Fied Midden Adjoins The Mound Sowell (8By3)

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165 THE SOWELL MOUND, A WEEDEN ISLAND PERIOD BURIAL SITE IN BAY COUNTY, NORTHWEST FLORIDA R. C. Dailey and Dan Morse, M. D. Department of Anthropology Florida State University This is a brief report of the. excavation of the Sowell Mound (8By3), believed to be the mound first reported and described by (1902:167Moore B. Clarence The field work described 174). here was done during the summers The project of 1969 and 1970. was under the direction of the R. C. late Hale G. Smith and this of purpose The Dailey. paper is to describe the condition of the mound and the human it which remains skeletal yielded. Named after a previous property owner, the Sowell Mound is located on the southwest side of St. Andrew Bay, opposite Panama Northwest Bay County, in City The mound Florida (Figure 1). is situated approximately 70 m from the edge of the bay on land Coastal Naval the by occupied A large stratiSystems Center. fied midden adjoins the mound cultural rich contains and one meter deposits at least depth (cf Willey 1949:66). 'WET BY PANAMA CITY US 98 lv I c / -;:. s I ' I 1 z : :. .i ;! '. '' \ Sowell (8By3) . in The mound was well known even in Moore's day and had already been work began he when disturbed Indeed, in addition to a there. extending wide m) (3.5 trench from the northern margin to the center of the mound, he reported a "great depression whence the been mound had the from sand southern margin its at taken" (Moore 1902:167). From time to time a number of amateur and professional archaethe at worked have ologists Sowell (8By3) site and collected cultural and skeletal material, Among particularly the former. worked who professionals the Willey, Gordon R. are there H. Fairbanks, David S. Charles Smith. G. Hale and Phelps, Volume 37 Number 4 .: FIGURE 1. Location of Sowell Site (8By3) near Panama City in Bay County, Florida. In his Archeology of the Florida classified Willey Coast, Gulf Weeden "definitely as the mound Weeden only possibly Island, the and (1949:231), II" Island (1949:401). middent as "mixed" acGovernment U.S. the After further no property the quired excavations were permitted without a Federal antiquity permit. An exception, however, was the Lamar Gammon, then work of W. the at Director Personnel the Center Systems Coastal Naval (then Mine Defense) laboratory. It was through his efforts that the mound was saved from total THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST December, 1984

166 THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST destruction when the U.S. Navy began experimental activities in the area. Gammon recovered some 6,000 potsherds and larger parts of broken vessels, some of which he was able to restore. He also recovered 12 faceless crania and secured a C-14 date of A.D. 610 125 years for this site. In 1968, Gammon arranged for the U.S. Navy to convey the entire collection to the Florida State University, Department of Anthropology. During the summer of 1969, students in the Department of Anthropology's summer field school collected bone fragments and pottery from the surface of the mound. They also mapped the site and excavated a number of 3 m squares on the eastern and southern perimeter of the mound area, seven of which were completely excavated. The following summer, work continued on the southern perimeter and several trenches were dug, one through the center of the mound, and the other at right angles to it. This was done in an effort to locate the base of the original mound. No mound strata were ever located suggesting, as had been suspected, that Moore had literally replaced the original mound with a new one; although, it is acknowledged that it is very difficult to detect stratigraphic zones in the Pleistocene beach sand with which the mound was formed. When Moore conducted his investigation of the mound in 1902 he stated that it was 50' (15 m) in diameter ande 4.5' (1.4 m) high. In 1969 when the mound was again mapped, pottery and bone fragments were found to encompass a somewhat circular area more than twice the size of the one Moore excavated in 1902 and though irregular and full of holes, the highest point on what remained (37(4), 1984) was about one meter above the surrounding area. Admittedly, the extent to which Moore excavated his sites is always open to question, but in this case the mound fill seemed to be totally disturbed. Aside from the scattered bone, no "flexed skeletons, bunched burials, or masses of bones" including crania, as he described them (1902:167), were found. Pottery and bone fragments were completely mixed in the mound fill. There was no suggestion of stratigraphy and the skeletal material was without articulation. Moore reports that he was unable to count the number of burials because of "the difficulty to determine where one ended and another began forced us to limit ourselves to a tally of skulls only" (1902:167). According to his count he found 121 crania. Today there is no record of the whereabouts of any of this skeletal material including the one crania illustrated in his report (1902:168). We have assumed that most of the faceless crania found in 1969 and 1970 excavations are some of those originally counted by Moore and then discarded in his backdirt because they were faceless, and therefore, incomplete. Bone preservation in the mound was found to be exceptionally good primarily because it was well drained and also there was a large amount of broken shell mixed in the mound fill. A totla of 22,000 bone fragments were recovered of which about 4,000 belonged to the cranial and the remaining 18,000 to the postcranial skeleton. Some 10,000 of the latter have been identified, but restoration proved to be very difficult. Only a handful of undamaged long bones were recovered. For example, there were two femora, one

THE SOWELL MOUND DAILEY AND MORSE tibia, one humerus, one radius, Not a and no ulnae or fibulae. single complete innominate bone fragments Sternal found. was and conspicuously absent, were even metatarsals and metacarpals were often without their proxiA few of mal or distal ends. the larger bones have been reof number the e.g. stored; five, to increased was femora tibiae to three, fibulae to two, to ulnae and four to humeri remain 741 there But eight. unmatched femoral fragments, 303 fibular 247 fragments, tibial fragments, 311 humeral fragments and 361 ulnar fragments. the reconstruct to Efforts better. little fared crania Gammon (as noted above) arranged to have the Navy convey to the 12 Anthropology of Department Another facefaceless crania. less cranium was donated by a participated in person who had one of the excavations prior to After an extended effort, 1969. an additional 39 cranial vaults were restored in our laboratory All bringing the count to 52. are arepresented crania the dult, all are faceless and all fronto-occipital show one but flattening, some extremely prom23 Of the (Figure 2). inent crania for which sex estimates could be hazarded, 14 were considered to be male on the basis such as degree of criteria of muscle relief, size of mastoid and prominence of the process, Nine crania were considinion. Ages for 27 ered to be female. of the cranial vaults were determined by observing the degree While this of suture closure. method of estimating cranial age the at except unreliable is the only one it was extremes, that could be used in this into found were Ages stance. years. 50 and 18 range between No crania were recovered with 167 the upper dentition in any of There were, however, 39 place. left maxillary fragments and 46 recovered. fragments right mandibles complete Twenty-one be could none but found were the of any with articulated Of the 1381 teeth recrania. and loose were 1,084 covered, removed from the screens used in the excavation, while the other 297 teeth were in the mandibular The teeth and maxillary bones. early the in analyzed were 1970's and the results reported 27th the given at in a paper Florida the of annual meeting Society. Anthropological 1975 unpublished) (Goodwin In order to determine the size skeletal population reof the covered since Moore's time, we The follows. as preceded postand cranial the of counts considered, were bones cranial and proxial the particularly distal ends of the long bones. The proximal ends of the femora had the highest count 74 for the Of right and 77 for the left. petrous the bones cranial the temporal is the most durable and here the count was 162 for the right side and 167 for the left. These counts included those of or restored crania, 52 the contained which transferred, It is petrous temporal bones. also highly likely that some of the 121 crania which Moore rehis in discarded and ported 167 the in tally are included have we which for individuals evidence - a surprisingly large number. was evaluation Pathological fragments the performed on all identified, large enough to be skeletons complete no as but were studies gross found were Aside perform. to impossible postmortem extensive the from breakage of the skeletal remains in large part (presumed to be

168 THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST past excavation the result of activities), the general health of the population seemed to be good. The cortex in most fragments appeared to be of normal density and there was no filling of the marrow spaces that would A few anemia. suggest severe otherwise bones, which long looked normal, showed mild to moderate osteoclerosis as did 23 This of the 52 cranial vaults. with the almost finding along dental caries total absence of teeth) sug(four out of 1381 gests a possible excess of flourine in the supply of drinking was obyet no plaque water, served on any of the teeth examined (Adler 1970:207). of the measure A traditional general health of a population is the presence of growth arrest lines in the ends of long bones. the preThese lines indicate diseases. valence of childhood Radiographs of 949 ends of long 41 bones indicated there were instances of this condition with lines ranging in number from one to 16. Traumas were surprisingly rare. Only four instances of healed Radiofractures were observed. satisfactory indicated graphs or infection no with healing These disability. resultant fractures occurred in the proximal end of a left humerus, the mid-shaft of a right radius, the mid-shaft of a right tibia and right of a end the proximal Where present, none of tibia. that showed changes the joints would suggested unreduced disloNo crushing injuries cations. were found. Bone wounds made by sharp instruments or osteosclerosis as a response to trauma were absent. Bone inflammation can be three ly divided into usefulcatego- (37(4), 1984) ries: mild, moderate and marked. Mild inflammation is periostitis Moderate is periostitis alone. with some osteitic changes. severe osteitis with Marked is cavity inof marrow evidence It (osteomyelitis). volvement to disis sometimes difficult from normal changes tinguish mild inflammations because the line of separation of the two is collection sharp. In the not were long bone fragments 475 inflamed, possibly caused by the high percentage of fluorides in Of these, the water (Figure 3). 105 278 were considered mild, The moderate, and 92 marked. involved frequently bones most tibiae, femora, 158; were the 121; and ulnae, 52. Some of classified inflammations those or severe, moderate as with sinus especially those tracts, could have been caused or a purulent osteitis by Some of the osteomyelitis. inflammation forms of milder also could result from adjacent infection. tissue soft Treponematosis is also a possiinvolving ability, particularly the frontal bone, but no gummatous lesions were noted in the frontal or parietal fragments. In the Sowell collection there frontal indentifiable 76 were with 36 along fragments bone with vaults partially complete Of bones. frontal complete these 122 possibilities only 12 were periostitis of instances One of these (Figure observed. of area a circular 4) showed with but periostitis healed but borders, defined sharply this would seem to favor a soft tissue infection. Arthritis also appears to be abnormally rare. In the entire sample there were only eight bone ends suggesting the presence of degenerative arthritis. mild slipping on These include

DAILEY AND MORSE 169 THE SOWELL MOUND ii · · - FIGURE 2. Severe fronto-occipital flattening (cradle-board deformation). FIGURE 4. , .v,.t. FIGURE 3. .- '% - Localized area of infection. " ':/ - ., r' .· 1 ',, '" '- s sonand long bone fragments. .ero

the proximal end of a right and presumably unrehumerus, left a of end proximal the lated, right radius and the distal end metacarpal. left third a of Moderate osteophytosis was seen ;, three of ends distal the on on and bones metatarsal first a distal; ends of the proximal No evidence phalanx of a toe. of traumatic or infectious arOf approxithritis was seen. mately 1800 identifiable verteosteophytosis vertebral brae, was seen as mild lipping on the bodies of 17 and moderate osteol phytosis on only four. found. was tumor definite One radiographicand Gross numerous showed examination in both the holes punched out inner and outer tables of this Most (Figures 5 & 6). vault likely it is a case of multiple myeloma as we reported it in the Bulletin of the New York Academy al. et (Morse, Medicine of The only other pos1974:447). sibility would be an osteolytic i recarcinoma resulting in the A calcium. loss of or moval ' dysplasias bone No served. There were, of septal f - . . FIGURE 5. fruitproved individual same bones, long other Six less. because of localization of the bone surrounding and lesion interbe could regeneration, preted as tumor, but there was them differentiate to way no infecfrom the possibility of tion. number (37(4), 1984) THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST 170 ,; Multiple myeloma. of obwere however, a apertures in the distal ends of the humeri. One case of a bifid sacrum was seen, two cases of sacralization vertebrae lumbar fifth the of and a spondylolysis of a fifth Finally, lumbar was also found. there were nine instances of ear exostoses. FIGURE 6. Radiograph of multiple myeloma showing numerous areas of examination of the this From skeletal remains from the Sowell mound it is reasonable to conof inhabitants the that clude site were generally healthis

DAILEY AND MORSE THE SOWELL MOUND thy, had no significant dental and did not suffer from caries, many childhood diseases. They do not appear to have been "ac- was cident prone" and arthritis a problem, but not a serious number of bone inflamations were observed. Summary In this paper we have reviewed of excavation most recent the first Mound (8By3) the Sowell described by C.B. Moore and thought to have been excavated by him in 1902. Since the skeletal remains recovered by Moore were never fully analyzed this investigation promore recent vides a sample that represents a more extensive review and discussion of the Sowell Mound and their physical population biology. The skeletal condition recovered are of the remains described along with some of the pathology. An obvious conclusion is that perhaps re-excavation of any of the mounds dug by Moore could yield valuable data. References Adler, P. Fluorides and Human Health. 1970 Organization, World Health Geneva. Goodwin, R. Christopher 1975 "Human Dental Remains from Sowell Mound, Bay County, at Florida." Paper presented the 27th Annual Meeting of the Florida Anthropological Society (unpublished). Moore, Clarence B. 1902 Certain Aboriginal Remains of the Northwest Florida Coast. Journal of the Natural Sciences of Academy of Vol. 12, Part Philadelphia. II, 127-355. Morse, Dan, R.C. Dailey and Jennings Bunn Prehistoric Multiple Myeloma. 1974 Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, Second Series, 50:447-458. 171 Willey, Gordon R. Archaeology of the Florida 1982 Gulf Coast. Florida Book Store, Inc., Gainesville, Florida (reprint 1949 edition). R. C. Dailey and Dan Morse, M.D. Department of Anthropology Florida State University G-34 Bellamy Building Tallahassee, Florida 32306

THE SOWELL MOUND, A WEEDEN ISLAND PERIOD BURIAL SITE 165 IN BAY COUNTY, NORTHWEST FLORIDA R. C. Dailey and Dan Morse, M. D. Department of Anthropology Florida State University This is a brief report of the. .:-excavation of the Sowell Mound 'WET BY (8By3), believed to be the mound first reported and described by US 98 PANAMA

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