Rising waters and shifting sands: How terminal Pleistocene sea level rise has impacted what we know about the earliest Floridians
Presented by Dr. Jessi Halliagan, Florida State University
We know that the first people had settled in what we now call Florida by 14,500 years ago because of recent finds at the Page-Ladson site in the Aucilla River. By 11,000 years ago, people were widespread and well-adapted to life on the Florida peninsula. Much of what we know about these first people, known as Paleoindians, has been discovered in sites that were drowned in freshwater environments, where fragile materials were perfectly preserved. Terrestrial sites, however, suffer from numerous problems that hamper our understanding of Paleoindian lifeways. Further, much of the Paleoindian record was submerged by sea level rise, so we know little about any early coastal adaptations. Even so, a century of research has revealed some significant patterns about early Floridians.