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February 11, 2014

Miami Is An Ancient City

When I say ancient I’m not talking about our reputation as a retirement village – although I think South Beach, the Miami Heat and other explosive new trends have all but quashed that  perception! I’m talking about the ongoing discoveries being made near the Miami river where the $600 million complex of Miami condominium and office towers are being built.  A network of holes in the ground has shed light on the Tequesta tribes that first inhabited  Miami. This settlement and certain artifacts discovered could date back 500-600 B.C. according to the lead archaeologist.

The awe-inspiring discoveries have been reported on by the Miami Herald, but even CNN is picking up the story now and reporting that “the holes lay out the foundations of a prehistoric settlement of the ancient Tequesta tribe at the confluence of the Miami River and Biscayne Bay. The Tequesta lived in what’s now metro Miami until the 1700s, and the holes held pine posts that framed their thatched buildings.

Source: CNN.com

Source: CNN.com

“We got to the point in recent months where we realized this wasn’t an isolated circle or structure but a whole complex of buildings,” said archaeologist Bob Carr, whose company was hired to conduct a historical analysis of the building site. The settlement is likely to have been home to hundreds of people, perhaps as many as 1,000.”

This is fascinating but hindering the completion of the  Metropolitan Miami project. The developers are attempting to adapt their design  by cutting out a section of the limestone, rebuilding a Tequesta structure on top of it using the original post holes and putting it on display in Met Square. The structure would also include a model of the native village. However, plans must be approved by Miami’s Historic Preservation Board, which convenes on February 14, and then the City Commission.

Should this Tequesta settlement found in Downtown Miami be preserved or should developers make adjustments to their real estate project and proceed? I’m on the fence folks!

Click here to read the CNN.com article and the MiamiHerald.com article.