FLINT- A PREHISTORIC RAZORS EDGE
Historically, the Calusa have been referred to as the “Shell People” for centuries. Their extensive use of ,and trade, in shells , crafting them into tools, utensils ,weapons, ornaments and even building material is well documented in the archaeological record and in abundant evidence here at Mound House. Shell is a readily available resource on the southern Gulf coast of Florida, but “chert” commonly known as flint, suitable for making edged cutting tools or weapons is almost non existent this far down the peninsula. However, the Calusa were an organized and prosperous people who maintained extensive trade networks with other indigenous people and as such, limestone chert from as far as the panhandle of Florida and even Georgia can be found at Calusa sites. When carefully struck from their naturally occurring nodules, flint forms a razor sharp edged flake that can even be notched into an even sharper serrated edge. Examples of flint being utilized by humans for tens of thousands of years is in evidence at archaeological sites throughout the world.
The photo above shows several examples of flint spear and arrow points, as well as cutting tools made from limestone chert. These artifacts were recovered in north central Florida and are on loan from the Silver River Museum in Ocala. These beautiful examples of pre historic technology will be included as teaching implements in our educational programs here at Mound House.