Did you know that Florida was inhabited around 12,000 years ago? These people left little evidence, except for some pottery shards and bone fragments.
Much better known are the ancient tribes that roamed the area around the time of Christ, what scientists now designate as C.E., For Christian Era. Scholars disagree as to the total number, with estimates ranging from 100,000 to almost a million. There were dozens of groups, with names that seem familiar: the Myami and Tequesta, for example.
Chief among these people were our own Calusa, of Southwest Florida, fierce warriors who held dominion over the southern half of the peninsula. They had three gods: a tribal god, a war god and one for the immediate family, and the chief and the shaman told hem how to deal with these.
What’s Going on in the Historical Society?
If you have a yen to take a short field trip, join us in Gainesville this weekend for a visit to the museum of natural history at the University of Florida. A dozen of us will travel up Friday night and meet for dinner. Saturday morning, we will be treated to a personally conducted tour by Dr. Bill Marquardt, curator at the museum and be home later that day. The museum is impressive and you will come away with expanded ideas of our Calusa heritage. Hotel arrangements may be made through Travelocity and the Paramount Plaza, where several people in the group will stay. Call Bill and Betsy Perdichizzi at 394-6817 for details.
Marion Nicolay and Betsy Perdichizzi, of the Marco Island Historical Society, compile this report on a weekly basis for the Eagle. Shirley Beckwith oversees the archiving of photos for MIHS.