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Theses and Dissertations

Name:Eric D. Prendergast
Professor:Nancy Marie White

The Archaeology of the McKinnie Site (8JA1869), Apalachicola River Valley, Northwest Florida: Four Thousand Years in the Backswamp


This research describes a large, newly-recorded archaeological site in the Upper Apalachicola River valley, northwest Florida, and a private collection of artifacts from it, as well as test excavations, three dimensional modeling, chemical analysis and direct radiocarbon dating of ceramics to relate the site with regional archaeological chronologies and settlement patterns. A University of South Florida (USF) 2013 field school conducted excavations at the multicomponent midden on the western floodplain of the Apalachicola River called the McKinnie site (8JA1869). Students collaborated with a local collector and family members to learn about the site’s history. Data from the collection and excavations show that the site was inhabited through four thousand years of prehistory, serving as a rich seasonal resource base for local people in the area starting in the Middle Archaic Period, and as a small place of occupation during the Woodland Period, until people moved out into the river valley to live in farming villages. We also investigated a series of fascinating features, stored in the private collection and excavated by USF, which may have been intentionally buried at the site up to 5500 years ago. They may be evidence of some ancient ochre processing to obtain pigments, or some other special activity.