Monday, March 8, 2010
March is Florida Archaeology Month and the 2010 installment has been building up to to be a memorable experience. This year's theme is mounds, otherwise recognized as earthworks that have been constructed by native peoples for various purposes over the past thousands of years. Specifically, Florida is home to many mounds that dot the state's landscape. Archaeologists have worked very hard to be able to understand why these mounds were constructed, even though who built these mounds and when the mounds were constructed is known. The cultures who constructed these earthen monuments are known as moundbuilders.
Made out of earth and sometimes clay and shell, the mounds are considered monuments of the past because of the cultural significance in the native's social, political, and religious systems. The cultural importance of the mounds can be found in the artifacts that are included in the makeup of the earthworks. Sacred items, such as special vessels that held important medicines and imported objects from Mississippi and Georgia, have been found in several of the Florida Mounds.
Over the past century, many mounds have been mined for use in road construction and fertilizer, among other things. Mix this with commercial and residential construction and vandalism, and we have an intense need for awareness, protection, and preservation of these important monuments. The best way to learn about the mounds of Florida is to GET OUT THERE AND VISIT one (or many)!
Don't know where to go? Then come to any of the FAM events that are going to be held during the month of March all over Florida and pick up one of this year's FAM posters where you can find more information about mounds and the location of several mounds you can visit. Check out FPAN Northeast's website (http://www.fpannortheast.org/) to see where we will be for your next opportunity to pick one up for free and support archaeology.
See you soon!