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Contact: Event Information, 239-695-3311
Contact: Linda Friar, 305-242-7714; Media Contact
Everglades National Park Celebrates Archeology Month
Dig up the past, discover a lost civilization and learn the ways of the Calusa Indians
March 26 and 27
Celebrate Florida Archeology Month at Everglades National Park. Rangers will be providing special programs the weekend of March 26 and 27 on the prehistory and archaeological resources in the Ten Thousand Islands of Southwest Florida. These programs will include opportunities to experience the Turner River Mounds, learn about how the Calusa Indian tribe lived, and offer opportunities to make your own tools and masks. Archaeology is everywhere. Join us for fun activities at the Gulf Coast Visitor Center.
Boat Tour to the Turner River Mounds - March 26 Only - Motorized boat tour of the Ten Thousand Island area will include a 30 minute stop and guided walk at the Turner River complex site. Visitors should arrive at least 15 minutes before hand. These Saturday tours will leave at 9:00, 9:15, 11:00, and 11:15 am Tours cost $35 per adult (regular boat tour price). Space is limited to 6 persons per trip.
Boat Tour to Sandfly Island - March 27 Only - This will be a special boat tour at 1:00 pm that includes a stop and short walk on Sandfly Island, a prehistoric shell mound. The tour costs $26.50 (regular boat tour price). This program has room for 46 persons.
Paddling Expedition - Both March 26 & 27 - This ranger guided trip into the Ten Thousand Island area of southwest Florida will include a stop at the Turner River complex site and a ranger presentation on Calusa history. Bring your own canoe/kayak or rent a canoe. Canoe rental is $26.50. The tour is 4 hours - from 10 am - 2 pm. Visitors should arrive early and bring your own refreshments.
The Turner River Complex is a prehistoric shell works site located in the Ten Thousand Islands area of Everglades National Park. The Turner River complex cover 30 acres and extend 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.”
Space is limited, so reservations are required for all trips. For more information or reservations call the Gulf Coast Visitor Center at 239-695-3311.
The earliest known settlements in the Ten Thousand Islands were established about 2000 years ago. Beginning with simple mounds and shell ring structures, the settlements increased in size and complexity. By the time of Spanish explorer Ponce De Leon's arrival in 1513, the sites in this area were part of an expansive and powerful chiefdom inhabited by people known as the Calusa. Their domain stretched along the west coast of Florida.
Directions: 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.