Underwater Archaeology

Displaced or Eroded Sites


Scattered artifacts eroded from their original positions are the kind of sites divers most frequently find. In fact, the sheer numbers of artifacts from these sites have helped bring much of Florida's underwater archaeological resources to the attention of the scientific community. Displaced artifacts most often are found in rivers, springs runs, and other areas affected by flowing water where erosion cuts into artifact-bearing sediments and leaves accumulations of rubble behind. Waves and storms may also uncover, or cover, artifacts and sites.

Some displaced site remains may be highly scattered while others may be concentrated. In some instances, materials eroded from a site in the past become buried again once the underwater environmental conditions stabilize. A typical accumulation of re-deposited artifacts might include yesterday's soda bottle resting next to a 5,000-year-old spear point and under a 12,000-year-old fossil bone. Although deposits of eroded artifacts don't have as much scientific potential compared to the other types of underwater sites, these materials may indicate a nearby undisturbed site that has significant archaeological value.