The Windover Site: Florida Goes Way, Way, Way Back

By: Gary McKechnie


One of the most fascinating stories in recent history has its roots in Florida’s pre-history. In the early 1980s, a backhoe operator was clearing out a bog and in the muck and mire he found a human skull. It turned out this was the key that unlocked a mystery.

Within the place called the Windover Archaeological Site were the remains of 168 prehistoric people who made their home in Florida 7,000 years before there even was a Florida.

To put this in perspective, their tribe was living here 2,000 years before the Egyptians began building their pyramids and 6,000 years before Christ was born.

But what really fascinated archaeologists were the remains were almost perfectly preserved by the neutralized peat – so perfect that the brains of some of these people were still intact. And when DNA testing was performed, it turns out these people had European roots that suggest they reached North America via the Bering Land Bridge some 12,000 years ago.

To see what happened here and why this stunned the world’s scientific community, make plans to visit the Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science,which has been designated as the official exhibitor of the Windover story. A simulated dig site has been constructed here and you’ll see art and artifacts that help tell the story of a people who lived and died thousands of years ago.

To learn more, check out the PBS special on America’s Bog People.

It’s an incredible story. I hope you have time to learn more about it.

If you go...
Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science
2201 Michigan Avenue
(321) 632-1830

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