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New Histories of Pre-Columbian Florida$
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Neill J. Wallis and Asa R. Randall

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049366

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049366.001.0001

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Archaic Histories beyond the Shell “Heap” on the St. Johns River

Archaic Histories beyond the Shell “Heap” on the St. Johns River

Chapter:
(p.18) 1 Archaic Histories beyond the Shell “Heap” on the St. Johns River
Source:
New Histories of Pre-Columbian Florida
Author(s):

Asa R. Randall

Kenneth E. Sassaman

Zackary I. Gilmore

Meggan E. Blessing

Jason M. O'Donoughue

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813049366.003.0002

Landscape use and modification are important ways through which small scale societies “write” their own histories. This chapter examines how Archaic period communities wrote histories through the varied deposition of shell, earth, objects, and the deceased on the St. Johns River in northeast Florida. During the Archaic, the most visible archaeological site is the shell mound or heap, but there are many non-mounded sites as well. Traditionally, shell mounds have been the basis for interpreting Archaic subsistence and settlement. In this chapter robust radiocarbon chronologies from a variety of sites provide the framework for considering how, when, and where communities deposited materials on the landscape. By examining the contexts in which these depositional practices occur, we evaluate how the diverse places that archaic communities constructed were socially integrated. Furthermore, we consider the extent to which Archaic communities incorporated pre-existing and often ancient places into new histories.

Keywords:   Shell Mound, Shell Midden, Chronology

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