Canaveral National Seashore’s Turtle Mound survives

Ludmilla LelisĀ |Sentinel Staff Writer

April 29, 2008
NEW SMYRNA BEACH – Scores of Native American mounds have been lost through time, but the one thought to be the nation’s highest –Canaveral National Seashore’s Turtle Mound — survived.

Preservation of the mound has saved many of its secrets, clues to the past never unearthed.

That’s why archaeologists and park rangers are excited to learn as much as they can from new holes dug into the massive oyster-shell pile last week.

An archaeological team is taking advantage of a rare chance to study the mound and its contents, while the National Park Service builds a new boardwalk on the site.

Already, the team has found what it thinks are 1,200-year-old pottery, fish bones and other samples that will be analyzed with radiocarbon-dating technology to find out how old the mound is.
“It’s a great opportunity because not much work has been done on this mound,” said Margo Schwadron, an archaeologist with the park service’s Southeast Archaeological Center in Tallahassee. “It is one of the most significant archaeological sites in this country.”
Federal officials hope the information will support an effort to have the mound declared a National Historic Landmark.

Though it is already among the 76,000-plus sites on the National Registry of Historic Places, the landmark designation would rank it higher, alongside theĀ Empire State Building, or Walden Pond in Massachusetts, as one of the nation’s 2,500 most significant sites.

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Gary C. Daniels

Gary C. Daniels is an award-winning, Emmy-nominated television, video and multimedia writer and producer. He has a M.A. degree in Communications from Georgia State University in Atlanta, a B.F.A. degree in TV Production from the Savannah College of Art and Design and an A.A. degree in Art from the College of Coastal Georgia. He has appeared on the Travel Channel, Discovery Channel, Science Channel and History Channel. His History Channel appearance became the highest-rated episode in the network's history. He has a passion for Native American history and art. He is the founder and publisher of

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