copper burial artifacts first appear. A
significant decline then occurs to less than 3 percent and does
not increase until late in the mound use. This increase occurs
with Structural Level 2 and jumps to 60 percent during the last
burial stage associated with Structural Level 1 and later.
The initial increase or peak of nonlocal artifacts in
Structural Level 10, followed by a decrease, and then a
dramatic increase in imported goods in the last stages of the
mound is also indicated by the analysis of several sets of data.
These quantified data include occurrences of burials, mortuary
goods, and proportional increases in mound height. The
comparison of these data sets provides a measure for
understanding stability and change during mound development
From Structural Level 11 times, beginning with the
earliest mound burial, to Level 9 there is a proportional
increase in burial goods, but a leveling off of burials at 12
percent with Level 10. By Level 7 there is a rapid decline in
burials and grave goods. Burials remain at a low of nearly 5
percent until Level 2; however, there is a rapid increase in
grave goods after Level 3 times. Burials rapidly increase to
over 40 percent in the last stage of the mound, outstripping an
increase in mortuary goods (Figure 17).
A similar frequency decrease from Structural Level 9
times, followed by an explosive increase in the last stage of the
mound is also indicated in copper mortuary artifacts. Copper
artifacts increase rapidly by Level 3 times to nearly 14 percent
and are proportionally greater afterwards. The bulk of copper
goods, in fact, occurs with the last phase of burials. Over 75

65 percent


55 -

50 -



35- A

30- + +

25 -

20 I

15 -



65 percent

60- +

55 -

50 -

45 -

+ + + 4 430

i\ -25

I \
I -20

I. --0\
A 5

\ B

40 -

35 -

30 -

25 -

20 -

15 -


5 -

+ + + + + + + + 30

+ 25

/ + 20
\ / \
k y \

Floor level


3 7 8

9 10 11 12

1+ 2
Floor associations

3 4-7 8 9 10 11 12

Figure 16. Artifactual trends for Mound 3 burials, correlated
with (A) imported material and (B) local material, based on
artifact quantities from ten complete burials.

Figure 17. (A) Proportion of burials by floor levels in Mound
3 and (B) proportion of burial artifacts byfloor levels.

} +

65 percent 65 percent

60 :

$5" '- |

1+ 2 3 4-7 8 9 10 ll 12 1+ 2 3 4-7 8 9 10 1 12
Floor associations Floor associations
Figure 18. (A) Proportion of burials by floor levels in Mound Figure 19. (A) Proportion of burial artifacts by floor levels in
3 and (B) proportion of copper burial artifacts by floor level. Mound 3 and (B) proportion of copper burial artifacts by floor


Table 2. Lake Jackson (8LE1) Mound 3 Mortuary Artifacts and Their Proveniences.

Symbol Key:
A = Personal adornment
F = Burial furniture
AF = Both personal adornment and burial furniture
? = Definite association and believed to be according to Letter symbol
? = Association with burial material is suspected but not positive.
C = Part of burial container (i.e., Logs and matting), neither furniture nor adornment.
CF = Part of burial container and also used as furniture (i.e. wrapping).
- = Not present (although organic material may have deteriorated, if once present).

FLoor Associations 1 or post 1 2 3 4-7 8 9 10 11 7 7

Burials 1K 2K 3K 4K 5K 6K 1 3 4 10 9K 16 5 13 14 11 15 7 2 12* 6 17 18

Pottery vessels F7 F
Carved Limestone
bowl ....- - -
SmaLL stone cups F- -
Shell cup F F F F?- --- F
CLay Lumps with
depression F .....
Cloth F F F F -F F C F- F F
Leather F C ?A F? ?C C? F A
Cane matting F -
Cane sheath or
wrapping -- F
Split cane or wood
plate backing F F F -A?
Wooden boards
(split Log) C? C C C? C C C C? -
Wooden Litter
poles? .-..- -.. ...- -

Burial 12 is a cremation with no apparent artifacts.

Table 2. Lake Jackson (8LE1) Mound 3 Mortuary Artifacts and Their Proveniences (continued).

Floor Associations 1 or post 1 2 3 4-7 8 9 10 11 7

Burials 1K 2K 3K 4K SK 6K 1 3 4 10 9K 16 5 13 14 11 15 7 2 12* 6 17

Chert scrapers F -
Chert core ------ .. - -- F
Chert spell cache---- - F.
Anthracite 7 hones- F F
Polished gravel F. -
Smit sandstone
pebbles F -
Irregular shaped
clay Lumps F F --
Small triangular
projectile pt. ----- ...-- F
Antler proj. pt. F .
Shark-jaw knife - -- -. F
Celts (stone) F ?F .- F .
axe (stone) -- ----. ..- --- -- -- F
Flat flared axe
(copper) F F F F F F F .
Perforated flat
flared axe
(copper) F -
Mooden (copper)
axe handles F F F F .
Chandler type
(steatite) -.. F .- .
Elbow (clay) F F -- -- -
"lizard" (clay) -- -F - ---- .

Floor Associations 1 or post 1 2 3 4-7 8 9 10 11 7

Burials 1K 2K 3K 4K 5K 6K 1 3 4 10 9K 16 5 13 14 11 15 7 2 12* 6 17

Key-sided decorated
headdress symbol
badges (copper) .- --- - F
decorated head-
dress symbol
badges (copper) F F ?F ................
pluses (copper) F ... ...
Other decorated
form of spangles,
pendants, and
hair ornaents
(copper) ?F F ?F .................. .
Other plain form
of spangles,
pendants, and
hair ornmnts
(copper) ?F F ?F F?.
Feathers (iapres-
sions in copper
oxides) F? .- F
Human hair F F? -
spangles? F ---- .
spangles? -. --- . A
bone hair pins A ..

Table 2. Lake Jackson (8LE1) Mound 3 Mortuary Artifacts and Their Proveniences (continued).

Floor Associations 1 or post 1 2 3 4-7 8 9 10 11 ?

Burials 1K 2K 3K 4K 5K 6K 1 3 4 10 9K 16 5 13 14 11 15 7 2 12* 6 17

Shell hair pin - A -
Shell gorgets A A A -
Shell columelLa
pendant -.. ------- A .
Shell univalve
pendant A? A? A? A -
Shell pendants - A A ?
Sheal beads F AF ?F A ?A AAF A ?A A A A A A -AF -
Pear beads AF AF ?F A A A A A A A A A
Galena fasteners - --. -
Mantle (cloak) A .
Mantle or shirt -------- -- -. A? -
Sack F? F .
(c = copper)
Hawk dancer
breastplate (c) - A -A A
Elder hawkmmn
breastplate (c) - A -
Hawk breastplate
(copper) - A A A -
Plain round
breastplate (c) F - -
Plain oval
breastplate (c) F? F -
Plain cut-out
falcon plates
(copper) F - -
Triforked eye plate
fragment (c) F- -. -

Floor Associations 1 or post 1 2 3 4-7 8 9 10 11 7 ?

Burials 1K 2K 3K 4K K 6K 1 3 4 10 9K 16 5 13 14 11 15 7 2 12* 6 17 18

Decorated plate
fragments (c) F -
Plain plate
fragments (c) F -
Yellow ocher
pigment F? -
Red ocher
pigment F? A -- A- -
Graphite pigment - -F -
Paint palette --- F- -
Discoidals (one
concave side) --- F .- -
Discoidals (flat
or convex) F -
Mica F?- F - F -- -. .
Galena mirror
frame? - ..- -F F
Smell mamnel F -- -


percent, 71 or 94 copper artifacts recovered from Mound 3
burials, were associated with Structural Level 1 or later stage
graves (Figure 18). They are proportionally greater with
burials in the last three or more stages than are total artifacts,
whereas they are proportionally less with burials than are total
artifacts during the early half of the mound (Figure 19).


Data recovered from Mound 3 clearly demonstrate the
development of Fort Walton culture over a period of 250 years
at the Lake Jackson site. This mortuary temple site was begun
during the height of "Southeastern Ceremonial Complex" times
(ca. A.D. 1250) and ended with its decline around A.D. 1500.
The rich array of artifacts demonstrate that the Lake Jackson
site must be ranked with Etowah (Larson 1971:58-68),
Moundville (Peebles 1971:68-92; Peebles and Kus 1977:421-
448), and Spiro (Brown 1971:92-112) as a major Southern
Cult ceremonial center. The repousse copper plates, engraved
shell, and other artifacts suggest that its strongest ties during
its early developmental phases were with Etowah.
Three major phases of mound construction and burial
interment are represented: (1) an initial phase composed of five
structural period levels (Levels 8-12), marked by an increase in
burials and moundbuilding, and then a leveling off in burials;
(2) a decline in burials and a slight increase in mound
construction during the following six phases (Levels 2-7); and
then, (3) a surge in mound construction and 40 percent (n
=10+) of mound burials interred in a grand finale.
Southeastern Ceremonial Complex artifacts, including
hawkman dancer plates, appear by the third phase of mound
development (Level 9) and last through the first half of mound
usage, possibly until Structural Level 4 times. By the last
quarter of mound usage (Level 3) hawkman dancer plates are
replaced by a more simplified "elder" hawkman style. Hawk
plates continue but not in anthropomorphic form. Cut-out
hawk plates, plain oval and round plates, Williams Island type
engraved shell gorgets (Muller 1991), and a rich assemblage of
other copper artifacts associated with costume enhancement
appear with the last burial phase. Perhaps tales of this yellow
metal are what lured Hernando de Soto to Apalachee province
in the fall of 1539. De Soto apparently found none upon his
arrival, and the Lake Jackson site appears to have been
abandoned by that time.


This report was made possible primarily with the help of
Mr. Louis Tesar, Supervisor of the Archaeological Research
Section in the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research, who
provided the inspiration and much direct help to the author for
the compilation of this report. He and Dr. Brent Weisman
were most patient in assuring that this report was finished in
time for inclusion in the John Griffin memorial issue. I am

honored to dedicate this report to the late Dr. Griffin, who was
an inspiration to me since I first met him more than 25 years
The recovery of data from Mound 3 of the Lake Jackson
site would, of course, not have been possible without the
cooperation of the property owners, the late Mr. Sam Crowder
and his family. Mr. Conrad (Joby) Kidd was most helpful
concerning his recovery of artifacts. The actual excavation
could not have been completed without the volunteer help of
friends, including the late Mr. Herbert Spillan, Ms. Rowan
Fairgrove, Mr. Chad Braley, Dr. James Miller, and Mr. Chip
Huston. Many other employees of the Florida Department of
State, Division of Historical Resources helped conserve and
document the recovered material, especially Mr. Herbert
Bump, Mr. James Levy, and Mr. Curtis Peterson of the
Bureau of Archaeological Research conservation laboratory.
Mr. Roy Lett, photographer for the Bureau of Archaeological
Research, prepared most of the artifact prints included in this

References Cited

Brown, James A
1971 The Dimensions of Status in the Burials at Spiro. In
Approaches to the Social Dimensions of Mortuary
Practices, edited by James A. Brown. Society for
American Archaeology, Memoir 25:92-112.

1976 The Artifacts. Spiro Studies 4. University of
Oklahoma Research Institute, Norman.

Fryman, Frank B., Jr.
1971 Tallahassee's prehistoric political center. Archives
and History News 2(3):2-4.

Gardner, William M.
1971 Ft. Walton in Inland Florida. In Dispersal of
Mississippian Culture, Proceedings of the Eighteenth
Southeastern Archaeological Conference, edited by Bettye
J. Broyles, pp. 48-50. Newsletter of the Southeastern
Archaeological Conference 10(2).

Griffin, James B. (editor)
1958 Archaeology of the Eastern United States. The
University of Chicago Press, Toronto.

Griffin, John W.
1950 Test Excavations at the Lake Jackson Site. American
Antiquity 16:99-112.

Hamilton, Henry W., Jean Fyree Hamilton, and Eleanor F.
1974 Spiro Mound copper. Missouri Archaeological
Society Memoirs 11:1-212.


Hann, John H.
1988 Apalachee: The Land Between the Rivers. University
Press of Florida, Gainesville.

Hughes, Gilbert H.
1969 Hydrologic Significance of 1966 Flood Levels at Lake
Jackson Near Tallahassee, Florida. Department of the
Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Hydrologic
Investigations, Atlas HA-369, Tallahassee.

Jones, B. Calvin
1981 Southern Cult Manifestations at Lake Jackson. Paper
presented at the 39th annual meeting of the Southeastern
Archaeological Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana.

1982 Southern Cult Manifestations at the Lake Jackson Site,
Leon County, Florida: Salvage Excavation of Mound 3.
Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology 7:3-44.

1990 A Late Mississippian Collector.
Anthropologist 90:83-86.

Soto States

1991 High Status Burials in Mound 3 at Florida's Lake
Jackson Complex: Stability and Change in Fort Walton
Culture. Paper presented at the 48th annual meeting of
the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Jackson,

Larson, L. H., Jr.
1971 Archaeological implications of social stratification at
the Etowah site, Georgia. In Approaches to the Social
Dimensions of Mortuary Practices, edited by James A.
Brown, pp. 58-67. Society for American Archaeology,
Memoir 25.

Muller, Jon
1991 Prolegomena to the Study of Lake Jackson Style and
Symbolism. Paper presented at the 48th annual meeting
of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Jackson,

Payne, Claudine
1989 Archaeological Investigations at the Lake Jackson
Mound Group, Tallahassee, Florida, 1989. Paper
presented at the 46th annual meeting of the Southeastern
Archaeological Conference, Tampa, Florida.

Peebles, Christopher S.
1971 Moundville and surrounding sites: some structural
considerations of mortuary practices. In Approaches to
the Social Dimensions of Mortuary Practices, edited by
James A. Brown, pp. 68-92. Society for American
Archaeology, Memoir 25.

Peebles, Christopher S., and Susan M. Kus
1977 Some Archaeological Correlates of Ranked Societies.
American Antiquity 42:421-448.

Phillips, Philip, and James A. Brown
1978 Pre-Columbian Shell Engravings from the Craig
Mound at Spiro, Oklahoma, Part 1. Peabody Museum of
Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University.

Scarry, John F.
1991 The Rise, Transformation, and Fall of Apalachee: A
Case Study of Political Change in a Chiefly Society. In
Lamar Archaeology: Mississippian Chiefdoms in the Deep
South, edited by Mark Williams and Gary Shapiro, pp.
175-186. The University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa
and London.

Swanton, John R.
1939 Final Report of the United States DeSoto Expedition
Commission. Government Printing Office, Washington,

Tesar, Louis D.
1980 The Leon County Bicentennial Report: An
Archaeological Survey of Selected Portions of Leon
County, Florida. Bureau of Historic Sites and Properties
Miscellaneous Project Report Series 49, Tallahassee.

1981 Fort Walton and Leon-Jefferson, Cultural
Development in Tallahassee Red Hills Area of Florida: A
Brief Summary. Southeastern Archaeological Conference
Bulletin 24:27-29.

Tesar, Louis D., and B. Calvin Jones
1989 In Search of the 1539-40 De Soto Expedition
Wintering Site in Apalache. The Florida Anthropologist

Waring, A. J., Jr.
1968 The Southern Cult and Muskhogean Ceremonial. In
The Waring Papers, edited by Stephen Williams, pp.30-
69. Papers of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and
Ethnology 58.

Willey, Gordon R.
1949 Archeology of the Florida Gulf Coast. Smithsonian
Miscellaneous Collections 113. US Government Printing
Office, Washington, D.C.

Willey, Gordon R., and Richard B. Woodbury
1942 A Chronological Outline for the Northwest Florida
Coast. American Antiquity 7(3):232-254.


Jeffrey M. Mitchem

The first reference to a Safety Harbor culture was by
Willey and Woodbury (1942:235, 245), in which they
presented a chronological outline for Florida's northwest coast
based primarily on ceramic typology. The concept of a late
prehistoric and postcontact Safety Harbor period (A.D. 900-
1725) along the central Gulf Coast was soon an accepted
phenomenon among Florida archaeologists (Goggin 1947:118;
Griffin and Bullen 1950:8; Willey 1948:213, 1949:475-488).
In subsequent decades, additional archaeological and
ethnohistorical research has resulted in a broader understanding
of this native American culture and its interactions with
Spanish explorers and colonists (Bullen 1978; Milanich and
Fairbanks 1980:204-210; Mitchem 1989).
Stone tools are one of the most poorly known categories
of Safety Harbor material culture. In his original definitions of
what he termed "The Safety Harbor Period," Willey
(1948:213-214, 1949:475-488) provided a brief summary of
points, plummets, celts, and other tool types. He illustrated a
wide variety of projectile point styles and other lithic objects
(Willey 1949: Plates 54B, 55, 56, 57, and 59) from the
Parrish Mounds #1 (8MA1), #2 (8MA2), and #3 (8MA3), as
well as the Safety Harbor site (8PI2). His illustrations and text
indicated that small projectile points were most common, but
larger, Archaic-style points also were abundant on Safety
Harbor sites (Willey 1948:214, 1949:486). He did not
discuss stone tools in detail, nor offer any explanation for the
apparent abundance of early-style points in the Safety Harbor
sites used as examples. Purdy (1981:71) pointed out that
Willey failed to discuss stone sources of the central peninsular
Gulf Coast region, which are abundant in some areas. In her
view, the relatively scant attention paid to lithic artifacts
reflects the preoccupation with ceramic artifacts prevalent at
the time of Willey's Gulf Coast work.
In his projectile point identification guide, Ripley Bullen
(1975:8-10) listed three point types as typical of Safety Harbor
and other late prehistoric or early postcontact Florida cultures.
The Pinellas point, a small triangular variety, is the most
ubiquitous stone tool associated with Safety Harbor sites
(Bullen 1975:8). These are similar to Mississippian period
points from other parts of eastern North America, and were
undoubtedly used on arrows. In addition to being found on
Safety Harbor sites, they have also been recovered from late

Weeden Island and Alachua Tradition contexts, and in late
contexts in the St. Johns area (Mitchem 1989:579). Bullen
(1975:9-10) also identified Ichetucknee and Tampa points as
typical of Safety Harbor and contemporaneous Florida sites.
These types have slightly different shapes, but were also
probably used as arrow points. Bullen (1975:6) included a
brief note that some of the apparently older types found on
Safety Harbor sites may have been knives or "antiques"
collected from earlier sites. Purdy (1981:71) suggested that
older types were accidentally included in mound fill.
Other stone artifacts found on Safety Harbor sites are
various styles of plummets and pendants, usually made from
exotic stone and often carved to represent animals (Bullen
1952:Figure 16). Quartz crystal pendants have been recovered
from a few sites (Mitchem 1989:399-402, Figure 16). Ground
stone celts are occasionally present, also produced from non-
Florida stone. Pendants and celts are apparently restricted to
mortuary contexts (Mitchem 1989:580). Grinding stones have
been found at a few sites, and a few "ceremonial" chert blades
have been recovered and described. In general, however, little
is known about nonprojectile point stone tools of the Safety
Harbor culture. In part this is due to the dearth of excavations
carried out at Safety Harbor habitation sites, but also reflects a
bias among investigators to ignore utilitarian artifact classes
(Mitchem 1989:580).
One of the few Safety Harbor sites where excavations
have been conducted in the habitation area is the Safety Harbor
site. A substantial collection of material from the site is
curated in the Florida Museum of Natural History (FMNH),
including 270 lithic artifacts. I selected this collection to be
the subject of a study to record descriptive information about
raw material use, ratios of formal to convenience tools, and the
overall lithic assemblage typical of Safety Harbor habitation
sites. The study was carried out in 1982, with the explicit
purpose of using the gathered information to propose
additional research questions that might be investigated by me
or other students of the Safety Harbor culture.

The Safety Harbor Site

The Safety Harbor site (8PI2) is an aboriginal village
located on the west side of Old Tampa Bay (Figure 1). It is


JUNE 1994

Vol. 47 No. 2


Figure 1. Map showing location of the Safety Harbor site (8PI2).

the type site for the Safety Harbor culture. The site originally
consisted of a large platform mound and a smaller burial
mound, with a presumed plaza and a midden habitation area.
It is also known as Phillippi Hammock or Phillippi Point.
Artifacts reveal that it is a single-component site, occupied
from about A.D. 1000 until at least the late 1500s.
The first published reference to the site was made by
Daniel Brinton (1859:118, 171). S. T. Walker (1880:410-
411) visited several decades later, noting that the platform
mound was one of the largest in the area. He did not excavate
there because he was denied permission by the landowner
(Mitchem 1989:50). Clarence B. Moore (1900:356)
mentioned the site, but also was denied permission to excavate.
In 1929 and 1930, Matthew W. Stirling of the
Smithsonian Institution excavated at Safety Harbor. He dug
primarily in the burial mound, but also did some small test
excavations in the habitation area (Stirling 1930:186; 1931;
1936:353). About 100 secondary burials were removed from

the burial mound, along with aboriginal and European
artifacts. Fifty of the crania were studied by Hrdlicka
(1940:339-340, 373), but most of the skeletal remains were
discarded (B. William Burger, personal communication 1986).
The results of Stirling's excavations are summarized by
Willey (1949:135-142).
John W. Griffin and Ripley P. Bullen (1950) undertook
excavations in the platform mound (Area A), a dune area
originally thought to be a mound (Area B), and the habitation
area (Area C) in August, 1948, under the auspices of the
Florida Park Service. In each area, vertical control was
maintained in 6-inch levels. In addition to reporting on the
artifacts recovered during their excavations, they examined
earlier collections curated at FMNH and corresponded with
Gordon R. Willey concerning information on collections at
the United States National Museum (Griffin and Bullen
1950:8-9). They also studied several private collections from
the site.

The most recent excavations undertaken at Safety Harbor
were conducted in the late 1960s by members of the Safety
Harbor Area Historical Society and another group known as
The Searchers (Gustave A. Nelson, Sr., personal
communication 1986; Safety Harbor Area Historical Society
1968). The majority of the artifacts were turned over to the
Pinellas County Park Department, but analysis was never
completed and no report was written.
There is general agreement among scholars that the Safety
Harbor site is the native American town of Tocobaga, first
visited by Pedro Menindez de Aviles in 1567 (Bullen 1978;
Solis de Meris 1964:223-229). A garrison of 30 soldiers and
a captain were left at the town, where they built a blockhouse.
By January of 1568, however, all of the Spaniards had been
murdered and the town was deserted (Lyon 1976:203; Solis de
Meris 1964:228, 242; Zubillaga 1946:276). Large numbers
of European artifacts have been recovered from the site,
supporting the late sixteenth-century date of contact. These are
summarized in Mitchem (1989:53-55, Table 6).

Analysis of the Stone Artifacts

The purpose of this article is to describe and analyze the
lithic remains recovered from the Safety Harbor site. The
artifacts discussed here are those in the FMNH collections,
which include Griffin and Bullen's material excavated in 1948
and two small beach collections made by T. Van Hyning and
H. H. Francis in 1914.
The methodology used in this study was to observe and
record the following categories of data on each artifact: raw
material, color, texture, evidence of utilization, thermal
alteration, patination, and type (based on conventional
functional categories such as projectile point, scraper, utilized
flake, etc.). Determination of projectile point type names was
based on descriptions in Bullen (1975). Other tool types
conform to descriptions in Crabtree (1972) and Purdy (1981).
For each artifact, measurements of weight, length, width, and
thickness were recorded. For space reasons, these latter
measurements are not included here, but are available in the
FMNH collection files.
The FMNH collections from 8PI2 are biased due to the
collection and excavation techniques employed by those who
amassed them. The surface collections from 1914 consist
solely of projectile points or bifacially worked tools. The
artifacts from Griffin and Bullen's 1948 excavations include
relatively few debitage flakes, because the prevailing attitude at
that time among Florida archaeologists was that such flakes
were useless and should be discarded. The excavations were
undertaken over a two-week period, and the deposits were not
screened (Griffin and Bullen 1948). This resulted in a bias
toward large, finished tools, so an in-depth analysis of lithic
manufacturing activities at the Safety Harbor site based on the
FMNH collections is impossible.

For analysis purposes, the FMNH collections are divided
here by provenience or collection. Griffin and Bullen's (1950)
three areas (A, B, and C) are each considered separately,
whereas the three surface collections (Van Hyning, Francis,
and Griffin and Bullen) are lumped together as a single unit.
All projectile points are considered together; provenience
information is included in the tables in Appendix A.

Projectile Points

Most projectile points in the collections are assignable to
types developed by Bullen (1975). They are listed in
Appendix A (Table 1) by type name, provenience, material,
and the time periods of manufacture determined by Bullen
(1975) and Purdy (1981). Table 1 also indicates whether each
artifact exhibits patina or was thermally altered.
The FMNH collection from Safety Harbor includes 57
projectile points (Figures 2, 3, and 4). Of these, 44 were
surface finds. The majority (n=30) should date from the
preceramic Archaic period (ca. 7000-2000 B.C.), according to
the classification systems devised by Bullen (1975) and Purdy
(1981). All succeeding periods up through Safety Harbor
(Purdy's [1981:Table 1] Late Ceramic [50 B.C.-A.D. 1450])
are represented.
It is interesting to note that even though the site is the
type site for the Safety Harbor culture, only 8 projectile points
(14%) in this collection would normally be considered typical
Safety Harbor points. This may be due to sampling error,
however, because Pinellas points and other small types would
be more likely to be overlooked in surface collecting or when
excavating without screening.
None of the points recovered in the excavations exhibit
surface patina, in contrast to points found on the surface, 36 %
(n= 16) of which were patinated. The simplest explanation for
the lack of patina is they were protected from weathering by
being beneath the surface. Examination of the nonprojectile
point artifacts from the excavations contradicted this
hypothesis, however (see especially Table 5 in Appendix A).
Only 9 of the points are made of silicified coral, which is
surprising considering the availability of fossil corals in the
region (Cooke 1945:115-116). Most of the points are made of
a gray chert with many fossil inclusions. The reasons for this
preference are unclear, but probably relate more to
workability or durability rather than availability. Thermal
alteration (Purdy 1974) is restricted to Florida Archaic
Stemmed and Pinellas points. One Culbreath point (Figure 3)
exhibits a potlid fracture (indicating exposure to heat), but this
may have been unintentional.

Nonprojectile Point Artifacts

Before discussing the other lithic artifacts from the site,
some definitions of terms as they are used in this report must





Figure 2. Pinellas projectile points from the Safety Harbor
site. Left to right: 97217 (Area C, 6-12"); 97216 (Area C, 0-
6"); 97219 (Area C, 18-24"); 3136 (Surface); 97219 (Area C,
18-24"); 3137 (Surface); 3130 (Surface); 2944 (Surface).


01 C 3 4 5

Figure 3. Stemmed projectile points from the Safety Harbor
site (all are surface finds). Left to right: Archaic Stemmed,
Marion subtype (3046); Archaic Stemmed, Levy subtype
(3048); Archaic Stemmed, Putnam subtype (5207); Culbreath

I0 I 7 3 4 S
Figure 4. A fossil shark tooth knife and projectile points from
the Safety Harbor site. Left to right: Utilized fossil shark tooth
knife (97233, Temple Mound); Hardee Beveled (3146,
Surface); Lafayette (3133, Surface); Florida Copena (3124,

be presented. Most of these definitions are based on criteria
discussed in Crabtree (1972), Goodyear (1974), Purdy (1981),
Semenov (1964), and Tringham et al. (1974).
Scrapers (Figure 5) are tools that have a steep edge angle
and generally exhibit use wear in the form of step fractures
along one or more edges. These step fractures tend to increase
the edge angle, thereby continuously resharpening the tool
with use. Various types of scrapers are described and
illustrated in Crabtree (1972) and Purdy (1981). When
possible, scrapers in the collection were placed into one of
these categories based on overall morphological characteristics.
A utilizedflake is generally considered to be a flake that
shows use wear on one or more edges. If wear is present on
only one face of the flake, then it can be considered to have
been used in a scraping motion. Wear on both faces indicates
either reciprocal scraping or a cutting motion. Some flakes
also exhibit spurs that may have been used in engraving or
carving wood and bone, or used as awls to punch holes.
Others also have curved indentations whose unifacial wear
indicates that they were used in the manner of a spokeshave
(for scraping or shaving narrow convex surfaces [Goodyear
Debitageflakes are flakes that show no evidence of use as
a tool. They are generally waste flakes produced in the
manufacture of stone tools.
Hammerstones are generally spherical or round, and
exhibit crushing and pockmarks on the surfaces that made
contact with other objects. Some hammerstones are expended
Cores are nodules of siliceous stone from which flakes
were struck to make into tools. Cores are characterized by
large overlapping flake scars in combination with evidence of
platform preparation.
Knives are artifacts that show use-wear characteristics of a
cutting or sawing motion. They can be tools worked into
specific shapes or flakes that happen to have a sharp edge.
Grinding stones (Figure 6) generally exhibit one or more
flat faces and may have striations on the outside, indicating use
as a grinding implement. The majority of grinding stones in
the Safety Harbor site collection are sandstone, which may
have been acquired through exchange with other groups.
Preforms are chert objects that have been roughly shaped
in preparation for producing projectile points or other tools.
They are normally distinguished from knives or scrapers by the
lack of retouching or use wear on the edges.
Drills are loosely defined as tools that taper to a point and
often have some means of being hafted to a shaft. Some
Pinellas points may have been used as drills. Often the drill
bit is thicker than a typical projectile point tip to withstand
heavy pressure (but see Purdy 1981:56).
Bifaces are tools or fragments that have evidence of
intentionally removed flakes on both faces of the artifact.
Worked tool fragments that cannot be identified on the basis
of other attributes are often included in this category.

Blades are defined as flakes with parallel sharp edges,
based primarily on the description by Bordes and Crabtree
(1969:1). Blades most often were used as cutting implements,
although some exhibit wear that indicates use in a scraping
Certain other terms are used here to refer to objects that
do not fit into tool categories. Plummets and pendants (Figure
7), which have an area for suspension from cordage, were
probably used as ornaments. Use as net weights, bola stones,
or similar functions is improbable because it is doubtful that a
person would expend the effort to produce these items
(sometimes of exotic materials) and then use them in a way that
could easily result in loss or damage.
Other tools are called choppers because of their inferred
function. Some ground stone celt fragments are present in the
collection, as well as utilized and unutilized fossils, fire-
cracked rock, and pebbles, which may have been used as
burnishing tools.

Context of Recovery

Surface collections

The artifacts (n=63) collected from surface proveniences
are listed in Appendix A (Table 2). The surface collections
produced a surprising number of tools typical of the Paleo-
Indian and Late Paleo-Indian period (10,050-7050 B.C.,
according to Purdy [1981:Table 1]). Three of the 10 scrapers
attributed to the Paleo-Indian period show evidence of thermal
alteration. In each of these specimens, the effects of alteration
are present in the entire tool, indicating that the alteration was
probably intentional, rather than the result of use with heat or
friction-induced alteration (Purdy 1981:56; Purdy and Brooks
Most of the surface artifacts are recognizable tools or tool
fragments. As noted in the discussion of projectile points, the
great majority of the siliceous artifacts are of chert (n=42)
rather than coral (n= 7).
Those artifacts collected from Area C, the village area,
are of interest due to the 7 grinding stones (or fragments of
grinding stone) and 5 hammerstones. One would expect such
tools to be concentrated in habitation areas rather than
ceremonial or plaza contexts. This supports Stirling's (1931)
and Griffin and Bullen's (1950:20) interpretations that Area C
is part of the habitation area of the site.

Area A (Platform Mound) Artifacts

The lithic artifacts (n=54) excavated from the platform
(or "temple") mound by Griffin and Bullen (1950) are listed in
Appendix A (Table 3). There is nothing particularly striking
about the artifacts recovered from the mound or their
distribution. All of the recovered artifacts could have been
accidentally included in the fill used to construct the mound.

Figure 5. Stone tools from the Safety Harbor site. Top left to
right: Clear Fork Gouge (97219, Area C, 18-24");
Piano/convex scraper (3159, Booth Farm); Piano/convex
scraper (3166, Booth Farm); Utilized biface fragment (97203,
Temple Mound, 18-24"). Bottom left to right: Piano/convex
scraper (3174, Booth Farm); End scraper (11726, Surface).




Figure 6. Sandstone grinding stone fragments from the Safety
Harbor site. Bottom left: 97217 (Area C, 6-12"). Top right:
97234 (Area C).

Figure 7 A pendant and a plummet from the Safety Harbor
site. Left to right: White quartzite pendant fragment (11727,
no provenience); Sandstone plummet (97216, Area C, 0-6").


Griffin and Bullen (1948) recorded in their field notes
that they encountered an extensive layer of clay, which they
cautiously referred to as a "floor" at depths of 42-51 inches
below the mound surface. Directly below parts of this clay
zone was a black deposit of refuse, which might indicate that
the clay was used as a cap to cover up the old refuse. One
would therefore expect the area just above and below the clay
to contain artifacts lost or discarded by the occupants or
attendants of the mound. Unfortunately, the few lithic remains
from this zone are of little interpretive value. Records of
which artifacts (if any) were embedded in the clay might have
provided some clues about particular tools or debitage being
produced or used on the mound at that time.

Area B (Dune) Artifacts

The artifacts recovered from the Area B excavations are
presented in Appendix A (Table 4). Griffin and Bullen
(1950:20) suspected that this area might be a mound, but the
results of their excavations led them to conclude that it was
actually a dune ridge. Twelve artifacts were recovered from
Area B.
Some cautious inferences can be made about the Area B
materials. Only two units were excavated in this part of the
site. One was five feet square and was taken down to only 24
inches. The other was 15 feet long and (presumably) five feet
wide. It also was excavated only 24 inches deep. According
to the field notes, the occupation zone extended from
approximately five inches to 13 inches below surface. This
corresponds to the second level in Table 4.
It is possible that all of the lithic remains recovered in the
6-12 inch level (except for the biface fragment) could have
come from the same initial piece of chert. Five of the six
flakes are very similar to each other in texture and color. The
sixth may be from a different core, or could be from the
opposite end of a single core. The flakes could represent an
activity locus where early reduction stages of tool production
were taking place. Three of the flakes have cortex on them,
and all but two are fairly thick flakes, which would suggest
that the knapper was attempting to produce flakes large enough
for tool manufacture. One difficulty with this inference is the
fact that the artifacts from the two units were lumped together
in the same vertical level, so there is no horizontal control in
the collection.

Area C (Village) Artifacts

Table 5 in Appendix A lists the artifacts recovered from
excavations in Area C. Nine grinding stones are present in the
excavated collection, which reinforces the expectation (based
on the surface collections) that they would tend to occur in
greatest frequency in the habitation area. There is only one
hammerstone in the Area C collection, however, so the high

surface hammerstone count does not correlate with the
excavation data.
The only other noteworthy aspect of the Area C collection
is the presence of two tools typical of the Late Paleo-Indian
period. They are the only "datable" nonprojectile point tools
excavated from Area C. One is an oblong, snub-nosed scraper
made of chert (recovered from the 6-12 inch level); the other
is a Clear Fork gouge, also chert, recovered from the 18-24
inch level. It is probable that these tools were utilized by
people in more recent periods, maybe after being found in the
village area.
More nonprojectile point lithic artifacts came from Area
C than from either of the other excavation areas or the surface
collections. The 84 artifacts from Area C are not an adequate
sample to make behavioral inferences for the village area,

Conclusion and Avenues for Future Research

Recognizing that the lithic assemblage from the Safety
Harbor site is a biased and small sample, some observations
can be made. The incidence of tools for scraping and cutting
was examined, comparing formal tools (scrapers, knives, and
bifaces) with convenience tools (utilized flakes and blades).
When the percentage of the total number of tools in the
collection is calculated, 14 percent of the total number
(N=270) of tools (including projectile points) are formal
scraping/cutting tools. On the other hand, 20 percent of the
total number are utilized flakes and blades. When projectile
points are not included, 18 percent of the total tools (n=213)
are formal and 25 percent are utilized flakes and blades.
At first glance, these percentages suggest that the
residents of Safety Harbor were using more convenience tools
than formal tools. In addition to the problem of bias in the
sample, however, there is a basic problem with stone tool data
from this site. And that is the problem of determining dates
for various stone tools, especially based on morphological
criteria. If the dates of the tools as listed in the tables are
correct, then the interpretation of tool use based on percentages
is invalid, because the entire assemblage represents a
multicomponent site. Indeed, the information in the tables
indicates that artifacts that can be confidently dated to the
Safety Harbor period (A.D. 900-1725) are rare in this
There are two other alternatives that must be considered.
One is that the late prehistoric and protohistoric residents of
Safety Harbor were collecting and reusing earlier stone tools
from the site and surrounding areas. The second is that the
dating of some stone tools on morphological and typological
grounds is inaccurate, at least for Safety Harbor period lithic
The lack of radiocarbon dates from the site means that
relative dating by artifact typology is the only means of dating

the occupation. The ceramic assemblage from 8PI2 consists
solely of Safety Harbor types, with no Weeden Island-related
or other earlier types. It is apparently a single-component site,
based on the ceramics (Mitchem 1989:57; Willey 1949:135-
142). Sears (1958:5, Plate 1) noted a similar situation at the
Maximo Point site (8PI19 and 8PI31), where the ceramics
were only Safety Harbor types but the projectile points were all
stemmed and side-notched varieties (Sears illustrates a
Bradford, a Taylor, a possible O'Leno, and three stemmed
points). The same was true of the Parrish Mound #3 (8MA3),
although a few Weeden Island-related sherds were recovered
there (Willey 1949:152-156). The projectile point assemblage
from Parrish Mound #3 included several Archaic Stemmed
points, one Pinellas, and even the basal portion of what
appeared to be a Paleo point (Willey 1949:Plate 54B).
Sears (1958:5) decided that the projectile points recovered
at Maximo Point must be considered typical of the Safety
Harbor material culture complex. His point may be valid, at
least for many Safety Harbor sites. This means that we must
broaden the lithic assemblage that is considered typical of
Safety Harbor sites to include some earlier types, including
various Archaic Stemmed varieties.
This descriptive study was designed with these primary
objectives in mind: 1) to gather information about preferences
for raw material, 2) to look at the frequency of thermal
alteration, and 3) to compare ratios of formal and convenience
tools. It was also hoped that the study of the curated
collections would shed light on the lithic assemblage typical of
Safety Harbor sites. Rather than yielding solid answers to
these questions, the study has highlighted several areas of
research that need to be pursued in the future.
First, the projectile points in the 8PI2 collection need to
be subjected to rigorous microwear studies using the most
modern techniques and equipment. Were the Archaic points
and other supposedly "early" tools being collected and reused
by the Safety Harbor residents, or were these tool shapes being
manufactured by the Safety Harbor people for specialized
Second, it would be useful to know where the residents
were obtaining the raw materials used in stone tool
manufacture. A sourcing study of chert and coral types from

the site also might aid researchers in answering the first
Third, further excavations are needed at a Safety Harbor
site, either 8PI2 or another habitation site (as opposed to a
burial or religious site). Careful excavation of domestic
structures would allow in-depth analysis of debitage to learn
about production sequence and other aspects of stone tool
manufacture and use. It also would be valuable to compare the
lithic tool assemblage from additional controlled contexts to
the specimens excavated by Griffin and Bullen (1950).
In summation, this study of lithic artifacts excavated and
collected in the first half of the twentieth century highlights the
many gaps in knowledge that remain about stone tools of the
Safety Harbor culture. It is hoped that researchers in the
future will continue to use the curated collections and
additional assemblages to address some of the issues raised in
this article.


This article is a greatly revised and updated version of a
paper originally written in 1982, when I was enrolled in Dr.
Barbara Purdy's graduate seminar in lithic technology at the
University of Florida. I learned a lot in that class, and am
grateful to Dr. Purdy. One thing I learned was that I never
want to specialize in lithic technology, and revising this paper
has strengthened my conviction in this regard. It was while I
was studying the collection that I first met John Griffin. He
helped fill in many details about the 1948 excavations that he
directed at Safety Harbor, and continued to be a friend,
mentor, and sounding board for ideas about Safety Harbor
during my dissertation-writing phase and beyond. I am also
grateful to the staff at the Florida Museum of Natural History,
both during the time of the initial study and in late 1993.
Special thanks to Dr. Jerald T. Milanich (Chair of the
Department of Anthropology) and Ms. Elise V. LeCompte-
Baer (Registrar) for allowing me to borrow artifacts for
photographing. This article benefited from the comments and
suggestions of Brent R. Weisman and members of the journal's
editorial staff.


Summary of Stone Artifacts Analyzed from the Safety Harbor Site

Table 1. Projectile Points from the Safety Harbor Site (8P12).

Type &



Pinellas (surface)

Bradford (surface)

Taylor (surface)

Lafayette (surface)

Archaic Stemmed, Marion

Archaic Stemmed, Marion

Archaic Stemmed, Levy (surface)
Archaic Stemmed, Levy (surface)
Archaic Stemmed, Levy (surface)
Hardee Beveled (surface)
Newnan (surface)

Culbreath (surface)
Miscellaneous (Clay-like)

Archaic Stemmed, Levy (surface)
Archaic Stemmed, Levy (surface)
Culbreath (surface)

Culbreath, reworked (surface)
Lafayette (surface)

Archaic Stemmed, Marion

Archaic Stemmed, Marion

Lafayette, reworked (surface)
Archaic Stemmed, Levy (surface)
Miscellaneous stemmed (surface)
Archaic Stemmed, Levy (surface)
Archaic Stemmed, Levy (surface)
Archaic Stemmed, Levy (surface)
Archaic Stemmed, Marion

Florida Copena (surface)

Florida Copena (surface)
Culbreath (surface)
Archaic Stemmed, Marion

Hardee Beveled (surface)

Bradford (surface)
Savannah River, reworked

Archaic Stemmed, Putnam

White coral

Patinated gray chert
Patinated gray chert

Gray chert

Patinated, thermally altered
gray chert

Gray chert

Patinated gray coral
Black chert

Gray chert

Patinated light gray chert
Mottled chert

Mottled chert

Gray/white chert

Mottled chert

Banded gray chert
Patinated gray chert,
possibly thermally altered
(potlid fracture)

Tan chert

Patinated mottled chert
Patinated mottled chert

Mottled chert

Lt. brown mottled chert
Gray/white chert

Light brown mottled chert
Cream colored mottled chert
Gray coral

Gray mottled chert

Mottled tan chert

Translucent mottled tan &
gray chert

Patinated gray/white chert
Mottled beige chert
Thermally altered light gray

Thermally altered light
gray/white chert

Patinated mottled gray chert
Gray/brown chert

Gray chert

Bullen Purdy


Dept EC
Dept EC



Type &

Archaic Stemmed, Marion
Miscellaneous stemmed (surface)

Archaic Stemmed, Marion
Archaic Stemmed, Levy (surface)

Miscellaneous stemmed (surface)

Newnan (surface)

Archaic Stemmed, Levy (surface)
Culbreath (surface)

Pinellas (surface)

Pinellas (Area A (0-6")]}
Miscellaneous stemmed
{Area A (24-30")]
Archaic Stemmed, Levy
(Area B (0-6")]
Pinellas (Area C (0-6")]

Tampa [Area C (6-12")]
Miscellaneous (Area C (6-12")]
Newnan [Area C (12-18")}
Pinellas [Area C (18-24")]
Pinellas [Area C (18-24")]}

Lafayette (Area C (24-30")]
Archaic Stemmed, Levy

{Area C (24-30")]

Pinellas [Area C (0-6")

(toward water) }

Archaic Stemmed, Marion

{Area C (18-24") (toward water) }

* Abbreviations:

Dept Deptford

EC Early Ceramic

EPA Early Preceramic Archaic
LA Late Archaic

LC Late Ceramic

LPA Late Preceramic Archaic

Note: For dates of the various
and Purdy (1981).

Patinated white coral

Patinated light gray/beige
Light gray chert

Patinated, thermally
altered light gray/white

Patinated, possibly thermally

altered gray coral

Patinated gray/beige chert
Mottled gray chert
Gray/brown mottled chert
Patinated, thermally altered
pink/white coral

White coral

Gray/brown chert

Gray/brown chert

Thermally altered translucent
white/red coral

Translucent light brown chert
Light gray/white chert

White coral

Brown chert

Translucent honey-colored

Beige chert

Thermally altered white,

tan, & red chert

Thermally altered tan chert

Light red chert

MPA Middle Preceramic Archaic
PA Preceramic Archaic

Bullen Purdy

SC-WI Swift Creek-Weeden Island
SH Safety Harbor
Trans Transitional

periods, see Bullen (1975), Milanich (1994),


Table 2. Surface Lithic Artifacts From the Safety Harbor Site (8PI2).

Artifact Material Period*

Biface tool fragment (Area C) Thermally altered pink coral
Utilized flake (knife & Translucent brown coral
scraper) (Area C)
Utilized flake (scraper) Patinated light gray coral
(Area C)
River pebble burnisherr?) Quartzite
(Area C)
Grinding stone (Area C) Coarse brown sandstone**
Grinding stone fragment Coarse brown sandstone**
(Area C)
Biface fragment (Area C) Gray chert
Grinding stone (Area C) Fine-grained brown sandstone**
Grinding stone fragment Coarse brown sandstone**
(Area C)
Grinding stone fragment Fine-grained brown sandstone**
(Area C)
Grinding stone (Area C) Very fine-grained sandstone**
Tabular stone fragment Fine-grained brown sandstone**
(grinder?) (Area C)
Biface fragment (Area C) Thermally altered brown & white chert
Hammerstone (Area C) Beige chert
Utilized flake (scraper) Thermally altered mottled gray &
(Area C) white chert
Misc. scraper fragment Mottled gray chert
(Area C)
Utilized flake (knife) Patinated, possibly thermally
(Area C) altered (potlids) gray chert
Possible pendant (ovoid) White limestone
(Area C)
Utilized flake (knife) Mottled beige chert
(Area C)
Cruciform drill fragment Yellowish chert Preceramic
(Area C) Archaic
Biface fragment (knife) Patinated gray & white chert
(Area C)
Hammerstone (Area C) Thermally altered gray & white chert
Utilized flake (scraper) White/light gray chert
(Area C)
Hammerstone (Area C) Thermally altered gray & brown chert
Hammerstone (Area C) Mottled brown & gray chert
Debitage flake (Area C) Patinated mottled gray & white chert
Chopping tool (Area C) Patinated, stained, black & tan chert
Core and/or hammerstone Beige chert
(Area C)
Debitage flake (Area C) Patinated gray chert
Debitage flake (Area C) Patinated gray & tan chert

* Based on information in Purdy (1981).
** Grain sizes measured microscopically using the Wentworth Size
Classification (Rice 1987:38, Figure 2.2; Shepard 1980:118, Table 5; Wentworth
1922, 1933).

Artifact Material Period*

Snub-nosed (oblong) scraper
Snub-nosed (oblong) scraper
Hendrix scraper
Unifacial scraper (ovoid)
Utilized flake
Polished pendarnc
(ovoid, biconvex)
Misc. bifacial scraper
Thumbnail-like scraper
Misc. bifacial scraper
Miscellaneous scraper

Snub-nosed (triangular)
Snub-nosed (oblong) scraper
Snub-nosed (oblong) scraper
Hendrix scraper

Unifacial scraper

Miscellaneous scraper
Miscellaneous scraper
Miscellaneous scraper/knife

Debitage flake
(Burial mound area)
Possible core fragment
(Burial mound area)
Biface fragment
(Platform mound area)
Fossil shark tooth knife
(Platform mound area)
Unutilized long bone fossil
(Platform mound area)
Utilized long bone fossil
(Platform mound area)
Utilized flake (scraper)
(Platform mound area)
Nodule (hammer?)
(Platform mound area)
Utilized biface fragment
(Platform mound area)
Stone fragment
(Platform mound area)
Utilized flake (knife)
(Platform mound area)

Light gray chert
Patinated light gray chert
Gray & beige chert w/inclusions
Light gray chert
Translucent brown chert
White quartzite

Gray & tan chert
Patinated gray chert
Patinated light gray/tan chert
White coral
Beige chert
Gray chert
Possibly thermally altered mottled
gray chert
Thermally altered yellow, tan, &
red chert
Patinated gray chert
Patinated mottled gray chert
Patinated, thermally altered
mottled brown & red chert
Thermally altered gray & pink
Patinated gray coral
Gray chert
Patinated mottled gray chert
Thermally altered banded gray &
white chert
White chert

Brown chert

Patinated brown & gray chert

Brown fossil bone

Brown fossil bone

Brown fossil bone

Mottled beige & brown chert

Light gray coral

Patinated beige chert

Gray coarse sandstone**

Mottled gray chert

Late Paleo
Late Paleo
Late Paleo


Late Paleo

Late Paleo

Late Paleo
Late Paleo


Table 3. Area A (Platform Mound) Lithic Artifacts From the Safety Harbor Site (8PI2) (None of these
artifacts could be assigned to a specific time period.)

& Level Material

Core fragment
Grinding stone fragment
Grinding stone fragment
Utilized flake (knife)
Misc.. uniface scraper fragment
Utilized flake (scraper)
Utilized blade fragment (scraper)
Debitage flake
Utilized flake (scraper)
Misc. uniface scraper fragment

River pebble fragment
Biface fragment
Debitage flake
Utilized flake (scraper)
Blade fragment
Utilized flake (scraper)
Grinding atone fragment
Grinding stone fragment
Utilized flake (knife)
Utilized blade fragment (knife)
Utilized flake (knife)
Utilized flake (scraper)
Debitage flake
Debitage flake
Debitage flake
Utilized flake (spokeshave?)
Utilized biface fragment
(spokeshave, scraper)
Utilized flake (graver)
Utilized flake (scraper, graver,
Utilized flake (scraper)
Grinding stone fragment
Ground stone celt fragment
Utilized flake (scraper,
Utilized flake (scraper)

Debitage flake
Tabular fragment (crazed)

Light gray & white chert
Coarse brown sandstone*
Coarse brown sandstone*
Mottled white chert
Beige chert
Gray & white chert
Light gray chert
Mottled gray chert
Patinated beige & white chert
Possibly thermally altered beige &
white coral

Mottled white chert
Translucent white coral
Gray chert
Thermally altered pink & white coral
white chert

Coarse tan sandstone*
Coarse brown sandstone*
Tan chert
Gray/tan chert
Honey-colored chert
Mottled chert
Translucent brown chert

Translucent mottled brown chert
Translucent honey-colored & brown chert
Translucent white chert
Dark brown & gray chert

Translucent white chert
Translucent white chert

White & beige chert

Coarse brown sandstone*
Compact gray & red stone (exotic origin)
Spotted pink chert

Possibly thermally altered spotted
pink chert
Mottled gray chert
Patinated, thermally altered translucent
red chert

& Level Material

Debitage flake Tan chert
Cortex fragment Red & black chert, cortex
Grinding stone fragment Coarse brown sandstone*
Stone fragment (crazed) Thermally altered gray & white chert
Biface fragment (knife or scraper) Translucent white coral
Biface (triangular knife) Translucent black & white coral
Fire-cracked rock Thermally altered black & gray chert
Utilized fragment (spokeshave) Translucent honey-colored chert
Utilized flake (scraper) Translucent tan chert
Utilized flake (chopper, knife) Light gray/tan chert
Stone fragment Patinated, layered tan & beige chert
Bone fossil (possibly utilized) Brown fossil bone
Debitage flake Mottled gray chert
Debitage flake Honey-colored chert
Utilized flake (scraper) Mottled gray, white, & brown chert
Biface fragment Translucent honey-colored chert
Debitage flake Translucent gray chert
Debitage flake Patinated white chert

* Grain sizes measured microscopically using the Wentworth Size Classification
(Rice 1987:38, Figure 2.2; Shepard 1980:118, Table 5; Wentworth 1922, 1933).

Table 4. Area B (Dune) Lithic Artifacts from the Safety Harbor Site (8PI2).

(None of these artifacts could be assigned to a specific time period).

& Level Material

Debitage flake Thermally altered gray chert
Debitage flake White & brown chert
Debitage flake White & gray chert
Debitage flake Gray chert, cortex
Debitage flake Light tan chert
Debitage flake Light tan chert
Debitage flake Gray & tan chert, cortex
Utilized flake (knife & scraper) Gray & tan chert, cortex
Debitage flake Light gray chert
Biface fragment (knife or Translucent gray/brown chert
projectile point)
Debitage flake Patinated tan coral
Debitage flake Translucent gray chert


Table 5. Area C (Village) Lithic Artifacts From the Safety Harbor Site (8P12).

& Level Material

Miscellaneous scraper
Stone fragment
Debitage flake
Debitage flake
Misc. scraper fragment
Utilized flake (scraper,
knife, & graver)
Utilized flake (knife)
Debitage flake
Debitage flake
Utilized flake (scraper)
Debitage flake
Stone fragment
Limestone fragment
Grinding stone fragment
Grinding stone fragment
Grinding stone fragment
Anvil fragment or pounding
Stone fragment
Stone plummet
Stone fragment (grinding
Debitage flake

Ground stone fragment
Utilized blade (knife)
Utilized flake (scraper,
Utilized flake (scraper)

Debitage flake
Debitage flake
Debitage flake
Debitage flake
Utilized flake (knife)
Utilized flake (scraper)
Misc. end scraper fragment
Microlith (possible
Pinellas point)
Debitage flake
Debitage flake
Debitage flake
Debitage flake

Patinated gray coral
White coral
White chert
White chert, cortex

Gray/tan chert
Possibly thermally altered translucent
red & amber chert
White chert
Light gray chert
Beige chert
Thermally altered white & yellow chert
Patinated white & light gray chert
White coral
Soft white limestone
Light brown fine-grained sandstone**
Light brown fine-grained sandstone**
Light brown fine-grained sandstone**
Fine-grained granitic rock (exotic)**

Coarse gray sandstone**
Polished sandstone(?)

Quartzite or sandstone

Thermally altered translucent pink &
gray chert
Red & pink quartzite(?) (exotic)

White coral
White coral
Possibly thermally altered pink &
white coral
Thermally altered translucent pink &
red chert
Translucent brown chert
Translucent brown chert
Translucent gray & white chert
Gray, tan, & black chert
White & gray coral
Thermally altered translucent red chert
Tan chert
Thermally altered red coral

Patinated gray & white chert
Light gray & beige chert
Patinated translucent gray/brown chert
Mottled white chert
Gray chert

Hone &/or grinding stone
Grinding stone fragment
Nutting stone
Stone burnishing tool

Utilized blade (knife)
Utilized flake (scraper)

Snub-nosed (oblong) scraper
Utilized flake (scraper)
Debitage flake
Utilized blade (knife)

Debitage flake
Utilized flake (knife)

Debitage flake
Utilized flake (scraper)

Debitage flake
Utilized flake (scraper,
Debitage flake
Debitage flake
Utilized flake (scraper)
Utilized flake (scraper)
Debitage flake
Utilized flake (scraper)

Grinding stone
Clear Fork gouge
Utilized flake (scraper)
Utilized flake (scraper)

Debitage flake
Debitage flake
Debitage flake

Debitage flake
Grinding stone fragment
"Pits from Midden"
Pebble fragment burnisherr?)
Debitage flake
Debitage flake
Utilized flake (knife)
Debitage flake
Debitage flake
Utilized flake (scraper)

Debitage flake

Utilized flake (knife &
"Squares Toward Water"
Utilized flake (knife)
Utilized flake (knife)
Grinding stone

Brown sandstone

Brown sandstone
Brown sandstone
Bone fossil or fine-grained
Mottled white/beige chert
Brown chert
Patinated, possibly thermally
altered red chert
Patinated yellow-brown chert

Patinated white coral
Patinated white & gray chert
Translucent white, gray, & brown
Patinated white coral
Patinated, thermally altered
translucent white/gray coral
Patinated white chert
Patinated, thermally altered white
Patinated mottled gray & white chert
Patinated, thermally altered
translucent brown/gray coral
Gray, red, & white coral
Mottled gray chert
Patinated tan/white chert
Possibly thermally altered red chert
Patinated mottled gray/white chert
Mottled white chert
Patinated, thermally altered white &
gray coral
Tabular sandstone

Patinated mottled beige chert
Mottled white chert
Patinated translucent gray/brown
Mottled gray chert
Patinated white & brown coral
Patinated translucent light
brown/gray chert
Mottled gray & brown chert
Brown fine-grained sandstone**

Smoky quartzite
Patinated white coral
White chert
Patinated gray & white coral
Patinated gray & white coral
Mottled tan chert
Thermally altered translucent
honey-colored chert
Thermally altered red & yellow
Thermally altered translucent gray

Patinated gray & white chert
Gray, brown, & white chert
Dark brown/black sandstone

* Based on information in Purdy (1981).
** Grain sizes measured microscopically using the Wentworth Size
Classification (Rice 1987:38, Figure 2.2; Shepard 1980:118, Table 5; Wentwortf
1922, 1933).

& Level



Late Paleo

Late Paleo

References Cited

Bordes, Francois, and Don E. Crabtree
1969 The Corbiac Blade Technique and Other Experiments.
Tebiwa 12:1-21.

Brinton, Daniel G.
1859 Notes on the Floridian Peninsula, its Literary History,
Indian Tribes and Antiquities. Joseph Sabin,

Bullen, Ripley P.
1952 Eleven Archaeological Sites in Hillsborough County,
Florida. Report of Investigations No. 8. Florida
Geological Survey, Tallahassee.

1975 A Guide to the Identification of Florida Projectile
Points. Revised edition. Kendall Books, Gainesville.

1978 Tocobaga Indians and the Safety Harbor Culture. In
Tacachale: Essays on the Indians of Florida and
Southeastern Georgia During the Historic Period, edited
by Jerald T. Milanich and Samuel Proctor, pp. 50-58.
University Presses of Florida, Gainesville.
Cooke, C. Wythe
1945 Geology of Florida. Geological Bulletin No. 29.
Florida Geological Survey, Tallahassee.

Crabtree, Don E.
1972 An Introduction to Flintworking. Occasional Papers of
the Idaho State University No. 28, Pocatello.

Goggin, John M.
1947 A Preliminary Definition of Archaeological Areas and
Periods in Florida. American Antiquity 13:114-127.

Goodyear, Albert C.
1974 The Brand Site: A Techno-Functional Study of a Dalton
Site in Northeast Arkansas. Research Series No. 7.
Arkansas Archeological Survey, Fayetteville.

Griffin, John W., and Ripley P. Bullen
1948 Field and Analysis Notes for Safety Harbor-Phillippi
Hammock, Florida Park Service. Unpublished notes on
file, Department of Anthropology, Florida Museum of
Natural History, Gainesville.

1950 The Safety Harbor Site, Pinellas County, Florida.
Publication No. 2. Florida Anthropological Society,

Hrdlicka, Ales
1940 Catalog of Human Crania in the United States National
Museum Collections: Indians of the Gulf States.
Proceedings of the United States National Museum
87:315-464. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

Lyon, Eugene
1976 The Enterprise of Florida: Pedro Menendez de Aviles
and the Spanish Conquest of 1565-1568. University
Presses of Florida, Gainesville.

Milanich, Jerald T.
1994 Archaeology of Precolumbian Florida. University Press
of Florida, Gainesville.

Milanich, Jerald T., and Charles H. Fairbanks
1980 Florida Archaeology. Academic Press, New York.

Mitchem, Jeffrey M.
1989 Redefining Safety Harbor: Late Prehistoric/Protohistoric
Archaeology in West Peninsular Florida. Ph.D.
dissertation, University of Florida, Gainesville.
University Microfilms, Ann Arbor.

Moore, Clarence B.
1900 Certain Antiquities of the Florida West-Coast. Journal
of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia

Purdy, Barbara A.
1974 Investigations Concerning the Thermal Alteration of
Silica Materials: An Archaeological Approach. Tebiwa

1981 Florida's Prehistoric Stone Technology.
Presses of Florida, Gainesville.


Purdy, Barbara A., and H. K. Brooks
1971 Thermal Alteration of Silica Minerals: An
Archaeological Approach. Science 173:322-325.

Rice, Prudence M.
1987 Pottery Analysis: A Sourcebook. University of Chicago
Press, Chicago.

Safety Harbor Area Historical Society
1968 Tocobaga Newsletter 1(1).

Sears, William H.
1958 The Maximo Point Site. The Florida Anthropologist

Semenov, Sergei A.
1964 Prehistoric Technology. Translated by M. W.
Thompson. Barnes and Noble, New York.

Shepard, Anna O.
1980 Ceramics for the Archaeologist. Reprinted. Braun-
Brumfield, Ann Arbor. Originally published 1956,
Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington D.C.

Solis de Meras, Gonzalo
1964 Pedro Menendez de Aviles, Adelantado, Governor and
Captain-General of Florida. Memorial. Translated by
Jeannette Thurber Connor. Reprinted. University of
Florida Press, Gainesville. Originally published 1923,
Florida State Historical Society, De Land.

Stirling, Matthew W.
1930 Prehistoric Mounds in the Vicinity of Tampa Bay,
Florida. Explorations and Field-Work of the Smithsonian
Institution in 1929:183-186. Washington, D.C.

1931 Mounds of the Vanished Calusa Indians of Florida.
Explorations and Field-Work of the Smithsonian
Institution in 1930:167-172. Washington, D.C.

1936 Florida Cultural Affiliations in Relation to Adjacent
Areas. In Essays in Anthropology Presented to A. L.
Kroeber in Celebration of His Sixtieth Birthday, edited by
Robert H. Lowie, pp. 351-357. Books for Libraries
Press, Freeport, New York.

Tringham, Ruth, Glenn Cooper, George Odell, Barbara
Voytek, and Anne Whitman
1974 Experimentation in the Formation of Edge Damage: A
New Approach to Lithic Analysis. Journal of Field
Archaeology 1:171-196.

Walker, S. T.
1880 Preliminary Explorations Among the Indian Mounds in
Southern Florida. Annual Report of the Smithsonian
Institution for 1879:392-413. Washington, D.C.

Wentworth, C. K.
1922 A Scale of Grade and Class Terms for Clastic Sediments.
Journal of Geology 30:377-392.

1933 Fundamental Limits to the Sizes of Clastic Grains.
Science 77:633-634.

Willey, Gordon R.
1948 Culture Sequence in the Manatee Region of West
Florida. American Antiquity 13:209-218.


1949 Archeology of the Florida Gulf Coast. Smithsonian
Miscellaneous Collections 113. Smithsonian Institution,
Washington, D.C.

Willey, Gordon R., and R. B. Woodbury
1942 A Chronological Outline for the Northwest Florida
Coast. American Antiquity 3:232-254.

Zubillaga, Felix, S. I. (editor)
1946 Monumenta Antiquae Floridae (1566-1572). Monumenta
Historica Societatis Iesu, vol. 69. Monumenta Missionum
Societatis lesu, vol. 3. Rome, Italy.

Jeffrey M. Mitchem
Arkansas Archeological Survey
P.O. Box 241
Parkin, Arkansas 72373-0241


Karen J. Walker, Frank W. Stapor, Jr., and William H. Marquardt

Sea Levels and Scales

With the 1974 publication of "Archeology and
Environment in South Florida" and the later 1988 publication
of The Archeology of Everglades National Park: A Synthesis,
John Griffin demonstrated his intense interest in the potential
for fine-tuning the simplistic, smooth Holocene sea-level
models that have long guided archaeological interpretation.
The fluctuating Holocene sea-level concept of Fairbridge
(1961, 1974) had not been accepted by geologists and
archeologists working along the southeastern coasts of the
United States. Nonetheless, Griffin hypothesized that minor,
Late Holocene sea-level changes--specifically one that stood
above present-day levels circa A.D. 400--resulted in the
peculiar stratification he observed at several coastal Everglades
sites. He clearly saw the past existence of such small-scale
oscillations as essential to the understanding of Florida's Gulf
Coast prehistoric peoples (Griffin 1988:38, 235) and made a
call for its emphasis in future research (1974:345, 1988:340,
Working within the conventional smooth model of sea-
level rise, Rey Ruppe and his students excavated the inundated
Venice Beach site in Sarasota County from 1973 to 1975.
Faced with evidence of three below-present-day sea-level
positions that conflicted with the smooth model, Rupp6
(1979:41-42) ultimately concluded that only archaeological
data could refine the geological sea-level models.
The findings of geologist Thomas Missimer (1973) were
so astonishing that his contribution to sea-level history went
virtually unnoticed. Missimer's work on Sanibel Island
indicated that sea level stood about 150 to 213 cm higher than
the present-day level at roughly 150 B.C. and that by A.D.
550 it stood about 60 cm below today's level (Missimer
1973:68, 92, 225- 228).
At the Solana site near the mouth of the Peace River,
Randolph Widmer (1986) uncovered features and molluscan
fauna that indicated a sea-level rise to at least 60 cm above the
present-day mean position during A.D. 200-650 (Widmer
1986:43, 1988:186). Karen Walker later (1992, 1993)
examined the relationships between the spatial and temporal
distribution of estuarine animals and small-scale sea-level
variations for the greater coastal Caloosahatchee area. Finally,

Frank Stapor and his colleagues' (1987, 1991) study of beach-
ridge sets provided the needed, relatively high-resolution sea-
level data pertinent to archaeological sites of the post-1050
B.C. Holocene. Their "Wulfert" high and "Buck Key" low
sea-level episodes confirmed Missimer's earlier interpretations.
For Florida archaeologists, it should no longer be an
issue whether or not sea level fluctuated during the Holocene
epoch. The familiar Holocene model of smooth sea-level rise
and stabilization is in reality an averaged curve that obscures
the many "minor" oscillations that occurred at a scale very
important to humans. Failure to recognize the difference
between these two scalar perspectives can lead to inappropriate
archaeological interpretations (see Stein 1993). What is
"minor" to a geologist adhering to the smooth model can be of
major importance to the archaeologist (Walker 1992:278).
However, archaeologists now have allies in a small, but
worldwide community of geologists. Like Stapor and his
colleagues, these geologists have long been piecing together
relative Holocene curves that fluctuate at a human scale. They
hope to shed light on today's global warming issue and
ultimately predict future oscillations.
Closer to home, the emerging consensus among
geologists and archaeologists working in the Gulf of Mexico
region is that sea level fluctuated in the recent past and did so
at multiple temporal scales and varying magnitudes, including
high stands above present mean sea level. The episodes are
detected using multiple lines of evidence. For example,
Florida's Gulf coastline offers evidence from both beach ridges
(e.g., Stapor et al. 1991; Tanner 1992) and archaeological
middens (e.g., Griffin 1974, 1988; Rupp6 1979; Walker 1992;
Widmer 1986) that support the construction of a high-
resolution, fluctuating sea-level model. Moreover, Florida is
ideal for the detection of small-scale global oscillations because
it is one of only two semi-stable areas in the United States
(Fairbridge 1992:17). What remains to be refined is when the
fluctuations occurred, the degree of fluctuation during each
episode, and the implications of these fluctuations for past

The Role of Coastal Middens

Florida's Gulf Coast middens are increasingly playing a


Vol. 47 No. 2

JUNE 1994

significant role in the documentation of sea-level fluctuations.
Included in this documentation is the refinement of the timing
and magnitude of specific rise and fall episodes along the entire
Holocene sea-level trajectory. Middens can serve to test the
various geologically constructed sea-level models.
Archaeological indicators of sea-level episodes vary
depending on site location and other factors (Walker 1992:289-
290, 301). Such indicators include patterns of site habitation
versus abandonment, horizontal stratification (including
seaward midden inundation and landward midden
accumulation), and paleosalinity change as inferred from
midden archaeofaunal assemblages. Such information offers
evidence that is independent of geological data.
Taking it a step further, data from middens can help to
refine radiocarbon-based geological models. When middens
are dated by both radiocarbon (with minimal danger of dating
"reworked" materials) and artifact analysis, archaeologists and
geologists together can narrow the timing of sea-level
fluctuations. In addition, the indicators listed above also can
contribute to an understanding of each episode's magnitude,
whether below or above present-day mean sea level.
In the best of situations, low-lying coastal sites
characterized by a stratigraphic sequence that includes
archaeological deposits interbedded with geological units have
the greatest potential not only for recognition but also
refinement of the fluctuation's timing and magnitude. The
middens serve to protect geologically deposited material from
subsequent erosion and loss. This is especially critical for
deposits of higher-than-present sea-level events. The
archaeological deposits represent low-stand episodes or
present-day sea-level equivalents; the interbedded unit
represents a high-stand sea-level episode. Interbedded
geological strata are elevated above their "normal" (i.e., in
relation to present-day sea level) position and vary in nature.
Examples include marsh or mangrove sediments, washover
sands, marine marls, beach/berm sands, and subtidal lagoon
deposits, all of which have been known to separate earlier from
later middens.
These types of stratigraphic sequences are even more
informative when the archaeological deposits contain large
quantities of molluscan remains. Because of their limited
mobility and salinity tolerances compared to fishes (the other
major faunal component in coastal middens), molluscan
remains provide archaeologists with indicators of paleosalinity
change (see Walker 1992:275). The use of middens in
southwest Florida as paleoecological samples is validated by
the pattern of near-site mollusc gathering that is indicated by a
series of Charlotte Harbor zooarchaeological samples (Walker
1992:271-275). An interpretation of the meaning of indicated
paleosalinity change, however, must consider potential
variables occurring at multiple spatial and temporal scales.
For example, an inferred salinity decrease based on one sample
from a given estuarine site may be explained by a local,
intraannual rainy season, a regional, decade-long rainy period,

or a worldwide lowered sea level. Use of multiple samples
and recognition of broad patterns is critical to the analysis.
In our opinion, multiple lines of evidence combining
archaeological, geological, and paleoecological perspectives
successfully contribute to the process of refining existing sea-
level models. We now illustrate this interdisciplinary approach
with a case study from southwest Florida.

The Wightman Site

The Wightman site (Fradkin 1976; Wilson 1982), located
on the barrier island of Sanibel on the southwest Florida coast,
contains dense shell-midden accumulations with interbedded
geological strata. The site, a shell midden and mound
complex, is located along the mangrove-fringed Kesson's
Bayou, on the bay side of Sanibel Island (Figure 1). Bay
waters in this locale have a wide salinity variation, ranging
from a low of 16 o/oo (parts per thousand) during the July
rainy season to a high of 32 o/oo (Wang and Raney 1971:18).
Wightman is situated close to Blind Pass, an active tidal inlet.
The site has suffered much modification over the years.
Salvage excavations were conducted in 1974 and 1975 by
Charles Wilson, Lee High, Jerald Milanich, and several
students and volunteers (Wilson 1982:22). Most recently, a
private residence was constructed on the main portion of what
remains of the site.
The site reports of Fradkin (1976) and Wilson (1982)
contributed a great deal to the knowledge of what is now
known as the Caloosahatchee archaeological area. Widmer
(1988:83) later based his Caloosahatchee I period on the
radiocarbon chronology and pottery of the Wightman site. In
addition, Fradkin's was one of the first studies of fine-screened
southwest Florida archaeological animal bone. The vertebrate
faunal remains used in the study were identified by Rochelle
The lower portion of Wightman's stratigraphic sequence
begins with a basal beach-ridge deposit overlain by an oyster
shell layer. Due to high water flooding the excavation
trenches, it was not established for certain whether or not this
layer was a midden or the remains of a natural oyster bar
(Fradkin 1976:42; Wilson 1982:27), but interpretations leaned
toward the latter. Fradkin hypothesized that if it is a natural
oyster deposit, then it may represent inundation by higher sea
levels or tides. She indicated in a profile drawing that the top
portion of the oyster shell layer is a "natural oyster bar," while
the lower portion is "either [a] natural bar or midden."
Overlying the lower oyster shell layer is a stratum of non-
midden sand and shells, suggested by Fradkin (1976:46) to be
a storm deposit and by Wilson (1982:25) to be either a storm
or flood deposit or a construction episode of human origin.
The latter interpretation is supported by High, the geologist
who worked with Wilson at the site (Charles Wilson, personal
communication, 6 May 1977). In at least one area of the site,
this stratum is interrupted by thin, non-contiguous midden


Figure 1. Circa 1991 contour map of the Wightman Site, 8LL54, Sanibel Island, Lee County, Florida.

deposits, suggesting a brief attempt at reoccupation (Fradkin
1976:42; Wilson 1982:26). Above the non-midden sand and
shell layer is an undisputed shell midden that marks the
beginning of the mound accumulations.
Although Fradkin (1976:106-112) compiled a
presence/absence list of invertebrate species from the upper
midden and mound strata, no quantitative data were included.
No invertebrate information was presented for the interbedded
sand and shell layer or the underlying oyster shell stratum.
Understandably, Fradkin's focus of faunal analysis was on the
rich vertebrate assemblages of the upper mound stratum.
Fradkin (1976:50-53) had difficulty interpreting the
chronology of the lower sequence largely due to a lack of
diagnostic pottery and a limited set of inconsistent radiocarbon
dates. Many of the dates were based on oyster shell. Prior to
Fradkin's study, Wilson (Jerald Milanich, personal
communication, 30 May 1977) also acquired an additional
series of charcoal and shell radiocarbon dates. These were
later published in the journal Radiocarbon (Piepgras et al.
1977). Wilson organized these into the major stratigraphic

units but did not always indicate what shell species were used
for analysis. The lower oyster shell layer produced 11 dates
ranging from 345 B.C. to A.D. 340 (uncalibrated). The non-
midden sand and shell deposit produced three dates ranging
from 1445 B.C. to 870 B.C. Twenty-one dates ranging from
880 B.C. to A.D. 730 are associated with the upper midden
and mound strata. Fradkin and Wilson both estimated that the
human occupation of Wightman ranged from 300 B.C. to A.D.
700 or Caloosahatchee I through early Caloosahatchee IIA.
The Wightman stratigraphic sequence was not referenced to
mean sea level in this earlier work, thus inhibiting any estimate
of magnitude of sea-level change.

Unresolved Issues

Although Fradkin and Wilson recognized the importance
of Wightman's lower stratigraphic sequence, four issues
relating to it were left unresolved. First, what is the nature of
the invertebrate assemblages associated with the three main
strata and what paleoenvironmental conditions do they


represent? Second, is the buried oyster shell layer an in situ
oyster bar, does it represent a midden, or some combination
thereof? Third, was the interbedded non-midden sand and
shell stratum deposited by an environmental force or was it
placed on the site through human engineering? Fourth, is
refinement of the stratigraphic chronology and its relationship
to present-day mean sea level possible?

Another Look At the Wightman Site

Upon learning that a house would soon be constructed on
the Wightman site, Jody Brown with the City of Sanibel's
Historic Preservation Office arranged for Walker and
Marquardt to work at the site on two days, March 30 and April
1, 1991. The authors reasoned that if the four stratigraphic
issues presented above could be resolved, then Wightman's
sequence and its date range of 300 B.C. to A.D. 700 would
present an opportunity to test and perhaps refine the portion of
the hypothesized sea-level model of Stapor et al. (1991) that
includes the two events earlier hypothesized by Missimer.
Stapor et al.'s model is based on a seriation of the
Caloosahatchee coastal area's beach ridges. These natural
deposits are characterized by beach-face stratification. Flat,
thin layers of sand and shell are inclined gently toward the
Gulf of Mexico. These swash (defined as the rush of water up
onto the beach following the breaking of a wave) zone deposits
occurring at varying elevations are thus associated with sea-
level variation. Stapor et al. (1991:835) estimated that prior to
50 B.C. sea level was 30 to 60 cm lower than it is today. This
is the sea-level episode and associated beach ridge set named
"Sanibel I." They further estimated that a high stand of 60 to
120 cm above present mean sea level occurred sometime
between 50 B.C. and A.D. 450. This is the sea-level episode
and associated beach ridge set named "Wulfert." Finally, they
saw evidence that at the end of this high stand, sea level
rapidly dropped again to a level 30 to 60 cm lower than that of
the present between A.D. 450 and 850. This is the sea-level
episode and associated beach ridge set named "Buck Key."


Our strategy involved exposing sections of the lower
stratification to sample (Figure 2) invertebrate remains, sands,
and specimens for radiocarbon dating. We had at least three
advantages over Fradkin and Wilson. One, models of a
fluctuating sea-level were becoming more widely supported.
Two, the water level was low during our fieldwork, providing
good visibility and easy sampling of deposits. Charles Wilson
met us at the Wightman site and aided us in our selection of
areas that would produce intact profiles of the site's lower
stratigraphic sequence. To his dismay, the site had
deteriorated to the point where he could barely recognize its
mound features. Marquardt constructed a contour map (Figure
1) to document its present condition as well as our own work.

The two mound areas depicted are those labeled Mound A and
B by Wilson (1982:23) and Mounds A and C by Fradkin
(1976:41). According to Wilson, construction of a new road
prior to 1991 had flattened the third mound (compare Figure 1
with Fradkin's and Wilson's maps).
Six backhoe trenches (see Figure 1) were dug into non-
mound areas. Three of these encountered previous site
disturbance. Trenches 3 and 4 provided undisturbed profiles.
In places, the non-midden sand and shell layer could be traced
in other trenches, attesting to the deposit's extensive nature.
Fortunately, the water level was almost 40 cm lower than it
was during the 1970s fieldwork (Fradkin 1976:42; Charles
Wilson, personal communication, March 1991) resulting in the
exposure of all but the lower 10 to 15 cm of the buried oyster
shell layer. Bulk samples from the three major strata were
water-screened through 1/16 inch mesh in a flotation barrel.
Roughly one meter of manually driven PVC core samples were
collected from beneath the oyster shell layer in both Trenches 3
and 4.

Figure 2. Barbara Toomey sampling a Wightman trench


Radiocarbon specimens were analyzed by Beta Analytic,
Inc. of Coral Gables. Identification of mollusks is based on
Abbott (1974) combined with comparative study using the
Florida Museum of Natural History's zooarchaeology and
malacology collections. Scientific and common molluscan
names follow Turgeon et al. (1988) except where otherwise
indicated. Although common names are used in the text,
scientific names appear in Table 1. Standard procedures were
followed for the calculation of Minimum Number of
Individuals (MNI) (Wing and Brown 1979).
The invertebrate samples are curated by the
Environmental Archeology Laboratory, Florida Museum of
Natural History, Gainesville, Accession #188, courtesy of
Elizabeth Wing. All artifacts, unanalyzed radiocarbon
samples, and field records are curated by the Department of
Anthropology, Florida Museum of Natural History,
Gainesville, Accession #91-32.

Results of Invertebrate Sampling

Figure 3 illustrates the basic lower site stratigraphy as
seen in Trenches 3 and 4. The basal beach ridge stratum was
interpolated based on our 1991 cores and previous study of this
deposit by Stapor et al. (1991). In other parts of the site where
undisturbed profiles could be seen, some variation occurred in
the stratification but overall the basic sequence, excluding the
upper mound deposits, was similar and generally in agreement
with the reports of Fradkin and Wilson.
The lowermost stratum, the basal beach ridge, is
composed of fine grained quartz sand with inclusions of water-
eroded, non- midden estuarine and marine shells and shell
fragments (Figure 3). Quahogs, Atlantic giant-cockles,
ponderous arks, lightning whelks, surf clams, and Florida
fighting conchs provided shell fragments large enough for
radiocarbon analyses (Stapor et al. 1987).
Overlying this sand and shell base are the three main
strata described above (Figure 3). Table 1 presents the
invertebrate composition by MNI of samples collected from
each of the three strata. From left to right are the lower oyster
shell sample ("Lower Midden"), the interbedded non-midden
sand and shell sample ("Sand/Shell"), and the overlying shell
midden sample ("Upper Midden"). The invertebrate sample
from the lower oyster shell layer included a total of 37 taxa.
The main components of the sample based on MNI are the
eastern oyster (34 percent), barnacles (32 percent), crested
oyster (6 percent), polygyra (4 percent), crown conch (4
percent), lightning whelk (3 percent), and scorched mussel (2
Above the oyster shell stratum lies the deposit of non-
midden sand and shell (Figure 3 and Table 1). The
invertebrate composition of this stratum includes a total of 46
taxa. Dominant are cross-barred venus (24 percent), transverse
ark (15 percent), barnacles (14 percent), spotted slippersnail

(11 percent), variable coquina (8 percent), ponderous ark (4
percent), and crested oyster (3 percent).
Overlying the shell and sand stratum is the upper shell
midden (Figure 3 and Table 1). The invertebrate sample from
this layer contains a total of only 17 taxa. The most abundant
components are crown conch (54 percent), eastern oyster (31
percent), banded tulip (7 percent), lightning whelk (3 percent),
barnacles (1 percent), ceriths (1 percent), and pearwhelk (1
The invertebrate species are grouped in Table 1 in an
order that reflects their particular ranges along the salinity
gradient (Boesch 1977; Walker 1992:269; Wells 1961). The
assigned ranges are based on a variety of sources including
Abbott (1974), Auffenburg and LaGraves (personal
communication, 5 August 1986), Butler (1954), Galtsoff
(1964), Galtsoff and Merrill (1962), Hathaway and Woodburn
(1961), Hoffstetter (1959), Pearse and Wharton (1938), Tabb
and Manning (1961), and Wells (1961). Because the estuarine
gradient represents a continuum of salinity tolerances for the
distribution of aquatic invertebrates, we present salinity
divisions showing a great deal of overlap. Our divisions are
low to medium (<20 to 30 o/oo), low to medium to high
(<20 to 32 o/oo), medium (20 to 30 o/oo), medium to high
(20 to 32 o/oo), high to medium (20 to 32 o/oo), and high (30
o/oo and above). These divisions are largely based on the
collecting stations of Wells (1961) but incorporate the work of
others as well.
Only one species, the marsh clam, is assigned to the
medium salinity division perhaps a result from the lack of
information about its salinity tolerances. The distinction
between the medium to high and the high to medium divisions
is based on abundance. In the medium to high division, the
species listed are more abundant in medium salinities; in the
high to medium division, species listed are more abundant in
high salinities. The high division is reserved for those species
that have been recorded in association only with high salinity

Results of Artifact, Bone, and Radiocarbon Sampling

In the course of examining and sampling the trench
profiles, few artifacts were found. This was not surprising
considering the limited sampling strategy. Ten sand-tempered
plain pottery sherds including two rims, two type A lightning
whelk hammers (Marquardt 1992:199), one quahog anvil, and
one type G fighting conch hammer (Marquardt 1992:201-203)
were found in association with the lower stratum. Animal
bone was surprisingly minimal and included that of white-
tailed deer, sea turtle, sheepshead, pinfish, and herring. In
addition, Fradkin (1976:57) reported five sand-tempered plain
pottery sherds from this stratum (her "Zone I"). This stratum
was not included in her analysis of vertebrate fauna, surely due
to its submergence and uncertain context at that time.


One artifact, a type A lightning whelk hammer, was
found within the sand and shell stratum. Its highly eroded
condition indicates that it was exposed to the same water action
as the non-midden shells in the assemblage. Fradkin reports
that pottery, shell tools, and other artifacts, along with faunal
remains, were abundant in the upper stratum.
The results of radiocarbon analysis based on our 1991
work are summarized in Table 2. Two radiocarbon
determinations, A.D. 428-599 and A.D. 460-619, are based on
specimens of lightning whelk associated with the lower oyster
shell layer. One specimen was taken from the top of this shell
layer while the other was taken from 15 cm below the top
(Figure 3). The dates suggest a late Caloosahatchee I
affiliation (Cordell 1992:168). A quahog clam shell from the
thin midden shown in Figure 3 interbedded between the two
non-midden, sand and shell deposits is dated to A.D. 328-440,
also within Caloosahatchee I. A fourth radiocarbon date, A.D.
666-779, is based on specimens of juvenile crown conch
associated with the bottom of the upper shell midden (Figure
3). The date places the deposit in the Caloosahatchee IIA
period. With the foregoing results in mind, we can now turn to
an examination of the four unresolved issues posed earlier
concerning evidence for sea-level variation.

Issue 1: Nature of Invertebrate Assemblages

Seriating the sampled invertebrate species (Table 1) along
a salinity gradient, broken into salinity segments, is a way of
characterizing ecologically the assemblages from each stratum.
Walker (1992:274-275, 358-359) previously used a similar
technique with success to model five Charlotte Harbor
archaeological sites. From top to bottom of Table 1, the
estuarine gradient is represented, low to high salinity. For
visual emphasis, the salinity range for each stratum assemblage
is shaded. The seriation shows that the three strata are distinct
from each other. Table 3 summarizes MNI percent by salinity
division. The dominant species of the lower stratum are the
eastern oyster (34 percent) and barnacle (32 percent). In
addition to the barnacle, almost all other species represented
have been recorded as being regular members of eastern oyster
bar communities. The middle layer of sand and shell is
characterized by eroded, water-transported shells representing
a variety of salinity regimes with a concentration (61 percent)
of animals from the high to medium division and a significant
(19 percent) representation of the high salinity division (Table
Like the lower stratum, the upper stratum again can be
perceived as having the eastern oyster as the central species (31
percent) with almost all other species being oyster bar
associates. Despite this apparent similarity, there are
important differences between the upper and lower strata.
First, although the eastern oyster exhibits a broad range of
salinity tolerance (low to medium to high), its associates
represented in the two strata display slightly different salinity

conditions. Eleven species of the high salinity division (30
o/oo and above) are found in the lower stratum compared to
none in the upper stratum (Table 1).
Also, the relatively high ratio of crested oyster to eastern
oyster (1:6) and scorched mussel to eastern oyster (1:15) in the
lower stratum is significant when compared to the complete
absence of both bivalves in the upper stratum, despite a
presence of at least 346 potential host oysters (Table 1).
Crested oyster is recorded as being most abundant in salinities
31 o/oo and higher (Galtsoff and Merrill 1962; Wells
1961:249). Scorched mussel is recorded as being most
abundant in salinities 28 o/oo and higher (Wells 1961:249).
Crested oyster is infrequent on bars with 24-28 o/oo and
completely absent in 19 o/oo conditions (Wells 1961:249).
This method of paleosalinity seriation allows the inference that
the lower stratum represents a high-salinity (30 o/oo and
above) oyster bar assemblage; the upper stratum represents a
medium- to high-salinity oyster (20-32 o/oo) bar assemblage
with an estimated narrower range of 20-24 o/oo.
It occurred to the first author that since the lower stratum
sample was taken so close to the overlying high-salinity sand
and shell layer, that the eleven high-salinity species of the
lower stratum may have filtered down into the underlying
oyster shells. To evaluate this possibility, a second sample,
taken from about 15 cm below the top of the lower stratum was
examined. The same or similar high-salinity species were
observed in this sample. In addition, there occurred an increase
(5 MNI compared to the sample in Table 1) in the high-salinity
variegated sea urchin. These observations support the validity
of the quantified sample.
Another way to characterize the invertebrate assemblages
is according to their species diversity, using the formula, pi
log pi (MacArthur and MacArthur 1961). The possible range
of diversity values is 0 to 5 with 5 indicating the highest
possible diversity. Based on the proportion of the sample that
is represented by each species, the calculated diversity value
for the lower stratum is 2.1, for the sand and shell stratum is
2.6, and for the upper stratum is 1.2. Again, the paleosalinity
regimes are reflected. Wells (1961:252) and others have
demonstrated that high-salinity oyster bars and mangrove and
seagrass bays contain a greater variety of species than do the
same habitats in lower-salinity areas. The sand and shell
sample has the highest diversity value of all (2.6), reflecting
the highest-salinity source of the three assemblages and no
doubt its transported nature (see below). The diversity values
of 2.1 for the lower stratum and 1.2 for the upper stratum
suggest lower salinity conditions relative to the sand and shell
Another important difference can be seen between the
lower and upper oyster shell strata. This is the dramatic
variation in crown conch occurrence, 4 percent of the lower
stratum compared to 54 percent of the upper stratum (Table 1).
Although crown conchs are commonly found on oyster bars,
feeding on a variety of organisms (including eastern and

Table 1. Wightman Site Invertebrate Species by Salinity Gradient and Stratum.

Laer lidda Sand/ Shell Opper idda
I.D. A.D. 1.. A.D.
428-599 460-619 328-440 665-779

Species? by Salinity Gradient Comea M N Pet. II1 Pct. w Pct.

Polygra sp. polygra 17 | 07I jil o o.oo o o.oo
STO mW1I SAIIlW: .:: :._.._.._..
cf. GCeusia daissa Fraaoissin' ribbed sel iiii0 ii ( 0 0.00 1 ii
eukessia duissa gransissh ribbed usel 6 t.35 0 0.00 0 C
IN ID uMI ID Cf Suim: ..........
Mercesaria sp. quahog 0 :e: 2 ; l '
Iercaearia capecieusis southern quahog 1 0f 0 0
Crasstrea virginaica eastern oyster 153 3 3J 346 1..S
iulangs sp. barnacles 142 31. 154 15 .. i.1
Cullinectes sp.' blae crab 1 1.f 0 G 0 ;M:.
mome iamresua impressed odostm 3 :ff 0 0 1.
jowldocaria aaberiaa pointed-imus 0 0M 1 i 1 .
pfleara sulcidetata sharp-rib drill 0 ;:00 S 5 0 ;.00

S-syco. siistru lightning rhelk. 12 2 6 32 :.'.'
:s:cot:pas spirat:s pyr:loidde pearuhelk ___ 3 0.: 8 : : :: :

of. P:leroploca gigate horse 9 .0 : 4 0 : :
Diocardi roeta Iryia.g' ata......tic giat-cockle 0 i 1 i. 0 ..
cf. Urosulpin perrgata gulf oyster drill 0 1.00 4 0.37 0 1.00
Ceritbiu spp. ceriths 0 0 ; 0.00 10 :l
Cerithi. lutes, variable cerith 3 j I1 0 440 0 1.00
triaa sp. p sell .... .. 0 0 ......
Crepidflata plan eastern uhite slippersuail 5 l: i 18 I6 0 ft.
arNraella sp.. Eargiella 0 0 2 .. 1 .
Lai sassula oe lucite 0 j 0 5 0 .. ..
cf. fractcardia iricatu yellow pricklycockle 0 :0 0 3 4 0 ;80.;

ciolaria trasrrsi traverse artulip 6 3 1 1 it. 0 i.:
Crepidala m pelosa spotted slipperdrail 2 1:5 124 "11.1 0 1 0
oetia poderosa Pmponderous ark :t 3 [ l.. 42 .3 0 .
Chifa cartce lata cross-barred rems 9 j l;ii 262 0 iii.iti4 20 1i
yltria sp a wnle l .... 0 iiil. 1 iiiaiip:..iei r 0
Crepidila slos ape 3p ited slippe nail 2-.:: 0 iii il 0
YaOUR i .fcala 0ooeru o esar 3 6.7:::': 42 -i0il ...............Ii

Cl. clalacrelit t celloss-arred 0- 262 "liii O ii:iii2tl l

Table 1. Wightman Site Invertebrate Species by Salinity Gradient and Stratum. (continued)
Anoeia simplex camon jingle 1 I i6;i : 27 ::.2,i 0 : .O.0 :
Carditaera floridana broad-ribbed carditid 0 iI 14 :.L.28: 1 ;_I_:
Brachidontes exastus scorched messel 10 .i: 4i 0 I 0:If6 0 I OI:i
Fasciolaria lilim hunteria banded tulip 1 ; 22 0 78 :: :
Veraicularia sp. worusnail 1 .2 0 i Qi 1 0.i9
Olivella sp. dwarf olive 2 jii::8 i :: 7 :7 64 0 0.00
Crepidula aculeata spiny slippersnail 0 00 5 0: 4 0 0.00
Ritrella lmata lnar dovenail 0 0:0 1 0.99 0 0.00
Ostreola equestris crested oyster 26 5::i :l : 30 i7J 0 0.00
Conas stearnsi dusky cone 0 :I(Ii 09: 0 0.00
n IGsmn : _:_ _.::_. ._:_
Seila adari Adas' miniature cerith' 1 i .2:il2 0 :~0:Q 0 0.00
Corbula coatracta contracted corbula 1 II .; 19 I 74 0 0.00
Crepidula convexa convex slippersaail 1 III 0ii 0 0.00
Crassinella mrtiaicesis Nartinique crassinella 1 I.22 2 i 1iii 0 0.00
Plicatula gbbosa atlantic kitte1paw 1 iita2ii 22 :o02 0 0.00
Parvilacina nltilineata my-line lucine 2 I:04;5i; 12 1.lll10 0 0.00
farboilla curta short turbonille 3 : :ii :: 0 0i0i8 iii 0 0.00
Lytechinus rariegata variegated sea urchin 2 i::SilS: 0 O.: 0 0.00
Spisola solidissim atlantic surfcla 2 i0i;iCl 20 i.i 83 0 0.00
Donar ariabilis variable coquina 2 ii .iiJ 89 8Iil 0 0.00
cf. Cima dalli dall condylclan 3 i::i(Tri:0 i : 9 I 0 0,00
frachycardim egamtiana Florida pricklycockle 0 0.00 3 26;:2li; 0 0.00
rerebra sp. auger 0 0.00 2 iI 0 0.00
1pitoaiu angulatm angalate westletrap 0 0.00 3 0 i:28 i 0 0.00
Diodora sp. keyhole lipet 0 0.00 2 0iii 0 0.00
Strigilla sp. strigilla 0 0.00 3 ii.21S il 0 0.00
of. Pleraneris tridenatta threetooth carditid 0 0.00 1 0 0.00
cf. Pteraeris perplana flattened carditid 0 0.00 1 0i.i 0 0.00
lacrocallista niabasa snray eenus 0 0.00 3 i 28 0 0.00
Linga aimatus miniature lucine 0 0.00 12 0 0.00
Kitrella cf. verrilli dovesnail 0 00 1 0.00 0 0
cf. Firela floridana florida tivela 0 0.00 1 Ai0.jII 0 0.00
luculana sp. nntcla 0 0.00 1 iit 0 0.00
Arcinella coranta Florida spiny jewelbox 0 0.00 2 I.18 0 0.00
Chin sianosa snooth-edge jewelbo 0 0. 00 2 ii 8 0 0.00
Madreporaria' hard corals 0 0.00 1 0 0.00
roIM 446 100.001 1090 100.001 1100 100.00%

1 Scientific and caomo names follow the standard established by Turgeon et al. .(1988) unless otherwise indicated.

Scientific or comn ame follows Abbott (1974) because of subspecies given for southwest Florida or no coamn na is offered by
Turgea et al. (1988), respectively.

' Scientific and comn ames of Crustacea, Echinodenata, and Madreporaria follow Florida Nusem of Natural History's Zooarchaeology
comparative collections.

Maximum Wulfert MSL
based on Wulfert ridge set 7

"Upper Midden"
invertebrate sample

Minimum Wulfert MSL
based on Wightman
Minimum Wulfert MSL
based on Wulfert ridge set
invertebrate sample
"Lower Midden" _
invertebrate sample

Present day MSL

Minimum Sanibel I MSL
based on Wightman

Minimum Sanibel I and
Buck Key MSL based
on ridge sets

Ji)r e e h
1- < '

J' ,
-) h% (

.."-. ., ,. .
.r s'.h t

Sri w hi ^h n

*"* .. JH nJ n
.J hi fl Si

Humus and shell
Dense crown conch and oyster
shell midden
Dark gray sand midden with sparse
oyster and other midden shells
White to light gray fine-grained quartz
sand with non-midden estuarine
marine shells
Dark gray sand midden with sparse
oyster and other midden shells
White to light gray fine-grained quartz
sand with non-midden estuarine
marine shells

Intermittent incipient oyster bar

Dense oyster shell midden



Scale in centimeters

White to light gray fine-grained quartz
sand with non-midden estuarine
and marine shells exhibiting internal
stratification (beach ridge stratum)

Figure 3. Lower stratigraphic sequence of the Wightman site.


A 666 779 cal A.D. (Melongena corona)

B 328 446 cal A.D. (Mercenaria sp.)

C 460 619 cal A.D. (Busycon sinistrum)

D 428 599 cal A.D. (Busycon sinistrum)


Table 2. Radiocarbon Dates from 1991 Fieldwork

Provenience Material Radiocarbon age Calendar year "C-adjusted ageb Laboratory Calibrated
dated in years before equivalenta number date range'

Trench 3, Zone B Melongena 1290 B.P. + 60 A.D. 660 1680 B.P. + 60 Beta-47887 A.D. 666-779

Trench 4, top of Busycon 1480 B.P. + 60 A.D. 470 1870 B.P. + 60 Beta-49170 A.D. 460-619
Zone E sinistrum

Trench 3, Zone Busycon 1510 B.P. + 70 A.D. 440 1900 B.P. + 70 Beta-56533 A.D. 428-599
E, 15 cm below sinistrum

a All dates in this column are uncalibrated; half-life 5568 years.

b This date adjusted for isotopic fractionation by adding 390 years to raw radiocarbon years before calibration. This
constant is an average of several 3C-adjustments on shell dates obtained from the Charlotte Harbor and Marco Island

c Calibrations calculated using program CALIB, version 2.0 (Stuiver and Reimer 1986). Calculations based on Pearson at
al. 1986; Pearson and Stuiver 1986; Stuiver and Pearson 1986; Stuiver, Pearson, and Braziunas 1986), using reservoir
correction factor of delta R -5 + 20. for shell assays. Dates marine shell calculated using program MARINE.14C. Only
"C-adjusted dates were calibrated using program CALIB. The date range shown Is + 1 standard deviation.

Table 3. Summary of Invertebrate Species (Percent) by Salinity Gradient.

Salinity Lower Sand/ Upper
Midden Shell Midden

Terrestrial 3.8 0.0 0.0

Low to 1.4 0.0 0.1

Low-Medium- 67.3 15.1 33.0

Medium 0.2 0.1 0.3

Medium to 9.4 4.0 58.8

High to 13.7 61.4 7.8

High 4.2 19.4 0.0

Totals 100.0 100.0 100.0

crested oysters), decaying flesh, and detritus (Dalby 1989:709;
Gunter and Menzel 1957:86- 87; Hathaway and Woodburn
1961:53, 64), this association alone does not satisfactorily
explain their abundance in the upper stratum. Their abundance
surpasses that of the eastern oyster (31 percent). Biologists
report that crown conchs appear in abundance on oyster bars
when the oysters are under stressed conditions such as high
summer temperatures or extended exposure (e.g., Hathaway
and Woodburn 1961:45, 60, 64). In a weakened condition,
the eastern oyster becomes an easy prey for the crown conch.
The origin of the oysters, crown conchs, and other associates
found in the upper stratum may have been locales characterized
by stressed eastern oyster populations.

Issue 2: Oyster Bar or Oyster Midden ?

Of the 37 taxa represented in the lower stratum sample,
24 (65 percent) of them are known to be regular members of
oyster bar communities. Moreover, these animals are present
in numbers that probably reflect a natural bar community. The
one true tulip specimen possibly could be a bar associate as
well. An additional ten species are probably incidental high-
salinity inclusions (some of which may be unrecorded oyster
associates), including the two juvenile surfclams. The extra
high-salinity taxa are not surprising considering the barrier-
island location of Wightman.
The assemblage just described might be used to argue that
the lower Wightman stratum is an intact, buried oyster bar,
what paleoecologists refer to as a "fossil community"
(Fagerstrom 1964:1199; Lawrence 1968). But several factors
counter such an argument. First, overall the oysters do not
appear in life position in the trench profiles, that is, with
articulated valves and standing vertically, in some cases.
Furthermore, an oyster bar includes many dead oyster shells
that provide shelter and substrate for oyster spat and non-
oyster associates (see Lawrence 1988:270-271). Dead shells
are easily distinguished by the many bore holes and
encrustations on the interior of oyster shells. Oysters that were
dead at the time of deposition represent a negligible portion of
the Wightman sample, implying that the majority of the oysters
represented in the stratum were collected while alive and
transported to the site, shell and all.
Second, the six adult individuals of ribbed mussel (Table
1) indicate the inclusion of an intertidal species that is
associated in southwest Florida with the black mangrove
community. The occurrence of 17 land snails of the genus
Polygyra indicates a subaerial, terrestrial situation. In the case
of a naturally occurring stratum, an assemblage representing
two or more contemporaneous ecological communities would
be considered a "mixed fossil assemblage" (Fagerstrom
1964:1199). However, since only one taxonomic
representative of each of these latter communities is present
and one of the species is of terrestrial origin, it seems unlikely

that they would have been naturally transported to a living
oyster bar before the latter's burial.
Third, the 17 land snails carry a second significance.
This mollusk is commonly found in archaeological middens
because it is a scavenger attracted to fresh detritus. The snail
could not survive the intertidal conditions of a live oyster bar
even if it somehow got there. A terrestrial deposition of the
oyster and other shells is implicated. In light of the
paleoecological inferences, the few pottery and shell artifacts
leave little doubt that humans were the agents in depositing the
layer of oyster and other shells at the Wightman site.
We conclude that the bulk of the lower stratum represents
a shell midden. However, an intensive examination of the 5-
cm contact area between the midden and the overlying sand
and shell stratum all along the profiles of Trenches 3 and 4
resulted in partial agreement with Fradkin's and Wilson's
earlier observations. Small clusters of small eastern oysters,
appearing in life position, could be observed periodically
within the top 5 cm of the lower stratum. In addition, it
appeared as though a thin, non-contiguous, organic-looking
sediment covered the 5 cm or so of oyster shells, similar to the
detritus film that would be found on a live bar.
The implications of these observations are that the shell
midden was abandoned and then inundated at a rate slow
enough to allow the beginnings of a live oyster bar
community. An old oyster midden would be perfect substrate
for live oyster spat.

Issue 3: A Transport Agent for Sand and Shell Deposition

There is no doubt that the interbedded non-midden sand
and shell stratum (Figure 3) represents a naturally derived
"transported fossil assemblage" (Fagerstrom 1964:1199), one
that combines representatives from a variety of ecological
communities, not necessarily contemporaneous. As discussed
earlier in this paper, two possible transporting agents were
hypothesized during the 1970s work. The first is that the
human inhabitants scooped up sand and shell from one of the
old beach ridges, carried it to Wightman, and spread it over
the old oyster shell midden with its incipient living oyster
community, thus building up the ground surface and providing
a "clean" living surface. Fradkin and Wilson rejected this
hypothesis and we also consider it unlikely. The deposit is
extensive and at times as much as 2 feet thick (Figure 4). If
the purpose of bringing in the sediment was to provide a clean
living surface, then probably a layer of only a few inches
would have been adequate.
The second hypothesis, favored by everyone involved in
the 1970's work, is that a single high-intensity storm resulted
in the sand and shell deposit at the Wightman site. The natural
deposition of so much quartz sand (Figures 3 and 4) requires
both a nearby sand source and a transporting process to move
sand toward the midden. There are only two possible sand


sources--the more gulfward portions of Sanibel Island itself
and the adjacent offshore floor of the bay. Large, high-energy
waves operating at storm-elevated sealevels are capable of
moving beach sand and shells across and over narrow, low
barrier islands and/or through hollows in back-barrier dunes.
These washover deposits form lobe-shaped deposits of sand
and shell that mantle the lower portions of a barrier adjacent to
the lagoon and can extend out into the lagoon itself.
Storm waves moving across a shallow lagoon of limited
fetch (fetch is the distance over which the wind blows in a
constant direction) are of course much less energetic and would
be able to deliver reduced quantities of sand and smaller shells
(compared to storm-generated Gulf waves). Given that
Wightman's non- midden, sand and shell layer consists of high
to medium salinity shells up to several centimeters in diameter
(Table 1), both the shells and quartz sand most likely came
from a beach facing the open Gulf of Mexico by means of the
washover process. The presence of an interbedded midden
within this non-midden, naturally deposited layer (Figure 3)
argues that more than one washover event occurred. The
present writers concur with the 1970's interpretation that this
non-midden layer represents washover deposition, but we add
that the deposition occurred during multiple storms that eroded
the adjacent Gulf beach.

Issue 4: Sequence Timing and Relationship to Mean Sea Level

Fradkin and Wilson extensively sampled the layers at the
Wightman site for radiocarbon dating. Thirty-six of their
dates, organized by respective layer and identified as to
material analyzed are presented in Figure 5. In addition, eight
dates made on shells collected from a nearby Sanibel I beach
ridge by Stapor et al. (1987) are included as an estimate of the
age of Wightman's beach-ridge substrate. The 36 dates are
indeed an impressive number, especially for such a relatively
small site. However, the midden layers contain dated materials
spanning many hundreds of years and they overlap each other
so much in age that it is virtually impossible chronologically to
distinguish one layer from another.
Duplicate analyses (two dates derived from the same
shell), shown joined by a bar in Figure 5, yield age differences
greater than analytical error. All of these must be eliminated
from further analytical consideration. Furthermore, charcoal
dates, arguably the best material for radiocarbon dating as well
as the material least likely to have been reworked and/or
physically disturbed, indicate that the uppermost mound strata
are as old as the basal midden. Thus, we reason that the
Fradkin and Wilson collection of dated specimens must contain
samples of a secondary depositional nature or otherwise from
disturbed contexts. These also must be rejected. Indeed,
Fradkin (1976) and Milanich (personal communication 1994)
interpreted some of the upper mound strata to be redeposited
midden as a result of moundbuilding.

In addition, all of the multiple shell samples ("SHELLS"
in Figure 5) of the non-midden washover layer must be
rejected because there is no reason to expect that individual
members of any collection of these shells should have the same
age; they were eroded from Sanibel I beach ridges, and
therefore must be dated separately. Given the range of ages
represented by the shell dates from the constructed mound, all
of these must be regarded as being reworked with the youngest
providing only a "no older than estimate of the mound's age.
Dates based on shells collected from the upper midden
span nearly a thousand years and range back several hundred
years older than the underlying lower midden. Again, the
youngest provides only a "no older than" estimate of this
layer's age. That estimate is several hundred years older than
the two younger charcoal dates that match the date obtained by
us on juvenile crown conchs from the base of the upper midden
(Figure 5). We suspect that these samples were taken from
disturbed material. These shell dates are also rejected. Finally,

Figure 4. William Marquardt illustrating the thickness of the
interbedded sand and shell stratum within the Wightman


neither the oldest charcoal date from the upper midden nor the
charcoal date from the constructed mound make sense given
the site's stratigraphy. One possibility is that they are from the
lower midden.
Thus, a modified collection of Wightman site radiocarbon
dates is presented in Figure 6. In addition to the unchallenged
Fradkin and Wilson dates and Stapor et al.'s beach-ridge dates,
our new dates from the 1991 fieldwork are included in the
Using this set of dates, we interpret the following
chronological framework. First, the deposition of the Sanibel
I beach-ridge substrate is dated to no older than 1050 B.C. An
adjacent, stratigraphically younger beach-ridge set has a
depositional age of 750 B.C. (Stapor et al. 1991); thus the
Sanibel I ridge is no younger than this date. Second, the
Wightman site occupation began at about 250 B.C. and
continued through ca. A.D. 428-619 (late Caloosahatchee I).
Third, the site was submerged toward the end of the late
Caloosahatchee I occupation, ca. A.D. 428-619 (Figure 3),
and then covered with two washover deposits. A brief attempt
at rehabitation, ca. A.D. 328-440, occurred between the two
washover events. Finally, the site again emerged and was
reoccupied ca. A.D. 666-779, the age of the crown conch
horizon (early Caloosahatchee IIA).
Today, mean sea level is located a few centimeters below
the base of the lower midden (Figure 3). The 1991
establishment of this datum in relation to the Wightman
sequence allows inference of mean sea-level variation. If we
assume that today's 80 cm tidal range is representative of the
one existing during site occupation 250 B.C. to A.D. 428-619,
then mean sea level must have stood at least 40 cm lower, the
elevation of the lower midden's base. The Sanibel I ridge set
indicates a mean sea level 30-60 cm below that of the present
(Stapor et al. 1991:835).
The incipient oyster bar at the top of the lower midden
required submergence to a level that reflects a minimum
inundation of 70 or so cm above present-day mean sea level.
The thin, discontinuous midden contained within the double
washover layer provides a temporary upper bound of 80 cm to
this submergence. Because this non-midden layer is a
washover deposit, an upper bound for the total submergence
cannot be established at Wightman. The immediately adjacent,
topographically high, Wulfert beach ridges suggest deposition
at a mean sea-level position about 60 to 120 cm above present-
day mean sea level (Stapor et al. 1991:835). This would imply
that the Wightman site experienced a total sea-level rise of 100
to 160 cm (from a low of 40 cm below present mean sea level).
The reoccupation of Wightman clearly indicates a
reemergence episode, but we cannot determine its mean sea-
level position based on the Wightman sequence. The Buck
Key beach ridge set is hypothesized by Stapor et al. (1991:827)
to be associated with a 30-60 cm lower-than-present mean sea

The Wightman Sequence

The Wightman site is located on top of a Sanibel I beach
ridge (Figure 3) that was deposited between approximately
1050 and 50 B.C. (Stapor et al. 1991). This beach ridge is
composed primarily of fine-grained quartz sand containing
broken, water-worn marine and estuarine shells. Throughout
Sanibel Island these 1050-50 B.C. Sanibel I beach ridges have
average maximum crest elevations between 60 and 90 cm
above present mean sea level and were constructed at a lower-
than-present mean sea-level position, perhaps lower by 30-60
cm based on the relationship between crest elevations of
historic beach ridges built over the past 150 or so years.
We have argued that the lower oyster shell stratum
represents a Caloosahatchee I midden that was initiated by as
early as 250 B.C. and deposited on the Sanibel I beach ridge.
The initial occupation (the lower half of the midden) must have
taken place during at least a 40 cm lower-than-present mean
sea level episode based on today's elevation of the midden base
in relation to present-day mean sea level (Figure 3).
Other archaeological support for a Sanibel I low stand
exists in the emerging pattern of (late) Late Archaic,
Transitional, and Caloosahatchee I sites whose basal levels at
least are situated at present below mean sea level. Sites
include Cash Mound (Marquardt 1992:31-33), Josslyn Island
(Marquardt 1992:18; Walker 1992:283), Calusa Island
(Marquardt 1992), Gait Island (Austin 1991), and Pineland.
At Pineland, the base of the water-logged midden, ca. A.D.
100-300, occurs at 20 cm below mean sea level. Although it is
possible that this Pineland midden was initiated on an intertidal
shoreline, this does not account for its total depth of
submergence. A mean sea level of at least 60 cm below
present is indicated. An implication of the Pineland midden is
that the original 50 B.C. estimate (Stapor et al. 1991) for the
end of the Sanibel I low stand may be extended up to
approximately A.D. 100-200.
There are indications that by the time Wightman's
residents discarded the shells located in the upper half of the
lower midden, they were faced with a transgressing sea level.
In the upper half of the stratum (Figure 3), the remains of
eastern oysters and their community associates (Table 1)
indicate that they were collected from a living bar located in
waters with an estimated 30 o/oo salinity. Data from Wang
and Raney (1971:18) indicate an annual average of 27.5 o/oo
for waters just outside of Kesson's Bayou where Wightman is
located. Seven of their 12 monthly readings measured below
30 o/oo. This seasonal variance would not allow the high ratio
of crested to eastern oyster seen in the sample (crested oysters
live at least 2 years). The Wightman crested oysters along
with the 11 strictly high-salinity species may signal a more
long-term, elevated salinity regime, one that when combined
with the midden's elevational position could be explained by a
rising sea level.

1000 B.Y 2000 B.E 3000 B. 4000 B.E 5000 B.E







1000 A.D.

T] 0

11 1




T Buyown mistun
(~ Merws.
SDinocanum rokultum
o Noet ondensa
8 Crussotresa kgitn
O AfdopWMiradkn
A charcoal
Multiple Shell
1-3 Dupliate Dates


1000 B.C. 2000 B.C. 3000 B.C.

Figure 5. Compilation of radiocarbon dates from the work of Fradkin (1982) and Wilson (Piepgras et al. 1977; Wilson
correspondence with Milanich, 30 May 1977) for the Wightman site, and Stapor et al. (1987) for the associated basal Sanibel I
beach ridge.

1000 B.E 2000 B.R 3000 B.E
I I I i I

4000 B.E 5000 B.E
I I i I







1000 A.D.


6 88

t BusyWcn sanbtm
o Mearwra
Dinocardfum rbustum
Noeda pondersa
^ Meongeia mmna
S nmumstm vrginica
O A igopeca den am
I Multiple Shells



1000 B.C. 2000 B.C.

Figure 6. Compilation of unchallenged radiocarbon dates. These include dates from the work of Fradkin, Wilson, Stapor et al.,
and the present authors (Table 2).


C 0

i I
30nn r.C.

I I 1


3 OBC--

Radiocarbon analyses on lightning whelk specimens from
the top of the lower midden and from 15 cm below the top date
the upper half of the midden to A.D. 428-599 and A.D. 460-
619 (Figure 3). These results also closely date the
abandonment of Wightman. The midden then was inundated
completely to an elevation of 70 cm or more above present-day
mean sea level, allowing the initial establishment of a living,
immature oyster community (Figure 3).
Fradkin (1976:47) suggested two possible explanations
for the inundation: high tides and sea-level rise. High tides of
70 cm above today's mean sea level can be produced by storm
surges but would be of insufficient duration for the
establishment of a living oyster bar. A third possibility is a
major lateral movement of neighboring Blind Pass. The
position of the beach ridge sets (Missimer 1973; Stapor et al.
1991) in the vicinity of the Wightman site show no evidence of
such change. Moreover, such a major change would no doubt
have created intolerable conditions for the incipient eastern
oyster bar.
A sea-level rise of 70 cm or more is a viable hypothesis
to explain the midden's inundation. Support comes from the
geological work of both Missimer (1973) and Stapor et al.
(1991), who argue that the Wulfert beach-ridge set located
adjacent to the Wightman site documents a sea level stand of
perhaps 120 cm above present-day sea level. We hypothesize
that the Wightman inundation suggested by the lower midden's
faunal remains and the incipient oyster bar represents an initial
phase of this Wulfert sea-level rise episode.
Wightman's multiple-event, non-midden sand and shell
layer (Figure 3) most likely represents at least two washover
deposits produced during the sea-level rise. The
discontinuous, thin midden interbedded within this washover
deposit (Figure 3) indicates that at least one of the washovers
was deposited above the intertidal zone.
The washover deposits are far more significant than
merely as a record of storm action. The washover process
works primarily across narrow, eroding barriers, unlike
Sanibel Island which was, and largely still is, a wide,
accreting, beach-ridge plain island (Missimer 1973; Stapor et
al. 1991). Beach-ridge plain islands generally do not
experience washovers. The beach ridges that make up Sanibel
are not dissected by channels running perpendicular from the
Gulf beach to the bay shoreline but rather are continuous,
curvilinear features that can be traced for many kilometers on
aerial photographs from the 1940s (see Stapor et al.
1991:Figure 4).
The Wightman site, however, is located at the narrow
western tip of the 1050 B.C.-A.D. 300 Sanibel I beach-ridge
plain that makes up the bulk of Sanibel Island (see Stapor et al.
1991:Figure 12). Here the beach-ridge plain is no more than
250 meters wide. Its eroded sands are possibly now part of the
younger Sanibel I ridges lying to the south and east. A second
possibility is that the plain was eroded prior to the deposition
of the 50 B.C.-A.D. 450 Wulfert beach-ridge set that lies

immediately gulfward of Wightman. This particular location
is one of the few places on Sanibel Island where storm-
transported material is capable of traversing the beach-ridge
plain to be deposited along the lagoon shore. The washover
layers themselves provide no specific sea-level information
because washovers are formed during storms that can have
surge levels elevated meters above mean sea level. Thus
washover deposits primarily indicate proximity to an eroding
beach affected by large waves.
However, the Wightman washovers were deposited on
top of a previously drowned midden. The submergence of the
midden thus can be associated with an elevated mean sea level
prior to the storm surges. We interpret the washovers to have
been deposited during a sea-level rise that both inundated the
lower midden producing the incipient oyster bar and eroded the
adjacent Gulf beach resulting in washover deposits that now
cover the midden. In support of this interpretation, Galli
(1989), in a study of recent storm sediments in Florida Bay,
concluded that an unmistakable correlation in timing exists
between the frequency and intensity of twentieth-century
storms and the variation seen in both mean sea-level and solar
activity for the same period. This correlation occurs at 100-
year cycles (Galli 1989:181).
Washover deposition at Wightman was intermittent and
for a brief period locally built the area up above the intertidal
zone, as evidenced by the A.D. 328-440 interbedded midden.
The adjacent, gulfward and topographically high 50 B.C.-A.D.
450 Wulfert beach ridges were deposited at a mean sea level
elevated above present-day by up to 60-120 cm (Stapor et al.
Once the initial Wulfert beach ridge was deposited,
washovers at Wightman ceased (the ridge acted as a barrier)
and during deposition of the remaining Wulfert ridges the site
lay submerged beneath bay waters. This period of
submergence is archaeologically represented by a variety of
regional evidence. Six radiocarbon dates ranging roughly from
A.D. 200 to 450 are associated with the midden and house
features at the Solana site, 8CH67 (Widmer 1986:45-46). At
Solana, a sea-level rise of at least 60 cm was inferred by
Widmer (1986:43) based on the elevation of barnacle-encrusted
post features and the higher-than-present salinity regime
indicated by the molluscan remains. At Cash Mound (8CH38),
between A.D. 100 to 400, higher-than-present salinity
conditions are inferred for the surrounding Turtle Bay; Walker
(1992:283-286) argues against short- (e.g., seasonal) and
medium-term (e.g., prolonged drought) changes and favors a
longer-term (e.g., 100 years or more) rise in sea level as the
environmental variable.
Perhaps most importantly, the coeval drowning of
middens (with associated "natural" deposits and subsequent
middens) along the coastal Everglades (Onion Key), Pine
Island Sound (Wightman, Pineland), and St. Vincent Sound in
northwest Florida (Paradise Point) provides a compelling
interregional pattern. Griffin (1988:231, 235) excavated what


he argued to be an in situ oyster bar interbedded between two
shell middens at the Onion Key site, 8MO49. Based on
cultural materials in the two middens, he estimated a date for
the oyster bar that is in agreement with an A.D. 200 to 450
range. Griffin inferred a sea-level rise to account for the
elevated oyster bar. The estimated date range is coeval with
Stapor and his colleagues' Wulfert high sea-level episode.
There are stratigraphic indications that the waterlogged,
ca. A.D. 100-300 Pineland midden is overlain by sediments
produced through the combination of a storm and sea-level rise
episode. The episode is well-dated at ca. A.D. 200-550,
coeval with the hypothesized Wulfert sea-level high stand.
The reoccupation midden dates to ca. A.D. 550-650, coeval
with the hypothesized Buck Key sea-level low stand (Stapor et
al. 1991).
A stratigraphic sequence at the Paradise Point site on St.
Vincent Island (Braley 1982) documents two Sanibel I-episode
middens, one (the lowest stratum) completely submerged while
the other is partially submerged (the middle midden).
Overlying and partially intergrading with this middle midden is
a clay-rich natural deposit interpreted to be associated with the
Wulfert high episode. A third midden, the highest in the
sequence, dates to circa A.D. 1100.
Given this interregional distribution of affected localities
that stretch from the coastal Everglades to the Florida
panhandle, this submergence was not the result of one or more
high-intensity storms, but more likely, a significant rise in
mean sealevel. Moreover, evidence from Wightman and the
other sites narrows the timing of the Wulfert episode (from a
60 cm below-present position to a 120 cm above-present
position and again to a 60 cm below-present position) to a 500-
year period, ca. A.D. 100-600.
Our radiocarbon date based on crown conch from
Wightman's upper midden (Figure 3) indicates that the site was
reoccupied ca. A.D. 666-779. Again the shellfish focus for
these residents was the eastern oyster, but we argue that the
targeted oyster bars in this period were under reduced salinities
combined with some form of environmental stress. The
inferred relatively reduced salinity of 20-28 o/oo is within the
range of the intra-annual variation seen in Wang and Raney's
data (1971:18). The complete absence of crested oysters,
however, suggests a longer-term freshening of water. If
crested oysters normally grew in the area (which seems to be
the case) and were killed by a seasonal freshening of waters
(e.g., July rains), then they would have left behind one of their
valves still attached to the eastern oyster host. A period of
rain-freshening extended beyond one generation of eastern
oysters cannot be ruled out; however, this seems unlikely due
to Wightman's location on the bay side of a barrier island.
Longer-term, extensive lowered salinities in the
Caloosahatchee area are supported by an A.D. 680 faunal
sample from Cash Mound. Crested oyster is completely absent
from this sample even though three samples dating to A.D.

100-300 contained high crested to eastern oyster ratios (Walker
A period of falling sea level would not only provide
longer-term lowered salinities. The change also would present
oyster populations with the stressful situation of increased
exposure. This scenario would explain the archaeozoological
horizon of crown conchs that appears circa A.D. 450-700 in
various southwestern coastal sites (Walker 1992:285-286),
including Wightman, Solana (Widmer 1986), Cash (Walker
1992:283-285), Onion Key (Griffin 1974; 1988:231, 235), and
The Buck Key beach-ridge set, the next youngest after the
Wulfert sets, has average maximum crest elevations between
120 and 150 cm mean sea level. It was deposited between
A.D. 450-850 at a lower-than-present sea-level position,
perhaps 30-60 cm lower (Stapor et al. 1991:835). By the time
the mound strata were deposited (not shown in Figure 3), the
people living at Wightman were in part intensively targeting
high-trophic fishes (sharks, groupers, see Fradkin 1976:84-
86)--species that frequently move in and out of estuarine bays
through inlets, their movement synchronized with daily tidal
variation. In other words, these fishes are found in
concentrated numbers in inlet waters. The comparison
between the great fish abundance and variety in the mound
strata (Fradkin 1976:84-86) and the dearth of fish remains in
the upper and lower midden layers described in this paper is
dramatic. This difference may be an indication that Blind Pass
was closed during the two low-stand episodes, Sanibel I and
Buck Key, while being an open inlet during the latest part of
Wightman's occupation, A.D. 650-750. The hypothesized
open inlet might be coeval with the beginning of the La Costa
sea-level rise (Stapor et al. 1991:835).


Coastal environments are characterized by
geomorphological and ecological features that are constantly
changing. This change occurs at multiple spatial and temporal
scales. It occurs at scales that are clearly relevant to human
coastal residents of the past and present. For researchers
interested in human spatial and temporal scales, this constant
state of change is not linear. Rather, it is episodic and cyclical
(e.g., Fairbridge 1992; Galli 1989; Stapor et al. 1991).
Contrasted with this dynamism is the relatively stable landmass
of Florida. Because of this stability combined with the
existence of numerous shoreline archaeological sites, Florida
offers an opportunity for geologists and archaeologists to
detect human-scale states of environmental change.
The detection of sea-level variation can benefit from the
examination of coastal archaeological sites from a combined
archaeological, geological, and paleoecological perspective.
Separately, each line of reasoning requires sometimes subtle
arguments. Together, the multiple lines of evidence become

compelling, not only for the recognition of episodic sea levels
but also for their refinement of timing and magnitude. Perhaps
even more important, coeval regional and interregional
patterns of episodic change as seen in geomorphological
features and archaeological sites argue against localized short-
and medium-term change (e.g., isolated storms, prolonged
droughts); rather, the patterns argue for episodic, long-term
(100 or more years) sea-level change manifested over wide
We argue that episodes of sea-level rises and falls above
and below present-day mean sea level at a scale of perhaps as
little as 100 years' duration are inextricably intertwined with
human settlement and subsistence histories throughout the
Holocene epoch. Such episodes are detectable in the
stratigraphic sequences of coastal midden sites (Marquardt
1992; Stapor et al 1991; Walker 1992). The compilation of
this sea-level information is an on-going process. Each new
contribution is being integrated into a geologically based and
archaeologically tuned model for the Florida Gulf Coast.
The Wightman stratigraphic sequence stands as one
contribution toward this model building and can be
summarized as follows. First, the 1050-50 B.C. Sanibel I, 30-
60 cm below-present sea-level episode as hypothesized by
Stapor et al. (1991) is confirmed at Wightman. The lower
midden indicates that sea level stood at least 40 cm lower than
present-day mean sea level. Second, an initial phase of Stapor
et al.'s (1991) Wulfert sea-level episode is indicated at
Wightman as at least a 70-80 cm rise above present-day mean
sea level. Data from the lower and upper middens suggest a
revision of the estimated timing for the Wulfert episode to
A.D. 100-600. Third, the reoccupation of Wightman at circa
A.D. 666-779 in itself argues for a lowered sea level as does
the invertebrate assemblage (specifically the inferred lowered
salinity regime and the crown conch horizon) of the associated
midden. The elevated position of the midden, however, does
not allow inference of the magnitude for the lower sea level.
The date range of this upper midden supports Stapor et al.'s
(1991) hypothesized Buck Key low sea-level episode.
Florida archaeology has a role to play in the arena of
contemporary human-environment issues at a global scale. Its
contribution is to aid in the refinement of the smooth,
geologically based sea-level models--a contribution that was
forseen by John Griffin twenty years ago. We hope that our
examination of the Wightman site stratigraphy illustrates the
archaeological potential for sea-level pattern recognition.


We are grateful to Jody Brown of the City of Sanibel's
Historic Preservation office for arranging the 1991 fieldwork
at the Wightman site and to owner James Artale for permission
to work on the property. Gary Winrow provided us with a
backhoe and operator. The Institute of Archaeology and
Paleoenvironmental Studies, Florida Museum of Natural

History, provided funds for travel and radiocarbon analyses.
The willingness of Charles Wilson, Jerald Milanich, and
Arlene Fradkin to aid us in our endeavor was invaluable. We
are indebted to Charles Wilson, Jody Brown, Jim and Betty
Anholt, Barbara, Reed, and Jim Toomey, and Shirley and Bud
House, all who joined us in our fieldwork. Betty Anholt and
Barbara Toomey also processed the bulk samples. Tom Vogler
drafted Figures 1, 3, 5, and 6. Carol Godwin assisted in the
initial sorting of invertebrate remains. Kurt Auffenburg and
Irv Quitmyer aided Walker in the identification of several
marine mollusks and Roger Portell confirmed the sea urchin
identification. Elizabeth Wing and Jerald Milanich offered
comments on the manuscript toward its improvement. Last,
we extend our appreciation to Brent Weisman for the
compilation and editing of this volume.

References Cited

Abbott, R. Tucker
1974 American Seashells: The Marine Mollusca of the Atlantic
and Pacific Coasts of North America. 2nd ed. Van
Nostrand Reinhold, New York.

Austin, Robert J. and Alfred J. Woods Jr.
1991 Archaeological Testing of a Proposed
on Gait Island, Lee County, Florida.
Piper Archaeology/Janus Research,

Road Alignment
Report on file,
St. Petersburg,

Boesch, Donald F.
1977 A New Look at the Zonation of Benthos along the
Estuarine Gradient. In Ecology of Marine Benthos,
edited by B. C. Coull, pp. 245-266. University of South
Carolina Press, Columbia.

Braley, Chad O.
1982 Archeological Testing and Evaluation of the Paradise
Point Site (8FR71), St. Vincent National Wildlife
Refuge, Franklin County, Florida. Ms. on file,
Southeastern Wildlife Services, Inc. Athens, Georgia.

Butler, Phillip A.
1954 Summary of Our Knowledge of the Oyster in the Gulf of
Mexico. In Gulf of Mexico: Its Origin, Waters, and
Marine Life, pp. 479-489. Fishery Bulletin 89, U. S.
Fish and Wildlife Service, vol. 55. Washington, D.C.

Cordell, Ann S.
1992 Technological Investigation of Pottery Variability in
Southwest Florida. In Culture and Environment in the
Domain of the Calusa, edited by W. H. Marquardt, pp.
105-189. University of Florida, Institute of Archaeology
and Paleoenvironmental Studies, Monograph 1.


Dalby, Jr., James E.
1989 Predation of Ascidians by Melongena corona
(Neogastropoda: Melongenidae) in the Northern Gulf of
Mexico. Bulletin of Marine Science 45(3):708-712.

Fagerstrom, J. A.
1964 Fossil Communities in Paleoecology: Their Recognition
and Significance. Geological Society of America Bulletin

Fairbridge, Rhodes W.
1961 Eustatic Changes in Sea Level. In Physics and
Chemistry of the Earth, edited by L. H. Ahrens, et al.,
vol. 4:99-185. Pergamon Press, New York.

1974 The Holocene Sea-Level Record in South Florida. In
Environments of South Florida: Past and Present, edited
by P. J. Gleason, pp. 223-232. Miami Geological
Society, Memoir 2.

1992 Holocene Marine Coastal Evolution of the United States.
In Quaternary Coasts of the United States: Marine and
Lacustrine Systems. Society for Sedimentary Geology
Special Publication No. 48:9-20.

Fradkin, Arlene
1976 The Wightman Site: A Study of Prehistoric Culture and
Environment on Sanibel Island, Lee County, Florida.
M.A. Thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of
Florida, Gainesville.

Galli, Gianni
1989 Is Holocene Storm-Generated Stratification in Florida
Bay a Reflection of Solar Storm Cycles?
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology

Galtsoff, Paul S.
1964 The American Oyster Crassostrea virginica Gmelin.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fishery Bulletin 64:1-
480. Washington, D.C.

Galtsoff, Paul S., and Arthur S. Merrill
1962 Notes on Shell Morphology, Growth, and Distribution
of Ostrea equestris Say. Bulletin of Marine Science of
the Gulf and Caribbean 12(2):234-244.

Griffin, John W.
1974 Archeology and Environment in South Florida. In
Environments of South Florida: Present and Past, edited
by P. J. Gleason, pp. 342-346. Miami Geological
Society, Memoir 2.

1988 The Archeology of Everglades National Park: A
Synthesis. National Park Service, Southeastern
Archeological Center, Tallahassee, Florida.

Gunter, Gordon, and R. Winston Menzel
1957 The Crown Conch, Melongena corona, as a Predator
Upon the Virginia Oyster. The Nautilus 70(3):84-87.

Hathaway, Ralph R., and Kenneth D. Woodburn
1961 Studies on the Crown Conch Melongena corona Gmelin.
Bulletin of Marine Science of the Gulf and Caribbean

Hofstetter, Robert P.
1959 The Texas Oyster Fishery. Bulletin no. 40. Texas Game
and Fish Commission, Austin.

Lawrence, David R.
1968 Taphonomy and Information Losses in Fossil
Communities. Geological Society of America Bulletin

1988 Oysters as Geoarchaeologic Objects. Geoarchaeology

MacArthur, Robert H., and J. W. MacArthur
1961 On Bird Species Diversity. Ecology 42(3):594-598.

Marquardt, William H.
1992 Shell Artifacts from the Caloosahatchee Area. In
Culture and Environment in the Domain of the Calusa,
edited by W. H. Marquardt, pp. 191-227. University of
Florida, Institute of Archaeology and Paleoenvironmental
Studies, Monograph 1.

Missimer, Thomas M.
1973 Growth Rates of Beach Ridges on Sanibel Island,
Florida. Transactions of the Gulf Coast Association of
Geological Societies 23:383-388.

Pearse, A. S., and G. W. Wharton
1938 The Oyster "Leech," Stylochus inimicus palombi,
Associated with Oysters on the Coasts of Florida.
Ecological Monographs vol. 8, no. 4.

Pearson, G. W., and M. Stuiver
1986 High-precision Calibration of the Radiocarbon Time
Scale, 500-2500 B.C. Radiocarbon 28:839-862.

Piepgras, D., M. A. Allison, T. Dlugos, and J. J. Stipp
1977 University of Miami Radiocarbon Dates X.
Radiocarbon 19: 453-459.

Rupp6, Reynold J.
1979 The Archaeology of Drowned Terrestrial Sites: A
Preliminary Report. Bureau of Historic Sites and
Properties Bulletin no. 6, Tallahassee.

Stapor, Frank W. Jr., Thomas D. Mathews, and Fonda E.
1987 Episodic Barrier Island Growth in Southwest Florida: A
Response to Fluctuating Holocene Sea Level? Miami
Geological Society Memoir 3:149-202.

1991 Barrier-Island Progradation and Holocene Sea-Level
History in Southwest Florida. Journal of Coastal
Research 7(3):815-838.

Stein, Julie K.
1993 Scale in Archaeology, Geosciences, and
Geoarchaeology. In Effects of Scale on Archaeological
and Geoscientific Perspectives, edited by Julie K. Stein,
and A.R. Linse, Geological Society of America, Special
Paper 283. Boulder, Colorado, .

Stuiver, M. and G. W. Pearson
1986 High-precision Calibration of Radiocarbon Time Scale.
Radiocarbon 28: 805-838.

Stuiver, M. and P. J. Reimer
1986 A Computer Program for Radiocarbon Age
Determination. Radiocarbon 28: 1022-1030.

Stuiver, M., G. W. Pearson, and T. Braziunas
1986 Radiocarbon Age Determination of Marine Samples
Back to 9000 Cal Yr B.P. Radiocarbon 28: 980-1021.

Tabb, Durbin C., and Raymond B. Manning
1961 A Checklist of the Flora and Fauna of Northern Florida
Bay and Adjacent Brackish Waters of the Florida
Mainland Collected During the Period July, 1957
Through September, 1960. Bulletin of Marine Science of
the Gulf and Caribbean 11(4):552-649.

Tanner, William F.
1991 The "Gulf of Mexico" Late Holocene Sea Level Curve
and River Delta History. Gulf Coast Association of
Geological Societies Transactions 41:583-589.

Turgeon, Donna D., Arthur E. Bogan, Eugene V. Coan,
William K. Emerson, William G. Lyons, William L. Pratt,
Clyde F. E. Roper, Amelie Scheltema, Fred G. Thompson,
and James D. Williams
1988 Common and Scientific Names of Aquatic Invertebrates
from the United States and Canada: Mollusks.
American Fisheries Society Special Publication 16.

Walker, Karen J.
1992 The Zooarchaeology of Charlotte Harbor's Prehistoric
Maritime Adaptation: Spatial and Temporal Perspectives.
In Culture and Environment in the Domain of the Calusa,
edited by W. H. Marquardt, pp. 265-366, University of
Florida, Institute of Archaeology and Paleoenvironmental
Studies, Monograph 1.

Walker, Karen J., Frank W. Stapor, Jr., and William H.
1994 Archaeological Evidence for a 1750-1450 BP Higher-
than-Present Sea Level Along Florida's Gulf Coast.
Journal of Coastal Research. (in press)

Wang, Johnson C. S., and Edward C. Raney
1971 Distribution and Fluctuations in the Fish Fauna of the
Charlotte Harbor Estuary, Florida. Charlotte Harbor
Estuarine Studies, Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota.

Wells, Harry W.
1961 The Fauna of Oyster Beds, with Special Reference to the
Salinity Factor. Ecological Monographs 31(3):239-266.

Widmer, Randolph J.
1986 Prehistoric Estuarine Adaptation at the Solana Site
Charlotte County, Florida. Ms. on file, Florida Division
of Historical Resources, Bureau of Archaeological
Research, Tallahassee.

1988 The Evolution of the Calusa: A Nonagricultural
Chiefdom on the Southwest Florida Coast. The
University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.

Wilson, Charles J.
1982 The Indian Presence: Archeology of Sanibel, Captiva,
and Adjacent Islands in Pine Island Sound. Sanibel-
Captiva Conservation Foundation, Sanibel, Florida.

Wing, Elizabeth S., and Antoinette B. Brown
1979 Paleonutrition: Method and Theory in Prehistoric
Foodways. Academic Press, New York.

Karen J. Walker and William H. Marquardt
Florida Museum of Natural History
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32611

Frank W. Stapor, Jr.
Department of Earth Sciences
Tennessee Technological University
Cookeville, Tennessee 38505



George M. Luer

Reported here is a third metal ceremonial tablet from the
Goodnow Mound (8HG6) in Highlands County, south-central
Florida. Metal tablets are a hallmark of the historic contact
period and date to the 1600s and early 1700s when a number of
indigenous Florida Indian tribes, such as the Ais, Jororo,
Mayaimi, and Calusa, still lived in the central and southern
portions of the Florida peninsula. In addition to a third
Goodnow tablet, this paper briefly presents new or updated
information about several other tablets.


In an attempt to investigate the poorly known historic
contact period, archaeologists John W. Griffin and Hale G.
Smith excavated part of the Goodnow Mound in early 1947.
Portions of this aboriginal sand burial mound already had been
disturbed badly by vandals, but Griffin and Smith (1948)
nonetheless salvaged many archaeological data. Their work at
the site produced information which continues to be some of
the best available about the aboriginal historic contact period in
central and southern Florida.
One of the artifacts recovered by Griffin and Smith was a
small silver ceremonial tablet. It was found "... lying on a
mass of over 1500 white seed beads together with one large
blue bead" which were associated with the remains of two
individuals labelled "Burial No. 21" (Griffin and Smith
1948:22). Although a number of tablets had been found in
Florida by 1947 (Griffin 1946), this was the first tablet to be
excavated by archaeologists. Today, it is still the only one
excavated in a controlled manner, despite the fact that many
more tablets have been found.
In 1984, Griffin and Smith's Goodnow tablet was
catalogued as "Metal Tablet #20" in a catalog of 50 metal
tablets (see Allerton et al. 1984:MT#20, Fig. 10A, Fig. 19).
That catalog also attributed a second previously unreported
tablet to the Goodnow Mound which was a large silver
specimen found by diggers around 1954 (see Allerton et al.
1984:MT#21; Fig. 10B, Fig. 18).
The same individuals also claimed to have found another
tablet at the Goodnow Mound, but they did not show it or
furnish a photograph or description of it. It was one of the 10
metal tablets which Allerton et al. (1984:7) had heard about

but did not include in the tablet catalog due to insufficient
data. However, after the catalog was finished, the tablet's
custodians retrieved it from safekeeping and showed it to the
author. This is the tablet described below.

Artifact Description -- MT#51

The third tablet from the Goodnow Mound is shown in
Figure 1. The shape of its outline conforms to a particular
stylistic variant known previously from only seven other metal
tablets restricted to east-central and south-central Florida (see
Figure 2's "Zone 3"). The peculiar outlines of six of these
Zone 3-style tablets are shown by Allerton et al. (1984:Fig. 4,
Row 5). Some are shown also by this article's Figure 2.
This stylistic variant contrasts with a more common and
widespread form of metal tablet (see Allerton et al. 1984:Fig.
4, Row 6, left). The two tablets reported previously from the
Goodnow Mound are of this more common form. Thus, the
Goodnow Mound is the second site (after nearby 8GL72 -- see
Allerton et al. 1984:MT#43 and MT#44) for which both of
these forms of tablet have been reported.
The third Goodnow tablet has no incised designs. This
lack of incising resembles most other Zone 3-style metal
tablets (MT#6, MT#7, MT#32, MT#43, MT#47, MT#48).
The more common and widespread form of metal tablet usually
has incised designs.


Figure 1. A Third Metal Tablet from the Goodnow Mound,
MT#51 (actual size).


JUNE 1994

Vol. 47 No. 2

The third Goodnow tablet is very well-made. It is thin
(approximately 1 mm maximum) and is tapered to a very thin
edge at both its tenoned and spatulate ends. It measures 3.75
cm in maximum length and 2.50 cm in maximum width. It
displays bilateral symmetry except for smaller lateral
projections and a round perforation along one edge. The
perforation is near the left edge when looking at the tablet's
slightly convex obverse side. The reverse is slightly concave.
The tablet's round perforation, occurring with the two
square central perforations, is an unusual feature among metal
tablets. The arrangement is similar to two other previously
reported tablets (Allerton et al. 1984:MT#7 and MT#47).
Both other tablets are also of the Zone 3 stylistic form. Two
additional tablets (MT#6 and MT#32), again of Zone 3 style,
also have a round perforation but either lack the central
perforations (MT#32) or have one central rectangular
perforation replaced by a round one (MT#6). These features
suggest that MT#6, MT#7, and the third Goodnow tablet were
suspended sideways, whereas MT#32 and MT#47 might have
been suspended at an angle since they also have holes in their
tenons. In contrast, most other metal tablets appear to have
been suspended vertically through a hole in the tenon.
Finally, the third Goodnow tablet might have been
hammered and cut from a Spanish silver coin or cob. The
unaided eye can see faint traces suggestive of a cross from a
Spanish coat-of-arms on both the tablet's obverse and reverse.
The reverse also displays very fine scratched lines around the

central perforations and lateral projections. After the apparent
coin or cob had been hammered into a slightly rounded thin
sheet, the artisan probably applied these lines to help determine
the tablet's proper shape so that its features could be cut out
and finished. These scratches as well as the trace of a cross are
similar to those on the convex reverse of another Zone 3-style
tablet (see Allerton et al. 1984:MT#43, Fig. 14A-C).

Temporal and Cultural Placement

While wood and stone tablets may have considerable
antiquity, metal tablets date to historic contact times. Goggin
(1949) hypothesized that metal tablets may date to the early
1500s, but available evidence now indicates that they belong to
the 1600s and early 1700s.
Griffin and Smith's Goodnow tablet (MT#20) is
particularly helpful because its associated glass beads can be
dated. Brain (1979:98) dated them to no earlier than A.D.
1650, and he dated the beads from the overall Goodnow
Mound as having a mean date of A.D. 1700.
In addition, new data also bolster a 1600s or early 1700s
age for a number of other metal tablets. Two of these, MT#3
and MT#4, came from Mound Key (8LL2) which is believed
to have been the main town of the Calusa chiefdom in the
1500s through mid-1700s (Goggin and Sturtevant 1964; Lewis
1978; Hann 1991b). Archival research (Luer 1985) shows that
the tablets were part of a cache of items, dug from a nine-foot

Figure 2. Some Zone 3-style Metal Tablets (actual size).





diameter area, which had been interred with one, and possibly
two, human individuals. This cache included Florida coin
beads, a kind of artifact which has been attributed to "about
1650 to about 1720" (Fairbanks 1968:102; also Leader 1985).
In addition, the cache included two Punta Rassa Tear Drop
Pendants (Goggin n.d.; Mitchem 1989:Table 37) which have
been recovered from at least two late seventeenth-century
contexts. These contexts were at Ocmulgee in Georgia where
the beads were coevall with the trading post dating from 1685
to 1716" (Goggin n.d.; Faribanks 1956) and at Mission San
Luis de Talimali in northern Florida, occupied from 1656 to
1704 (see Mitchem 1991). Thus, new data support a
seventeenth- or early eighteenth-century age for the Mound
Key cache and its MT#3 and MT#4. In addition, the same age
is suggested for MT#45 and MT#46 which were associated
with three Punta Rassa Tear Drop Pendants (Allerton et al.
Such an age is consistent with the European-derived
materials in some mounds where tablets have been found, such
as the Goodnow Mound. Griffin and Smith (1948:30)
attributed many such materials in the mound, such as glass
seed beads, mirror fragments, and iron axes, to trade. As
support, they cited a letter by the Bishop of Cuba who visited
Florida in 1675 which listed such items as trade goods (see
Wenhold 1936:13). Interestingly, many of the traded items had
been used in indigenous ways, such as a scissors for a pendant
and beads for necklaces, wrist and ankle bracelets, and for
decorating a clout or apron (Griffin and Smith 1948:21-23).
In contrast to the trade goods, Griffin and Smith
(1948:30) suggested that the mound's silver was salvaged from
shipwrecks and then reworked, thus accounting for items such
as tablets, tube beads, and coin beads. Such an interpretation
is supported for all the Florida metal tablets by their great
diversity (see Allerton et al. 1984). A recent suggestion that
tablet "blanks" might have been manufactured in Cuba and
then traded to Florida chiefs (Widmer 1989:170) is
inconsistent with the diverse tablets seen by the author (there
being no "typical" tablets suggestive of a "blank").
Clearly, not much shipwrecked silver or other metal is
required to account for all the metal tablets found thus far in
Florida because most of the tablets are small and very thin.
That chiefs, however, apparently had first claim to valuable
salvaged metal is suggested by the Quaker Jonathan Dickinson
who, when shipwrecked on the southeastern Florida coast in
1696, observed that: "Our money the Casseekey took unto
himself, privately hiding in the bushes" (Andrews and
Andrews 1981:8).
The persistence of tablets is consistent with historic
accounts which note that southern Florida Indian peoples
tenaciously retained their indigenous culture. By 1675, they
still were described as "13 tribes of savage heathen" (Wenhold
1936:11), and a number of missionizing efforts in the 1600s
failed (Swanton 1922:343; Hann 1991a, 1991b). Tablets
apparently were part of a widespread religious cult and

political alliance network which Goggin (1949; Goggin and
Sturtevant 1964:199, 202) called the "Glades Cult." More
recent researchers have described and interpreted this complex
much further (see McGoun 1981; Allerton et al. 1984; Austin
1987:297; Griffin 1988:309-312; Luer 1991:70-71; Milanich
Among these works, Griffin's 1988 contribution dealt
specifically with the geographic distribution of tablets, and he
offered a new version of Allerton et al.'s map (Griffin
1988:310, Fig. 13.1). Further improvements to this map are
presented by this paper's Figure 3.
As can be seen in Figure 3 and Table 1, Zones 3 and 4
have yielded similar numbers of metal tablets. However, when
Zone 4 is divided into coastal and interior halves, most of its
metal tablets (14 of 24) are from the interior half. Thus, when
these Zone 4 interior- tablets (14) are added to Zone 3's total
(18), 34 of 49 tablets (almost 70% of all provenienced metal
tablets) are from the greater Okeechobee-Kissimmee area.
This area corresponds roughly with the "Lake Okeechobee
Area" of Carr and Beriault (1984) and the "Belle Glade Area"
of Griffin (1988, 1989). In addition, the coastal half of Zone
4 corresponds with the Caloosahatchee Area as described
initially by Sears (1967) and Griffin (1974) and refined
subsequently (for example, Carr and Beriault 1984; Widmer
1988; Griffin 1988, 1989; and Milanich 1994).
The concentration of metal tablets in the greater
Okeechobee-Kissimmee area is important because it shows that
metal tablets are not a primarily southwest Florida artifact.
Indeed, these tallies suggest that the source of the metal used in
making them might have been the Florida east coast from
where the metal spread to the interior. Then, from the
interior, some of it apparently spread to the west coast,
probably already in the form of metal tablets and other
artifacts. An east coast origin and subsequent dispersal has
been suggested previously by Fairbanks (1968) for Florida
coin beads. Westward dispersal across Florida's interior could
help explain the presence of metal tablets and some other metal
artifacts in the Tampa Bay area.
It should be noted that regional variation in the shape,
decoration, and quantity of metal tablets (see discussions,
above and below) may reflect some different tribal territories
of the 1600s. The Ais and Jororo (Hann 1991a) lived in the
northeastern and north-central portions of Zone 3,
respectively, where a number of metal tablets have been found
including some of the distinctive Zone 3 style. The Calusa
occupied the coastal half of Zone 4 whereas the Mayaimi might
have occupied Zone 4's interior half and, perhaps, the Serrope
might have occupied the Kissimmee region (the southern two-
thirds of Zone 3) (True 1944; Lorant 1946). In 1680, the
interior Lake Okeechobee area peoples were subject to Calusa
military threat, and some Guale refugees from the Georgia
coast were living among them (Swanton 1922:344). In
addition, the paucity of metal tablets in the greater Tampa Bay
area (Zone 2) and their apparent absence in southeast Florida

Table 1. Metal Tablets Listed by Zone of Origin. This tally (total = 49) reflects the undetermined proveniences ofMT#9, 25, and
31. The grand total of catalogued metal tablets is 52.

1. Zone 1: none.

2. Zone 2: MT#2, 8, 24 (total = 3).

3. Zone 3:

4. Zone 4,

MT#1, 6, 7, 15, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 32, 40,
43, 44, 47, 48, 49, 51 (total = 18).

interior: MT#5, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 26, 27, 28,
29, 35, 41, 50, 52 (total = 14).

Zone 4, coastal: MT#3, 4, 10, 30, 33, 34, 36, 37, 38, 39
(total = 10).

5. Zone 5: MT#18, 42, 45, 46 (total = 4).

6. Zone 6: none.

NOTE: This table includes MT#20 and 21 in Zone 3 although they were included in Zone 4 by Allerton et al. (1984:Table 1).
Also, Allerton et al. (1984) omitted the last three metal tablets catalogued (MT#48, 49, 50) from their Table 1.
In addition, when Griffin (1988:310) moved the northern boundary of Zone 5 northward, he should have included MT#42 in Zone
5, thus making Zone 5's total number of metal tablets four instead of three (Griffin 1988:Fig. 13.1).

may reflect territories, respectively, of the Tocobaga and the
Tequesta and their neighbors.
There also are other geographic correlations. It has been
noted previously that the apparent absence of metal tablets
along the east coast below Cape Canaveral (Zone 6) may
reflect extended efforts by the Spanish to recover precious
metals (Allerton et al. 1984:7). Conversely, at least some
precious metals carried into the interior apparently were
beyond reach of the Spanish and stayed in the hands of Indian
peoples. Manufacturing similarities among a number of metal
tablets suggest that some were made at certain sites (Allerton et
al. 1984:7). A major geographic focus for the manufacture,
use, and control of a number of metal items apparently was in
the interior of Zone 4 as reflected by the abundance of coin
beads and by the distribution of the arc-bearing tablets and
crested woodpecker effigies (see below).
It also should be noted that while metal tablets, glass
beads, and other artifacts occur in burial contexts, other sets of

artifacts comprise corresponding seventeenth and early
eighteenth century aboriginal secular assemblages. In
southwest Florida and the Tampa Bay area, for example, the
latter can include Jefferson ware, Ocmulgee Fields Incised,
olive jar, Pinellas Plain, and other ceramics. The author has
noted small amounts of such sherds from a dozen widespread
sites in these two regions, such as Cedar Point (8CH8) in
Charlotte County (Luer 1994:10, 12) and Mound Key in Lee
County (Sears 1967:100). Much of this pottery apparently
came from north Florida missions and was obtained by local
Indian peoples "through trade or other diffuse channels" as
Sears (1958:7-8) noted for the Tampa Bay area. Like the
Tampa Bay area, its presence in southwest Florida does not
require an influx of "refugees" from Apalachee missions as
posited by the Bullens (1956:3, 48, 51, 53). Indeed, the
author has found Jefferson ware sherds in one of Big Mound
Key's surficiall and peripheral" piles of large whelk shells
such as those described by Luer et al. (1986:120). Besides


Figure 3. Geographic Distribution of Ceremonial Tablets. The numbers of metal (M), wood (W), and stone (S) tablets from each
zone are shown.

large whelk shells, this pile contained a predominance of large
left quahog valves (see Luer 1986) which are indicative of
indigenous aboriginal behavior. Thus at Big Mound Key, the
Jefferson ware appears to be trade ware in a local indigenous
Metal tablets apparently ceased to be used by the mid-
1700s. Early in that century, warfare and slave raids
decimated many of Florida's Indian peoples (Covington 1967).
In the 1710s they were impacted by disease and, in the 1730s,
some emigrated to Cuba. In the 1740s, some Florida Indian
peoples continued to live in southern Florida where inter-tribal

conflict, child sacrifice, and abuse of traded rum also took
their toll. In 1763, the English took control of Florida and the
Spanish evacuated 80 Indian families from the Florida Keys to
Cuba (Swanton 1922:343-344; Sturtevant 1978; Hann 1991b).
Around that time, Seminoles began to join Spanish fishermen
in the area (see Neill 1955).

Additional Tablets

Besides the Goodnow tablet reported here, the author has
learned of two more metal tablets. Neither is one of the 10

uncatalogued metal tablets mentioned by Allerton et al.
(1984:7). Also, I have learned that three metal tablets have
changed hands since they were catalogued in 1983. This
section reports some of this information. In addition, it should
be noted that a pottery rim sherd from the Everglades was
carved to resemble the outline of a stone tablet (Griffin
1988:Fig. 5.5r).
MT#52. This moderate-sized tablet is of thin sheet silver
(see Figure 4). It measures 5.4 cm in maximum length and 3.3
cm in maximum width. It is of the more common and
widespread stylistic form (see above). The tablet reportedly
was unearthed in the early 1980s from 8GL10, 8GL9, or a
neighboring sand burial mound. It is now in a private
The tablet's obverse is incised, and its reverse is plain. A
motif consisting of a cross superimposed over a circle is on its
tenoned half (see Allerton et al. 1984:Fig. 4, Rows 1-4 for
other examples of this motif). The tablet's spatulate half
exhibits "tear drop" eyes, each with a pair of "concentric
arcs." This is the sixth metal tablet known to have the
concentric arcs design element which also appears on metal
crested woodpecker effigies where it separates the eye from the
bill (for descriptions and pictures of such arcs, see Allerton et
al. 1984:16, Fig. 5, Row 2; also this article's Figure 4).
The geographic origin of this tablet is consistent with the
known distribution of the concentric arc design. That is, five
of six metal tablets bearing such arcs are from Allerton et al.'s
Zone 4. Moreover, this tablet (MT#52) and four of the others

(MT#11, MT#28, MT#29, MT#41) are all derived from a
small area in the interior of Zone 4. This same area has
yielded most of the known crested woodpecker effigies
(besides these, one also was in the Mound Key cache cited
above). This indicates a regional stylistic focus for the crested
woodpecker effigies and arc-bearing tablets, and this focus
appears to be separate and distinct from Zone 3.
A seventeenth- or early eighteenth-century age for
MT#52 is suggested by its arc designs. First, another tablet
which bears arcs, MT#46 (Figure 4), was found with three
Punta Rassa Tear Drop Pendants, which are of the seventeenth-
or early eighteenth-century (see above). Second, one of the
arc-bearing crested woodpecker effigies came from the Mound
Key cache which, on the basis of its two Punta Rassa Tear
Drop Pendants, also indicates the same age.
Metal Tablet. Around 1986, I saw a videotape of a
Tampa television station's show about Tampa Bay area history
which exhibited a large apparent silver tablet. The tablet
reportedly was from a mound "east of Tampa" (Osceola, Polk,
or eastern Hillsborough County?). Displayed with it were
beads and metal axes removed from the same mound. At
present, there are insufficient data to catalog this specimen.
MT#36, MT#46, and MT#48. In 1983, MT#36 (Figure
4) was in a private collection in Florida, but it since has
changed hands and is now in the collection of the Fort Myers
Historical Museum. When MT#46 and MT#48 (Figures 2 and
4) were observed and catalogued in 1983, they were in a
private collection reportedly from Texas. In late 1990, both

Figure 4. Obverse of Tablets, MT#52( Based on a photograph by James Lord), MT#46, MT#36 (all actual size), and a crested
woodpecker effigy (approximately 3/4 actual size).

were offered for bid by a Kansas City auction house (Manion's
1990:117, 122). Their present whereabouts are undetermined.

Catalog Additions

It should be noted that, for purposes of future reference,
the two tablets described in detail by this article are here added
to the catalog presented by Allerton et al. (1984). It should be
noted that the Goodnow Mound, 8HG6, is mistakenly listed as
"8HG4" in the 1984 catalog. The third tablet from the
Goodnow Mound is designated "Metal Tablet #51" or
"MT#51." The sheet silver tablet is designated "Metal Tablet
#52" or "MT#52."

Preservation and the Goodnow Mound

In 1993, plans to build a mobile home park brought
attention to the need to save the Goodnow Mound (Lee 1993;
Nickolson 1993; Stageman 1993). As a site of regional
significance, the mound should be preserved. As a burial
monument, the mound is protected by Florida Statute 872.05
which makes it a felony to disturb it.
Ideally, county planners, the landowner, and concerned
citizens could take steps to protect the Goodnow Mound by
creating a small conservation easement which could benefit the
developer and enhance the mound's long-term preservation.
The easement could be monitored by concerned citizens, such
as members of the Kissimmee Valley Archaeological and
Historical Conservancy, a chapter of the Florida
Anthropological Society (Fitch 1993).


This article describes and catalogs two previously
unreported metal tablets, one of which is the third from the
Goodnow Mound. These tablets reinforce some of the regional
stylistic variations among metal tablets discovered by Allerton
et al. (1984).
This article also presents new data which support a 1600s
and early 1700s dating for metal tablets. Tablets are
concentrated in the interior of south-central and southern
Florida and appear to have been fashioned from metal salvaged
from nearby east coast shipwrecks. Metal tablets and related
artifacts are giving new insights into the culture of long-
overlooked seventeenth-century Indian peoples, including the
Ais, Jororo, Mayaimi, Calusa, and others, during the time of
northern Florida's Spanish missions.


Thanks are owed to Lelia and Bill Brayfield of El Jobean,
Florida, for serving as intermediaries so that the second and
third Goodnow tablets could be catalogued.


David Allerton, Marion Almy, Robert Atwood, Robert
Austin, John Beriault, Patricia Bartlett, Robert Carr, Robert
Edic, John Griffin, James Lord, Jerald Milanich, Jeff
Mitchem, and Brent Weisman all helped furnish information
used here.

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.

Andrews, Evangeline W., and Charles McL. Andrews, editors
1981 Jonathan Dickinson's Journal. Florida Classics
Library, Southeastern Printing Company, Inc., Stuart,

Austin, Robert J.
1987 Prehistoric and Early Historic Settlement in the
Kissimmee River Valley: An Archaeological Survey of
the Avon Park Air Force Range. The Florida
Anthropologist 40:287-300.

Brain, Jeffrey P.
1979 Tunica Treasure. Harvard University. Papers of the
Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, volume

Bullen, Ripley P., and Adelaide K. Bullen
1956 Excavations on Cape Haze Peninsula, Florida.
Contributions of the Florida State Museum, Social
Sciences, No. 1. Gainesville.

Carr, Robert S., and John G. Beriault
1984 Prehistoric Man in South Florida. In Environments of
South Florida: Present and Past, revised edition edited
by P. J. Gleason, pp. 1-14. Miami Geological Society
Memoir 2, Miami.

Covington, James W.
1967 Some Observations Concerning the Florida-Carolina
Indian Slave Trade. The Florida Anthropologist 20:10-

Fairbanks, Charles H.
1956 Archeology of the Funeral Mound, Ocmulgee National
Monument, Georgia. National Park Service, Research
Series No. 3. Department of the Interior, Washington,

1968 Florida Coin Beads. The Florida Anthropologist

Full Text