Ancient Native American Village Discovered Off the Coast of Florida

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In another win for the revolutionary new technology of LiDAR, another ancient settlement has been discovered, this time off the coast of Florida. This pre-Columbian village is full of archaeological novelty.

The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science and shows the findings made by a group of scientists from the University of Florida.

The site appears to have been a manufacturing center for beads made from seashells. Seashell beads were used by tribes of Native Americans all along the East Coast but where they came from has been a mystery.

This site, on Raleigh Island which is a barren span of coast in the north of Florida, appears to have been a primary manufacturing center for the beads.

In fact, the site is made up of 37 individual residences with oyster shells stacked 13 feet high around every side, indicating that every single home was made for just manufacturing beads.

LiDAR Image of the site on Raleigh Island – Image Credit University of Florida

According to the abstract:

Shell beads were integral to the political economy of chiefdoms in eastern North America, but archaeologists have very little knowledge about bead making at the source of the shells. The Raleigh Island village of AD 900 to 1200 is unprecedented in its architecture, its scale of bead production, and its place in regional geopolitics.

Rare pre-Columbian settlement on the Florida Gulf Coast revealed through high-resolution drone LiDAR

The site is so unexpected that archaeologists are wondering how far the beads went. Some think they could have gone as far as Cahokia, the ancient city in Missouri where the famous Cahokia mounds are located.

Before you go:

Source: Newsweek

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