Many people do not know that Parkland is home to an archaeological site—one so rich in artifacts and information that it was excavated four times dating back to 1959. The site has provided information about early inhabitants of southern Florida as it was originally a tree-island, or hammock, that served as a stopping point for native American hunters and traders approximately 3,000 years ago. On this site, located on the north side of Trails End between Pine Island Road and Nob Hill Road, the City of Parkland currently installs education boards on a quarterly rotation. Those boards debut in a glass enclosed display case on the site and, upon removal, are added below.
Margate Blount Midden
The Margate Blount midden included a mix of animal bones and shell, along with many artifacts manufactured by human hands. These items indicated that the village’s inhabitants ate much fish, turtle, and snake, supplemented with a smaller number of mammals like raccoon, opossum, and deer. They also made pottery, shell tools, and carved wood.
Ice Age Florida
During the Pleistocene, there were repeated Ice Ages when massive glaciers advanced south through North America. As a result, ocean levels were much lower. In turn, the Florida peninsula was much larger. The peninsula was dominated by savanna-like conditions and diverse Pleistocene megafauna. These animals included mastodons, mammoths, saber-toothed cats, giant armadillos, palaeolamas, and ancient bison. Towards the end of the last Ice Age, Paleo-Indians arrived in Florida. As the Ice Age ended, the climate grew warmer and wetter, sea levels rose, Florida shrank in size, and the Everglades formed.
Carved Antler and Bone Artifacts
The inhabitants of Margate-Blount manufactured intricately carved bone and antler artifacts. These artifacts primarily date to A.D. 1200-1500 and depict various animals. These carvings include more realistically-realized animals, including a dabbling duck, turtle, and an eel or barracuda, along with more stylized rattlesnakes, and a vulture.
Natural Resources and Shell
The Margate-Blount residents exploited various resources to manufacture the items they needed. For example, they used animal bones to produce bone pins to hold their hair and clothing in place. The residents of the village evidently had contact with groups living on the coast, because they maintained bustling exchange networks that brought marine shell into the Florida interior.