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  1. 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, providingmore »a foundation for more hierarchical and authoritarian social formations.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 8, 2023
  2. 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.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  3. 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.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 31, 2022