Title: Friends of the Randell Research Center
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00090510/00028
 Material Information
Title: Friends of the Randell Research Center
Series Title: Friends of the Randell Research Center
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Randell Research Center, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida
Publisher: Randell Research Center, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Pineland, Fla.
Publication Date: December 2008
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00090510
Volume ID: VID00028
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Friends of the

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Vol. 7, No. 4

/ Kanaell esearcn Lenter

Economic ;,

Stimulus .V

Package, A.D. 800 "~

New Study Reveals
Economic Foundations of
South Florida Chiefdoms

by John Dietler j 4: L

A troubled economy and
problems related to climate change are not
newcomers to south Florida. Over 1,200 years
ago, the once-rich estuarine fisheries of south-
west Florida were greatly depleted and the
region's Native American inhabitants were
forced to rely more heavily on shellfish and
Sonny Cesare and Denege Patterson

excavate on Useppa Island (Photo byJ. Dietler.)
...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ......

difficult-to-get Gulf of Mexico fish for food. This
dire situation would have spelled the end of many
societies. Yet new research co-sponsored by the
Randell Research Center indicates that the
ancestors of the Calusa turned proverbial lemons
into lemonade. Although they lacked the terrestrial
resources that formed the basis of most New
World civilizations, the Calusa had enormous
numbers of discarded shells at their disposal.
Innovative leaders encouraged the use of these
shells to create a regionally organized wood
working industry. In doing so, they built an
economic engine that helped drive Calusa
society to unequalled heights.
My research began with a comprehensive
study of the shell axes and adzes held by
museums and research facilities in Florida. I
measured and photographed 441 woodworking
tools from 93 archaeological sites and submitted
several dozen specimens for radiocarbon dating
and chemical sourcing studies. The evidence is

Volunteers identify lightning whelk fragments in the RRC lab at the Gill House (Photo byJ. Dietler.)

continued on page 2

December 2008

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canoes, monumental ,i, Iliii powerful
religious and political symbols, and breathtaking
artwork, these leaders transformed a small-scale,
locally oriented, and more egalitarian society to
that of a larger, outward-looking society, with a
strong, centralized government. With a firm
economic foundation, the Calusa went on to
become the powerful political force that is
recorded so vividly in the pages of Florida's
history books.

This work was made possible by funding from the
National Science Foundation, the UCLA Department
of Anthropology, the UCLA Friends of Archaeology,
Garfield Beckstead, and Alvin Flury. Research
support came from the Florida Museum of Natural
History, Historical Museum of South Florida, Florida
Bureau of Archaeological Research, the National
Park Service Southeastern Archeological Center, J.
N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Useppa
Island Club, Barbara Sumwalt Museum, Randell
Research Center, UCLA Cotsen Institute of
Archaeology, NSF Arizona Accelerator Mass
Spectrometry Laboratory, and UCLA Molecular
Instrumentation Center. My thanks to one and all.

John Dietler, Diane Maher, and Pat Townsend examine whelk shells in an excavation on
Useppa Island. (Photo by S. Dietler.)
....... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ....... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ......

clear -the Charlotte Harbor/Pine Island Sound/
Estero Bay estuarine system was ground zero for
a major shell-tool manufacturing industry that
experienced a substantial reorganization 1,200
years ago. More than 80 percent of the unfinished
shell tools, which provide direct evidence of tool
making, came from the region. Sourcing and tool
shape studies indicate that the Calusa traded the
tools they made with neighboring groups,
particularly Lake Okeechobee people. Moreover,
the new dates indicate that tool production more
than doubled after A.D. 800. Significantly, nearly
all of the unfinished tools from this later period
are found in major Calusa political centers and a
handful of small sites adjacent to the Gulf of

In order to help verify the museum study
results, I conducted excavations at two of the
smaller sites that had yielded large numbers of
unfinished tools. With the help of over 50 Randell
Research Center, UCLA, Florida Gulf Coast
University, and Useppa Island Historical Society
volunteers, the Useppa Island and Buck Key digs
produced an unprecedented bounty of toolmak
ing evidence. These deposits contain the highest
volumes of raw materials (lightning whelk
shells), shell-working tools (shell hammers, shell

pounders, and stone grinding
implements), and shell-tool-making
waste products ever documented
for this technology. Detailed studies
of the manufacturing byproducts
indicate that these deposits ,/
represent well-organized shell
tool workshops where skilled (
craft specialists produced
large numbers of standardized
woodworking tools Radiocarbon
dates place these workshops at the
heart of a post-A.D. 800 region-wide
economic boom.

The available evidence
suggests that ambitious -
leaders in the Pine Island
Sound region harnessed
shell working and wood
working industries in order to
increase their wealth and power
after A.D. 800. By encouraging
shell workers to make large
numbers of axes and adzes that
could be used by wood

workers to create fleets of

a. Shell Tool Preform
(FLMNH 2006-4-68)

b Production Failure
(I.MNI 20016-5-31)

c. Shell Tool Preform
(FLMNH 2006-4-65)
Unfinished shell tools from Useppa
Island. (Drawing by A. Purcell.)


Mystery Cat

Practically Complete

Skeleton Added to RRC

Comparative Faunal


by Michael Wylde

Last summer, Dr Karen Walker noticed
a scatter of bones in the Northwest Pasture of the
Calusa Heritage Trail, not far from the classroom
building. She recognized the mandible as that of
a bobcat. This was exciting because I had seen
tracks near the old Calusa Canal over the summer
that looked like bobcat (a bobcat track looks like
the track of a domestic cat, but is 2" wide). Karen
asked me to collect as many of the bones as
possible for use in the comparative collection of
local fauna for the RRC. Comparative collections
help us i i. i, 1 1 i ,.. I" we find in archaeological
sites, especially middens. I was fairly successful
in my search, finding a representative sample of
bones from the skeleton. Assigned the catalogue
number RRC-234, our cat was not too creatively
dubbed "Bob."
Bobcats (Lynx rufus) are small native cats,
weighing an average of 15 pounds, standing
about 20" high and 33" long. They are orange
brown in color, sometimes fading to pale gray in
winter. They have black spots and bars on their
legs and rear, and a flat face with black bands
radiating from their facial ruff, with slightly tufted
ears. Also, not surprisingly, they have a short,
" .I .I .1. I tail. They are shy and nocturnal, and
stalk and hunt small mammals and birds at night,
killing them with a bite to break the neck. In South
Florida, large bobcats have even been reported to
take small deer. They have their kittens in May,
usually two, but up to six in a litter.
Bobcats are found throughout much of the
continental U.S., and prefer a habitat of scrub,
woods, and swamp, an environment that still
describes much of Pine Island today. However, the
range of a male bobcat can be up to 400 acres.
Even with our extensive agricultural areas, natural
bobcat habitat is at a premium on the island.

Skull of bobcat found at Randell
Research Center. Note teeth marks
on skull. (Photo by M. Wylde.)

Bobcats prefer to remain unseen by
The skeletal remains were processed
at the classroom at the Trail with the
help of lab volunteers Jessica Ater and Janelle
Lowery. Cleaned and labeled, they will help us
continue to learn about the natural history of Pine
Island. One thing we would like to find out is a
possible cause of death. A set of teeth marks
shows that part of the skull was crushed. Was this
the cause of death, or the result of scavenging?
And how long a life did "Bob" live roaming the

A bobcat in the wild. (Photo by D. DeBold;
source: Wikipedia Commons.)

Calusa Heritage Trail at night? Experts at the
Florida Museum of Natural History may be able to
tell us. Hopefully "Bob" has raised lots of family
on Pine Island, and these i1 ii if i 1 s will
continue to live quietly among us.

New and Renewing Friends of the RRC from
September 2 to November 30, 2008
(* indicates donation of materials or services. Please let us know of any
errors or omissions. Thank you for your support.)

Sustaining Members
($5,000- $19,999)
John & Gretchen Coyle
Supporting Members
($1,000- $4,999)
Lawrence & Carol Aten
Frank & Patti Foster Fund
in honor of Randy
Wayne White
Sponsoring Members
($500- $999)
Joyce Mutz
William & Victoria

Contributing Members
Jan Bachrach
Robin & Lin Fox
Bill & Rosemarie
Ron and Mary Margaret
Diane & Dick Maher
Joe & Joan Merkwaz
Margi Nanney
John & Glenda Sirmans
Michael Wylde
Family Members
Peter & Phyllis Kolianos
John & Sue Miller

Abraham & Cynthia Ofer
Bill Spikowski & Alison
Doug & Joy Stafford

Individual Members
Millie Babic
Ann L. Campbell
Lois E. Clarke
Barbara Dobbs
Kim Gibbons
David Hurst
Michael E. Moseley
Ann Oakey
David Steadman
Randy Walker


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State of the Center:

A Report from the Director

The economic
downturn has
affected everyone,
\ and the RRC is no
exception. Our
endowment has lost
some value, which
means that we will now have less money for RRC
operations. Until the recent steep declines,
income from our endowment investments paid
for 85% of our staff salaries. With loss of market
value, we estimate that our endowment income
will now fund only 72% of staff salaries, and the
economic news may get worse before it gets
better. University of Florida budget cuts are
responsible for the loss of former coordinator
John Worth's position, which still remains
unfilled following his departure in 2006 for ajob
elsewhere. Much of our fund raising efforts over
the past four years have gone into recovery from
Hurricane Charley, which has not allowed us to
. 1. -1 i, i1 ii. to our endowment fund.
In short, over the past four years the RRC has
suffered a triple whammy -hurricane damages,
loss of our only UF-funded position, and now

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decreased endowment income. But the news is not
all bad. Grants and private funds have been raised
not only to rehabilitate but to improve our RRC
headquarters, the Ruby Gill House. If all goes as
expected, we will be back in our offices and labs by
spring, 2009. We have controlled exotic invasive
vegetation and planted more than 1,000 native
trees since 2004. The Calusa Heritage Trail is
visited more frequently than ever, and ti I,11 -1 i"
attracts more business each year. Volunteerism is
solid, school groups visit the site regularly, site
visitation is up, membership is steady, and the site
looks better than ever. In spite of undeniable adversity,
the RRC is not just surviving but getting better each
year. How is this possible?
In my view, our positive outlook can be attributed
to two main factors. The first is a stellar staff.
Linda Heffner, program assistant, manages the
office and accounting and keeps up with the
membership with competence and grace,
, i .111i i .1, 111i to our favorable standing in the
community. Mark Chargois, maintenance
specialist, is responsible for the grounds and
.I,, i.li i. He does his work effectively, thought
fully, and with great pride. Michael Wylde is our

William Marquardt
John Dietler
William Marquardt
Michael Wylde
GBS Productions
Gift Shop & Tour Information:
(239) 283-2157

shop manager, lab manager, tour manager, and
special-events coordinator. Wait, that's four jobs,
right? Michael does them all beautifully, and all
on one salary.
The second main factor is the support of our
local community and Friends of the RRC, people
like you who are reading this newsletter. People
who donate money, people who donate materials,
people who donate their time -all of you make a
difference and help us succeed.
Simply put, the Randell Research Center is
prospering in spite of all odds because of a
small but dedicated staff and a few hundred good
friends who believe in us and in our mission.
At this point, we need you more than ever.
Somehow, we must find the money to keep
operating and improving the RRC in spite of
diminished endowment income. We do need your
help. If you can afford a tax-deductible gift at
this critical time, please make your check to the
Randell Research Center and mail it in. If you
have some time to donate, give Linda a call at
239-283-2062 and let her know how you can
help. Thanks, as always, for your support.

Send questions or comments to:
Randell Research Center
PO Box 608
Pineland FL 33945-0608
Telephone (239) 283-2062
Fax (239) 283-2080
Email: randellcenter@comcast.net
Website: www.flmnh.ufl.edu/RRC/



PO Box 608
-71 PINELAND, FL 33945-0608

Forwarding Service Requested

Pineland, FL
Permit No. 26

Friends of the

1 it A

\/ Ranaeii Kesearcn center

Pineland, Florida* December, 2008
Phone (239) 283-2062 E-mail: randellcenter@comcast.net

Dear Friend,

You are cordially invited to join, or renew your membership in, the RRC's support society, Friends of the Randell
Research Center. All Friends of the RRC receive a quarterly newsletter and free admission to the Calusa Heritage Trail at
Pineland. Supporters at higher levels are entitled to discounts on our books and merchandise, advance notice of
programs, and special recognition. Your continuing support is vital to our mission. It means more research, more educa-
tion, and continued site improvements at the Randell Research Center. Thank you.

William H. Marquardt
Randell Research Center

Please check the membership level you prefer, and send this form with credit card information
or check payable to Randell Research Center, to:
Membership Coordinator Randell Research Center PO Box 608 Pineland, Florida 33945

" Individual ($30) and Student ($15): quarterly Newsletter
and free admission to Calusa Heritage Trail
" Family ($50): The above + advance notice and 10%
discount on children's programs
1 Contributor ($100-$499): The above + annual honor
roll listing in newsletter + 20% discount on RRC
publications and merchandise
1 Sponsor ($500-$999): The above + invitation to annual
Director's tour and reception

Permanent Address



" Supporter ($1,000-$4,999): The above + listing on
annual donor plaque at Pineland site
" Sustaining Members ($5,000-$19,999), Benefactors
($20,000-$99,999), and Patrons ($100,000
and above) receive all of the above + complimentary
RRC publications and special briefings from the

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The Randell Research Center is a program of the Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida.

Books, Videos and RRC

The Calusa and Their Legacy: South Florida People and Their Environments
by Darcie A. MacMahon and William H. Marquardt, U. Press of Florida, hardcover $39.95
Sharks and Shark Products in Prehistoric South Florida
by Laura Kozuch; Monograph 2, softcover $5.00
The Archaeology of Useppa Island
edited by William H. Marquardt; Monograph 3, hardcover $35.00, softcover $20.00
New Words, Old Songs: Understanding the Lives of Ancient Peoples
in Southwest Florida Through Archaeology
by Charles Blanchard, illustrated by Merald Clark; hardcover $19.95, softcover $9.95
Fisherfolk of Charlotte Harbor, Florida
by Robert F. Edic; hardcover $35.00
Florida's First People
by Robin Brown, Pineapple Press, hardcover, $29.95
Missions to the Calusa
by John H. Hann, U. Press of Florida, hardcover, $35.00
Florida's Indians
by Jerald T Milanich, U. Press of Florida, softcover, $19.95
Archaeology of Precolumbian Florida
by Jerald T Milanich, U. Press of Florida, softcover, $27.95
The Lost Florida Manuscripts of Frank Hamilton Cushing
edited by Phyllis E. Kolianos and Brent R. Weisman, U. Press of Florida, hardcover, $59.95
Indian Art of Ancient Florida
by Barbara Purdy, U. Press of Florida, hardcover, $35.00
The Domain of the Calusa: Archaeology and Adventure in the Discovery of South Florida's Past
DVD video, $12.95
Expedition Florida: Three-program Set
(From Exploration to Exhibition; The Wild Heart of Florida; Wild Alachua)
DVD video, $24.95
RRC logo Hat $20.00
RRC logo short-sleeve cotton staff shirt -
(specify size: S, M, L, XL) $35.00
RRC logo short-sleeve cotton T-shirt /
(specify Adult size: S, M, L, XL) $15.00
(specify Child size: XS, S, M) $12.00
RRC logo tote bag $10.00
RRC logo coffee mug $10.00 /

To place order, make check payable to: Randell Research Center
or fill in credit card information and mail to:
Randell Research Center / PO Box 608 / Pineland FL 33945.
Questions? 239 283 2157 / E-mail: randellcenter@comcast.net

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Total for items ordered:
Friends of the RRC who give at the $100 level
or above may deduct 20% Discount:
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