SEFAS: 14000 Years Ago where was the Indian River Lagoon?

SEFAS map showing "Florida" 14,000 years ago when it was much larger in size, was desert like, and had few springs were animals and people converged. (
SEFAS “map” showing “Florida” approximately 14,000 years ago when it was much larger in size, was more desert like, had no rivers, and only few springs where animals and people converged.  (

This weekend the Southeast Florida Archaeological Society had a display booth at the Environmental Studies Center. After the River Kidz painted my face in honor of Earth Day, I visited the SEFAS table of old maps, ancient mastodon fossils and Native American artifacts.

I started talking with Will Ghioto, the president of SEFAS; he and his wife Charlotte are Sewall’s Point residents. We talked about the FEMA house raising project of the town in light of 14,000 years of Florida history….

According to what I was told, “Florida” was once much larger as one can see by the map above. During this time the climate was more African or desert like and there we NO RIVERS, only a handful of springs. (One can see  these named in red above.) These springs of course were the center of life for the people, giant, and smaller animals that lived during that time.

Only later, when the seas rose once again, did the St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon form as giant rivers of water flowed south from the eastern North America and up through the earth onto and through the slowly shrinking peninsula.

The climate changed, the Everglades eventually were formed, the giant mammals disappeared, and the native people adapted to hunting smaller animals and a different lifestyle.

I stared with mouth open. I had heard this in some form before but I am always fascinated…

As I slowly walked back to the River Kidz table,  I heard Charlotte say, “People are successful through adaptation Jacqui, that is one thing  that never changes….”


1982 Coastal Zone Management Study by Mark Perry: (

Clewiston’s incredible fossils/museum: (

Mammoth photos/art  Florida: ( 

Vero’s famous  fossils: (

SEFAS:  Martin Count/St Lucie County Archaeological Society- you can join!(

6 thoughts on “SEFAS: 14000 Years Ago where was the Indian River Lagoon?

  1. great stuff i’m sure you have read “The Swamp ” by Michael Grunwald.”after the fish but before the birds 300 million years ago the cataclysmic shift of tectonic plates that crunched the planet’s major landform into a single supercontinent called Pangea. about 1oo mill years later plates shifted again, pangea split up again and north america dragged away a finger shaped chunk of northwest africa. This became the foundation of the florida penninsula.

  2. if you guys have no read the swamp its a must read to understand who we even got here – from the very beginning every devious guy that came to town wanted to drain lake o and the everglades. its a great book!

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