Historical Treasure Trove Found in Florida Spring

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As part of a 5-month clean-up project to improve water quality and flow, hundreds of artifacts dating from the Ice Age to the 20th century were recovered in a Florida spring.


As time has gone on, the primary spring of the Chassahowitzka River in Florida’s Citrus County has accumulated everything from septic tank outflow and algae growth to beer bottles and car parts.

As part of a 5-month clean-up project to improve water quality and flow, hundreds of artifacts dating from the Ice Age to the 20th century were recovered.

The effort was supervised by archaeologist Michael Arbuthnot who said, “We found an amazing array of artifacts that basically represent every period of human occupation in Florida.” Items were uncovered over a 2 and one-half acre area and up to 25 feet below the spring’s surface.

Older items included a 10,000-year-old Suwannee spear point potentially used to hunt a mammoth; a bone fish hook dating as old as 8,000 B.C. possibly used to catch alligators; and a rare 2,000-year-old, intact bowl first mistaken for a coconut.

More recent finds included pieces of a 17th century Spanish ceramic plate possibly traded between Spanish explorers and Native Americans; a piece of brushed pottery used by Seminole Indians from the 1700s; and a hand-painted Hubley Long Barrel Texan Jr. toy cap gun from the mid-1900s.

All artifacts belong to Florida and will end up displayed in either Tallahassee or Inverness.

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