Purdy, Barbara A.


Florida's Pre-Historic Stone Technology: A Study of Flintworking Techniques of Early Florida Stone Implement Makers (1981)

The Art and Archaeology of Florida's Wetlands (1991)
Waterlogged archaeological sites in Florida contain tools, art objects, dietary items, human skeletal remains, and glimpses of past environments that do not survive the ravages of time at typical terrestrial sites. Unfortunately, archaeological wet sites are invisible since their preservation depends upon their entombment in oxygen-free, organic deposits. As a result, they are often destroyed accidentally during draining, dredging, and development projects. These sites and the objects they contain are an important part of Florida's heritage. They provide an opportunity to learn how the state's earliest residents used available resources to make their lives more comfortable and how they expressed themselves artistically. Without the wood carvings from water-saturated sites, it would be easy to think of early Floridians as culturally impoverished because Florida does not have stone suitable for creating sculptures. This book compiles in one volume detailed accounts of such famous sites as Key Marco, Little Salt Spring, Windover, Ft. Center, and others. The book discusses wet site environments and explains the kinds of physical, chemical, and structural components required to ensure that the proper conditions for site formation are present and prevail through time. The book also talks about how to preserve artifacts that have been entombed in anaerobic deposits and the importance of classes of objects, such as wooden carvings, dietary items, human skeletal remains, to our better understanding of past cultures. Until now this information has been scattered in obscure documents and articles, thus diminishing its importance. Our ancestors may not have been Indians, but they contributed to the state's heritage for more than 10,000 years. Once disturbed by ambitious dredging and draining projects, their story is gone forever; it cannot be transplanted to another location.
How to Do Archaeology the Right Way by Barbara A. Purdy: Book Cover
How to do Archaeology the Right Way (1996)
Despite field conditions that often include bug bites, bad food, and nonexistent plumbing, legions of amateur archaeologists regularly take to the field - sometimes a muddy one - to dig up ceramic pots, animal bones, and stone spearheads. This book explains how and why the professionals do it. In nontechnical language directed at the general public, conservation groups, and land developers, Barbara Purdy summarizes the prehistory of Florida and describes how responsible archaeologists excavate and analyze remains. She answers the questions "How do archaeologists know where to dig?" and "Why do they excavate a particular site?" and discusses the months of planning, surveying, mapping, testing, fund raising, and permit acquisition that precede an excavation. She also includes information on the rules and regulations governing digs, on artifact analysis, dating, and preservation, and on the ways in which excavation affects the balance of nature.
Indian Art of Ancient Florida by Barbara A. Purdy: Book Cover
Indian Art of Ancient Florida (1996) with Roy C. Craven
For thousands of years, the Indians of Florida created exquisite objects from the natural materials available to them - wood, bone, stone, clay, and shell. This book, devoted to the Florida aborigines, describes and pictures 116 of these masterpieces.
Cover Image
Florida's People During the Last Ice Age (2008)
The time and place of the arrival of the first humans in the Western Hemisphere and their spread throughout the Americas has been a fiercely debated issue for decades. Florida's People During the Last Ice Age documents the indisputable evidence of the spread of human populations into Florida nearly 14,000 years ago.

Other syntheses of Florida archaeology tend to gloss over the Paleoindian period. Barbara Purdy is the first to offer, in a single work, a summary of more than one hundred years of research on Florida's Paleoindian occupation. She also provides dates, radiocarbon information, and thorough, succinct overviews of the principal known archaeological sites for this era.

No other source offers such unique site summaries; indeed some are published here for the first time anywhere. Purdy is the first to present all the dates, radiocarbon and other, for the earliest archaeological sites in Florida in a single work. In discussing the still unresolved issue of whether people were in the Western Hemisphere, particularly Florida, at an even earlier date, she recommends new technologies and expertise that could shed light on this enduring mystery.



Learn more about Barbara A. Purdy.

Check out more Archaeology books set in Florida.

Visit It Takes Place in Florida and discover more books with a Florida setting.

More pages