Canaveral National Seashore contains several important Native American sites. Turtle Mound is the highest shell midden in the nation. This two-acre site contains over 35,000 cubic yards of oyster shell, extends more than six hundred feet along the Indian River shoreline, and stands about fifty feet tall. (In prehistoric times, it was at least seventy-five feet high.) Visible for miles offshore, the mound has been used as a navigational landmark since the early days of Spanish exploration.
Though smaller than Turtle Mound, Castle Windy still is one of the more prominent shell middens in the Indian River area. It extends some 300 feet along the shore of Mosquito Lagoon.
Castle Windy is the first Florida coastal midden for which we have radiocarbon dates. These indicate that the site developed around 1200 A.D. and continued to be used for 300 years by the same people who lived at Turtle Mound.
Ancient Civilizations of Florida: Turtle Mound
Le Moynes’ Florida Indians