A Prehistory of South Florida

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About the Book

Millennia ago, Florida was a much different place. Lower sea levels meant coastlines far removed from their present location. Odd beasts populated the temperate climes of the broad peninsula, from shoulder-high wolves, to giant sloths, to lions of unimaginable proportions. Very little would seem familiar to a modern visitor—except for the people. For thousands of years, people have populated the region, leaving traces of their presence scattered across the area, whether flooded in sinkholes or submerged offshore by rising sea levels, or hidden in plain sight like the hillocks formed by middens. Knowledge of the remnants and remains of Florida’s past inhabitants continues to grow, in the process shedding new and surprising light on a rich, and surprisingly long, history of human occupation.
This exploration of southern Florida’s prehistory begins with an explanation of the peninsula’s geologic formation. It then examines periods of human occupation: the Paleoindian period, the Archaic period, the Formative or Ceramic period, and the Historic period. The chapters illuminate the eras by looking at representative sites from each time period. Seven maps and over forty sketches and photographs supplement the text. Three appendices reproduce treaties negotiated with the region’s native tribes, and two others document the legal requirements for archaeological exploration. A glossary, a bibliography of works on edible botanicals, a bibliography and an index are included.

About the Author(s)

Warren Zeiller is the retired vice president and general manager of the Miami Seaquarium, and has written several books about the area’s marine life. He currently does lectures and lives in Miami, Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Warren Zeiller
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 234
Bibliographic Info: 104 photos, maps, appendices, glossary, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2005
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1971-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v

Preface      1

1. THE FLORIDA PLATEAU      9

2. THE PALEOINDIAN PERIOD (Before 8,000–7,000 B.C.)      17

Cutler Fossil Site      30

Monkey Jungle      34

Warm Mineral Spring      38

Little Salt Spring      41

3. THE ARCHAIC PERIOD (7,000–2,000 B.C.)      50

Weston Pond      51

Little Salt Spring      51

Bay West Site      54

Horr’s Island      56

Atlantis Site      58

Santa Maria Site      59

Cheetum Site      61

Markham Park Site No. 2      61

4. THE FORMATIVE OR CERAMIC PERIOD (2,000 B.C.–A.D. 1513)      74

East Okeechobee Cultural Area      81

Margate Blount Site      81

Lake Okeechobee Cultural Area      83

Fort Center      83

Ortona Site      89

Caloosahatchee Cultural Area      90

Pine Island      90

Useppa Island      96

Josslyn Island      98

Horr’s Island      98

Mound Key      99

Ten Thousand Islands Cultural Area      104

Big Cypress      104

Key Marco      104

The Everglades Cultural Area      111

Cape Sable      113

Bear Lake Mounds      114

Homestead Site      115

The Florida Keys      117

Biscayne National Park      122

Snapper Creek Site      124

Cutler Burial Mound      126

Indian Creek Site      126

Arch Creek      128

Peace Camp Site      129

Madden’s Hammock      130

Granada Site      131

Brickell Point Site      139

Key Biscayne Sites      149

5. THE HISTORIC PERIOD (A.D. 1513–Today)      152

Postscript      178

Glossary      183

Appendix I. An Act to Regulate Trade and Intercourse with the Indian Tribes      189

Appendix II. Treaty with the Florida Tribes of Indians (Moultrie Creek)      192

Appendix III. Treaty with the Seminole (Treaty of Payne’s Landing)      198

Appendix IV. Metropolitan Miami-Dade County Historic Preservation Ordinance      201

Appendix V. Federal and State of Florida Statutes Relating to Archaeological Investigations      206

Bibliography      209

Edible Botanicals Bibliography      217

Index      219

Book Reviews & Awards

“a pleasure. All Florida collectors will surely want this new reference. Well-done, attractive, interesting and full of information…you’ll wish it wouldn’t stop”—Indian Artifact Magazine.