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New Directions in the Search for the First Floridians$
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David K. Thulman and Ervan G. Garrison

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781683400738

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683400738.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
New Directions in the Search for the First Floridians

David K. Thulman

University Press of Florida

Today, research into Early Florida (circa 15,000–9,000 cal B.P.) is blossoming and entering an exciting phase that has the potential to reveal much about early Floridians in particular, and wider Paleoindian and Early Archaic scholarship in general. Whereas the rest of North American Paleoindian and Early Archaic archaeology is limited almost exclusively to the analysis of site distributions and stone tools, Florida has produced an embarrassment of riches in the form of Paleoindian-age organic tools, including ivory points or shafts, ivory harpoon points, mastodon patella anvil, horse tibia tool handle, and several modified megafauna bones of unknown function. Perhaps more than any other area of North America, Florida provides the opportunity for extraordinary preservation of organic Paleoindian and Early Archaic material from submerged sites in its fresh and coastal waters. However, challenges remain in refining Florida’s early chronology, typology, land-use patterns, offshore survey techniques, and synthetic regional studies, and in preserving terrestrial sites in the face of tremendous development pressures and a deteriorating relationship with private collectors.

Keywords:   Early Florida, Early Archaic, Paleoindian, archaeology

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