|23 October 2005
Archeologist urges Lake Worth to preserve its past
The area that is now the Lake Worth Beach (Florida, USA) is one of several sites in Lake Worth that archaeologists believe contains artifacts dating back hundreds, and maybe thousands of years. Lake Worth resident and archaeologist Dorothy Block hopes the city will do more to ensure that developers will not destroy these sites.
A countywide survey completed in 1991 by Florida Atlantic University professor William Kennedy shows that at least three sites on or near the Lake Worth Beach contain evidence of indigenous people, such as burial sites and middens, or garbage heaps.
Not all of the settlements were on the ocean. Block said she became concerned when she read newspaper articles about a proposal for a townhouse development on Sunset Drive in Lake Worth. The 4-acre parcel is in an unincorporated area on a ridge near Lake Osborne, a location that makes it likely early people lived there, she said. "It's definitely a good place to dig because of its proximity to fresh water," Block said. "I would suggest that it is a prime location for a historic and prehistoric settlement."
In a letter to Community Development Director Sharon Jackson, Robert Carr of the Davie-based consulting firm Archaeological and Historical Conservancy Inc. wrote that before any land-use or zoning change is permitted or the land is cleared, an archaeological survey should be done. "This action is consistent with Florida's Growth Management Act and the city of Lake Worth and Palm Beach County Comprehensive Plan," wrote Carr, who discovered the Miami Circle, an ancient ruin carved by the Tequesta Indians thousands of years ago. However, a letter from county officials to the city indicates that there is "no data that would require a survey," Jackson said.
Block said she wants the city to do more to enforce its historic preservation ordinance. She said that anyone who comes across possible artifacts can e-mail her at email@example.com.
Source: Palm Beach Post (19 October 2005)
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