"The Ancient Springs Talk"
Unlike any other species on the planet, we humans hold onto our past heritages. We search out our genealogy and cling to days gone by. We learn from our past victories and failures. We see who we were and who we long to be. We wonder about the future while keeping our past in tact. However, what about our beginnings? The time before we can remember, before photographs and beautiful words and records written on paper? For these answers we look to Archeologists and Anthropologists who live with the conviction of these questions and search for the facts that link us to the great past.
Some of these answers are being found right here in North Port, Florida. Right here in our own backyard. Here at Little Salt Springs, there is an excavation going on that has been very successful in finding artifacts from an Indian tribe that lived in this very area long before we could record. These artifacts can tell us what happened to them, why they're not here now and what we need to watch for. North Port residents and Marine Archeologist John Gifford are proposing that this profitable site be considered a national landmark. John Gifford of the University of Miami has prepared a proposal to be presented to the legislature in Florida and is asking for an additional $130,000 to fund further excavation of the spring. At this time "North Port residents may submit letters to help encourage the government and National Parks Service to nominate Little Salt Springs as a national landmark". (McDaniel par4)
There is another area across the road from Little Salt Springs that Gifford "referred to as the midden; this is land that he is trying to tie into the proposal to be un-buildable because of archaeological benefits" (McDaniel par7) Gifford realizes the significance of the finds here in the springs. He says that they "Found nearly 50 artifacts a day; most are bones from the animals like deer, raccoons, alligators, and snakes. The Paleo Indians used the antlers of the deer for various tools". (McDaniel par13) One tool they found is thought to be a calendar. What kind of knowledge could they have possessed? Gifford is digging for the answer to that and many other questions.
These finds are significant in discovering who was here before us. We can measure our technology and innovation from what has been left behind throughout the years. It's amazing to see how man lived then compared to today.
McDaniel, Mickie, "Artifacts Found at Little Salt Springs" Sun-Herald News., (2004).
Manatee Community College. Venice, Fl. 24 Jan. 2005
< http://www.sun-herald.com/searches/search.cfm?mode=dspArticle&articleID=241681> par1-15.