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It took one month to carefully dig the 1-x-1-meter test pit, one 5-cm level at a time, and about one hour to fill the hole back in. Archaeological fieldwork at the Citrus Ridge was successfully completed on June 19th and backfilling of the unit occurred (with the aid of Dr. Bill Marquardt, RRC maintenance specialist Gary Vinson, and a tractor) on July 3rd.

Researcher stands in excavation hold and speaks with another researcher who is kneeling at the edge of the hole.
Melissa Ayvaz (left) confers with Karen Walker during excavations on Citrus Ridge, June, 2011. Photo by Margi Nanney

The Citrus Ridge is traversed by visitors to the Calusa Heritage Trail, and features two interpretive signs, one on Calusa spirituality and one on Pineland since the Calusa. The excavation was intended to investigate the hypothesis that a major hurricane and associated storm surge impacted the site in the 4th century AD.

The excavation unearthed many interesting artifacts and animal remains, along with sediments and assemblages that support the storm-surge hypothesis. I will be working over the next year to analyze and put the findings into writing. Preliminary results will be presented at the annual meeting of the South- eastern Archaeological Conference, and the complete analysis will be a major portion of my Master’s thesis at the University of Florida. Much appreciation goes out to all who participated in and visited the excavation!


This article was taken from the Friends of the Randell Research Center Newsletter Vol 10, No. 3. September 2011.