finds fuel vision of outdoor Miami Circle museum
at the Miami Circle have turned up more discoveries amid ongoing efforts
to turn the Brickell Point site into an outdoor museum.
the meantime, the public may soon be able to view artifacts from the
site at a local museum.
summer, said Ryan Wheeler, state supervisor of archaeological research,
University of Houston archaeologist Randolph Widmer conducted two
field schools at the site.
tried to convince him to work between the Miami Circle and an area
to the east where we had found a lot of holes cut into the limestone,"
Mr. Wheeler said.
Miami Circle, at the confluence of the Miami River and Biscayne Bay,
consists of 24 large holes cut into the limestone bedrock in a circle
about 38 feet in diameter. It was discovered during routine archaeological
excavations after the demolition of an apartment building to make
way for new development.
its function is not known, archaeologists have suggested it was once
the location of a Tequesta Indian building. Radiocarbon dating of
charcoal samples from the site date to about AD 100.
new holes, Mr. Wheeler said, are similar to the original 24, but larger.
are as obvious as the Circle," he said, "and we have not
defined any additional structures."
Kilmon, president of Vialink Inc., a local high-tech surveying and
mapping company, donated his services to map the hundreds of holes
on site, the State of Florida's website notes.
digs also turned up more pottery shards and artifacts, Mr. Wheeler
the past few months a joint state and county effort has focused on
stabilizing the site. As a result, the Circle and the adjacent Valley
of Holes are now under a temporary cover of plastic and gravel.
more digs are planned immediately, Mr. Wheeler said.
are in the analysis stage," he said, "which will take some
time. It involves washing the materials collected and cataloging them.
may be able to get other analyses done, such as zoological tests that
will tell us what foods the Tequestas ate, and perhaps soil analyses
to help figure out how the midden the black earth deposit on
the site was formed."
British Broadcasting Corp. crew filmed the final week of Dr. Widmer's
excavations, said Chris Eck, director of the county's historic preservation
Miami Circle will definitely be preserved at the Brickell Point site,
said Jim Miller, chief state archaeologist, but beyond that its fate
is still up in the air.
said eventually the Florida secretary of state will appoint a task
force of county, state and city interests to begin long-term planning
for the 2.2-acre area.
would consider public uses of the property," Mr. Wheeler said,
"if they are consistent with the purpose for which it was purchased,
which is preservation."
Historical Museum of Southern Florida has a state grant to develop
a museum exhibit dealing with pre-history, to include samples from
the Circle, Mr. Wheeler says.
Brian, director of that museum, said plans are afoot to put something
together within 18 months.
that," he said, "we will transfer the artifacts to a permanent
Historical Museum of Southern Florida, (305) 375-1492; flheritage.com/brickellpoint.