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22 April 2007
Archaeologists discover remains of ancient Floridians

Archaeologists have found ancient human remains at another Brickell Avenue development site, additional evidence that downtown Miami and much of South Florida (USA) was inhabited thousands of years ago. Fragmented bones belonging to five or six members of the extinct Tequesta tribe - or its ancestors - were unearthed in recent weeks at 1814 Brickell Ave., eventual site of a 12-unit condominium, according to archaeologist Robert Carr.
     "This is not nearly at the scale of what we've seen in other downtown areas, but it was definitely a cemetery," said Carr, who has discovered and assessed many ancient sites in Broward and Miami-Dade, including the Miami Circle. "The question is the extent of it." State law requires a full archaeological assessment of any site that yields human remains and the reburial of those remains at their original location or as close to it as feasible. That process can delay construction, but state law does not require termination of development at such sites.
     The initial discovery of remains - two leg bones - was made in March by archaeologist Richard Haiduven, who was hired by the developer. Scientists have not determined the age of the bones, but the fragments were surrounded by pottery shards, animal bones and an arrowhead - most of which appear to be 2,000 to 3,500 years old, said Carr, whose firm is conducting the site assessment.
     Ancient human remains are not unusual in South Florida, where the Tequesta - hunters and gatherers - thrived for 2,500 years before succumbing in the 1700s to Europeans and the germs they carried. Human bones were found across Brickell Avenue at the site of what now is the Santa Maria condominium, and at the Miami Circle, the 38-foot-wide stone carving that Carr and other archaeologists discovered in 1998 about 12 blocks north of the new discovery.

Source: Ledger-Enquirer (21 April 2007)

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