Systematic Collections | Image Gallery
Systematic artifact collections are most comprehensive for Southwest Florida. There are also important reference collections from elsewhere in South Florida. Included are the Cushing Collection, comprised of the many items collected by Frank Hamilton Cushing during his 1895-1896 visits to the Southwest Florida coast; the Van Beck Collection excavated from the Marco Midden in the 1960s; the extensive Fort Center collection, including carved wooden posts, ca. A.D. 400; artifacts collected by John Goggin, on which the major systematic artifact typologies for South Florida are based; and all artifacts, precolumbian and post-contact, that have been excavated since 1983 during the Southwest Florida Project (e.g., Buck Key, Cash Mound, Galt Island, Horr's Island, Josslyn Island, Useppa Island, and the Pineland Site Complex). Some artifacts are on exhibit in the Hall of South Florida People and Environments.
Archaeobotanical, zooarchaeological, and pedoarchaeological samples are curated in the Florida Museum's Environmental Archaeology collections.
Pottery Type Collection | Image Gallery
The Florida Museum’s Ceramic Technology Laboratory maintains a type collection of pre-columbian pottery found in Florida. The image gallery provided here includes only South Florida pottery types of the Glades, Belle Glade, and Goodland series.
The Pineland Collection | Image Gallery
The Pineland collection is the largest systematic collection from a major Calusa town site. Materials excavated from the Pineland Site Complex between 1988 and today comprise more than 140,000 items. The collection is made up of artifacts, environmental specimens, and associated records. Artifacts include Native American pottery sherds; tools and decorative objects made of shell, bone, shark teeth, and stone; Spanish-derived glass, metal, and ceramic objects; and waterlogged wood, seeds, and other organic materials. Oxygen-free waterlogged areas of the Pineland site preserved the only known prehistoric papaya seeds ever found in North America, as well as the only prehistoric chile pepper seeds known for the eastern United States. The seeds are un-charred, and are about 1900 years old.
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded a three-year grant (2007-2010) to William Marquardt and Karen Walker to preserve and organize the Pineland collection. The grant funded curation of materials from five major field seasons at Pineland (1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, and 1995) as well as 18 linear feet of associated records. Museum staff rehabilitated the collection by rehousing artifacts, specimens, and samples using an archival bagging and boxing method that maintains physical order by catalog number and provenience.
Some artifacts from the Pineland Site Complex are on exhibit in the Hall of South Florida People and Environments.
The Key Marco Collection | Image Gallery
Perhaps the best known collection from South Florida, this group of artifacts was excavated in 1896 from a waterlogged site on Marco Island, Florida. Unusual conditions of preservation allowed recovery of netting, cordage, wooden boxes and bowls, bone implements, several extraordinary carved and painted masks and figureheads, and a famous 6-inch-high carved wooden seated feline figurine. They are recognized worldwide as remarkable specimens of Native American artistic achievement. The Key Marco materials are principally divided between the University Museum, University of Pennsylvania; the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution; and the Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida. The Florida Museum curates over 600 artifacts of cordage, bone, shell, and wood (including bowls, clubs, painted boxes, the "woodpecker" painted plaque, stools, and some of the masks). Our Key Marco holdings also include numerous examples of fishing gear, such as nets, net weights, net-mesh gauges, bone points and pins, and shell tools and vessels. Some artifacts from Key Marco are on exhibit in the Hall of South Florida People and Environments.