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 Surf Clam Ridge Excavations

During 2003 and 2004, excavations were conducted in the south pasture area of the Pineland archaeological site, focusing on the exploration of a 5th-century A.D. occupational surface on the summit of the low sand ridge known as Surf Clam Ridge.  Under the supervision of Dr. John Worth, and in coordination with a team of scholars from several other disciplines at the Florida Museum of Natural History, RRC volunteers participated in excavating some 26 square meters of the uppermost ridge deposits, exposing archaeological evidence of the first centuries of human occupation along the Pineland shoreline.  Although data is still being analyzed, the following photos provide an overview of the fieldwork.

 

Working on test unit L-2

Volunteers Gary Edwards and Gloria Andrews working on test unit L-2.  Note the dark sand layer underneath the shell midden cap.

 

sifting materials

Volunteers Rosemary Squires, Diane Maher, and Caroline Koelsch sifting through shell midden materials in search of fish bones and other food remains and debris.

 

block excavations

View of block excavations in progress, showing upper shell layer underlain by black and finally gray sand forming the core of Surf Clam Ridge.

 

soil sampling

Florida Museum of Natural History scientist Sylvia Scudder samples soils to determine the origin of natural and cultural deposits in the ridge.

 

postmolds

View of scattered postmolds at the base of a 2 by 4 meter excavation area.

 

hearth excavation

Image showing a prehistoric hearth during excavation.  Note basin shape of pit and dark charred material around central backfill of sand and trash.

 

postmold map

Schematic map of postmolds and pit features dating to ca. A.D. 450-500.  Note hypothesized circular structures (shaded grey) with central hearths (in red).

 

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