Ancient village discovered in downtown Miami

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Ancient Village Discovered In Downtown Miami

Archaeologists uncovered an ancient Native American village that could date back 2,000 years in Miami.

It's being called one of the most significant prehistoric sites in the US. The Miami Herald reports that over the past several months, archaeologists have dug up eight large circles made up of uniformly carved holes in the limestone. These could be foundation holes for Tequesta Indian dwellings.

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Ancient finds in Miami
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Ancient village discovered in downtown Miami
Unidentified archaeologists excavate a site believed to contain prehistoric ruins in downtown Miami, Wednesday Feb. 3, 1999. The developer has agreed to give the archaeologists another month to complete the excavation. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
An ancient circle in stone has been discovered in downtown Miami at the mouth of the Miami River. The 38 foot-diameter circle may be several thousand years old and may be an astronomical observatory or a temple carved in limestone according to archaeologist Robert Carr December 4, 1998. The find is considered one of the most substantial finds of pre-historic people in North America. The dig is on a construction site that is supposed to be developed at the end of January so work is being carried out from daylight till dark. This aerial view shows the dig that is a pefect circle and has special holes on the North, South, West and East ends of the circle. (photo by Eric Smith)
Port of Miami and Downtown Miami
A view of the collapsed seawall. left, is shown at the Miami Circle in Miami, Thursday, June 21, 2007. Artifacts surrounding a 2,000-year-old American Indian circular carving may be swept into the Miami River in the next severe storm, now that a nearby seawall has collapsed, officials said. The 38-foot Miami Circle is not in jeopardy, but unexcavated bones, pottery, beads or tools around it could be washed away, said archaeologist Bob Carr. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
A view of the collapsed seawall is shown at the Miami Circle in Miami, Thursday, June 21, 2007. Artifacts surrounding a 2,000-year-old American Indian circular carving may be swept into the Miami River in the next severe storm, officials said. The 38-foot Miami Circle is not in jeopardy, but unexcavated bones, pottery, beads or tools around it could be washed away, said archaeologist Bob Carr. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
A view of the Miami Circle is shown in Miami, Thursday, June 21, 2007. Artifacts surrounding a 2,000-year-old American Indian circular carving may be swept into the Miami River in the next severe storm, now that a nearby seawall has collapsed, officials said. The 38-foot Miami Circle is not in jeopardy, but unexcavated bones, pottery, beads or tools around it could be washed away, said archaeologist Bob Carr. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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Tequesta Indians occupied an area along the southeastern coast of Florida near the Miami River, but many of their villages were deserted by the late 18th century.

The site falls inside a designated archaeological zone and was originally being cleared for an entertainment complex last year. Chairman of Miami's Historic and Environmental Preservation Board William Hopper told NPR news that preservation officials have called for a redesign of the project to save as much of the site as possible.

'It wasn't really until probably September that we began to get an idea of the significance of the find there. We want to see what we can do to preserve as much of that as we can, so that people in future generations can have an understanding of what happened there at the mouth of the river.'
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