January 2020: Dr. Margo J. Schwadron

Foraging, Feasts and Monuments: Investigating the Monumental Shell Work Landscapes of the Ten Thousand Islands, Florida

Presenter: Dr. Margo J. Schwadron

SUBJECT: The Ten Thousand Islands contain some of the largest, most complex shell midden mound constructions in the world. Over 12 years ago, Dr. Schwadron began some of the first investigation of many of these monumental sites, and over many years, through National Geographic grants, dissertation work, and National Park Service supported fieldwork, she has completed numerous investigations and specialized studies throughout the region. This talk will provide an overview of the Archeology of Ten Thousand Islands Shell Works sites, presenting a settlement pattern overview of the types of sites, chronology, and patterns of shell work communities in the region. It will feature many visuals that will allow you to see how these prehistoric fisher-hunter-gatherer communities constructed, altered, maintained and used meaningful community spaces, monuments and functional constructions through shell works over time.


Dr. Margo Schwadron is an Archaeologist for the National Park Service who specializes in wetlands, islands, coastal archeology and shell middens in the southeastern United States, especially south Florida. Her research takes a landscape-centered approach to archaeology, incorporating large-scale archeological survey and testing, remote sensing/GIS, and integrating paleo-environmental and paleo-climate research into understanding historical ecology and the interaction of humans and environment through time. Recent work includes National Geographic funded investigation of prehistoric hunter-fisher-gatherer shell midden sites from the Ten Thousand Islands in the Everglades, Florida.