Excavated Collections

The Excavated Collections include all archaeological materials that have been excavated using systematic recovery techniques. These collections include material collected by FLMNH archaeologists and graduate students during site surveys, small-scale testing, and large-scale excavations. While recovery techniques vary depending on the project, site, and supervising archaeologist, all of these collections have associated provenience data. Documentation such as field notes, maps, and photographs are often available with the collection.

Below is a select list of sites in the Florida Archaeology Collections.


Abraham's Old Town (8SM136)

Abraham's Old Town or Pilaklikaha is a multicomponent site in Sumter County. The site includes a ceramic period occupation (Pasco and Sand-Tempered Plain) and possibly a preceramic component. The site's significance is its identification as Pilaklikaha, a town inhabited by Black Seminole Indians during the early 1800s. The collection includes lithics, ceramics (both European and Seminole), glass beads, trade pipe fragments, bottle glass, brick, cut nails and other metal fragments recovered during excavations from 1998-2001 by Terry Weik.

Aucilla River Prehistory Project

The collection contains prehistoric lithic, bone and mammoth ivory tools, ceramics, historic materials, plant remains, and Pleistocene and Holocene fossils from assorted sites along the Aucilla River. Notable items in this collection include the fossilized bones of Pleistocene animals exhibiting butcher and cut marks, numerous stone Paleoindian projectile points, and carved ivory shafts.

Bolen Bluff (8AL439)

Bolen Bluff is a multicomponent site located south of Paynes Prairie. The site was excavated by Ripley Bullen in 1949. Large portions of the site were destroyed and used for fill during highway construction. The collections include numerous stone points and tools including: Suwannee, Bolen, Arredondo, and Pinellas points, as well as: stone adzes, hoes, drills, and scrapers. Pottery types span the entire range of ceramic periods in the area: Orange, Transitional, Deptford, Weeden Island, St. Johns, and Alachua.

de Soto Survey

The de Soto archaeological survey project was conducted from 1986-1991 to locate and identify early Spanish-Indian contact period sites in north Florida. The six surveys identified or revisited over 750 archaeological sites in 15 counties (Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Gilchrist, Lafayette, Madison, Marion, Putnum, Sumter, Suwannee, and Union). Some of the major sites identified and excavated were: the location of the Spanish mission at Fig Springs (8CO1), the Spanish mission of Santa Fe (8AL190), and the Indian Pond site (8CO229).

McKeithen Site (8CO17)

The McKeithen Site is a Weeden Island (AD 200-900) site in Columbia county excavated during the late 1970s under the direction of Jerry Milanich. The site is composed of a village area and three mounds. The collections from the site include an excellent variety of Weeden Island ceramics, including numerous whole or almost whole vessels from different areas of the site. The collections also include a variety of stone points and tools, grinding stones, mica, and some faunal and floral remains.

Richardson Site (8AL100)

The Richardson Site is a Potano Indian village near Orange Lake that dates from the late precolumbian and early Spanish mission period. The site provides us with valuable information on Potano houses and early Spanish missionization. Collections include a large collection of Alachua pottery, lithics, glass beads, wrought nails, and faunal material.

Spanish Mission collections

The collections from Spanish mission sites are an important part of the Florida archaeological collections. The Florida Archaeology curates large collections from 11 mission sites: Baptizing Spring (8SU65), Fox Pond (8AL272), Santa Fe (8AL190), Fig Springs (8CO1), Indian Pond (8CO229), Scott Miller (8JE2), San Juan (8DU53), Beatty (8MD5), Blue Bead and Baldree (8CL72 & CL73) and the sites on Amelia Island (8NA41 and 41D). There are also numerous other Spanish mission period sites associated with missions or haciendas, including: Moon Lake, Richardson, Zetrouer, Carlisle, and Peacock Lake.

Tatham Mound (8CI203)

Tatham Mound is a Safety Harbor mound located near the Withlacochee River in Citrus county. The site was also in use at the time of the Soto entrada as evidenced by numerous Spanish artifacts dating to to mid-1500s. The collections include Safety Harbor ceramic vessels, Pinellas points and other lithic tools, and many shell artifacts: gorget, celt, dippers, and beads. Spanish artifacts include: metal beads and pendants, Nueva Cadiz and other glass beads, and metal artifacts including chisels, spikes, and armor fragments.