Did you know that a sea-faring American tribe explored the shores of North America 7000 years ago? Or that these ancient Americans rivaled their European counterparts in navigational skills several millennia before the Vikings?
The Windover Archeological Site is an Early Archaic (6000 to 5000 BC) archaeological site where skeletal remains of 168 individuals were found buried in the peat at the bottom of the pond. The skeletons were well preserved because of the characteristics of peat. In addition, remarkably well-preserved brain tissue has been recovered from many skulls from the site. DNA from the brain tissue has been sequenced. The collection of human skeletal remains and artifacts recovered from Windover Pond represent among the largest finds of each type from the Archaic Period.
Archaeologists at this site were able to recover a total of 86 pieces of fabric from 37 graves. These included seven different textile weaves, which appeared to have been used for clothing, bags, matting, and possibly blankets and ponchos. Numerous other artifacts, such as atlatls and projectile points, were also found at Windover. The occupants of Windover hunted animals, fished, and gathered plants. They used bottle gourds for storage, which comprise the earliest evidence for vegetable container storage discovered in North America.