Sarasota News Leader

08/09/2013 & 08/16/2013

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Page 40 of 113

THE UNIQUE SPRING MOTE STEPS UP AS POSSIBLE SITE OPERATOR, BUT ACQUISITION COST IS THE BIGGEST UNKNOWN IN SARASOTA COUNTY'S EFFORT TO PURCHASE THE ARCHAEOLOGICALLY RICH LITTLE SALT SPRING By Roger Drouin County Editor The things found under the surface tell the story of Little Salt Spring, a prehistoric watering hole once used at the twilight of the last Ice Age. at least 600 miles from the spring. The stone suggested to researchers that prehistoric people in Florida had an exchange network stretching into the Carolinas, Koski said. Here researchers have unearthed an extinct species of tortoise on a shelf 90 feet below the surface. They also have found a sharp stake a hunter might have used 12,000 years ago to impale the turtle. The discoveries are two of many notable archaeological finds at the 112-acre preserve. Tucked at the end of a dirt road not far from Heron Creek Middle School and several newer homes in North Port, the spring, due to its combination of peat and low oxygen level in the water, preserves some of the oldest dated artifacts ever found in the Southeastern United States. And it still holds some of the oldest cultural remains in North America. In 2005, University of Miami Research Associate Steve Koski excavated a green stone pendant from Little Salt Spring. The 8,000-year-old object was made from material that originated The University of Miami is looking to sell the 112-acre Little Salt Spring property to Sarasota County. Photo by Curt Bowen

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