Degree Granting Department
Brent R. Weisman, Ph.D.
Nancy White, Ph.D.
Robert H. Tykot, Ph.D.
historical archaeology, window glass dating, bottle glass analysis, Florida, flat glass
Archaeological investigations of Indian Key Historic State Park in the Florida Keys have uncovered a wide range of historical artifacts from throughout the nineteenth century that reveal how the site was reused and reoccupied through time. This thesis focuses on the glass component recovered from a house cistern complex (Feature F) and a warehouse (Features A and C) during the 1998 to 2002 field seasons. Glass artifacts range from a variety of bottle glass including alcohol bottles and proprietary medicines, to cut glass such as tumblers and decanters, to window glass.
Feature F's analysis has shown that it maintained a primarily domestic nature despite having been reused by different groups at different times. Glass recovered from Feature F was primarily alcohol bottles, but large numbers of food bottles, medicines, and window glass was also found. The warehouse was used commercially and appears to have been continuously reused. The most abundant item recovered from the warehouse was window glass; however large quantities of alcohol bottle fragments were also recovered.
Also included in the glass analysis is a study of window glass dating techniques using glass thickness. By using a formula originally developed by Randall Moir (1982), and following an example set by Grant L. Day (2001), I was able to illustrate a process for dating nineteenth century window glass that is fairly accurate for determining periods of transition, addition, and reconstruction to buildings occupied over long time periods.
Comparison of the glass from these two features using window glass dating formulas and other comparative evaluations as well as dating and functional analysis is revealing useful information about each of these structures individually, as well as about activity on the island as a whole.
Scholar Commons Citation
Sykes, Alexis Broadbent, "Signs of Life: Rediscovering Nineteenth Century Indian Key through Glass Analysis" (2003). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.