Archaeology Magazine Archive

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Miami Circle Dead Volume 54 Number 5, September/October 2001
by Eric A. Powell

[image] A burial uncovered near the controversial Miami Circle. (Mark Lance) [LARGER IMAGE]

Excavation in a park 800 feet from the controversial Miami Circle has revealed a cemetery dating from about 500 B.C. to A.D. 500. Bob Carr of the Archaeological and Historical Conservancy said test pits in Miami's Brickell Park have exposed one complete burial and numerous other human remains. He believes the high density of bone shows "the site is the largest and best preserved Tequesta cemetery found in southern Florida."

The now extinct Tequesta people are thought to have created the Miami Circle, a mysterious structure consisting of 24 large holes and measuring 38 feet across. Dug into the limestone bedrock of downtown Miami, the Circle garnered headlines around the world when it was discovered in 1998. Many archaeologists believe the unusual alignment was once a significant ritual center for a nearby Tequesta town, though this interpretation is not without its critics (see "Much Ado About A Circle," September/October 1999 and "What was the Miami Circle?," September 28, 1999). Only a few fragmentary human bones were found during the Circle's excavation.

© 2001 by the Archaeological Institute of America