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ARCHAEOLOGY ARTICLES

Full-text articles by David Butler, PhD, RPA

BLUEBERRY SITE RESEARCH

TOPICS IN NORTH AMERICAN ARCHAEOLOGY

CERAMIC STUDIES

 

Blueberry Site Research

 

"The Blueberry Parcel Cultural Resource Assessment: Outlining Objectives, Research Design, and Goals"

By: David Butler PhD, RPA, March 2006

PHASE I RESEARCH DESIGN OVERVIEW

What are the goals of the Cultural Resource Assessment currently being conducted at the Blueberry Parcel?

The cultural resource survey of the Blueberry parcel is being conducted as a private research endeavor designed to identify and assess cultural resources across this 101-acre rural landscape. The specific goals of the assessment of this parcel include but are not limited to 1) establishing the culture period sequence (temporal and cultural affiliation of cultural resources?) 2) investigating spatial settlement patterns (where are cultural resources located and what is their size?) 3) defining functional difference between and among cultural resources on the property (what types of behavior occurred at which locations?) 4) disseminating information (public outreach and education) 5) prioritize the stratigraphic and environmental context of these resources (environmental factors such as topography, soil type, and geological deposition and its interaction with the archaeological record will be prioritized as significant components of the landscape complementing information gleaned from cultural data recovered at the parcel).

Regardless of the justification for research, when discovered, cultural resources represent loci of human activity that are identified through a process synthesizing documentary research, field methodology and lab analysis.

How is the assessment being conducted?

The field methodology being applied to this research prioritizes spatial and vertical control allowing for meticulous recovery of artifacts from a known location. Individual test pits are recorded on an aerial map, a topographic map, and on a test pit form that identifies: 1) the relative location of each test pit 2) the stratigraphic profile of each test pit 3) the slope of the land where each test pit is located 4) surrounding vegetation 5) artifacts recovered. When artifacts are found they are bagged in the field and preliminary descriptions are placed on each bag assigning it to a specific test pit (if artifacts are found at different depths they are bagged separately).

Based on a previously defined probability model and research design, these test pits are placed 25 meters apart in an offset grid (producing a checkerboard pattern across the landscape). These test pits are no less than 50 centimeters in diameter and are excavated to a depth of at least 100 centimeters below the ground surface (cmbs). Fieldwork will be followed by labwork, which will prioritize, artifact drying and storage as well as preliminary classification and analysis within and between artifact categories in preparation for a Phase I site report.

PRELIMINARY RESULTS (as of March 2006)
What does Research Indicate so far?

About half of the parcel has been assessed thus far and preliminary research undertaken at the Blueberry Parcel (Highlands County, Florida) has identified what appears to be a continuous village site extending westward away from a ridge/contour which lies adjacent to a lowland extending along the eastern perimeter of the parcel. This could turn out to be one of the largest Belle Glade village sites ever discovered. The initial component of the cultural resource assessment/survey has resulted in sixty one positive test pits (positive test pits are separated by no more than 50 meters in an offset 25 meter grid). Thus far, analysis suggests that this widespread occupation is associated with the Belle Glade Archaeological Culture of south-central Florida (associated with the Okeechobee archaeological zone of Florida).

The Belle Glade Village

Over two hundred sherds (including several flat and beveled rims) have been recovered from a depth of 0-40 cmbs. Initial analysis suggests that the majority of these pottery fragments represent Belle Glade Plain pottery. This pottery type typically is associated with the time period between A.D. 200 and A.D. 1700. Belle Glade Pottery has been found as far south as Upper Matecumbe Key and as far north as Melbourne on the east coast and Tampa Bay on the west coast.

One complete Pinellas projectile point has also been found at a depth of 40-50 cmbs. Consistent with the Belle Glade Archaeological culture time period, these points are associated with the post A.D. 1250 time period of Florida Archaeology. They are described by Bullen (1975:8) as small triangular points with relatively straight sides and sharp corners. This specimen recovered during this assessment represents the most commonly found variety (narrow isosceles form; subtype 2) of these projectile points as identified by Bullen (1975) and has serrated edges and a concave base.

What else do we know so far?

A second more sporadic use of this landscape is associated with a depth of 75-100 cmbs and is demarked by the presence of coral finish/pressure flakes. This likely represents an archaic use of this landscape. There have been no artifacts recovered between 50 and 75 centimeters below the ground surface. Also, no pottery has been recovered below 45 cmbs. These two patterns indicate that the Blueberry parcel likely contains evidence of at least two distinct periods of cultural use separated by 25 centimeters of sterile soil. Another noteworthy component of this assessment is a .36 caliber bullet (from a rifled black powder pistol) that was recovered from a depth of 30-40 cmbs.

This represents a preliminary summary based on evidence as of February, 2006. The goals of this project are being met and as more research is being undertaken a comprehensive understanding of cultural use of this landscape is beginning to unfold.

Project Participants

This project is sponsored by the Kissimmee Valley Archaeological and Historical Conservancy (KVAHC) and is being conducted for the property owners Anne and Charles Reynolds. The principle investigator for this project is David Butler, PhD, RPA. The field crew for this project is comprised of a group of Mr. Butler’s anthropology students from the University of Central Florida and Valencia Community College (Field Assistants: Nathan Lawres, Jessica Clover, Ryan Murphy; Volunteer Field Technicians: Joey Pagon, Stephanie Chill, Jenna Reinstein, Lynn Dunn, Alex Maillet, and Tiffany Gandalfo. Also, we would like to thank all the members of KVAHC and the Walker Academy students from Avon Park who have aided in this project.

References Cited

Bullen, Ripley P.
1975 A Guide to the Identification of Florida Projectile Points. Gainesville, Florida: Kendall Books.

King, Thomas F.
1998 Cultural Resource Laws and Practice: an introductory guide. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.

"Cultural and Natural Landscapes Considered: A Blueberry Parcel Cultural Resource Assessment Survey Update"

David Butler PhD, RPA, May 2006

The last couple of months have been exciting as Phase I research proceeds at the Blueberry parcel. Since the beginning of April 2006, Professor Butler and his crew of students from U.C.F. and Valencia Community College have been working to assess the south side of the primary driveway at the Blueberry Parcel. This investigation has revealed an interesting and discernable pattern of use of this cultural landscape. The Belle Glade component of the parcel has thus far been much less dense in this area (especially closest to CR 29). However, the density of the archaic pre-ceramic component of the parcel has increased significantly as work has progressed toward the east (away from CR 29). Overall research in the area south of the driveway has produced 29 positive test pits. Sixteen of these contained lithic flakes and eighteen of these contained Belle Glade Plain pottery fragments including several rims and one very large rim fragment with a beveled lip treatment measuring 21cm X 14 cm.


Several preliminary patterns associated with site formation processes across the landscape are discernable from this initial data. First, pottery is discovered in stratigraphic layer one (10 YR 6/1 Grey/A Horizon) at a depth of 1-16 centimeters below ground surface (cmbs) and in stratigraphic layer one at a depth of 20-30 cmbs. The pottery found deeper at 20-30cmbs is typically associated with foot and toe slopes where sediment has been transported down slope (primarily due to water transport, equating to colluvial buildup). By contrast, the pottery found closer to the surface (1-16cmbs) is typically associated with shoulder slopes or summits where sediment has been removed over time due to natural processes (wind and water). In this context, this explains why we find the same category of artifacts (Belle Glade Plain pottery) at different depths below the surface. This pattern of colluvial buildup is consistent with geomorphologic landscape evolution and results in site formation processes that bury artifacts deeper at the base of sand hills over time at the Blueberry site.


The occurrence of flakes in this context reveal three patterns based on recovery so far: 1) flakes found in association with the pottery in stratigraphic layer one 2)flakes separated from pottery by 20-30 centimeters (found between 50-60 cmbs in what is typically stratigraphic layer two: 10YR 7/1 Light Grey/C Horizon) and 3) flakes separated from pottery by around 60 centimeters (found between 80 and 100 cmbs-also stratigraphic layer 2). These patterns represent lithic artifacts in association with the Belle Glade occupation of Blueberry as well as a distinct archaic occupation separated by sterile sediment. The upper two concentrations are associated with Belle Glade occupants and the lower represents a earlier occupation (presumably pre-ceramic).


As work continues toward the ridgeline to the east a more clear understanding of the overall size and nature of the archaic and Belle Glade components will emerge. Thus far we know that the Belle Glade site takes up around 60 acres of the parcel. This initial assessment will set the stage for follow-up research designed to augment our understanding of the varied cultural use of the Blueberry Parcel through time. I am happy to announce that a site visit has been arranged for Dr. Rick Oches of the University of South Florida’s Geology and Environmental Science departments. Dr. Oches is a well accomplished geomorphologist who has done work at the Weedon Island site and will serve as a consultant to aid in our understanding of the soils and landforms at the Blueberry Parcel. By helping connect the cultural landscape with the natural landscape his work will complement the understanding of the context of artifacts and the evolution of the landform where they are found. We are very excited to have him on board.

 

 

"Organizing the Blueberry Site Ceramic and Lithic Assemblages for Detailed Analysis"


David Butler PhD, RPA, September 2006

Ongoing research at the Blueberry site was the focus of the three posters and two papers presented at the Florida Anthropological Society (FAS) conference in May 2006. It is clear at this point that Belle Glade Plain pottery is the most representative diagnostic artifact category associated with the Phase I Cultural Resource Assessment of the Blueberry site. The other significant category of artifacts discovered during the Phase I included lithics (stone tools and stone debris resulting from the sharpening and shaping of stone). The stone material along with the ceramics from the phase I have been sorted, weighed, catalogued, photographed, and categorized according to local typology (Florida point types and ceramic types). Likewise, this material has been double bagged and laminated cards with provenience data have been placed inside the interior bag. A representative sample of the lithic material is being sent this month to Dr. Bob Austin for detailed analysis.


The preliminary organization of the ceramic assemblage sets the stage for detailed comparative study. For example, initial analysis indicates that Belle Glade Plain pottery accounts for over 90% of the ceramics at the site. Therefore, the patterns (consistencies and variations) in this category of artifacts at the site are of paramount importance to our understanding of cultural behavior at the site. The objectives of this pottery analysis include at least two components. First, patterns in the stratigraphic and spatial relationships between elements of the assemblage must be understood. This data is applied toward the establishment of chronology and variations in density associated with different components of the landscape. For instance, one pattern that has emerged is a clear spatial association with the occupation of the eastern terminus of the Lake Wales Ridge at the site. The pottery assemblage clearly indicates that during the most intense occupation of the site (which according to current evidence dates to circa 1100 BP – 700 BP) residents had a clear preference for living on relatively high ground in close proximity to a water source.


The second research objective of the ceramic analysis is to evaluate the categories of ceramics present in the assemblage and investigate the representative variation within each category. This is significant because this can provide insight into human behavior at the site by clarifying the origin of non-local pottery types (such as sand tempered plain and sandy St. Johns) indicating patterns of prehistoric interaction. Likewise, this analysis provides the opportunity to analyze variation within the Belle Glade Plain assemblage that have not been well accounted for in archaeological literature. For example, detailed analysis of rim and lip variation in Belle Glade Plain ceramics is not well established for South Central Florida. It is not clear how much variation there is or whether that variation is associated with time and space in the region. A comprehensive review of the literature indicates that a basis of comparison for this pottery type is needed and the Blueberry site assemblage is being used to address this void in the Florida archaeological knowledge base.


Searching for a standardized basis of comparison for the Belle Glade Plain assemblage indicates that one is lacking. Therefore, after organizing what little bit of data there is, I decided to create my own sample data set. In December, I traveled to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. and evaluated the pottery assemblage from the Belle Glade type site (the site located on Lake Okeechobee that was used to define Belle Glade culture and the pottery type Belle Glade Plain). A sample of 50 rims and lips from the Belle Glade site were measured for thickness and classified according to the varieties identified during this research. This data is being processed and will be used as a basis of comparison for the assemblage at the Blueberry site. This research will clearly define variation in this pottery type at this site and will establish a formula that might be applied by other archaeologists working in the region.

 

"Summer 2006 Fieldwork Update: Diagnostic Lithics and Radiocarbon Dates begin to shed light on Occupation Chronology at the Blueberry Site (8HG678)"

David Butler PhD, RPA, October 2006

 

This summer Professor Butler and his students from UCF and Valencia Community College continued working to complete the Phase I assessment of the parcel containing the Blueberry site. This summer’s work has been highly productive and we are beginning to gain insight into at least one component of the spatial and temporal dimensions of the site.

The test pit grid (high probability grid = 25 meter interval between test pits) is virtually complete. There are still a few judgmental bounding test pits (less than 25 remain) and a very small area (less than one acre) in the southeast corner of the property has yet to be assessed. In addition to identifying the extent of the site along the ridge south and west of last year’s grid work, the work done on the test pit grid over the summer produced several diagnostic projectile points. For example, one late archaic/early woodland Culbreath point (in the center of a midden context containing sand tempered plain and Belle Glade plain pottery) was found. Also, four Pinellas points (Mississippian points from the same midden context as the Culbreath; found closer to the surface than the Culbreath) and three Hernando points (Woodland points; found in the same stratigraphic context as the Pinellas) were discovered. These are highly significant artifacts for this site because they add to the relatively sparse lithic assemblage of Highlands County and because they provide a basis of comparison with other sites around the state where their temporal context has been established.

One significant step taken to maintain spatial control of the test pit grid was taken over the summer. Each positive test pit location was recorded with a highly accurate hand held GPS device (Garmin GPSmap76CX). This spatial data provides detailed longitude latitude coordinates for each of the positive test pit location. These grid points were then downloaded from the GPS onto a computer, integrated into GIS software, and used to produce aerial and topographic maps illustrating the extent of the site. These maps and the coordinates of each positive test pit will be included in the Blueberry site report along with the results of detailed lab analysis investigating individual test pits and an overall assessment of all test pits.

The data recovered from test pits will complement data recovered from a series of Test Units designed to concentrate on the most significant areas of the site and provide the opportunity for identifying intact features. The Test Unit (2X2 meter block unit) that was open last year (previously known as XEA4; now known as Test Unit 1) was completed over the summer (the field crew is forever grateful for Charles Reynolds taking the time out of his busy schedule to backfill the unit). This unit was excavated to a depth of 260 cmbd (250cmbs). An archaic layer comprised mostly of finish flakes/pressure flakes persisted until 240 cmbd. The final 20 centemeters (240-260 cmbd) of the unit was sterile (contained no artifacts). This is good because otherwise Professor Butler would not be able to sleep at night wondering what might have happened if we had dug a little deeper…

Two distinct middens were present in the stratigraphic profile atop the archaic occupation. They were separated from the archaic layer by 50 centimeters of white sand with a very low density of artifacts. They were separated from each other by 30 centimeters of white sand with a relatively low density of artifacts. These anthrosols (soil horizons/stratigraphic layers created as a byproduct of human activity) were much darker than the surrounding strata (10YR 4/1 brown –vs- 10 YR 7/1 light grey) and contained multiple features including over 20 post molds and three hearths. Additionally, these midden strata contained a very dense artifact assemblage dominated by sand tempered plain and Belle Glade plain pottery.

One charcoal radiocarbon sample was processed from each of these midden contexts. Additionally, the carbon residue (residual protein from what was previously cooked in the pot) from the inside of a pottery sherd was assessed from the upper midden context (the midden closest to the surface). The organic residue from this Belle Glade flat rim sherd produced a calibrated radiocarbon date (2 sigma) of AD 1400 – 1460. The calibrated radiocarbon date (2 sigma) of the charcoal from this midden context is AD 1230 – 1300 (the sherd came from 12 cm above the charcoal). The lower midden returned a calibrated radiocarbon date (2 sigma) of AD 1160 – 1280. These distinct stratigraphic layers and their associated radiocarbon dates correlate nicely with the diagnostic projectile points discovered in the same strata along the same landform from test pit contexts.

We are currently excavating the second 2X2 meter block Test Unit. This unit will provide our first opportunity to compare radiocarbon samples from the same stratigraphic layers from separate areas of the site. This step will begin to generate a comprehensive understanding of variation in the landscape (such as differential erosion, sediment accumulation, or disturbance) that may affect the stratigraphic and temporal association of artifacts and features across space and through time at this highly significant landscape.

"Phase II Research Initiatives at the Blueberry Site"


David Butler PhD, RPA, January 2007

Currently labwork and fieldwork are progressing with artifacts from TU1 and TU2 being dried (level by level and quad by quad) and excavation of the third judgmental 2X2 meter test unit (TU3) being undertaken. Thus far the stratigraphy, artifacts, and features observed in TU3 are consistent with evidence from the first two test units (TU1 & TU2) and with the test pit (shovel test) results/evidence. Specifically, this unit contains a dense dark midden strata marked by an abundance of faunal material, pottery, and features (post molds, hearths, and pits) overlaid by a lighter midden with a related but less dense artifact assemblage.

This consistency is continuing to demonstrate broad scale continuity across this 60 acre-plus landscape containing this significant village site. The upper 50 centimeters of TU3 has produced 14 features (11 post molds, 2 hearths, and one pit), two diagnostic projectile points (Pinellas points found insitu), several lithic flakes (finish flakes and one lateral thining flake), and an abundance of pottery sherds (dozens of Belle Glade rim and body fragments).

The most unique and fascinating component of this unit has been the discovery of a series of at least ten post molds that form a discernable pattern. They appear to form the corner of a structure that had walls running roughly north/south and east/west. If this orientation holds true as more evidence is discovered, this would align the structure with the termination of the Lake Wales Ridge to the east and south.

In order to gain as much insight into this pattern as possible, chemical testing of the soil inside and outside this probable structure is being conducted by Dr. Christian Wells (USF Archaeologist). Dr. Wells visited the site and took samples to test for variations in phosphorus levels in the soil from inside and outside the possible structure. His important work at the site demonstrates the significance of soil chemistry as a valuable piece of evidence that can be used to complement the interpretation of human behavior at the Blueberry site. This research is significant to our understanding of human behavior at the site because differential phosphorous amounts between these areas of the unit may serve as indicators of a structure with a roof associated with the line of posts. Upcoming research will provide supplemental information to complement post molds that will ultimately confirm or disprove the working hypothesis that suggests we have found the corner of a structure in TU3.

 

"The Blueberry Site Phase II: Contemplating Test Unit Three"

David Butler PhD, RPA, March 2007

Test unit three has been excavated to a depth of 100 centimeters below datum (105 centimeters below the ground surface). The cultural material associated with this unit thus far has consisted of two diagnostic projectile points (Pinnelas Points), lithic flakes, Belle Glade Plain pottery (body sherds and rim sherds with at least three distinct rim treatments), one sizeable exotic rim sherd (perhaps Deptford or Weedon Island), bone pin fragments, faunal remains and a multitude of features. This artifact assemblage and its associated context is consistent with what has been recovered from the previous two test units associated with the overall Blueberry Parcel research project.

There were over fifty features identified and documented in this test unit alone. Features were of three primary types: post molds, pits, and hearths. One interesting pattern associated with the pits in this unit is that the majority of them had posts terminating from their base. This pattern indicates that individuals at the Blueberry site were digging pits as a way to initiate post placement. Following this step circular post holes were dug and posts were then set in place over time producing what archaeologists identify as “post molds” (residual traces of rotted posts). Overall, these features represent two discernable patterns. First, are the post molds and associated pits that form a straight line paralleling the south wall of the unit. Second, they form two overlapping semicircles that appear to extend out of the unit to the north. These semicircles likely represent the ends of two oval structures associated with distinct building episodes. Because of this trend a neighboring 2X2 meter unit was opened directly north of TU3. It is hoped that this unit will shed insight into the overall dimensions of these structures and more clearly define their association with the “wall” of posts that parallel the south property line of TU3. Further, future research in the area of TU3 will prioritize defining the terminous of this straight line to the east and west.
Currently, all cultural material from test pit/shovel test contexts (representing around 250 positive test pits) is being processed (sorted, weighed, cataloged, and photographed). Professor Butler and three of his students will be presenting posters and or papers addressing research at the Blueberry Site at the upcoming FAS meeting.


"Dimensions and Scope: Summer 2007 at the Blueberry Site"
David Butler PhD, RPA, September 2007

The summer started with a walking tour of the Blueberry site as a component of this year’s FAS meeting in Avon Park. The site visit served as the featured excursion for this year’s conference, was attended by around 40 conference participants, and was led by Dr Butler. Fieldwork over the summer facilitated the completion of the test pit/shovel test grid across the known portion of the Blueberry site contained within the 101 acre landscape we initially sought to investigate. This process began in September of 2005, has proceeded part time since then, and has resulted in a very clear understanding of this site’s representation in space and through time. This information clarifies areas of the site with the highest concentration of artifacts and provides an explanatory model allowing for comparisons between geomorphologic characteristics of the landscape and cultural behavior. In other words, as the evidence generated from this field work is analyzed in the lab, this data will provide insight into when and how people utilized the landscape through time. This comparison will be complemented by stratigraphic context to paint a comprehensive picture of the human occupation at the site. Further, the analysis of individual artifacts and artifact categories will provide details as to how and why technology (such as stone/lithic and bone tools and pottery) augmented their cultural behavior.

This summer progress was also made in Test Unit four where over 40 features have been identified since June (see photo). Currently, we are in the process of documenting and removing these features. As was the case with TU3 (the adjoining unit to the south) the vast majority of features are post molds, and a few are pits and hearths. This fall we will continue working in TU4 and plan to open an adjoining unit to the west to follow the pattern of post molds identified previously. Likewise, the test pit grid has identified at least two areas with high potential for early archaic occupation at the site. We plan to revisit these areas and establish block units to evaluate this component of the site. Lastly, I want to let everyone know that I have acquired nearly 3,000 dollars in research money from Rollins College to support ongoing excavation initiatives. I look forward to seeing you all in the field.

"Post Mold Features: Searching for Comprehensive Patterns at the Blueberry Site (8HG678)"
David Butler PhD, RPA, October 2007

Test Unit 3 (2X2 meter block unit) reveled at least two patterns associated with post mold features. One such pattern was an arc extending toward the North (likely associated with an oval structure). This discovery justified opening an adjoining unit to the north (Test Unit 4) to investigate whether this pattern continued. Consequently, over thirty post molds have been discovered in Test Unit 4 and are currently being processed. This many posts in this small area clearly indicates multiple building episodes with overlapping foundation posts. As time passed and new structures replaced old ones, new foundation posts were established and post mold features at the Blueberry site (8HG678) demonstrate that the village site was prime prehistoric real estate.

Newly discovered post mold features in TU 4 have been mapped and photographed and are currently being sampled and removed. As this analysis in Test Unit 4 is completed, the overall relationship between the distribution of posts in these two units across this 4X4 meter space will be evaluated. The second pattern observed in Test Unit 3 was an east-west line of posts. In September 2007 Test Unit 5 (a 2x2 meter western adjoining block unit) was initiated to investigate this East-West line of posts to discover if it continued outside TU3.

Test Units 4 and 5 have been strategically placed to investigate post mold patterns observed in Test Unit 3. Thus far, Test Unit 4 has produced consistent results with Test Unit 3 (initial elevation, soil color and texture, and diameter of post mold features). Test Unit 5 is still above the primary midden at the Blueberry Site and has been excavated to a depth of 15 centimeters below ground surface. More data recovery is needed to discern the presence of post mold features in Test Unit 5 (they appeared at the base of the midden in TU3 and TU4). The objective of these adjoining units is to find enough evidence to potentially demark the dimensions of a prehistoric structure. A comprehensive explanatory model has not been developed in south-central Florida addressing typical dimensions, associated post mold diameters, depth of post mold features relative to prehistoric living surfaces, and tree specimen utilized. Therefore, this evidence is critical to understanding habitation patterns associated with south-central Florida pre-historic Indians.

"Artifacts and Features Continue to Demonstrate the Significance of the Blueberry Site (8HG678)"
By: David Butler PhD, RPA, January 2008

The most recent discoveries in Test Unit 5 demonstrate that previous block excavation results in the two adjoining 2X2 meter block units are consistent according to relative elevation, stratigraphy, artifacts, and features. Test Unit five has demonstrated the consistency of the Belle Glade midden strata identified in Test Units three and four (initially identified in shovel tests in this portion of the project area). Likewise, the artifact assemblage is dominated by Bell Glade Plain ceramics. A unique component of the assemblage from the midden strata is a metallic disc (1 cm in diameter). This disc is the same shape, color, and has the same green patina as the disc found in Test Unit four less than two meters away and from the same relative location within the midden strata. At least one radiocarbon sample will be processed from the elevation where the disc was found and the disc will be evaluated to confirm that it is native copper (the same as the first disc from Test Unit four).

Thus far features in Test Unit five include two pit features containing shell artifacts. One contained a collumella scraper tool; the other contained one complete “whelk shell cutting edge tool type A” (Leur, Allerton, Hazeltine, Hatfield, Hood: 1986: 107). John Goggin was the Florida Archaeologist to clarify this shell tool type (see picture of shell from feature). He states that “It was prepared by taking a shell and carefully chipping or pounding the thin edge of the lip back a short distance until the uniform thickness of the mature shell was reached. Part of the lower lip or beak adjacent to the canal was removed and the canal was ground to a chisel like rounded blade. A short distance below the shoulder a notch was cut into the lip. Opposite this notch, in the body whirl on the other side of the shell, a perforation was made” (Goggin 1949). elk hafted tool) and post mold features. These features have virtually identical initial elevations (within one cm) and they are therefore likely associated with a living surface once occupied by the Belle Glade inhabitants of the site. The elevation of this living surface will also be a priority for at least one radiocarbon sample.

References

Goggin, John
1949 The Archaeology of the Glades Area, South Florida. Unfinished
MS on file at Yale Peabody Museum.

Leur, George, David Allerton, Dan Hazeltine, Ron Hatfield, Darden Hood
1986 Whelk Shell Tool Blanks from Big Mound Key (8CH10), Charlotte County, Florida; With Notes on Certain Whelk Shell Tools. Florida Anthropologist 39(3 part 1) 92-123.

 

"A Preliminary Summary of the Blueberry Site (8HG678) Phase I Artifact Assemblage"
David Butler PhD, RPA, March 2008

As was reported in the three posters and two papers presented at this years Florida Anthropological Society (FAS) conference, Belle Glade Plain pottery is the most representative diagnostic artifact category associated with the Phase I Cultural Resource Assessment of the Blueberry site. The second most representative artifact category recovered during the Phase I included lithics (stone tools and debitage associated with the re-sharpening and shaping of stone). The stone material along with the ceramics from the phase I have been sorted, weighed, and categorized according to local typology (Florida point types and ceramic types). Likewise, this material has been double bagged and laminated cards with provenience data have been placed inside the interior bag. In addition to representative photos being taken, cataloging protocol has been established and is being followed.

A representative sample of the lithic material is being sent this month to Dr. Bob Austin for detailed analysis (including sourcing and functional analysis). The preliminary summary of lithic material recovered during the Phase I demonstrates several trends in the data. For example, the summary datasheets provided to Dr. Austin (that are being included in the Phase I site report) demonstrate that there were a total of 114 test pits containing cultural lithic material. Likewise, the summary of the lithic data indicates that there were 864 flakes and 4 diagnostic projectile points recovered from 867 test pits. The initial investigation of this summary points to three patterns associated with elevation and the dataset has been organized into three categories based on these patterns (Category 1: 0-50 cmbs, Category 2: 50-80 cmbs, Category 3: 80 + cmbs). KVAHC and Earthmovers Archaeological Consultants, LLC are very appreciative of Dr. Austin’s availability and are looking forward to the report detailing his lithic analysis (expected in June 2008).

The preliminary organization of the Blueberry (8HG678) ceramic assemblage sets the stage for detailed comparative study. For example, initial analysis indicates that Belle Glades Plain pottery accounts for over 90% of the ceramics at the site. Therefore, the patterns (consistencies and variations) in this category of artifacts at the site are of paramount importance to our understanding of cultural behavior at the site. The objectives of this pottery analysis include at least two components. First, patterns in the stratigraphic and spatial relationships between elements of the assemblage must be understood. This data is applied toward the establishment of chronology and variations in density associated with different components of the landscape. For instance, one pattern that has emerged is a clear spatial association with the occupation of the eastern terminus of the Lake Wales Ridge at the site. The pottery assemblage clearly indicates that during the most intense occupation of the site (which according to current evidence dates to circa 1100 BP – 700 BP) residents had a clear preference for living on relatively high ground in close proximity to aquatic and terrestrial resources.

The second research objective of the ceramic analysis is to evaluate the categories of ceramics present in the assemblage and investigate the representative variation within each category. This is significant because this can provide insight into human behavior at the site by clarifying the origin of non-local pottery types (such as sand tempered plain and sandy St. Johns) indicating patterns of prehistoric interaction. Likewise, this analysis provides the opportunity to analyze variation within the Belle Glades Plain assemblage that have not been well accounted for in archaeological literature. For example, detailed analysis of rim and lip variation in Belle Glades Plain ceramics is not well established South Central Florida. It is not clear how much variation there is or whether that variation is associated with time and space in the region. A comprehensive review of the literature indicates that a basis of comparison for this pottery type is needed and the Blueberry site assemblage is being used to address this void in the Florida archaeological knowledge base.

Searching for a standardized basis of comparison for lips and rims of the Belle Glades Plain assemblage indicates that one is lacking. Therefore, after organizing what little bit of comparable data there is, I decided to create my own sample data set. In December 2007, I traveled to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. and evaluated the pottery assemblage from the Belle Glade type site (the site located on Lake Okeechobee that was used to define Belle Glade culture and the pottery type Belle Glades Plain). A sample of 50 rims and lips from the Belle Glade site were measured for thickness and classified according to the varieties identified during this research. This data is being processed and will be used as a basis of comparison for the assemblage at the Blueberry site. This research will clearly define variation in this pottery type at this site and will establish a formula that might be applied by other archaeologists working in the region. This research will be presented to the public at this years FAS conference and will be a part of the Phase I report which is currently in a rough draft format (this report is being added to as data is summarized and analyzed).

 

"Summer 2008 Blueberry Site Fieldwork and Lithics Analysis Update"
By: David Butler PhD, RPA, September 2008

This summer field season was highly productive at the Blueberry site with research focusing on the excavation and interpretation of features in Test Units four and five along with the continuation of lab processing. Over the summer, volunteer participants at the site included an energetic group of students from the Walker Academy in Avon Park (who spent a week at the site under the direction of their esteemed teacher Gordon Davis) as well as college-level students from Rollins College, the University of South Florida, and the University of Florida. Some of the most noteworthy artifacts recovered during the week the Walker Academy students were at the site were split bone tools fashioned out of deer longbones.

As was mentioned in the May newsletter, a sub-sample of the lithic assemblage was outsourced to Dr. Robert Austin for lithic sourcing as well as detailed functional and typological analysis. For the first time in the history of research at the site, it is possible to make definitive connections between sources of lithic material (i.e. chert outcrops) and lithic tools such as diagnostic bifaces and utilized flakes. It is now clear that the Belle Glade inhabitants of the Blueberry site were utilizing stone tools manufactured from material recovered from at least four locations. These sources of stone are located to the west, northwest, and north-northwest of the site with the most distant source being well over 100 miles away to the north-northwest.

The four chert sources associated with the lithic sample analyzed by Dr. Austin are from 1) the Peace River Formation 2) the Arcadia Formation: Cow House Creek 3) Tampa Limestone chert from the Hillsborough River Quarry Cluster and 4) Upper Withlacoochee River Quarry Cluster (Austin 2008). These results clearly demonstrate that the Belle Glade inhabitants of the Blueberry site were participants in a trade network linking them with cultural groups from southwest and west-central Florida. These findings related to the lithic assemblage are consistent with other cultural material recovered thus far from the site such as shark teeth and shell from the west coast of Florida and sand tempered plain pottery from north of the site in central Florida.

Currently, we are anticipating the results of ongoing botanical and faunal analysis of two hearths from the Belle Glade component of the site. Likewise, the results of the post-mold tree species identification analysis are forthcoming. We look forward to another productive year of research at the site and are looking forward to a visit from the Little Salt Springs archaeological group in December.

References

Austin, Robert
2008 Analysis of Chipped Stone Artifacts from the Blueberry Site, 8HG678. Unpublished Technical Report prepared for the Kissimmee Valley Archaeological and Historical Conservancy.

 

"Preliminary Analysis of Hearth Feature’s 5 and 53 from Test Unit Four"
David Butler PhD, RPA, November 2008

The entire matrix from two hearth features has been analyzed for botanical and faunal evidence pointing to the subsistence activities associated with the primary Belle Glade Occupation at the Blueberry site (8HG678). Future summaries will describe this investigation further as will the Phase II site report which will be initiated in January 2009.

The botanical analysis of the hearths was conducted by Dr. Rene Bonzani of the Univeristy of Kentucky and the faunal analysis was conducted by Jessica Allgood, MS, RPA who explained in her report that “Analysis of the vertebrate faunal remains recovered during phase II excavations at site 8HG678 gives archaeologists the opportunity to examine the subsistence activities of the occupants of the sites through the analysis of materials recovered from two hearths, Feature 5 and Feature 53. A moderate sample of faunal remains was recovered from each feature. Site Feature 5 yielded 1171 faunal remains weighing 101.18 g and Feature 53 yielded 1074 faunal remains weighing 80.66 g. The total sample included 2245 bones weighing 181.84 g.” (Allgood 2008).

Following the field collection of the hearth data Ms. Allgood determined that “Faunal remains recovered from the excavations included 2245 bone and teeth fragments weighing 181.84 g. Identifications included one phylum, twelve classes and subclasses, three orders, eight families, seven genera, and 11 species. The sample included species from wild resources from primarily aquatic environments. Mammals identified in the sample included whitetailed deer, Eastern cottontail rabbit, and tree squirrel (Sciurus sp.). Although no species of bird was identified, medium and small birds were present. Aquatic species included shellfish, amphibian, turtles, and fish. One fragment of an indeterminate bivalve was included in the sample. One amphibian, Great Siren, was identified. Aquatic turtles included snapping turtle, slider, stinkpot turtle, and Eastern mud turtle. Fish species included mostly brackish water species, such as bowfin, gar, freshwater drum, a member of the sucker family, blue catfish, channel catfish, black bass, and sunfish. Saltwater fish included sand tiger shark, a member of the snapper family, and mullet” (Allgood 2008).

The presence of salt and brackish water species in one of these hearths is astounding, and challenges what we think we know about subsistence and the intensity of interaction patterns at interior Belle Glade sites. This evidence demonstrates that the prehistoric occupants of the Blueberry site had direct access to trade that provided them with fish from the coast that was fresh enough to cook in their hearths! This evidence supports other recent discoveries at the site that confirm this interaction such as shark teeth, collumella fragments, and left handed whelk tools. The extent of this coastal interaction and its orientation are key components to gaining understanding into the interaction patterns of Belle Glade people and this analysis along with future corroborating evidence will be critical as this component of the site is explored further.

References

Allgood, Jessica

2008 Faunal Analysis of F5 and F53 from the Blueberry Site. Unpublished Technical Report Prepared for Anne Reynolds and David Butler.

 

"The Phase I Cultural Resource Assessment of the Blueberry Parcel is Complete and the Phase II is Underway"
By: David Butler PhD, RPA, December 2008

I am pleased to announce the completion of the Phase I Site Report entitled “The Blueberry Site Phase I Report: a Case Study in Goal-Oriented Public Archaeology’. The report is over two hundred pages and provides a detailed summary of research design and methodology, cultural and historical context, fieldwork, labwork, analysis, and interpretation. This report complies with standards for Archaeological Reports in the State of Florida and has been filed with the Bureau of Archaeological Research in Tallahassee.

This research was conducted by Butler Cultural Resource Management, LLC. The archaeological and historical components of this Phase I survey were conducted from September 2005 – September 2007. The purpose of this research was to locate and interpret cultural resources within the project area and to assess significance relative to eligibility for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP)” (Butler 2008:2). This synopsis sets the stage for the Phase II research design which will outline a plan of action for data collection, analysis, and write-up of data recovered from test unit contexts at the Blueberry site. As of 2010, four 2X2 test units have been completed as an initial sample and a field and laboratory research design is being formulated to expand this analysis.

In December we hosted a visit from the Little Salt Springs/Warm Mineral Springs Archaeological Society (FAS Chapter). The group enjoyed a comprehensive site tour that lasted around two hours. A contingent of the group (including Steve Koski, the principle archaeologist for the group) joined us for lunch at “The Tower Restaurant” in Lake Placid where a lively discussion of the day’s events was had and plans for future collaboration were made. KVAHC is pleased to announce the continuation of the educational outreach program with the Walker Academy in Avon Park and we look forward to engaging the most recent contingent of High School students this month. Additionally, we anticipate participation of Dr. Butler’s college-level students in the ongoing research as well as KVAHC volunteers, interested members of the public and volunteers from local FAS chapters.

Refereces

Butler, David

2008 The Blueberry Site Phase I Report: A Case Study in Goal Oriented Public Archaeology. Phase I Site Report on file with Bureau of Archaeological Research. Tallahassee, Fl

 

"The Phase I Cultural Resource Assessment of the Blueberry Parcel is Complete and the Phase II Project is Underway"
David Butler PhD, RPA, January 2009


I am pleased to announce the completion of the Phase I site report. The report is over two hundred pages and includes the meticulous analysis of the pottery and lithics conducted as well as all field and lab components of the Phase I project. Dr. Butler is preparing the lithics and pottery summary manuscripts for publication; the lithics article will be co-authored with Dr. Bob Austin and the pottery article will be co-authored with Jessica Clover. This report summarizes the research design, research context, field and laboratory methods and analysis, as well as the results of all work involving shovel test pit excavation.

“This study represents an initial summary of a cultural resource assessment of a 101 acre project area owned by Anne and Charles Reynolds. This parcel of land is located in south-central Highlands County, Florida and is referred to by the property owners as the “Blueberry Parcel”. This research was conducted by Earthmovers Archaeological Consultants, LLC. The archaeological and historical components of this Phase I survey were conducted from September 2005 – September 2007. The purpose of this research was to locate and interpret cultural resources within the project area and to assess significance relative to eligibility for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP)” (Butler 2008:2).


This synopsis sets the stage for the analysis and write-up of data recovered from test unit contexts at the Blueberry site. Thus far, four 2X2 test units have been completed as an initial sample and a field and laboratory research design is being formulated to expand this analysis. The artifacts recovered from these test units have been dried and sorted and a field specimen log detailing each artifact category, it’s context, and it’s significance is being initiated.

In December, we hosted a visit from the Little Salt Springs/Warm Mineral Springs Archaeological Society (FAS Chapter). The group enjoyed a comprehensive site tour that lasted around two hours. A contingent of the group (including Steve Koski, the principle archaeologist for the group) joined us for lunch at “The Tower Restaurant” in Lake Placid where a lively discussion of the day’s events was had and plans for future collaboration were made. In 2009, KVAHC is pleased to continue our educational outreach program with the Walker Academy in Avon Park and we look forward to engaging the most recent contingent of High School students this month. Additionally, we anticipate participation of Dr. Butler’s Rollins College students in the ongoing research as well as KVAHC volunteers, interested members of the public and volunteers from local FAS chapters.

"Beginning to Unravel the Story of Test Unit Five Features"
By: Dr. David Butler, RPA, November 2009

The strategic placement of Test Unit Five (TU5) has proven effective. This unit has provided us with consistency on a number of levels and has provided us with some unique evidence of Blueberry’s prehistoric occupants as well. Consistent with TU’s 4 & 5, the stratigraphy of this unit demonstrates two discernable Belle Glade middens (anthrosols) separated by relatively sterile white (10YR 7/1) sand and underlain by the same white sand (representing a “C” Horizon) beneath the lower midden.

TU 5 will be coming to a close in the very near future and a summary of features with around 90% of the unit complete is as follows. There have been 26 post molds discovered in the unit thus far. The breakdown of all other feature categories is listed below.

Feature #, Feature Type, Description/Contents

1 Storage Pit, Left Handed Whelk Tool (complete)
2 Storage Pit, Collumella Tool
6 Pot Burst Pit Feature (Top of Upper Midden), Inverted Belle Glade Vessel with associated Pinellas Point and AMS C14 Date from Carbon Residue on sherd: 1640 AD +/- 40
8 Construction Pit, Contained Manufactured Post (F9)
15 Construction Pit, Contained a Manufactured Posts (F13, 14, 16, 20, 21)
18 Construction Pit, Contained Manufactured Post (F17)
19 Amorphous Stain, Midden Remnant
28 Pit, Disposal Pit
35 Hearth, Residential Hearth

 

"Preparing for a “Functional Analysis” of Bone Pin Tools Recovered from the Blueberry Site"
David Butler, PhD, RPA, December 2009

In our last update we summarized the Feature categories recovered from Test Unit five. Upon the completion of this unit later this month, our focus will turn to opening a large contiguous block unit and initiating analysis of the primary artifact categories recovered from this remarkable unit. One category of evidence that will be prioritized with this analysis will be an extensive study of the bone pin tools recovered throughout the primary midden strata. Between TU’s 3, 4, and 5 midden “A” (the sheet midden) has contained over a hundred bone pin tool fragments.

These tools have been found at sites across the southeast and there is little empirical research evaluating their function. Many have assumed in the past that these pins are limited to serving as hair or clothing pins. The assemblage at the Blueberry Site affords the opportunity to expand our knowledge of this significant tool type by investigate the function of these tools. Therefore, the study we will conduct will be classified as a “functional analysis” of the bone pin tool artifact category at the Blueberry site (this is a likely title for an upcoming talk or paper).

We will seek to answer two questions: 1) What are the characteristics of these tools and 2) How can we infer the function of these tools from the analysis of these tools?
Initially, we will define the variation in the bone pin tool assemblage by measuring length, diameter, weight, indications of burning, presence of usewear or alteration, and presence or absence of polish. Next, we will be outsourcing a sample of these tools to a faunal specialist to have the species defined. Outsourcing will also be used to analyze any residue observed on bone pin tools (I think they may have been used as eating implements).

"Test Unit Five Comes to a Close with an Early Discovery"
David Butler PhD, RPA, January 2010

We have reached the base of Test Unit five. Over the holidays test unit five was excavated to a depth of 110 CMBD. The remaining Belle Glade features were documented and consistent with the first four units, an uninterrupted white sand stratum (10YR 7/1) of eolian sand was discovered below the Belle Glade middens.

After removing all Belle Glade features, a 1X1 was placed in the center of the unit and excavated to a depth of 200 CMBD. This 1X1 contained two amazing pieces of evidence. First, a Newnan projectile point base and mid-section (proximal and medial) was discovered insitu over 50 CM below the Belle Glade Midden. This artifact was recovered from the white sand stratum mentioned above and was found lying flat in good context. Secondly, and just as significant and unexpected as the first discovery, was a series of post molds in association with this pre-ceramic occupation at the site. These post molds form an arc and four of them were clearly visible in the profile (photographs were taken and soil samples were taken). These post molds point to an archaic occupation at the Blueberry site and the Newnan point is clear evidence that the site was visited by Archaic people around 5,000 years ago.

This newfound Archaic evidence pushes the timeline back for the site significantly and opens the door to a focused investigation on a sparse but significant Archaic occupation of the Blueberry site. This discovery will make the Blueberry site one of the oldest sites in Highlands County and in all of south-central Florida. The story of the site just got a lot longer!

"Geomorphology at the Blueberry Site"
David Butler PhD, RPA, February 2010

Last month, as we began backfilling Test Unit five, we had the opportunity to host a pair of visiting scientists. These folks happened to be geomorphologists working on the Avon Park Bombing Range property. These are scientists who study contemporary variation and previous evolution of landforms. They seek to discover how the earth and in our case, sand and limestone, beneath our feet evolved over time and resulted in the hills, sinkholes, lakes, streams, rivers, and flood-basins we see today.

The Avon Park Federal Archaeology initiative is conducting a Paleo-landscape study and these geomorphologists were consultants from out of town collecting data for analysis. A Paleo-landscape study represents an analysis designed to reconstruct the evolution of the landscape over time. These scientists were provided access to the southern wall profile of TU 5 and took samples at ten-centimeter increments from 50 to 200 CMBS. They plan to analyze the sand grains at these elevations and match variation with changes in the landscape over time. The previous assessment of the Blueberry landscape by a geomorphologist was conducted in 2006 by Dr. Rick Oches (previously of USF). He surmised that the sand hills present across the landscape at the Blueberry Parcel were formed by wind-moving sand at the end of the Pleistocene Geologic Era around 15,000-17,000 years ago.

Interestingly, data collected so far suggests that the sand across the Blueberry site appears to be wind blown until one reaches around 200 CMBS where it begins to demonstrate characteristics of sand that may have been moved by water. This change in the landscape might therefore correspond to the stabalization of the sand hills at the site. This environmental data can then be applied to archaeology by adding to our understanding of how cultural groups adapted to the environment. Archaeological data demonstrates that the Blueberry site represents a fascinating case study representing the impact of the environment on habitation patterns. For example, there is a clear relationship between artifact density and proximity to the terminous of the Lake Wales Ridge. The confluence of two contrasting landforms (upland environment vs a lowland basin) provided an environment ideal for habitation. It will be interesting to see how this data can complement our understanding of the cultural environment at the site. We eagerly await the results of their analysis and look forward to incorporating their results into the body of knowledge related to the most interesting and representative archaeological site in Highlands County, the Blueberry site!

"The Blueberry Site (8HG678) Summer 2010 Field School"
David Butler PhD, RPA, August 2010

This summer the Blueberry site hosted it’s First Annual Summer Field School program. This five-day program was designed to provide a hands-on academic experience for advocational archaeologists and students. The first day was spent in the KVAHC lab where participants were introduced to artifact classification and analysis. This tangible experience was augmented by an overview of significant contextual information describing what Florida Archaeologists do and why they follow professional standards for their research. After this introduction, students spent the next four days in the field where they were introduced to note taking, paperwork, proper block excavation and recording techniques, soil recognition and differentiation, and above all…wall avoidance/maintenance. The classroom summary on Monday was followed by ongoing lectures in the field that covered topics such as: the Blueberry Site, Central and South Florida Archaeology, Ethics and Archaeology, Seminole Archaeology, and Cultural Resource Management.

This year our largest contingent of participants included a group of 11 High School Students (and their teacher and KVAHC president Gordon Davis) from Walker Memorial academy in Avon Park. Four Boy Scouts also participated in the program. They were aided in fulfilling the requirements for their Archaeology Badge.

Students learned how to apply the concepts introduced in the lab through experiencing controlled excavation themselves. They took turns in a 2X2 meter block unit (under direct supervision) and learned to appreciate archaeology as a scientific and ethical discipline. The 2010 Blueberry Site Summer Field School was hosted this year by Anne Reynolds KVAHC (Kissimmee Valley Archaeological and Historical Conservancy) and BCRM (Butler Cultural Resource Management, LLC).

 

"Contemplating Residential Patterns at the Blueberry Site (8HG678)"
David Butler PhD, RPA, March 2011

Archaeological research progresses by engaging strategic questions designed to directly or indirectly account for human cultural behavior. These research questions move from less to more specific as categories of evidence are examined more closely over time. For example, the Phase I research at the site answered significant Archaeological questions such as: What is the temporal and cultural context of the site? Where is the site? What is it’s overall size? Where is the highest concentration of human activity associated with the site? What is the geomorphologic context of the artifact concentrations? How many occupations are inferred by the assemblage and what categories are represented? Likewise, the pottery research at the Blueberry site moved from identifying the general categories of pottery in the assemblage to then performing a detailed analysis of the most represented type, which is Belle Glade Plain.


The perspective provided by ongoing Phase II research facilitates the examination of the cultural activity within a targeted geographic space. Within these areas of the site, targeted, strategic, placement of block units uncovered evidence of household-level activities such as cooking food, storing items for future use, disposing of items, manufacturing houses, and altering and using a variety of household items such as bone pins and split bone tools. Perspective provided by Phase I research also allows for targeted, more specific Phase II research questions. For example, what were people doing inside their houses during the primary occupation at the Blueberry site? What were they eating? How were they processing their food? Where were they getting their food? What were they building their houses out of? Why did they situate their homes where they did? Did they alter the landscape? Is there evidence of interaction with groups outside the region? This behavioral, residential understanding will provide comprehensive, contextual meaning for the cultural activities associated with artifacts, cultural context, and environmental context of the site.

 

Topics in North American Archaeology

"What is CRM and What is a CRA?"
By: David Butler PhD, RPA

What is Cultural Resource Management?

Cultural Resource Management (CRM) represents an industry that clarifies archaeological and historic preservation practice within a particular legal context. The laws surrounding the practice of CRM provide a contextual framework for recognizing, interpreting, analyzing, and preserving cultural resources. In the United States, industry standards are established by legal mandates at the Federal, State, County, and Local level and are designed to mitigate potential adverse affects to “significant” cultural resources. CRM as a descriptive term is applied "…mostly by archaeologists and much more occasionally by architectural historians and historical architects, to refer to managing historic places of archaeological, architectural, and historical interests and considering such places in compliance with environmental and historic preservation laws" (King 1998:6).

What is a Cultural Resource?

Cultural Resources might include a wide variety of elements of a given landscape and are likely to be as diverse as the cultural context where they are found. King (1998:9) explains that cultural resources make up what might be described as the “cultural environment” which is comprised of
“those parts of the physical environment-natural and built-that have cultural value of some kind to a sociocultural group” (King 1998:9). Therefore, cultural resources are symbolic representations of culture to a given group of people. They potentially represent a wide variety of elements of a cultural landscape and might include historic objects and sites, prehistoric archaeological sites, Native American Cultural items, or Native American sacred sites.

What is a Cultural Resource Assessment?

A cultural resource assessment (CRA) provides a comprehensive archaeological and historical evaluation of a given parcel of land. Often times, cultural resource surveys are undertaken to identify the presence or absence of cultural resources so that potential affects of land alteration (such as construction projects) are minimized or avoided. Aside from private research endeavors, these surveys are required as a component of the Section 106 review process associated with construction projects funded partially or completely by the federal government. Federal mandates are sometimes complemented by state and local legislation prioritizing cultural resources significant to the specific history and prehistory of a regional or localized context. In Florida, the Bureau of Archaeological Research in Tallahassee is the state entity that reviews private development projects and has the authority to mandate cultural resource assessments including archaeological surveys.

 

"Public Archaeology: College Students Gaining Appreciation for Archaeological Practice"
David Butler, PhD, RPA, November 2006
Contributors: Lindsay Bartlett, Jack Clifford, Elizabeth Rogers, Adam Dannewitz

On Saturday, October 14th, 2006 my Rollins College Cultural Anthropology class enjoyed a field-trip to the Blueberry Site, including a stop at the South Florida Community College Museum of Culture and History where artifacts from the Blueberry Site are on display.  This experience provided students majoring in Cultural Anthropology the opportunity to gain an appreciation for Archaeology and its unique contributions to the understanding of material culture and human behavior as one of the four sub-fields of Anthropology.  As part of the field trip, each of the students was required to write an ethnographic narrative summary describing their experiences.  The following excerpts from selected accounts demonstrate the students’ new-found appreciation for the practice of Archaeology.

Cultural Anthropology student, Lindsay Bartlett provides an over-view of the first part of the day, “Cultural Anthropology class ANT200 met at 8:15 in the morning on October 14, 2006 at the parking garage…on this cool, hazy morning, the class was assembled and…We then left the parking lot on our way to South Florida Community College, where the museum was located.  The museum was the first stop of the two, the second being the actual dig site….while at the museum, we were introduced to the owner of the property, Anne, given a brief background on the site and Native American history in Florida, and reviewed items found at the site and by members of the Kissimmee Valley Archaeological and Historical Conservancy.”

Another field-trip student, Jack Clifford recalls some of his observations: “We left the museum at 11:30 and…arrived at the site at 12:05 and were immediately in front of a two meter by two meter block unit.  The unit was dug into four quads in the cardinal direction starting at the south-west quad and was excavated in a clockwise direction.  Inside the unit was an archaeologist who was excavating it by using a technique known as shovel shaving.  This is when a person uses a spade and shaves thin slices of the dirt off the ground and places them in a bucket.  This is done so that when an item is found the archaeologist has a clear understanding of where the artifact came from, also it means that discoveries are less likely to be damaged because of careless excavation.  After the bucket is full of dirt it is taken to a 1/8 inch screen.  This is a rectangular device that sifts through all of the soil whilst keeping anything of larger size…”

While student Elizabeth Rogers states: “When asked what his purpose was out in the middle of an orange grove digging thousands of little holes in the ground, Dr. Butler replied, “My goal is to find out as much as I can about the human behavior that occurred on this property, spatially, temporally, and culturally.”  His response had a great impact on the way I view anthropology today.  Rather than envisioning some nerdy, paled person with their nose in a musty book mumbling about pieces of rock and their importance to some tribe or another, I understand a clearer picture of the cultural context that anthropology is trying to achieve; people from pre-history have no way of explaining their behaviors and beliefs to the people of today’s society, it is up to anthropologists and archaeologists and all other scientists to analyze what they discover and bring to light the practices and lives of the people who make up our histories and therefore the way their lives impacted our own.  Quite a feat if one really thinks about it.”

Fellow student, Adam Dannewitz summarizes his experiences on the field-trip: “An archaeological dig is not simply a lot of time spent playing in the dirt, it is the science of recreating historical fact that occurred before actual written history.  So despite the sleep deprivation, the heat, and the giant spiders, this will be one Saturday morning that I will always remember.”

Public Archaeology prioritizes education, and this field-trip allowed students who would not normally experience Archaeology to gain an appreciation for its contributions to our understanding of Florida’s past.  Experiences like the ones described in these accounts instill the values upheld by the discipline of Archaeology such as appreciation and respect of cultural resources with the ultimate goals of conservation and preservation.

"Urban Archaeology in North America"
By: David Butler, PhD, RPA, April 2006

Urban archaeology is defined by King (1998:ix) as “The study of the evolution and changing character of urban communities from their earliest origins until modern times” (Bradley and King 1989:ix). Likewise, Landmark Archaeological Services, Inc. suggests that “Urban archaeology examines the development of towns and cities" (1999:http://www.fromsitetostory.org/sources/archinmn/archinmnurban.asp).

While definitions of urban archaeology are few and far between in archaeological literature, these definitions clarify that the goal of urban archaeology is to investigate the origin and evolution of urban comm unities. As the focus of research, it is significant to note that urban communities, towns, and cities vary according to their cultural and temporal context. Anfinson (1990:4) makes it clear that urban archaeology practiced within the historical context of the United States prioritizes the investigation of modern “industrial” cites (rather than prehistoric urban centers). Anfinson (1990:3) explains “Some may define a city as any incorporated town even if only a hundred people live there. Others think of a city as a major population center…When we talk about urban archaeology, we generally are talking about doing archaeology not just in a city, but in a large population center” (Anfinson 1990:3). Therefore, urban archaeology in the United States represents the archaeological study of urban centers (which usually developed as nineteenth century industrial cities) with a focus on their inception and change through time.

Given that industrial centers in North America developed well after European contact in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, these archaeological resources are designated as historic archaeological sites. Due to this temporal context, this specialization has been the focus of historical archaeological practice in the United States. Referring to the archaeology of U.S. cities, The Institute for Minnesota Archaeology explains “Lying under our city streets and sidewalks, warehouses and parking lots, is the history of our cities, in mute layers containing the remnants of lives gone by…and so it is historical archaeologists—those who use both text and artifact in their quest to understand human life in earlier times—who delve beneath concrete and asphalt to uncover what lies beneath” (1999:http://www.fromsitetostory.org/sources/ archinmn/archinmnurban.asp).
Therefore, due to the post-European contact context of urban archaeology in the United States, historical archaeologists typically pursue this specialty. As urban sprawl expands and our cities age, urban archaeology will become more commonplace and this category of archaeological research will likely become a standard component of practice in North America.

References

Anfinson, Scott F.
1990 Archaeology of the Central Minneapolis Riverfront II. Technical Report.

King, Thomas F.
1998 Cultural Resource Laws and Practice: An Introductory Guide. Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press.

The Institute for Minnesota ArchaeologyElectronic Resource: 1999:http://www.fromsitetostory.org/sources/ archinmn/archinmnurban.asp

 

"Archaeological Practice Considered"
By: David Butler MA, RPA, February 2007

Archaeologists seek to reconstruct the daily life and customs of peoples who lived in the past and to explain cultural continuity and change through time. Archaeological Sites-are recognized as locations that contain archaeological signatures (evidence) indicating human activity.

Material remains and the context of those remains represent the primary evidence used to answer research questions by archaeologists. In the state of Florida and elsewhere, material remains vary greatly in size and might include large scale items such as earthen mounds constructed for habitation or burial of human remains or pieces of artifacts such as broken bits of pottery or small fragments of stone tools.
Currently, there are more than 14,000 known Florida archaeological sites representing the habitation of our state for more than 13,000 years. The information gleaned from archaeological sites in Florida is particularly important because of the fact that native groups did not leave written records as references documenting their history. Prior to the arrival of the Spanish in the fifteenth and sixteenth century, we have no written documentation describing where, how, and when people lived here in Florida.

Archaeological research in Florida is driven by research questions such as: what types of tools did people use and what did they use them for?, did their technology change through time and if so how and why did it change?, did people adapt their technology to different environments and or regions of the state?, how long did people utilize a particular archaeological site?, what size are archaeological sites, how many people occupied specific sites and or regions of the state and how did population size fluctuate through time?, what types of structures did they build and why did they build them?, what did they eat and how did they process and prepare their food?, did they interact with other groups?, is there material evidence that may indicate social difference? By pursuing answers to specific research questions like these (and applying appropriate methods) archaeologists seek to construct a comprehensive understanding of prehistoric human behavior in our state even in the absence or written documentation.

"Archeological Limits Considered"
David Butler PhD, RPA, April 201
1

Information about cultural behavior is collected and then we do our best to make sense of the information within a particular historical and spatial context. The way we collect, process, and interpret information about cultural behavior is key to gaining insight into what folks do and why they do it at a certain time and place.

One of the qualifying mantras for every archaeological tour and most lectures I give related to interpreting evidence and making inferences about what humans do is that we must be cautious and conservative when we imply the justification for human activity. For example, when we assert that a particular artifact category or specimen served a particular function at an archaeological site this interpretation should be supported by evidence such as: consistency with neighboring sites with the same cultural affiliation, environmental factors such as the availability of specific resources in a local environment such as shellfish. Another example, comes from the Plains region of North America where the availability of Bison clearly impacted Plains Indians culture of the 18th and 19th centuries. When we support our interpretations with supporting evidence, and do a good job collecting and processing archaeological data, this gives us the best opportunity we can have to write down in words what was left unwritten (with prehistoric archaeology). However, we must always remember that even though we can imagine the intent of humans based on the evidence they leave behind, we should endeavor not to read to much into what is left behind.

As archaeologists, we must be humble with our interpretations and be careful not to overstep the bounds of the evidence left behind by previous human activity. This cautious, scientific approach provides a systematic model for adding to evidence over time which is in fact how the process of archaeology works. If we all take this approach, we can build models over time that build on one another and tell the most complete story possible with the tangible evidence at hand.

"Technological Innovations and Contemporary Archaeological Practice"
David Butler PhD, RPA, January 2011

Lets take time to reflect on how recent changes have impacted the industry we are all passionate about. As a result of online access, the digitization and aggregation of information, and because of the amazing analytical techniques that have been developed in the last 30 years, it is a great time to have a fascination with prehistory and history. We are all so lucky to have access to these tools that enhance what we know based on what others have done while improving our ability to learn from our own analysis.

A couple examples to be grateful for include AMS radiocarbon dating which gave us more accuracy with smaller sample sizes AND the ability to download information from previous studies and researchers online. Without data aggregation allowing us to build on previous research, we would potentially be asking the same questions time after time. Likewise, without recently developed analytical techniques we could not address powerful questions such as the ones we address at the Blueberry site. For example, when was the last time someone cooked in a pottery vessel? What sorts of trees did folks build their houses out of? What time period(s) did prehistoric people inhabit the site? What geologic and cultural events shaped their landscape? What material remains connected them with other groups locally and abroad? How does the evidence left behind tell us about how they interacted with their environment? How did they harvest the animals they ate? What were the animals they ate? Which animals did they eat the most of and why? How did they prepare their food and what utensils did they use? How did folks orient themselves to naturally occurring resources such as springs and standing water? Without technological progress, many of the questions contemporary archaeologists ask could not be answered.

As archaeologists, we should be especially grateful for a new year because each year that passes brings us closer to developing and applying new technologies while learning from ongoing research in our field.

 

Ceramic Studies

 

"The Belle Glade Archaeological Culture and Belle Glade Plain Ceramics"
By: David Butler PhD, RPA, December 2007

The Belle Glade Archaeological Culture is found in the Kissimmee Valley Region of South Central Florida. This culture type was originally defined as unique to this region based on the characteristics of the type site known as the Belle Glade site (8PB40). This site is located around 1.5 miles west of Belle Glade, Florida on the Southeast shore of Lake Okeechobee. This site was originally evaluated by Sterling in 1933 and 1934 as a Federal Relief project and was later documented by Gordon Willey (Willey 1949: 19). In 1949, Willey reported the site was comprised of two components: an elevated habitation mound (8PB40) containing a black dirt midden and a burial mound (8PB41).

The habitation mound is described as being around 100 X 150 meters large situated between two branches of the Democrat River which was connected to Lake Okeechobee prior to the establishment of a contemporary drainage canal. The burial mound is described by Willey (1949:19) as being around 100 meters southwest of the habitation mound on the opposite side of the minor branch of the Democrat River. Willey agrees with Steriling’s (1933-1934) original assessment of the mound when he states “The burial mound was made largely of sand and muck. It is of interest that the type of sand used in the construction of the burial mound is not found in the immediate vicinity. Today the closest deposits of this sand are ten miles away from the Belle Glade site, on a ridge bordering Lake Okeechobee. Presumably, the Indians carried the sand this considerable distance for the ceremonial purpose of constructing a place of burial for the dead” (Willey 1949:19).

The three components of this Type Site that have been applied as indicators of Belle Glade archaeological culture sites throughout the Kissimmee Valley region include: 1) the construction of mounds and earthworks, 2) a direct association with navigable waterways or marshes, and 3) Belle Glade Plain pottery. Therefore, the primary artifact category representing this culture type is an undecorated (plain) ceramic ware known today as Belle Glade Plain. Sterling’s excavation of the Belle Glade site resulted in the recovery of 784 sherds (fragments) of pottery that Willey chose to name “Bell Glade Plain”. The primary characteristic used to distinguish this pottery type is the scraped or scratched surface created as sand grains were dragged across the surface of Belle Glade Plain vessels with a tool after they were formed (before they were fired). Contemporary type descriptions of Belle Glade Plain ceramics focus on surface treatment and paste and have been formulated by Cordell (1992:111) and Austin (1996:75).
The sub-sample of Belle Glade plain ceramics analyzed in this study came from the Belle Glade midden component (8PB40) of the Belle Glade site. A random sample of 25 Belle Glade Plain rim sherds was chosen from the collection housed at the Florida Museum of Natural History (FMNH) Dickenson Hall Research Center. These sherds were analyzed on 4-11-08 by measuring: lip shape, rim shape, lip thickness, and body thickness. Also, the depth below surface was recorded (which provided a reference for relative location within the midden strata at the site). To maximize accuracy for lip shape categorization, rim sherds had to be at least 2 cm long to be included in the sample. The primary variables prioritized by this study are lip shape and rim shape which were evaluated according to the criteria established for evaluating Belle Glade Plain ceramics at the Blueberry site (8HG678) by Butler in 2007 (2007:2). This study sought to define the distribution of lip shapes and rim shapes according to relative depth below surface (excavated according to 1930’s excavation protocol with arbitrary 1 foot intervals!). The context of the sample housed at the FMNH allowed for analysis of rims from levels 2 (1-2 feet below surface), 3 (2-3 feet below surface), and 7 (6-7 feet below surface). Analysis of the sample indicates that there were a total of 13 rims randomly chosen from level 3, 7 from level 4, and 5 from level 7. The most common lip shape from all three levels was flat. This lip treatment accounted for the vast majority of the sample and frequencies were as follows: lvl 2 = 85.7%, lvl 3 = 69.2%, and lvl 7 = 60%. One possible trend indicated in this preliminary assessment is that the number of flat rims at this site may increase through time. However, due to the lack of a comprehensive dataset and detailed chronological information, the accuracy of this trend needs to be reaffirmed with additional studies. The trend in rim shape is relatively consistent in all three contexts with outward curving rims accounting for 64% of the overall assemblage. In level 3, 61.57% were outward curving, in level 4, 85.7% were outward curving and in lvl 7 60% were outward curving. This preliminary assessment identified trends in lip and rim shape and may point to larger trends indicating change in ceramic lip shape and vessel form from the Belle Glade archaeological culture. However, more research is needed at this site and additional Belle Glade sites in the region to confirm or disprove this working hypothesis.

References

Austin, Robert J.
1996 Ceramic Seriation, Radiocarbon Dates, and Subsistence Data from the Kissimmee River Valley: Archaeological Evidence for Belle Glade Occupation. The Florida Anthropologist, 49:65-87.

Butler, David
2007 Exploring the Cultural, Spatial, and Temporal Dimensions of the Blueberry Site (8HG678). Paper presented at the Florida Anthropological Society conference, May 2007.

Cordell, Ann S.
1992 Technological Investigation of Pottery Variability in Southwest Florida. In Culture and Environment in the Domain of the Calusa, edited by William H. Marquardt, pp 105-188. University of Florida, Gainesville.
2007 Informal Interview at Dickinson Hall Research Center. Gainesville Florida. 4-27-2007.

Willey, Gordon R. 1949 Excavations in Southeast Florida. Yale University Publications in Anthropology 42: New Haven.

"Ceramics as Cultural Indicators"
David Butler PhD, RPA, September 2010


Over eighty years ago, Valiant (1930:9) commented on the ubiquity of ceramics as cultural and chronological indicators in North American Archaeology. He observed, “the backbone of most of the New World chronologies is variation in pottery types” (Valiant 1930:9). Since this observation, this framework has been applied across North America and in fact, one is hard pressed to find an example of a regional post-Archaic cultural group without at least one affiliated ceramic category.

The significance of the association between regional cultures and pottery to Florida Archaeology cannot be understated. In our State, several case studies demonstrate the potential for this connection between ceramics and culture to be evident. For example, the cultural sequence of the St. Johns regional Culture (one of the most representative archaeological cultures in Florida) is evidenced by temporal shifts in behavioral and material culture specifically aligned with categories of ceramics. This model affiliating ceramics with cultural and spatial context continues to be adhered to in Southeastern and Florida archaeology (see Archaeology of Pre-Columbian Florida, 1995 and Early Pottery in the Southeast, 1993 for examples applying this model associating ceramics with cultural identity and geographic context).

Consistent with archaeological practice across North America (Gifford 1960), Belle Glade Plain serves as a geographically associated symbolic representation of culture. In fact, Belle Glade Plain pottery represents the primary artifact category applied by archaeologists to identify the presence of Belle Glade cultural occupations in our region. Our analysis of Belle Glade Plain ceramics at the Blueberry site continues to augment the understanding of how prehistoric residents adapted to their environment and enhanced their lifestyles with utilitarian, symbolic, and storage vessels.

Gifford, James C.
The Type-Variety Method of Ceramic Classification as an Indicator of Cultural Phenomena
American Antiquity Vol. 25, No. 3 (Jan., 1960), pp. 341-347

Valliant, George
1930 Excavations at Zactenco. American Museum of Natural History, Anthropological Papers 32(1).

"Potential Problems Associated with Applying Ceramics as Cultural Indicators"
David Butler PhD, RPA, October 2010


Consistent with the notion that ceramics serve as cultural indicators, and to be consistent with the evaluation of prehistoric Florida Archaeological cultures, Belle Glade Plain should be consistently evaluated and recognized as a regional indicator of Belle Glade Culture. In contemporary Archaeological practice in Florida, this is the primary variable used to associate sites with BGP culture on site forms for the State. For example, when a field archaeologist or report writer fills out a State of Florida Archaeological Site File form (Florida Master Site File 2010: http://www.flheritage.com/preservation/sitefile/), they are encouraged to designate a cultural affiliation with sites they discover or revisit.

The ability to fill these forms out accurately significantly impacts archaeological knowledge. The information on these forms is entered into a statewide database designed to clarify local and regional cultural affiliation and impact the evolution of local and regional probability models.
Without proper training it is very easy to confuse Belle Glade Plain with sand tempered plain and Glades plain and this oversight is important because it often determines the cultural affiliation of archaeological sites. The same way the Bullen projectile point typology book (1969, 1975) is carried around in field trucks for lithic identification, the same initiative should be taken for ceramics. It will be great for Florida archaeologists when we have a comprehensive ceramic reference organizing prehistoric pottery by chronology, cultural affiliation, and region. Is there a doctoral student that is insane enough to take on this responsibility? Any takers?

As far as contemporary researchers know, Belle Glade Plain pottery has been found most often in the south-central region of Florida north of Lake Okeechobee and south of the Green Swamp (just south of present-day Kissimmee). Belle Glade Plain has definitely been found as far south as Upper Matecumbe Key and ranges north into the Indian River Area in northeast-coastal central Florida (Rouse1951:222; Ferguson 1951:30-32). The densest zone for Belle Glade Plain is situated in northern Glades County and southern Highlands County, Florida where Belle Glade Plain represents the majority of all ceramics recovered. This is consistent with the data recovered from the Blueberry site (8HG678) in Highlands County where preliminary analysis indicates that approximately 96% of the ceramic assemblage recovered is BGP. Current research at the Blueberry site demonstrates that this site contains the highest volume of Belle Glade Plain ceramics (over 7,000 sherds from previous and ongoing research). If pottery, environmental and geographic context serve as the primary indicators of Belle Glade culture, should the Blueberry site be the type-site for Belle Glade Culture?

"What is the Geographic Context of Belle Glade Plain Ceramics in Florida?"
David Butler PhD, RPA, December 2010

There has been limited research into the distribution of BGP and the data is likely skewed. This problem persists in Florida Archaeology for at least two reasons. First, this problem is exacerbated by a lack of robust, consistent, industry standards for ceramic analysis in our State. There is a due lack of publications offering standardized operational criteria for classification (especially for plainwares such as Belle Glade Plain and Sand Tempered Plain). The second reason for our lack of clarity regarding the distribution of Belle Glade Plain ceramics in Florida is because most folks don’t know how to distinguish it from Sand Tempered Plain. There could be loads of Belle Glade Plain in assemblages North of Polk County and we don’t know it yet. The Blueberry site (8HG678) Phase I site report 2009 (on file with the Bureau of Archaeological Research in Tallahassee) offers suggestions and presents a case study for the identification and analysis of Belle Glade Plain Ceramics.

Limited contemporary studies indicate consistency between the highest density of Belle Glade Plain ceramics and sites associated with Belle Glade Culture. This pattern confirms that this ceramic type is the most recognized indicator of Belle Glade culture. Thus far, Central-South Florida has been recognized as the region of the state to have the highest concentration of this pottery type. Research indicates that the percentage of Belle Glade Plain pottery at archaeological sites decreases significantly as one moves away from this region of the state. Emperical research and comparative analysis (like the ongoing research associated with the Blueberry site) is needed. Hopefully, new criteria will be adopted for recognition and analysis and Florida Archaeology will progress toward uniform interpretation of my favorite pottery type…often imitated but never duplicated…Belle Glade Plain!

"Analyzing A Belle Glade Plain Lip and Rim Shape Sub-Sample From the Belle Glade Archaeological Culture Type Site (8PB40)"
David Butler PhD, RPA, April 2008

The Belle Glade Archaeological Culture is found in the Kissimmee Valley Region of South Central Florida. This culture type was originally defined as unique to this region based on the characteristics of the type site known as the Belle Glade site (8PB40). This site is located around 1.5 miles west of Belle Glade, Florida on the Southeast shore of Lake Okeechobee. This site was originally evaluated by Sterling in 1933 and 1934 as a Federal Relief project and was later documented by Gordon Willey (Willey 1949: 19). In 1949, Willey reported the site was comprised of two components: an elevated habitation mound (8PB40) containing a black dirt midden and a burial mound (8PB41).

The habitation mound is described as being around 100 X 150 meters large situated between two branches of the Democrat River which was connected to Lake Okeechobee prior to the establishment of a contemporary drainage canal. The burial mound is described by Willey (1949:19) as being around 100 meters southwest of the habitation mound on the opposite side of the minor branch of the Democrat River. Willey agrees with Steriling’s (1933-1934) original assessment of the mound when he states “The burial mound was made largely of sand and muck. It is of interest that the type of sand used in the construction of the burial mound is not found in the immediate vicinity. Today the closest deposits of this sand are ten miles away from the Belle Glade site, on a ridge bordering Lake Okeechobee. Presumably, the Indians carried the sand this considerable distance for the ceremonial purpose of constructing a place of burial for the dead” (Willey 1949:19). The three components of this site that have been applied as indicators of Belle Glade archaeological culture sites throughout the Kissimmee Valley region include: 1) the construction of mounds and earthworks, 2) a direct association with navigable waterways or marshes, and 3) Belle Glade Plain pottery.

Therefore, the primary artifact category representing this culture type is an undecorated (plain) ceramic ware known today as Belle Glade Plain. Sterling’s excavation of the Belle Glade site resulted in the recovery of 784 sherds (fragments) of pottery that Willey chose to name “Bell Glade Plain”. The primary characteristic used to distinguish this pottery type is the scraped or scratched surface created as sand grains were dragged across the surface of Belle Glade Plain vessels with a tool after they were formed (before they were fired). Contemporary type descriptions of Belle Glade Plain ceramics focus on surface treatment and paste and have been formulated by Cordell (1992:111) and Austin (1996:75).

The sub-sample of Belle Glade plain ceramics analyzed in this study came from the Belle Glade midden component (8PB40) of the Belle Glade site. A random sample of 25 Belle Glade Plain rim sherds was chosen from the collection housed at the Florida Museum of Natural History (FMNH) Dickenson Hall Research Center. These sherds were analyzed on 4-11-08 by measuring: lip shape, rim shape, lip thickness, and body thickness. Also, the depth below surface was recorded (which provided a reference for relative location within the midden strata at the site). To maximize accuracy for lip shape categorization, rim sherds had to be at least 2 cm long to be included in the sample. The primary variables prioritized by this study are lip shape and rim shape which were evaluated according to the criteria established for evaluating Belle Glade Plain ceramics at the Blueberry site (8HG678) by Butler in 2007 (2007:2).

Austin, Robert J.
1996 Ceramic Seriation, Radiocarbon Dates, and Subsistence Data from the Kissimmee River Valley: Archaeological Evidence for Belle Glade Occupation. The Florida Anthropologist, 49:65-87.

Butler, David
2007 Exploring the Cultural, Spatial, and Temporal Dimensions of the Blueberry Site (8HG678). Paper presented at the Florida Anthropological Society conference, May 2007.

Cordell, Ann S.
1992 Technological Investigation of Pottery Variability in Southwest Florida. In Culture and Environment in the Domain of the Calusa, edited by William H. Marquardt, pp 105-188. University of Florida, Gainesville

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


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