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Contact: Gulf Coast Visitor Center, 239-695-3311
Contact: Media Inquiries - Linda Friar, 305-242-7714
Everglades City, Florida: Join an Everglades National Park Ranger on a guided tour of the striking Turner River Complex Saturday March 27, 2010. This special program is being offered only one weekend during 2010 to celebrate Florida Archaeology Month and will depart from the Gulf Coast Visitor Center in Everglades City.
The Turner River Complex is a prehistoric shell works site located in the 10,000 Island area of Everglades National Park. This significant cultural resource is located directly northeast of Chokoloskee Island, just one-half mile from the mouth of the Turner River. The Turner River complex covers 30 acres and extends for a quarter-mile along the river. Smithsonian Anthropologist Ales Hrdlicka, who visited the site in 1922, considered the Turner River Mounds to be "the most noteworthy group of shell heaps and mounds in the entire region" In 1955, William H. Sears, of the Florida State Museum, secured permission from the owners of the property (Ted Smallwood’s family) to conduct excavations at the site. Sears’ work at the Turner River Shell Works Complex provided the first contour mapping of a mound complex in south Florida and was the first professional archeological excavation within the Ten Thousand Islands.
Motorized boat tours will leave at 11:00 and 11:30 a.m. and at 3:00 and 3:30 p.m. Each tour will make a thirty minute stop at the site. Visitors must arrive at least 15 minutes before hand. Cost of the tour is $35 per adult (regular boat tour price). Space is limited to six persons per trip.
In addition to the motorized tour, there will also be a ranger-led canoe trip to the mounds. Visitors can bring their own canoe/kayak or rent a canoe on site for the regular fee of $26.50 (includes tax). Canoes accommodate 2 or 3 people. Singles can pay for 1/2 of a canoe.
On Sunday, March 28, on the 2:00 p.m. boat tour there will be a special boat tour that includes a stop and short walk on Sandfly Island, another important prehistoric mound site. This trip will accommodate 46 people. The tour costs $26.50 (regular boat tour price).
Space is limited on all trips, consequently reservations are required. For more information or reservations call the Gulf Coast Visitor Center at 239-695-3311.
The Gulf Coast Visitor Center is located 5 miles south of Highway 41 (Tamiami Trail) on State Road 29, in Everglades City. From Interstate 75 (Alligator Alley), take exit 80 (State Road 29) south and proceed 20 miles to Everglades City. Once in Everglades City, follow the signs to the park. The visitor center is on the right.