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Hurricane Irma could unearth historic artifacts in Marco Island

Posted at 7:09 AM, Oct 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-25 07:09:31-04

Archaeologists will be exploring the Otter Mound Preserve in Marco Island Wednesday for historic artifacts.

"Typically in sites like this what you'll find is shell tools, hammers pounders," said Curator at the Marco Island Historical Society Austin Bell.

Trees felled by Hurricane Irma last month may reveal artifacts belonging to the Calusa Tribe.

"People have been living in Florida for thousands of years, even on Marco Island," said Bell.

The tribe disappeared after the New World was discovered.

"After a couple hundred years basically of resisting European colonization, the slave trade, factors like that became too much for the Calusa to overcome."

Once archaeologists recover the ancient artifacts, they will turn them over to the Marco Island Historical Society.

"It's unfortunate the circumstances which they were found, unfortunately a lot of trees had to die, but this is a once and a long time deal," said Bell.

County officials say the otter mound preserve's trail will be off limits to the public until scientists finish their work.