An authoritative overview of the development of Florida's aboriginal peoples . . . blended with accounts of the European invasions and the dire consequences for the natives of their contacts with the newcomers. . . . Particularly valuable for its use of archaeological and historical data. --John H. Hann, San Luis Archaeological and Historic Site, Tallahassee An exciting book that brings together for all of Florida the earliest historic records of indigenous peoples and Old World invaders alike, combining archaeology and history to reconstruct events and lifeways of ethnic groups so quickly devastated by the European presence. --Nancy White, University of South Florida When the conquistadors arrived in Florida in the early sixteenth century, as many as 350,000 native Americans lived in the territory. For more than twelve centuries their ancestors had resided here, fishing, hunting, gathering wild plants, and sometimes cultivating crops. Two and a half centuries later, Florida's Indians were gone. Focusing on those native peoples and their interactions with Spanish and French explorers and colonists, Jerald Milanich delineates this massive cultural change. Using information gathered from archaeological excavations and from the interpretation of historical documents left behind by the colonial powers, he explains where the native groups came from, where they lived, and what happened to them. He closes with the tragic disappearance of the original inhabitants in the eighteenth century and the first appearance of the ancestors of Florida's present Native Americans. With maps, photographs, drawings, and a vivid writing style, Milanich creates a sense of history and place--an opportunity to correlate modern towns to colonial events and sixteenth-century trails to twentieth-century highways--that will illuminate history for residents and tourists of Florida as well as for archaeologists and historians.