Miami Circle To Be Buried In Gravel Pending Federal Study
By Marilyn Bowden
The 2,000-year-old Miami Circle archaeological site at the mouth of the Miami River will be buried in gravel within a month, according to Bob Carr, executive director of the Archaeological & Historical Conservancy.
Mr. Carr’s firm has been selected to fill the site with gravel as a preservation measure, said Brenda Swann, archaeology supervisor for the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research and spokesperson for the Miami Circle Planning Group.
"As soon as he gives us his cost estimate," she said, "and it’s approved, we can move forward."
The Miami Circle was discovered five years ago this month during a routine pre-construction dig at a proposed condominium site.
After an intensive media campaign, Miami-Dade County claimed the 2.2-acre site by eminent domain. It was subsequently purchased for $26.7 million with funds from the state’s Conservation & Recreation Lands program, the county’s Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond, private contributions and a loan from the Trust for Public Land.
Last June the planning group voted to re-cover the landmark east of Brickell Avenue as a means of maintaining its condition pending a Department of the Interior study to see whether it can be included in the National Parks System as part of Biscayne National Park.
Once begun, the parks service study is estimated to take about 18 months. In February the Senate unanimously passed a proposal for the study, but it has since languished in the House.
In the meantime, Mr. Carr said, the circle remains protected by a thick plastic temporary covering.
"A hurricane wouldn’t have any real effect on it," he said. "It’s obviously survived a good number of hurricanes already."