Preliminary Analysis of Marine Shell Artifacts in the Southern Florida Keys

Author(s): Traci Ardren; Roger Sierra; William Pestle

Year: 2015


The Stock Island site (8MO2), located in the southernmost Florida Keys, was a black dirt midden affiliated with the Glades tradition. Construction of the Monroe County Detention Center in the 1980s destroyed the site, necessitating the uncontrolled and uncontextualized recovery of a large quantity of ceramics and faunal (osteological and malacological) remains. Unprovenienced collections from this salvage work reside in numerous repositories across the state of Florida. In this work, we present the results of a preliminary analysis (taxonomic identification and tool-type categorization) of the marine shell artifacts and ecofacts held by the University of Miami’s Department of Anthropology. The assemblage is dominated by two taxa of marine gastropods (Strombus gigas and Busycon contrarium), which together account for nearly 60% of the collection (NISP), the majority of which were secondarily used as tools (picks, chisels/gouges, and hammers). This analysis provides insights into subsistence practices and material adaptation in the prehistoric southern Florida Keys.

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Cite this Record

Preliminary Analysis of Marine Shell Artifacts in the Southern Florida Keys. Roger Sierra, Traci Ardren, William Pestle. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397898)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;