|12 March 1999
Miami Circle may be 2,000 years old
Scientific evidence now proves that the site of the Miami circle (see Archaeo News no.3), a 11,6 meter (38-foot) wide stone ring believed to be a sacred site carved by the Tequesta Indians is at least 1,800 years old and the circle itself could be much older than that, Miami-Dade County archaeologists said after receiving the results of radiocarbon tests.
Bob Carr, director of the Miami-Dade Historic Preservation Division, said tests showed that a piece of charcoal found within one of the 30 basins that form the Circle was 1,800 to 2,100 years old. Another piece of charcoal, found in the center of the Circle, was 1,850 to 1,990 years old, he said. There's certainly a suggestion here that the Circle could be 2,000 years old ore more Carr said, but the definitive answer to that will come from more dating tests.
The archaeological discovery in downtown Miami, on the south bank of the Miami River and just east of the Brickell Avenue bridge, has become a worldwide sensation. Archaeologists believe it was created by the long-extinct Tequesta tribe. The mysterious formation consists of stone carvings and post holes that link to form a perfect circle, apparently based on geometric calculations. Archaeologists speculate the circle could have been used to measure time or for religious purposes. In some deeper holes they have found the remains of a 5-foot shark and a sea turtle, possibly evidence of ceremonial sacrifices.
Amid enormous public pressure, Miami-Dade officials late last month blocked a developer from cutting up and moving the circle to a popular botanical garden nearby and began steps to buy the land (but buying back the property could cost more than $100-million) under eminent domain proceedings. Court action is pending.
Sources: Miami Herald, St.Petersburg Times
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