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  1. Applying a coastal-geoarchaeological approach, we synthesize stratigraphic, sedimentological, mollusk-zooarchaeological, and radiometric datasets from recent excavations and sediment coring at Harbor Key (8MA15)—a shell-terraformed Native mound complex within Tampa Bay, on the central peninsular Gulf Coast of Florida. We significantly revise the chronological understanding of the site and place it among the relatively few early civic-ceremonial centers in the region. Analyses of submound contexts revealed that the early first millennium mound center was constructed atop a platform of sand and ex situ cultural shell deposits that were reworked during ancient storm landfalls around 2000 BP. We situate Harbor Key within a seascape-scale stratigraphic and paleoenvironmental framework and show that the shellworks comprise an artificial barrier protecting the leeward estuary basin (and productive inshore wetlands) from high-energy conditions of the open bay and swells from the Gulf of Mexico. The sedimentary and archaeological records attest to the long-term history of morphodynamic interaction between coastal processes and Indigenous shell terraforming in the region and suggest that early first millennium mound building in Tampa Bay was tied to the recognition and reuse of antecedent shellworks and the persistent management of encompassing cultural seascapes. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  3. In 1948, John W. Griffin and Ripley P. Bullen conducted two weeks of excavations at the Safety Harbor site (8PI2) on Old Tampa Bay, the type site for the period and culture of the same name. Although they published a summary of these excavations (Griffin and Bullen 1950), many details were not included; for example, the report includes no plan drawings and artifacts are tabulated only in aggregate (by excavation block, rather than by square). Fortunately, the Florida Museum of Natural History curates relatively detailed notes and drawings of the excavations. We use GIS to review these for new insights, particularly regarding domestic architecture—a facet of Safety Harbor material culture that has remained particularly elusive. 
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  4. Ethnographers have ably documented the great extent and diversity of social institutions that contemporary fishers and shellfishers employ to collectively manage common property resources. However, the collective action regimes developed among ancient maritime societies remain understudied by archaeologists. We summarize research into the development and form of collective action among the maritime societies of the western peninsular coast of Florida, USA, drawing on our own recent work in the Tampa Bay area and previous work elsewhere in the region, especially the Calusa area to the south. Archaeological evidence suggests that collective action became more important in Tampa Bay in the first centuries CE, probably owing to a marine transgression that resulted in more productive estuaries. Groups here staked claims to productive estuarine locations through the founding of villages, the building of mounds, and the construction of relatively simple marine enclosures. Historically, these changes resulted in societies of relatively small scale and limited authoritarian government. In contrast, collective action developed later in the Calusa area, may have begun in relation to resource scarcity than plenty, and may been founded in kinship rather than in public ritual. Collective action in the Calusa area resulted in projects of greater scale and complexity, providing a foundation for more hierarchical and authoritarian social formations. 
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  5. We present digital documentation of the Cockroach Key archaeological site in Tampa Bay on the western coast of Florida, USA. The site consists of a mound and midden complex constructed by Native Americans between around 100 and 900 CE. Although well known to antiquarians of the 1800s and archaeologists of the early 1900s, the site has slowly become “hidden in plain sight” to both archaeologists (owing to the lack of contemporary investigations) and the public (owing to the density of vegetation). We use LiDAR-based mapping and ground-penetrating radar to document the site’s surface and subsurface features. 
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  6. Abstract Historical ecology has revolutionized our understanding of fisheries and cultural landscapes, demonstrating the value of historical data for evaluating the past, present, and future of Earth’s ecosystems. Despite several important studies, Indigenous fisheries generally receive less attention from scholars and managers than the 17th–20th century capitalist commercial fisheries that decimated many keystone species, including oysters. We investigate Indigenous oyster harvest through time in North America and Australia, placing these data in the context of sea level histories and historical catch records. Indigenous oyster fisheries were pervasive across space and through time, persisting for 5000–10,000 years or more. Oysters were likely managed and sometimes “farmed,” and are woven into broader cultural, ritual, and social traditions. Effective stewardship of oyster reefs and other marine fisheries around the world must center Indigenous histories and include Indigenous community members to co-develop more inclusive, just, and successful strategies for restoration, harvest, and management. 
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