Mark x Farina

The Miami Circle at 401 Brickell Point Site is a nationally significant archeological property that is the former location of the primary village of the Tequesta people, who were one of the first Native North American groups encountered by Juan Ponce de Leon in 1513. The site is nationally significant under National Historic Landmark Criterion 6 for its demonstrated and potential archeological significance. Research at the site has produced an impressive body of data, which will likely make it one of the most intensively studied sites in the southern United States. Dating from 500 B.C. to A.D. 900 and A.D. 1400 to 1513, the site’s signi􀃶cance lies in well-preserved evidence of American Indian architecture, considerable materials related to patterns of regional and long-distance exchange, elements of ceremonialism involving animal interments, and association with the Tequesta people, who are signi􀃶cant for the persistence of their culture following European contact and their association with the unique environment of the Everglades. One of the most important features of the site, discovered during archeological salvage excavations at the Brickell Point Site (8DA12) in 1998, is the Miami Circle. The Miami Circle is comprised of holes and basins carved into the shallow Miami Oolite limestone formation. Research suggests that the Miami Circle represents the “footprint” of a prehistoric structure, and further analysis of the site and associated cultural materials should help broaden our understanding of American Indian architecture. Rich, stratified archeological deposits occur over and in the holes that make up the Circle and include artifacts such as faunal bone and marine bivalve shells. Other artifacts found during excavations include sand-tempered and early decorated ceramics, bone and shell implements, and exotic items, like basaltic stone celts, galena, pumice, imported pottery, and chipped stone artifacts. Some of the studies on these artifacts and features have been significant in their use of state-of the-art research technologies such as raw material sourcing and advanced 3D-laser scanning and modeling technology. These studies are likely to shed light upon nationally significant research associated with long distance exchange networks.