Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Brent R. Weisman, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert H. Tykot, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Nancy Marie White, Ph.D.


Monroe County, pearlware, whiteware, ironstone, Jacob Housman


This thesis describes the archaeological investigation of the Warehouse Complex on Indian Key (8MO15), Monroe County, Florida, through the study of the ceramics recovered from excavations conducted there by the State of Florida from 1972 to 1973 and by the University of South Florida from 1998 to 2002. The Warehouse Complex is composed of two distinct architectural areas, referred to as Feature A and Feature C. This complex lies on the north shore of Indian Key, located in the Atlantic Ocean in the Middle Keys near Islamorada, Florida. The town of Indian Key was founded in the early 1820s, and was burned by a group of Spanish Indians in 1840, during the Second Seminole War.

Despite the disbanding of the main community at Indian Key following the 1840 attack, the island and its remaining structures experienced re-use throughout the 1800s and into the early 1900s by various groups, including the United States Navy, farmers, shipbuilders, and fishers. Despite its relatively populated history, little historical documentation exists detailing the occupation of Indian Key throughout the nineteenth century. This study used current historical archaeological methods to examine the ceramics left behind in archaeological deposits in the warehouse. This examination had several goals: to add to the known history of the island, to re-construct the lifeways of the people who lived at Indian Key, to determine the use (and re-use) of this specific area on the island, and to identify specific functional areas within the warehouse.