About Byrd Hammock
Byrd Hammock is a rare, double ring midden site located within the St Marks Refuge of Northwest Florida. A ring midden is a circle of prehistoric trash left behind by past peoples living in a ring-shaped village facing a central, open area or plaza. The southern half of the site (Byrd Hammock South), dating between 400-650 AD, is associated with the Swift Creek culture. The northern half of the site (Byrd Hammock North), dating between 650-850 AD, is associated with the Weeden Island culture. Byrd Hammock is significant because it contains two separate ring middens (Byrd Hammock North and Byrd Hammock South) located right next to each other. These two ring middens represent a critical moment in American Southeastern archaeology when ideology, beliefs, and material culture shifted from Swift Creek to Weeden Island, all at one location.
Beginning in 2014 NPS’s Archeological Assistance Program (AAP) returned to Byrd Hammock, building on previous investigations to further understand Byrd Hammock’s significance in relation to other ring midden sites within the Southeast. Work done by AAP included excavating 30x30 cm microunits across the site in 20- and 10-meter intervals, geophysical survey, excavation, artifact analysis, public outreach about the site, and finally interpretation of how this site relates to other Woodland period sites in Northwest Florida.
The development of this website and other educational resources to explore and raise awareness of the Byrd Hammock archaeological site was made possible by grant funding from the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources.