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Satelite photograph showing the shell constructions at Big Mound Key

Big Mound Key Shell Complex

The Big Mound Key Shell Complex consists of several mounds including four, 20 foot tall shell mounds arranged in a rectangular pattern. The mounds were intentionally constructed, and served as platforms for civic and ceremonial occasions. There are additional linear ridges made of shell, and two possibly man-made channels to facilitate water transportation. The mounds were made mostly of conch shells interspersed with soils and refuse from village occupations. Radiocarbon dating and analysis of pottery styles found within the mounds demonstrates that the site primarily dates to the Weeden Island Culture Period (A.D. 400-900).


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