Wetland areas can contain significant archaeological resources because their environment tends to preserve archaeological remains such as wood and bone, which are rarely or only poorly preserved in other archaeological sites. The Windover Pond Site, situated between the Indian and St. Johns Rivers, near modern day Titusville, contains one of the most important archaeological finds in the country and is a National Historic Landmark.
Over 120 individual burials were found within the peat deposits of the pond some 10 feet below the pond surface. These burials occurred nearly 8,000 years ago, long before the Egyptian mummies were entombed. Despite their age, the peat preserved the remains so well that even brain material was present. In the continental U.S., such finds are unique to Florida.
Of the many types and ages of archaeological sites, none carry greater personal, social and religious importance than those containing human burials. For all people, and especially for Native Americans, burial sites command special respect, reverence and treatment. Florida’s cemetery law protects unmarked human burials, those graves and burial sites and their contents that occur outside our traditional cemeteries – regardless of origins or burial technique.