Fishing Net Fragments

  • Fishing Net Fragments
  • Fishing Net Fragments

This object is on permanent display in the South Florida People & Environments exhibit, located in the “How to Make a Cord” section of the “Gulf Coast Fishing: 6,000 Years of Tradition” gallery.


Fishing Net Fragments by Bill Marquardt

This is a remarkable example of a palm fiber fishing net from the Key Marco site, excavated by Frank Cushing in 1896. It’s well over 1,000 years old, yet you can still see the knots in the net and tell how they were tied.

The preservation is very unusual and is due to the muck in which the net was buried. This made for what we call an anaerobic, or oxygen-deprived condition, which helped to preserve wooden and fiber objects that would ordinarily rot away.

The coastal Indians of Southwest Florida depended on nets for their daily food and they used a variety of nets with different sized openings to catch different sizes of fish.

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


Fishing Net Fragments
From Collier Co., Florida
Dates to ~AD 700-1500

Exhibit Area

Always on Display

Fishing Net FragmentsRadha Krueger