-Erosion at Santa Lucea Beach, Martin County , FL 11-11-22, JTLJust a few days ago, Hurricane Nicole whipped up the Atlantic Ocean and unearthed an ancient Ais Indian burial site at Chastain Beach on Hutchinson Island, near Bathtub Beach and Sailfish Point. Once again, we are reminded of history and those who lived here before us. I would hope, in time, these remains will be sacredly reinterred.
It is important to note that the local native people of Florida did not just live on Hutchinson Island, they utilized our entire coastal area of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon. In fact, almost our entire coastal region is designated an “Archaeological Zone.”
-Below: map insert section of Martin County, Florida coast. “An Archaeological Survey of Martin County, Florida, 1995.” The shaded areas denote archaeological zones – areas the native people especially lived in and utilized. This includes Hutchinson Island, Sewall’s Point, parts of Rio, Jensen, Stuart, Palm City, Rocky Point, and Hobe Sound among others. This report was not just to map these areas but also to alert developers. What does this mean? It means that in 1995 the famous archaeologist, Robert Carr, and his team determined such, and this is documented in their publication written for Martin County Government. Ironically, I had just asked my mother for a copy for our study of Palm City so when the unearthing occurred I took note.
The publication provides the following designating these Archaeological Zones.
I am reminded to share an old blog post of mine about the Indian Mound, still visible, in Ft Pierce. Tuckahoe, in Jensen, is also an ancient Indian mound. Most of course were disrespectfully carted away to construct roads.
“The Ais were a tribe of Native Americans who inhabited the Atlantic Coast of Florida. They ranged from present day Cape Canaveral to the St. Lucie Inlet, in the present day counties of Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie and northernmost Martin. They lived in villages and towns along the shores of the great lagoon called Rio de Ais by the Spanish, and now called the Indian River.” -House of Refuge exhibit
Not just after a hurricane, but every day, we should remember those who were here before us and how they lived- in tune and respecting Nature. The best place to learn about the Ais people is at the House of Refuge on Hutchinson Island near to where the recent artifacts and bones were unearthed.
By the way, where do you live?