Florida Today 1 — Florida Frontiers “The Windover Dig” — Ben Brotemarkle
Backhoe operator Steve Vanderjagt couldn’t believe his eyes. After uncovering a round, brownish object, he stopped clearing away the muck and debris to investigate further. When Vanderjagt picked up the object, the two empty eye sockets of a skull were staring back at him.
The year was 1982, and Steve Vanderjagt was working to clear the area around a pond in what would become the Windover Farms subdivision in Titusville, Florida, near the intersection of Interstate 95 and State Road 50. It was quickly apparent that the remains of several very old skeletons had been disturbed.
Jim Swann, the developer of the property, could have made the choice to quietly cover the bones and proceed with construction of his housing development, and no one would have been the wiser. Instead, Swann halted work on the site and brought in experts to determine exactly how old the newly discovered remains were, and what should be done with them.
A young archaeologist from Florida State University was called in to examine the bones. Dr. Glen Doran could tell right away that the bones were Native American, and were perhaps 1,000 years old or more. After his preliminary assessment of the bones, carbon dating was performed on them. Everyone, including Doran, was shocked by the results.
The human remains uncovered at the Windover site were between 7,000 and 8,000 years old, making them 3,200 years older than King Tutankhamen and 2,000 years older than the Great Pyramids of Egypt.