This object is on permanent display in the South Florida People & Environments exhibit, located in the “Native American Legacy” gallery.


Plaque with Painted Woodpecker
From Collier Co., Florida
Dates to ~AD 650-750


South Florida Archaeology


This is a painting of an Ivory-billed Woodpecker, which is now an extinct species. It was painted about 1,200 years ago by Indians who lived on present-day Marco Island. Woodpeckers are revered by many southeastern Indian people because of their roles in origin stories and as symbols of war. This painted plaque was discovered in 1896 by Smithsonian archaeologist Frank Cushing in a muck site that had preserved wood and other objects that would normally rot away.

Bill Marquardt
Curator, South Florida Archaeology & Ethnography*
Director, Randell Research Center*
Florida Museum of Natural History


On display Sept. 23, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018, Rare, Beautiful & Fascinating: 100 Years @FloridaMuseum celebrated the Museum’s rich history. Each Museum collection was asked to contribute its most interesting items and share the stories that make them special. Though the physical exhibit is closed, this companion website remains online, providing an opportunity to experience the Florida Museum’s most treasured specimens.

Exhibit Area: Always on Display

Cover of the All Things Beautiful bookWant to see more? Explore more than 300 breathtaking color photos of plants, animals, fossils and cultural heritage materials from the Florida Museum of Natural History’s collections in the award-winning book All Things Beautiful available from the University Press of Florida.

*This title was accurate at the time the exhibit was on display in 2017. Please visit the collection website to verify current staff and student information.

You Might Also Like