Hidden in Plain Sight Digital Documentation of Cockroach Key (8HI2), a First Millennium Native American Mound Complex on the Western Coast of Florida, USA

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Thomas Pluckhahn
Kendal Jackson
Jaime Rogers


We present digital documentation of the Cockroach Key archaeological site in Tampa Bay on the western coast of Florida, USA. The site consists of a mound and midden complex constructed by Native Americans between around 100 and 900 CE. Although well known to antiquarians of the 1800s and archaeologists of the early 1900s, the site has slowly become “hidden in plain sight” to both archaeologists (owing to the lack of contemporary investigations) and the public (owing to the density of vegetation). We use LiDAR-based mapping and ground-penetrating radar to document the site’s surface and subsurface features.


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How to Cite
Pluckhahn, T., Jackson, K., & Rogers, J. (2022). Hidden in Plain Sight: Digital Documentation of Cockroach Key (8HI2), a First Millennium Native American Mound Complex on the Western Coast of Florida, USA. Studies in Digital Heritage, 5(2), 107–130. https://doi.org/10.14434/sdh.v5i2.33536
Special Issue "Integrated Spatial Analysis in Archeological Research"
Author Biographies

Thomas Pluckhahn, University of South Florida, USA

Thomas Pluckhahn is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of South Florida. His areas of specialization in anthropology include Eastern United States Prehistory, Mesoamerican Prehistory, Cultural Resource Management, Settlement Pattern Studies, Archaeology of Households, Environmental Anthropology, Ceramic Analysis, and GIS Applications for Anthropology.

Kendal Jackson, University of South Florida, USA

Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA

Jaime Rogers, University of South Florida, USA

Jaime is a Ph.D. student at the Department of Anthropology at the University of South Florida, with research projects and field experience in the southeastern U.S. and Mesoamerica. Jaime received his Bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies at the University of Central Florida in 2015, where he focused on anthropology, environmental studies, and GIS. He also earned his Master’s degree in anthropology from UCF in 2019. Jaime is responsible for project management of archaeological surveys for the DHHC, preparing technical reports, and artifact analysis. Jaime also assists with field data collection involving 3D terrestrial data and GPS. He is an active member of the Florida Anthropological Society (FAS) and the current vice president of the Central Gulf Coast Archaeological Society (CGCAS). His research interests include historical ecology, shell geochemistry, ancient Tampa Bay, and GIS applications in anthropology.


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