Florida Guide > State Parks
MADIRA BICKEL MOUND
Madira Bickel Mound State Archaeological Park is situated in Palmetto, 1 mile south of the 1. 275 on Bayshore Drive. This was the first archaeological State Park site in Florida.
Situated on Terra Caerra Island, this park takes in 10 acres and is so named after Madira and Karl Bickel who donated this land to the State in 1948. They were pioneers in the preservation of Native Indian mounds. Mounds are the middens that are so importamt to our understanding of how Native Americans conducted their lives.
The main interest in this park is the ceremonial mound which is 170 feet by 70 feet and 20 feet high. It is a trapezoidal structure.
This flat top temple is comprised of shell, sand and the household rubbish of the inhabitants and has unlocked the secrets of the life and times of the village. It was accessed by a curving ramp.
It is thought that this may have been Ucita, a village much mentioned in the works of the Desoto expeditions. This, however, cannot be proved as yet.
Here you can trace the lives and times from the original settlers 2000 years ago which can be divided into 3 distinct culture groups. The first era was Manasota and centred on hunting and fishing; the mound would have been started then; next was a more artistic time when pottery is much in evidence, this is known as the Weedon Island period; the third period is known as Safety Harbor. During this time the Spanish arrived and great emphasis was put into agriculture. There may have been as many as 2000 folk in residence at this time.
There was once a good large shell mound in Miguel Bay, but sadly, very little of that remains today.
This site was of considerable importance to the Tocobaga Indians who lived in the surrounding areas ; they worshipped the sun and rain and would travel here to conduct their important ceremonies.
It is important to note that this park is in the early stages of development and though picnic tables are provided, there is very little else. Nature Trails are in the planning. Perhaps a more adult experience and then only if you have an interest in this period of history. Also, take all you need for the day with you.
There is currently no charge to enter this park and it is open from 8. a. m. til sundown.
Madira Bickel Mound State Archeological Site
3708 Patten Ave.
Ellenton, Florida 34222
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Page added on: 9 April 2008
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