The Miami Circle
Intro to Archaeology
12 February 2014
The Miami Circle is located in downtown Miami, Florida. The circle is 38 feet across and is made up of 600 post molds that then contain 24 holes cut into the bedrock. This site is the only prehistoric evidence of a permanent structure in the United States. Some ideas for its origins include the Tequesta Indians, the Mayans, or the Olmecs; although with more evidence since it’s discovery, most experts believe the Tequesta’s are responsible.
The site was only discovered in 1998, when an old apartment complex was tore down for newer condominiums to be built. City code required an archaeological field study, and during this survey not only was the 38 feet wide circle discovered, along with many artifacts like shell-tools, stone axe-heads, charcoal, and human teeth. Some samples of burnt wood were taken in to be radiocarbon dated, and revealed to be somewhere between 1800-200 years old.
Many different kinds of features we’re found at the site, the most notable were the 24, evenly spaced postholes. These imply some sort of building or structure was there. Another feature found was the charcoal from fires. Since there was a build up of charcoal this shows that this was some kind of hearth or pit used many times for fires. Both are non-portable evidence showing that past humans were there.
Many artifacts were found at the site. These artifacts included things like bones, ceramics, chipped stones, pumice, shells, and stone axes. Most of the ceramics found were pottery shard from undecorated bowls. These shards help scientist date the site between 500 B.C-1200 A.D. The type of clay in the ceramics indicates there was also some trading within the region. The stone axes were an interesting find because the stone needed for a tool like that was not easily found in that area. Testing revealed that the stone was from a site in Georgia. This proved that there was a...
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