The Safety Harbor culture, which took place from about 800/1000 AD/CE to the early 1700s, included the Tocobaga people who built the shell mounds near the current University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus.
According to historian Dr. Ray Arsenault, "By the end of the fifteenth century, the Tocobaga's coastal domain extended from Charlotte Harbor to Crystal Bay, an area that encompassed dozens of large towns and scores of smaller villages. For the most part, the leaders at Tocobaga practiced a loose form of federal control, and each large town had its own temple mound, ceremonial plaza, and subchief. The subchiefs exhibited varying degrees of loyalty to the principal chief at Tocobaga, and intratribal warfare was not uncommon. Indeed, like the Timucua and Apalachee cultures of northern Florida, the Tocobaga regime was not so much a tribe as it was a confederation of culturally and linguistically linked clans."
"....Culturally and geographically, the Tocobaga occupied the middle ground between the semiagricultural society of the Timucua and
the nonagricultural maritime society of the Calusa."
"....When Narvaez splashed ashore in the spring of 1528, the long history of the Tocobaga entered a final and ultimately tragic phase.
Any visitor carrying European pathogens and European ideas of sanctified conquest would have disrupted the biological and cultural
balance of Tocobaga society."
Bullen, Ripley P. “Tocobaga Indians and the Safety Harbor Culture.”
In Tacachale: Essays on the Indians of Florida and Southeastern Georgia during the Historic Period,
edited by J.T. Milanich and S. Proctor, pp. 50-58.
Gainesville; University Press of Florida, 1978.
Hann, John H. Indians of Central and South Florida: 1513-1763.
Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, 2003.
Milanich, Jerald T. Archaeology of Precolumbian Florida.
Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, 1994.
Milanich, Jerald T. Florida Indians from Ancient Times to the Present.
Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, 1998.
Milanich, Jerald T. Florida Indians and the Invasion from Europe.
Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, 1995.