Baker County Seal

PREHISTORIC BAKER COUNTY

10,000 B.C. to 8,000 B.C. - Paleo-Indian Period It is thought to have been about 3,000 years later (10,000 BC) before any of these early Paleo-people arrived in North Florida. This would have been at a low water period and Florida would have been about twice as large as it is today because the sea level would have been about 25 to 35 feet lower than today. The additional land mass would have been all of the Florida Bay and a significant part of the Gulf of Mexico.  With the rising  sea waters the Paleo-Indian's food supply evolved from large animals as bisons, mammoths, etc. to the surviving species of rabbit, deer and marine life. (1)

8,000 B.C to 750 B.C. - Archaic Period By this period the sea levels were rising rapidly. The climate changed along with change in sea level and the land mass was rapidly diminishing. (1)

Sometime around 4,000 years ago (2,000 BC), a seemingly independent invention of "pottery making" happened in the Florida-Georgia area. Spanish moss and other grasses were used to reinforce and hold the clay together, known as temper. This is important because if sand-fired pottery fragments are found, the site is younger than this. Weapons were made of sharks' teeth, stingray barbs, billfish bills, etc. Eating utensils were made from coconuts, various sized shells, bones and other materials.(1)

750 B.C.. to 1500 A.D. - Glades Period This period is divided into three periods - I, II, and III. Pottery types characterize the different periods, but there are associated types of tools. By 500 BC, the tradition of adding fibers to temper the clay was largely replaced by the addition of grit, sand, shell and limestone, much as is done today. This is another important date stamp. However, they did not have high temperature kilns to glaze the pottery as potters do today.  (1)

It appears that the Indian societies were not tightly knit enough to be classified as tribes and were classified by anthropologists as "cultures." For example, around this 500-BC era northeast Florida was occupied by the St. Johns culture, which endured for more than 1,000 years before finally evolving into the "Timucuan" tribe just before historic times.  (1)

Obtained via internet 12 Jan 2010 ks

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