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Blueberry Site facts for kids

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Blueberry site is an archaeological site of an American Indian culture called Belle Glade culture lasted about 2700 years from approximately 1000 B.C. to A.D. 1700. The site is located along the eastern edge of an upland ridge adjacent to a substantial wetland in southeast Highlands County, Florida. Archaeological research on this site started in the 1930s. Now, more and more insights about the site and Belle Glade culture are exposed with following research.

Cultural and Temporal Context

The temporal span of Belle Glade culture in general can be divided in to four period: Belle Glade I from 1000 B.C. to A.D. 200, Belle Glade II from A.D.200 to A.D. 600 or 800, Belle Glade III from A.D. 600 or 800 to A.D. 1200 or 1400, Belle Glade IV from A.D.1200 or 1400 to A.D. 1700. Archaeologists made such division based on a lot of factors such as settlement patterns, landscape alternations and so on. Served as an indicator, an intact cultural stratum demonstrated the integrity and continuity of the primary Belle Glade occupation. Also, during the primary occupation period, a lot of constructions took place, for example at least three earthen mound and at least one linear ridge/embankment/occupation mound. Under the consideration of the viability of the diverse landscape, Blueberry site might be of a village size. And it is not very likely to be an isolated community.

With the discovery of exotic artifacts and analysis of the hearth features, a lot of archaeologists believe that the residence at the Blueberry site developed trade networks with distant groups. Moreover, according to Fort Center site within the Belle Glade region, the exotic artifacts were likely to be possessed by elites, so the Belle Glade culture probably view the items from long-distant importation as prestige ones. Besides prestige items, inhabitants on Blueberry site shared cultural similarities with other groups of American Indians. Studying the red ocher recovered from the midden stratum and the ceramics, rituals and ceremony had a lot in common. Meanwhile, the analysis of hearth samples and the faunal assemblage proved the consistent subsistence strategy over time. The belle Glade communities harvested aquatic resource such as fish and turtles as well as upland resources such as deer and turkey.

Case Study

To figure out the influence of geomorphological characteristics of the landscape on human behavior, in 2014, some archaeologists conducted a case study on the Blueberry site. They studied lithic assemblages to see how Belle Glade inhabitants on Blueberry site dealt with environmental constraint, since this site lacked available lithic raw materials. From the diagnostic lithics recovered from midden matrix, the archaeologists concluded that a lot of nearly complete tools were imported to the site. They also found evidence of Blueberry lithic manufacture at late stage. The lithic assemblages supported the hypothesis that Pecora’s Reduction Juncture Model can describe the Blueberry site. However, they did not agree with Pecora that in a region of devoid tool-stone source, there would be a sequence of reduction relative to local resource.

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