Prehistoric Sites 1

Prehistoric Sites 1
More than 150 prehistoric sites have been documented in Monroe County. Among them are significant formations discovered on Key Largo in 1932 at what is today the Calusa Campground at Mile Marker 102. The extensive mixture of mounds and shell middens suggested a well-defined village. Two large mounds measuring 175’ X 75’ and 200’ X 300’contained shell, bone, and pottery shards. One of the features, a large kidney-shaped mound, measured roughly 100’ X 55’ and was thought to have been used for ceremonial purposes. Pottery sherds recovered from these sites date the age of the village at greater than 1,000 years old. The site was thought to have been abandoned approximately 1200 AD.

Plantation Key proved sufficiently piled with Indian mounds as to warrant the designation of the subdivisions Indian Mound and Indian Waterways. Both have since been asphalted with appropriately named streets like Calusa and Tequesta. Significant mounds discovered included two on the Oceanside with the larger measuring 105’ X 75’ and standing 4-5 feet high. One small mound was discovered less than a mile south of Tavernier Creek. Another large mound was discovered in the community known as Plantation Key Colony. Pottery sherds from this mound are on exhibit.

A host of significant sites have been found on Upper and Lower Matecumbe, including one described as being the size of a football field. Another mound once stood where Robbie’s Marina at Mile Marker 77.5 is today. A sand burial mound discovered on nearby Lignumvitae Key measures 50 feet in diameter and stands 3-4 feet high. Human remains were discovered 7 inches below the surface. Carbon dating of a skull taken from the mound revealed it was 1,800 years old. Other bones uncovered in the mound were dated between 900 and 1,000 years old.