|The pre-Clovis occupation of Florida: The Page-Ladson and Wakulla Springs Lodge Data
James S. Dunbar
The Page-Ladson stratigraphy provides the first well-dated, substantially uninterrupted, regional, Pleistocene-type section in the Southeast US. Near the bottom of that section is a pre-Clovis level with artifacts and Pleistocene megafauna remains. A battery of seven statistically related radiocarbon dates were taken on Unit 3 samples and, when averaged, yield an radiocarbon age of 12,425 ±32 14C BP. This radiocarbon age was calibrated to a calendar-year range from 14,588 to 14,245 cal. years BP. This means that humans utilized the Page-Ladson site about 1,500 calendar years before Clovis. Lanceolate projectile points made on thin flakes were recovered from displaced context at the Page-Ladson site and appear to be the most likely pre-Clovis candidates. The Wakulla Springs Lodge site yielded the same point type from the deepest level of the site along with preforms including a very large Simpson-like preform. Evidence from the Wakulla Springs Lodge site indicates that flakes extracted from large biface preforms, such as the Simpson preform, were used to manufacture smaller lanceolate projectiles. This point type has been named the Page-Ladson and is similar in many respects to the Cactus Hill pre-Clovis point. It will be the presenter’s intent to track the implications and evidence for per-Clovis Paleoindian activity over the landscape from Georgia into North Florida because it appears the mastodon and the Pre-Clovis Paleoindians migrated to the Page-Ladson site from Georgia. The implications of Paleoindian hunting strategies will be discussed.
James S. Dunbar, Senior Archaeologist
James S. Dunbar received a BA degree from the University of Florida and masters’ degree from Florida State University and is currently enrolled in graduate classes at FSU. In Feb. 1976 he began work as an archaeological field agent with the underwater archaeological program of the Florida Bureau. Since then his experience includes the inspection of historic and prehistoric sites both on land and underwater. He was coprincipal investigator of fieldwork and analysis carried out on the Paleoindian components at the Page-Ladson site. He now works with the CARL Archaeological Program and has been involved with numerous archaeological surveys conducted on state lands. His primary area of research interest is the Paleoindian occupation of Florida and the Southeast. Particularly, he is interested in the temporal, environmental, and technological aspects related to the Paleoindian Tradition including dietary evidence. He has published numerous archaeological articles, reports, and book chapters.