The Randell Research Center was offered an opportunity to examine Mound 5 of the Brown’s Mound Complex on property adjacent to the Randell Research Center. Brown’s Mound 1, the largest mound on the Pineland site, is thought to have been surrounded by five other mounds, forming a six-mound “complex.”
Initial examination of the pottery shows a diverse assemblage of types from Lake Okeechobee, Tampa Bay, and the St. Johns River basin, as well as locally produced wares. Locally produced pottery such as Sand-tempered Plain and Pineland Plain were not of the highest quality or durability due to the poor quality clays available. By the first century A.D. the Calusa began to seek out and acquire better quality pots from other parts of Florida.
We know that by the sixteenth century the Calusa had established wide-ranging contacts through their system of trade and tribute. Part of the story of Mound 5 may include evidence of how and when the Calusa came to rule much of South Florida.
The above was excerpted from the September 2009 Friends of the Randall Research Center newsletter. Read the full article here.