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Prehistoric Archaeology

The University of West Florida has and will continue to conduct investigations on prehistoric sites. Our Institute has performed survey, testing, and excavation level investigations at a wide range of prehistoric site types in the West Florida area including shell middens, shell rings, non-shell middens, mounds, and cemeteries. Sites from all the major prehistoric periods have been investigated: PaleoIndian, Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian. While most investigations have been at the survey and recording level, we have tested scores of sites, and have conducted extensive excavations at several. The prehistoric sites at which we have conducted the most extensive investigations are an Early Woodland Stage Deptford shell midden on Pensacola Bay known as Hawkshaw (50 B.C.-A.D. 250) and a Middle Woodland Santa Rosa-Swift Creek shell ring on Escambia Bay (A.D. 400-650).


The Hawkshaw project was a noncompliance, interdisciplinary investigation in a downtown neighborhood in Pensacola, Florida, known as "Hawkshaw." In the Fall of 1983...


The Bernath site (8SR986) is located directly east of UWF across the Escambia Bay in Santa Rosa county. There is a single component, Middle Woodland Santa Rosa-Swift Creek site with radiocarbon dates ranging from A.D.670 ±60 to A.D.350 ±50, as well as a post-Civil War farmstead on the property.