Effigy vessel from Picnic Mound
FLMNH pottery collection
Vessel in situ
Amelia Island Excavations
Horr's Island excavations
Turkey Vulture effigy vessel
Oklawaha River survey
Miller Plain bowl
Screening at Indian Pond
Silver beads from Fort Center
Wightman site excavations
Santa Fe Points
Barnhill Mound excavations
Point Washington Incised bowl
The Florida Archaeology Collection includes artifacts spanning 12,000 years of human history in the Southeast. While the focus of this collection is on Florida, some materials from Georgia and other localities are included. These items are curated as a tangible record of the people who have made Florida their home. The Florida Archaeology Collections come from Central and North Florida and the Panhandle regions. All counties including and north of Sarasota, De Soto, Hardee, Polk, Osceola, and Indian River counties are included in this collection. Exceptions to this rule are sites situated within Colonial St. Augustine and historical sites with no precolumbian material present, collections from these locales are included in the Historical Archaeology Collections. Counties to the south are part of the South Florida Archaeology Collections. Information concerning policies associated with our collections are found below.
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.
Donated Private Collections
Private collections donated by individuals and families represent an important aspect of the Florida Archaeology collections. These collections include provenienced artifacts from all over Florida and a limited amount of material from other areas of North America. Many of these collections are from well-known sites and are valuable sources of exhibit quality artifacts and research collections. These collections range in size from small surface collections from single sites to collections that cover large portions of the state and include thousands of artifacts.
A representative sample of donated private collections curated at the FLMNH includes the following collections organized by family name.
Bullen Projectile Point Typology Collection
The Ripley Bullen Projectile Point Type Collection is the original assortment of artifacts Bullen used to create the first formal point typology for Florida in 1967. Bullen's typology was revised in 1975 and published as A Guide to the Identification of Florida Projectile Points. This collection is curated as an original reference collection for visiting researchers and the general public.
Human osteological collections curated at the Florida Museum of Natural History include skeletal remains from precolumbian and historic archaeological sites across Florida, Georgia, and several localities in the Caribbean. These collections are maintained for research and teaching purposes. Access to these collections is limited to the academic community and professionals in the private sector involved in scholarly research.
Below is a list of select sites that have large collections of provenienced skeletal remains.
The FLMNH Florida Archaeology Division has established policies and guidelines for collections access, outgoing loans, incoming accessions, and image usage. If more detail is required please contact the Florida Archaeology Collections Manager.