The Safety Harbor culture was an archaeological culture practiced by Native Americans living on the central Gulf coast of the Florida peninsula, from about 900 CE until after 1700. The Safety Harbor culture is defined by the presence of Safety Harbor ceramics in burial mounds. The culture is named after the Safety Harbor Site, which is close to the center of the culture area. The Safety Harbor Site is the probable location of the chief town of the Tocobaga, the best known of the groups practicing the Safety Harbor culture.

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  • The Safety Harbor culture was an archaeological culture practiced by Native Americans living on the central Gulf coast of the Florida peninsula, from about 900 CE until after 1700. The Safety Harbor culture is defined by the presence of Safety Harbor ceramics in burial mounds. The culture is named after the Safety Harbor Site, which is close to the center of the culture area. The Safety Harbor Site is the probable location of the chief town of the Tocobaga, the best known of the groups practicing the Safety Harbor culture. The Safety Harbor people were organized into chiefdoms and lived primarily in villages along the shoreline of Tampa Bay and the adjacent Gulf of Mexico coast. The chiefdoms may have consisted of about 15 miles (24 km) of shoreline, and extended about 20 miles (32 km) inland. Each chiefdom had a principal town or "capital" with a temple mound and central plaza. Fifteen such towns have been identified along the Florida Gulf coast from southern Pasco County to northern Sarasota County, an area that includes all of the Tampa Bay area. Only one principal town has been found inland. Descriptions of the villages by Spanish visitors mostly agree with archaeological reconstructions. "Capitals" had a central rectangular plaza. A truncated pyramidal mound up to 20 feet (6.1 m) high and up to 130 feet (40 m) long on each side at the base stood on one side of the plaza. One or more buildings stood on top of the mound, and a ramp ran from the top of the mound to the plaza. A burial mound would be located off to the side. A shell mound, or midden, ran along the shore, and other middens were sometimes located on other sides of the plaza. The plaza itself was kept clear of debris. The more important residents of the town had their houses around the plaza, while the lower class lived in huts further from the plaza. The Spanish reported that the chief and his family lived on the main mound, and that a "temple" (probably a charnel house) stood on the opposite side of the plaza. Archaeological excavations suggest that the charnel houses were on the mounds. Village sites without mounds and isolated burial mounds are also known. (en)
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  • The Safety Harbor culture was an archaeological culture practiced by Native Americans living on the central Gulf coast of the Florida peninsula, from about 900 CE until after 1700. The Safety Harbor culture is defined by the presence of Safety Harbor ceramics in burial mounds. The culture is named after the Safety Harbor Site, which is close to the center of the culture area. The Safety Harbor Site is the probable location of the chief town of the Tocobaga, the best known of the groups practicing the Safety Harbor culture. (en)
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  • Safety Harbor culture (en)
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