Friday, August 24, 2012

 


FPAN - NE's Site ID team has had a busy year checking out old cemeteries, plantation sites, mounds, prehistoric canoes and, just last week, a possibly very old--as in Archaic--lake front site.

Native Americans occupied the Florida peninsula at least 12,000 years ago.  There is building evidence that they may have been here as early as 15,000 to 18,000 years BP.  The Paleo-Indians in Florida hunted the large megafauna, mammoth, mastodon, giant buffalo, during the last Ice Age.  Florida was considered a refuge from the glacier covered lands to the North for both the people and the large animals.  In the following ancient period, the Archaic, Florida became a dry savannah with die off of the really large animals, but the Native Americans stayed in Florida, gathering around limestone sinkholes to hunt the herd animals as they watered at the sinkholes.  Archaeologists find evidence of this Archaic occupation in the form of lithic (stone) tools around the sinkholes and ancient camp sites. We can determine that Archaic people lived here by the form of the stone tools, large spear points, scrapers, knives, and drills.

Archaic stemmed and other points found along the lake.

Some of the lakes in Central Florida have sinkholes at their center.  Families living around these lakes have reported finding stone tools over the years as the lake shores rose and fell with the rains and droughts.  Recently we received a request to visit a beach front on one of these lakes to view the stone points discovered by local residents.  The water level had receded revealing an ancient beach with occasional stone points appearing in the old sand. 

The FPAN - NE Site ID Team met the neighbors and were amazed to be shown chert and agatized coral points, scrapers, drills and flakes.  We will record the site on the Florida Master Site File, and, if it proves to be really old based on the form of the lithics, perhaps a professional archaeologist can obtain a State permit to conduct archaeological investigations of the site.   Volunteer participation from the lake front friends could be a part of this work.  These folks did the right thing.  They noted the locations of the lithics and called in FPAN to record the site.   That's how we continue to discover and study Florida's ancient history.  Thank you for the invitation- you may have made a very important discovery.

Note: Names and places withheld to protect the sensitive resource until it can be further studied and understood.

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