Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Editor's page
 The York site (8-A1-480), Alachua...
 The use of ceramics in the construction...
 Knapping in Florida during the...
 The age of the Santa Fe projectile...
 A spider gorget from Levy county,...
 The formation of goethite and calcareous...
 An early Seminole cane basket -...
 Back issues and information for...

Group Title: Florida anthropologist
Title: The Florida anthropologist
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027829/00063
 Material Information
Title: The Florida anthropologist
Abbreviated Title: Fla. anthropol.
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Florida Anthropological Society
Conference on Historic Site Archaeology
Publisher: Florida Anthropological Society.
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Frequency: quarterly[]
two no. a year[ former 1948-]
Subject: Indians of North America -- Antiquities -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Antiquities -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Summary: Contains papers of the Annual Conference on Historic Site Archeology.
Dates or Sequential Designation: v. 1- May 1948-
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00027829
Volume ID: VID00063
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01569447
lccn - 56028409
issn - 0015-3893

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
    Editor's page
        Page 2
    The York site (8-A1-480), Alachua county, Florida - Observations on aboriginal use of chert - Barbara A. Purdy
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    The use of ceramics in the construction of the Castillo de San Marcos - John A. Bostwick
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
    Knapping in Florida during the historic period - Wilfred T. Neill
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
    The age of the Santa Fe projectile point type - George R. Ferguson and Wilfred T. Neill
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
    A spider gorget from Levy county, Florida - Richard R. Remington
        Page 22
        Page 23
    The formation of goethite and calcareous lenses in shell middens in Florida - Jay Palmer and J. Jaymond Williams
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
    An early Seminole cane basket - Kathleen Deagan
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
    Back issues and information for authors
        Unnumbered ( 37 )
Full Text


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MARCH 1977


I I 5 r % we m so m uu.

THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST is published quarterly in March,
June, September, and December by the Florida Anthropological
Society, Inc., c/o Room 130. The Florida State Museum, The
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611. Subscription
is by membership in the Society for individuals and institu-
tions interested in the aims of the Society. Annual dues are
$6.00; student members $4.00. Requests for memberships and
general inquiries should be addressed to the Secretary; dues,
subscriptions, changes of address, and orders for back issues
to the Treasurer; manuscripts for publication to the Editor;
and newsletter items to the President. Second class postage
paid at Gainesville, Florida.


President: Raymond Williams
Dept. of Anthropology, Univ.
of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620

Ist Vice President: J.T. Milanich
Department of Social Sciences, The
Florida State Museum, Gainesville,
FL 32611

2nd Vice President: George W. Percy,
Div. of Archives, History, and
Records Management, The Capitol,
Tallahassee, FL 32304

Directors at Large

Three years: Thomas C. Watson
203 Carolyn Avenue, Panama
City, FL 32401

Two years: Robt. C. Johnson
4250 Melrose Avenue,
Jacksonville, FL 32210

One Year: Ray. C. Robinson
1020 4th Street North,
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Secretary: Nedra Lexow
1124 Harrison St.,
Hollywood, FL 33020


Editor: Jerald T. Milanich
Department of Social Sciences
Florida State Museum
Gainesville, FL 32611

Editorial Board:
Kathleen A. Deagan
Dept. of Anthropology
Florida State University

Albert C. Goodyear
Institute of Archeology
and Anthropology
University of South Carolina

Roger T. Grange, Jr.
Dept. of Anthropology
University of South Florida

John W. Griffin
Historic Key West Preservation
Board, Key West

George W. Percy
Division of Archives, History
and Records Management
Florida Dept. of State




Contents Page

Editor's Page ........................................ 2
The York Site (8-Al-480), Alachua County, Florida:
Observations on Aboriginal Use of Chert,
by Barbara A. Purdy ............................ 3
The Use of Ceramics in the Construction of the
Castillo de San Marcos,
by John A. Bostwick ........................ ... 9 9
Knapping in Florida during the Historic Period,
by Wilfred T. Neill ............................. 14
The Age of the Santa Fe Projectile Point Type,
by George R. Ferguson and Wilfred T. Neill ...... 18
A Spider Gorget from Levy County, Florida,
by Richard R. Remington ......................... 22
The Formation of Goethite and Calcareous Lenses in
Shell Middens in Florida,
By Jay Palmer and J. Raymond Williams ........... 24
An Early Seminole Cane Basket,
by Kathleen A. Deagan .......................... 28


With this issue of The Florida Anthropologist there is a change
in the editorship. Ripley P. Bullen, who served the Florida
Anthropological Society as editor from 1970 until just prior to
his death, passed away on December 25, 1976. Ripley requested
that I take over the editorship and worked with me on the December
1976 issue, explaining the "system" for having the journal
reproduced and mailed out. The Board of Directors of the Society
made the change in editorship official at its meeting in March of
this year. Ripley's leadership will be missed by us all.

A change in editor means some changes in policies. Ripley almost
single-handedly edited, did the layout for, and mailed the journal.
This is a monumental task, one which I find that I cannot continue
in light of teaching and other museum duties. In order to provide
expert help, the Board of Directors appointed an editorial board.
The members of this board (whose names are listed on the inside
front cover of the journal) will help in selecting and editing
articles as well as establishing overall editorial policy.

One change in policy now underway is the practice of having all
articles sent out for review, both to certain members of the
editorial board and to members of the Society. When pertinent,
other knowledgeable persons will also be consulted. The reviewers
for specific articles will be kept anonymous, but their comments
will be routinely sent back to authors for changes. Hopefully,
this practice will result in maintaining the high standards of
scholarship for which The Florida Anthropologist has been noted
in the past.

Submitters of manuscripts should note the changes in the
"Information for Authors" section on the inside of the back cover.
A Xerox or other copy of the article should be submitted with the
ribbon copy. Only one original of any figure is needed, however,
although copies should be included with the second copy. Authors
are requested to submit camera-ready artwork and should examine
past issues of the journal for ideas on size, etc. Those drawings
and photographs which need to be reduced should not be mounted.

Once the editor gets "caught up" and on schedule with the journal,
all authors will receive a Xerox copy of their camera-ready copy
before it goes to the printer in order that it can be checked for
errors. Any comments that members of the Society have concerning
layout, content of specific articles, etc., should be sent to the
editor. In the future this Editor's Page will include comments
(and author's replies) regarding contents of various articles. We
can all only learn from such an exchange of ideas.



Barbara A. Purdy

Several years ago when land was cleared in preparation for
the development of Area 1 in Kenwood, a residential district in
Alachua County owned by Dr. and Mrs. E. T.York, Jr., many projec-
tile points and other chipped stone implements typical of the
Florida Preceramic Archaic period were recovered. No excavations
were conducted at that time and, subsequently, residences were
constructed. Recently, extensive deposits of Florida chert
(flintrock) were found when roads were graded prior to the develop-
ment of Area 2 in Kenwood. In July 1975, one 3-meter square was
excavated at the York site (8-Al-480) located within the Kenwood
district (Fig. 1) in order to gather data on aboriginal selection
and use of chert. This report describes the results of this in-

In the process of removing and separating the heavy sod from
its gray matrix, 605 pieces of Florida chert were collected as
well as a number of charred bone and wood fragments. The sod layer
was considered Zone 1 and extended to a depth of 11 cm. In Zone 2,
large numbers of chert flakes, nodules, and boulders were encoun-
tered; 800 specimens were collected. Approximately 100 additional
nodules and boulders were removed from Zone 2 but were returned
when the square was backfilled. Charred bone and wood fragments
were recovered similar to those from Zone 1. Excavation was dis-
continued because no artifacts were recovered and because the chert
formed a nearly solid but irregular pavement throughout the square.
Total excavated depth did not exceed 25 cm below the ground surface.
Zone 2 was composed primarily of chert nodules and orange-brown
sand with clay and iron concretions appearing toward the bottom
of the excavation. This is typical where sandy clays of the Haw-
thorne Formation overlie the Ocala Limestone.

If the chert deposits at the York site had been exploited by
prehistoric Floridians they should exhibit uniform flake scars or
use wear and they should have prepared striking platforms with
bulbs of percussion where blows were directed that detached flakes
from the nodules. The overwhelming majority of the stone re-
covered did not have these characteristics. Figure 2 shows stone
remains from 8-A1-480 along with utilized stone tools from the
nearby Lake Kanapaha site (Hemmings and Kohler 1974) and a
lithic workshop site in Marion County, Florida (Purdy 1975b).
Even the nonspecialist can detect the difference. Of the 1,405
pieces of stone returned to the Florida State Museum and subse-
quently washed and examined, only 18 exhibited flake scars which
suggested intentional alteration; none had flakes removed in such
a uniform manner that they were unquestionably man-made. No

The Florida Anthropologist, vol. 30, no. 4, March 1977

7 0

Fig. 1. Section of Arrendondo Quadrangle (7.5 Minute Series, U. S.
Geological Survey, 1966), Alachua County, Florida showing the
location of the York site (8-Al-480). Scale: 4.2 cm is 1 km;
contour interval 5 feet. Note the proximity to Lake Kanapaha
and the difference in altitude.



Fig. 2. Stone remains from (a) the York site, (b) the Lake Kanapaha site,
(c) the Senator Edwards Chipped Stone Workshop site. Note the lack
of utilization in enlarged area shown in the inset for a compared to
the use wear shown in the inset for b. Areas of enlargement are indi-
cated by arrows on the photograph. Length of a is 15 cm.


chipping debris was found such as shaping and thinning flakes.

Flint will fracture isotropically whether struck by humans
or machines, or broken up by natural stresses. It is my opinion
that most of the chert recovered from 8-Al-480 was "flaked" by
natural agencies. Exfoliation or explosion will occur as a re-
sult of rapid contraction and expansion when flintrock is exposed
to extreme temperature changes. The area was cultivated in the
past and fire was probably employed to aid in clearing vegetation
in preparation for planting. A considerable number of the speci-
mens recovered had been exploded by heat. These are readily dis-
tinguishable because they are blocky with potlid fractures, lack
bulbs of percussion, and usually are a deep pink color due to the
oxidation of trace amounts of iron (Purdy 1974, 1975a). The use
of fire in clearing the land might explain also the preservation
of the charred bone and wood fragments.

Two other possibilities were considered to explain the ab-
sence of diagnostic stone tools: (1) the plow could have "flaked"
the specimens since most of the flint was recovered in the plow
zone; and (2) the Indians might have quarried the rock in this
areaand taken suitable specimens elsewhere to convert into stone
implements. The latter would explain why there were no diagnostic
tools or thinning and shaping flakes recovered. The lack of bulbs
of percussion on most of the specimens, however, weakens both
these suggestions.

The York site, then, is not an archaeological site because
no artifacts (objects or features made or modified by humans) were
found. The site is of interest, however, for a number of reasons.
much of the land in the immediate vicinity was exploited for
millennia by aboriginal peoples and was, in fact, occupied at the
time of historic contact. Hemmings and Kohler (1974) review the
geology of the entire region and report upon excavations at the
Lake Kanapaha site, about two kilometers east of the York site,
where a great deal of lithic material was recovered.

There is no evidence in Florida that chert was actually
mined. On the other hand, there have been no thorough investi-
gations of quarrying operations by prehistoric Floridians (Purdy
1971). It has been generally assumed, however, that naturally-
occurring outcrops were exploited. It is of interest to note
that the chert at the York site was not utilized even though it
was easily procurable. Why, in an area that was inhabited for
thousands of years, weren't these chert deposits used?


Early writers remarked, without reservation, that Indians
buried flint material in damp soil to keep it moist. The benefits
of this practice have never been tested, to my knowledge, thus the
validity of the observation cannot be challenged. Lithic tech-
nologists would agree that "dry" feeling flint material does not
chip satisfactorily. It stands to reason that Florida chert, out-
cropping or immediately under the surface in a well-drained
terrain, would eventually lose some adsorbed water. Over 50% of
the total moisture content of Florida chert is adsorbed water
(Purdy 1974). The elevation of the York site is about 37 m
(120 feet) above mean sea level. Most of the diagnostic stone
remains recovered in the surrounding area were found at 23-30 m.
If the elevation falls much below 23 m (75 feet) in this part of
Florida, the land will be under water. At the lower elevations,
therefore, chert material would be found in deposits with greater
moisture content and probably would be more highly selected.

The chert from the York site was very "dry" and fossili-
ferous. Attempts to flake it resulted in step fractures and,
eventually, failure by end shock. End shock occurs for a number
of reasons, but, in this case, the material was not resilient
enough to absorb the blows of the percussor. After the imple-
ment snapped, the distal portion was heat-altered in an attempt
to improve the quality. Some improvement of flakeability was

In addition to dryness, the chert lacked other desirable
qualities, i.e., homogeneity and small grain size. If better
quality materials in more convenient locations had not been
available, the chert from t-he York site probably would have
sufficed. Preliminary results of weight loss tests indicates
that cherts from this entire region contain a lower percentage
of chemically-bound water than cherts from some locations in
Florida. This factor may be significant and needs further ex-

This investigation afforded an opportunity to ask certain
questions about the chipped stone industry in Florida. The total
technology involved in efficiently converting a piece of stone
into a finished tool includes the initial step of locating and
selecting suitable raw material. Two million years of accumu-
lated knowledge and experience guided early Floridians. Techniques
developed in the twentieth century--atomic absorption spectro-
scopy, neutron activation, and thermogravimetric analysis--will
eventually determine analytically what preindustrial peoples knew



I wish to thank the York family for permitting me to con-
duct this excavation. Appreciation is extended also to Nina
Thanz and Laurie Beach for assisting in the survey of the area;
Gerald Evans and James Dunbar and the young residents of Kenwood
for helping in the excavation; Ann Cordell for washing and sort-
ing the stone remains; and the Florida State Museum for the use
of equipment, personnel, and space that made the investigation

References Cited

Hemmings, E. Thomas and Timothy A. Kohler
1974 The Lake Kanapaha Site in North Central Florida.
Bureau of Historic Sites and Properties, Bulletin
No. 4, pp. 45-64. Tallahassee.

Purdy, Barbara A.
1971 The Importance of Quarry Sites. Science and
Archaeology, November-December. Stafford, England.

1974 Investigations Concerning the Thermal Alteration
of Silica Minerals: An Archaeological Approach.
Tebiwa 17:37-66. Pocatello, Idaho.

1975a Fractures for the Archaeologist. In Making and
Using Stone Tools. World Anthropology Series.
Mouton Press, The Hague.

1975b The Senator Edwards Chipped Stone Workship Site
(8-Mr-122), Marion County, Florida: A Preliminary
Report of Investigations. Florida Anthropologist

Gainesville, Florida
July, 1975


John A. Bostwick

Throughout the history of colonial St. Augustine some type
of defensive fortification was present. The forts which preceded
the Castillo de San Marcos, the structure still standing today,
were usually built of logs and seem to have been in constant need
of repair. During the Drake raid of 1586 and the 1668 attack by
pirates the rotten condition of the existing log forts made defense
of either the fort or the town ineffective (Tebeau 1971:40;
Manucy 1942:1-2; Chatelain 1941:61). Although need for a stronger,
more permanent structure was evident, the Spanish Crown was slow to
take positive action.

By 1670 the English, aggressive and covetous of Spain's New
World empire, had established the colony of Charles Town (Charles-
ton) in the Carolinas. Spain, involved again in European wars,
had been forced to cede the Carolinas from a line in Port Royal
Sound north to the English (Chatelain 1941:65). The 1668 raid
and the threat of English colonization convinced the Spanish Crown
to authorize preliminary plans for construction of a stone fort
at Saint Augustine. On October 30, 1669, the Queen ordered the
Viceroy of New Spain to provide 12,000 pesos to begin construction
and an additional 10,000 pesos a year to complete the fort (Manucy

The architect chosen by the Governor of Florida chose to plan
the Fort was Iganzio Daza. Skilled personnel to oversee the rais-
ing of the great walls were recruited in Havana, and laborers were
assembled from throughout the Caribbean. These workers, most
totally unskilled, included Indians from Florida, Spanish peons,
Negro slaves and convicts (Manucy 1942:11). Consequently,work on the
Castillo began with a minimum of skilled labor (Chatelain 1941:
68). And, although some workers soon became skilled masons
(Tebeau 1971:59), most of the early construction was completed by
men who knew almost nothing about working stone.

Manucy notes that by midsummer of 1673 the east wall of the
Castillo had reached a height of twelve feet high (1942:17). The
corresponding bastions to the northeast and southeast were
probably the same height Evidence for the use of unskilled
masons in constructing the east wall and the adjacent bastions
comes from several sources. First is the varience in measurements
in the maps of the fort known between 1675 and 1680. The differ-
ences in the vara equivalents are assumed to be because the measure-
ments are of actual structures and not the standard vara. It
should be noted that the scales used on the various maps are not
consistent within themselves (Harrington, Manucy, and Goggin
1958:108, 112).

The Florida Anthropologist, vol. 30, no. 1, March 1977


A second line of evidence for the use of unskilled masons
comes from the lower courses of the east wall and adjacent bas-
tions where there are numerous examples of the use of locally
available ceramics as spacers and levelers to assure correct fit
and to plumb the massive coquina blocks used in construction.
Two classes of ceramics utilized in this manner have been identi-
fied: olive jar sherds, the most numerous, (Goggin 1964:253-
298); and a small percentage of tin enameled earthenware sherds,
commonly called majolica (Goggin 1968).

It is significant that ceramics were utilized in the first
twelve feet (approximately) of wall and bastions. It would be
expected that with time and experience the masons would gather
a greater degree of skill and expertise. The other three walls
of the Castillo could not be as closely examined for sherds due
to the existence of the moat on the other three sides. Use of
sherds in construction was not noted in those portions of the
fort completed in the modernization of 1738-1739.

Figure 1 shows the extent that olive jar sherds were used
to achieve proper fit of the coquina blocks during construction.

Figure 2 illustrates the use of a large majolica sherd in
the northeast bastion. The sherd is decorated and a portion of
the ring foot of a plate can be seen. Although the colors are
somewhat faded and the position of the sherd makes study diffi-
cult, it can be identified as San Luis Polychrome (Goggin 1968:
168-169). Goggin has placed this type chronologically between
1660-1720. Other small bits of majolica can be seen in the
northeast bastion but they are not numerous and are too small to
be identified as to type.

Goggin (1964:257) has noted olive jars and olive jar sherds
used in Spanish construction in South America, where whole vessels
were utilized in roof vaults in churches and other buildings.
Sherds were used as filler in the construction of floors, perhaps
serving to keep floors dryer. The use of sherds in the Castillo
de San Marcos wall, however, appears to be unique.

When the research reported here was first carried out no
aboriginal sherds of the San Marcos series (Smith 1948) were
found in the walls. However, a re-examination of the moat side
of the northeast bastion during July 1976, revealed five San
Marcos Stamped sherds used as well fillers.

The presence of these sherds is significant since this is
the earliest occurrence of this type in a datable context in
the Saint Augustine area (Bostwick n.d.).

C t ll
[i~Tl~"ipppiippffiTr"i]Bnnippiff vii~i~iiii' 1~"iii^",

Fig. 1. Examples of middle period olive jar sherds in the lower
courses of the east wall of the Castillo de San Marcos.


Fig. 2. Northeast bastion of the Castillo de San
Marcos, showing a San Luis Polychrome
majolica potsherd. Note characteristic
ring foot of the vessel; a mirror is used
to show the decorated surface of the sherd.

Re-examination of the Castillo in July, 1976 failed to locate
any St. Johns ware sherds (Griffin and Smith 1949). It has
recently been postulated that this type was no longer manufactured
in the Saint Augustine area by 1675 and thus would not have been
available in any quantities for use in the Castillo construction
(Bostwick n.d.).


References Cited

Bostwick, John A.
n.d. Aboriginal Ceramics in Pre-18th Century Colonial
St. Augustine, Florida: The de Leon Site. Conference
on Historic Site Archaeology Papers. In press.

Chatelain, Verne E.
1941 The Defenses of Spanish Florida 1565 to 1763. Carnegid
Institution of Washington Publication 511. Washington.

Goggin, John M.
1964 Indian and Spanish Selected Writings. University of
Miami Press, Coral Gables.

1968 Spanish Majolica in the New World: Types of the
Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries. Yale University
Publications in Anthropology, No. 72.

Griffin, John W. and Hale G. Smith
1949 Nocoroco, A Timucua Village of 1605, Now in Tomoka
State Park. Florida Historical Quarterly 27:340-361.

Harrington, J. C., Albert C. Manucy and John M. Goggin
1955 Archaeological Excavations in the Courtyard of
Castillo de San Marcos, St. Augustine, Florida.
Florida Historical Quarterly 34:101-141.

Manucy, Albert C.
1942 The Building of Castillo de San Marcos. National
Park Service Interpretive Series, History, No. 1.

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

Tebeau, Charlton W.
1971 A History of Florida. University of Miami Press,
Coral Gables.

August 1975
(Revised December 1976)


Wilfred T. Neill

Throughout most parts of the world, the arrival of Western
civilization presaged the disappearance of most if not all ab-
original technologies. Yet curiously, few studies have been made
of the decline of a particular technology in a particular region.
In Florida, archaeological and ethnographic materials are adequate
to permit some analysis of the decline of knapping, the ancient
technique of chipping flint or other materials.

In early historic times, ca. A.D. 1500-1600, the Florida
tribes received only a small amount of Spanish trade goods, and
continued to turn out flint tools and weapons. One site of this
period, Dunn's Creek Mound, yielded a disc chipped from bottle
glass (Smith 1965:13).

The effect of Western civilization on aboriginal cultures
waxed strong in the early seventeenth century. Archaeologists
have defined three coeval aboriginal-Spanish mission periods in
northern Florida: Leon-Jefferson (northwest), Potano (north-
central), and St. Augustine (northeast). The missionized Indians
continued to make flint implements. A site of the Leon-Jefferson
period, Fort San Luis in Leon County, produced a scraper knapped
from dark green glass (Boyd et al. 1951:PI VI, 6) and a gunflint
of native stone. Such gunflints were also recovered from the
Scott Miller and Pine Tuft sites in Jefferson County (Smith
1956:67). A site of the St. Augustine Period, Wright's Landing
in St. Johns County, produced a unique specimen--the base of a
Chinese porcelain bowl that had been chipped into a scraper
(Smith 1956:74).

Spanish influence was minor in most of peninsular Florida,
where aboriginal flint-working continued until the early eigh-
teenth century. At that time, the tribes of the state, mission-
ized or not, were virtually exterminated by English troops and
their Creek Indian allies. Not surprisingly, few Florida sites
fall in the period between the disappearance of the aborigines
and the arrival of the Seminole. One that may do so is Rocky
Point, in Hillsborough County. Seemingly it was occupied by a
few Spaniards and Indians who were smoking oysters, and burning
the shells for quicklime to be used in mortar and cement (Neill
1968). Knapped items from the site included one rude flint chop-
per, one scrap of dark green bottle glass from which a few spalls
had been chopstruck, and one utilized flake of similar glass.

Soon after the disappearance of the Florida tribes, bands
of Hitchiti-speaking Indians began moving south from Georgia.
Settling first in northern Florida, they formed the nucleus of

The Florida Anthropologist, vol. 30, no. 1, March 1977


what came to be called the Seminole. In time, some Creek-speak-
ing Indians were also removed to Florida, there to become Seminole.
The Seminole were well supplied with European weapons and tools
that obviated the necessity of turning out flint work. Note, for
example, a 1783 list of goods regarded by the English as being
necessary for the Indians if their friendship was to be retained
(Lockey 1949:162). Among other things, the list included mus-
kets, hatchets, knives, butcher knives, carpenters' and coopers'
tools, scissors, razors, and augurs.

Although the Seminole were armed with flintlock guns, they
continued to use the bow and arrow, albeit mostly for hunting
rather than for war. However, they had no call to chip arrowheads,
for the arrow was tipped not with a flint point but with a cone
of sheet metal. Nevertheless, these Indians retained the art of
knapping. Thus, they sometimes made their own gunflints from local
stone. Such gunflints have been found at several Seminole village
sites in Central Florida

At Bowlegs Old Plantation in Marion County, I found a tightly
clustered group of six gunflints, four imported but two of local
material. The specimens of Seminole manufacture are crude compared
with those turned out by professional European knappers, men who
supplied the demand for gun, pistol, and strike-a-light flints.
Another Marion County site, Tsalo ("Charley") Emathla's Town, pro-
duced two imported gunflints and one of local stone. At the
Zetrouer site, a Seminole burial in Alachua County, excavated by
Goggin et al. (1949) contained gunflint of local chert with the
grave goods (Smith 1956:47-48).

Also in Central Florida, the Seminole took to chipping scra-
pers from fragments of dark green bottle glass. Some of these,
such as a side-scraper and a plano-convex scraper, were shaped much
like their earlier counterparts in flint. These Indians likewise
chipped an occasional endscraper from an appropriately shaped scrap
of bottle glass. A unique specimen, from Bowlegs Old Plantation,
was made from the "kick-up" of a bottle. The "kick-up" fits the hand,
and a part of its edge, the line along which it once met the bottom
of the bottle, was steeply chipped to firm a scraping edge. Many
unmodified fragments of bottle glass were also used by the Seminole
as scraping or cutting tools, and so were minutely use-spalled
along one or more edges. They are counterparts of utilized flint

Bottle glass is thick, suitable for the knapping of heavy
scrapers. Small bits of thin glass, usually clear or brown, were
chipped by the Seminole into counterparts of the so-called "finger-
nail" scraper. This is a more or less circular form with steeply
retouched edges. A unique specimen is a side-scraper of thin,
flat, greenish-blue glass, from Osceola's Village site in Marion
County (Neill 1955:243-244).


By the end of Seminole Wars, the Indians had moved into the
wilderness of South Florida. Even there, one knapping technique
was retained into modern times. Mark Harrington (1951) was in
the Everglades with a Mikasuki Seminole named Robert Osceola
(uncle of a better-known Cow Creek Seminole of the same name).
The Indian struck off a sharp flake from a broken bottle, and
used it to cut a deeply imbedded splinter from Harrington's heel.

Having read Harrington's article, I asked an elderly Mikasuki,
Charlie Cypress, about the use of glass flakes as cutting tools.
Using a piece of glass I had brought, he promptly struck from it
a series of long, narrow blades, rapping them off with the metal
end of a heavy clasp-knife. Each blade was nearly an inch long
and a quarter-inch wide, and, of course, exceedingly sharp.
Charlie explained that the glass silvers were used to open infected
places, and to let blood in connection with certain curing prac-

Thus, the art of knapping was for a time applied by the
Seminole to the manufacture of gunflints, and was also transferred
from flint to glass in the manufacture of scrapers. The last
trace of the art is the striking off of glass slivers, for use in
minor surgery.

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, Gainesville.

Goggin, John M., M. E. Godwin, E. Hester, D. Prange, and
R. Spangenberg
1949 An Historic Indian Burial, Alachua County, Florida.
Florida Anthropologist 2:10-25.

Harrington, M. R.
1953 Seminole Surgeon. The Masterkey 27:122. Southwest
Museum, Los Angeles.

Lockey, Joseph B.
1949 East Florida 1783-1785. University of California
Press, Berkeley.

Neill, Wilfred T.
1955 The Site of Osceola's Village in Marion County,
Florida. Florida Historical Quarterly 23:240-246.

1968 An Indian and Spanish Site on Tampa Bay, Florida.
Florida Anthropologist 21:106-116.


Smith, Hale G.
1956 The European and the Indian. Florida Anthropological
Society Publications, No. 4, Gainesville.

New Port Richey, Florida
May 1975

Fig. 1.

Side-scraper, a, and plano-convex
scraper, b, both from Bowlegs Old
Plantation site, Marion County, Florida.
Horizontal line equals one inch.


George R. Ferguson and Wilfred T. Neill

Bullen (1968:46) originally described the Santa Fe projec-
tile point type, noting that it was of Late Paleo-Indian age.
In a later, revised description (1975:6), he listed it as
possibly of Late Paleo-Indian province and probably extending
into Late Dalton times.

This temporal placement of the point has been inferred
largely from typology, for stratigraphic data lacking. Although
Gogg (1950:Fig. 21, m-n, p) found Santa Fe points in his so-
called "Santa Fe lithic complex", it is now clear that this com-
plex, with projective points ranging from Suwannee to Florida
Archaic Stemmed, was a composite of materials from several periods.
This paper examines the distribution of Santa Fe points at three
localities in western Pasco County, Florida, where they have
been collected under circumstances suggesting they are indeed old.
These three locations are the "coral quarries" of coastal Pasco
County, the Congress Street locality, and a site of Port

The "Coral Quarries"

In another paper (Neill and Ferguson n.d.), we have dis-
cussed the presence of "coral quarries" at some length. In brief,
these are locations where prehistoric Indians quarried silicified
coral heads along the Gulf Coast of Pasco County. The quarrying
and knapping stations are strung out virtually the full length of
the county's coastline. They were mostly under shallow water un-
til modern times, when the coastal marshes were drained by a net-
work of artificial canals.

Most projectile points from the "coral quarries" are but
lightly patinated. They belong chiefly to Late Preceramic Archaic
period and the somewhat later, basally-notched types. On the
other hand, the "coral quarries" also yield Tallahassee points,
and these are very heavily patinated, the blade edges being al-
most chalky. The quarries likewise produce occasional Santa Fe
points, which are patinated to the same degree as the Tallahassee.

Of course, degree of patination is not an infallible cri-
terion of age for it also varies according to the material and
environment. But in this case all the projectile points are of
the same material and come from the same salt-marsh environment.
Any marked differences in patination among them should reflect
differences in age. In other words, the Santa Fe points should
be considerably older than the Late Preceramic Archaic types and

The Florida Anthropologist, vol. 30, no. 1, March 1977


and roughly as old as the Tallahassee. The latter have been re-
garded by Bullen (1975: 6) as of Late Dalton age. Two Santa Fe
points from the "coral quarries" west of New Port Richey are
shown in Figure 1, a-b).

The Congress Street Locality

Congress Street forms the eastern boundary of New Port Richey.
We refer to it as a locality rather than a site, for it is--or
was--a series of sites. Most of these were revealed briefly, then
destroyed, by bulldozing operations preceding the construction of
subdivisions. Near the northern end of Congress Street, a bull-
dozer, working in deep sand, in one small area brought up seven
Santa Fe points. (See Fig. 1, c-f). With the points was the left
second upper incisor of a horse (Equus sp.)

The chisel-like edge of the tooth had been blunted, possibly
through use as a tool. At least we have not seen such blunting on
Equus incisor from Pleistocene sites that antedate the arrival of
man in Florida. In other words, the makers of Santa Fe points
may have used a horse incisor in the same way that later Indians
used a beaver incisor as a chisel. According to Dr. S. David Webb
of the Florida State Museum, it is not possible to assign the
tooth to any particular species of Equus. Four factors militate
against the likelihood that it is from a modern horse: (1) deep
position of the specimen; (2) considerable degree of minerali-
zation; (3) wear along the tooth's edge; and (4) erosion of the
tooth's surface--erosion characteristic of bones that have long
received soil acids that filter down through deep sand. It may
be significant that a fragment of mammoth or mastodon ivory was
unearthed at a spot about 50 yards northeast of the locality
where the horse tooth and the Santa Fe points were dug up.

It could be argued that the users of Santa Fe points were
not contemporary with the Pleistocene horse; that they merely
picked up the fossilized tooth of beast that had already become
extinct by their time. This argument cannot be refuted. However,
it is worth noting that some species of Equus persisted in
Florida at least until Late Wisconsin or Early Recent times
(Martin and Webb 1974:143). At the Devil's Den site, Levy County,
Florida, remains of this horse were found along with apparently
contemporaneus remains of man and the domestic dog in a stratum
said to date back to about 6000 B.C.. The basis of this date,
surprisingly late for horse, has not elucidated; but at any
rate, the finds from this site do not conflict with the idea that
the horse was present in Florida around Late Paleo-Indian to
Late Dalton times.


a b

aiNlllt_ 1 [ I I i_ I__ Il i1_ i__ tt _;.2

Figure 1.

a, b, Santa Fe points from the "coral quarries";
c-f, Santa Fe points from the Congress Street
locality; g, Kirk Corner-Notched point; h,
Dalton point.


As already mentioned, the Congress Street locality was a
series of disturbed sites. In the vicinity of the Santa Fe point
finds, the only other artifacts to be disclosed were, with one
exception, those of the Safety Harbor period. Artifacts of that
period were at the surface, not deeply buried. The single excep-
tion was a deeply buried projectile point, thought to be a Kirk
Corner Notched (Fig. 1, g). This type has not previously been
reported from Florida, but we have other specimens of it. There
is no certainty that the Kirk Corner Notched and the Santa Fe
points came from the same level; but their being unearthed at the
same spot is interesting and, perhaps, significant.

Another Pasco County site, about three miles east of
Port Richey, has produced one Santa Fe point, one Dalton (Fig. 1,
h), and one Arredondo. All of this material was unearthed by a
bulldozer from beneath deep sand.

In summary, then, the mode of occurrence of Santa Fe points
is consistent enough with their assignment to the Dalton period.


We are indebted to Dr. S. David Webb for advice regarding
the identity of the Congress Street tooth. David Mitchell and
Dewey Mitchell kindly permitted us to examine early projectile
points in their collections. Don Carr made the photographs
that accompany the present article.

References Cited

Bullen, Ripley P.
1968 A Guide to the Identification of Florida Projectile
Points. Florida State Museum, Gainesville.

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

Goggin, John M.
1950 An Early Lithic Complex from Central Florida.
American Antiguity 16:46-49.

Martin, Robert A., and S. David Webb
1974 Late Plesitocene Mammals from the Devil's Den Fauna,
Levy County. In Pleistocene Mammals of Florida,
S. David Webb, ed., pp. 114-145. University Presses
of Florida, Gainesville.

Neill, Wilfred T. and George R. Ferguson
n.d. Submerged Shell Deposits of Tampa Bay: Are they
Middens? Manuscript submitted for publication.

September 1975
New Port Richey, Florida


Richard R. Remington

The purpose of this report is to make known the discovery
of an engraved shell gorget in a burial mound, 8-Lv-99, located
about two miles west of Manatee State Park and some three hundred
yards south of Manatee Road in Levy County, Florida. The gorget
was uncovered by Richard R. Remington and Wilfred LaBossiere,
while digging in this mound. The reader must bear in mind that
at the time of this discovery the author was an artifact hunter
and had little knowledge of the proper method to excavate and
record his findings. Some notes were taken, however, and this
report is based upon those notes and recollections.

Upon locating the mound it was noted that several pot-holes
had already been dug previously, in apparently random locations.
There was evidence of weathered human bone scattered in the fill
but no sign of pottery or shell. Our test holes were also dug in
random locations but as far away as practical from the previous
holes in an attempt to preserve as much integrity as possible.
The mound was approximately 45 by 52 feet in an elliptical shape
with the major axis running east and west. The mound was rela-
tively flat on top with a maximum height of about 4 feet above
the existing terrain. All test holes were at 4 by 4 feet and
stripped down in 4-inch layers. After vegetation was cleared
from an area charcoal was encountered within the first few inches.
No records of strata were noted.

Several burials were uncovered; most were bundles with the
bones lying haphazard order and not in anatomical order. Bones
were in good to excellent condition. Most skulls had been
crushed by the weight of the fill and were filled with sand. It
was noted that all burials with bones in anatomical order were
lying in an east and west direction with the head to the west and
the feet to the east. Burials were resting on a platform about
2 by 6 feet, composed of clay with limestone chunks imbedded in
it. Apparently the clay was mixed with water until a soupy mix-
ture was produced, then poured into a pre-dug form and limerock
chunks mixed in. Then this mixture was allowed to harden before
internment because no body or bone impressions could be ascertained.

On the west side of the mound was a multiple burial of at
least two adults, but with only one skull present. The long bones
appeared to have been played out parallel to each other in ana-
tomical order east and west. Bones and surrounding fill were
covered with a large amount of red ochre. A polished stone celt
of gray-green rock was found near the head and a chunk of quartz
was found near the feet. The celt is 5-1/2 by 2-3/4 inches

The Florida Anthropologist, vol. 30, no. 1, March 1977


with a sharpened bit and a battered poll. The quartz appears to
have been worked, it is approximately an inch in diameter and has
no particular shape.

The shell gorget illustrated below was found in the south
side of the mound, approximately a foot below the top surface,
concave side down. Under the gorget were several small pieces
of thin shell which later were restored and discovered to have
been touching the gorget. This was determined by a red worm
track which appears on the concave side of the gorget while a
mirror image of the worm track appears on the convex side of the
shell pieces. Apparently the thin shell pieces were part of a
cover or another shell gorget.

The gorget, 3-1/2 inches in diameter, is apparently a
Southern Cult spider motif (Figure 1). It closely resembles the
lower left-hand gorget of the group in the upper left-hand corner
of Plate 48 in Fundaburk and Foreman's Sun Circles and Human Hands.

Records at the Florida State Museum indicate that a surface
collection of sherds had previously been made from a presumed
village area 200 yards northwest of the mound. All of the sherds
were Alachua tradition types and the mound probably was built by
the village inhabitants after ca. A.D. 1200.

My thanks to Ripley P. Bullen and Gerry Evans, of the
Florida State Museum, for their encouragement and help and also
to Stephen Travis for his photography.

Chiefland, Florida
September 18, 1975

Fig. 1. Spider gorget.


Jay Palmer and J. Raymond Williams

Two different and unrelated phenomena may be present in
Florida shell middens which have not been adequately examined or
explained. One of these is the presence of the mineral goethite
(Fe203.H20 also written FeO.OH), found in some middens, while the
second is the more frequent presence of calcareous lenses some-
times covering large areas of the midden. Goethite would not seem
likely in shell middens because of the moderately acidic condition
needed for its formation. The calcareous lenses are usually
thought to occur naturally; however, we propose that they may fre-
quently be a result of human activity and offer evidence of how
this could occur. Both may reveal something about the formation
of the midden, site features, or disturbance within the site.

Small, hard, reddish-brown nodules (less than 1 mm to 9 mm
in diameter) found in a shell midden were analyzed using thermo-
gravimetric and x-ray diffraction techniques. The ignition loss
obtained between 300-7000C (9.6%) on the nodules compared favorably
with that required for goethite (10.1%), and x-ray diffraction
analysis done by the University of South Florida, Department of
Geology, confirm them as goethite.

The pH values in the upper levels of shell middens are
normally neutral to moderately acidic. They become more alkaline
toward the lower levels due to decreasing amounts of humic material.
The range for all levels of middens at which the authors have
worked is 6.4 to 8.6. This indicates that in the upper levels
there is little or no combination of humic acids in the soil with
free calcium from the shell deposits (the pH of calcium humate
was calculated to be close to 9.4). Calcium carbonate in equi-
librium with water containing carbon dioxide (calcium bicarbonate
solution) while humic acids give a pH of 3.9. The slightly
reddish-brown color of the calcined soil in some middens indi-
cates iron compounds are still dispersed throughout the soil.
Since iron is mobile only at a pH below 5.5 (Cornwall 1958:193)
it appears that it is being transported as ferric humates which
are being formed in humus that is not in contact with the mollusks
or shell fragments.

We suggest that decomposing animal and plant matter or
humus, along with sand and small amounts of clay were washed
into depressions, and also probably pits or where house struc-
tures were located, among the discarded molluscan remains. In
these depressions, iron would be leached from the clay and heme
by humic acids to form iron humates. Then, when the leach
solutions are neutralized by contact with calcium bicarbonate
solutions (pH 8.4), which are formed when the shell calcium

The Florida Anthropologist, vol. 30, no. 1, March 1977


carbonate is dissolved in carbon dioxide solutions derived from
decomposing plant and animal remains, goethite is precipitated
(Cornwall 1958:190-191; Marshall 1964:149).

We have attempted to explain the presence of goethite in
sites where the soil is neutral to alkaline. Moreover, the pres-
ence of features or disturbances, when they are not otherwise
determinable from stratigraphy. For example, we found what were
thought to be disturbed pits by mapping clusters of goethite
nodules. We suggest that the presence of goethite, contained in
a small area where it would not normally be formed, where there
were no pit outlines, and no observable disturbance, may mean
that such pits existed. Still to be resolved are uncertainties
as the time needed for the formation of goethite and what effect
later disturbances after the site was abandoned have on its for-

Hard calcareous lenses are normally found in the middle to
lower levels of middens. Mention of them in the literature begins
early (Walker 1885:857; Moore 1903:425) and continues to the
present (Laxson 1970:157; Coleman 1973:126). They range from
small concretions to extensive lenses that cover large areas of
the midden. The largest lense that we found was nearly 7 meters
in diameter although most averaged between 1 and 3 meters. They
are compacted very tightly and are extremely difficult to dig

Most lenses probably occur naturally, and are usually ex-
plained as such (Mowers 1972:129-131). It is believed that
water percolating through humus combines with detrital carbon
dioxide to form carbonic acid. This in turn dissolves calcium
carbonate shell in the upper part of the midden to form a cal-
cium bicarbonate solution. As the solution percolates downward,
it comes in contact with more alkaline soil and begins to precipi-
tate (pH of 8.2) calcium carbonate, which forms the cementing
matrix for the assorted large particles of shell.

We suggest, however, that many of these lenses and concre-
tions may also be caused by aboriginal fires. Laboratory analysis
shows that factions of these concretions passing through a no.
14 US Standard sieve have very low moisture contents (averaging
4.7%). This differs from a value of 15% to 20% from material of
about the same amount of organic matter (averaging about 9.4%)
taken from outside the lense or concretion. That material which
does not pass through a no. 14 sieve contains a large amount of
"spalled" shell. That is, the shells are highly fragmented, a
condition not found when natural cementation occurs. In addi-
tion, the lenses or concretions often contain a considerable
amount of charcoal and fragmented, burned bone. Some of them,


then, may represent areas where fires were built, causing the
shells to break down with some conversion to calcium oxide. The
differential thermal analyses of shells and other forms of cal-
cium carbonate show that decomposition to calcium oxide and car-
bon dioxide starts to occur around 600C in air. These tempera-
tures are apparently easily reached in a wood fire, where tempera-
tures of 625C are noted (Wertime 1973:675). Steam, which would
be present in a wood fire, decreases this initial decomposition
temperature 5% to 15% (Boynton 1966:157,248,278). We were able
to confirm this in our laboratory experiments. This calcium oxide,
when it contacts solutions of calcium bicarbonate, would precipi-
tate calcium carbonate. This would act as a binder for the sand
grains, spalled shell, and fragmented bone creating the hard
lenses or concretions.

These fire-caused lenses, then, when plotted horizontally,
may give us additional information about the site or site use,
e.g., the size of the lens may be correlated with the length of
time an area was used for fires.

References Cited

Boynton, Robert S.
1966 Chemistry and Technology of Lime and Limestone.
Interscience Publishers, Div. John Wiley and Sons,
Inc., New York.

Coleman, Wesley F.
1973 Site DA-141, Dade County, Florida. Florida Anthro-
pologist 26:126-128.

Cornwall, I. W.
1958 Soils for the Archaeologist. Phoenix House Ltd.,

Laxon, D. D.
1970 Seven Sawgrass Middens in Dade and Broward Counties,
Florida. Florida Anthropologist 23:151-158.

Marshall, C. E.
1964 The Physical Chemistry and Mineralogy of Soils I.
John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York.

Moore, Clarence B.
1903 Certain Aboriginal Mounds of the Florida Central West
Coast. Journal of the Academy of Natural Science of
Philadelphia 12:364-438.

Mowers, Bert
1972 Concretions Associated with Glades Prehistoric Sites.
Florida Anthropologist 25:129-131.



Walker, S. T.
1885 Mounds and Shell Heaps on the West Coast of Florida.
Smithsonian Institution Annual Report for 1883,
pp. 854-868.

Wertime, Theodore A.
1973 Pyrotechnology: Man's First Industrial Uses of
Fire. American Scientist 61:670-682.

Tampa, Florida
September, 1975


Kathleen Deagan

Examples of Seminole cane baskets are rare in collections of
Southeastern basketry, and examples dating from the time of the
Seminole wars (1817-1842) are virtually unknown. The basket de-
scribed in this paper is believed to date from the early 1830's,
and has been in the possession of a Williston, Florida, family
since that time. The family originally settled at Wacahoota,
which is located near Williston in the north-central part of the
state. "Wacahoota" is a Muskogee word meaning cowpenn", a sur-
vival from the occupation of the cattle-keeping Seminole who
were once in this area (Loughridge 1914:19). "Waca" comes from
the Spanish word for cow, "vaca".

Jonathan Tyner was the great-grandfather of Mims Mattair,
the present owner of the basket. According to family tradition
and documents, Jonathan Tyner came to Florida to fight with
Andrew Jackson in the Indian wars of 1818. Liking the country,
he settled near Wacahoota in 1832 where he raised cattle and
farmed. In 1826 his daughter, Fanny, who was to become the
grandmother of Mims Mattair had been born (Mattair Family Bible).
When Fanny Tyner was six or seven years old, her mother received
the basket from the Seminoles in the area who occasionally came
to the Tyner home to trade. The Indians came to trade huckle-
berries for milk, since their cattle did not produce milk, and
the cattle of the Tyners did. (Oral tradition accounts for this
by explaining that the Indians allowed their cattle to range
loosely in the area, while the settlers kept their cattle in
grazing land.) The basket was acquired through this trade,
either exchanged directly for milk or as a container for the
huckleberries (Oral History Project 1972).

In 1823, the Treaty of Moultrie Creek had set the northern
boundary of the Seminole lands from 15 to 20 miles south of
Wacahoota (Fairbanks 1973:21). Apparently the Indians who
traded with the Mattairs had either strayed out of the reserva-
tion area or remained in the Wacahoota area after 1823.

The basket passed into the possession of Fanny Tyner, and
was inherited by her grandson, Mims Mattair. It is presently
at the Florida State Museum, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Mattair.


The basket is plaited of split cane in a twilled weave,
producing a herringbone effect. Cane is a common weaving element
in the southeast, and the usual species is Arundinaria tecta

The Florida Anthropologist, vol. 30, no. 29, March 1977


Fig. 1. Construction detail (exterior).

1st and 2nd


--"-------- m~ END


(Walt.) Muhl (Mason 1902:201). There is no decoration on the
basket, either in weave pattern or color. The bottom is of a
light golden-brown color, probably the closest approximately
of the original color that is preserved on the basket. The
sides are of a darker brown color, while the inside is a dull
grey-brown, evidently from dust collected on the more porous
inner surface of the cane.

The basket is small, with a round mouth and a square bottom.
The dimensions are: Mouth 11.2 cm diameter; Base 10 cm
square; Depth 7 cm; the capacity of this basket is approxi-
mately 3 cups, and it weighs 2 ounces. The function of this type
of basket is not documented among the Seminole; however, the
settlers who subsequently owned it used it as a container for
small objects such as thread and thimbles.

Construction Technique

The weft and the warp in this basket are of the same size
and are not distinguishable. For descriptive purposes the ele-
ments running from the base to the rim in a left-to-right direc-
tion are designated warp, and those running in a right-to-left
direction are designated weft.

The weave is twilled, and does not vary in any part of the
basket except the rim. Each side of the basket has 12 warp
strands and 12 weft strands. The warps on the walls of the bas-
ket follow the formula: over 4-under four-over 4-under 3-rim.
At two places in the basket, the last set of "under 3" has
"under 2" just before the rim. The warp strands on each wall
of the basket curve underneath the basket and up again to form
the wefts of the wall adjacent to them. The first two warp
strands at the left side of each basket wall curve down from the
rim to the base and across the center of the bottom in a counter-
clockwise direction, then up again to become the first two wefts
at the right side of the basket wall to the right. The other
ten warps on each basket wall curve downward and across the bottom
of the basket in a clockwise direction and become the wefts of
the basket wall to the left. Each strand is a warp on one side
and a weft on another, with 48 strands used in all (Fig. 1).

By this process the bottom is formed. The first two warps
on the right of each basket wall go across the bottom of the
basket through the center. The other warp strands from the bas-
ket walls make up the four quarters of the base; each quadrant
is comprised of the wefts from the wall which has it's lower
right corner adjacent to that quadrant. The over 4-under 4
pattern was consistently used in the construction of the bottom
as well as the sides.


The rim of the basket is made with a wrapped basketry tech-
nique. The warp strands on each side are bent to the right along
the top of the basket. This foundation is coil-wrapped with
split cane in an S-twist wrap. The weft strands are pushed under
this rim to the inside of the basket and are cut off at the base
of the rim (Fig. 2).

The cane weaving elements are frequently broken, particularly
where they bend at the base of the basket. In several places cane
splints have been inserted into the weave to replace or repair
broken elements. Four splints are twisted and two are flat cane;
all of them occur on the sides of the basket (Fig. 3).

The use of cane in basketmaking is a typically Southeastern
trait. The Seminole baskets of the 20th century, however, are
usually woven of palmetto leaves. Palmetto, as well as cane, was
used in the late 19th century by the Seminoles (MacCauley 1887:
517). Cane is the only material used by the Choctaw, the
Chitimacha, the Tunica, the Alibamu, and the Koasati for baskets,
and is a very common material for Creek baskets (Douglas 1941:

The combination of a round mouth with a square bottom is
also a common trait in Southeastern baskets, found among the
Creek, Seminole, Choctaw, Alibamu, Koasati, Cherokee, Tunica,
Shawnee, Kickapoo, and Chitimacha Indians (Douglas 1941:68).
This shape is not as typical of 20th century Seminole baskets
as it is of Creek or Choctaw 20th century baskets. Modern
Seminole baskets in the Florida State Museum's collection tend


Fig. 2. Expanded view of rim detail. Top is interior,
bottom is exterior.

Fig. 3. Bottom and top views of Seminole
basket. Approximately two thirds
actual size.


to be of a square, shallow sifter form or of a deep square or
rectangular form. The basket described in this paper resembles
Creek or Choctaw baskets in shape more than it does more recent
Seminole baskets. (See Douglas 1941, n.d.)

The technique of twilled weaving is typically found in
Southeastern basketry. This appears to be related to the
presence of cane in the area, since willing is found not only
in the Southeastern United States, but also in those areas of
the world where cane is abundant (Mason 1902).

It is interesting to note that both the Creek and the
Seminole Indians had a choice of weaving materials in their
basketry traditions; dogwood and cane for the Creeks and pal-
metto and cane for the Seminole. Most other Southeastern
Indians used only cane. The increasing use of palmetto through
time by the Seminole seems to represent a continuation of an
earlier Creek basketry tradition, but a continuation which has
been adapted to a new set of local conditions.

References Cited

Douglas, Frederick H.
1941 Three Creek Baskets. Denver Art Museum Notes in
Material Culture, No. 15.

n.d. A Choctaw Pack Basket. Denver Art Museum Notes in
Material Culture, No. 4.

Fairbanks, Charles
1973 The Florida Seminole People. Phoenix: Indian
Tribal Series.

Loughridge, D. D.
1914 English and Muskogee Dictionary. Reprinted 1964
by Frank Belvin. Okmulgee, Oklahoma.

McCauley, Clay
1887 The Seminole Indians of Florida. Bureau of
American Ethnology, Fifth Annual Report.

Mason, Otis T.
1902 Aboriginal American Basketry. Smithsonian Insti-
tution Annual Report. No. 128.

Oral History Transcript
1972 University of Florida Oral History Project. Inter-
view Transcript May 18, 1972, Mims Mattair. Trans-
cript on File in P. K. Yonge Library, Gainesville.


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