Using drone technology, a team of UF researchers discovered how an ancient Florida village played a major role in pre-Columbian geopolitics.
In anthropology-led research, Ph.D. student TERRY BARBURT, the team discovered that the village of Raleigh, located on the north shore of Florida Bay around 900–1
"The shape, scale and purpose of the Raleigh settlement has no parallel in the archaeological record of Southeast Americans," said Ken SASAMAN, a Barbour adviser and co-creator of the study. Sasaman is professor of archeology at Florida Haat and Sichi Brown Department of Anthropology
Scientists use drones to explore ancient settlement for a fraction of the time that traditional methods would take.
LiDAR sheds light on how a settlement is a complex of at least 37 living spaces, surrounded by a 4-meter oyster edge – was organized to make the beads at the very place where the shells were found, and in several habitats, the excavations of the researchers have revealed ample evidence of large-scale production of the beads.
The settlement on Reilly Island is one of the few coastal communities where such widespread craftsmanship has been found.
"What is the settlement here at the source of this raw material at a time when sea shells are beginning to become a highly sought after social unit," Barber said. "The fact that we have strong evidence for the production of beads in an equally impressive architecture to guide us to understand how production is socially organized makes this place really special and for now the only place we are aware of."  The findings were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences .
Israeli archaeologists claim to have discovered an ancient city
Terry E. Barbour et al. Rare pre-Columbian Gulf Coast settlements discovered by LiDAR high resolution drone, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2019). Doi: 10.1073 / pnas.1911285116
The University of Florida
Drones Reveal Secrets of Ancient Florida Village (2019, November 6)
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