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|CRYSTAL RIVER STATE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE
This six-mound complex, built by the cultural group called pre-Columbian mound builders, is considered one of the longest continually occupied sites in Florida. For 1,600 years, beginning around 200 B.C., these 14 acres were an imposing prehistoric ceremonial center for Florida's Native Americans.
These people traveled great distances to the complex to bury their dead with ceremony and to participate in trade activities. It is estimated that 7,500 Indians might have visited the complex annually.
During a visit to the site, visitors can tour the visitor center/museum and walk the paved trail that meanders through the site.
The visitor center/museum houses the park office as well as a collection of artifacts collected at the site. Artifacts such as arrowheads, pottery, jewelry, stone and bone tools are on exhibition. Interpretive exhibits also relate the chronology of archaeological excavations done at the site beginning in 1903.
An 8-minute interpretive video is well worth watching for a better understanding of the site's past.
Restrooms and a small gift shop are located near the visitor center/museum. (note: the gift shop, while offering a variety of novelty and educational items, does not deal in Native American artifacts of any kind.)
A walk down the one-half mile paved loop trail at the site will take visitors past each of the 6 mounds. These mounds include Temple, Burial and Midden Area Mounds. A beautiful view of the Crystal River is had from the observation deck located on one of the Temple Mounds. Two large limestone boulders seen along the trail may have served as ceremonial markers for these early people.
This site is a National Historic Landmark and is ADA accessible. The required daily entrance fee is $2.00 per vehicle covering the first 8 persons, with $1.00 per each additional person. A bus fee is available for groups. Guided tours are available for groups of 10 or more with advance notice. Visitor center/museum hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, grounds 8:00 a.m. to sunset daily.
Crystal River State Archaeological Site
3400 N. Museum Point
Crystal River, FL 34428
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