ANT-2100 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: White Springs, Florida, Midden, Spanish Moss

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18 Nov 2016
Jason O’Donoughue
The Past and Future of Florida’s Springs
Florida has densest concentration of freshwater springs (over 1,000)
many springs developed as health resorts/spas
ex: Spring House bathhouse is White Springs, Florida
used as inland ports
tourist attractions
ex: Silver Springs
pollution from nitrates, run-off from fertilizer, untreated water
water quality degraded by chemicals
over 75% of springs have an archaeological site in the immediate vicinity
many of these freshwater springs/surrounding land were inhabited by paleoindian peoples
main argument:
1. springs were significant places to pre-Columbian Floridians
2. an archaeological sensibility is vital to the future of springs conservation
archaeological sensibility = understanding that processes taking place in the long-term
are still taking place today & recognizing evidence of past in the present (present is a
result of every that has happened in the past)
Middle St. Johns River Valley
intensive riverine settlement by hunter-gatherer communities during the Archaic Period
flows south to north, located in northern Florida (near Vero Beach)
regional “firsts”
first near-permanent settlements near a river, becoming more sedentary
widespread exchange
objects found at the river valley were not from the area
queen conch shells from South Florida, rocks used to make tools from the Tampa Bay
pottery (fiber-tempered)
tempered with Spanish moss
intensive shellfishing
earliest evidence for shell mounding
springs contribute 1/3 of the water of the st. johns river
early Mt. Tayler shell mounds 7300-6900 cal BP
Pontoon Dead Creek mound and Live Oak mound
earliest documented shell mounds in Florida
started out as villages
base deposits = midden deposits (trash, good evidence for daily living - animal bones,
faunal remains, bone/stone fragments from tool making)
placed 1.5 meter layer of clean shell, then alternating layers of dark (burned & crushed)
shell and light (clean) shell
not located next to springs
Salt Springs
second magnitude spring
most common seed recovered = elderberry
didn’t build shell middens even though the tradition had been around for 1,000 years
springs were flowing 2,000 years before shell middens appeared
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