Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Nancy Marie White, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert H. Tykot, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Diane Wallman, Ph.D.


Paleo-Indian, northwest Florida, public archaeology


The Chipola River Valley in northwest Florida is an area of extensive occupation by pre-contact peoples, dating as far back as the Paleo-Indian time period (approximately 11,000 BC). With such a rich archaeological history, it has enticed many local divers to explore river bottoms and collect artifacts. I worked with one local collector to study over 700 projectile points found in the Chipola River. The collector has taken great care to protect and preserve these points and, in many cases, documented the GPS coordinates from where they were collected. Using the GPS coordinates and ArcMap, I have been able to compare where these artifacts were collected to the locations of known archaeological sites which had been previously documented along the Chipola. With this new data set, I used landscape theory to compare prehistoric settlement patterns in the Southeast to the patterns derived from this collection. Overall, this project has documented 80 new sites within the region, filling in areas of the river which previously had no known prehistoric sites. The work also added information for 19 previously-known sites, extending the occupations of some to either later or earlier time periods. Finally, this work can be used to evaluate various models of the early human settlement in the region, specifically the Oasis Model. I hope the success of this project encourages other archaeologists to work with knowledgeable collectors and avocationals to learn more about the archaeological history of different regions.