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Updated: 01/16/2014 08:00:02AM

Mounds, sculpted canals of ancient Florida to be discussed

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Archaeologist Theresa Schober, M.A., will talk about elevated mounds and sculpted canals that Calusa Indians created during the ancient days of Florida when she is featured in the Speaker Series at South Florida State College.

Schober will present “Mound Key: Where the New and Old Worlds Collide.” Remnants of elevated mounds and ridges, sculpted canals and watercourse remain a visible yet subtle reminder of the once thriving Calusa society in today’s southwest Florida landscape.

Careful archaeological excavation has revealed how and when this landscape was constructed, and its relationship with the development of the Calusa through time, culminating in the highly complex stratified chiefdom controlling the southern third of Florida’s Peninsula by Spanish contact.

Mound Key, the Calusa capital, remains the first specific location documented in the voyage of Juan Ponce de Leon in 1513 that named La Florida.

Shober is an archaeologist and cultural resource consultant who has been working in south Florida since 1998. For nine years she directed the restoration and exhibit development at Mound House and Newton Park on Fort Myers Beach, securing $4 million for education, exhibit, and historic preservation initiatives and two awards from the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation.

She serves as vice president of the Florida Anthropological Society and Archaeological Research Cooperative, member of the Lee County Historic Preservation Board, and past board member and vice president of the Trail of Florida’s Indian Heritage. Recently, Shober coordinated a two-year programming partnership between the Lee Trust for Historic Preservation and the Florida Humanities Council, exploring representations of the past called, “Making History Memorable,” and serving as executive producer of a documentary film about Mound Key for the Friends of Koreshan State Historic Site.

The presentation, sponsored by Kissimmee Valley Archaeological and Historical Conservancy, will be at 7 p.m. Thursday in Building G, Room 101 on the SFSC Highlands campus at Avon Park. The public is invited and admission is free.

For more information call Anne Reynolds, 863-840-3995.