Paining Inside Water Oak Grill
Eupatagus Antillarum Great White Shark’s Tooth Saber-toothed Cat Skull Mastodon Bison Antiquus Skull Atlatls Early Stone Tool Eagle Totem Mat White Ibis Deer Hide Greenstone Tool Pottery of Weeden Island Culture Key Marco Mask Safety Harbor Incised Pottery Turtle Shell Key Marco Deer Bone Artifact with Fingernail Design Shell Gorget Whelk Digging Tool Sharks Tooth Tool Barracuda Jaw Saw Egret Bone Kneeling Feline Figure Copper Disc Arrow Fish Net Jack Cravalle Blue Crab Whelk Cup Timucua Woman with Fish Basket Dugout Canoe Man with Fish Trap Men Fishing with Nets Village Burial Mound Fish Grill Spanish Ship Small Seated Human Figure Live Oak with Resurrection Ferns, Orchids, and Bromeliads Map Mullet, Puffer Fish, and Jack Cravalle Wood Storks in Flight Frame Molding

Eupatagus Antillarum

This extinct relative of today’s sand dollars and sea urchins represents the Eocene age, some 30-million years ago, when Florida was submerged beneath the sea.

Great White Shark’s Tooth

Saber-toothed Cat Skull

This extinct Smilodon, is one of many early Florida mammals that made their homes here 10,000 to 2-million years ago.


The mastodon was a prehistoric elephant found in Florida. Its large bones and tusks provide evidence of stone age hunting and butchering.

Bison Antiquus Skull


(Pronounced at-ul-lat-uls) These two types of hand-held slings made from wood or bone were used to propel spears or darts at prey.

Early Stone Tool

This early Paleoindian spear point or knife is approximately 8,000 years old. It is made of chert, a flint-like rock composed of silica-replaced limestone.

Eagle Totem

Originally part of a supporting post for a burial platform, this pine carving was found by a cattleman who saw the eagles head partially exposed in a muddy area.


Impressions left on the underside of early pottery lead historians to believe that woven mats were commonly used as early flooring.

White Ibis

Connecting past and present, these wading birds are still common along much of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

Deer Hide

Deer hide was often used for clothing and sometimes elaborately decorated as described by early explorers.

Greenstone Tool

This tool from around 100 A.D. is evidence that some tribes traded with others outside the area. The workable greenstone, not native to Florida, was possibly traded for shells, pearls, or sharks’ teeth.

Pottery of Weeden Island Culture

Ceramic vessels made for burials have often been found upside down on skeletons with a hole broken through their bottoms. It is believed that this would allow the spirit to escape.

Key Marco Mask

The mask is based on one discovered by Frank Cushing in 1896. Clues to the colors painted on these ancient Calusa masks came from watercolors painted by Wells Sawyer. Soon after the masks were exhumed from the mud, their colors swiftly faded.

Safety Harbor Incised Pottery

This ceramic pot found in Desoto County has a beautiful, complex design.

Turtle Shell

The shell of a large snapping turtle makes a fine bowl. 

Key Marco Deer

This Calusa artifact from the famous Key Marco site has become one of the icons of Florida’s ancient culture. It was carved from wood and painted. The shape of its large eye was used as a subtle design in the center of the painting.

Bone Artifact with Fingernail Design

Hairpins, needles, and other tools were made from antler and bone. This piece points out of the painting.

Shell Gorget

Carved from a marine shell. This item is thought to have been used for personal decoration.

Whelk Digging Tool

The whelk was not only an important food source, but also used for tools. In this painting it represents an evolution into farming.

Sharks Tooth Tool

A good, sharp tool used for carving.

Barracuda Jaw Saw

Many parts of animals and fish were used as tools or decoration.

Egret Bone

The hollow bones of birds were used to control burning in the carving process by blowing air through them.

Kneeling Feline Figure

This well-known figure from the Key Marco site is shown in the painting as it might have looked as it was being carved-possibly using tools from the three previous descriptions.

Copper Disc

Some early ornaments or pieces of jewelry were made from copper brought into Florida through exchanges with other cultures. Gold and silver were sometimes retrieved from shipwrecks and might also be pounded or filed into piece of native design.


Hand-propelled spears gave way to long bows which were used for hunting and in warfare.

Fish Net

Natural fibers were woven into nets. Shells were used as weights, and gourds or wooden pegs served as floats.

Jack Cravalle

These fish were found abundantly in rivers leading into the gulf-productive places to net and trap fish.

Blue Crab

Blue crab is still a popular Florida delicacy. This crab, in a defensive position, shows a strong fighting spirit admired by the native women.

Whelk Cup

A drinking vessel often used to drink a tea made from holly berries (Black Tea) in a native ritual. This ceremony may have been conducted before battle.

Timucua Woman with Fish Basket

The woman’s dress and tattoo were based on an early watercolor by John White. This artist painted many pictures of Native Americans, believed to be based on the works of Jacques Le Moyne, the French artist/explorer.

Dugout Canoe

Large Logs were burned and carved to create these long boats.

Man with Fish Trap

A man points to a ship on the horizon. He holds a fish strap made from reeds and vines. This trap was stacked in place and baited to attract fish, crabs, eels, and snails. The basket was then lifted up to trap the creatures inside. These traps could be up to ten feet in length.

Men Fishing with Nets


Daily refuse and the remains of shellfish were dumped into piles called middens. This midden material was sometimes used to elevate areas in a village for such things as the home of a chief, a temple, or great hall. Some villages were encircled with tall poles. Others were merely groups of thatched huts.

Burial Mound

A raised are might indicate a burial site. They were generally made of sand and sometimes in the center of a midden.

Fish Grill

The smoking of fish by Timucua Indians was depicted in this way in an engraving by Jacques Le Moyne.

Spanish Ship

The Nina (of Christopher Columbus fame) was used as a reference for this ship-typical of Spanish ships of the 1500s.

Small Seated Human Figure

This interesting figure carved of Brazilwood was recovered from Early Historic period contexts.

Live Oak with Resurrection Ferns, Orchids, and Bromeliads


Jacques Le Moyne, the French artist and explorer who helped found the short-lived colony at Fort Caroline, created this map in 1564 showing the locations of tribes discovered in Florida. Many place names were based on hearsay, so the map offers a schematic representation rather than a geographically correct one.

Mullet, Puffer Fish, and Jack Cravalle

Wood Storks in Flight

These large wading birds used to nest in huge colonies of up to 10,000 pairs but have had endangered species status since 1984 due to habitat destruction.

Frame Molding

The molding is from the John and Mable Ringling Museum and appears on all of the murals. The Ringling Museum is the official State Art Museum of Florida.