Underwater Archaeology

Sites Constructed in Water


Many different types of structures are normally built in the water, such as fishing weirs, wharves, docks, and lighthouses. One example of a site constructed in water is a prehistoric fish weir recently discovered in the Santa Fe River. Radiocarbon dated at over 2,000 years B.P. (before present), the weir was used to trap fish for food.

The Windover archaeological site was discovered in a peat-filled pond during the construction of a housing development near Titusville. Near the prehistoric shoreline of 8,000 years ago, this ancient site contains extremely well-preserved human remains that were intentionally staked at the bottom of a freshwater pond during a burial ceremony. Another example of a site constructed in water is found at the San Marcos de Apalache State Historic Site, at the confluence of the St. Marks and Wakulla Rivers, which has wharf structures dating to the 17th century.

Historic navigational aids such as light towers, lighthouses, and communication platforms are sometimes considered to be sites constructed in, or near, water. These structures may become submerged or collapse into the water. For example, several lighthouses have been constructed offshore of Cape San Blas. Each collapsed or was destroyed in a storm. The base of one of these lighthouses still stands intact in twenty feet of water; the remains of the previous two should be nearby.