1) Otoliths are a common artifact in shell middens througout the Indian River area and Florida coastal sites in general. The two I have most commonly recovered are grouper and red snapper. This may be due to a greater selection of these species in aboriginal fishing stratigies. However, fish from structed habitats (i.e. reefs, rocky bottoms) usually have bigger Otoliths than fish that swim in straight lines in open water (wikipedia). I imagine that finer mesh (>1/4 inch screen)/water sifting of bulk samples or units would yield a more representative sample of species. I am unaware of any such study.
2) A prehistoric origin for the terracing at Ballard Park (Pentoya) detracts little from the sites overall interpretation. The abundance of artifacts in the Eley collection, previous excavation south of Thomas Barbour Dr, and surficial midden/shell adequately defined the sites timeframe and boundaries. We proposed our aboriginal explantion as an issue for further research/excavation based on the following observations: 1) dense midden typifies the site's ground surface north of Thomas Barbour Drive. 2) The road cut for Thomas Barbour Drive exposes cultural deposits over one meter deep. 3) The presence of oaks that predate development suggests an original/slightly modified ground surface. 4) There is a strong similarity in the south to north terracing present at both the Ballard Park and Turkey Creek sites. 5) Many other indian groups throughout Florida and North America
built elaborate earthworks during the same time periods.
Deliberate mound building does correlate with a rise in population, increased sedentism, and the emergence of stratified societies. The mounds were generally built in an intermittant process with successive generations adding to previous constructions.
3a) Aside from "That Vanishing Eden: A Naturalist in Florida", I am unfamiliar with barbour's writings. Are you refering to "A Naturalist in Cuba"?
3b) There were American Bison in Florida until the early 1800's. There is direct archeological evidence that the paleo-indians hunted bison (A Bison Antiquus Kill Site, Wacissa River, Jefferson County, Florida; S.D. Webb, J.T. Millanich, R. Alexon, & J.S. Dunbar, 1984). There were large herds of wild cattle roaming florida which the Seminoles definitely hunted and herded. It is probable that some of this remnant Bison population would have been assimilated into these herds of feral cattle. Female Bison deliver a fertile hybrid that is smaller and woollier. Also, many mammal species living on a large peninsula are smaller than their mainland counterparts (i.e. bear, deer, panther)(see: the peninsula effect). I know of no direct archeological evidence from the archaic, woodland, or mississippian periods for Florida bison
Guess some of those might not have been horse teeth-oops!
4) Not familiar with an in depth debate about SECC tablets
5) The coastal indians of south Florida most definitely knew of the existence of Cuba. In the Jonathan Dickenson's account, he states that the indians wished to send him southward to meet with a Spanish village and that going north to St. Augustine would have be further. This not only indicates that the cacique
6) Plummets likely represent bola or net weights for hunting fowl or fishing. They are commonly found around large bodies of water throughout North America with a greater frequency in Florida, the North California Coast, and the Central Mississippi Valley. Plummets have been recovered from burial sites, and some display excellent craftsmanship suggesting a ceremonial rather than utilitarian use (Peter A. Bostrom, 2007). However, grave goods frequently represent everyday items. Fish-hooks have also been recovered with burials and can be finely crafted, yet no-one mistakes their function. Lastly, dowsing in Post-Paleo Florida or around large bodies of water would appear to be a useless charge.
Ray Osborne <ourhistory153@...> wrote:
Thanks to those who replied and answered my first set of questions. It was
very informative and I sent the feedback to the Florida Archeology forum.
Here is my second set of questions.
1) Have Otoliths (fish ear-stones) been found in Brevard County. If so has
any species of fish been identified with them?
2) Does Ballard Park have evidence of Terraced Mounds? Is it thought
that Indians built mounds because of flooding concerns or that it just
lent authority to the chief to look over his tribe? Or other reason?
3) Harvard Zoologist Thomas Barbour spent time in Cuba during the
1930's. Are you aware of any of his writings that indicate his impressions
of the indigenous tribes of Cuba?
3) Has there ever been archaeological evidence
found of small
"Small book by an Englishman descriptive of this part of Florida, dated 1760, in which he records the existence of herds of small native woolly buffaloes, roaming the savannas, which however no traces remain, although I have searched long for their bones." Robert Ranson pg VI East Coast Memoirs.
Unfortunate but the sole copy of this book Ranson referred to got destroyed
in a fire in St. Augustine.
4) SECC Tablet distribution. In an article in Florida Anthropologist the
author provides a map of the distribution of finds on the notorious
South Eastern Complex (Spider) tablets. If these are indeed Southeastern
Ceremonial Complex artifacts and the fact that SECC is primarily North
American why are none of these artifacts found in the North Florida zones?
The preponderance of them are in the Southern part of the state the furthest
locale from the SECC cultures? Could it be that these tablets
SECC but from southern cultures? Maybe even Mexican or Caribbean.
Has any of these artifacts been found in Brevard County.
5) Are you pro or con with the argument that Florida Indians may have
had contact and influence from Caribbean and Mexican Indian cultures?
And why? What evidences are there that support or dismiss this theory?
Author in Florida Anthropologist wrote that Christoper Columbus stated
that he saw very long canoes.
6) What is your opinion of the use (function) of plummets that are found in
archaeological digs? Fishing line anchors, charms maybe even pendulums
for dowsing purposes? Water witching I understood was a Native American
cultural behavior, so do you think dowsing may be a consideration of the function of a plummet?
Check out video collection at my