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PUBLISHED BY THE
FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY, INC.
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST is published quarterly in March,
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OFFICERS OF THE SOCIETY
President: George Percy
Div. of Archives, History and Records
Management, The Capitol, Tallahassee,
1st Vice President: Jerry Hyde
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2nd Vice President: Thomas Watson
203 Caroline Avenue
Panama City, FL 32401
Secretary: Marion M. Almy
5321 Avenida del Mare
Sarasota, FL 33581
Treasurer: Norcott Henriquez
1510 Dewey St., Hollywood,
Three years: Adelaide K. Bulle
Florida State Museum
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One year: Robert E. Johnson
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Editor: Jerald T. Milanich
Florida State Museum
Gainesville, FL 32611
Judith A. Bense
Dept. of Sociology and Anthropo-
logy, Univ. of West Florida
Kathleen A. Deagan
Dept. of Anthropology
Florida State University
Ann S. Cordell
University of Florida
Roger T. Grange, Jr.
Dept. of Anthropology
Univ. of South Florida
John W. Griffin
Cultural Resource Management, I
St. Augustine, Florida
VOLUME 31, NUMBER 3 SEPTEMBER 1978
Editor's Page .. .......... ......................... 74
The Archeological Potential of Soil Survey Reports,
by Marion M. Almy ............................. 75
Pre-Columbian Trade in Eastern United States as
Viewed from Florida,
by Ripley P. Bullen ........................... 92
Indian Plant Foods of the Florida Panhandle,
by Mabel K. Stockdale and Sally E. Bryenton .. 109
Salvage Excavations at the Brothers Site,
Sarasota County, Florida,
by Larry Goodwin, Jolee Pearson, and
John Fioroni ................................. 117
A Progress Report on the Florida Wooden Artifact
by Barbara A. Purdy .......................... 128
This issue of The Florida Anthropologist contains a
popularly-written article entitled "Indian Plant Foods of the
Florida Panhandle." A bibliography of selected publications
is included with the paper. Many of the subscribers to the
journal have requested that such non-technical but informative
articles be included from time to time. A similar article on
North-Central Florida will be published in the December issue.
Authors are urged to prepare similar, popularly written regional
or topical articles for future issues.
The December number of the journal will also feature
other papers on northern Florida. Occasionally, other entire
issues will be devoted to regions of the state or to related
topics. Individuals with ideas for such issues are asked
to correspond with the editor and together we can urge indi-
viduals who may be preparing pertinent articles or who might
write one to submit them for publication.
Beginning with the March number of 1979 The Florida
Anthropologist will assume a new format. The journal will be
reduced in actual size and will be printed by typesetting
rather than photo-offset. Although the size will probably
be seven by nine and one-half inches, the number of words per
page will remain the same. Hopefully, the journal will be
more professional in appearance and actual costs of printing
will be less than they are with the present system of
Readers traveling north in the fall may wish to attend
the annual meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference
being held in Knoxville, Tennessee on November 9-11, 1978.
Meetings will be at the Ramada Inn West, 7621 Kingston Pike.
Dr. Jefferson Chapman, University of Tennessee, is serving as
THE ARCHEOLOGICAL POTENTIAL OF SOIL SURVEY REPORTS
Marion Marable Almy
The majority of soils occurring in archeological contexts
are paleosols, buried soils which formed the landscape of the
past. Archeologists have frequently turned to paleopedology
for aid in providing relative chronologies for dating sites
(Michels 1973; Cornwall 1963; Campbell et al. 1967; and Hill
and Hevly 1968), in indicating how deposits were formed (Schmidt
1963), in providing information about past climate and environ-
ments (Joeffe 1941; Renfrew 1973), and in distinguishing natural
from man-made features (Heizer 1960; Cruxent 1962; Deetz and
Dethlefsen 1963). In contrast, the study of current soil
distributions, although suggested (Saucier 1966), has received
little attention in the literature; and, as far as the writer
is aware, little has been published on the value of soil survey
reports, relative to the execution and design of cultural
resource surveys, the major impetus to current Florida archeo-
This paper presents data obtained during a survey and
assessment of archeological sites in Sarasota County, Florida,
which illustrated that a knowledge of statistically significant
variations in the association of archeological sites and soil
types can be useful in preparing predictive models for the
distribution of prehistoric sites (Almy 1976). Initially however,
the collection of soil type data was only one part of a larger
project which recorded various environmental factors associated
with archeological sites. The research was conducted in Sarasota
while this writer was an intern with the Sarasota County Historical
Commission as part of the University of South Florida's graduate
program in Public Archeology. The over-all purpose of the
Sarasota County project was to define the archeological resource
base, formulate conservation recommendations for archeological
sites, and attempt the development of a predictive site distri-
bution model to assist the Historical Commission in their county-
wide preservation guidelines, and future cultural resource surveys.
Ideally, in a cultural resource survey, a scientist would
attempt to survey the subject area completely; but when faced
with large areas, sampling becomes necessary. Planning is there-
fore the key to technical, scientific, and financial efficiency;
predictive models which isolate and control for natural variables
affecting site distribution are often constructed through the
locational analysis of settlement. The key element in predictive
models is: Where in the total model for cultural resources of a
project area will sites most likely be found; and more importantly,
where will they least likely be found.
The Florida Anthropologist, vol. 31, no. 3, September 1978
The results of statistical analysis of soil-site association
data from Sarasota County can help provide such information;
and it is suggested that, when available, soil surveys should
be used as an additional tool in planning archeological survey
work in Florida.
For the Sarasota County research, a U.S. Department of
Agriculture "Soil Survey Report," published by the Soil Conser-
vaion Service, was obtained. As Figure 1 illustrates, soil
surveys are available for a number of counties. These usually
contain illustrated texts accompanied by a series of photo-map
base sheets with a scale of 1:20,000. Each sheet covers
approximately 12 square miles and is a portion of a controlled
mosaic based on polyconic projections (U.S. Department of
Agriculture 1976). As shown in Figure 2, the sheets contain a
variety of soil type data plus information on roads, buildings,
field patterns and changes in vegetation. In addition, the
Sarasota County soil survey was based on older aerial photo-
graphs (1948) so that former drainage patterns, coastline
configurations and natural vegetation zones, which have been
altered or destroyed in the interim by land clearing and/or
dredging operations, were visible. This was an added benefit
providing important, and otherwise unobtainable, additional
environmental data about this highly impacted coastal area.
Before discussing the results of data from the Sarasota
County survey, the methodology used by the Soil Conservation
Service in locating and mapping soil types will be briefly out-
lined in order to acquaint the reader with the type of data
provided in typical soil surveys. Prior to 1957, soil surveys
were based on general county maps, but after this date, the Soil
Conservation Service based its surveys on aerial photographs
taken at an altitude of 12,500 feet. With the use of a stereo-
scope and overlapping photographs, tentative lines are drawn on
the field sheets, i.e., aerial maps, which delineate sharp slopes
and breaks. However, detailed information about individual soil
types and other soil units of the landscape is obtained in the
field. Through examination of soil profiles by spade and auger, as
well as inspection of canals, dirt roads and other exposed soil
profiles, the soil scientist is able to obtain sufficient data
to determine the texture, structure, color, thickness, drainage,
slope, distribution and other qualities of the soil. External
features of the land, such as relief and native vegetation, are
also used as indicators of local soil types. The results of the
field survey provide a clear representation of natural landscape
with various soil boundary locations indicated by single lines
and symbols (U.S. Department of Agriculture 1960:3).
.. .. So,! 3 .
L. d "
Fig. 1. Counties where soil surveys have Fig. 2. Typical U.S. Department of Agr-
conservation agents have copies of surveys formation on roads, buildings, field
or information about the status of on-going patterns,and vegetation changes.
:.' f~~~ ~hPd
Sarasota Survey Data
In the Sarasota County survey, soil types at 79 archeo-
logical sites were identified from the soil survey maps. More
than one soil type was frequently recorded for a single
archeological site or complex; this is attributable to several
factors. First, within some large archeological complexes,
several soil types were clearly underlying the various components
of the complex. Secondly, because the locations of several
now-destroyed sites could not be designated more precisely than
a sixty-fourth of a section, it was necessary to assume more than
one soil type association. The third, and most important, factor
is that soil-type parameters in reality are not as clearly defined
as soil maps would seem to indicate. On a soil map, a soil division
line may indicate either an abrupt change or a gradual transition,
with no distinction between the two noted. It was therefore
suggested by the Sarasota County Soil Conservation Agent (Balduzzi,
personal communication, 1976) that when a site appeared to be
located within 100 to 150 feet of another soil type, the second
type should also initially be considered present at the archeo-
logical site. As a result, archeological sites and complexes
were associated with soil types 107 times rather than 79 times, as
would have been the case if there were simply a one-to-one
occurrence between a soil type and a site.
It was also found that while 49 soil types were present in
the county, archeological sites were found on only 16. To be
certain, however, that each soil type had been available to pre-
historic populations, the locations of known archeological sites
were carefully mapped on the soil survey maps. Sites were re-
corded along the Myakka River drainage in central Sarasota County
as well as in other interior areas, but the majority of sites
occurred in the western or coastal regions. All but one soil type
were found in areas of the county where sites were recorded. The
single exception was Ma (Man-made), a soil of recent origin re-
sulting from dredge and fill activities. Thus, prehistoric
populations had access to all then-existing soil types.
Still, the association of sites with the 16 soils was by no
means in proportion to the areal extent of each soil in the county.
For example, a preliminary analysis indicated that while less than
.5 percent of the county acreage is composed of Lakewood fine
sand (Lb), 13.1 percent of the recorded archeological sites were
associated with this soil type; only 2.2 percent of Sarasota
County acreage is classified as Pomello fine sand (Pf), but 18.7
percent of the recorded archeological sites were found on this soil.
In contrast, Immokalee fine sand (Ia), constitutes 29.3 percent of
the total county acreage, but has only 5.6 percent of the recorded
Because prehistoric sites apparently did not occur in pro-
portion to the surface area covered by each soil type, which would
have been the case if sites were randomly distributed (Plog
1971:50), several statistical tests were used to evaluate the
effect of soil types on the spatial distribution of archeo-
First, an Occurrence Rate was calculated because rates
indicate, or allow comparisons to be made between the number of
actual and the number of potential cases (Levin 1973:34). The
results appear in Table 1. For example, Aa (Adamsville fine
sand) has an Occurrenct Rate of only .0259, because there were
3 sites found on the soil type but it covered 10.8 percent of
the total county acreage; whereas Lb (Lakewood fine sand)
covered only .5 percent of the county, but 14 sites were found
on the soil, producing an Occurrence Rate of 26.2. As Table 1
illustrates, an apparently non-random distribution of archeo-
logical sites on soil types occurs in Sarasota County.
To statistically evaluate the distribution, the Binomial and
Poisson Distribution and the Chi-Square Test were employed; but
to examine the variables and their probability distributions,
several definitions and assumptions concerning the use of sta-
tistics were made. First, the definition of a sample was said
to be any subset of a statistical population. A statistical
population was defined as a subset of any variates about which
relevant inquiries are to be made (Thomas 1976:35). Although
many samples are (or should be) formed through random selection
of variates, any subset of a statistical population can be termed
a sample. This is because, regardless of the sampling procedure,
samples are bound to reflect, at least to some degree, the
character of the parent population (Thomas 1976:124-125).
Obviously, though, the sample used in the report (i.e., the
total number of known archeological sites in Sarasota County),
was not obtained by random selection. Based on Thomas' state-
ment, however, it is still possible to assume that the sample is,
at least to some degree, characteristic of the parent population,
the total number of archeological sites in the county. Further,
in utilizing the Binomial and Poisson Distribution, independently
occurring events were assumed; i.e., two events are independent
whenever the probability of A has no quantitative effect on B
(Thomas 1976:124). In reality, though, independent selection of
site location is not a valid assumption. The selection of site location
was dependent on many variables such as accessibility and
availability of fresh water and food. Nevertheless, to calculate
the tests of significance, it was assumed that the sample of
recorded archeological sites in Sarasota County was both random
The Binomial and Poisson Distribution Tests were calculated
for the Sarasota data to determine if the distribution of
Summary of Soil and Archeological Site Associations.
Soil Extent Percent Times Soil Occur-
Types in County of Soil Type Assoc. rence
County Acreage in County w/Site Rate
Total 375,040 100.0 107
archeological sites on soil types could, in this case, be the
operation of chance alone. The Poisson rather than the Binomial
Distribution was calculated when the expected frequency was
less than 5; conversely, when greater than 5, the Binomial
Distribution was computed (Snedecor and Cochran 1967:223).
According to the tests, the distribution of archeological
sites over 33 of the available 49 soil types was no more or less
than might be expected by chance alone based on the areal extent
of the soil types in the county. But, as Table 2 indicates, there
were 14 soils which had a probability falling into the
selected .05 critical region. These 14 soils represent a statis-
tically significant variance from chance distribution, and either
significantly more or fewer sites were observed than would be
expected by the operation of chance based upon the available area
of soil type in the county. To define the variance, the 14 soils
were divided into two groups based on site distribution.
Group I: More sites observed than expected; i.e.,
when fewer than the observed number of sites were ex-
pected, the statistically significant difference indi-
cated that more sites were located on the soil type than
would be expected by chance alone based on the area of the
soil type in the county. Soils in this group were:
Arzell fine sand (Ad), Coastal beach (Cb), Coastal beach
ridge (Cc), Lakewood fine (Lb), Parkwood (Pb), Pomello
fine (Pf), St. Lucie fine (Sc), Tidal marsh (Tb), and
Tidal Swamp (Tc).
Group II: Fewer sites observed than expected; i.e.,
when the expected frequency was higher than the observed,
then statistically significant differences indicated
fewer sites were found than would have been there by chance,
based upon the area of the soil type in the county.
Soils in this group were: Adamsville fine (Aa), Immokalee
fine (Ia), Plummer fine (Pd), Pompano fine (Pg), and
Pompano fine, shallow phase (Ph).
The significance of the two groups will be discussed later in
relation to the Chi-Square Test results.
The Chi-Square Test was calculated to investigate the possi-
bility that natural drainage was a factor influencing non-random
distribution of sites. This test was chosed because "it is a
very general test which can be used whenever we wish to evaluate
whether or not frequencies which have been empirically obtained
differ significantly from those which would be expected under a
certain set of theoretical assumptions" (Blalock 1960:212). The
theoretical assumption involved in the soil research was that if
there is no functional relationship between the distribution of
archeological sites and the natural drainage of the soils, then
Table 2. Poisson and Binomial Distribution Probabilities
Falling Within the 0.000 0.4999 Critical Region.
Soil Te Observed Expected Probab
Aa (Adamsville fine) 3 11.50 .002
Ad (Arzell fine) 4 0.32 .001
Cb (Coastal beach) 6 0.21 .001
Cc (Coastal beach ridges) 3 1.07 .024
Ia (Immokalee fine) 6 31.30 .001
Lb (Lakewood fine) 14 .05 .001
Pb (Parkwood fine) 6 0.32 .001
Pd (Plummer fine) 0 3.32 .036
Pf (Pomello fine) 20 2.35 .001
Pg (Pompano fine) 1 11.40 .001
Ph (Pompano fine, shallow) 0 3.75 .024
Sc (St. Lucie fine) 3 0.11 .001
Tb (Tidal marsh) 2 0.54 .001
Tc (Tidal swamp) 10 0.31 .001
Table 3. Chi-Square Test: Archeological Site Distribution
and Soil Drainage.
Sites Soils Soils To
Poorly Drained Well Drained
observed sites 9 7 16
Soils with no
observed sites 28 2 30
the two states of the variables could be expected to sort inde-
pendently and hence randomly. To investigate, the "Poorly
Drained" and "Well Drained" categories in Table 3 were created
by collapsing the descriptive soil drainage classifications in
the Sarasota County Soil Survey into two groups (U.S. Department
of Agriculture 1959:59-61). The total number of available
soils became 46 because two soils had variable drainage (no sites
were found on these two soils) and could not be placed in any
category according to the Soil Survey Report. As Table 3
indicates, there were 37 poorly drained and nine well drained
The null hypothesis for the Chi-Square Test was stated as
follows: If there is no functional relationship between the
distribution of sites and natural drainage of the soils, then a
random distribution would be expected, resulting in more archeo-
logical sites being found on poorly drained soils because there
are more poorly drained soils available. The research hypothesis
stated that: The distribution of archeological sites in Sarasota
County will vary in relation to the natural drainage of soil types;
and although more soils in the county are poorly drained, more
archeological sites will be found on the better drained soils.
The -.05 confidence level was selected, and computing the 2x2
Contingency Table with the Yates Correction produced a X2 of
6.924. With 1 degree of freedom the null hypothesis could be
rejected at P<.05 and P<.01 (X2 with 1 d.f. = 6.635). Based on the
soil type data and the assumption of random and independent events,
the Chi-Square Test disclosed statistically significant variations
between the observed and expected frequencies of archeological
sites, indicating a functional relationship between natural
drainage of soils and the distribution of archeological sites.
Not surprisingly, the results of the Chi-Square Test dove-
tail with the Occurrence Rate (Table 1) and the Group I soils of
the Binomial and Poisson Distribution Tests (Table 2). The ma-
jority of the soils with high Occurrence Rates and the Soils in
Group I (Those soils with significantly more sites observed than
expected based on the areal extent of the soil type) have good to
excessive natural drainage and/or are characterized in the
Sarasota County Soil Survey Report (1959) as occurring in isolated
"islands" in elevated positions, in ridges, or as soils unaffected
by the ground water table. Interestingly, though, in Group I
there are also three coastal or tidal soils (Arzell, Ad; Tidal
swamp, Tc; Tidal marsh, Tb) which can be inundated at high tide;
however, a review of the literature referring to sea level change
during the last few thousand years reveals a gradual rise in
coastal and ground water from the Paleo-Indian, Archaic, Orange
and Perico Island periods (Bullen 1975; Ruppe' 1974; Clausen et al.
1975). Apparently, many sites on the coastal strand and adjacent
to streams and lakes were slowly inundated. The implication is
that originally many water-side sites were not on such easily
flooded ground; instead, these currently marshy soils were
probably dryer when prehistoric people occupied the land.
For example, in Sarasota County, Parkwood fine, Pomello and
Lakewood soils (which have a statistically significant greater
number of sites than expected based on their areal extent) are
often found adjacent to the Arzell, Tidal swamp and marsh soils;
and being just inland or behind the wetter soils, it is feasible
to suggest that these, and other similar better drained soils
found adjacent to tidal soils, were at one time the soils
utilized for settlement. Tidal swamp and marsh soils existed,
but formed beaches between the higher soils and adjacent water.
Portions of the higher and dryer soils were gradually transformed
into swampy tidal soils by slowly rising waters, a process that
is continuing today.
In contrast, the Group II soils in the Binomial and Poisson
Distribution (those soils with significantly fewer observed sites
than expected based on the areal extent of soil type acreage),
were either poorly drained soils which occur in the cabbage and
palmetto and pine flatwoods, often covered with standing water
in the wet season; or they were soils which occupy the low-lying
seasonally flooded ponds, sloughs, and swampy areas sometimes
adjacent to the higher and dryer soils. Additionally, the soils
in Group II (poor natural drainage) compose almost 50 percent of
the total soil acreage in Sarasota County (204,997 acres), but
less than 10 percent of the recorded archeological sites have
been found on them; whereas Group I soils, those with more sites
observed than expected by chance, compose only 5.4 percent of
total county acreage, but 63.5 percent of the recorded archeo-
logical sites are located on them. The remaining sites occurred
on soils which had statistically neither more nor fewer sites
than would be expected based on the areal extent of the soil
types. These soils will be mentioned later.
Therefore, based on statistical tests which assumed random
and independently occurring events, recorded archeological sites
in Sarasota County are not randomly distributed, but bear a
functional relationship to the natural drainage of the soils.
The functional relationship can also be accepted as reality if
it is assumed that a sample is, at least to some degree,
characteristic of the parent population (Thomas 1976:124).
Use of Soil Type Data in Planning Archeological Surveys
Environmental factors, especially topographic features, are
predictors of areas frequented by prehistoric people; and among
the areas most commonly exploited in both coastal and interior
regions were streams, their confluences, and terraces above the
flood plain. As a result, this type of environment was selected
to demonstrate the usefulness of soil survey reports in planning
and implementing archeological surveys.
-. .. -- I i
( '- *f' "
Fig. 3. Comparison of USGS quadrangle map a, Sections 21 and
28 (T38S, R19E) in Sarasota County with the more detailed U.S.
Department of Agriculture aerial soil survey map for the same
area, b. Note difference in amount of data provided in soil
survey aerial and its greater applicability in designing arch-
eological surveys as described in text.
la ,, '& '- '
eological surveys as described in text.
Figure 3 illustrates two excerpts of the same area, one from a
USGS quadrangle map (3a) and the other from a U.S. Soil Survey
map (3b). The 2 small streams or drainages are located approxi-
mately four miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico in Sarasota
County. Cowpen Slough on the east and an named stream on the
west flow southwest to join Salt Creek which drains into
Shakett Creek and Dona Bay in Nokomis, Florida.
Sections 21 and 28 from the Laurel 7.5 minute USGS quadrangle
map show a marsh or swampy area near the confluence of the
streams; to the north is an expanse of open land (which, based
on a knowledge of local topography, can be assumed to be pine and
palmetto flatwoods). Farther to the north in section 21 and to
the south in section 28 are intermittent ponds. No elevation is
recorded in either section; in fact, the closest contour on this
Laurel quadrangle is a 20 foot elevation about four miles to the
north. With the information from the Laurel map excerpt, only
three facts can be assumed: There are (1) two small drainages,
(2) a marsh area at their confluence, and (3) an open pine-
palmetto flatwoods with intermittent ponds.
By contrast, examination of Figure. 3b and the .accompanying
soil survey report (U.S. Department of Agriculture 1959) is far
more informative about the survey area. For example, along the
two drainages, Pomello fine sand (Pf), which is known from the
statistical analysis to have significantly more sites on the
soil than expected by chance (Group 1 soils), is found parallel
to both drainages. The soil is described in the soil report as
occupying slightly elevated positions and may, in this situation,
form a slightly elevated terrace above the creek. Secondly, the
soil survey describes Se (Sunniland fine sand, deep phase), found
in the area between the two streams, as having poor (marshy area)
to moderate (pine flatwoods) drainage and level terrain (U.S.
Department of Agriculture 1959:36). But perhaps most importantly,
in its virgin state Sunniland fine sand "has a distinctive
growth of palmetto that frequently reaches six to seven feet in
height. This growth is more...luxuriant than...on most soils
of the flatwoods" (U.S. Department of Agriculture 1959:36).
While Sunniland is one of the 33 soils in the Binomial and Poisson
Distribution Test on which site distribution was termed random
(neither more nor fewer sites were found on the soil type than
could be expected by chance based on the areal extent of the soil),
factors such as wild life and vegetation cover should be indi-
vidually evaluated on such soils to ascertain the probability of
the variable influencing the choice of a site location. In this
instance, it can be easily anticipated that the area covered by
the six to seven foot palmettos will not be quickly, or perhaps
ever, surveyed effectively. But of more importance is the
possiblility that the area of dense palmettos may not have been
particularly attractive to prehistoric man when just across either
stream is a slightly elevated soil (Pomello fine, Pf) with
"less vigorous and less abundant" vegetation cover than on many
other soils (U.S. Department of Agriculture 1959:31), and which,
according to the statistical analysis, was more often chosen as
a site location.
Surrounding the Pomello fine soil (Pf) is Immokalee fine
sand (Ia), which the statistical research defined as a Group II
soil having a statistically significant fewer number of sites
on it than could be expected by chance based on the areal extent
of the soil. This is a somewhat poorly drained sandy soil of the
saw-palmetto praries and pine flatwoods which is inundated during
the rainy season, although "...large expanses of the soil provide
natural habitats for many kinds of wildfowl and game including
quail, turkey and deer" (U.S. Department of Agriculture 1959:20).
Survey time permitting, transects or other forms of sampling
might be carried out on the Immokalee soil surrounding the
drainages. Even though Ia is a Group II soil, several sites have
been found on this soil type in Sarasota County. In each instance,
however, the soil type adjoined a creek, bayou, or spring, and
no better drained soils were in the vicinity. The remainder of
the soils in the two sections of the survey area are either soils
which make up seasonally intermittent ponds and stream beds
(Pg, Ra, Pd, Dc, Sa), or Adamsville fine sand (Aa), another poorly
drained soil found in the cabbage and pinewoods which the soil
research classified as Group II.
Thus, based on the statistical research in Sarasota County,
the text and map excerpt from the soil survey report clearly define
several locations in the survey unit where sites are least likely
to be found as well as an area where prehistoric remains are more
apt to be recovered.
This phenomenon, soil-site association, is not, however,
limited to southwest Florida. It has been identified in several
geographically diverse locations. For example, the relation be-
tween soil type and site occurrence and its usefulness to archeol-
ogy has for a long time been recognized in the Netherlands
(Moddernman 1948:209-212; Edelman 1951:307-325; and Deeker and
DeWeerd 1976:169-178), and its utility to the archeology of the
Mississippi Valley was recorded more than 10 years ago:
...it is well recognized that most prehistoric sites
in the Lower Mississippi Valley are closely associated
with the natural levees of the present and abandoned
courses of the Mississippi River, as well as those of
its tributaries. These levees are characterized almost
exclusively by a group of eight to ten soil types com-
prising two or three soil associations which normally
do not appear on the other landforms in the alluvial
valley. On the other hand, the broad backswamp areas
of the alluvial valley that are almost devoid of sites
are likewise characterized by certain soil types.
More recently, Lovis (1976:367) included soil types and soil
drainage data in a research design which was tested in a woodland
environment. Plog (1971:47), in discussing the Southwest, also
suggests that soil types and their drainage characteristics may
be isolated and controlled as natural variables affecting site
distribution. Soil-site associations may, in fact, serve the
archeologist most efficiently in those areas where limitations
of money and time necessitate restricting the survey to those
portions of a project area that are likely to contain the most
sites (Saucier 1966:421).
Aside from relying on soil survey reports to locate soil
types which may have offered prehistoric peoples high dry land
for occupation, the soils themselves can be used in some instances
to define former water courses; a series of poorly drained soils
can disclose the location of a former stream bed or lake. For
example, in an area of Delray muck near the Paleo-Indian and
Archaic period Little Salt Spring site in lower Sarasota County,
a number of burials, circa 6000 B.P., accompanied by well-
preserved wood, bone, and stone grave goods were encountered in
what appears to represent an extensive Archaic cemetery. The
muck and underlying peat appear to lie atop a calcitic mud which
in turn overlies a second thin peat zone which rests atop the
formerly exposed sand floor in an arroyo-like drainageway into
the Little Salt Spring feature (Clausen, personal communication,
1977). Thus some poorly drained soils, especially peaty soils
which would have been uninhabitable in the last several thousand
years, may provide the key to certain aspects of past environ-
ments such as former water courses which were used by Paleo-
Indian and Archaic populations. In fact, until cultural resource
surveys are designed to take into account paleo-environmental
conditions, older sites will remain undetected.
In addition, the archeological potential of soil survey
reports is not confined to soil-site associations. Some reports
actually record site locations by designating shell mounds as a
soil type and describing them: "This miscellaneous land type
consists of large heaps of oyster, clam, and other shells...most
areas are small, though some cover as much as 10 acres and are
2 to 20 feet thick" (U.S. Department of Agriculture 1958:20).
Map symbols can also identify locations where chert fragments
are found; and in the coastal plain, this type of entry should
be immediately suspect. Saucier (1966:421) notes that in some
areas frequently mapped phenomena such as rock outcrops, sandy
spots, or blowouts may also be indicative of sites and are
noted by symbols on the aerial photographs.
In conclusion, the applicability of soil survey reports is
the planning of cultural resource surveys and to the constructing
of predictive models for prehistoric settlement patterns should
not be overlooked. Soil type names may vary from county to
county or area to area, but by studying their characteristics and
distribution, soil-site associations can be determined.
The author would like to thank Professors Roger T. Grange
and J. Raymond Williams, Department of Anthropology, University
of South Florida, for their encouragement and critical comments
about soil-site associations when the data were part of'a masters
thesis. Dr. Roy Hanson and Ann Bowman are thanked for their aid
in the statistical analysis, and Mr. Dick Balduzzi, Sarasota
County Soil Conservation Agent, is thanked for his comments and
insight. The author also sincerely appreciates the assistance
of Wayne Wyatt for the graphics, Carl Clausen for his help in
the photography and Cynthia Clausen for editing and typing. Any
errors are of course the sole responsibility of the author.
Almy, Marion M.
1976 A Survey and Assessment of Known Archaeological
Sites in Sarasota County, Florida. Masters Thesis,
Department of Anthropology, University of South
Blalock, Hubert M.
1960 Social Statistics. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Bullen, Ripley P.
1975 Implications from Some Florida Deposits and Their
Archeological Contents. Florida Anthropologist
Campbell, C.A. and E.A. Paul, D.A. Rennie, and K.J. McCallum
1967 Application of the Carbon-Dating Method to Soil Humus
Studies. Soil Science 104:217-224.
Clausen, Carl J., H.K. Brooks and A.B. Wesolowsky
1975 The Early Man Site at Warm Mineral Springs, Florida.
Journal of Field Archaeology 2:191-213.
1963 Soil Stratification and Environment. In Science in
Archaeology, ed. by Bothwell and Higgs, pp. 113-122.
Great Britain: Thames and Hudson.
1962 Phosphorus Content of the Texas Street "Hearths."
American Antiquity 28:90-91.
Deetz, James and Edwin Dethlefsen
1963 Soil pH as a Tool in Archaeological Site Interpretation.
American Antiquity 29:242-243.
Dekker, L.W. and M.D. DeWeerd
1973 The Value of Soil Survey for Archaeology. Geoderma
1951 Archaeological Results from Soil Surveys. Boor Spade
2:209-212. [In Dutch with English summary.]
Heizer, Robert F.
1960 Physical Analysis of Habitation Residues. In The
Application of Quantitative Methods in Archaeology,
ed. by. R.F. Heizer and S.F. Cook, pp. 93-115.
Chicago: Quadrangle Books.
Hill, J.N. and R.H. Hevly
1968 Pollen at Broken K. Pueblo: Some New Interpretations,
American Antiquity 33:201-210.
Climatic Sequence of the Post-Wisconsin Age as
Revealed by the Soil Profile. Soil Science Society
of America Proceedings 6:368-372.
Elementary Statistics in Social Research. New York:
Harper and Row.
Lovis, William A.
1976 Quarter Sections and Forests: An Example of
Probability Sampling in the Northeast Woodlands.
American Antiquity 14:364-371.
1973 Dating Methods in Archaeology. New York: Seminar Press.
1948 Archaeological Aspects of the Soil Survey. Boor Spade
2:209-212. [In Dutch with English summary.]
1971 Some Operational Considerations. In The Distribution
of Prehistoric Population Aggregates, ed.by George
Gummerman, pp. 45-54. Prescott: Proceedings of the
Southwest Anthropological Research Group.
1973 Paleoethnobotany. New York: Columbia University Press.
Ruppe, Reynold J.
1974 The Archaeological Potential of Drowned Terrestrial
Sites, A Preliminary Report. Manuscript on file,
Department of Anthropology, Arizona State University.
1966 Soil-Survey Reports and Archaeological Invertigations.
American Antiquity 31:419-422.
1963 Cave Sediments and Prehistory. In Science and
Archaeology, ed. by Bothwell and Higgins, pp. 123-138.
Great Britain: Thames & Hudson.
Snedecor, George W. and William G. Cochran
1967 Statistical Methods. Ames: The Iowa State University
Thomas, David H.
1976 Figuring Anthropology. New York: Holt, Rinehart
United States Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation
1958 Soil Survey Manatee County, Florida. Washington,
Government Printing Office.
1959 Soil Survey Sarasota County, Florida. Washington:
Government Printing Office.
1960 Soil Classification, A Comprehensive System, 7th
Approximation. Washington: Government Printing
1976 List of Published Soil Surveys. Washington:
Government Printing Office.
PRE-COLUMBIAN TRADE IN EASTERN UNITED STATES
AS VIEWED FROM FLORIDA
Ripley P. Bullen
Aboriginal trade, in one form or another, has been
commented on by archeologists for a long time. Many site
reports mention exotic materials or a few sherds which vary
typologically from the great bulk of the ceramics found at
the site. These are casually referred to as trade sherds.
In a few instances specific materials have been traced to their
sources such as chipped stone to the great Flint Ridge quarries
in Ohio or copper to Isle Royale in Lake Superior. There have
also been cases where trade of a specific period such as
Hopewell trade, has been briefly discussed (Prufer 1964:75-77).
Recently, several researchers have begun to examine the prehis-
toric trading of copper artifacts. This paper examines Florida's
place within the patterns of trade in the prehistoric eastern
United States, focusing on the material evidence for trade.
There are a few terms regarding trade which must be defined.
Trade in general means the exchange of goods between two people
or groups of people. In aboriginal times, without a money
economy, different items were usually exchanged, with each trader
getting items which were rarer in his area and hence of more
value to him than those he gives up. Such trade can be carried
on by "professional" traders who travel, individually or in
groups, substantial distances, trading along the way and living
off the land. In most parts of the world such people seem to
be able to cross cultural boundaries without personal danger.
In a variation of this, items are passed from tribe to
tribe serially. This process resembles cultural diffusion. In
this case no one person travels a great distance but it takes a
long time for trade items to cover substantial distances.
*Editor's note: A draft of this paper by Bullen was prepared
in 1976 prior to his death. I have edited the paper and,
in several places, incorporated suggestions offered by
reviewers. Bullen chose not to include information on the
period ca. A.D. 300-1000, which encompasses the Weeden Island
period. However, both Willey and Sears in various publica-
tions have discussed material and social aspects of Weeden
The Florida Anthropologist, vol. 31, no. 3, September 1978
The essential diagnostic trait about trade is that it must be a two
way street, with goods going in both directions. Obviously
exotic items are much more apt to be transported by trade
than are locally standardized articles such as pottery or bone
awls. Each tribe or group had their own crafts-persons who
chipped stone, made bone tools, or fashioned pottery. These
products, however, rarely entered trade channels, although I
would expect that a beautifully incised bone pin might well
travel across local group boundaries.
Groups with a seasonal round of life, where they move
from one place to another with the seasons, are apt to include
on their round a visit to the source of some raw materials such
as the coast to obtain shells for ornaments (as well as for food)
or chert for projectile points and knives. In a variation of
this, an expedition might be sent to a source farther away.
This would not be, strictly speaking, trade but it would function
similarly, and those who made the trip would distribute their
collections to others of the group. On a large scale over
considerable distance there sometimes occurs what might be called
trading or collecting and distribution centers. These are similar
to our manufacturing plants in that they collect raw materials,
process them, and then export the finished product to other
centers or groups. We know that such centers existed at certain
times in eastern United States but we do not know their methods
of collection and distribution. My guess is that it must have
been by means of "professional" traders and I hope to present
evidence in that direction. Alternatively, people from sub-
stantial distances may have come periodically to the "big state
There is another type of distribution that I must mention.
It refers to religious or ceremonial distribution. The diffusion
of a ceremony, such as the smoking of an herb, would, undoubtedly,
be accompanied by the distribution of any accompanying para-
phernalia. Similarly, if a shaman left his group and migrated
to another area, as seems to have occurred during Adena times,
he would carry his paraphernalia with him. Eventually it
perhaps ended up in his grave. In some instances, status or
protection was also traded for material objects, as between a
chief and a lesser chief.
Being a temporally-minded archeologist I am going to present
this resume of prehistoric trade chronologically from the earliest
times upward by periods. I expect to demonstrate that trade in
general became more common as populations increased and societies
became more complex.
First is the Paleo-Indian period when Indians hunted many
of the now extinct species of mega-fauna of the late Pleistocene,
as well as smaller animals, and collected berries, fruits, and
edible nuts. They may have traded for some chert and flint to
94 PRE-COLUMBIAN TRADE
make knives and javelin points since some are superior to those
of later cultures who relied nearly 100 percent on Florida chert.
The next period, 8000-6000 B.C., is characterized by the
Dalton complex which is found throughout much of the Southeast
from Illinois and Tennessee southward but not that part north
of present day South Carolina (Willey 1966:250-51). Over this
large area there are certain similarities in projectile points.
More important are specific similarities in Clear Fork gouges
and very small hafted concave end scrapers from Texas and
Arkansas to south central Florida (Bullen and Beilman 1973;
Goodyear 1973). This does not represent trade but it does
indicate diffusion and a certain amount of cultural uniformity
over vast differences.
This is followed by the long Archaic period lasting from
around 6000 to about 2000-1000 B.C. During this period, as a
part of the seasonal subsistence round, there were established
large, semi-sedentary fresh-water shell midden villages on the
St. Johns and Withlacoochee rivers in Florida, a little above
Augusta on the Savannah River, and at various places on the
Green and on the Tennessee Rivers. Similar settlements, based
on marine shells, occurred along the Gulf coast of peninsular
Florida. Evidently, the more nomadic subsistence pattern of
the Paleo-Indian and Dalton periods had evolved into a more
settled pattern. During this period we have good evidence of
intrastate trade or at least of the importation of items from
a distance of from 20 to 200 miles.
Scattered in the preceramic, freshwater shell middens of
the St. Johns River are relatively few marine shells. Those
present are tools of various types. Included are shell picks
and gouges made from the heavy east coast Perverse (right~-
handed) Whelk formerly Busycon Carica eliceans, Monfort.
The nearest sea coast is about 20 miles over difficult swampy
terrain. Possibly these tools, either finished or as raw
material were brought up the St. Johns River by canoes. Also
present are heavy, thick, shell celts made from the massive
lips of a Strombus gigas Linne shell. This shell is not known
to have lived farther north in Florida than Lake Worth, a little
north of Miami and an airline distance of some 200 miles from
these riverine villages.
Another and extremely important shell artifact found in
the preceramic levels is a shell vessel made by hollowing out
a Lightning Whelk (Busycon contrarium Conrad) which is found
on both Florida's east and west coasts. These were undoubtedly
used as kettles in the cooking of food as all examples from
these levels exhibit evidence of fire damage on their bottoms
(Webster 1970). These containers, used as kettles in preceramic
times, were later used as drinking vessels and traded well into
the Ohio-Illinois area. They were used in Florida historically
in black drink ceremonies (Lorant 1946:93). Like the other
items above, these had to be imported from the coast, and some
form of trade may be implied by their procurement, if indeed
the riverine peoples in Florida did not obtain them directly.
Certainly they were traded out of Florida.
Another arti-fact from these middens should be mentioned.
During the Paleo-Indian period it is believed the major hunting
tool was a javelin, but by the Archaic period, i.e., around
5000 B.C., spears tipped with stone points were propelled by
atlatls or spear throwers. Many were supplied with "balance
weights" on the shaft of the atlatl. Several have been found in
preceramic levels of the St. Johns River shell middens which
were made of -steatite, a non-Florida material. They may have
been imported from sources in northern Alabama or northwestern
Indian Knoll on the Green River of Kentucky is an Archaic
freshwater shell heap similar to those just mentioned for the
St. Johns River in Florida. All of the site except for the
top 11/2 feet is preceramic. With some of the burials were
thousands of marine shell beads, tubular red jasper beads, shell
gorgets, Busycon vessels, atlatl weights of shell, copper
pendants, and a flat bar of copper (Webb 1946:169,206). Here,
probably around 2000 B.C. were found trade goods from Lake
Superior, Poverty Point, and the Gulf. Note should be made of
composite atlatl weights (Webb 1946:218,305) laminated of cut,
drilled, and ground shell. Of special interest for this paper
are the thousands of marine shell beads and the Busycon shell
vessels (Webb 1946:169, upper left;212). The former may have
come from the Gulf of Mexico, somewhere along the Florida coast.
Perhaps the beads were made at one of the Florida bead factories
to be mentioned shortly.
During the Formative period, ca. 2000-1000 B.C., there was
a scattering of Late Archaic, more-or-less permanent, villages
along the Gulf, up the Mississippi river drainage, and in
Michigan, New York, and New England, as well as in the Southeast.
As background information it should be mentioned that there
was (and is) an extensive chain of steatite deposits extending
from northeastern Alabama to southern New Hampshire. These
deposits, at least in the south and central regions, had been
exploited for atlatl weights, bannerstones, etc., and in Georgia
for fishing weights, but stone vessels and pipes were as yet
unknown. However, there was some communication over distances
and enough barter or seasonal round trade for the distribution
of these items over short distances.
The first clay vessels in the United States were developed
in Georgia and Florida around 2000 B.C. In both cases they were
tempered with vegetable materials, presumably shredded palmetto
fibers, and originally undecorated. Shortly, decoration occurred,
but it was based on rows of punctations in Georgia and incised
straight lines in Florida. There are a few "trade" sherds
in both localities to indicate communication and, in the case
of the type Tick Island Incised, contemporaneity around or
before 1600 B.C. (Rochelle Marrinan 1975). By 1350 B.C.
(Sample M-1014, Level 4, Summer Haven site; Bullen and Bullen
1961) steatite vessels appeared in eastern Florida. Subsequent
to this date such vessels are found along the Gulf and
Atlantic coastal plain from Louisiana to southeastern New
Hampshire. To the north of Georgia steatite quarries are near
the coast and extensive trade need not have existed. Extended
family groups may have gone to the quarries and made a vessel
or two when the need arose. In Florida and Louisiana the
distances are too great, and the vessels too heavy, for such
procurement. Possibly they were transported by traders using
canoes. In support of this we have in Florida the oldest dated
dugout canoe so far found in this country at 1090 B.C. (Bullen
and Brooks 1967). Also, at a depth of eight feet below the
surface of the natural levee of the Chattahoochee River in West
Florida, immediately above its junction with the Flint River,
the logical water route from the steatite quarries of north-
eastern Alabama, we excavated what appeared to be a traders'
camping site. Here were two small concentrations about 20 feet
apart, containing mussel shells (local food), charred nuts,
deer, turtle, small animal bones, stemmed projectile points
and scrapers, utilized flakes, fiber-tempered and St. Johns
series sherds from peninsular Florida and steatite sherds re-
presenting three different vessels (Bullen 1958:337-41). The
radiocarbon date for this zone (Sample M-394) is 1200 B.C.
Trade in steatite vessels, which covered over 300 miles, became
more common in Florida during the.succeeding or Florida Tran-
sitional period dating from about 1000 to 500 B.C. What did
the quarrymen get in return?--probably shell ornaments and
beads. Kneberg (1952:191: Fig.102) illustrates shell gorgets,
vessels, and beads, possibly from Florida, for the Archaic
cultures of western Tennessee a little north of the quarry
Chronologically we must now consider the Old Copper industry,
which centered on the western side of Lake Michigan, although
the copper mines themselves were on Isle Royale in Lake Superior
and on the Keweenaw Peninsula of northern Michigan. Some of
the copper pits on Isle Royale are 15 to 20 feet deep, and
thousands of smaller ones are on the peninsula. Radiocarbon
dates from sites in Wisconsin are 1710 and 1500 B.C. while most
of the specimens seem to have been made around 1000 B.C. (Griffin
1966:282-85). Manufactured products included spear and projectile
points, adzes, celts, men's knives like our table knife, curved
women's knives like ulus, fishhooks, gaffs, harpoons, chisels,
awls, needles, and beads. The last were the only ornaments made
of copper before 1000 B.C. While these mines were opened early,
Isle Royale must have served as a major source of copper used
by later Indians throughout the eastern United States to almost
Little is known about the distribution system except for
the fact that copper tools were limited in their distribution
while copper for decoration, such as beads, covered a much
larger area. However, a fishspear of copper made by the Old
Copper industrial techniques is illustrated by Moore (1903:
371- 2) for the Suwannee River area of Florida, and possibly
represents trade during this period.
A very important Formative culture was Poverty Point,
which developed after 1700 B.C. and was widespread between
1200-1000 B.C. The best known site is Poverty Point, thetype site
west of the Mississippi River in northwestern Louisiana. It
consists of six concentric ridges, forming about half of a
large octagon, and a very high sand or earth mound beside the
middle of the outside ridge (Gibson 1970:14). Only exploratory
excavation has occurred, but a vast quantity of exotic material
has been recovered, coming predominantly from the ridge areas.
Artifacts include over 12,000 baked clay balls (Webb 1968:309);
many baked clay humanoid figurines; 10,200 projectile points
of various types; over 23,000 microliths (mostly drills,
perforators, or reamers); large stone tools; over 2,000 per-
forated plummets or bola weights (Webb 1968:313) of hematite
and magnetite; sandstone saws; many small ornaments (Webb 1968:
316) including owl pendants of red jasper; many red jasper
beads; baked clay tubular pipes, great quantities of steatite
vessel sherds; and one or two copper beads (Ford and Webb 1956).
The last item probably came from the Old Copper Complex of
Lake Superior (Webb 1968:298). Radiocarbon dates and traded
items suggest major occupancy of the site to have centered
around 1000 B.C. although the start was probably 700 years
earlier. Ford and Webb (1956:126) present a map showing these
raw materials came from Oklahoma, Arkansas, the southern
Apalachians, and a little from southwestern Michigan. They must
have sent back finished articles such as boatstones, etc., as
well as jasper beads. The vast number of perforators (Jaketown
perforators) were made from chert available in neighboring
There are many connections between the Florida cultures and
the Poverty Point culture some 500 miles to the west. In the
Florida State Museum collections from Poverty Point are 33 fiber-
tempered sherds (cat. no. 103301). Scarcity of sand temper,
straight sides, flat bottoms, and small red particles all suggest
Florida as the place of origin. One (cat. no. 103302) would
unquestionably be classified in Florida as a local St. Johns sherd
with some fiber casts as has been found in Florida (Bullen 1974:
80). Of the Tchefuncte Plain sherds 22% have sponge spicules and
are typical of the St. Johns ceramics of the Florida Transitional
(late Formative) period. Eight of 13 sherds classified as
Tchefuncte Incised are 100% representative of St. Johns Incised
ceramics of the Transitional period in Florida. These are
suggestive of two-way trade, since Poverty Point clay balls have
been found at Tick Island (Small 1966) in the peninsula and
at several sites in West Florida (Fairbanks 1959; Lazarus 1958;
Other possible evidence for trade with Poverty Point includes
the earliest Florida plummets as found at Tick Island and at
the Canton Street site in St. Petersburg. One is made of
magnetite like those at Poverty Point, others are made of local
materials but all have the long-drawn-out or narrow elliptical
shape and a suspension hole typical of Poverty Point plummets.
Moore (1896:536-7) illustrates five pendants or bola weights,
all with drilled holes'at the top,from a mound near Tavares,
Florida. Ninety-nine percent of all other Florida plummets
have other shapes and suspension grooves instead of a hole.
Poverty Point red jasper beads are rare in Florida but Goggin
(1952:119-20) notes some from Coontie Island in east Florida.
Others (Wilson 1965:Fig. K-L) come from an early burial mound
east of Jacksonville. They were associated with a stone vessel
fragment (not steatite), cut mica, a copper ear spool, and a
partially drilled pendant or bola weight (Wilson 1965:Pl.
J,O, P-Q, and M). Clay tubes, one of the less common but typical
artifacts at Poverty Point, are also included in the Florida
Tick Island inventory.
Probably the best evidence of trade from Poverty Point to
Florida was the recent find of an owl amulet in the Withlacoochee
River about 30 miles inland from the Gulf (Lien, Bullen, and Webb
1974:Fig.l.). Material, workmanship, location of hole, presence
of little feet, and string sawing, all demonstrate this amulet
to have been manufactured at Poverty Point. That it was found
in the Withlacoochee River--the main waterway from the Gulf into
interior Florida to the only sizeable Archaic-fiber-tempered
pottery freshwater middens known for a stream flowing into the
Gulf--indicates one trade route and that trade usually traveled
Webb (1968:Fig.l) has plotted the distribution of the Poverty
Point culture from the Gulf coast of Louisiana, northward through-
out northeastern Louisiana and the Yazoo River basin in Mississippi
nearly to the Tennessee line. This is a distance of over 300
air miles. The areas where sites show up are those where intense
archeological work has been done. Many more sites will be found
as more work is done. Even farther north in the upper Mississippi
and Ohio River valleys Poverty Point type artifacts have been
found. Evidence of Poverty Point trade has been found even north
of the Ohio River. At the Kelly site in Indiana several hundred
baked clay balls of Poverty Point type were uncovered (Webb
1968:307). A red jasper bird pendant, as well as Poverty Point
clay balls (Webb 1968:307), came from the Weems site in
Missouri. Many of the two-holed gorgets and polished atlatl
weights of the late Archaic may well have been made at Poverty
Point as fragments of such artifacts have been found there.
Poverty Point and the surrounding area must have been a
great commercial center with far-reaching connections. The
origin of its lapidary industry can possibly be found in the
Olmec area of Mexico but the artifacts were all made for
local, i.e., eastern United States, consumption. It seems
reasonable to assume the collection of raw materials and the
distribution of products were effected by commercial travellers
who travelled up and down the inland and coastal waters that
radiated out from northeastern Louisiana.
The Formative period ends around 1000 B.C. By that time
Fayette Thick pottery was made in the Ohio region, Vinette II
vessels in New York and New England, and steatite-tempered clay
vessels in Virginia and New Jersey. The Tchefuncte series
superceded fiber-tempered ceramics in the lower Mississippi
Valley, sand-tempered pottery was present in Georgia, and the
limestone-tempered Pasco and untempered St. Johns wares
superceded fiber-tempering in Florida. Stimulus diffusion,
brought about by trade, probably accounts for the development
of the earliest northern ceramics. After this time, due
largely to pottery styles, and other traits, archeologists are
able to distinguish a number of regional cultures.
Our center of interest moves to the Ohio-Indiana area
where a cult of the dead was developed early in Burial 1 times,
between 800 B.C. and 200 A.D., by the so-called Adena people.
Crematories were used and interments were supplied with grave
goods that included two-hole gorgets of banded slate, bird-
stones, ground hemispheres, stone balls, faceted hematite, large
conch shell beads, disc shell beads, copper beads, copper
bracelets or rings, carved animal jaws, cut mica, and extremely
interesting stone pipes, as well as chipped stone knives and
projectile points. The last had rounded stems resembling beaver
(Dragoo 1963). Strange stone tablets carved in curvilinear
designs and representing birds or eyes in the hollows of hands
are sometimes found. Many of these items--such as the gorgets,
boatstones, and hemispheres--were present at Poverty Point, and
indeed, that culture may have been the source of such objects
as there was undoubtedly an overlap in time between Poverty
Point and Adena (Haag 1974:143); and Tchefuncte clay vessels
have been found in northern Adena sites (Ford and Quimby
1945:68). Apparently the Adena people took the idea of the
Poverty Point clay tube and transferred it into a blocked end
tube made of stone which could be smoked. Some of these were
carved to represent the bills and heads of birds, chiefly
ducks (Setzler 1960:Pl.2). It is interesting to note that in
Florida we have at a slightly later time period carved duckbill
type stone plummets (Bullen 1952:Fig.16). While the latter
were status symbols and not functioning pipes, the general
origin of the idea is obvious. The Florida examples may have
come from the north and may represent modifications of original
ideas made for the distant trade.
The blocked end tube is especially diagnostic of Adena
and is found in burials substantially removed from the Adena
territory. Perhaps, these tubes belonged to shamans or
other special persons, who for some reason left Adena land,
possibly as missionaries. Burials with these tubes have been
found as far east as the Connecticut River where they were
associated with graphite, strings of copper beads, a copper
nose ornament, and shell beads (Howes 1942:Figs.4-6). They
are also found in the middle Appalachian region. This spread
does not indicate reciprocal trade, but it does suggest that
individuals such as traders could pass from one area to another
fairly easily. On the other hand, the pipes themselves may
have been traded.
One blocked end tube has been found at Tick Island in
Florida, and cut and incised as well as modeled (carved)
animal jaws, another Adena trait, have been found at both Tick
Island and the Canton Street site. Whether this can be called
trade or not is a question. It certainly indicates some
similarities in ceremonial life. Webb and Snow (1945:13) list
20 sites in Kentucky as being Adena, although some might be
called Hopewell (the next or succeeding culture). In any case
the Adena specialization was apparently stimulated in an ad-
vanced Archaic region by Poverty Point influences from Louisiana
which resulted from trade.
In the Ohio-Illinois area, the Hopewell culture succeeded
Adena if, indeed, they are not two phases of the same culture.
Copper and shell beads continue to be found as are conch shell
(Lightning Whelk) vessels, all possibly ultimately traded north
from the Florida Gulf Coast. Marksville Stamped clay vessels
from Louisiana appear in fair quantities north of the Ohio as
do Cartersville Check Stamped vessels from western Georgia.
Mica is used in cut-out art, and forms an important tie with
southern cultures. The use of copper increases, and we find
copper conjoined pan pipes and copper covered ear spools as well
as beads. Sometimes copper noses were supplied the dead.
One interesting trait alternated iron and shell beads in the
same string. Perhaps the most diagnostic trait was the platform
or monitor pipe.
The Hopewell people outshone the Adena in their acquisition
of exotic trade goods (McGregor 1952), securing copper from
Lake Superior, fancy Flint Ridge flint, obsidian from the west,
mica from the Appalachians, grizzly bear canine teeth from the
Rockies, large fossil shark teeth, alligator teeth and barracuda
jaws from Florida and the ever present marine shells from the
Gulf. Extremely fine examples of Busycon vessels are illustrated
for Hopewell sites on the Wabash River (Neumann and Fowler
1952:Pls. 58,72). This desire for exotic items apparently re-
quired the maintenance of an exchange network encompassing much
of the United States. The major objective seems to have been to
provide prestige goods for the dead, but undoubtedly many of
these items were worn in life by shamans and others in their
In Florida and southwestern Georgia, during Hopewell times,
trade items such as cut mica, red jasper beads, copper ear
spools are found in early burial mounds, e.g., the Mayport
mound east of Jacksonville (Wilson 1965:Pl.II). Early burials
at the famous Crystal River site produced plummets or pendants
of rock crystal, a northern stone, and nine extremely long
slender ones of copper, as well as cut copper discs, a silver
coated copper ear plug, a copper pan pipe, punctated sheet of
copper, and simple but artistically cut shell ornaments
(Moore 1903:Figs.46,52 & 61). Reasonably similar objects
were also found at the Yent mound near the mouth of the
Apalachicola River (Sears 1962:6). Also from West Florida
is the torso of a Hopewell figurine (Bunn 1971:Fig.2). In the
lower levels of the Mandeville site in southwestern Georgia
were a copper pan pipe, copper ear spools, copper beads, cut
mica, platform pipes, and fragments of female figurines with
stylistic details similar to those found in Hopewell sites in
Ohio (Kellar, Kelly, and McMichael 1962:Fig 3). However, being
made of a micaceous paste, these must be local copies. Pre-
sumably, marine shell and other items were traded northward.
The location of these sites suggests a route from peninsular
Florida, north to Crystal River, to Yent, to Mandeville, up
the Apalachicola River, and then northward to the Copena region
of the western Appalachian Mountains, where Hopewell and Adena
traits are strong. This route would have been much shorter than
to go from Hopewell territory down the Mississippi and along the
Gulf. Shells of the species traded are more abundant in Florida
than in Louisiana, and this route would have bypassed the mouth
of the Mississippi River. Perhaps the Florida bead factories
were functioning them. Here it is interesting to note that J.B.
Griffin (1946:65) wrote:
The check-stamp in various Ohio sites appears to be
derived from the Florida area by way of the Appalachians
...In the Ohio aspect are barracuda and spade-fish
ornaments, shark's tooth pendants and tortoise shell
ornaments of a size which preclude a land turtle origin.
The great numbers of Busycon, Cassis, and other tropical
gastropods used for dippers, beads and plumments leads
me to believe that there was a strong trade connection,
presumedly along the west side of the Appalachians,
between sites in Ohio and Illinois in the north, and the
Florida area in the south. The high fresh water content
of the Gulf west from Pensacola past the Mississippi
and the scarcity of large marine gastropods in that area
does not suggest that this region...could have been the
source of supply for Hopewellian peoples or that the late
Middle Mississippi groups [southern cult objects] received
their marine shells from the Louisiana area.
The materials mentioned above for the Florida and Georgia
sites would in Florida be considered Deptford-Swift Creek in
date. Closely associated radiocarbon dates are not available,
but the base of the Crystal River burial mound has a date of
30 B.C. (Sample 1-1916) and the earliest date at the multi-
component Mandeville site is A.D. l(Kellar, Kelly, and
It has been mentioned that Adena blocked end tubes have
been found as far to the northeast as the Connecticut River.
The greater spread of Hopewell is indicated by the presence of
platform pipes beside Massachusetts Bay. A most impressive
collection of Hopewellian platform pipes has been found at the
Ft. Center site near the west shore of Lake Okeechobee in
south Florida. This site has large circular and linear earth-
works reminiscent of Adena, a very large temple or burial
mound and some middens. It is one of several similar sites
which more or less surrounded the lake. As well as some 20
platform pipes, excavations at Ft. Center (Wm. H. Sears, 1975,
personal communication) have produced galena cones, pieces of
cut mica, chlorite schist, plummets and celts of granite and
greenstone, and steatite vessel sherds. Most of these have
Adena-Hopewell antecedents and are dated at Ft. Center to A.D.
250 (Sears, 1975, personal communication). Some of the Crystal
River series pottery present was made of micaceous paste showing
it originated in the Apalachicola region where clay contains
fragments of mica. Both local and long distant procurement is
It is interesting to note that in the northern Hopewell
region platform pipes are only found in burial mounds. At Ft.
Center in Florida, on the contrary, they were only found in midden
or refuse deposits. This suggests general as opposed to only
occasional ceremonial use. While occasional platform pipes have
been found in other Florida sites, as have examples of the other
exotic items, Ft. Center is outstanding. Radiocarbon dates
and definitive Florida trade sherds at Ft. Center indicate it
was first occupied about 750 B.C. It has the earliest date for
corn in eastern United States, 420 B.C. (Sears, 1975, personal
By A.D. 1000, perhaps as a partial result of the introduction
of a new and superior form of corn, the cultural tradition we
refer to as Mississippian began to develop in the middle
Mississippi River valley. Burial mounds were still used and grave
goods deposited with the deceased, but the emphasis shifted to
ceremonies on the temple mounds which probably were tied in with
the agricultural calendar. The shift may be likened to one
from ancestor worship to a religion functionally related to an
agricultural economy. Ceramic craftsmanship declined, or at
least was less spectacular. Flat-topped temple mounds with ramps
began to cover the Southeast while unique ceremonial objects
were developed. Some of them strongly suggest influences from
Mexico, although no evidence has been found of actual trade
or of imported objects from that area.
This new manifestation peaked in late Temple Mound II
times around A.D. 1200-1500. Extremely large centers developed
at Spiro in Texas, Cahokia in Illinois, Moundville in Alabama,
and Etowah in Georgia with a great many minor centers, such
as the Mount Royal site near Jacksonville in Florida. Centers
covered virtually all of eastern United States except the
northeast and extreme southern Florida. Typical artifacts of
the last phase are negative painted, clay water bottles with
cross-in-circle and human hand designs; stone effigies buried
in boxes; monolithic axes; intricately carved and incised shell
gorgets with weeping eyes, spiders, crosses, and ball player
designs; large repouse. decorated copper plates featuring
winged and masked warriors or ball players; stone batons;
chunkney stones; and large flint knives. Many of these are
illustrated by Fundaburk and Foreman (1950:Pls. 23-55, 90-98,
It seems evident from the above that a small group of full-
time priest/chiefs were supported by the general populace.
Many of the cult objects must have been made by experts. As
all the materials were not available everywhere, it is also
evident that trade was involved in their procurement and dis-
tribution. While there is a little copper in the Appalachian
Mountains, the amount required seems to suggest the Lake
Superior region as the source. The fine grained volcanic rock
must have come from the mountains and the great amount of shell
material from the Gulf of Mexico.
Distribution must have been excellent because many small
sites have yielded one or two "cult" objects. Perhaps the local
chief went to a large center, worked on the earthworks or
studied the ceremonies, and brought back a small memento as a
prestige item. Perhaps such objects were traded for shells and
later traded inland by the shell collectors. All of these
objects had value as prestige items or "power" derived from
While temple mound ceremonialism seems to have been on the
decline when the Europeans first appeared, it had not entirely
disappeared. And, trade and craft specialization continued into
the historic period. The Indians of South Florida made gold,
silver, and brass pendants from materials salvaged from Spanish
wrecks and traded them inland, while similar pendants or standards
of wood are known for the Key Marco site (Gilliland 1976: P1.35).
Another economic tidbit is that after the settlements by Euro-
peans, Indians operated a shell bead factory on the shores of
Long Island Sound using iron tools and quahog shells!
Trade, at least an interchange of ideas, is a stimulus
for culture change. Through time, societies in the eastern
Unived States and Florida became more complex and trade appears
to have been increasingly controlled by specialists, with exotic
goods accumulating among chiefs and similar high-ranking individ-
uals. As in our culture today, examples of the same items can be
found in prehistoric hamlets, towns, small cities, and large
ceremonial centers but the quantity and complexity increases with
the size of the settlement.
Trade has been with us a long time and historically it was
in no sense limited to eastern United States. For those interested
in early trade and interesting reading, I suggest Looking for
Dilmun by Geoffrey Bibby (1969). He documents extensive trade
in the Persian Gulf starting about 3000 B.C.
Even further afield, Lamberg-Karlovsky (1974:278) writes
about Tepe Yahya in the Zagros Mountains of Iran that throughout
Period V or around 4000 B.C.,
...there is a continuous increase in the utilization of
imported resources, also unknown in earlier times....
Imported materials which appear for the first time from
distant areas include alabaster, obsidian, mother-of-pearl,
different kinds of flint, onyx, and turquoise.
And further on (Lamberg-Karlovsky 1974:284-5) he adds,
Thus, from the earliest time of the Sumerian civiliza-
tion we see a picture not of the spread of the urban idea
per se to backward areas, but of an interdependent
relationship which involved a continuous cultural and
economic interchange of goods and ideas among far distant
areas---In each...[of the] areas) we can perceive an
early and independent population nucleation process...
which, toward the end of the fourth millennium, saw a
number of urban centers in different cultural areas
The situation in eastern United States and Florida was probably
similar to that described by Lamberg-Karlovsky for the Persian
1969 Looking for Dilmun New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
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1958 Six Sites near the Chattahoochee River in the Jim
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1973 The Nalcrest Site, Lake Weohyakapka, Florida.
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1967 Two Ancient Florida Dugout Canoes. Quarterly Journal
of the Florida Academy of Sciences 30:97-107.
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1961 The Summer Haven Site, St. Johns County, Florida.
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1971 Excavation of a Deptford Midden Burial, Destin,
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Dragoo, Don W.
1963 Mounds for the Dead: An Analysis of the Adena Culture.
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Fairbanks, Charles H.
1959 Additional Elliot's Point Complex Sites. Florida
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1945 The Tchefuncte Culture, An Early Occupation of the
Lower Mississippi Valley. Memoirs of the Society for
American Archaeology, No. 2.
Ford, James A., and Clarence H. Webb
1956 Poverty Point: A Late Archaic Site in Louisiana.
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Natural History, Vol. 46, pt. 1 New York.
Fundaburk, E.L., and M.D. Foreman
1950 Sun Circles and Human Hands. Luverne, Alabama.
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1970 Intersite Variability at Poverty Point, Some
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1973 Archaic Hafted Spokesbones with Graver Spurs from
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1958 A Poverty Point Complex in Florida. Florida
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1974 A Poverty Point Owl Amulet found in Florida.
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1946 The New World. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pierce.
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1975 Ceramics, Molluscs, and Sedentism: The Late Archaic
on the Georgia Coast. Ph.D. dissertation, Anthropology,
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1952 The Havana Site. In Hopewellian Communities in Illinois,
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1896 Certain Sand Mounds of the Oklawaha River, Florida.
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1960 Welcome Mound and the Effigy Pipes of the Adena People.
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INDIAN PLANT FOODS OF THE FLORIDA PANHANDLE
Mabel K. Stockdale and Sally E. Bryenton
The early aborigines in Northwest Florida used a large
number of plants in their diet. Through experimentation, and
through good and sometimes bad luck, they came to know which
plants were safely edible and which were distasteful or even
poisonous. Many plant parts--fruits, roots, stalks, leaves,
nuts, and even petals, in some cases--were eaten.
For the modern consumer, extreme caution and positive
knowledge are prerequisites to sampling wild foodstuffs.
Experimentation is strongly discouraged. Persons who experiment
with wild plants for food, "teas", or medicines are asking
for trouble unless they base their usage on authoritative
information and identification. The following information is
not sufficient for identification; only the names of edible plants
are listed. Some parts of plants are edible and some parts of
the same plant are poisonous. There is also variation in plants
according to the season. This study is meant to interest the
nature lover and to offer some information but is not to be treated
as an authoritative guide.
It has been said that an Indian's best seasoning was a
hearty appetite. This is easily believed when one goes browsing
among the oxalis foliage or munches the wild grape. The
contemporary taste bud would require stimulation by hunger for
edification and thirst for knowledge; but, always, care and exact
knowledge must be used.
In addition to the wide variety of wild foods available, the
Indians of Northwest Florida cultivated small plots of foods which
served more or less as their basic diet. Corn (Zea mays), was
cultivated by many peoples in the New World. Indian corn or maize
was much smaller than our modern hybrid varieties. At least
four races of corn were cultivated at different times and places
in the Southeast during precontact and early historic times. The
exact origin of corn has been lost in the antiquity of the Americas,
but it was derived, according to one theory, from hybridization of
an ancestral pod-pop corn with teosinte, a wild relative. Just as
rice has been the staple diet of the Orient, corn has been a staple
for the Americas. It was eaten whole, dried, ground, made into
meal, and prepared in a variety of other ways. Muskogee Creek
women offered visitors dishes of venison and hominy, a coarsely
ground corn boiled in water, and bread made of corn that was
wrapped in the husks and baked in the coals of the fire.
The Florida Anthropologist, vol. 31, no. 3, September 1978
INDIAN PLANT FOODS
Squash and beans were also cultivated by the Indians in
this area. The squash (Cucurbita pepo) included the pumpkin,
summer squash, acorn, white bush scallop, and.zucchini. Beans
(Phaseolus spp.) were often planted along with corn all over
the Americas, and were often combined with corn in a food mixture
called succotash by the Indians. Because beans are high in
protein and corn is high in starch-this mixture provided a basic,
nutritious diet supplemented by wild foodstuffs.
A wide variety of wild plants were used by the Indians for
food, medicine, dyes, and in ceremonies. In the spring the
prickly, trailing dewberry (Rubus trivialis), was gathered in
large quantities and was probably, -along with other species in
the genus, the most important berry of the region in Indian
times. The berry was eaten fresh and was also dried for later
use. The Juneberry (Amelanchier canadensis), the partridge
berry (Mitchella repens), and the red and black mulberries
(Morus rubra and nigra), as well as several species of wild
grape were also gathered.
Another fruit was the prickly pear (Opuntia spp.). This
spiny cactus produces large purple fruit--technically berries--
about the size of a hen's egg which are sweet and delicious,
but bear minute tufts of barbs. They were eaten raw, dried
like figs, or stewed. The stems were also eaten after being
peeled and roasted. The passion fruit (Passiflora incarnata)
has an incredible flower which produces an egg-shaped fruit.
The fruit was gathered and eaten raw or dried for future use.
The wild persimmon (Diospyros virginia) is a luscious, sweet
fruit gathered in the fall when it is very ripe. It was dried
and stored. If other crops failed, it was ground into flour.
The custom of mixing this flour with corn meal probably originated
with thp Indians. Both plums and wild cherries (Prunus americana
and P. serotina) are trees native to this area and the fruits
were often used by the Indians.
In the Panhandle many wild plants also grow which are today
considered useful, but for which we have no documentation of
Indian use. Pigweed (Amaranthus spp.) is a native plant, and its
taste resembles that of spinach. Wild lettuce (Lactuca spp.),
meadow beauty (Rhexia virginica), and plantain (Plantago major),
are all local weeds which still grow here and were apparently
used by the Indians. The pokeberry (Phytolacca americana) is
a rather dangerous plant; parts of it are edible and parts are
quite poisonous. The tender young shoots are tasty and quite
edible, but the leaves, berries and mature stalks are poisonous.
The dandelion was a prized spring green. Wood sorrel, or dock
(Oxalis spp) with its shamrock-like foliage derives its
STOCKDALE AND BRYENTON
refreshing taste from oxalic acid, so do not eat too much.
A plant indigenous to Florida and often mentioned as an
Indian food is coontie (Zamia spp.), also called Florida
arrowroot. This is a member of the ancient Cycad family, more
primitive than even the gingko. It has a large, four foot
fern-like or palm-like formation. The large starchy root can be
made into flour and used to make bread, but must first be
leached very thoroughly to remove the poisonous principle.
The sunflower has many species and some were used by the
Indians. Helianthus annua was grown for its seeds. Seeds
were collected from the large flower heads and were used in
many ways. They were eaten raw, roasted, ground into meal to
be used in bread, or as a thickening for soups. The ground meal
was also mixed with bone marrow, kneaded into a doughey mass
and eaten. It was also mixed with hot water for a drink.
The Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosa) was familiar to the
Indians as well. The roots, when cooked, are very tasty.
The unusual name has nothing to do with either Jerusalem or
artichokes; it is rather a confused translation of the Italian
name for sunflower meaning "faces the sun."
The tender young stalks and hearts of the cattail (Typha
latifolia), were a delicacy that the Indians enjoyed. A plant
which was also gathered from the watery areas was Wapatoo
(Sagittaria latifolia), also called arrowhead. It is said
that the Indian women would wade into the water and gather the
knobby roots with their toes. The roots were cooked like
Other roots gathered by the Indians were the mecha-mecha
(Ipomea pandurata), a member of the sweet potato family. The
roots were gathered and roasted in the campfire. The taste is
somewhat more bitter than the common sweet potato. The hog
peanut (Amphicarpa bracteata) has large seed-roots that appear
just under the surface of the ground and are reported to be
quite tasty. The Indian cucumber (Medeola virginiana) is a
knobby root relished by the Indians for its good flavor. The
ground nut or bog potato (Apios tuberosa), grows along marshes
and streams on a slender climbing vine; the root was eaten raw
There are many hickory trees in this area, some more use-
ful than others. Two are the mockernut (Carya tomentosa), and
the pignut hickory (Carya glabra). Early settlers left them
on the ground because they were only "fit for pigs"; the
reason is not so much the taste but that they have such thick
shells and very little meat. Hickory is an Indian word said to
INDIAN PLANT FOODS
Table 1. Additional Plants used for food
Name How prepared or eaten
Wild carrot, (Daucus carota)
Dandelion, (Taraxacum officinale)
Meadow garlic, (Allium canadense)
Nut grass, (Cyperus esculentus)
Milkweed, (Asclepias tuberosa)
Smilax, (Smilax spp.)
Sweet flag, (Acorus calamus)
Toothwort, or crinkleroot
Honey locust or honeyshucks
American lotus, (Nelumbo lutea)
Milkweed or butterfly weed
stalks peeled and used
raw or cooked
boiled with meat
root ground for flour;
young shoots for greens
raw for indigestion or
boiled for food
used for rootstock.
sweet pulp in pod
acorn-like fruit in pod
boil pods and stems to
remove milky juice
STOCKDALE AND BRYENTON
be derived from the name of a liquor made by pounding the
kernels and shells of the nuts for a long time with a mortar.
Water was added and the process continued until a milky or
oily liquor was produced which some Indians called powcohicora.
Another tree in the same family as hickory is the delicious
pecan (Carya illinoensis), which was probably not here pre-
There are many varieties of oaks, some of which have very
good nuts that were used in many ways by the Indians. The white
oak (Quercus alba), the cow basket oak (Quercus michauxii),the
live oak (Q. virginiana), and the chinquapin oak are among the
most desirable species. The nuts from the oak family vary in
taste; some are quite delicious while others, because of more
concentrated tannins, are not readily palatable. The Indians
overcame this by grinding the acorns and placing them in water
for a day or two to soak out the tannin and other bitter
substances. The water was then drained off and cakes were
formed from the meal or mixed with other foods. Nuts were
stored for use when other fresh foods were scarce. Acorns were
ground for flour which was often mixed with cornmeal and baked
into cakes. The Indians also obtained sweet oil from the acorn
for cooking hominy or rice.
While corn was the primary grain used by the Indians, rice
(Zizania aquatica), known to us as wild rice, was also used.
It was gathered by the Indian women. One woman would paddle the
canoe while another would bend the stalks over the edge of the
canoe and strike the stalk, thus knocking the grains into the
bottom of the canoe. It was then dried for future use. This
was undoubtedly a more important food source in the Great Lakes
and upper Mississippi than in Florida, where other grasses such
as Zizaniopsis miliacea may have served as substitutes-
These plants were more or less staples; there were dozens
of others available to vary the diet of the Indians (see Table 1).
Many plants were edible but not especially palatable. The Indian
knew of this and used them when more desirable foods were scarce.
INDIAN PLANT FOODS
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1911 Indian Tribes of the Lower Mississippi Valley and
Adjacent Coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Smithsonian
Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 43.
1946 Indians of the Southeastern United States. Smithsonian
Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 137.
INDIAN PLANT FOODS
1973 Exploring for Wild Foods. Family Circle Magazine.
Underhill, Ruth M.
1953 Red Man's America. Chicago, Illinois: University of
Travels of William Bartram. New York: Dover
Williams, Samuel Cole, editor
1930 Adair's History of the American Indian. Johnson City,
Tennessee: The Watuaga Press.
Fort Walton Beach, Florida
SALVAGE EXCAVATIONS AT THE BROTHERS SITE,
SARASOTA COUNTY, FLORIDA
Larry Goodwin, Jolee Pearson, and John Fioroni
The Brothers Site (8-So-31), a shell midden measuring
approximately 100 meters by 40 meters, was first discovered in
1973 when it was partially destroyed by dredging for a canal
adjacent to the Myakka River (Fig.l). Skeletal material found
in the dredging by Mr. Clarence Brothers was given about one
year later to Col. William Royal of Sarasota, Florida, who
turned it over to the State Division of Archives, History and
Records Management. In the winter of 1975 W.A. Cockrell made
a brief trip to 8-So-31 to make surface collections. All the
material was sent to Arizona State University for analysis to
determine if there was a temporal association with the Warm
Mineral Springs site. It was determined that the site dated
from the Glades I and II periods.
Cockrell re-visited the site in the summer of 1976 and
found that it would be destroyed within 30 to 40 days. Dr. Ray
Williams, at the University of South Florida, was notified
shortly thereafter by the Division of Archives and arrangements
for salvage archeology were made. Two days of excavation
occurred on September 30 and October 2, 1976, by students at the
University of South Florida.
The site is within the Manatee region which extends from
the lower end of Tampa Bay south to Charlotte Harbor. The inland
extent is uncertain, but should include the area around Arcadia.
Culturally, this area occupies a position between the Caloosahatchee
area to the south and the Central Gulf Coast area around Tampa Bay.
This position is clearly reflected in the admixture of cultural
materials, especially fired clay pottery, in some of the sites of
the region (Goggin 1947; Willey 1949).
The excavations consisted of ten, 1-meter squares staked off
in a north-south direction on the highest undisturbed portion of
the midden (Fig. 2). The squares were labeled A through J and
alternating squares A, C, E, G and I were excavated, giving a
total of five excavated units. These were dug in 15 cm. levels
and the material was screened through a quarter-inch mesh screen.
A 15 cm. column sample was taken from the southeast corner
of squares A and E and water-screened in the laboratory. Data
from the column samples are presented below. In the rest of the
excavated squares, all unworked shell material was discarded
and all other material recovered in the screening process was
kept. No worked lithic material was found.
The Florida Anthropologist, vol. 31, no. 3, September 1978
Fig. 1. Location of Brothers site in
Fig. 2. Location of test excavations
at the Brothers site.
GOODWIN, PEARSON, AND FIORONI
The ceramics found at the Brothers site (8-So-31) consisted
mainly of the types Glades Plain and Belle Glade Plain, as
defined by Goggin (1947) and Willey (1949). Body fragments were
relatively small in size (highly fragmented) and most displayed a
moderate to heavy film of charring on the outsides of the sherds.
There was a slight curvature to most of the body sherds, with the
rim sherds displaying a variety of thickness and coloration. The
only exception to the description of Belle Glade Plain are the 11
sherds which are a variation of Belle Glade Plain, with a red
slip on the interior and/or exterior surfaces. The pastes of
these sherds appeared exceptionally dark black in comparison to
the other fragments.
One fragment of gray-black pottery with a narrow band (8 mm.)
of punctation was found on the surface of the site. The marks
were arbitrarily placed in relationship to the incised line that
appears at the top. This sherd fits no known type description,
just as the red filmed ones do not. Table 1 shows the percentages
of sherds found in the excavated squares and their respective
levels. There seem to be no patterns of change in frequency of
pottery types through the midden deposit. A Chi-X test was run
at the 0.01 level with two degrees of freedom to see if there was
any significance, but the results were negative.
Table 1. Numbers and percentages of ceramics by level.
GLADES PLAIN ELLE PLAIN RED UNI T ED
GLADE PLAIN PUNCTATED
SURFACE 53 65% 27 33% 1 1%
LEVEL 1 27 35% 51 65%
LEVEL 2 29 29% 67 67% 3 3%
LEVEL 3 45 46% 52 54%
LEVEL 4 50 45% 55 50% 5 5%
LEVEL 5 34 43% 42 53% 3 4%
LEVEL 6 3 60% 2 40%
First column equals number of sherds, second equals percentage.
120 BROTHERS SITE
Interpretation of the shellfish data is based upon Florida
Department of Natural Resource reports (Godcharles and Jaap 1973)
and Florida Marine Research Laboratories reports (Turgeon 1968)
concerning the ecology of the various shellfish species exploited.
The most prevalent species recovered was the Carolina marsh clam,
Polymesoda caroliniana Bosc. An estimated number of individuals
throughout the upper levels, per cubic meter, was derived by
taking the mean weight per pair of whole shells recovered, divided
into the mean weight of identifiable P. caroliniana shell
recovered per column sample, and extrapolating this column sample
data into an estimation per cubic meter. The estimated total was
8,386--evidence of significant shellfish exploitation.
The habitat of this species is in intertidal mud or rock-
shell at the mouths of rivers where the influence of the tides is
felt and salinities are less than 10 parts per thousand; but it
is not found in freshwater (Turgeon, personal communication).
Other identifiable shellfish species, which were at least
minimally exploited as part of the subsistence pattern, include
the eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica Gmelin with a salinity
tolerance of between 5 and 30 parts per thousand, and the Atlantic
ribbed mussel Modiolus demissus granosissimus Sowerby of brackish
and estuarine ecology. This suggests that all species of shellfish
utilized were obtainable from a single river ecosystem that was
immediately adjacent. to the midden site. This hypothesis is
further supported by the report that P. caroliniana is still found
in the Myakka River in the vicinity of the shell midden site
(Godcharles and Jaap 1973).
The most reliable measurement of P. caroliniana was then
statistically tested by the Analysis of Variance test for data
from a randomized one-factor experiment with unequal N's. The
results were below the level of significance (d.f. 1-198 d.f. 2-6,
F.03, Ferit 2.09) for variation of shell size collected during
the total time of occupation of the site. In view of the above
ecological evidence, it may be inferred that no substantial
variation of the river ecosystem occurred during the occupation
time of the site.
The species list of the mollusca is not in natural
phylogenetic order, but in artificial order reflecting the
shellfish subsistence pattern and extent of exploitation (Table 2),
GOODWIN, PEARSON, AND FIORONI
Table 2. Species list of mollusca
COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME TOTAL WEIGHT
Carolina Marsh Clam Polymesoda caroliniana Bosc. 7859.3
Eastern Oyster Cassostrea virgininica Gmelin. 220.1
Common Crown Conch Melongena corona 40.8
Atlantic Ribbed Mussel Modiolus demissus granosisimus
Sowerby. 2 specimens
Olive Nerite Nerita reclivata 20 specimens
Acorn Barnacle Balanus sp. 2 specimens
The analysis of the fish osteological remains included the
Alizarine Red S bone stain procedure (Jones 1960) on all recovered
vertebrae which contained whole centra and margins. These were
analyzed by reading the post marginal growth of the posterior
face of the vertebrae (Beardsley 1967; Casteel 1972; Iverson and
Tabb 1962; and Tabb 1961) for seasonality identification. The
results are represented graphically (Figs. 3 and 4), demonstrating
that the site must have been occupied during the fall and winter
months. The constancy of the river ecosystem as a year-around
source of shellfish resources yields a secondary inference,
although not substantiated, that the site was a winter camp as
opposed to a permanent encampment.
The species list of fishes (Table 3) yields speculative
inference regarding the fishing pattern of the culture during the
site occupation. The large numbers of individuals recovered,
combined with the excellent state of bone preservation in the
basic conditions within the high carbonate soil of the shell
midden, yields data demonstrative of a highly selective fishing
Table 3. Species list of fishes
COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME M.N.I.
Drumfish Sciaenidae 52
Catfish Ictaluridae 13
Gar Lepisosteus sp. 8
Unidentified bony fish Osteichthyes 38
Stingray Dasyatis sp. 6
Square A - Level 2.
Square A - Level 3.
Square A - Level 4.
Square E - Level 4 Square E - Level 5.
Fig. 3. Frequency of vertebral centra Fig. 4. Frequency of vertebral centra
associated with seasonal variation (graph associated with seasonal variation (graph
scale: one vertebra equals 1/100 radius scale: one vertebra equals 1/100 radius
of circle). of circle).
GOODWIN, PEARSON, AND FIORONI
The surface and shoal feeding patterns of drum, the night
surface feeding patterns of stingray, and the top-water
ecosystem of gar all produce conditions whereby the fish may be
readily obtained by bowfishing. Freshwater catfish of the genus
Ictalurus are often taken by handfishing (Bass: personal
When analyzing fish remains in good preservation with known
pH values, negative data is as important as positive data.
Thus, the hypothesis that bowfishing was a major method employed
by the occupants of the site may be inferred from the absence of
remains of other edible species that would be expected by line or
weir fishing methods under the existing conditions of preservation
within the midden.
All species of faunal remains (Table 4) are indigenous to
the Myakka area. No data suggest that travel more than a few
miles would be necessary for the recovery of those species
exploited as part of the subsistence pattern.
The Minimum Number of Individuals (M.N.I.) of each species
(White 1963) is listed by arbitrary levels and thus subject to
reinterpretation. In defense of the use of arbitrary levels,
Square I, Level 4 contained 29 Chrysemys carapicial shields,
with none in Level 3, and two in Level 5. This would indicate no
major disturbance of the site during or after occupation, giving
additional validity to the use of arbitrary levels. The relative
difference in faunal material recovered from the squares results
from column samples being taken for Squares A and E.
Worked bone remains were so fragmentary that they were
inconclusive for inferring much about the cultural habits of
the site occupants.
Square C. Level 5: The worked bone is represented by one
deer scapula with a rectangular section cut from the mid-margin
of the proximal area and a blunted blade. The scapula was
possibly used as a hoe or digging tool.
Square E, Level 3: One shell bead was recovered with the
concave drill marks indicative of bone/stone tool technology.
The probable species origin of the shell is the columella of a
Square I, Level 4: Contained one distal portion of the ulna
of deer which has been cut by stone tool technology in the classic
groove and splinter technique.
Throughout the site, the long bones of deer and small mammals
were broken in a distinctive pattern suggesting that marrow
extraction was practiced as part of the subsistence pattern.
1 2 3
Odocoileus virginianus 11
idanus 1 etl
Common Crown Conc
ny fish 2.4
Melongena corona 1 oil
Atlantic Ribbed M
1 2 3 4 5 De 22 Oo dee 4S
Ie et Ie re
te Ie e re
I be Ie
Ie re (eo
(ao IN ~~
hl ; ~)
> La w
NO INO it
I wu be
he bh La ad
All levels contain Polymesoda caroliniana
Fauna species by square and M.N.I.
GOODWIN, PEARSON, AND FIORONI
Because the test excavations were conducted in the shell
midden portion of the site the soil pH averaged around 8.5.
This pH value accounts for the large amount of faunal material
recovered. Figure 5 represents the soil stratigraphy at the
The ceramics were sufficiently similar at all levels to
permit the assumption that all six levels represent a single
occupational unit. Both types of ceramics are found within
all three Glades periods and thus contain no stylistic markers
to identify a specific period.
The continuity of ceramic types and the relatively small
amount of sherds may indicate that the Brothers site was
occupied for a relatively short duration within the Glades
The faunal analysis suggests a subsistence that was
obtainable from the Myakka River ecosystem adjacent to the
midden area. The analysis further infers that the level of
subsistence technology was that of strandlooping, bowfishing,
and the obtaining of relatively small amounts of indigenous
game not requiring a highly evolved hunting technology. The
faunal data leads one to conclude that the site must have
been occupied sometime during the winter months.
Thus all excavated data strongly suggests that the
Brothers site was used as a winter camp for a small group who
utilized the local ecosystem for their subsistence, sometime
within the Glades Periods.
We are greatly indebted to Dr. Ray Williams, U.S.F.
Department of Anthropology, who initiated and guided the research
for this paper and encouraged publication; to Dr. Donna
Turgeon and Mr. Dannie Hensley of the Florida Marine Research
Laboratories, St. Petersburg, Florida; and to Dr. Larry Brown
of the U.S.F. Natural Science Department for their assistance
with specimen identification. The excavation was accomplished
by Joan Deming, Marion Almy, Gary Ellis, Jeanne Ellis, Ann
Fahres, John Cates, Jolee Pearson and Larry Goodwin under the
supervision of Dr. Williams. Special thanks go to David Boon
and James Wiles for their help in the preparation of this report.
0 20 40 60 80 100
I I I I I I
-C .t -
0 20 40 60 80 100
I I I I I I
0 20 40 60 80 100
I I I I I I
A Surface Level
C Shell (Clam) 10YR2-1
D-Mixed Shell and Dirt 10YR2-1
E Dirt 10YR3-1
Fig. 5. Soil profiles at the Brothers site.
GOODWIN, PEARSON, AND FIORONI
Beardsley, Grant L.
1967 Age, Growth, and Reproduction of the Dolphin,
Coryphaena hippurus, in the Straits of Florida.
1972 Some Archaeological uses of Fish Remains.
American Antiquity 37:404-419.
Godcharles, M.S., and W.C. Jaap
1973 Fauna and Flora in Hydrolic Clam Dredges, Collected
from Florida West and Southeast Coasts. Florida
Marine Research Laboratories, Special Science
Report No. 40.
Goggin, John M.
1947 A Preliminary Definition of Archaeological Areas
and Periods in Florida. American Antiquity
Iversen, E.S., and D.C. Tabb
1962 Subpopulations Based on Growth and Tagging
Studies of Spotted Seatrout, Cynoscion nebulosus,
in Florida. Copeia 3:544-548.
Jones, Ruth M.
1960 Basic Microscopic Techniques. Chicago: University
of Chicago Press.
1961 A Contribution to the Biology of the Spotted
Seatrout, Cynoscion nebulosus (Cuvier and
Valenciennes). Univ. Miami Marine Lab. Tech.
1968 Guide to Estuarian and Inshore Bivalves of Virginia.
Unpublished Thesis, Dept. of Biology, William and
Mary College, Virginia.
1963 Observations on the Butchering Technique of Some
Aboriginal People No. 2. American Antiquity
Willey, Gordon R.
1949 Archeology of the Florida Gulf Coast. Smithsonian
Institution, Miscellaneous Collections, Vol. 113.
A PROGRESS REPORT ON
THE FLORIDA WOODEN ARTIFACT PROJECT
Barbara A. Purdy
Throughout the summer and fall of 1977, the lakes and
rivers of Florida experienced drastic lowering of water levels
as a result of unprecedented drought conditions. As the water
receded it exposed strata that had entombed dugout canoes and
other wooden items for an unknown length of time. These objects
survived only because they had been buried in oxygen-free muck.
Once exposed they were vulnerable to attack by natural de-
generating agents and to vandalism.
Grants were received from the National Endowment for the
Arts and the National Science Foundation to initiate a program
to locate, retrieve, preserve, study, and display these wooden
artifacts. Mr. Raymond F. Willis served as graduate research
assistant to the project. To date the following has been
1. Four nearly complete and five fragmentary canoes have
been recovered, and ten additional canoes have been
reported. Several privately owned dugouts have been
examined and the owners have been given advice about
preservation. A number of totem poles also have been
recovered in the state as a result of the drought.
2. A state repository has been provided by the Department
of Natural Resources in a stable muck-bottomed pond.
This holding pond will allow us to store wooden
artifacts until they can be preserved with polyethylene
3. Three, 24-foot treatment vats have been built.
4. The public has been alerted and asked to assist in
locating waterlogged wooden objects.
5. Studies of the dugouts are underway to determine
stylistic variations, construction techniques, and wood
preferences and properties.
The funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts
and the National Science Foundation are exhausted but the project
has expanded. The preliminary investigations pointed out the
feasibility of studying wet sites as valuable sources of pre-
historic material culture. If one considers that wooden artifacts
account for over 90 percent of the material culture inventory
of many groups even today, it is apparent that the recovery of
wooden objects from wet sites would add significantly to the know-
ledge we now have of the early residents of Florida.
The Florida Anthropologist, vol. 31, no. 3, September 1978
Two major problems with wet sites archaeology are: (1) the
speed with which artifacts are destroyed after they have been
exposed; and (2) reverses in drought conditions that rebury
objects making them difficult to find and retrieve. For example,
when funds were requested during last year's drought, there was
a 3-1/2 month lag between the time the project was approved and
the time that the money was transferred to the Florida State
Museum at the University of Florida. Heavy rainfall in January,
1978 threatened to halt the project before it got underway.
There has been established a means whereby the Florida State
Museum can move immediately to hire trained personnel, purchase
equipment, and provide travel expenses to investigate, safely
retrieve, and preserve wooden items as they are reported. We
now have a Miscellaneous Gifts and Grants account at the
University of Florida that can receive donations. It is hoped
that interested persons will recognize the importance of this
endeavor and find it worthy of support. If you wish to
contribute to this fund, make your check payable to the University
of Florida Foundation Inc., Wooden Artifact Project Fund, and
University of Florida Foundation
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32601
Removal of a canoe from a lake
near Melrose, Florida.
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