Little Salt Spring, Florida: A Unique Underwater Site

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Science  16 Feb 1979:
Vol. 203, Issue 4381, pp. 609-614
DOI: 10.1126/science.203.4381.609


Little Salt Spring in southwest Florida, consisting of a shallow, water-filled basin above a deep, vertical underwater cavern, was a freshwater cenote in the peninsula's drier past. It collected and preserved perishable organic artifacts and other evidence of Paleo-Indian and Archaic Indian origin ranging in age from 12,000 to 9000 and from 6800 to 5200 years ago. An Archaic Period cemetery containing an estimated 1000 burials occupies an adjoining muck-filled slough and presently drowned portions of the basin of the spring. Artifacts and the nature of interment suggest a cultural link between the Archaic people and the much later Glades Tradition of southern Florida.