Geoglyphs and the Creation of an Andean Coastal Landscape
Wintergarden Presbyterian Church, Port Charlotte, 6:30 PM
Andean peoples constructed some of the most sophisticated landscapes of the ancient world. Manifest as figural and linear geoglyphs, ephemeral structures, and terraced platforms, the earth’s surface was transformed into vast theatres for public performance. Structured rock formations, or geoglyphs, challenge questions of scale and in how the landscape was perceived, used and translated. This talk traces the development of these forms from the earliest in the Casma Valley to those of the Paracas peoples in south-central Peru. We will see how these systematically designed pathways -- nearly invisible to the untrained eye – accommodated pilgrimage and framed elaborate building complexes. Timing of processional activity was guided by astronomical phenomena. Sites that marked solstices and equinoxes are shown to be integral to the formation of a sacred geography.
Charles Stanish (Ph.D., Chicago) is Executive Director of the Institute for the Advanced Study of Culture and the Environment at the University of South Florida. He has served as director of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA, and curator/chair of the Anthropology Department of the Chicago Field Museum. His extensive research in Peru, Bolivia, and Chile addresses the roles that trade, war, ritual, and
In 1934 archaeologist from the Smithsonian excavated mound and midden sites as part of the federal Works Project Administration. Many of these excavations were around Charlotte Harbor and Tampa Bay. It was the most coordinated and productive period for archaeological findings and research in Florida’s history. In almost all locations, no further research was done and the records forgotten. All the sites and their contents fit into prior knowledge of the Late Archaic and the Early Woodland Periods except one. The mysterious burial mound on Lemon Bay referred to as the Englewood Mound. The archaeologists of the time and to the present passed over two important findings that did not fit with the surrounding cultures, nor on the Florida peninsula. First, the ceramics found only there were so distinctive and of such finer quality, they were named Englewood and Lemon Bay. Second when they dug down to the primary burial, the burials were coved by a thick layer of red ochre. Ehmann concluded therefore that the people who built the burial mound on Lemon Bay were a distinctive and not a local culture at all. The presentation is about his journey to discover who were those mysterious people and where did they originate.
Think you know about the Calusa? Think again. Now a book that is written for the general reader about an ancient civilization that lived around the Charlotte Harbor for 25 centuries.
Author and founder of the Charlotte Harbor Anthropological Society Ted Ehmann investigated the mound building societies in the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys for twenty-five years before moving to Port Charlotte. Despite his extensive knowledge of these ancient people, he had heard never heard of mound builders far away in south Florida. Upon moving to Port Charlotte, he set out to find out what he could. What he discovered is the basis for his book. Written for the general reader, Ehmann tells the story of a highly evolved people who successfully adapted to southwestern Gulf coastal environment, Immigrants from Louisiana around 800 BC, the Calusa engaged with the people already settled here. The result was a highly expressive culture that built monumental shell mound complexes, canals and even entire islands. Ehmann also shares how the view of these people have been misunderstood by Florida researchers, and how their conclusions fail to capture what was really the most " important and significant hunter-gathering society in world history."
The People of the Great Circle, Prehistoric Mound Builders In South Florida, December, 2019, Pineapple Press, a division of Rowman & Littlefield Publishing ISBN 97816833405 22 Available through booksellers everywhere
Educate the public and officials about the significance of the Calusa Indians and the prehistoric cultural resources in the Charlotte Harbor Region, as well as to sponsor:field trips, speakers, events and symposiums.
Foster and encourage ongoing research and publications while promoting public accessibility to historical sites and the published archaeological research.
Be a clearing house for local knowledge of the Calusa and the prehistory and history of the Charlotte Harbor Region.
Develop and make available ongoing educational materials for local schools and community organizations, while encouraging careers in anthropology.
Charlotte County Anthropological Society, Inc. is a non-profit corporation dedicated to educating, the public and the officials about the significant role of the Calusa Indians and the Charlotte Harbor Region in the prehistory and archaeological history of Florida and North America. The region came into notoriety in 1895-1896 when American ethnographer Frank Hamilton Cushing unearthed the first Calusa sites and treasures. Since the mid-twentieth century, interest in this epoch has decreased, leaving a vast number of sites not researched and questions unanswered. Intensive development of the region since the 1980s has further threatened the integrity of the remaining prehistoric resources.
Our membership is composed of professionals and non-professionals who wish to preserve the numerous rich prehistoric cultural sites and resources of the harbor region from the ravishes of exploitation and inadequate public policy and time
We are dedicated to sharing the rich ancient history and history of the 14,000 years of human s living in the Charlotte Harbor area. our new HERITAGE TOURS OF OLD FLORIDA will help develop heritage tourism for our area, which in turn will help us to preserve the remaining archaeological and historic sites for future generations.
Ted Ehmann, President & Treasurer
Gene Dole, Vice President
Bill Straus, Secretary
Board of Directors