Hernando Archaeology

“In August of 2008, the Hernando County Historical Association (the predecessor of the Hernando Preservation Society), and Hernando County Department of Tourism and Development entered into an agreement with Gulf Archaeology Research Institute (GARI) to develop a cultural resource assessment of Hernando County.  This document provides the summary of the findings with recommendations how the County might proceed in the location, identification, recordation, and protection of its cultural resource base.  The impetus for the project was to provide a structured database of Hernando County’s cultural resources and to provide the means to structure and seek funding for future cultural resource inventory and site protection projects.” (page vi of GARI management summary). 


Archaeology is “more than artifacts.”  Its main goal is that of building the CONTEXT of each archaeological site.   Building the context from the past brings the history accurately to us today.  In Hernando County, this context ranges from the last ice age, until modern times.  Once sites have been professionally excavated & studied, a proper contextual interpretation of each site can emerge, connecting the past to the future.

PRE-HISTORIC PERIOD (INDIANS)  Paleo, Archaic, Norwood & Orange Cultures, Transitional, Deptford, Swift Creek, Weeden Island, Safety Harbor.  Some use the terminology of Pre-Columbian, and Post-Columbian to differentiate between Indian cultures before European contact and after European contact.

HISTORIC PERIOD -Spanish Contact & Missions, Colonial Powers, Early American Florida, The Seminole Wars, Pioneer Florida, The Civil War.

Learn More About Archeology in Florida

Florida Division of Historical Resources – Archaeology

See this page from the Florida Division of Historical Resources to learn some basics about artifacts found in Florida.

Hernando County, and the State of Florida have a unique geography, cultural history, and story to tell.  Unique archaeological sites in Hernando remain to be recorded and protected in light of the pressures from growth in our State, from prehistoric sites, to historical sites such as cemeteries, structures, and underwater resources.  This is the goal of the Historic Hernando Preservation Society Inc., working with private individuals & industry, local government, professional advisors, and likeminded historical groups in Pasco, Hernando, and Citrus counties to accomplish our goals.  A significant objective is to promote Hernando County’s culture as tourism.  This will result in an economic strengthening of our local economy. In order to do this, these unique resources must be protected and preserved.

Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN) The Florida Public Archaeology Network is dedicated to the protection of cultural resources, both on land and underwater, and to involving the public in the study of their past. Regional centers around Florida serve as clearinghouses for information, institutions for learning and training, and headquarters for public participation in archaeology. Hernando County falls under the Central Region.

Seminole Tribe of Florida Tribal Historic Preservation Office http://www.stofthpo.com/

Gulf Archaeology Research Institute www.gulfarchaeology.org



HHPS Policy on Archaeological Sites

Precise locations of archaeological sites are sensitive and unauthorized distribution of location data may lead to vandalism and destruction of sites. Therefore the HHPS does not publish, distribute, post on the internet or otherwise disseminate data which would reveal archaeological site locations.

It is a felony to knowingly disturb human burials, human skeletal remains, and associated burial artifacts on any lands. Any person who willfully and knowingly disturbs, destroys, removes, vandalizes, or damages a marked or unmarked human burial is guilty of a felony of the third degree.

Collecting or digging for artifacts on state lands without a permit from the Division of Historical Resources is a third degree felony. Collecting or digging on Federal land also requires a permit and is a felony offense.  It is illegal to trespass, disturb or dig for artifacts on private property without the landowner’s permission.