The I-75 Highway Salvage Program, administered by the Florida Division of Historical Resources (DHR) and funded by the Florida Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, facilitated DHR’s Bureau of Archaeological Research in the early to mid-1980s to locate and evaluate 31 archaeological sites in the proposed corridor of Interstate 75. Thirteen of these 31 sites were selected for Phase II testing, with 4 of the 13 (including Harney Flats) deemed significant enough to warrant Phase III mitigative salvage excavations. While most of these sites primarily contained Middle Archaic components, Harney Flats also contained in situ evidence of much earlier Early Archaic and Paleoindian peoples. The most dramatic environmental effect on the Harney Flats area was the Tampa Bypass Canal. If not for the construction of this canal, which lowered the potentiometric water table in the area, much of the Paleoindian component at Harney Flats would have been inaccessible.
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