We know very little about the ancient people that once inhabited Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida. Scant evidence reveals a culture known as the Calusa, who first ventured into this vast swamp over 4,500 years ago. In this sea of grass, they found a wetlands cornucopia, feasting on large amounts of fish, deer, shellfish, reptiles, plums, berries and more. First contact with European explorers led to conflict and disease. By the 1800s, the remaining Calusa were absorbed into the Seminole and Miccosukee tribes. Today, archaeologists continue to roam this unique environment, looking for clues of a lost culture. Photo by National Park Service.