Map of Florida at the time of European contact in the early 1500s.
Native people of Florida’s Gulf Coast used the materials they had readily available to construct Temple Mounds which are emblematic of their culture. Shellfish were harvested for food then the shells tossed into trash middens. When the time was right, they gathered together for a community mound building project, similar to what later settlers would call a “barn raising” or a “building bee.” This was families contributing to the overall good their society, working together for a common cause. At the top of the mound they would build a temple, where honored men and women prayed for the health and well-being of their community.