People and Plants

People and Plants (HM1POC)

Location: Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931 Lee County
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Country: United States of America
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N 26° 26.749', W 81° 55.666'

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The story of people and plants provides a continuous thread from the Calusa to early Estero Island settlers, and to the present and future generations. With all the great advances in science and technology, people still rely on natural resources to provide food, medicine, rules, building materials, textiles, and dyes.

Plants Fuel a Society
Fire is important to the development of cultures. The Calusa used fire to cook, and to help carve out logs to create canoes. Archaeologists who studied this shell mound gathered sample of the soil to be tested for botanicals. The test yielded 19,340 botanical items - 90% of which were charred wood. The most common was mangroves (77%), followed by pine or oak (21%). In addition to wood, researchers identified nut shells and nut meat, seeds and grass stems.

Edible Plants
The Calusa diet was centered on aquatic foods, yet research shows they also gathered seasonal nuts, seeds, and fruit. Nuts found during the excavation were primarily high protein acorns and 91% of seeds collected were saw palmetto seeds. Many of these seeds were found together indicating the Calusa gathered the seeds when seasonally available.

Frond Shelters
Whether it was the Calusa, or the Cuban fisherman who set up ranchos or coastal fishing camps, or the late 19th century settlers-everyone needed shelter. They survived by using natural materials to create protective structures. Palm fronds and tree trunks could be assembled together with twine made from Spanish moss. Perhaps their "houses" were similar to this circa 1910 palm shack. Records indicate that the first homesteader, Robert Gilbert, built a thatched structure on the mound site.
Placed ByDepartment of State, Division of Historical Resource
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, November 30th, 2015 at 1:04pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17R E 407502 N 2925390
Decimal Degrees26.44581667, -81.92776667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 26° 26.749', W 81° 55.666'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds26° 26' 44.94" N, 81° 55' 39.96" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)239
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 289 Connecticut St, Fort Myers Beach FL 33931, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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