Aleš Hrdlička produced a tremendous amount of data in his career, much of which was published in a series of catalogs by the US National Museum. The Gulf States catalog, for example, contains raw craniometric data for over 700 individuals from the state of Florida alone. However, many of these skeletons are poorly sourced by Hrdlička, thus limiting their utility in modern bioarchaeological analyses where context is critical. In particular, the age of the skeletal material is often based solely on associated material culture and information on the sites themselves is not presented by Hrdlička. To address this impasse we attempted radiocarbon dates for 10 of the largest Florida sites published in the Gulf States catalog. In addition, archival data in the form of unpublished field notes and personal correspondence were accessed to better contextualize the radiocarbon dates and to provide some guidance on the degree of temporal variability at the sites. Eight AMS radiocarbon dates were successful. Archival data was of variable quality per site. In some cases very little is known about the provenience of the specimens. In other cases, however, individual burials could be allocated to specific strata within specific mounds. The relevance of using published raw data is discussed with respect to the Howells and Boas Immigrant datasets and the impact the dissemination of these resources has had on the discipline.
- radiocarbon dates
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