The archaeological record of Sarasota County spans some 14,000 years. Virtually every stage of North America human occupation is represented in Sarasota County’s archaeological record.
- Population density was very low and life expectancy was short.
- With environmental warming and rising sea levels, it appears that population density increased and a distinct coastal adaptation developed here.
- With more people came greater need for social controls and by the time of contact with European explorers, the culture of the area was highly structured.
- European diseases, brought by explorers ravaged the native populations resulting in inadvertent genocide and social collapse.
- The following years witnessed the reconstitution of society from the few surviving Native Americans of Florida, displaced Native groups from the Atlantic coastal plain, escaped African slaves and Cuban fishermen.
- This amalgamated society evolved into what we now identify as the Seminole Culture.
- The subsequent years witnessed the establishment of the turpentine and lumber industries, the construction of the railroads, the agricultural boom, and the settlement associated with these economic stimuli.
- Technically, the archaeological record encompasses anything 50 years of age or older.
- In Sarasota County, however, cultural resources this recent, typically consist of structures still standing.