Never thought I’d sit in a trash dump. No less, one 2,000 year old. But here I sit inside a mound of oyster shells and other discarded shells at the Mound House site. Like thieves digging through a trash dump looking for someone’s identity, archeologists study this Native American shell mound to get an understanding of the life and culture of the Calusa tribe in Florida. I never thought about how much your discards reflect who you are and what you are known for.
The Calusa were fierce warriors known for fatally wounding Juan Ponce de Leon somewhere off the southwest coast of Florida. Mounds and accounts from a captured Spaniard’s journal reveal the complexities of their society.
A mural depicting the life and times of the Calusa tribe and artifact samples are inside the Calusa mound located at Fort Myers Beach on Estero Island. A video is also part of the free tour.