Open Context


North Midden Zooarchaeological Data

Zooarchaeological remains from Feature 17 at the North Midden site (8FL216), Flagler County, Florida (Florida Museum, University of Florida, Environmental Archaeology Program accession #0670)

Project Abstract


During June 2006 under the direction of Greg Hendryx M.A., RPA, Environmental Services Inc. conducted a Phase III archaeological investigation of site 8FL216 (North Midden) located approximately 50 meters west of the Intercoastal Waterway in Flagler County, Florida. The excavations were intended to mitigate the impact of residential development on the site’s cultural resources. Excavations of prehistoric midden deposits and features revealed coquina, oyster, and clam shell as well as moderate to high densities of bone artifacts, and lesser amounts of pottery and lithic artifacts. Zooarchaeological remains from Feature 17 of North Midden were analyzed by Michelle LeFebvre and Meggan Blessing under supervision of Mr. Irvy Quitmyer, at that time collection manager of the Environmental Archaeology Program of the Florida Museum. The assemblage analyzed dates to the Middle to Late Archaic period.

Feature 17 was located in Block C, Unit 15, and was from the lowermost stratigraphic level, Level 10. LeFebvre and Blessing (2006:150) note that Feature 17 was a contextually distinct deposit from Level 10 in general, characterized by vertebrate and invertebrate faunal materials and a lack of pottery, which was identified in the upper levels of Unit 15. A radiocarbon assay taken from eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) right valve specimens yielded a calibrated two sigma range of 4970 to 4560 BP, placing the base of the feature within the terminal Mount Taylor or Early Orange Period, in the Middle to Late Archaic (LeFebvre and Blessing (2006:150).

LeFebvre and Blessing's analysis of the vertebrate and invertebrate materials from Feature 17 offer information about possible food animals and their season(s) of capture during the Middle to Late Archaic occupation of the site. LeFebvre and Blessing (2006:150-151) describe their methods as follows: "The Feature 17 faunal materials were recovered from one of several 50 x 50 cm column samples excavated for the specific recovery of zooarchaeological materials. All column samples were excavated in 10 cm arbitrary levels according to soil stratigraphy and the contents were screened through nested 1/4-inch and 1/16-inch mesh sieves. ... The faunal materials were analyzed using the vertebrate and invertebrate modern comparative skeletal collections in the Environmental Archaeology Program laboratory at the Florida Museum of Natural History. ... The zooarchaeological analysis was conducted following standard zooarchaeological procedures. Faunal specimen identifications were made to the lowest taxonomic category possible. Primary data analysis included the recording of Number of Individual Specimens (NISP), weight (g), Minimum Numbers of Individuals (MNI), age, sex, and the presence of cultural modifications (i.e. evidence of heat alteration). MNI was based on element identification, quantity, side, size, and age characteristics to denote distinct individuals of common taxa. In addition, both the 1/4-inch and 1/16-inch portions of the sample were analytically combined for analysis and interpretation. Secondary analysis also included the measurement of both the length and width of whole invertebrate specimens. The only whole shells in Feature 17 were either variable coquina (Donax variabilis) or eastern oyster."

About the Project: This project is one of several experimental test-cases to integrate zooarchaeological data published by Open Context with VertNet, via the Darwin Core metadata standard. In relating these zooarchaeological data with a wider bioinformatics community, this experiment provides a basis for developing "ZooArchNet" (, a collaborative data-sharing initiative led by Dr. Kitty Emery and Dr. Rob Guralnick, Associate Curators at the Florida Museum of Natural History. They intend ZooArchNet to become a digital environmental archaeology portal that focuses on mobilizing zooarchaeological specimen-level data using tools pioneered for publishing biological and paleontological data, while also creating persistent links to, and among, open-data archaeological repositories. By doing so, ZooArchNet will facilitate data interoperability across a growing network of information resources spanning multiple disciplines, creating a foundation for integrative big-data research at the interface of archaeology and biology, and opening the door to the development of distributed data networking in archaeology. Kitty Emery provided the zooarchaeological data and archaeological context information provided here. For the time being, the same data are modeled in Darwin Core at:


LeFebvre, Michelle J. and Meggan E. Blessing

Chapter V: Faunal Analysis of Feature 17. In Archaeological Data Recovery and Mitigation at the North Midden Site (8FL216), Flagler County, Florida. Edited by Ryan O. Sipe, Greg S. Hendryx, and Neill J. Wallis. Pgs 150-158. Report prepared for Hammock Beach River Club, LLC by Environmental Services, Inc. Report on File, Florida Division of Historical Resources, Tallahassee.

Sipe, Ryan O., Greg S. Hendryx, and Neill J. Wallis

Chapter IV: Excavation Results. In Archaeological Data Recovery and Mitigation at the North Midden Site (8FL216), Flagler County, Florida. Edited by Ryan O. Sipe, Greg S. Hendryx, and Neill J. Wallis. Pgs 18-149. Report prepared for Hammock Beach River Club, LLC by Environmental Services, Inc. Report on File, Florida Division of Historical Resources, Tallahassee.

Annotations (4)

Property or Relation Value(s)
[Standard: Dublin Core Terms]
[Standard: Dublin Core Terms]
[Standard: GeoNames]
Temporal Coverage
[Standard: Dublin Core Terms]
Editorial Note

Open Context editors work with data contributors to annotate datasets to shared vocabularies, ontologies, and other standards using 'Linked Open Data' (LOD) methods.

The annotations presented above approximate some of the meaning in this contributed data record to concepts defined in shared standards. These annotations are provided to help make datasets easier to understand and use with other datasets.

Suggested Citation

Kitty F Emery, Greg Hendryx, Neill Wallis, Michelle LeFebvre, Meggan Blessing, Laura Brenskelle. "North Midden Zooarchaeological Data". (2018) In ZooArchNet. Kitty F Emery, Rob Guralnick, Michelle LeFebvre, Laura Brenskelle, John W Wieczorek (Eds.) . Released: 2018-12-19. Open Context. <> DOI:

Editorial Status

Editorial board reviewed

Part of Project


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