The Dating Game: Palmer Mound Pots & People
By Maranda Kles, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
The Palmer mound site is located at Historic Spanish Point in south Sarasota County. Recent research has provided new radiocarbon dates for the mound and has also examined social structure, shedding new light on the people that inhabited the Sarasota area 2000 years ago. Biological distance analysis suggests that the population was matrilocal, therefore the men moved to the area to “date” and marry their wives. This pattern has yet to be demonstrated at other sites in Florida making Palmer unique at this time. Further, several whole pots were found broken within the mound. These pots are found in the Manasota period strata, which dates to before the usual “sacrificed” or “killed” pots that are found in many of the Weeden Island period sites. This presentation will detail the new radiocarbon and biological data and discuss the implication of pots and pottery at the Palmer site. Maranda Kles is a bioarchaeologist and forensic anthropologist. She was born is Sarasota and earned her PhD from the University of Florida. She is an assistant professor of Anthropology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Her research interests focus on biological and cultural variation in pre-Contact populations in the Southeastern US.