|Location||Tallahassee, Florida, Leon County, Florida, USA|
|Region||Leon County, Florida|
|Cultures||Fort Walton Culture, Apalachee|
|Excavation dates||1970s, 1980s|
|Architectural styles||platform mound|
|Responsible body: State of Florida|
Velda Mound (8LE44) is a Native American archaeological site located in northern Tallahassee, Leon County, Florida, United States. The site was first occupied by peoples of the Fort Walton Culture (a regional variation of the Mississippian culture) in the late prehistoric period and during the protohistoric period was part of the extensive Apalachee Province of the panhandle. The site is now owned by the State of Florida and managed as a park.
History and use
Velda Mound was built in approximately 1450 by Fort Walton peoples and occupied by their descendants the Apalachee until about 1625. The Spanish explorers called this area Apalachee Province in recognition of the tribe's power, a territory which also included the Lake Jackson Mounds and major center of Anhaica. The platform mound is believed to have served as a residence for a village leader, with a village surrounding the mound. The village inhabitants cultivated vegetables in small family plots and farmed large communal farming fields in the area around the village. They cultivated numerous varieties of maize, beans and squash.
Velda Mound was abandoned by indigenous peoples by the beginning of the Spanish Mission Period (ca. 1565). This was most likely the result of their depleting nearby natural resources, such as trees for building homes and for firewood. The soil may have become depleted as well. The people would move to new lands which were more fertile, and allow older areas to recover. No evidence exists showing occupation of the mound by the later Spanish or British colonists.
During the 1950s, the large Velda Dairy operation was developed in much of northern Leon County. Their property for cows and pastureland included the Velda Mound. Looters searching for artifacts dug into the mound and damaged it by disturbing the interior and altering the structure.
The dairy property was later sold for redevelopment as residences. The mound has since been repaired and is now owned by the state. The mound is located in the Arbor Hill neighborhood within the sub-division of Killearn Estates.
- Frank Keel (September 2003). "An archaeological assessment of the Bradfordville Commercial Tract in Leon County, Florida" (PDF). p. 9.
- "Archaeological Stabilization Guide" (PDF). The Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources, Bureau of Archaeological Research. p. 18.
- "Velda Mound Archaeological Site Leon County, Florida : Conservation Management Plan" (PDF). p. 7.