Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Editor's page
 Preliminary Report on Salvage Archaelogical...
 A Picturesque Settlement: The Diary...
 The Archaeology of Brickell Point...
 A Geological Assessment of the...
 Provenance of Stone Celts from...
 The Origin and Significance of...
 The Origin and Significance of...
 Abstracts from the Florida Anthropological...
 Florida Anthropological Society...
 Book Reviews

Group Title: Florida anthropologist
Title: The Florida anthropologist
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027829/00084
 Material Information
Title: The Florida anthropologist
Abbreviated Title: Fla. anthropol.
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Florida Anthropological Society
Conference on Historic Site Archaeology
Publisher: Florida Anthropological Society.
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Frequency: quarterly[]
two no. a year[ former 1948-]
Subject: Indians of North America -- Antiquities -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Antiquities -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Summary: Contains papers of the Annual Conference on Historic Site Archeology.
Dates or Sequential Designation: v. 1- May 1948-
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00027829
Volume ID: VID00084
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01569447
lccn - 56028409
issn - 0015-3893

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Table of Contents
        Page 252
        Page 253
    Editor's page
        Page 254
        Unnumbered ( 6 )
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
    Preliminary Report on Salvage Archaelogical Investigations fo the Brickell Point Site (8DA12), Including the Miami Circle
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
    A Picturesque Settlement: The Diary Notes of Dr. Jefferies Wyman's Visit to Miami and the First Archaeological Excavations in South Florida, 1869
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
    The Archaeology of Brickell Point and Miami Circle
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
    A Geological Assessment of the Miami Circle Site
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
    Provenance of Stone Celts from the Miami Circle Archaeological Site, Miami, Florida
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
        Page 332
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
        Page 337
        Page 338
        Page 339
    The Origin and Significance of the Brickell Point Site (8DA12), Known as the Miami Circle
        Page 340
        Page 341
        Page 342
        Page 343
        Page 344
    The Origin and Significance of the Brickell Point Site (8DA12), Known as the Miami Circle
        Page 345
    Abstracts from the Florida Anthropological Society 2000 Annual Meeting
        Page 346
        Page 347
        Page 348
        Page 349
        Page 350
        Page 351
        Page 352
        Page 353
    Florida Anthropological Society 2000 Award Recipients
        Page 354
        Page 355
        Page 356
        Page 357
    Book Reviews
        Page 358
        Page 359
        Page 360
        Page 361
        Page 362
        Page 363
        Page 364
Full Text


2000 Florida Anthropological Society Inc.

The Florida Anthropological Society Inc. holds
source text of the Florida Anthropologist
considered the copyright holder for the text
these publications.

all rights to the
and shall be
and images of

The Florida Anthropological Society has made this publication
available to the University of Florida, for purposes of
digitization and Internet distribution.

The Florida Anthropological Society reserves all rights to this
publication. All uses, excluding those made under "fair use"
provisions of U.S. Code, Title 17, Section 107 are restricted.

Contact the Florida Anthropological Society for additional
information and permissions.

40;144 1 pop-
it' I", tv, J "A",
-0 "AII" It It


1"My Vw, all, Aw

ANTT look
AW; to

It "t, t 77"
4 Elm 0 uly
77, t

W Q01 Tj,
t", I I I 'I" ttl- t; V JN L on Q S, O EM
,I- -it, ,,
4 'JA I
5 Ms
it waon't,







Volume 53 Number 4
December 2000



Editor's Page. Ryan J. Wheeler 254

Preface. 256
Preliminary Report on Salvage Archaeological Investigations
of the Brickell Point Site (8DA12), Including the Miami Circle. Robert S. Carr and John Ricisak 260

A Picturesque Settlement: The Diary Notes of Dr. Jeffries Wyman's
Visit to Miami and the First Archaeological Excavations in South Florida, 1869. Christopher Eck 286

The Archaeology of Brickell Point and the Miami Circle. Ryan J. Wheeler 294
A Geological Assessment of the Miami Circle. Guy H. Means and Thomas Scott 324

Provenance of Stone Celts from the Miami Circle Archaeological Site. Jacqueline Eaby Dixon,
Kyla Simons, Loretta Leist, Christopher Eck, John Ricisak, John Gifford, and JeffRyan 328
The Origin and Significance of the Brickell Point Site (8DA12), also
Known as the Miami Circle. Brent R. Weisman, Herschel E. Shepard, and George M. Luer 342

Table of Contents Continued:




Miller: An Environmental History of Northeast Florida. David Nelson
Jones: Antiquities of the Southern Indians, Particularly of the Georgia Tribes. Daniel T. Elliott
White, Sullivan and Marrinan: Grit-Tempered: Early Women Archaeologists
in the Southeastern United States. Lucy B. Wayne

About the Authors

Cover: Excavations at Brickell Point in August, 1998. Courtesy The Miami Herald/Al Diaz.

Copyright 2000 by the
ISSN 0015-3893


This issue is dedicated to the publication of six papers
related to the Miami Circle and the Brickell Point site, where
the Circle is located. Despite the vast number of newspaper
and journalistic accounts, this volume will serve as the first
scientific discussion of the Circle and its context. All of the
authors present the results of firsthand research and
The Preface is a brief attempt to place the Miami Circle
within the context of the archaeology and ethnohistory of
southeastern Florida.
The first article, by Bob Carr and John Ricisak, recounts
the discovery and subsequent excavation of the Miami Circle.
Despite the limitations of time and funding, the authors
collected a tremendous amount of data about the site, and
report some of the notable details in this paper.
Chris Eck, in the second article, joins the ranks of Florida
archaeologists who have developed an interest in their
nineteenth and early twentieth century predecessors. In this
case Eck presents the journal entries of the eminent Jeffries
Wyman who visited the Miami area and made some limited
excavations in 1869. The annotated entries provide some
insight into what this area was like less than 150 years ago.
In the third article I discuss my investigation of the site,
which focused less on the Circle and more on the rest of the
2.2 acre Brickell Point property. This study revealed that
over 70% of the property harbors intact deposits and fea-
tures, and over 35% contains intact black earth midden
Harley Means and Tom Scott, in the fourth article, present
a geological perspective on the site, based on their observa-
tions of May, 1999. Their earlier report on the chemical
workings of the Miami oolite and the formation of a duricrust
on the limestone's surface provided the much needed evi-
dence of the Circle's antiquity.
Jackie Dixon and her colleagues, in the fifth article,
present the results of their analysis of the stone axes found at
the site. The conclusion that the basaltic axes originated
somewhere near Macon, Georgia-originally reported in a
September, 1999 newspaper article-helped steer discussions
away from a Mayan origin for the Circle's builders.

The Maya, Olmec, Druid, Atlantean, and extraterrestrial
attributions for the Circle's origins have an eerie similarity
to the Moundbuilder myth of the nineteenth century, and
should be avoided for many of the same reasons.
The final article, by Weisman, Shepard, and Luer,
presents the results of an independent assessment conducted
by the authors in May, 1999. At the time it seemed that this
was the best and most succinct statement of the Circle's
significance, and this seems no less true today.
The Historical Museum of Southern Florida, in the 1999-
2000 grant year, received a $484,845.00 special category
grant from the Florida Department of State, Division of
Historical Resources. Part of this grant is dedicated to
developing a permanent exhibit on the archaeology of
southeastern Florida, including the Miami Circle, while part
is earmarked for analysis of the materials excavated at the
Circle and the Brickell Point site. This work began in July,
2000 when the grant monies became available, and will
likely continue for the next few years. Analyses to be
preformed include zooarchaeology, studies of the lithics,
additional radiocarbon dating, analysis of the bone and shell
tools, and other research.
I would like to offer my thanks to the many individuals
who contributed to this volume-including the authors.
Other important help was received from Jorge Zamanillo of
the Historical Museum of Southern Florida, Lissette
Elguezabal of the Miami Herald, Jim Miller, State
Archaeologist, and George Luer.
This issue also contains the year 2000 FAS awards,
abstracts of the papers presented at the May, 2000 annual
FAS meeting, and book reviews by Dave Nelson, Dan
Elliott, and Lucy Wayne.



VOL. 53(4)



Spanish accounts from the sixteenth century describe a
powerful Florida Indian tribe, the Tequesta, whose main
village was at the mouth of the Miami River, near the shore of
Biscayne Bay (Griffin et al. 1982; McNicoll 1941; Parks 1982;
Sturtevant 1978). Today, this area is the heart of downtown
Miami and the location of the Miami Circle.
The Tequesta were not a simple band of hunter-gatherers.
Historic accounts indicate that their society was complex
sociopolitically. Archaeology reveals that their economy was
based on fishing, hunting, and gathering, with a reliance on
dugout canoes, which the Tequesta used along the coast and in
the Everglades.
How did this complex society evolve? When did it first
appear? What can we learn about the nature of Tequesta
society? These are important questions.
Archaeology is beginning to yield clues about the Tequesta
and their ancestors. Fish remains from middens show that the
Tequesta caught diverse fishes, including large fish such as
mako shark and swordfish (Wing and Loucks 1982). Caches

of shell celts suggest an honored role for possible makers of
Tequesta dugout canoes (Carr and Reiger 1980). The
Tequesta were expert wood carvers, as shown by two wooden
clubs dredged from buried deposits, including one from the
Miami River (Goggin 1942; Purdy 1991:236, Figures 89 and
Art styles on carved bone artifacts indicate that the
Tequesta participated in widespread traditions of Florida
Indian art (Wheeler and Coleman 1996). Ceramic platform
pipes reveal that, almost 2000 years ago (during the Middle
Woodland horizon), the ancestors of the Tequesta had links to
far-ranging Hopewellian influences (Luer 1995). Such
influences might have led to construction of large, circular
earthworks (Carr 1985). The Tequesta also built mounds and
linear ridges (Carr et al. 1995:24-25; Harrington 1909:139-
Historic accounts describe the importance of the Tequesta.
The Tequesta were encountered by Ponce de Leon during his
first voyage to Florida in 1513 (Davis 1935). In the 1560s, the

Figure 1. Wooden artifacts associated with 8DA11. The club (Acc. No. 1968.11x018) and the horn-like object (Acc. No.
1968.11x.019) were found while digging a boat slip on Julia Tuttle's property on the north bank of the Miami River.
Courtesy Historical Museum of Southern Florida, Miami.


VOL. 53(4)



Spanish established a fort and mission among the Tequesta,
and they took the brother of the principal Tequesta chief to
Spain, where he became a Christian. He returned to Florida
and helped mediate between the Spanish and Indians (Lewis
1978:28; Solis de Meras 1923:232, 236, 242-243; Zubillaga
1946:322-324, 333-340, 371).
During this period, the Tequesta engaged in tributary and
political relationships with neighboring tribes. The Tequesta
were sometimes allied with their neighbors in the Florida
Keys, and they used dugout canoes to hunt right whales,
drying their meat for barter with inland groups (Goggin and
Sturtevant 1964:180, 184-185, 188; Larson 1980:146-156;
Worth 1995). Alliances were often cemented through mar-
riages, and the chief of the Tequesta was a "near relative" of
the chief of the Calusa, with whom the Tequesta were some-
time allied and sometimes hostile (Goggin and Sturtevant
1964:187-189; Lewis 1978:27-29; Solis de MerAs 1923:210,
Archaeology has the potential of telling us how the
Tequesta evolved in the centuries before Spanish contact. The
Miami Circle gives us an unprecedented picture of the
Tequesta and their ancestors almost 2000 years ago. The
Miami Circle is a critical and important part of an unfolding

References Cited

Can, Robert S.
1985 Prehistoric Circular Earthworks in South Florida. The
Florida Anthropologist 38:288-301.

Carr, Robert S., and John F. Reiger
1980 Strombus Celt Caches in Southeast Florida. The Florida
Anthropologist 33:66-74.

Carr, Robert S., Jorge Zamanillo, and Willard S. Steele
1995 An Archaeological Survey of Southeast Broward County,
Florida: Phase 3. Archaeological and Historical Conser-
vancy, Technical Report #117, Miami.

Davis, T. Frederick
1935 Juan Ponce de Leon's Voyages to Florida. The Florida
Historical Quarterly 14:3-69.

Goggin, John M.
1942 Prehistoric Wooden Club from Southern Florida. American
Anthropologist 44:327-328.

Goggin, John M., and William C. Sturtevant
1964 The Calusa: A Stratified Nonagricultural Society (With
Notes on Sibling Marriage). In Explorations in Cultural
Anthropology, edited by Ward H. Goodenough, pp. 179-
219. McGraw-Hill, New York.

Griffin, John W., Sue B. Richardson, Mary Pohl, Carl D. McMurray,
C. Margaret Scarry, Suzanne K. Fish, Elisabeth S. Wing, L. Jill
Loucks, and Marcia K. Welch
1982 Excavations at the Granada Site: Archaeology and
History of the Granada Site, Volume I. Prepared for the
City ofMiami by the Florida Division ofArchives, History,

and Records Management, Tallahassee.

Han, John H.
1991 Missions to the Calusa. University of Florida Press,

Harrington, M. R.
1909 Archeology of the Everglades Region, Florida. American
Anthropologist n.s. 11:139-142.

Larson, Lewis H.
1980 Aboriginal Subsistence Technology on the Southeastern
CoastalPlain during theLatePrehistoricPeriod. Univer-
sity Presses of Florida, Gainesville.

Lewis, Clifford M.
1978 The Calusa. In Tacachale: Essays on the Indians of
Florida and Southeastern Georgia during the Historic
Period, edited by Jerald T. Milanich and Samuel Proctor,
pp. 19-49. University Presses of Florida, Gainesville.

Luer, George M.
1995 Pipe Fragments from Ortona, SouthernFlorida: Comments
on Platform Pipe Styles, Functions, and Middle Woodland
Exchange. The Florida Anthropologist 48:301-308.

McNicoll, Robert E.
1941 The Caloosa Village Tequesta: A Miami of the Sixteenth
Century. Tequesta 1:11-20.

Parks, Arva Moore
1982 Where the River Found the Bay, Historical Study of the
Granada Site, Miami, Florida. Prepared for the City of
Miami by the Florida Division of Archives, History, and
Records Management, Tallahassee.

Purdy, Barbara A.
1991 The Art and Archaeology of Florida's Wetlands. CRC
Press, Boca Raton, Florida.

Soils de Meras, Gonzalo
1923 Pedro Mendndez de Avilds, Memorial. Translated and
annotated by Jeannette Thurber Connor. Publication 3,
Florida State Historical Society, Deland.

Sturtevant, William C.
1978 The Last of the South Florida Aborigines. In Tacachale:
Essays on the Indians ofFlorida andSoutheastern Georgia
during the Historic Period, edited by Jerald T. Milanich
and Samuel Proctor, pp. 141-162. University Presses of
Florida, Gainesville.

True, David O., editor
1944 Memoir ofDo. d'EscalenteFontanedaRespecting Florida,
Written in Spain, about the Year 1575. University of
Miami and the Historical Association of Southern Florida,
Coral Gables.

Wheeler, Ryan J., and Wesley F. Coleman
1996 Ornamental Bone Carving of Southern Florida: Some Late
Styles and their Associations. TheFloridaAnthropologist


2000 VOL. 53(4)


Wing, Elizabeth S., and L. Jill Loucks
1982 Granada Site Faunal Analysis. In Excavations at the
Granada Site: Archaeology and History of the Granada
Site, Volume I, edited by John W. Griffin et al, pp. 259-
345. Prepared for the City of Miami by the Florida
Division of Archives, History, and Records Management,

Worth, John E.
1995 Fontaneda Revisited: Five Descriptions of Sixteenth-
CenturyFlorida. TheFlorida Historical Quarterly 73:339-

Zubillaga, Felix (editor)
1946 MonumentaAntiquaeFloridae (1566-1572). Monumenta
Historic Societatis Iesu, Rome.



'Archaeological and Historical Conservancy, Inc., 111 SW 5' Avenue, Suite 302, Miami, FL 33130
2Miami-Dade County Office of Community & Economic Development, Historic Preservation Division, 140 W. Flagler Street,
Suite 1102, Miami, FL 33130


This paper summarizes the discovery of the so-called
Miami Circle at the Brickell Point site, 8DA12, in Miami-
Dade County, Florida. Although the extensive media coverage
of this site has greatly enhanced the public's awareness of
archaeological sites in Florida, it also has dispersed much
misinformation about the site, particularly in regard to its
significance and the circumstances under which it was
The Miami Circle was not an accidental discovery, rather,
it was the result of a well conceived and generally well
implemented historic preservation ordinance passedby Miami-
Dade County in 1981 (Miami-Dade County 1981). Atthe time
of its passage, this ordinance required local municipalities to
pass their own historic preservation ordinances within one
year or comply with the Miami-Dade County ordinance and
forfeit jurisdiction to the County's Historic Preservation
Division. In 1982, the City of Miami passed a relatively weak
historic preservation ordinance that was eventually strength-
ened in 1985 after the County threatened litigation. In 1988,
as part of two Development of Regional Impact (DRI) master
development orders affecting the City of Miami, a Letter of
Understanding regarding archaeological reviews was entered
into between the county and the city whereby the Historic
Preservation Division would examine permit applications
within archaeological zones and provide recommendations as
to the required scope of work to be accomplished by the
applicant. Additionally, the agreement provided the division
with the authority "to survey and excavate" any site with
"significant archaeological artifacts."
In 1992, the City of Miami's ordinance was revised a
second time to include a map of archaeological conservation
areas identified by the County archaeologist. This map
became the basis for requiring that developers secure a
"Certificate of Appropriateness (COA)" from the city prior to
performing work within areas of known or potential archaeo-
logical significance. The COA is a permit containing condi-
tions that are based on recommendations by the County
archaeologist and are intended to address archaeological
resources located within a given area through actions such as
monitoring, excavation, or preservation.
On May 19, 1995, the Miami-Dade County archaeologist
notified the City of Miami that a proposed development plan
for Brickell Point, a 2.2 acre parcel of land located on the

south bank of the mouth of the Miami River and within a city
archaeological conservation area, would require archaeological
testing and monitoring. The property was known to have a
high potential for containing a significant archaeological site,
but it was uncertain whether anything had survived the site's
previous development in 1950 as a low-rise apartment com-
plex (the Brickell Point Apartments).
Although the city failed to honor the specific requirements
of its own ordinance (i.e., requiring the developer to obtain a
COA), it did require archaeological monitoring as part of its
development order for the pending project. In May 1998, the
demolition of the Brickell Point Apartments was initiated as
the first step toward building two high-rise towers on the
property. Robert Carr, at that time Director of the County's
Historic Preservation Division, inspected the demolition work
and noted that the required archeological monitoring was not
being performed. As a result, he requested that all work cease
until the developer, Brickell Pointe Limited, retained an
archaeological consultant to monitor the demolition, recover
materials uncovered, record site data and report to the city and
county whether any significant artifacts were discovered.
Shortly afterward, Historic Preservation Services, Inc. was
hired by the developer to provide monitoring services.
On June 23, 1998, on-site demolition activity revealed
intact black dirt midden deposits beneath a thick layer of
modern fill that covered much of the property. Carr subse-
quently sent a letter of "notice of discovery" to the developer
and the City of Miami detailing what had been found and
outlining the steps required to document them. As the
demolition progressed, it became increasingly apparent that
the property contained black dirt midden deposits throughout
much of the site and numerous artifacts were uncovered.
On July 20, 1998, the County's Historic Preservation
Division advised the developer that the site merited more
intensive archaeological investigations prior to the start of
construction. The developer agreed to allow salvage archaeo-
logical excavations to take place during the 4 to 6 week period
prior to his anticipated receipt of city permits and the begin-
ning of construction work. That same week, Carr and John
Ricisak, acting as field director, began what would prove to be
a much longer field investigation than anyone had anticipated.
On July 27, 1998, Ricisak began excavating test pits next
to existing trenches created during the removal of the founda-
tions of the demolished apartment buildings. Relying primar-
ily upon inexperienced volunteers as well as a few paid


VOL. 53(4)





7w/trnt ,m'ott Atranfa ifi',

ZU4#flyI.&C35yjre#41WEW( P7.

Figure 1. U.S. Coast Survey map, by L. H. Gerdes, of the mouth of the Miami River, 1849.

archaeologists provided by the non-profit Archaeological and
Historical Conservancy, Inc., and initially on personnel
provided by Historic Preservation Services, Inc., work was
typically conducted five days a week and sometimes on
Excavations soonuncovered numerous midden-filled holes
in the oolitic limestone bedrock underlying the site's primary
midden deposits. The first several holes encountered were
mostly circular and oval in shape and varied from about 10-25
cm in diameter and about 5-40 cm in depth. The question of
whether these features were of natural or cultural origin
sparked considerable debate among the excavators. Ricisak
believed that thefeatures were natural solution cavities that are
typical of oolitic limestone in Miami-Dade County. Carr, who
had observed similar features while conducting salvage
excavations in 1980 on the property immediately south of the
Brickell Point site and in 1994 at the Santa Maria Site
(8DA2132), believed that they represented aboriginal post-
By late September, 1998, dozens of these relatively small
holes in the bedrock, as well as a series of larger oval and
quasi-rectangular holes, had been exposed-five within five 5
by 5 ft square test units excavated alongside one of the footer
trenches. Although the smaller holes appeared to be randomly
distributed, the larger features were quite obviously arranged

in an arc. Mr. T. L. Riggs, a professional land surveyor who
had volunteered his skills to the project, became convinced
that the arc formation was part of a larger circular pattern of
holes. Riggs extrapolated the circle's circumference and
marked it with spray paint atop the surface of the adjacent
unexcavated fill. Believing that the time allowed for excava-
tions was about to expire and that the site's destruction was
imminent, Carr and Ricisak used a backhoe to strip away fill
and the upper levels of midden along Riggs' projected align-
ment on October 9, 1998. By the end of that day they had
uncovered a circular arrangement of midden-filled holes in the
bedrock approximately 11.5 m (38 ft) in diameter. This
feature was later to become popularly known as "The Miami
The significance of the Circle feature was at first unclear,
and other scientists were invited to visit the site and assess the
holes over the course of the following three months. Mean-
while, permitting delays, unrelated to the archaeological work,
repeatedly postponed the construction project's start date and
archaeological excavations centered around the Circle feature
continued. The Circle's discovery was not initially revealed to
the media at the request of the property owners. By late
December, however, both a local television station and Reuters
News Service had learned of the discovery and covered the
story. Within days, it was disseminated by local, national, and


2000 VoL. 53(4)


Figure 2. Brickell Point, at the southern bank of the Miami River, ca. 1898. The buildings visible, from left to right,
include a thatched structure, the Brickell warehouse, the Brickell store or home, the boathouse, and storage buildings.
Courtesy the Florida State Archives, Tallahassee.

Figure 3. Brickell Point and the Miami River, 1935. The buildings shown are the two northernmost Brickell homes,
used as rentals and boarding houses. Courtesy the Florida State Archives, Tallahassee.

- --i.;~.n-i--P~a~snr.;i~_ r;ri----- I;LC I- -- -




even international news media, as well as over the Internet.
This initial deluge of media coverage, without the benefit of
any factual press releases or coordinated media events, resulted
in much speculation and misinformation, including a Mayan
origin for the site and the Circle's description as the "Miami
Public interest in the site mushroomed in early 1999 and
the developer came under increasing pressure from the media,
civic and preservation organizations, and key Miami-Dade
County politicians to preserve the Circle within the proposed
development. The owners refused, even when offered mone-
tary compensation, fearing that a revision of their plans would
require new permit applications, and that new permits would
not be granted given how politicized the project had become.
In response to the media coverage, the developer restricted the
archaeological investigations from extending beyond the
footprint of the Circle and limited the number of excavators
allowed on site.
In late January, 1999, the developer finally received
approval from the City of Miami to begin construction on the
site, although the archaeological investigations had not been
completed. The developer sought to resolve the Circle
controversy by having the feature cut into blocks and removed
from the site. A local stonemason, Josh Billig, was hired for
the removal project but later refused to do the job.
During the spiraling confrontation, the archaeologists
continued working, concerned that their departure might
signal the completion of their investigations and open the door
to the bulldozing of the site. On January 31, 1999, attorneys
for Dade Heritage Trust, a local not-for-profit historic preser-
vation advocacy organization, filed an Emergency Complaint
for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief seeking to block devel-
opment of the site until it could be determined whether the
developer's permits had been properly granted. The court
denied the injunction on February 2, 1999, with the voluntary
agreementby the developer that the archaeological work could
continue on the site through February 26 of that year.
On February 18, 1999, after a 10-1 affirmative vote by the
Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners, the
County filed an eminent domain suit and an injunction to stop
development of the parcel. The resulting legal battle eventu-
ally ended in a settlement of $26.7 million paid to the devel-
oper using a combination of State of Florida Conservation and
Recreation Lands (CARL) Program funds ($15,000,000),
$3,000,000 from a county bond issue for the purchase of parks,
with the balance provided through a bridge loan by the Trust
for Public Land (TPL) at the end of November, 1999. The
property is now owned by the State of Florida, with the County
continuing its fundraising efforts to repay the TPL loan and
has since received $1,000,000 from the John S. and James L.
Knight Foundation and $1,000,000 in federal transportation
enhancement funds for historic preservation projects.

Project Setting

The Brickell Point Site occupies a 2.2-acre parcel of land
on the south bank of the mouth of the Miami River where it

meets Biscayne Bay. The property is situated within the
downtown area of the City of Miami in Section 6, Township
54 South, Range 42 East and is abutted by a Sheraton Hotel to
the south, the Miami River to the north, the Brickell Avenue
Bridge to the west, and Biscayne Bay to the east.
The parcel is located on the Atlantic Coastal Ridge, a
limestone formation that underlies all of coastal Miami. The
bedrock underlying the site is Miami Oolite, which is com-
prised of egg-shaped, calcium carbonate sands and is reported
to be 125,000 years old (Hoffineister 1974). Scarry's (1982)
reconstruction of the pre-settlement vegetation zones in the
vicinity of the Granada site indicates that the immediate area
of the Brickell Point site was dominated by hardwood ham-
mock forest fringed by mangrove along the bay and riverfront,
with vast tracts of pine flatwoods and prairie within a mile of
the site. However, mangrove communities along the banks of
the Miami River probably were minimal because of the large
volume of fresh water that drained eastward from the
The Brickell Point Site is part of Miami Midden 2
(8DA12). Although the site's original size is not precisely
known, various discoveries of prehistoric material in the area
suggest that it originally extended from the river southward
along Biscayne Bay for at least 1000 ft (300 m), encompassing
properties currently occupied by the Sheraton Hotel, a public
park (Brickell Park), and the First Presbyterian Church of
Miami. The latter parcel once contained a burial mound,
8DA13, which was destroyed during the church's construction.
Prehistoric occupation also extended westward along the river
for at least 1500 ft (500 m) to the vicinity of the present-day
Miami Avenue Bridge.

Land Use History

The Brickell Point site was originally part of a 640-acre
land grant received by Rebecca Egan (also spelled Hagan)
shortly after Spain ceded Florida to the United States in 1821.
Rebecca was the widow of John Egan, a land surveyor from St.
Augustine who in 1808 had received his own grant from the
Spanish government of 100 acres on the north bank of the
Miami River (Parks 1982). The Egan (or Hagan) Donation
included about one mile of bayfront land south of the south
bank of the Miami River and stretched for approximately one-
half mile along the riverfront. Although Egan is believed to
have lived within the property for a time, the exact location of
the homestead is unknown (Security Abstract Company 1907).
In 1831, the Egan Donation was sold to Richard
Fitzpatrick, who also acquired over three square miles of
additional land immediately north and south of the Miami
River. Fitzpatrick established a short-lived plantation that
spanned both sides of the river where "fifty or sixty" slaves
raised a variety of crops and livestock. Fitzpatrick was forced
to abandon the plantation in 1836 at the outbreak of the
Second Seminole War, and the Seminoles subsequently
destroyed it (Parks 1982). He later sought reparations from the
Federal government, claiming among his losses numerous
frame houses and other structures that reportedly occupied the


2000 VOL. 53(4)


plantation grounds at the time of its abandonment. Information
about the buildings' specific locations is lacking, but at least
one is listed in court documents as a "framed house, south side
Miami river [worth] $300.00" (Report of Court of Claims
With the end of hostilities in 1842, Fitzpatrick sold his
land to his sister's son, William English, who optimistically
platted out the "Village of Miami" on the south side of the
Miami River as settlers began trickling back into the area after
the war (Parks 1982). In 1844, the seat of the fledgling county
of Dade was moved to the south side of the Miami River west
of Brickell Point, on property owned by Robert Fletcher
(Straight 1998). An 1849 U.S. Coast Survey map of the mouth
of the Miami River shows only one structure, labeled "Duke,"
near Brickell Point, apparently on a rise south of the subject
site; this was the residence of Reason Duke, who acted as
keeper of the Cape Florida lighthouse on Key Biscayne (see
Figure 1). Duke had acquired this house and an acre of
surrounding land from William and Harriet English by trading
lands he owned several miles south of the river (Circuit Court
of Monroe and Dade County 1858). Although Duke occupied
the house for some years, he apparently never received the title
for it. An 1852 U.S. Coast Survey map depicts a lone structure
in the same general location as the house in the 1849 map but
labels it as a "Court H(ouse) (also see the 1850 and 1854 maps
by Lt. James Robinson in Kleinberg 1985:14-15 and Parks
1991:34-35). A two-story house topped by a cupola, probably

the Duke residence, is also the only structure in evidence on
the south bank of the river in an 1869 sketch of the river's
entrance by Jeffries Wyman (Gifford 1978). The exact
location of this structure and what became of it are uncertain.
Circa 1870, William and Mary Brickell acquired all butten
acres of the original Egan Donation, including the land around
Brickell Point, from Harriet English, who was Fitzpatrick's
sister and the mother of William English (Security Abstract
Company 1907). There is some question as to the exact year
in which the Brickells took possession of the property, since
historical references vary between 1868 and 1872 on this point
(Carr 1981b; Hollingsworth 1936; Security Abstract Co.
1907). It is generally accepted, however, that by 1871 the
Brickells had established their residence and a general store
just south of the mouth of the Miami River. The store was to
become a major site of Seminole Indian trade in southern
Florida during the last three decades of the nineteenth century
(Branning 1950; Carr 1981b). Most of the Brickell family's
activities were centered on the Brickell Homegrounds, about
seven acres of land that included the Brickell Point site parcel
and land south of the site currently occupied by the Sheraton
Hotel and Brickell Park.
Photographs from the late 1890's through the early 1900's
show a two-story wooden structure, topped by a cupola, located
on the point where it would appear to lie within the site
parcel's eastern end (see Figure 2). A small boathouse and
two docks also appear along the riverbank in these photo-

Figure 4. Aerial photograph of Brickell Point, ca. 1954. The photo shows the Brickell Point Apartments on the south
bank of the river, to the east of Brickell Bridge.



graphs, as well as in later plat and insurance maps (Sanborn
1918, 1921, 1925). Interestingly, the two-story building bears
a resemblance, architecturally and in orientation, to the
structure in Wyman's 1869 drawing but appears much closer
to the water's edge than the house that Wyman depicted. The
building is believed to be the Brickell warehouse, reportedly
constructed in 1889, where surplus merchandise was kept for
their general store (Miami Metropolis 1909; Security Abstract
Co. 1907).
The warehouse was demolished in 1909 to make way for
the construction of a three-story residence built of rusticated
cement block (see Figure 3) (Miami Metropolis 1909, 1910).
Aerial photographs dating from 1918 to 1945 show this
building squarely within the project parcel's eastern end, just
east and southeast of the Circle feature. It was demolished
prior to the construction of the Brickell Point Apartments in
1950 (Figure 4). The Brickell store, believed to have been
located just off the project parcel and to the southeast of the
Circle feature, was demolished in 1910 and replaced by
another three-story residence "corresponding in every detail"
to the one built a year earlier (Miami Metropolis 1910). The
house was used as a guesthouse through the 1940s and razed
in the 1950s. Both structures were apparently built as rental
properties and were not occupied by the Brickells themselves.
Instead, the family resided in a third mansion, built sometime
prior to 1907, that was located south of the project parcel,
immediately north of today's Brickell Park and within the
Sheraton Hotel property. It replaced the Brickells' original
home, which was far less grand and which is believed to have
occupied the same location. Other than the granite Brickell
Mausoleum that still stands in Brickell Park today, the Brickell
mansion was the last remaining Brickell structure in the
vicinity of Brickell Point when it was demolished in 1961.
The natural contour of the riverbank and bayfront of
Brickell Point was significantly altered during the Brickell
occupation. In 1896, railroad baron Henry Flagler dredged a
nine-foot deep channel from the mouth of the river into
Biscayne Bay and piled a "massive heap of broken rock" onto
Brickell Point (Gaby 1993; Miami Metropolis 1896). The
Brickells left the pile intact for several years but eventually
used the fill to expand their property eastward along Biscayne
Bay and to create a 10-12 ft wide strip along the length of the
riverbank that was used as a road and walkway. In 1916, the
Brickells financed a major dredge and fill project which
bulkheaded and expanded the bayfront for one half-mile south
of the river beginning at Brickell Point (Miami Metropolis
1916). Although this appears to have had a negligible effect
on the Brickell Point site parcel, it extended the bayfront
shoreline out into Biscayne Bay by as much as 400 ft in other
places. Between 1921 and 1924, the riverfront portion of the
parcel was also bulkheaded and filled, straightening a deep
bend in the southern bank and extending the bank farther out
into the river by some 25 to 110 ft from the original shoreline.
The northernmost five acres of the Brickell Homegrounds,
including the Brickell Point site, were acquired by the Miami
Lodge of the Elks Club in 1948, according to an article in the
Miami Herald of that year. The Brickell Point parcel was

subsequently sold by the Elks in about 1980.
The Brickell Point Apartments were built on the site in
1950. The complex consisted of six apartment buildings, two
and three stories in height, that were oriented roughly perpen-
dicular to the waterfront. Advertised as "a country club home
in the city," it included an in-ground swimming pool, land-
scaped promenade walks and grounds, and a parking area,
which together with the buildings filled the entire parcel.
An aerial photograph from early 1950 shows the property
completely cleared of vegetation as it was being prepared for
construction. Trenches dug as part of the demolition of the
Brickell Point Apartments revealed that a mantle of fill,
averaging between one and three feet thick, was placed over
the parcel after it was cleared. Apparently the uppermost
levels of the midden deposits also were graded flat, thereby
removing much of the most recent historic components in
many areas and possibly the most recent prehistoric deposits.
In addition, the bedrock was scraped along the parcel's
southern boundary to produce a more-or-less level grade across
the site. The overall result of this was the elimination of
much of the midden deposits along the southern third of the
parcel. The thickness of the remaining midden deposits is
largely a factor of the relative depth of the bedrock in relation
to the existing grade-in other words, the thickness of the
midden layer increases as the elevation of the bedrock de-
creases until the historic edge of the river is approached, at
which point it rapidly diminishes.
Archaeological monitoring revealed that much of the
prehistoric site beneath the fill was intact. Surprisingly, even
the installation of the apartment buildings' footers and septic
system had impacted only localized parts of the site. Subse-
quent investigations by Dr. Ryan Wheeler in October through
November of 1999 determined that about one-third of the
parcel contains considerable black dirt midden deposits while
up to 70% of the site retains intact bedrock formations and
accompanying features (see Wheeler, this issue). Currently,
the parcel is a vacant lot covered with fill that was leveled in
May, 2000, when construction debris was removed and the
previously excavated footer trenches were backfilled.

Previous Research

The earliest documented visit to the Miami River by an
archaeologist was in 1869 by Jeffries Wyman who made
some cursory notes on his visit and conducted limited investi-
gations of aboriginal mounds and midden on both sides of the
river (see Eck, this issue). In contrast, Andrew E. Douglass
(1885) made an extensive survey of mounds at the mouth of
the Miami River in 1882. Douglass visited five different
mounds, but none of them included the Brickell Point midden.
Instead, he focused on various constructed mounds in the area,
the closest being a sand mound, 8DA13, located about 1000 ft
south/southwest of Brickell Point.
John Goggin recorded the Brickell Point site as Miami
Midden #2 (8DA12) in his inventory of southern Florida sites
(n.d.). He noted that the old Brickell home [was] built on top
of the refuse... [of] a low black dirt midden with some shell,"


2000 VOL. 53(4)





Figure 5. Alignment of holes cut into the limestone,
discovered during salvage excavations at the Sheraton
Hotel parcel, 1980-1981.

probably referring to an area on what is now the Sheraton
Hotel property. An avocational archaeologist, Dan Laxson,
conducted excavations on the Elks Club property (within the
Sheraton parcel) in 1958 and 1959 (Laxson 1959:67-68).
Laxson's trenches were dug about 100 meters to the south of
the southeast corer of the Brickell Point Apartments. His
excavations uncovered extensive aboriginal black dirt midden
deposits that were assigned the site number 8DA98. As youths
in 1961, Carr and his friend, Mark Greene, excavated a single
trench about 2 meters long on top of the bluff at a location now
occupied by the Sheraton Hotel (Carr and Greene 1961). They
also investigated below the crawl space of the last remaining
Brickell mansion and observed white sand, a large number of
human teeth, and artifacts suggesting that a burial mound once
might have been located there. Carr also collected a large
quantity of glass beads and other artifacts associated with the
Brickell Trading Post (Carr 1981b).
In 1978-1980, the Dade County Historic Survey was
completed. The survey included a review of archival and
archaeological materials, as well as field visits to archaeologi-
cal sites throughout urban Miami-Dade County (Carr 1981a).
The survey recorded extensive evidence of prehistoric occupa-
tion at Brickell Point and along the south bank of the Miami
River. A review of archival records indicated that an area of
prehistoric occupation extended for at least 1000 ft south of
the Miami River along Biscayne Bay, including the present
site of the First Presbyterian Church of Miami, and at least
1000 ft westward along the Miami River to an area just east of
the Miami Avenue Bridge. Evidence based on field visits by
Carr along the Miami River dating back to 1960 suggested
that the deepest midden deposits were at Brickell Point.
In 1980, the Elks Club parcel was scheduled for the
construction of a Holiday Inn hotel (now the Sheraton.) The
Miami-Dade County Historic PreservationDivision organized
salvage excavations directed by Carr using student volunteers
from the University of Miami and members of the Archaeolog-
ical Society of Southern Florida. The three-month project
uncovered well-preserved black dirt midden averaging 50 cm
in depth. The project area was included under the Florida
Master Site File number 8DA98, but is now considered to be
a component of 8DA12, as described by Goggin's original
determination for the overall Brickell Point site. Thousands of
prehistoric and historic artifacts, as well as faunal bone were
collected reflecting human activities dating back over 2000
years, which included a significant nineteenth century occupa-
tion. Six radiocarbon dates were obtained from basal midden
horizons during these excavations (Table 1). These dates
suggest that this part of 8DA12 was first occupied during the
early Glades I Period (A.D. 1-750).
No significant quantity of sixteenth, seventeenth or
eighteenth-century Spanish artifacts or features was observed.
The most puzzling features encountered were circular and oval
holes cut into the bedrock below the midden. Such holes had
never been described previously in the literature. At the time,
Carr initially considered the possibility that the hole features
might be of historic date, and that at least one linear alignment
of holes (Figure 5) might represent a palisade wall of the first



Table 1. Brickell Point Radiocarbon Dates Sheraton Component (1980)

FS# Lab #


Radiocarbon Date

667 BETA-02449 Charcoal

689 BETA-02451 Charcoal

690 BETA-02452 Charcoal

700+ BETA-1674

700D BETA-1675

Shell Columella

Lucina Shell

847 BETA-02450 Charcoal

* 2 Sigma (95% Probability)

1710 + 60 BP

2080 + 50 BP

2350 + 50 BP

1980 + 70 BP

2700 + 110 BP

1910 + 60 BP

AD 220 440

BC 200-AD 30

BC 520 370

AD 250 580

BC 760 170

BC 40 AD 240

Ft. Dallas, reported in one account as having been built on the
south bank of the Miami River (Shappee 1961:19-despite this
reference, most historians agree the fort was on the north
bank). When he observed a lack of non-aboriginal historic
material within the holes, however, Carr favored a prehistoric
origin for these and the other cut holes he observed on the
parcel. It was not until subsequent excavations at other sites
in the Brickell area, and finally at the Brickell Point Apart-
ment parcel, that Carr definitively concluded that these cut
hole features were of pre-Columbian origin.


Salvage archaeological investigations of the Brickell Point
site began in June of 1998 with the demolition of the Brickell
Point Apartments. The archaeological consultant retained by
the property's developer monitored ground disturbing activi-
ties associated with the demolition work, including the
destruction of a below ground swimming pool and basement
area, the removal of several large landscape trees, and the
excavation of many (but not all) of the buildings' foundation
footings. Digging associated with the demolition exposed
substantial black earth midden deposits throughout much of
the property and resulted in several open trenches (numbered
1-16), where building footings were removed. This also
generated numerous spoil piles consisting of a mix of demoli-
tion debris, modern fill, and midden material. The developer's
consultant collected large quantities of cultural material
brought to the surface and exposed during the demolition, as
well as by dry-screening spoil through % inch mesh. These
materials were bagged and assigned Field Numbers (FN) 1
through 50.
After demolition was completed, further investigation of
the site began on July 27, 1998, under the direction of the

Miami-Dade County Historic Preservation Division with
assistance of the Archaeological and Historical Conservancy,
Inc. and numerous local volunteers. The property's developer
initially indicated that new construction (and the effective
destruction of the site) would commence within four to six
weeks. Due to the limited amount of time and resources
available, the original goals of this investigation were corre-
spondingly modest. They were to determine the basic chronol-
ogy of the site's pre-modern occupation and to recover a
representative sample of the site's material assemblage. The
plan to accomplish this was by excavating several 5 ft square
test units in areas of the deepest midden, as revealed by the
footer trenches.
Standard English surveying units ofmeasurement (feet and
tenths of feet) were used for recording proveniences in
anticipation of the imminent construction that was planned for
the property, the rationale being that the locations of archaeo-
logical excavations could be more easily related to construction
plans which utilized these measurement units. An east-west
baseline designated "15N" was established 5 ft north of a low
concrete block wall that runs along the property's southern
boundary. The east face of the Brickell Avenue Bridge, along
the property's western boundary, was designated as the "10E"
line. Galvanized 80d metal spikes were set every 10 ft along
the 15N baseline, beginning at 50E and ending at 390E (see
Figure 6). This baseline was oriented in relation to true north
and was used throughout the project for establishing 5 by 5 ft
excavation units as necessary. Temporary elevation bench-
marks were established on the top of the seawall along the
riverbank, which marks the property's northern boundary.
These were tied to a City of Miami Survey Department
benchmark located across the river in front (north side) of the
Dupont Plaza parking garage entrance. All elevations were
measured in feet and tenths-of-feet and refer to the National



2000 VOL. 53(4)




-1 -* .- .--t .". !'.;



i '
-', 'LLN

S:- .. p j
;:.;, .,-. o


I. .-2!

I I I I 1
s, m 20 40 60 80 100 FEET

Figure 6. Plan of excavations, showing grid and excavation areas, 1998-1999.






Figure 7. Aerial photograph of the Brickell Point property in 1999, showing the ongoing excavations, as well as many of
the open demolition trenches. The Sheraton Hotel is shown to the south of the excavations, with the DuPont Plaza on the
north side of the Miami River. The Miami Herald/Al Diaz.

Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD) of 1929.
Three areas were selected for excavation (see Figures 6 and
7). Excavation Area #1 was located east of the 295E line,
along the east side of Trench #5. This area was selected
because of its location in the approximate center of the widest
portion of the parcel and because a thick deposit of intact
midden could be seen clearly in the trench profile. Area #2
was established north of Trench #8, to the northwest of Area
#1. It was chosen because of its proximity to the original bank
of the Miami River. A single 5 by 5 ft unit (Unit #17 130N,
193E) was excavated in a third location in the western portion
of the parcel, immediately west of Trench #16. Excavation
units were numbered sequentially in the order in which they
were initiated. A total of fifty-seven (57) units were assigned
numbers and excavated in Area #1, where the Circle feature
was exposed. Eight (8) units were excavated in Area #2.
Features also were excavated and documented within two 2-
meter wide trenches extending for approximately 5 meters
from the east and west sides of Area #1 (see Figure 8).
Excavation in each area began with the wholesale removal
of fill and demolition debris to the fill/midden interface using
both manual and mechanical means. This material was
discarded without screening. Because the site's midden
deposits typically exhibited no readily discernible stratifica-
tion, excavation in each unit generally proceeded in arbitrary
levels of four-tenths of a foot (10.16 cm). In a few instances

this was reduced to two-tenths of a foot (5.08 cm). During the
latter stages of the project, levels were sometimes combined or
disregarded entirely for the sake of expediency. Excavation of
the midden deposit proceeded until the surface of the underly-
ing oolitic limestone bedrock was encountered. Although the
general characteristics of each level were recorded on individ-
ual "level forms," profile drawings were typically not drawn
because discrete stratigraphic variation or features were rarely
observable in profile.
All midden material was water-screened through V4 and/or
/a inch hardware cloth using freshwater from a nearby
municipal supply. Animal bone and shell refuse was typically
present in the midden in such high quantity (up to ten gallons
in volume per level) that total retention of all screened
material from each excavation unit was impractical. Recovery
from the general units was confined to all diagnostic material,
including all ceramics, all lithic material other than unworked
limestone, all items of worked bone and shell, all material of
historic date (i.e., glass, metal, ceramics, etc.) other than that
which was obviously associated with the modern debris/fill
layer, all bone material identified or suspected as being
human, and any other items that were otherwise judged to be
remarkable in some respect (e.g., bone exhibiting butcher
marks). Collected material was placed in sealed plastic bags
marked with the appropriate provenience information. Field
numbers were assigned to eachbag, beginning with number 51


2000 VoL. 53(4)


O OF *.*12b
SM* 140 i 1


.--- ................. ] ................. .............. :o ^ .3 4 -.

r ----... 5 10 FEET

295 300 305 310 315 32 325 330 ..
52 I

................ 0 5 10 FEET
295 300 305 310 31*5. 3 25 330

Figure 8. Plan of excavation units in Area #1, where the Miami Circle was found.


8 DA 12 Brickell Point Site 8 DA 12 Brickell Point Site
Bag#523 Unit #65 130N/330E Bag 341-A Feature # 117 (NE quad. of circle)

8 DA 12 Brickell Point Site 8 DA 12 Brckell Point Site
Bag 524 Uni covered om slumped Bag #521 Unit#19 dden Deposit @ 6.2 ngvd
disturbed fill N wall of Unit 8 1/11/98 B. Powell
129/98 JR

Artifacts recovered from
the Miami Circle site.

Figure 9. Four shell plummets from the excavations.

Figure 10. Photograph of Deptford Linear Stamped sherds, in situ.


2000 VOL. 53(4)


Figure 11. One of the stone celts, shown in situ in one of the cut holes, and after removal.






0 5 10 FEET

2. Plan of the Miami Circle feature.

I -u.

Figure 1

Figure 13. Photograph of Miami Circle feature.


(the first 50 numbers having been assigned by Historic
Preservation Services, Inc.).
Columns measuring 1 by 1 ft were retained in each of the
three excavation areas for the purpose of obtaining unscreened
representative midden samples for later analysis. Several core
samples of midden deposits also were taken using four-inch
diameter aluminum pipe driven into the ground by hand.
All features were designated and labeled sequentially in a
feature log. Each hole in the limestone bedrock was described
in a feature form and its location plotted on the unit form. The
688 features designated during salvage excavations atBrickell
Point consisted almost entirely of midden-filled cavities in the
oolitic limestone bedrock underlying the site's primary midden
The presence of these hole features was not foreshadowed
by readily observable differences in the color or texture of the
midden immediately overlying them. Nothing akin to post
molds, stains, or othervisible evidence of intrusions that might
suggest the presence of an underlying feature in the bedrock
were observed. This probably speaks less to the complete
absence of such features and more to the difficulties of
discerning them in the rich black midden soil matrix. Because
of this, a hole in the bedrock was typically designated as a
feature only after its rim was completely delineated.
In general, all smaller holes found in the bedrock were
excavated in their entirety without regard to levels, with the
contents treated in one of three ways: the soil and its contents
were excavated and bagged unscreened, the contents were
excavated and water-screened through inch mesh and only
diagnostic material saved, the contents were excavated and
water-screened through V inch mesh and all material saved.
The latter method was by far the most common procedure
used. In many instances, midden material was cemented into
place within the features by a calcium carbonate precipitate.
Pieces of bone, shell and limestone were sometimes so firmly
attached to the bedrock surface that they could not be removed
and were left in situ. Almost all of the holes were documented
on individual "feature forms," which recorded their circumfer-
ence, profile, content, depth measured from the bedrock
surface, and other characteristics such as the presence of tool
marks, indurate crust, etc.
The outline of the main Circle feature was predicted based
on the arc formed by the larger basin features exposed in the
excavation of Unit #s 1, 2, 10, 12 and the western halves of
Units 14 and 15 (see Figure 8). This realization came in late
September 1998 when destruction of the site appeared immi-
nent. As noted above, Carr and Ricisak decided to expose the
feature inthe most expeditious manner possible, which seemed
to be the only option available at the time. The predicted
outline of the circle was traced on top of the overlying fill with
spray paint and a back hoe was used to remove the fill and
midden to within one to four tenths of a foot from the bedrock
surface, with the underlying basin features located using a
metal probe. A small trench also was dug in this manner in
the approximate center of the Circle in an effort to locate a
possible central post or hearth feature. None was found. An
attempt was made to preserve at least a minimum of proveni-

ence information for the artifacts uncovered during this
process by placing the excavated midden soil immediately
adjacent to the area of the backhoe trench from which it was
removed. The midden was later screened and recovered
material was bagged according to its location in degrees
relative to north (e.g., 0-30 degrees, 30-60 degrees, etc.) along
the circular trench.
Ricisak's initial belief that all of the holes in the bedrock
were natural solution cavities, rather than the result of human
manufacture, resulted in the midden contained within the first
five of the major basin features (Feature #s 17, 18, 19, 20, and
56) being excavated and screened through inch mesh with
only the usual "diagnostic" items being collected. No other
samples were retained nor mapped from these features. This
collection strategy changed once the significance of the
features and their association with the Circle became apparent.
With the exception of the above, all of the major basin features
were excavated as follows. All midden was removed with a
representative composite sample of the midden from each
basin retained unscreened. The remaining midden was
screened through both inch and 1e inch mesh and all
material was collected. Large pieces of unworked limestone
rock from within the basins were designated with a letter, then
mapped, removed, and bagged.


The salvage excavations associated with the demolition of
the Brickell Point Apartments and the proposed development
of the parcel resulted in the uncovering of a significant
prehistoric black dirt midden and the so-called Miami Circle,
a circular feature defined by human-made holes cut into the
limestone bedrock. The fieldwork, originally proposed for a 4
to 6 week period, continued for about 28 weeks. Despite the
tremendous challenges posed by limited resources and a
sensitive relationship with the developer, the fieldwork was
maintained at a more-or-less steady pace throughout the length
of the investigation until February 18, 2000, when work was
terminated as a result of Miami-Dade County filing suit
against the developer.
This investigation included the excavation of sixty-six (66)
5 by 5 ft test units within three different parts of the project
parcel and the uncovering of almost 700 features, most of
which consisted of midden-filled holes in the bedrock that are
believed to be of human manufacture. These hole features
were observed in all areas of the site where bedrock was
exposed by both demolition-related and archaeological
excavation and they were associated only with prehistoric
aboriginal midden material. The most noteworthy find was
the Miami Circle, which is described in detail below.
Nine-hundred and eighty-five (985) field specimen
numbers were assigned, mostly consisting of groups of
artifacts or cultural material recovered from a single feature or
a particular unit level. Since the cleaning and cataloging of
the Brickell Point site cultural material are still underway, no
detailed analyses of the material are yet available; however,
some cursory discussion of the recovered material is presented

2000 VOI 53(4)



Figure 14. Wide-angle view of the Miami Circle from the north.

here based on field observations and notes.
The material assemblage recovered from Brickell Point is
largely typical of black dirt middens of southeastern Florida
and includes thousands of bone, shell, ceramic and lithic
artifacts, as well as large quantities of faunal bone and shell
refuse (see Figure 9). This material was generally in a fair to
good state of preservation, although marine shell was often
usually chalky and degraded, and faunal bone often fragile and
fragmentary. Pottery sherds were the most conspicuous
artifacts, with sand-tempered plain sherds being by far the
most abundant type. Decorated wares were present and those
types observed during fieldwork include examples often
associated with the Glades Area such as Key Largo Incised,
Opa Locka Incised, Fort Drum Incised and St. Johns Check
Stamped. Of particular interest were a number of Deptford
Linear Stamped sherds, most often observed at the lowest
levels of the midden and in at least one instance located
directly on top of the bedrock (Figure 10).
Perhaps one of the more interesting aspects of the Brickell
Point site's ceramic assemblage is the nearly complete absence
of Glades IIIb and Glades IIIc ceramic marker types (specifi-
cally Surfside Incised and Glades Tooled) and of contact
period Spanish wares, all of which were well-represented at
the Granada site (8DA 1) located just across the Miami River
from Brickell Point (Griffin et al. 1982). This suggests a lack
of activity at Brickell Point during the time period after ca.
A.D. 1200 and is consistent with what Carr observed during
his investigations on the adjacent Sheraton Hotel parcel in

This lack of activity during the later Glades periods
appears to be further supported by the fact that no examples of
decorated bone were recorded during salvage excavations at
Brickell Point. Decoratively carved and incised bone is a class
of artifacts that also was well-represented at the Granada site,
most often in a Glades III context (Richardson and Pohl 1982).
Lithic artifacts were relatively (and surprisingly) abundant
at Brickell Point, and included a large number of chert flakes
(it is estimated that at least 100 specimens were recovered) and
several whole and partial nodule-like cores, although com-
pleted chert tools, such as projectile point/knives, were very
rare. Two basaltic celts and fragments of several others were
recovered from within the area of the Miami Circle feature,
including one celt that was found in situ inside one of the holes
in the bedrock (Figure 11) (see Dixon et al., this issue). A
third basaltic celt was reportedly collected and stolen by one of
the volunteers who appeared on the site as part of a weekend
Non-moder historic period material at the Brickell Point
site appeared to date primarily to the late nineteenth century
and the Brickell occupation, although some examples of earlier
material also were recovered, mostly from disturbed contexts.
Glass trade beads, bottle fragments, buttons, brass bullet
cartridges, and late nineteenth century coins were recovered
most often in Area #2, close to the historic bank of the Miami
River, where they were frequently found with prehistoric
material that was of considerably older date. This can be
explained by the mixing that would be expected to occur so
near to the water's edge. Comparatively little historic material




Figure 15. Close-up photograph of the limestone rocks placed ii
the basins.

was in evidence in Area #1, and it was almost never recovered
from the lowest levels of the midden within the area of the
Circle feature. As already mentioned, the uppermost midden
deposits apparently were stripped away by previous develop-
ment of the property, thereby removing much of the more
recent historic period deposits. A notable exception was in the
area of the southeastern edge at the Circle feature where a
limited but distinct historic (i.e., nineteenth century) horizon
was noted at the top of the midden layer.

The Circle

The Miami Circle feature and the areas within and
immediately outside of its circumference were completely
excavated and exposed in Excavation Area #1. A layer of

compacted midden soil approximately 10-60 cm
thick covered most of this area except where twenti-
eth century intrusions had occurred. The latter
included a crushed rock driveway, belonging to the
ca. 1909 mansion built immediately east of the
Circle, which crossed from the southwest through
the Circle's center. Although the midden layer was
substantially reduced beneath this driveway, almost
to the bedrock surface in some places, the underlying
bedrock and its midden-filled features remained
intact. Foundation footings belonging to Building
#5 of the Brickell Point Apartments also impacted
the midden layer in the eastern half of the Circle
area, as well as several of the posthole features along
the Circle's eastern edge. A septic tank belonging to
Building #4 was installed into the bedrock along the
southern edge of the Circle destroying at least two of
the Circle's basin features and, presumably numer-
ous smaller holes as well.
The Miami Circle is characterized primarily by
a patterned group of large and small holes, dug into
the oolitic limestone bedrock underlying the Brickell
Point Site, that collectively form a circle approxi-
mately 11.5 m (38 ft) in diameter (Figures 12 and
13). The features comprising the Circle are ar-
ranged in a readily discernible pattern, alternating
between relatively large oval and quasi-rectangular
"basins" and smaller oval and round holes, many of
which contain smaller secondary holes within them.
Multiple additional, typically circular, holes occur
both within and immediately outside the Circle's
circumference, however, their relationships to the
main Circle feature are in most cases unclear,
although some parallel the arc of the basins forming
a discontinuous outer ring.
Twenty-four (24) of the large oval and quasi-
rectangular basin holes occur along the Circle's
circumference and are, for the most part, well
aside defined (Figures 13 and 14). Some of these features
are, however, not entirely apparent in photographs of
the Circle. These include two along the Circle's
southern edge (Features 163-A and 163-B) that were
almost completely destroyed by the septic tank. Several others
were impacted to a lesser extent by a footer trench belonging
to Building #5 along the Circle's eastern edge. Another basin
(Feature 162-B) intersects a large natural depression in the
bedrock surface in the southeastern quadrant of the Circle so
that only a portion of it is defined in the rock.
The 24 basins are more or less evenly spaced, typically
between 130-155 cm on center, with six basins in each of the
Circle's four quadrants. The spacing between basins is least
regular at the Circle's easternmost point where three basins
are spaced 200 cm on center. The basins vary in size, ranging
from approximately 56 cm to 74 cm in length (62 cm average),
and 36 cm to 47.5 cm in width (40 cm average) and 30-45 cm
in depth (all measured at the bedrock surface). Between one
and five circular secondary holes occur at the bottoms of all


2000 VOL. 53(4)


the basins, as well as within the smaller oval holes
between basins. With few exceptions, these are
situated alongside the walls of the basin holes. This
would appear to indicate that the larger primary
holes were created to accommodate multiple smaller
posts, rather than a single large post, and that the
basins functioned more as wall trenches and not
individual post holes. This is further supported by
the presence in each of the basins of multiple pieces
of unworked limestone rock, each about 10 to 25 cm
maximum diameter. These stones sometimes ap-
peared to be arranged around the holes in the basin
bottoms, which would suggest that they were intro-
duced into the holes to secure posts into place
(Figure 15).
In several instances, the smaller oval holes
between basins are connected to the basins them-
selves, forming atadpole-like shape, while elsewhere
they are distinctly separate (Figure 16). The pattern-
ing of the large basins and the attendant smaller
holes is reversed on the northern and southern
halves of the Circle, giving the impression of a
mirror image. This arrangement points to the
intentional layout and design of the feature.
The basin walls that are closest to the Circle's
interior slant slightly toward the Circle center, while
those on the outer walls are typically vertical or even
slightly undercut. As with the majority of the hole
features uncovered at the site, the walls of the basins
commonly exhibit vertical striae, approximately a
centimeter in width (Figure 17). These striations are
believed to be marks left by the tools used to cut or,
more accurately, peck the hole and basin features
into the limestone. Limited experiments performed
on site using a conch (Pleuroploca sp.) columella
hafted to a long wooden pole succeeded in replicat-
ing these marks. The columella proved to be an
effective and durable tool, quite capable of pecking
a hole into the relatively soft oolite.
Although the association between the individual
holes making up the Circle is rather obvious, the
relationships between the Circle and the hundreds c
holes both immediately within and outside of it are not
are no fewer than two hundred (200) holes within tl
circumscribed by the Circle. Most of these are ind
circular holes between 10-15 cm in width and range fro
dimples in the rock to more than 30 cm in depth and
with notable exceptions, to be randomly distributed
18). The conspicuously large circular hole in the west
of the Circle's interior is bell-shaped in profile and m
45 cm across at the top, 19 cm at the bottom and 49 ci
A small minority of the cavities is believed to be of
origin (i.e., solution holes) and these tend to be more
larly shaped. Even some of the latter show evidence i
may be culturally related alterations. All of the cavity I
contained black dirt midden material that was ge
indistinguishable in appearance (but not necessa

Figure 16. Close-up photograph of basin features.

content) from overlying midden deposits. At least six of the
Circle's main basin features produced St. Johns Check
Stamped sherds. While all of the basins contained at least
some examples of sand-tempered plain pottery, St. Johns
Check Stamped was the only decorated pottery type found in
any of the holes along the Circle's circumference with the
exception of a single small sherd with an unidentified linear
Two features of particular note located within the circle
were the articulated skeletal remains of a shark (species not yet
identified) measuring at least 167 cm (5.5 ft) in length and the
carapace of an adult sea turtle. The shark feature (FS 519)
was uncovered approximately 9 cm below the top of the
midden layer and 30-45 cm above the bedrock surface,
oriented with its head to the west and its tail due east. A
building footing belonging to Building #5 of the Brickell Point




Figure 17. Photograph showing the vertical striations in the wall of one of the basins.

Figure 18. Detail of one of the cut holes, packed with shell, animal bone, and midden soil. The scalloped edge of the hole
is evidence that the feature was pecked into the limestone by hand.

2000 VOL. 53(4)


~c-. ,. Tr;


Figure 19. Shark feature, showing an overview and detail. The feature is bisected by the low concrete footing. The
shark's head is the concentration of material at the right side of the photo, where the line of vertebrae end.




Apartments cut through this feature but it was otherwise
largely intact (Figure 19). There can be little doubt that the
shark was deliberately interred based on its articulated state
and condition, however, its association with the Circle may be
coincidental. A sample of the shark's bone collagen was
radiocarbon dated to AD1560-1680 (see Table 2). This
relatively recent date and the shark's provenience in the upper
levels of the midden deposit, suggests it is a later feature
unrelated to the site's earlier occupations and probably to the
Circle feature itself. The second feature, the sea turtle cara-
pace, also was uncovered in what appears to be deliberately
interred, possibly a ritual offering. It too was placed in an
east-west alignment. A radiocarbon date is still to be com-
pleted for this feature.
Evidence of a living surface was noted in the midden
deposits excavated within Area #1 and consisted of a discrete
layer of cultural material, characterized primarily by a concen-
tration of fragmentary bone refuse and plain ceramics sherds
that were generally oriented horizontally in the midden matrix.
This layer occurred at a fairly consistent level between
approximately 6.2' and 5.8' NGVD, irrespective of the
elevation of the underlying bedrock, both within and outside
of the area circumscribed by the Circle feature. It is unclear
whether this layer is coeval with the Circle feature, although
subjective field observations seemed to suggest that it is not.
It is hoped that the further analysis of the material from
Brickell Point may help to clarify its association to the Circle.

Alternative Interpretations

The discovery of the so-called Miami Circle feature
received an exceptional amount of publicity that resulted in an
equally exceptional variety of opinions as to the feature's
origin and significance, or, in some cases, insignificance.
Typically, these alternative interpretations of the Circle as
something other than a pre-Columbian, Glades Period,
aboriginal feature involved either one of two extremes. Either
the Circle was of supernatural origin or the product of a
"superior" culture (e.g., part of the lost city of Atlantis, a relic
of an extinct Martian colony, or a Mayan celestial calendar) or
it was something more modern and mundane (e.g., the
remains of a narrow-gauge railroad turnstile, the foundation of
a water tower, or a septic tank drain field). Of all the alterna-
tive explanations for the Circle, the septic tank drain field
hypothesis gained the greatest currency and deserves some
comment here (see Milanich 1999).
The Brickell Point Apartment buildings was each served by
two or three cast-concrete septic tanks (a total of fourteen
tanks in all) installed below ground between the buildings.
One of these, which served Building #4, is the tank visible in
the southern half of the Circle feature. For twenty years, each
of the tanks discharged liquid effluent to a common gravity-fed
line that ran beneath the ground along the property's southern
boundary. The effluent then flowed to an outfall at the prop-
erty's eastern end where it was discharged, untreated, into
Biscayne Bay. The disposal of untreated sewage into the
Miami River and Biscayne Bay was the rule in the downtown

Miami area until the mid-1960s, when a sewage treatment
plant was constructed on nearby Virginia Key. In 1970, the
Brickell Point Apartments' system was rerouted into the city's
municipal sanitary sewers, at which time the septic tanks were
pumped out, "bridged" (i.e., a pipe was used to connect the
tank's influent end to its effluent end, bypassing the tank), and
filled with crushed limestone and sand.
Observations of the septic tank located in the southern
portion of the Circle by local septic tank experts, geologists,
and archaeologists indicate that its location is coincidental to
the Circle. These experts attest to the cut holes throughout the
Circle (as well as the overall site) as having no relationship to
any historic drain field (particularly since the Brickell Point
Apartments did not have a drain field).
Contrary to the above interpretations, we suggest that the
Circle feature represents the foundation of a prehistoric
structure. The holes and basins cut into the limestone bedrock
are probably analogous to the more familiar post mold features
encountered in sand and clay, which are found at sites through
Florida and the Southeast. Excavations at sites in Florida, the
Southeast, and Midwest have revealed considerable evidence
of circular structures as part of the Native American building
tradition. Block excavations at Mission San Luis in Tallahas-
see uncovered postmolds associated with two massive circular
structures-the Apalachee chiefs house and the council house
(Shapiro and McEwan 1992). Likewise, the 1930s Works
Progress Administration excavations of sites in Alabama
occasionally uncovered postmold patterns of circular structures
(DeJarnette and Wimberly 1941:52-53). Clay (1998:6-9)
discusses the circular paired-post structures of the Adena
culture of the Ohio Valley, noting an average diameter of 37
ft, a lack of evidence of central hearths, and the possible
absence of roofs.
No evidence of a large center post or hearth was observed
within the Circle, suggesting that the structure might have
been elevated on top of wooden posts or a platform. It seems
unlikely to us that the structure's floor was either the top of the
bedrock or the overlying soils, but was rather a wooden
platform. This is an observation shared by Randolph Widmer
who uncovered posthole patterns at Marco Island in southwest
Florida, and more recently conducted investigations at the
Brickell Point site (Randolph Widmer, personal communica-
tion, 2000).


Although analysis of the thousands of objects uncovered
during the Miami Circle excavation is still underway and,
thus, a final report on that analysis is pending, sufficient data
have been collected and field observations have been made to
unequivocally attest to the prehistoric, anthropogenic origin of
the Miami Circle feature. Evidence of the site's age includes
the recovery of undisturbed black midden deposits both
directly above the Circle and within the Circle's basins. Also,
no historic or modern materials occurred within any of the
basins-only undisturbed shell refuse, faunal bone, and


2000 VOL. 53(4)

Table 2. Miami Circle Radiocarbon Dates

FS Lab# Material Conventional Calibrated Result *
Radiocarbon age

514 Beta- 128477

515 Beta- 128478

519 Beta- 134544

585-A Beta-134545

807-B Beta- 134546

* 2 Sigma (95% Probability)



Shark vertebrae
(bone collagen)


Sea turtle bone
(bone collagen)

1950 + 150 BP

1920 +70BP

670 + 30 BP

1600 + 40BP

2040 + 40 BP

BC 365-AD 415

BC 45-AD 245

AD 1560-1680

AD 390-550

AD 250-440

prehistoric artifacts. Historic artifacts were rare anywhere
within the Circle's footprint, and none was found within the
basins or in any of the circular postholes.
Cemented cultural materials and calcium carbonate
laminations upon the surface of the cut holes and basins,
which are absent from the ca. 1950 apartment footer trenches
and septic tank holes that were cut into the rock, also attest to
the antiquity of the former features (see Means and Scott, this
issue). Finally, in an effort to determine the age of the Circle
as well as basal cultural deposits associated with the black dirt
midden lying directly on top of the bedrock within the Circle,
several organic samples were submitted for radiocarbon date
determination. These dates are listed in Table 2.
The radiocarbon dates place the Miami Circle and associ-
ated deposits within the Glades I period, including both the
Glades I early (500 B.C.-A.D. 500) and Glades I late (A.D.
500-750) subperiods. These dates are consistent with those
obtained for the Sheraton Hotel portion of the Brickell Point
site in 1981 (see Table 1). Comparison to the ceramic seria-
tion for the Granada site, where these periods were poorly
represented (Griffin 1982:51), suggests that the Brickell Point
site may have been the major focus of occupation during this
time period at the mouth of the Miami River, although
radiocarbon samples are lacking for components of 8DA11
other than the Granada site for the north bank of the Miami
Within the broader context of the archaeology of the
Southeast, the Circle appears to date to the Middle Woodland
horizon (ca. A.D. 1-350). Middle Woodland sites and artifacts
appear to be rare in southern Florida, but are represented by
sites like the Royce Mound (Austin 1993), Oak Knoll Mound
(Dickel and Carr 1991), and the Mound-Pond Complex ofFort
Center (Sears 1982). Luer (1995) discusses the presence of

Middle Woodland platform pipes in southern Florida, indicat-
ing that people in this part ofFlorida were participating in far-
reaching exchange networks of the Midwest and Southeast.
The association of the Circle with the Middle Woodland
horizon is suggested by the radiocarbon dates and is supported
by the Deptford stamped sherds, as well as the exotic items
like the stone celts found at the site.


Salvage excavations at the Brickell Point site led to the
discovery of the Miami Circle, a pattern of basins and holes
cut into the site's oolitic limestone bedrock. The pattern and
alignment of the basins indicate that this was an intentionally
constructed feature. Excavation of the Circle included the
recovery of Deptford stamped sherds, basaltic celts, and
radiocarbon dates of ca. A.D. 1-350, suggesting an age of
1700-2000 years for the Miami Circle, putting it near the
beginning of the Glades I period and on the Middle Woodland
Although a growing body of data reinforces this interpreta-
tion for the age of the Circle and the overall site, it should be
noted that many of these radiocarbon dates are from materials
on top of the bedrock or from within the basins, and thus do
not directly date the construction of the Circle. It could be
argued that the Circle's construction is earlier, pre-dating any
of the organic materials and artifacts that ended up in the
Circle's basins, or conversely, that the Circle is more recent,
as suggested by several St. Johns Check Stamped pottery
sherds recovered from the basins. Further analysis hopefully
will conclusively determine the Circle's age.
It is the authors' opinion that the Miami Circle represents
the footprint of a prehistoric structure, probably constructed of




wood and thatch. Based on the effort used to create its large
footer-like basins and its location on a prominent point of the
river, we think that it was constructed as either a council house
or chief's house.

References Cited

Austin, Robert J.
1993 The Royce Mound: Middle Woodland Exchange and
Mortuary Customs in South Florida. The Florida Anthro-
pologist 46:291-309.

Branning, Don
1950 Apartment Marks Historic Site. Miami Sunday News, June

Can, Robert S., and Mark S. Greene
1961 Excavations at the Brickell Site. Unpublished report on
file at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida, Miami,

Canr, Robert S.
1981a The Archeological Survey, Dade County Historic Survey,
Final Report. Office of Community and Economic Devel-
opment, Historic Preservation Division, Miami, Florida.
1981b The Brickell Store and Seminole Indian Trade. The
Florida Anthropologist 34(4):180-199.

Clay, R. Berle
1998 The Essential Features ofAdenaRitual and Their Implica-
tions. Southeastern Archaeology 17(1):1-21.

DeJarnette, David L., and Steve B. Wimberly
1941 The Bessemer Site: Excavation of Three Mounds and
Surrounding Village Areas near Bessemer, Alabama.
Geological Survey of Alabama, University.

Dickel, David, and Robert S. Carr
1991 Archaeological Investigations at the Oak Knoll Mound,
8LL729, Lee County, Florida. Archaeological and Histori-
cal Conservancy, Technical Report 21, Miami.

Douglass, Andrew E.
1885 Earth and Shell Mounds on the Atlantic Coast of Florida.
American Antiquarian and Oriental Journal 7:140-147.

Gaby, Donald C.
1993 The Miami River and Its Tributaries. The Historical
Association of Southern Florida, Miami, Florida.

Goggin, John M.
n.d. The Archeology of the Glades Area, Southern Florida.
Unpublished manuscript on file at the P.K. Yonge Library,
University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Gifford, George E.
1978 Dear Jeffie: Being the letters from Jeffries Wyman, first
director of the Peabody Museum to his son, Jefries
Wyman, Jr. Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnol-
ogy, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Griffin, John W.
1982 Aboriginal Ceramics from the Granada Site. In Excavations

at the Granada Site: Archaeology and History of the
GranadaSite, Vol. 1, edited by John W. Griffin, pp. 33-64.
Division of Archives, History and Records Management,

Hoffineister, John E.
1974 Land From The Sea. University of Miami Press, Coral
Gables, Florida.

Hollingsworth, Tracy
1936 History ofDade County, Florida. Miami Post, Miami.

Kleinberg, Howard
1985 Miami: The Way We Were. Miami Daily News, Miami.

Laxson, Dan D.
1959 Three Salvaged Tequesta Sites in Dade County, Florida.
The Florida Anthropologist 12(3):57-64.

Miami-Dade County
1981 Historic Preservation Ordinance, Ord. No. 81-13, Miami-
Dade County Code of Ordinances.

Miami Metropolis
1896 Miami Mince Meat. Many Minor Miscellaneous Miami
Matters Modestly Mentioned. The Miami Metropolis,
August 28, p. 1.
1909 Brickell Warehouse An Old Landmark Now Being Torn
Down. The Miami Metropolis, May 25, p.1.
1910 An Old Landmark About To Become A Memory. The
Miami Metropolis, June 3, p. 1.
1916 Pumping Sand on 13-Acre Fill Along Bay South Of River.
The Miami Metropolis, June 19, p.1.

Milanich, Jerald T.
1999 Much Ado About a Circle. Archaeology 52(No. 5,

Parks, Arva Moore
1982 Where the River Found the Bay, Historical Study of the
Granada Site, Miami, Florida. Archaeology andHistory of
the Granada Site, Volume II, Prepared under contract for
the City of Miami by Division of Archives, History and
Records Management, Florida Department of State,
Tallahassee, Florida.
1991 Miami, theMagic City. Revised edition. Centennial Press,

Richardson, Sue B., and Mary Pohl
1982 The Bone Tool Industry from the Granada Site. In
Excavations at the Granada Site: Archaeology andHistory
of the Granada Site, Vol. 1, edited by John W. Griffin, pp.
83-170. Florida Division ofArchives, History and Records
Management, Tallahassee.

Sanborn Map Company
1918 Insurance Maps of Miami, including Miami Beach and
Cocoanut Grove. New York.
1921 Insurance Maps of Miami, Florida. New York.
1925 Insurance Maps of Miami, Florida. New York.

Scarry, C. Margaret
1982 Paleoethonobotany of the Granada Site. In Excavations at

2000 VOL. 53(4)

the Granada Site: Archaeology and History of the
Granada Site, Vol. 1, edited by John W. Griffin, pp. 181-
248. Division of Archives, History and Records Manage-
ment, Tallahassee.

Sears, William H.
1982 Fort Center: An Archaeological Site in the Lake
Okeechobee Basin. University Presses of Florida,

Security Abstract Company
1907 Opinion on the Title of Mrs. Mary Brickell to the Mrs.
Hagan Donation, on Biscayne Bay, Florida. Abstract on
file at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida, Miami.

Shapiro, Gary, and Bonnie G. McEwan
1992 Archaeology at San Luis Part One: The Apalachee Council
House. In Florida Archaeology No. 6, pp. 1-173. Florida
Division of Historical Resources, Tallahassee.

Shappee, Nathan D.
1961 Fort Dallas and the Naval Depot on Key Biscayne, 1836-
1926. Tequesta 21:13-40.

Straight, William
1998 LifeInAPioneer Settlement: Miami'sMedical Community
1843-1874. Tequesta 58:47-89.



The Rise and Fall of a Southeastern
Mississippian Chiefdom
Marvin T. Smith
"A masterful integration of archaeologi-
cal and historical information."-
George R. Milner, Pennsylvania State
* A colorfully illustrated book about a
powerful Native American society at
the dawn of European contact.
Coth, $49.95

Spanish Colonial Gold
Coins in the Florida
Alan K. Craig
This account goes far beyond ordinary
standards to bring alive the history of
the largest known collection of Spanish
colonial shipwreck coins in the world
from their production and transport to
loss at sea.
A Florida Heritage Publication. Cloth, $49.95

Also from this author-
Spanish Colonial Silver
Coins in the Florida Collection
Cloth, $49.95

Interpretations of Native
North American Life
Material Contributions
to Ethnohistory
Edited by Michael S. Nassaney
and Eric S. Johnson
"The issue of how to interpret North
American Native cultures, in all their
complexity and diversity, is one that has
been wrestled with for a long time. This
volume is an interesting indicator of
where that struggle currently stands."
-James W. Bradley, Robert S. Peabody
Published in cooperation with The Society for
Historical Archaeology. Cloth, $55.00

An Early Florida
Adventure Story
The Fray Andris de San Miguel
Translated by John H. Hann
"This book belongs in the library of
anyone with an interest in the Spanish
period in Georgia and Florida, both as a
reference and as a good read for arm-
chair historians and aficionados of
maritime history."-John E. Worth,
author of The Timucuan Chiefdoms of
Spanish Florida
Cloth, $49.95

The Fossil Vertebrates
of Florida
Edited by Richard C. Hulbert Jr.
"A wonderful mix of technical, state of
the art information... with commen-
tary on everyday fossils that all may
have experienced at one time or an-
other. The book is both for the serious
student of vertebrate paleontology and
for anyone who has an interest in the
fossils that may be encountered in
Florida."-David P. Whistler, curator
of vertebrate paleontology, Natural
History Museum of Los Angeles
Cloth, $49.95

Coming in February!
Archaeological Studies of
Gender in Southeastern
United States
Edited by Jane M. Eastman
and Christopher B. Rodning
"This book begins the attempt to an-
swer many of the archaeological ques-
tions we are finally asking about the
long-ignored but crucially important
and ever-present social roles of gender
among native Americans in the South-
east."-Nancy Marie White, University
of South Florida, coeditor of Grit-
Tempered: Early Women Archaeologists in
the Southeastern United States
Cloth, $49.95

Coming in paperback-February!
Indians of the
Greater Southeast
Historical Archaeology
and Ethnohistory
Edited by Bonnie G. McEwan
"Eleven of the nation's top historical
archaeologists tackle eleven of the
Indian nations that occupied the terri-
tory from Florida to Texas. They include
some of the best known but little-under-
stood American tribes-the Cherokee,
the Natchez, and the Caddo."-
American Archaeology
Co-published with The Society for Historical
Archaeology. Paper, $19.95 Cloth, $55.00

Order through full-service booksellers, our website at www.upf.com
or toll free 1-800-226-3822 with VISA or M/C.



11 ( lwm&.)2





Miami-Dade County Office of Community and Economic Development, Historic Preservation Division, 140 W. Flagler Street,
Suite 1102, Miami, FL 33130

In 1978, the Peabody Museum Press of Harvard Univer-
sity's Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology
published Dear Jeffie: Being the Letters from Jeffries Wyman,
First Director of the Peabody Museum, to His Son, Jeffries
Wyman, Jr. The book provides an intimate view into the
person of Jeffries Wyman (1814-1874), as both a loving father
and as the pioneer anthropologist who served as Harvard's
Hersey Professor of Anatomy from 1847-1866 and the first
director, or "curator," of the Peabody Museum from 1866 until
his death in 1874. In a letter dated April 15, 1869, Wyman
writes to his son that he is sending him "a piece of silver
money which I found on the banks of the Miami River where,
I suppose, it was lost during the Indian war when the soldiers

were there many years ago."
Intrigued by this anecdotal reference to an early visit to
Miami by a renowned archaeologist, along with a note in the
book mentioning a diary and a sketch by Wyman of the mouth
of the river dated March 10, 1869, I was led to search out
whether any of this material made reference to any archaeolog-
ical work that may have been conducted by Wyman (Figure 1).
If so, Wyman would be the first academically trained archaeol-
ogist to examine and excavate the archaeological sites near the
Miami River and Brickell Point.
Through the gracious assistance of Ms. Sarah Demb, of the
Peabody Museum, and Mr. Jack Eckert, of the Harvard
Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of

s'. ;.~c~,
I";t .-
... ;.
-' '

---~~;~ i;L ---


Figure 1. Jeffries Wyman's sketch of the mouth of the Miami River, dated March 10, 1869. Brickell Point is on the left,
and the settlement around the old buildings of Fort Dallas is on the right. Courtesy the Harvard Medical Library in the
Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, Boston.


; -e

I i.---
I :

VOL. 53(4)




Figure 2. Jeffries Wyman's diary sketch of the punchbowl and bluff. Courtesy the
Harvard Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine,

Medicine, I had the privilege of locating and studying
Wyman's diary in September, 2000.' The text in Wyman's
diary relating to his journey to Miami, as a guest aboard Mr.
J. M. Forbes yacht, Azalea, while it sailed down and around
Florida from February to April 1869, is relatively brief and
contains less detail than modern archaeologists might desire
from this first delve into SouthFlorida archaeology. Neverthe-
less, it remains important by virtue of its primacy in recording
the earliest observations of the area's unique archaeological
The diary passages below were transcribed from the
original and then reexamined with digitally scannedphotocop-
ies provided by Mr. Eckert at the Harvard Medical Library.
The text from the diary has been reproduced as written by
Wyman, without attempt to change his original spelling,
punctuation and abbreviations. The text has been annotated
for the reader and sketches from the diary and his sketch of the
settlement at the mouth of the river have been reproduced
through the kind permission of the Francis A. Countway
Library of Medicine.

Figure 3. Jeffries Wyman's diary sketch of the rock
mound-probably Miami Rock Mound #1 (8DA16).
Courtesy the Harvard Medical Library in the Francis A.
Countway Library of Medicine, Boston.

Thursday, March 4*, 1869

Day pleasant, mild, winds light,
sailing most enjoyable. Caught two
large fish, one a true
Scomberomorus,2 the other closely
allied to it The cook made a chow-
der of one & the other ("Spanish
mackerel" as the cook called it &
"king fish" according to Capt.) was
baked & was excellent eating Saw
several turtles floating on surface,
Capt. struck one with an iron but it
did not hold. Flying fish &
Porpoises. I've not felt quite well on
account of disagreeable motion in

Our position at night supposed to be 25 miles N. of Cape
Lay to at 11 PM, to wait -

Friday, March 5*, 1869

Quiet night Thermom. in cabin at sunrise 740 on deck
690. Air moist wind SW Noon thermom. on deck 760
Barom. 29'80 inches. Ran down the shore all day looking
out for Key Biscayne lighthouse Passed two wrecked vessels
on the shore Did not see lighthouse until 4 PM, then 10 or 15
miles distant. Rain squall came up just at evening cutting off
the day light which we could not spare Anchored close to
Soldier Keys &just inside the buoy! Heavy sea, & brisk breeze
but good anchorage.

Saturday, March 6*', 1869

Had a comfortable night & after breakfast made prepara-
tions to go into the bay. channel narrow, wind ahead, short
tacks & when near light house pilot3 came aboard who took
us up to within a mile & a half of Miami River Rowed to
village where we saw Mr. Hunt & a few others4 This
village consists of a few houses built during Indian War are
in poor condition The general view of the settlement is
however quite picturesque, shores lined with mangroves,
behind them cocoa-nuts -.

Sunday, March 7", 1869

Went on shore at S with Messrs. F & A,5 were joined by
Mr Hunt & with the capt. & a negro6 to now ascended the
Miami about 5 miles from the mouth, came to the rapids,7
where we were obliged to get out and work our way through
the bushes along the shore; the bed & shore of the river consist
of a limestone or oolite, very hard though every where perfo-
rated by holes.8 a mile or two above the rapids we entered the
Everglades which consists of islands, the water in the
intervals of which & filled with saw grass as high as the head;
could not go far as it was impossible to push the heavily laden

U -'- ',.
-e AA A


C4a:--- -b,~Jc



2000 VOL. 53(4)


Figure 4. Strombus gigas shell celts or "chisels" collected by Jeffries Wyman during his visit to Miami. a) celt or blank,
Cat. No. 69-10-10/2445, Neg. No. N34775; b) celt or blank, Cat. No. 69-10-10/2447, Neg. No. N34776; c) celt or blank,
Cat. No. 69-10-10/2446, Neg. No. N34774; d) celt, Cat. No. 69-10-10/2449, Neg. No. N34777. Copyright: President and
Fellows of Harvard College, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University. Photographs by
Hillel Burger.

boat through the grass. On returning to mouth found the
signal on the yacht at half mast, & while I was walking in the
neighborhood, the others went on board to hunt for our boat
which had gone adrift.
Examined shell heap in front of Hunts house.9

Monday, March 8,, 1869

Passed the night at Mr Hunts in a rickety house, with
hogs underneath & goats running about the piazza, but very
tired slept well.lo Went on board to breakfast & then all
started in boat for two mounds said to exist 5 or 6 miles
below." Did not find them, but had a pleasant excursion -
Limestone wall12 along coast in some places 8 ft. sheer, & 10
or 11 above water edge (Figure 2). Found a deserted house
with cocoa-nuts limes, lemons & oranges growing about it. &
in addition a rank vegetation."3 A rock was ut ith Koonti

not in great abundance Hollow in rock for washing "arrow-

Tuesday, March 9t, 1869

Concluded to spend another day here instead of moving on
- Went on shore after breakfast & dug in the shell-heap in
front of Mr Hunts house Large quantities of bones pottery &
shells the accumulation of long series of years 3 to 4 ft
thick. Bones of fish, turtle, coon, birds, deer, shark verteb.
very common two pieces of worked bone & two or three
chisels of conch shell 15
Lunched on shore & in PM visited large mound nearer
house,'6 crossed the river, visited Dr. Fletcher," a wretched
man, & then to a mound about A4 mile from landing a few
rods back from the shore This like the other near the house,
but smaller began an excavation but too late to finish it -1_



I-- -r.
rr' u~.5~i~
c~ I IL-~ ..~??L~;
:~p* .IL~CC;~~_~:7 ~~ -A
'' ~r~ --a ;---~--~ -~~ ~-'
i ~;

Figure 5. Removal of Miami Sand Mound #1 (8DA14) in 1896, in preparation for the construction of the Royal Palm
Hotel. Courtesy the Historical Museum of Southern Florida.

Returned on board to tea.

Wednesday, March 10*, 1869

Night very warm Thermom. 74 in cabin Barom.
29'90 inches. Spent whole day in excavating mound on the
Miami This is a few rods from right bank & 4 mile from
mouth 60 ft long 40 broad & 11 high of an oval shape &
covered with a young growth of trees. Made an opening Long
diameter very nearly N. & S, deviating a few degrees E & W
- covered with sand. Made an opening (- help of Andrew &
Mr Hunt) into side yesterday & found loose stones too late to
make complete exam-.
Light rain, followed by great numbers of mosquitoes.
Conical trench nearly to center throwing out many tons of
stone for we worked steadily

Thursday, March 11t, 1869

Started soon after breakfast for mound (Figure 3). Capt. of
A[zalea], Capt. Crowell, Henry & Andrew worked till noon;

built & in shield19 & finished excavations but found nothing
buried. No trees of great age on top.20
having opened the mound beyond the centre & [searched]21
to right and left. Mound consists of large stones in middle on
which smaller ones had been piled.
Failing to find any contents returned at noon, just in time
to escape a thunder shower. Hunt & Crowell came on boat &
lunched. Heat disagreeable air sultry Thermom. 760 -
Barom. 29'90

Friday, March 12,, 1869

Got under way soon after breakfast with fair wind though
light. Passed lighthouse & Soldier Keys & were soon on the
way South Day mild & clear, sea smooth the perfection of
sailing Course wide of coral reefs, which were constantly
seen as to their position & each coated by dark water where
they came quite near to the surface came to inches after dark.
Water ever a light blue color Cay Largo on our starboard
side nearly all day

2000 Voi- 53(4)




Dr. Jeffries Wyman is highly regarded today for his
pioneering research in Florida. He is considered a pioneer in
the field of archaeology for his work in clearly demonstrating
the aboriginal formation and the antiquity of shell mounds.
We know that Wyman was neither the first scientist to study
or state that such mounds were likely of both great age or
created by Native Americans," but he was the first American
to best articulate and disseminate these theories through
meticulous study.
The mounds at the mouth of the Miami River elicited some
interest in Wyman, as is evidenced in his journal in noting his
decision to extend his stay by several days. However, despite
finding variety offaunal material and collecting several shell
celts and pendants and Seminole War artifacts in the middens
and mounds near the Miami River (see Figure 4), Wyman's
work was little more than an interesting aside to his more
intense focus on the large shell mounds of the St. Johns River
region. He likely did not think they were of great age because
they did not exhibit any number of old-growth trees, which he
used as a temporal gauge for estimating the terminus ante
quem of mound construction.
He found little in his investigation of the large mound that
would later be reduced and carted offby Henry Flagler's work
crews preparing the land for the Royal Palm Hotel in 1896
(Figure 5). Those workers carried off barrels of human
remains likely comprised of both prehistoric burials and
historic interments reported to be from U.S. Army soldiers
stationed at Fort Dallas and other early settlers, and possibly
from the Spanish Jesuit missions of 1567 and 1743-that were
exhumed while leveling the property and redeposited in a large
solution hole off the site.?
The greater significance in Wyman's work at the Miami
River is its relation to his larger study of shell mounds and
prehistoric sites in Florida and the fact that he was the first
professional archaeologist to work on the prehistoric sites in
the area, particularly in light of the work recently accom-
plished at Brickell Point. Though his work here in 1869 was
limited, his larger contributions continue to have a great effect
today to those of us working in the field today.


Jeffries Wyman diary [HMS b54.1, v. 15], Harvard Medical Library
in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine.
2Wyman is describing either S. maculatus ("Spanish mackerel") or
S. cavalla ("king mackerel").
3 The head light house keeper in 1868 was John Frow (1841-1918),
who had been appointed to the position in 1868 to replace the former
head lighthouse keeper, SimonFrow(1808-1886), his father. Simon
had served in the position from 1859-1861, until removed at the
outbreak of the Civil War. The elder Frow had been born in Minorca
of an English father and a Spanish mother, was living in Key West by
1847 and had worked as a pilot and mariner, and was serving as an
assistant to his son, John, in 1869 (Bonawit 1980:17,49-50).
4 Wyman came to the village, which was situated along the north
bank of the Miami River, that existed around the remains of the old
William English plantation and served as the basis for the U.S.

Army's Fort Dallas during the Second and Third Seminole Wars
between the 1830s-1850s (Gifford 1978:17, 64, 80 n).
At the time only a few dozen people lived in or near the settle-
ment including William H. Hunt. Hunt came to the area from New
York in 1866 and was elected to the state senate from Dade County
in 1868. He is listed as both a state senator and farmer (likely of
coontie, Zamia integrifolia) in the U.S. Census of 1870. In 1874
Hunt became a countyjudge and he is listed in the 1880 census as the
Superintendent of the U.S. Life Saving Service Station No. 5, or
Biscayne House of Refuge, which was based on Miami Beach
(Bonawit 1980:18, 22; Hudson 1943:19, 21; Parks 1975:89-145;
Peters 1978:39-62).
5 Wyman is identifying Mr. J. M. Forbes ("F"), the owner of the yacht
Azalea, and another unidentified crew or guest.
6 This is likely Andrew Price who worked for Hunt, since when
Gleason first visited the Miami area in 1865 as an agent of the
Freedmen's Bureau only three blacks lived among nearly 200 whites
countywide. Price is later mentioned by Wyman as simply "Andrew"
in the days that follow.
Price was born in Virginia about 1848 and came to Miami with
Hunt in 1866. He is listed in the U.S. Census of 1870 as a "farm
laborer" and in the 1880 census as a "sailor." Through the efforts of
both Hunt and Hunt's friend, William H. Gleason (who would serve
briefly as the state's Lieutenant Governor), who were the Carpetbag
Republicans who controlled local politics for a number of years after
their arrival, Andrew Price would serve as a County Commissioner
from 1869-1871. As a sailor he skippered Hunt's sloop, the Gover-
nor Gleason (Hudson 1943:20; Parks 1975:111; Tebeau 1971).
7 The rapids of the Miami River, where the waters of the Everglades
had cut through the rock of the coastal ridge, were found on both the
north and south forks of the river. It was typical for travelers heading
upstream to enter the Everglades crossing over the south fork rapids
because it had a weaker current and fewer rapids. These rapids were
dynamited in 1908 to "improve" the tributary for navigation and to
allow dredging and channeling to proceed. After the incorporation of
the city in 1896, many early Miamians speak of the "rapids" and they
are generally referring to the larger ones at the north fork, which were
destroyed by dredging in 1912 (Gaby 1993:10, 124; personal
communication, Dr. William M. Straight, October, 2000).
8 Miami oolite is conspicuous along much of coastal Miami-Dade
County where, as part of the Silver Bluff formation, it is part of the
Atlantic Coastal Ridge, separating the Everglades from the waters of
Biscayne Bay. Unlike many other limestones, it is unique for its
numerous holes, or perforations as Wyman describes them, that often
give outcrops of it a Swiss cheese-like appearance.
9 There were several mounds that once existed at the mouth of the
Miami River, near both the north and south bank, along with larger
associated midden deposits that existed around the area of Fort
Dallas, which had been built on part of the area of the original
Tequesta village on the north bank and around Brickell Point.
Wyman is likely referring to either the Tequesta village midden
generally or to Miami Rock Mound #1 (8DA16), which had been
used by the fort's soldiers and other early settlers as a burial mound.
From 1866-1869, Hunt lived in a two-story wooden structure that
had formerly been a part of the officers' quarters of Fort Dallas and
this is apparently the building that appears in the right of Wyman's
sketch in the center.
It is unclear from the description as to what mound or site that
Wyman refers. The distance, if accurate, would indicate a site in the
area of Coconut Grove.
'2 The "wall" is the Key Biscayne Bluff formation ofthe Miami Ridge
composed of Miami oolite, which Wyman described seeing the
previous day on his visit into the Everglades.
13 Because of the proximity to the "Pirate's Punchbowl," described


below, this is likely the "Lewis Settlement" noted by Dr. Benjamin
Strobel, a Key West physician, who described the property after his
visit in 1829 (personal communication, Arva Moore Parks, October
20, 2000; see also Parks 1975:91).
4 From the diary drawing and the location description, the "hollow"
or "well" appears to be the locally renowned "Pirate's Punchbowl"
feature that was long ago hewn into the foot of the bluff along the bay
where a natural well exists north of the Vizcaya Estate today.
15 The "conch shell chisels" that Wyman mentions are probably the
shell celts made from queen conch (Strombus gigas) or a type of
whelk(Busycon spp.) that are commonly recovered from archaeologi-
cal sites in southeastern Florida.
" This would be Miami Sand Mound #1 (8DA14) that was leveled
in 1896 by workers constructing the Royal Palm Hotel for Flagler.
It is reported that 50 or 60 prehistoric burials were discovered and
removed during the mound's destruction and were buried in a large
solution hole at a site near the intersection of Southeast Second Street
and Southeast Second Avenue that is presently covered by a large
office building and parking garage.
7 Robert Richard Fletcher was born in Prince George County,
Virginia in 1801 and was living in Key West by 1842, when he
served as Monroe County Clerk. In Key West he met and married
Mary Mabrity (1806-1892), whose family was originally from St.
Augustine. Fletcher was likely never formally trained as a physician
but, instead, apprenticed to one sometime before moving to Florida,
according to Dr. WilliamM. Straight, who has written extensively on
Florida's early medical history. He also is recorded in the Monroe
County deed book as moving to Miami in 1843, where he would
serve as Dade County Clerk, with the exact date unknown. Although
he established an Armed Occupation Act homestead claim in Miami,
he lost his claim for failure to prove adherence to the terms of the
The 1860 federal census of the "Settlement of Fort Dallas" lists
him as a physician, along with his wife and two daughters, Amanda
(Mary Amelia, 1837-1889) and Rosalia (Barbara Rosalie, 1841-
1927). His son, Robert Francis (1835-1863) was not living with
them at the time of the 1860 census. In April 1862, he enlisted in
Company "K" of the Fourth Florida Infantry (CSA) and was later
captured by Union troops in Tennessee in January 1863. He died of
disease while a prisoner of war at Camp Butler, Illinois, on 25
September 1863 (Bonawit 1980:11,16; personal communication, Dr.
William M. Straight, October, 2000).
" There were three mounds at or near the area around Brickell Point,
Miami Sand Mound #4 (8DA13/ 8DA98), Miami Sand Mound #2
(8DA15), and Miami Rock Mound #2. Given that the description
states that this mound was a quarter mile south of the landing, a few
rods (1 rod = 16.5 feet) and similar to the black earth midden he
describes in front ofHunt's house, Wyman probably examined Miami
Sand Mound #4 (the one closest to and south of the Miami Circle),
which once was situated in the area of Brickell Park and the First
Presbyterian Church between Brickell Avenue and Biscayne Bay.
This mound was situated closest to the shore and would have been
about a quarter-mile from the landing on the north side of the Miami
River, from which he crossed. Miami Sand Mound #2, on the other
hand, was a quarter-mile south of the mouth of the river on the south
bank and about 200 yards west of the bay. Since Wyman compares
this mound to one on the north side of the river and does not describe
itas composed of rock, the other possibility, Miami Rock Mound #2,
is an unlikely candidate; additionally, this was a quarter-mile inland
from the bay and only 150 yards south of the river.
" Wyman might intend by this that they built a canopy, or "shield,"
under which to work so as to shade them from the hot sun.
20 The study of trees that existed on mounds was a helpful indicator
to Wyman of the possible minimum age of a particular site. Along

the St. Johns River, he used the estimated ages of live oaks (from a
formula he devised based upon diameter and circumference and
inferred from cross-sections cut from other live oaks) that were found
to grow atop certain mounds as a means to conclude that "though the
absolute age of the mounds cannot be determined, a minimum age of
several hundred years has been approximately ascertained, justifying
the conclusion that some them were essentially finished two or three
centuries before the arrival of the white man, as shown by the age of
the trees growing upon them" (Wyman 1875:86).
His comment here may have led him to conclude that this mound
-though aboriginal-either may have been constructed after the arrival
of Europeans or that it had been cleared by local settlers at some time
and that its antiquity would be more uncertain.
2 This word is unclear from text.
" A number of persons have examined shell scatters, shell mounds,
and other mounds in Florida since the late eighteenth century. Some
of the earliest students of Florida mounds to note their association
with artifacts and to speculate about their possible early creation by
Indians were the observant father and son naturalists, John and
William Bartram, who visited Florida together in 1765-William
alone visited in 1774-and published accounts of their research in
1766 and 1791. Wyman notes the work of the Bartrams in his
publication, Fresh-water Shell Mounds of the St. John's River,
Florida, published in 1875.
The next person known to have published remarks about Florida
mounds was Dr. John Durkee, aNew Hampshire physician who came
to Jacksonville to recuperate from ill health he suffered in New
England. In June 1834, Durkee examined "an ancient Indian Mound
on the St. Johns River" that held human burials. Durkee, whose
letters home about his stay in Florida were published in a New
Hampshire newspaper upon his return in 1835, wrote, "These dead
bodies must have been ages and ages in accumulating, and perhaps
ten times as many ages have passed since the last burial took place."
(Hoole 1974:294-308; Milanich and Fairbanks 1980:2).
Other early commentators-whose work Wyman may have been
unaware-included the naturalists J.H. Allen and T.A. Conrad, who
visited the Manatee River in 1846, and Henry R. Schoolcraft, who
wrote about the "low mounds" of Florida's Gulf Coast in 1854 based
on finds made by others in Apalachicola Bay about 1841 (Willey
1949:15-16). Wyman did know of two others who had preceded him
in his study of Florida's shell mounds near the St. Johns-Count L. F.
Pourtales, who spoke about his 1848 excavations with Wyman but
whose work was unpublished, and Daniel G. Brinton who had
conducted work in 1856-7 (Milanich and Fairbanks 1980:2-3; Willey
1949:16 Wyman 1875:14-15).
" It was long thought that the site location of the remains was lost
(see Gaby 1993:33, 38). However, research by the author, based
upon a copy of a manuscript in the Miami-Dade Historic Preservation
Division written by an unnamed daughter of Capt. W. H. Weatherly,
one of Flagler's supervisors at the construction of the Royal Palm
Hotel describes in great detail her memory of the mound's removal:
"In clearing land for grounds of Royal Palm Hotel, a large Indian
Mound had to be removed Papa was in charge of a crew of laborers
who began at the eastern base and gradually brought it down. They
found a great many skeletons, lots of items which may have belonged
to soldiers stationed at Ft. Dallas such as handmade metal canteens,
odds and ends of potteryjars, glass beads and other objects. We had
several of these but over the years have lost all except some blue &
white glass beads and a hand made flattened gold earring found in a
grave occupied by a small skeleton. This mound no doubt had been
started many years before even the Brickells settled on the point
across the river as Papa found among bones of a skeleton near the
bottom of the mound a beautiful gold crucifix, evidently belonging to
a Catholic priest. He presented this wonderful find to Mr. J. A.


2000 VOL. 53(4)


McDonald who was in charge of all of the Flagler development, a
contractor who supervised building of the Royal Palm. Other
skeletons found higher up in layers near top of the mound were
removed and bones deposited in barrels, the skulls ranged up on
boards placed on top of barrels. After all bones were removed and
placed in barrels, they were buried in a deep pit, with a large wild fig
tree growing tall with its top many feet above the rim. The pit was
gradually filled and ground leveled. As near as I can recall, this pit
was located at about what is now S.E. Second Street & Second
Avenue. The Watson home in later years was built on this spot."
John W. Watson, Sr. owned the lot described by Ms. Weatherly
at the N.W. comer of the intersection of S.E. Second Street and S.E.
Second Avenue. Watson was mayor of Miami three times and also
a state legislator for decades. His son, John Jr., was Miami City
attorney for 30 years and the person for whom the exclusive Watson
Island in Biscayne Bay is named (Gaby 1993:154). A large office
tower was erected on this parcel in 1967.

References Cited

Bonawit, Oby J.
1980 Miami Florida Early Families and Records. Miami.

Gaby, Donald C.
1993 The Miami River and Its Tributaries. The Historical
Association of Southern Florida, Miami.

Gifford, George E., Jr. (editor)
1978 Dear Jeffie: Being the Letters from Jeffries Wyman, First
Director of the Peabody Museum to his Son, Jeffries
Wyman, Jr. Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnol-
ogy, Harvard University, Peabody Museum Press, Cam-

Hoole, W. Stanley (editor)
1974 East Florida in 1834: Letters of Dr. John Durkee. The
Florida Historical Quarterly 52(3): 294-308.

Hudson, F. M.
1943 Beginnings in Dade County. Tequesta 1(3):1-35.

Appendix 2. Accession List of Artifacts Collected by Dr. Jeffries Wyman
at the Miami River, 1869.

Item Number





Chisel made of shell
Chisel made of shell
Chisel made of shell
Chisel made of shell
Pendant made of shell
Pendant made of shell
Pendant made of shell

Pottery, stamped

Bullet mould and gun flint

Milanich, Jerald T. and Charles H. Fairbanks
1980 Florida Archaeology. Academic Press, New York.

Murowchick, Robert E.
1990 A Curious Sort of Yankee: Personal and Professional Notes
on Jeffries Wyman(1814-1874). SoutheastemArchaeology
9(1): 55-66.

Parks, Arva Moore
1975 Miami in 1876. Tequesta 35:89-145.

Peters, Thelma
1978 The Log of the Biscayne House of Refuge. Tequesta 38:39-

Tebeau, Charlton W.
1971 A History of Florida. University of Miami Press, Coral

Trustees of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and
1870 Third Annual Report of the Trustees of the Peabody
Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology Pre-
sented to the President and Fellows of Harvard College,
Dec. 1, 1870. Press ofA. Kingman, Boston.

Weatherly, Capt. W. H. (Anonymous daughter of)
n.d. Manuscript memoir regarding the early history of the City
ofMiami. Probably written in the first half of the twentieth
century. Copy on file, Miami-Dade County Office of
Community andEconomic Development, Historic Preserva-
tion Division.

Wyman, Jeffries
1875 Fresh-waterShellMounds ofthe St. John'sRiver, Florida.
PeabodyAcademy of Science Memoir 4, Salem, Massachu-

Appendix 1. "From Explorations in Florida," Part of a
Note Extracted from the ThirdAnnual
I Report of the Peabody Museum, 1870.

While a guest of J M Forbes, Esq. on
board the yacht Azalea, during the months
of February, March and April, the Curator
had an opportunity of examining various
shell heaps and mounds on the Atlantic
and Gulf Coasts of Florida, viz., at
Fernandina, Key Biscayne Bay, Charlotte
Harbour, Tampa Bay and Cedar Keys.
The results of these examinations consist-
ing of the crania and parts of skeletons of
more than twenty individuals, of various
articles of worked shell, stone and bone,
and a collection of the remains of the more
common species of animals used as food,
and forming the material of the shell
heaps, belong to the collections of the
Of the mounds, those made of stone


Miami River
Miami River
Miami River
Miami River
Miami River
Miami River
Miami River,
Charlotte Harbor
Miami River,
mouth of
Miami River,
mouth of


appear hitherto to have attracted little or no attention. Two are
to be seen at the entrance of the Miami River into Key
Biscayne Bay. The larger of them is on the left bank, a few
hundred yards from the river, and quite near to the shores of
the bay. Since the Florida war, it has been used by the soldiers
and settlers as a burial place, and could not therefore be
examined. The second is on the right bank, about a half mile
from the mouth, and a few rods from the banks of the Miami.
It is about eleven feet high, sixty long and forty broad, covered
with sand, and supporting a growth of young trees. With the
exception of the covering of sand, it is made entirely of loose
fragments of the coral limestone of the neighborhood, and
appears to have been simply a monumental structure. An
excavation was made from one of the sides as far as the centre,
and from the top to the base, but nothing was found buried or
enclosed in it



Bureau ofArchaeological Research, 500 S. Bronough St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-0250
E-mail: rwheeler@mail.dos.state.fl.us

Prior to participation in the acquisition of the Brickell
Point property, location of the Miami Circle, Governor Jeb
Bush and the Cabinet requested that archaeologists from the
Bureau of Archaeological Research conduct an assessment of
the property. Questions to be addressed included the archaeo-
logical context of the Miami Circle, as well as the significance
and potential for further research at the site. Fieldwork for the
project was conducted in October and November of 1999.
Auger testing and limited excavation revealed that archaeolog-
ical deposits and features occupy 70% of the 2.2 acre property,
with 35% of the property containing intact midden deposits.
The assessment supports earlier statements of significance
made by Carr (1999) and Weisman et al. (1999).

Environmental and Cultural Background


The Brickell Point site is situated at the juncture of the
Miami River and Biscayne Bay. Nineteenth and early twenti-
eth century accounts of this area describe ajungle of maritime
hammock plants with pine and palmetto on higher sandy areas
(Parks 1982:8-10). Early photographs show traces of this
hammock, along with a grove of exotic coconut palms, and
outcrops of a craggy limestone rock (Gaby 1993:cover, Parks
1982:124). This limestone, the Miami Oolite, provides the
substrate on which later midden material and soils were
deposited (see Means and Scott, this issue for more on the
geology of the site). Presumably the rise in sea level circa
5,500 to 6,000 years ago, which contributed to the formation
of the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee, also allowed for the
development of the Miami River and other drainage channels
that dissect the coastal ridge (Brooks 1974:256).
An engineering survey made in 1995 locates 37 trees on the
property (13 were over 24 inches in diameter), many of which
were ornamentals planted around the Brickell Point Apart-
ments in the 1950s (Biscayne Engineering Co. 1995).
Comparison with an aerial photograph of the apartment
complex in 1954 shows that most original or Brickell-era
plantings had been removed (cf. Granger 1954). Today the
area lacks native vegetation, and filling and leveling have
removed most traces of original topography as well as orna-
mental trees.


The Brickell Point site is situated within the Everglades

archaeological region or Everglades area, as definedby Griffin
(1988:137-142; 1989:197-201)andCarr ndBeriault(1984:5-
6). Earlier assessments of cultural geography by Stirling
(1936:355) and Goggin(1947:119-121) characterizedmuchof
southern Florida as the "Glades Area." The diverse interior
and coastal portions of the Everglades region were extensively
utilized by prehistoric populations-many small campsites are
found on Everglades tree islands, and larger sites are found in
both coastal and interior areas. Hunter-gatherer subsistence
activities focused on freshwater and marine resources, as well
as the collection of edible plants; there is no archaeological or
historical evidence to suggest that horticulture was practiced.
Material culture is characterized by a diverse toolkit of bone
and shell implements, many of which are associated with
weaving and woodworking activities. The distinctive deco-
rated pottery of the Glades series is temporally sensitive and
has been used to develop a 2,000 year chronological sequence
(Griffin 1988:120-129, 137-142; 1989:197-201). Complexes
of middens and mounds, such as the one at the mouth of the
Miami River, are characteristic of the settlement pattern for
much of the coastal regions of the Glades Area (Carr and
Beriault 1984:6; Wheeler 1992:11-15).
Goggin (1949a:118-122) describes a total of seven sites at
or near the mouth of the Miami River, including the midden
sites on the north and south banks, two burial mounds on the
south side of the river, one burial mound on the north bank,
and two "rock mounds" composed of loose limestone frag-
ments. Goggin (1949a:118-119) describes the site on the
north bank of the Miami River, known variably as Miami
Midden #1, the Dupont Plaza site, or the Granada site, as a
shell and black dirt midden, noting that it was likely the
location of the Indian village "Tekesta." Extensive testing at
this site prior to the construction of a convention-hotel
complex revealed occupations dating from at least 2,000 years
ago through the period of Spanish contact (Griffin et al.
The Brickell Point property investigated during this study
contains the northernmost portion of the site originally
recorded by John Goggin (1949a:opposite 119) as Miami
Midden #2 (8DA12). Karl Squires (1941:41) briefly mentions
this site, describing a very large village on the north bank of
the Miami River and another on the south bank at Brickell
Point. Laxson (1959:57-58) excavated midden deposits to the
south of the Brickell Point property, prior to the construction
of the Elks Lodge in the late 1950s, and presents information
that the site once extended to the west of the Brickell Bridge,
perhaps as far as Miami Avenue (Laxson 1968:56-58).


VOL. 53(4)




A I oe Lcity


a g f 1 Fraont oBrie

e9 f1 sT\\ MRno Bn

fild g Brickell Pt 0M

A n t s e g e ap- so th

NI 0

,s e

ar a r ken oBrickell
z l7 tI

o S 11 ilSe19
Figure 1. Comparison of three topographic maps of Miami, showing th1969

Brickell Point locality. The top map is based on surveys of 1936 and
aerial photographs from 1942-1945; the second generation of Brickell
family buildings is shown. The middle map shows the Brickell Point
Apartments and the Elks Lodge building. The bottom map shows the
Brickell Point Apartments and the Sheraton Hotel (United States
Geological Survey 1950, 1969, and 1990).

Several other lots to the south contain portions of the
site, including those occupied by the Sheraton Hotel,
Brickell Park, and the First Presbyterian Church.
Carr (1981b:65; see Carr and Ricisak, this issue)
notes that salvage excavations preceding the con-
struction of the Holiday Inn (now the Sheraton)
encountered "several alignments of post holes drilled
in the oolitic limestone," which he interpreted as

The Tequesta

The Tequesta were the native group occupying
the lower east coast of Florida at the time of Euro-
pean contact (Goggin 1940). The first record of the
Tequesta appears in documents relating to Ponce de
Leon's 1513 expedition along the Florida coast,
mentioning the "Chequescha" in the vicinity of
Biscayne Bay (Davis 1935:48; True 1944:51-52).
Sixteenth century and later accounts of shipwreck
survivors, sailors, soldiers, and missionaries provide
some ethnohistoric information about the Tequesta
and their neighbors (e.g., Hann 1991; McNicoll
1941). While the Brickell Point site is certainly in
the vicinity of the major Tequesta town, no evidence
for a European-contact period component was found
during this survey; early digging on the north side of
the river along with the excavation of the Granada
site found some Spanish contact materials. It seems
likely, however, that the occupants of the Brickell
Point site were ancestors to the Tequesta of the
historic period (see Preface, this issue, for more on
the Tequesta).

Historic Use and Occupation

The history of contemporary occupation of
Brickell Point can be traced back to several nine-
teenth century pioneer families, whose collective
homesteads on the north and south banks of the river
formed the nucleus for what would become down-
town Miami (Gaby 1993:32-36; Parks 1982:73-128;
see Carr and Ricisak, this issue). These mid-nine-
teenth century attempts at settlement waxed and
waned with Indian hostilities and the occasional
military occupation of Fort Dallas, but it was proba-
bly the sale of lands by both Julia Tuttle and William
Brickell to Henry Flagler late in the nineteenth
century that heralded the beginnings of modern
Miami (Gaby 1993:43). Brickell and his family had
moved to southern Florida in the early 1870s, where
he had already acquired extensive holdings on the
south side of the Miami River. Several buildings
were constructed at "Brickell Point," including a
warehouse adjacent to the river, a store, and a
home-and later a mansion, as well as miscella-
neous outbuildings, most notably a boathouse and

2000 VOL. 53(4)

Brickell Point 8 DA12

Bureau of Archaeological Research
Division of fisforical Resources
Department of State

Negative Test
o Positive Test- Midden or Features with Midden
F[ Bar Excavations, October November 1999

0 10 20 30 40

Aiami River

1.5' Concrete Bulkhead


S 0

0 0 0

o o o o o

sewer trench

* U *
S 0

sewer trench
*.* *

Miami ^\L-'4 e

S .

So -


*Miaml Circle"
SExcavation *
) O seplic .

K o shAllow
S depression

0, .

/, "
.*. e *
,, C C e ,, ,

Figure 2. Field map showing archaeological operations

\ River

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43


~ ~ ~ ..

--I I I I .10` _` __ ______


the family mausoleum.
Flagler, with property acquired from Tuttle and Brickell,
extended the Florida East Coast Railway down through Miami
and developed the Royal Palm Hotel on the north bank of the
Miami River. Gaby (1993:44) notes that some of the original
Brickell structures were demolished and replaced by the
Brickell Mansion and two other homes by circa 1910. Brickell
Point remained relatively intact until 1950 when the Brickell
Point Apartments were built in the place of the latest and
northernmost of the three Brickell houses. Major pre-1950
modifications to the property involved the addition of dredge
fill (see Carr and Ricisak, this issue). The other Brickell
homes were subsequently replaced by the Elks Club and
eventually the Sheraton Hotel.
Figure 1 compares topographic maps depicting Brickell
Point over a period of fifty years. The earliest map in the
sequence shows the three Brickell houses, and what must be
the original surface topography of the area. The Brickell
Mansion is the third house to the south. The second map
shows the area as it was in the 1960s, with the Brickell Point
Apartments, the Elks Lodge, and the long, linear Brickell
Park. The most recent map shows many of the newer high-
rise buildings in downtown Miami, including the Sheraton
Hotel, sandwiched between Brickell Point and Brickell Park.

Discovery of the "Miami Circle"

Details concerning the discovery of the Miami Circle and
subsequent media attention that focused on the site are
summarized by Carr and Ricisak (this issue; also see newspa-
per accounts by Calvo 1998; Loney 1998; Merzer 1999b;
Walters 1998). Notable events include Miami-Dade County's
decision in February, 1999 to pursue acquisition of the
property, which led to a nomination of the Brickell Point
property to the acquisition list of the state's Conservation and
Recreation Lands (C.A.R.L.) program.
Early in April the staff of the C.A.R.L. program visited the
site, in response to the application for state acquisition. Jerald
Milanich, a curator at the Florida Museum of Natural History,
visited the site as part of the C.A.R.L. assessment, and raised
a number of questions regarding the origins and antiquity of
the Miami Circle (Merzer 1999a; Milanich 1999). Near the
end of June 1999, Miami-Dade County won the right to
acquire the property, and a trial to determine the value was
scheduled for October (Finefrock 1999; Whoriskey 1999). A
settlement was reached in late September, which involved
payments by both the county and the State of Florida
(Bousquet 1999). As noted above, the Governor and Cabinet
met on September 27, 1999 and indicated their willingness to
participate in the site acquisition and their desire to have a
state-sponsored assessment conducted prior to the acquisition
deadline of November 30, 1999.
A meeting between James J. Miller, State Archaeologist,
Robert S. Carr, consultant to Miami-Dade County, and the
author on September 28, 1999 helped develop the parameters
and strategy for the state assessment of the Brickell Point
property. Since the overlying midden had been completely

removed from the Miami Circle feature, other parts of the
property were targeted for investigation. Background materi-
als and field supplies were gathered and I traveled to Miami on
October 11. A field crew of six was assembled locally and
fieldwork began on October 20 and continued through Novem-
ber 24.


Data Collection

Standard forms were used to collect information from
auger tests and excavation units. Plans were drawn to scale on
grid paper. All operations were documented with black-and-
white, slide, or print photography. All materials collected
were either screened through 1/16 inch mesh, with the
retention of the remaining fraction, or bagged and saved
without any sorting or screening.

Vertical and Horizontal Control

A survey crew from Miami-Dade County established a grid
on 12 foot centers across the property. This grid utilized the
earlier baseline established by T. L. Riggs, and described by
Carr and Ricisak (this issue). Grid intersections were labeled
with letter (north) and number (east) designations. Elevations
in feet, relative to the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of
1929 (NGVD, 1929), were provided for each grid intersection
point. These elevations were converted to meters and all
elevations given in this report and on the attached maps are
meters above the NGVD, 1929. Note that this datum is not
mean sea level, but a general projection based on observations
of mean sea level at 26 tide gauges in the U.S.A. and Canada
(National Ocean Service 1986:56-57). Figure 2 shows the
locations of all operations discussed below, as well as some of
the previous excavations.

Auger Survey

The original plan involved digging tests at approximately
300 of the grid intersection points using a mechanical auger
with 8 inch diameter bit, allowing penetration to around 4 feet
below ground surface. A manual sand auger with 2.75 inch
bucket would be used to test deeper deposits. This method was
extremely difficult due to the thick layer of construction fill,
containing large and medium sized fragments of concrete and
limestone, found across much of the site. The usual method for
sampling involved a combination of the mechanical auger, a
rock breaker, and the manual bucket auger. Miami-Dade
County provided us with a combination front-end
loader/backhoe and operator on several occasions, which aided
in removing the construction fill and then sampling continued
with the manual bucket auger.
Data from a total of 127 locations-1 14 auger tests and 13
other areas where strata could be observed-were used to
produce a series of thematic maps showing present surface
contours, the surface contours of the local Miami Oolite


2000 VOL. 53(4)


Figure 3. Cut oval hole encountered in Auger Test N34.

formation, the surface contours of the midden, and midden
thickness (see Appendix A). The auger testing also helped in
locating the septic tank excavated during this assessment, as
well as other areas of interest, such as "The Valley of the

Demolition Trench Profiling

During the demolition of the Brickell Point Apartments a
number of trenches were dug in order to remove the concrete
footers of these buildings. In some cases these trenches
encountered the horizontal and vertical components of the
footers, while in other areas the demolition "missed" the
footer. Prior to the state investigation, archaeologist John
Beriault prepared a sketch map indicating the approximate
locations of sixteen of these cuts into the site. Footer removal
trench No. 11 is located to the west and north of the Miami
Circle feature; it is associated with the northeastern wall of
Brickell Point Apartments Building No. 3. This trench runs
roughly north-south and is just over 10 meters in length.
Work in the trench included removal of fill material that
had slumped into the trench from adjacent spoil piles and
preparation of the walls for profile drawing. Intact midden
deposits were observed in the walls of the trench, and bucket
auger testing revealed that approximately 10 to 25 cm of
midden remained undisturbed in the bottom of the trench.
Overburden was removed in anticipation of systematic
excavation of this midden material. Cursory examination of
the profile indicated that footer pilings were placed on 12 foot

centers, and it was not until the removal trench was dug that
the archaeological deposits were significantly disturbed.
Disturbed midden, often of a gray or brown color with concrete
inclusions, is observed in the trench profile and in many of the
auger tests. The intact midden, about 50 to 60 cm thick in the
southern end of the trench, slopes dramatically downward to
the north at the hypothesized historical shoreline.


Plans were made to investigate a septic tank on the Brickell
Point property in order to address concerns that the Miami
Circle feature might have some relationship to the septic tanks
or septic system installed in 1950. The northern of two septic
tanks associated with Brickell Point Apartments Building No.
3 was selected since it was oriented in the same north-south
fashion as the tank within the Miami Circle. It was located
through examination of plumbing plans and use of the
mechanical auger. Unlike other units in the vicinity, the auger
test that aided in locating the tank encountered white sand and
gravel, with no evidence of the limestone bedrock. This white
sand and gravel mixture apparently was used to fill all
fourteen septic tanks on the property in 1970 when the tanks
were bridged and the buildings connected to the city sewer
A backhoe was used to remove the construction fill zone
that covered the septic tank and neighboring deposits, as well
as to uncover most of the tank, the inflow pipe from the north
and west, the bridge outflow pipe, and areas adjacent to the




tank where units would be excavated. Fragments of the
original vitrified terra cotta outflow pipe were noted during
this backhoe work. Picks and shovels were used to enlarge
these areas as needed, prior to laying out the 1 meter square
units placed on either side of the tank. Additional units were
added in order to examine completely the area around the
southern end of the tank. If another circle feature had been
associated with this septic tank, these units should have
revealed the large basins. The remaining fill was removed by
hand and each unit was excavated in 10 cm arbitrary levels.
Vertical control was maintained by taking all measurements
from grid intersection points J-21 and J-22. All material was
water screened through 1/16 inch hardware cloth; diagnostic
or interesting artifacts were bagged and the remaining 1/16
inch fraction also was retained.
The excavation of the mechanical auger tests encountered
a number of holes cut into the limestone, most notably in the
area to the west and south of the depression left by the demoli-
tion of the swimming pool. An area eventually called "The
Valley of the Holes" was excavated just to the west of the
swimming pool. The midden deposit that originally overlaid
the limestone in this area had been removed or redeposited
during earlier clearing, leveling, and construction episodes on
the property-probably the construction of the Brickell Point
Apartments in 1950. The construction fill, which was rather
thin in this area, was removed by hand and with the help of
the backhoe. Individual depressions, solution holes, basins,
and cut holes were excavated, and the intact midden material
removedfromthesefeatures was processed as described above.


Auger Survey

One-hundred and fourteen (114) auger tests were made at
the property. Seventy (70) of these were dug using a combina-
tion of the mechanical and manual augers, and 44 were dug
using the backhoe and manual auger (see Appendix A).
Stratigraphic data were collected from another 13 localities.
Analysis of these data indicate that there are extensive midden
deposits, ranging from 30 cm to 60 cm in thickness beginning
in the area around the Miami Circle feature and running to the
west and north. The midden deposits thin rapidly at the
eastern and southern ends of the property, where the limestone
is closer to the surface. The ancient shoreline of the Miami
River was encountered in the auger tests on the northern and
northwestern portions of the property--the limestone surface
drops off sharply in these areas and no midden deposits were
encountered. In areas at the eastern and southern ends of the
property the auger tests revealed solution holes filled with
undisturbed midden and more regular, cut holes filled with
intact midden. These cut holes are like those encountered
during earlier excavations at the Miami Circle feature and on
other areas of the property, and are thought to be of human
One of these cut holes was found in Auger Test No. J34.
In this unit, disturbed fill was encountered from 0 to 25 cmbs

(centimeters below surface). When the surface of the lime-
stone was reached and brushed clear, it became apparent that
a perfectly round hole was present, 14 cm in diameter, and
filled with intact black earth midden. The midden deposit was
removed from this hole by hand using spoons and wooden
tools. Around 30 cmbs the top of a piece of coral was encoun-
tered, wedged against the north wall ofthe hole; opposite this,
at roughly the same depth, a Pleuroploca gigantea (horse
conch) columella was found, wedged vertically against the
south wall. The midden was tightly compacted, and contained
a variety of animal bone and marine shells, along with sherds
of sand-tempered plain and St. Johns Plain pottery. The sides
of the hole tapered gently to the bottom at 49 cmbs; the
diameter at this point was 9 cm. In cross-section the bottom
edges of the hole are slightly deeper than the center.
A larger, oval hole in the limestone was found in Auger
Test No. N34 (Figure 3). In this area the limestone is near the
surface, below only 10 to 12 cm of rubble and fill. Thin
pockets of undisturbed midden can be found in solution
features and other irregularities in the limestone. This hole
measures 36 cm by 20 cm, and is 38 cm in depth. The upper
portion of the hole was filled with black muck, which con-
tained many brown and rust colored root casts. A large
irregular limestone cobble was encountered around 10 cm
below the limestone surface in the western part of the hole;
this cobble occupied almost the entire center of the hole and
extended down to 20 cm below the limestone surface. The
material below the rock was black earth midden, with animal
bones and marine shells; artifacts found include sherds of
sand-tempered plain and St. Johns Plain pottery, as well as a
bone point. Further excavations in this area are described
below-the large number of holes cut into the limestone
resulted in the appellation "Valley of the Holes."
One thing that the auger testing made clear is that despite
the absence of intact midden deposits on top of the limestone
in some areas, the surface of the limestone is intact and
contains solution features and human-made holes filled with
undisturbed midden material. This seems especially true of
the eastern part of the property, and it is possible that there
may be other alignments of cut holes in the limestone in this

Thematic Maps

Information obtained from the stratigraphic data described
above was used to produce a series of five thematic maps of the
FieldMap. The first of these is the field map, which was
used to plot auger tests and other excavations, as well as
earlier excavations and the location of some of the footer
removal trenches (Figure 2). This map was constructed from
the 12 foot grid data provided by the Miami-Dade County
survey crew, other measurements made during the project, the
Miami Circle project map made by John Ricisak, and compari-
son with an engineered survey (Biscayne Engineering Co.
Present Surface Contours. The second map used the


2000 VOL. 53(4)

Brickell Point 8 DA12
Bureau of Archaeological Research
Division of Ifistorical Resources
Deparfmenf of Sfate

Surface Contours of Miami Oolite
Contour Interval: .50 Meters
Note: Elevation n Relation to NVGD1929River

Figure 4. Surface contours of Miami Oolite limestone formation.

Brickell Point 8 DA12
Bureau of Archaeological Research
Division of Hislorical Resources
Deparfmenf of State ,

Figure 5. Surface contours of midden deposits.

Brickell Point 8 DA12

Bureau of Archaeological Research
Division of flisorical Resources
Department of Sfe Safe

Midden Thickness ii er
Contour Interval: 20 cm

0 10 20 30 40
Feet Ia i i iver R310R34 R39
015 0 31 Q 34
P10 P 12 P27 P29 /P34 P40 !
o1 015 o 24 0 25 29 031 032 034
.52 0 .30 0o0 0.60 0.50
N13 N29 N31 N32 N34
M10 M12 M15 1 M2 M21 M/ as M2 M34 M M40
/- 01. 0. 130 034
0.3 -"4 i.o 0 0.6 .48 "Mi0ami.Ci o05o /1 o0o.l
I K10I K12 0 K20 1 K22 131 KK32 4 K37 K40
J20 17 J1 dl J32 i.
0.01 0.12
S17 9 115 121 \0 12 13

Figure 6. Thickness of midden deposits.

Brickell Point 8 DA12

Bureau of Archaeological Research
Division of Hiisorical Resources
Department of Softe

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 HI 1.27m
eaos wan

rubble constructon fill
rubble cnsruon flil
.5 0 3 Cif g g

t RePangrey I b SO
Sdisb dden


9.5 9 8.5 8 7.5 7 6.5 6 5.5 5 4.5 4 3.5 3 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0

---- cut hole
feau-e -

-cemented shell
Plan no. 28
R. Wheeler 11-3-99

Figure 7. Profile and plan, Trench 11.


elevation data for the 12 foot grid coordinates to draw the
present surface contours of the property. These contours
reflect the fact that the surface of the property has been altered
radically by leveling and construction. Many of the contours
correspond to the footer trenches or spoil piles, or other
activities associated with the 1998 demolition of the Brickell
Point Apartments buildings. Comparison with the U.S.G.S.
Miami quadrangle map of 1950 indicates that the surface
topography of the Brickell Point area has been significantly
modified since 1936. A five foot contour shown on that map
probably corresponds to the historic shoreline of the Miami
Surface Contours ofMiami Oolite Formation. This map
shows what the property would look like if all construction fill
and midden deposits were stripped away (Figure 4). The 0.50
m contour interval corresponds with the historic shoreline of
the Miami River. This interpretation is supported by a
photograph in the collections of the Historical Museum of
Southern Florida, which shows the construction ofthe concrete
bulkhead sometime between 1921 and 1924. Dredge fill was
added behind this bulkhead, and this material was observed in
the profile of Footer Trench 11. This map also shows that the
Miami Circle feature occupied one of the higher points on the
Surface Contours of Midden Deposit. This map shows
what the property would look like if all the construction and
dredge fill were removed, exposing the surface of the midden
deposit (Figure 5). What is most obvious from this map is that
the surface of the midden has been altered sometime in the
past, as considerable portions of midden have been removed,
while other areas have extremely thin midden deposits. This
is probably the result of leveling and clearing associated with
construction of the Brickell Point Apartments in 1950.
Despite these modifications, it can still be seen that the Miami
Circle feature occupies the highest elevation at the site. The
site boundary shown on this map is based on the distribution
of intact midden deposits and areas where the intact surface of
the limestone is present, since significant features are present
in the bedrock in areas with little or no extant midden deposi-
Midden Thickness. This map shows the current distribu-
tion and condition of the intact midden deposits at the Brickell
Point site (Figure 6). Note that while many parts of the site
contain only thin deposits, between 0 and 20 cm in thickness,
there are considerable areas that have between 40 and 60 cm
of intact black earth midden deposits. These are mostly
present along the downward slope of the old shoreline, as
shown in the cross-section from Trench 11 (Figure 7). The
thicker midden is probably preserved in this area because it is
capped and protected by the dredge fill deposited earlier in the
twentieth century. Later clearing and leveling operations
probably removed thicker deposits on the southern half of the

Trench 11 Profile and Plan

The profile and plan of the trench provides a detailed cross

section of over 10 meters of the site (Figure 7). As noted
before, the removal ofthe Brickell Point Apartments footers in
1998 left a considerable deposit of intact midden in the bottom
of this trench. Excavation of this material revealed numerous
solutionfeatures filled with intact midden deposit. At leasttwo
of the cut holes also were encountered in the bottom of the
trench. Other notable features include the partial, articulated
remains of a raccoon (primarily the lower portion of the
creature's body, pelvis fragments, femurs, tibia, and os
baculum), as well as those of a sea turtle (portions of the
carapace, humerus). These remains confirm that the midden
is intact here and indicate that it probably was deposited rather
rapidly. The midden observed in the trench walls is relatively
uniform, with lenses of Lucine clam shells in several places.

Stratigraphy. The profile of the trench reveals five major
strata, which are roughly representative of the entire Brickell
Point property.

Zone 1 is the uppermost unit and consists of construc-
tion fill-limestone rubble, broken concrete, light
colored sands, and modern debris, dating from the mid-
twentieth century to the present. This zone is exposed
on the surface of this area and is over 1 meter thick.
This stratum is associated with the construction of the
Brickell PointApartments in 1950 andtheirdemolition
in 1998.

Zone 2 is a gray to brown layer of disturbed, redepos-
ited midden soil that contains nineteenth and early
twentieth century artifacts. This stratum varies in
thickness across the site, from a thin lens to a thicker
unit of 25 to 35 cm; both variants are present in the
trench. As noted elsewhere, this stratum probably
represents a leveling episode associated with the
demolition of the earlier Brickell houses in 1950.

Zone 3 is the black earth midden; this stratum is rich in
faunal bone, and has some pottery, shell and bone
artifacts, and occasional lenses of Lucina pectinata
clam shells (Abbott 1974:460, Plate 22). Water-
washing of intact deposits of this midden also produced
many small to medium sized cobbles of oolitic lime-
stone, which may be debitage from the production of
the cut holes found throughout the site. This layer is
rather thick (50 cm) in the southern portion of the
trench, thinning rapidly at the historic shoreline to the
north. Artifacts include sand-tempered plain sherds,
bone artifact fragments, and shell tool fragments.
Features encountered in the midden include partially
articulated animal remains, suggesting that the midden
was deposited rapidly here along the water's edge.

Zone 4 is composed of dredge fill-oolitic limestone,
white sand, and gray clay soil. This material was
added to the site late in the 1910s or early 1920s when
the concrete bulkhead was built. This stratum is not
present in all parts of the site and is found only along




Figure 8. Plan of Feature 7, Trench 11, Unit 7.
Articulated raccoon remains.



0 10 20 30 40cm

Figure 9. Plan of Feature 15, Trench 11, Unit 6. Sea
turtle remains.

the historic shoreline, where fill was deposited.

Zone 5 is the local formation of Miami Oolite lime-
stone, which underlies the midden and other strata
described above. The precipitate crust or duricrust
noted for the Miami Oolite is obvious across the surface
of this formation.

Plan. The plan view of the footer trench reveals the
complex arrangement of solution features that were encoun-
tered upon the excavation of the intact black earth midden.
The elevation declines gradually, but there are at least two or
three major ledges that drop off dramatically. Cemented bone

and specimens of Lucinapectinata were often observed on the
surface of the limestone, along with the precipitate crust that
is usually present on the oolitic limestone. Cut holes, like
those encountered elsewhere on the property, were infrequent
in the bottom of the trench-those that were observed are
noted on the plan. Several of the solution features were
excavated as features and are described below.
Feature 1. A limestone solution feature, initially visible as
only a small water-filled hole plugged with packed cobbles of
oolitic limestone, was in the bottom of the trench, about 8.5
meters from the southern end of the trench. A thin layer of
midden coated the limestone in this area and it appeared that
the midden continued into the solution feature. The initial
excavation of the solution feature revealed black midden
material, with fine, well-sorted fragments of bone and shell,
and some larger pieces of bone, shell, and pottery. The upper
portion of the solution feature's contents contained some
concrete, modern glass, and other construction fill. Lower
portions produced nineteenth century materials, including the
fragmentary neck of a blown green glass bottle and a wire-
wound glass button, probably from a ladies' blouse or jacket.
Aboriginal materials included sand-tempered sherds, and one
example of Matecumbe Incised, a decorated Glades pottery
type dating to the Glades lIb Period (Griffin 1989:188). The
most interesting finds were two pieces of charred wood, each
showing evidence of shell tool marks- probably representing
debitage from canoe manufacture (Newsom 1994:409). This
solution feature must have become the repository for a variety
of debris, either lost or discarded at the edge of the Miami
River over a period of some time. Examination of early
twentieth century photographs indicate that Brickell's boat-
house was located in the vicinity, and individuals working
around this structure may be the source of many of the historic
era artifacts found (Peters 1984:3).
Feature 3. Unit 3 of the trench had a shallow depression
running through the limestone, with cut holes on the north and
south sides of this basin-like feature. The basin-like feature
contained a pile of Lucina pectinata clam shells, which were
- evident in the profiles as well. The cut hole on the north side
of the basin exhibited distinct vertical grooves from a cutting
tool. The hole was filled with black earth midden, cemented
midden, a large bone fragment, and a large crescent-shaped
fragment of the precipitate or duricrust usually found on the
limestone. Similarcutholesconcentratedaroundlargerbasins
were observed in the "Valley of the Holes," and it is possible
that this feature is a small part of such an arrangement.
Feature 7. The partially articulated remains of a raccoon
(Procyon lotor) were encountered in Unit 7 of the trench (see
Figure 8). The bones present seem to represent the lower
portion of the animal, including innominates, femurs, tibia, os
baculum, and others. Other elements extend into the western
wall of the trench, and were not removed.
Feature 15. This feature was encountered in the intact
midden deposits excavated from Unit 6 in the footer trench
(see Figure 9). The feature consists of the partially articulated
remains of a large sea turtle, possibly a green turtle (Chelonia
mydas) or loggerhead (Caretta caretta). Bones removed


2000 VoL. 53(4)

I 1


Excavation of Septic Tank
November 18,1999
Bureau of Archaeological Research
Florida Diision of Historical Resources
Department of State

K21 0- ---------

Extent of '
trench dug
for septic tank /::

Area excavated :-
by backhoe




r. wheeler

84N 37E J21

0 25
I .


- Bureau of Archaeological Research
Florida Division of Historical Resources
NOTES: Department of State
SElevations are meters above NOVD 1929 parent ae
Cut holes are shown in black

Figure 10. Plan of units excavated around septic tank. Top shows layout of excavation. Bottom shows detail of units with
plan of features and topography of limestone surface.




2000 VOL. 53(4)


Bureau of Archaeological Research
Florida Division of Historical Resources
Department of State





84N 37E J21



S .5 1 1.5 2 meters
0 .5 1 1.5 2 meters

MIDDEN 88018


UNIT 84N 37E J21




Bureau of Archaeological Research
Florida Division of Historical Resources
Department of State





1.77m I






2.01 m

1.78 m

-1.39 m

.25 .50 .75 1.0 meters
S 25 .50 .75 1 meters NOTE: Elevations are meters above NGVD 1929

Figure 11 Profile of units excavated around septic tank. Top shows a cross section of the area excavated. Bottom shows west
and south profile of Unit 84N 37E J21.

1 155W J22

1.48 m.


1.91m -


include portions of the carapace, plastron, and hu-
merus. Other bones seem to extend into the walls of *-.
the trench.
Other features. A number of the natural solution
features encountered in the bottom of the trench were
excavated as features, including Features 2, 5, and 16.
These contained black earth midden, Lucine clam
shells, concreted midden in some places, faunal
material, sand-tempered plain pottery, and occasional
other artifacts.

Excavation of Septic Tank

The septic tank chosen for examination was
associated with Building 3 of the Brickell Point
Apartments, and was the northernmost of two tanks
(see Figure 2). It is one of 14 septic tanks installed in
1950 to serve the Brickell Point Apartments. In 1970
the tanks were bridged and filled, the septic system
modified, and the buildings connected to the city
sewer system. This tank is roughly 70 feet west of the
septic tank within the Miami Circle feature. The
septic tank was located with the mechanical auger
after consulting the 1970 plan of the Brickell Point
Apartments' septic system. The tank was exposed
with a backhoe. The septic tank had been filled in
1970 with white sand and rubble (Anonymous 1970);
much of the area around the tank has a deposit of this
material as well. The trench dug for the original
installation of the septic tank was apparent when the
surface was cleared. The inflow pipe for this tank
comes from the west, makes a sharp turn and enters
the north end of the tank; the original outflow has
been replaced by a bridge pipe and exits the south end
of the tank.
Four units were excavated adjacent to the western,
eastern, and southern sides of the southern end of the
septic tank (Figure 10).
84N37E-J21, Unit West ofSeptic Tank. This unit Figure
is 1 meter square. Fill was removed from the top of 30N 78
the unit by backhoe and by hand. This unit does not
contain any evidence of the trench dug for the septic tank,
which is visible to the east in plan view. Five levels were dug
here, each being 10 cm except the last level, which encoun-
tered the irregular limestone bedrock after 4 or 5 cm. A total
of around 45 cm of midden was excavated and screened
through 1/16 inch mesh (Figure 11). Several decorated sherds
were encountered, including Opa Locka Incised, which dates
to the Glades Ha Period (A.D. 750-900). The other decorated
sherd has not been identified, but may be related to Safety
Harbor or Fort Walton types, or earlier Swift Creek or Weeden
Island types. The limestone surface was covered with a layer
ofLucine clam shells, and in many places these were cemented
to the limestone along with Strombus gigas, Pleuroploca
gigantea and oyster shell fragments, bone and other midden
material. Several small holes were found in the limestone
surface, but no large basins, like those that form the Miami


~ 4.

12. Photograph of units to west of septic tank, 84N 37E J21 and
IE J21.

Circle feature, were encountered (Figure 12). One small hole
in the northeastern quarter of the unit appeared to have been
cut into the limestone in antiquity, and contained a rock and
four stacked Lucine clam shells. Four articulated shark
vertebrae were encountered in the midden just above this hole.
The limestone surface was preserved under the midden, and
there was no evidence of contemporary (recent) disturbance.
34N 37W-J21. This unit was excavated as a southern
extension of the above described unit; it was 1 meter by 50 cm.
The western half of this unit was retained as a 50 cm square
column sample. Approximately 40 cm of intact midden
deposits were excavated. Small cut holes were found in the
limestone, several of which were filled with naturally ce-
mented midden and marine shell fragments. As shown in the
plan view, several of these are circular, while others have an
oval configuration. Other finds from this unit include bone





2000 VOL. 53(4)



"Valley of the holes"
Plan no. 32R. Wheeler 11-23-99
--\r^-"- ^
o\7~L^ /9

L E m O S IN M E E A B V E N V D 1 _______________________________________


Figure 13. Plan of "Valley of the Holes."


Figure 14. Photograph of "Valley of the Holes."

artifact fragments, shell artifact fragments, perforated shark
teeth, plain pottery, another sherd of Opa Locka Incised, and
a considerable collection of faunal material, including a large
fish articular (portion of mandible). This latter bone was
originally identified as the inner ear bone of a whale (Wheeler
80N 155W-J22, Unit East of Septic Tank. The 1 meter
square unit excavated to the east of the septic tank had
considerable evidence of tree root disturbance. Consultation
of a plan of the property made in 1995 indicates that a 42 inch
tree was located in this area. This unit only had 30 to 35 cm
of midden before the bedrock was reached. Like its counter-
part to the west, this unit produced at least one sherd of Opa
Locka Incised. Several clusters of Strombus shells were
encountered, as well as a cluster of shark vertebrae (at least
two species were represented). Several small cut holes were
found in the limestone, and one larger solution feature was
encountered in the southern half of the unit. The trench dug
for placement of the septic tank is very obvious in the western
part of this unit, and was excavated separately. The trench fill
consists of compact sand, crushed limestone, and concrete
block fragments.
30N 78E-J21. This was a 50 by 50 cm unit excavated on
the southern end of the septic tank, to the west of the outflow
pipe. Only around 25 to 30 cm of intact midden was exca-
vated here; more extensive disturbances were noted in the
upper portion of this unit, probably related to the initial
placement and later filling of the septic tank. This unit
encountered the area where the limestone had been cut for

placement of the septic tank and outflow pipe. The precipitate
crust was broken and fractured along this cut.
Summary. Four units were excavated around the southern
end of the septic tank associated with Brickell Point Apart-
ments Building No. 3. One meter square units were placed to
the west and east of the septic tank, a 1 meter by 50 cm
extension was made to the unit west of the septic tank, and a
50 by 50 cm unit was dug at the south end of the septic tank,
to the west of the outflow pipe. Part of one of these units was
taken as a 50 by 50 cm column sample. The units to the east
and south of the tank encountered the trench dug for place-
ment of the tank-this disturbance was very evident and is
about 18 cm wider than the tank. Distinctive solution features
give the limestone surface an irregular appearance. Lucine
clam shells and the shells of several other marine shell species
were found in concentrations on the surface of the lime-
stone-this phenomenon was noted in other places across the
property. Intact midden deposits ranging from 35 to 45 cm
were excavated in this area before encountering the limestone.
Several small cut holes were noted in the surface of the
limestone, though no large basins, like those that form the
Miami Circle feature, were found.

Excavation ofN34 Area, "Valley of the Holes"

This is area was initially identified during the auger survey
when four of the auger tests encountered cut holes in the
limestone. The area is situated between grid points M34 and
034, just to the west of the depression left by the demolition of




0 10 20cm




S crust

Cut hole Aborted hole

0 10 20cm

Figure 15. Plan and profile views of cut holes.

the Brickell Point Apartments' swimming pool (see Figure 2).
The machine-made cut in the limestone associated with the
pool is evident just to the east of this area. This area is about
90 feet northeast of the Miami Circle feature, near the original
shoreline of the Miami River and Biscayne Bay. The fill in
this area is thin, ranging from 6-10 cm to 30-45 cm in
thickness. Midden deposits overlying the limestone bedrock
are absent in most places, though thin lenses are evident in
several places. The cut holes and solution features encoun-
tered in this area are filled with intact black earth midden. A
layer containing nineteenth century material (described above
and below) also is encountered here.
An area 5 meters north-south by 5 meters east-west was
excavated (about 25 square meters). Seventy-three (73)
distinct features have been identified here, including ten (10)
large basin-like troughs or depressions, eight (8) "double" or
connected holes, one (1) set or pair of holes placed close
together, fifty-one (51) single holes cut in the limestone, and
what appear to be three (3) aborted or abandoned holes (see
Figures 13 and 14, and Appendix B).
These features are interesting since they give some indica-
tion of the process that the Indians used in making the cut
holes. Some of the features are circular depressions, chopped

into the surface of the limestone, and then apparently aban-
doned with no further modification (Figures 15 and 16). The
next stage in making a hole seemingly involved continuing the
hole downward into the limestone with almost vertical sides.
Holes left in this stage of manufacture often have sides with
very distinctive vertical grooves, giving the hole a scalloped or
gadrooned effect. Many more of the holes examined in this
area were cut even farther into the limestone, and have
diagonally sloping sides in their lower half giving the overall
hole a conical form. Vertical grooves in these holes are
usually absent or faint, and there is evidence, in the form of
lateral striations on the walls of the holes, that suggest these
grooves may have been intentionally removed. Figure 15
illustrates plan and cross-section diagrams of some of these cut
Close examination of the cut holes in this area indicates
that many (if not all) have a thin (1 to 2 mm) indurated crust
on the limestone surface extending down into the hole. This
is in contrast to the unaltered limestone surface around the
holes, which has an indurated crust ranging from 8 to 10 mm
in thickness. In some places near the cut holes, this crust has
been broken or spalled off in antiquity, perhaps when the cut
holes were originally made. This matches the description


2000 VOL. 53(4)


- fOr



Figure 16. Photograph of cut holes.

given by Means and Scott (1999, see this issue) during their
geological examination of the Miami Circle feature; they note
that these crusts may be the result "of subariel exposure where
acidic soil waters cause dissolution of CaCO3 and capillary
action and evaporation cause reprecipitation in the form of a
laminated crust on the bedrock surface."
Cut hole feature "R" is a good example of the "double"
holes encountered in this area. The brown, disturbed layer at
the surface of the limestone here contained a sherd of white-
ware or white ironstone, probably dating to the late nineteenth
century. The midden removed from the double hole cut in the
limestone did not contain any historic material, and was
tightly packed in the hole. At 12 cm below the surface of the
limestone a sherd of Opa Locka Incised pottery was found
within the hole. The bottom of the hole was filled with
concreted midden. In all, the hole was probably around 25 cm
in depth. Like many of the other holes, the sides were straight
until around 10 cm below the limestone surface, from where
the paired hole tapered gradually to the bottom, with a slight
ridge separating the two holes.
Several interesting artifacts from this area include exam-
ples of Opa Locka Incised and Miami Incised pottery sherds;
both of these types date to the Glades IIa Period (A.D. 750-
900). Other Opa Locka Incised sherds were encountered in
the excavations around the septic tank described above. Other
artifacts include fragments of bone tools, shell tools, and
modified shark-tooth tools, as well as an interesting mineral
The mineral bead has flattened ends, slightly bulging sides,

an off-center countersunk hole, is 6 mm high, 20 cm wide, and
appears to be made of galena (lead sulphide), a non-local
mineral. The surface is a shiny, metallic gray color, and the
distinct cubic cleavage of this mineral is notable in this
specimen. Galena deposits are found in southeastern Missouri,
the Missouri-Kansas-Oklahoma area, and in Illinois and
Wisconsin (Palache et al. 1944:200-204; Prinz et al.
1978:entry 25). Walthall (1981:37-41) notes that Middle
Woodland (200 B.C.-A.D. 500) occurrences of galena at sites
in the Midwest are from southeastern Missouri and the upper
Mississippi Valley areas. Austin et al. (2000:127) note that
galena is known from 54 archaeological sites in Florida;
archaeological occurrences of galena in southern Florida
include Hopewellian contexts at Royce Mound (Austin
1993:300-301), Oak Knoll (Dickel and Carr 1991:66), and
Mound A at Fort Center (Steinen in Sears 1982:Figure 6.1m,
96) and a post-A.D. 1200 occurrence of this mineral at the
Pineland site (Austin 1993:301). Sourcing studies of galena
specimens from McKeithen (8CO17), Fort Center (8GL13),
Royce Mound (8HG676), and the Pineland Site Complex
(8LL33) indicate an origin in southeastern Missouri (Austin et
al. 2000:127-128). Galena is thought to be an elite item in
both Woodland and Mississippian times in the southeastern
United States, and in some cases was ground to produce a
white pigment (Seeman 1979:375-376).
A fragment of hematite (iron oxide) represents another
extra-local find from this area. This fragment is heavy,
lustrous and silver in color, with some red tints; hematite in
this form commonly comes from sedimentary deposits in the



2000 VOL. 53(4)

0 1 2 3 4 5cm

i .

I I t I I I
0 1 2 3 4 5cm

0 1 2 3 4 5cm
1 t 1 I I I

A :


0 1 2 3 4 5cm

Figure 17. Artifacts from the "Valley of the Holes." Top: Hamilton biface, Hole "HH;" Left center: Hernando biface,
Hole "JJ7;" Right center: Belle Glade Plain potsherd disk, Hole "LL;" Bottom: Busycon shell plummet, Basin "MM."


Great Lakes region (Palache et al. 1944:527-534; Prinz et al.
1978:entry 65), as well as in eastern Missouri and west-central
Illinois (Seeman 1979:294). Like the stone axes found during
excavation of the Miami Circle, these objects point to partici-
pation in long-distance exchange (see Dixon et al., this issue).
Toward the end of our work, fragments of three lithic
bifaces were recovered, including a Middle Archaic (5,000-
6,000 B.P.) Hamilton point (Figure 17 illustrates artifacts from
the project). The anachronistic nature of this point suggests it
may have been found elsewhere and brought back to the site.
Haiduven (1999:23-26, 28-29) reports Strombus gigas shell
celts recovered from dredge spoil located on property less than
a mile from Brickell Point; these were radiocarbon dated
between 4,000 and 3,500 years B.P. Presumably the celts are
from a site in Biscayne Bay, and it is possible that such sites
contained Archaic materials that were collected by the later
Glades people. Other bifaces found include a Hernando point,
which ranges in date from circa 1000 B.C. through A.D. 900,
and the mid-section of another small unidentified point (cf.
Bullen 1975:24, 38; Ste. Claire 1996:197). Griffin et al.
(1982:67) note a rather eclectic collection of chert points and
bifaces from the Granada site spanning, at least, the 2000 year
range of occupation noted for the site.

Nineteenth Century Material

Several areas across the site produced nineteenth century
artifacts, including glass bottle fragments, square cut nails,
whiteware sherds, and occasional glass trade beads.
This material is usually found in a matrix of brown,
redeposited midden, which often includes aboriginal pottery
sherds, and degraded bone and shell. This layer is usually
thin, ranging from 1 cm to 8 cm in thickness. This layer was
encountered in many of the excavations, either below the fill
and above the limestone, or on top of the intact midden
In the "Valley of the Holes" this layer occurs below a
compact layer of fill and limestone cobbles (both Miami Oolite
and Anastasia Coquina limestone) and above the limestone
bedrock. It intrudes slightly into the very top of some of the
cut holes in this area. For example, cut hole "Q" had the base
of a green glass bottle pressed into the sediment in the top of
the hole-nothing below this contained any historic material.
This brown layer extended well into a trough-like depres-
sion, labeled "V." Material removed from the disturbed
portion of this unit includes cut nails, whiteware sherds, green
bottle glass, coal slag, and two translucent, faceted, cobaltblue
beads. This bead type apparently became popular in the
Indian trade early in the nineteenth century, and is often found
in nineteenth century Seminole or Seminole-related contexts
in Florida (Good 1983:163-165; Weisman 1989:70-71).
One large, opaque, pale blue, wire-wound bead also was
found in this area. Similar beads were recovered by Carr
(1981a:190) during excavation of the Brickell Store, and
Williams (1983:Figure lla, 151) found an example of this
type at the Margate-Blount site in Broward County. Brain
(1979:Plate 3, 109) describes similar beads from the Trudeau

site in Louisiana, and gives a temporal range of 1719-1833.
One of the auger tests (K40), placed near the eastern edge
of the property, uncovered several large blocks of molded
concrete. These looked quite different from the other examples
of concrete frequently encountered across the property. The
blocks appear to be composed of Portland cement and beach
sand and each has two or more sides that are finished flat.
They are reinforced with wire or thin metal rods. The matrix
in this area is primarily disturbed midden. The blocks appar-
ently date to the late nineteenth or early twentieth century and
are possibly associated with the Brickell occupation of the
The material described above probably became incorpo-
rated in the site during a leveling and clearing event that
mixed some of the aboriginal midden with the historic
material and then spread it thinly over large portions of the

Discussion and Conclusion

The primary objectives of this survey were to assess the
archaeological deposits present on the Brickell Point property
and address concerns relating to the origin and significance of
the Miami Circle feature. As noted above, the auger survey
revealed that approximately 70% of the property contains the
oolite limestone formation, which contains cut holes similar to
those that comprise the Miami Circle feature. This area has
been defined as the site boundary. The remaining 30% of the
property contains fill and a now-buried portion of the Miami
River. The auger survey further demonstrated that black earth
midden deposits, some exceeding 50 cm in thickness, occur on
approximately 35% of the property. The midden deposits
overlie the Miami Oolite formation, though in some places a
very thin lens of white or tan sand was observed at the inter-
face; this observation is consistent with reports of a similar
lens encountered during excavations of the Miami Circle
feature. Other deposits routinely encountered across the site
include a disturbed midden, which contains nineteenth and
twentieth century artifacts, as well as deposits of modern
construction fill and early twentieth century dredge fill.
The intact archaeological deposits found across the site are
black earth midden, with occasional lenses of Lucine clam
shells. The deposits overlie the oolitic limestone and fill the
cut holes, as well as solution features present. In many places
this midden has become concreted to the limestone, and the
Lucine clam shells are regularly found cemented to the
limestone. Radiocarbon datesfrom the midden associated with
the Miami Circle and artifacts recovered during this survey
suggest that the midden deposits date between 2000 and 1400
years B.P., representing the Glades I early (500 B.C.-A. D.
500) through Glades Ha (A.D. 750-900) periods. The artifacts
recovered are typical of Native American sites in the
Everglades region, and it is possible that they have a direct
historical connection with the Tequesta Indians who occupied
the area during the European contact era (Carr and Beriault
1984; Griffin 1988:113; 1989; Willey 1949:79-120). Informa-
tion from Brickell Point and the Miami Circle feature comple-




ments data from the nearby Granada site, and comparison
suggests the inhabitants of both sites were part of the same
cultural complex-the Glades Tradition (Goggin 1949b:28-
The archaeological and geological evidence supports the
antiquity of the Miami Circle feature. The cut holes uncovered
during this survey match closely the configuration and
contents of those associated with the Miami Circle. The cut
holes vary in size and shape, and are filled with dense, intact,
black earth midden. Marks left by cutting tools can often be
observed on the sides of the holes. Typical shapes range from
cylindrical to conical, and sizes vary widely between 10 cm to
more than 25 cm in diameter, depths also range considerably.
Holes in various stages of manufacture also suggest a human
origin. Geologically the indurated crust or precipitate crust
observed on the limestone and in the cut holes, coupled with
the intact midden deposit, demonstrates considerable antiquity
for these features (Means and Scott 1999, and this issue).
Earlier assessments of the significance of the Miami Circle
feature, which suggest that the configuration of holes cut in the
limestone represents a unique architectural element, are
supported by this survey. Weisman et al. (1999:3, and this
issue) indicate that the Miami Circle's location within the site
and at the mouth of the Miami River point to its importance,
and further note the significance of the site in local and
regional prehistory (also see Miami-Dade County Historic
Preservation Division 1999). Comparison with other sites in
Florida and the Southeast suggests that the Miami Circle and
the other cut holes and basins represent architectural fea-
tures-like postmolds. Such features are extremely rare in
southeastern Florida, and the preservation of architectural
remains in limestone provides a dramatic and unique opportu-
nity to examine architecture in this part of the state. The
presence of extra-local, exotic artifacts like stone axes, galena,
chert bifaces, and hematite point to participation in a long-
distance exchange network. Some of these exchange goods are
found occasionally at other Everglades region sites, but others
are exceedingly rare, supporting the evaluation that this is a
significant site.


The assessment survey included several recommendations
for protecting and gaining a better understanding the Brickell
Point site and the Miami Circle feature (Wheeler 2000:39-40).
Recommendations to aid in understanding the site included
conducting ground penetrating radar (GPR) studies of the
property, in order to locate additional features; employing low-
altitude aerial photography to take scaled and parallax
corrected photographs of the "Miami Circle" and "Valley of
the Holes" features; and allowing the archaeological deposits
to be studied by a soil scientist in order to understand site
formation processes and effects of soil on the limestone
bedrock. Subsequent discussions with GPR professionals
suggest that such studies might aid in locating modern
disturbances, but would be unable to pinpoint the many small
holes cut into the limestone that characterize the site.

Recommendations to protect and interpret the site included
development of temporary signs and interpretive panels; back-
filling of the open demolition trenches and excavation units;
and limiting any future construction of interpretive structures
to the fill zone or non-site areas. The unexcavated deposits
and the cut holes that have not been uncovered represent a
significant and fragile resource. Any adverse effects to the
limestone surface or the intact midden deposits should be
avoided. The layer of fill present across much of the site
should provide a zone in which construction and utility line
work can be done. More substantial structures should be
located on portions of the property where the site does not
occur, have foundations that exist within the fill zone, or have
built up pads of fill on which they can be situated. The
concrete seawall fronting the Miami River may need repairs in
the near future.
Further excavation should focus on the area between the
Miami Circle feature and the "Valley of the Holes." These
features are near one another, and more work in the interven-
ing area may help in understanding the relationship of these
features. The boundaries or edge of the "Valley of the Holes"
has not been identified at this point, and testing in this area
may help in understanding what this feature represents.

Recent Developments

Since completion of the assessment survey and the State of
Florida's acquisition of the property in early December 1999,
the Florida Division of Historical Resources and the Miami-
Dade County Historic Preservation Division have cooperated
in the management of the Brickell Point property. Miami-
Dade County has continued to provide site security and local
management of the property. Work at Brickell Point in April
and May, 2000 included the removal of construction debris
and trash, back-filling of the open footer removal trenches,
back-filling of many of the open excavation units, removal of
invasive exotic plants, and re-contouring of the ground
surface. Plans for temporary interpretive signs also have been
Randolph Widmer of the University of Houston, under a
Chapter 1A-32 Archaeological Research Permit from the
Bureau of Archaeological Research, conductedtwo three-week
field schools at the site in June and August, 2000. This work
focused on an area between the Miami Circle feature and the
"Valley of the Holes," and revealed many additional features
cut into the limestone, and produced artifacts and radiocarbon
dates consistent with the previous studies.
In August, 2000 the gravel, geotextile fabric, and plywood
used to protect the Miami Circle was removed in order to
examine the condition of the feature and allow filming for a
BBC documentary. The feature appeared to be stable and in
good condition, though water was collecting in some of the
basins and holes. Better methods of protecting the circle with
a temporary layer of sand or fill are being considered.

2000 Voi. 53(4)


Curatorial Note

All artifacts collected during this project, as well as those
from previous and subsequent projects, are housed at the
Historical Museum of Southern Florida, Miami. Copies of all
field notes and maps are on file with the Historic Preservation
Division, Miami-Dade County Office of Community and
Economic Development Original field notes andphotographs
from the assessment survey are stored at the Bureau of
Archaeological Research in Tallahassee.


The following individuals contributed time, knowledge, and
assistance to the State of Florida investigation of the Brickell Point
property: Robert S. Carr and Jorge Zamanillo, Archaeological and
Historical Conservancy, Inc.; John Ricisak and Christopher Eck,
Miami-Dade County Historic Preservation Division; Victor Lopez,
backhoe operator, Miami-Dade County, the staff of the Miami-
Dade County Land Surveyor's Office; James J. Miller, William
Stanton, and Mable Revell, Bureau of Archaeological Research;
George Luer, archaeologist; and T. L. Riggs, Professional Land
Surveyor. I am also grateful for the hard work and professionalism
of the fieldcrew-Gary N. Beiter, Monica Oyola-Coeur, Curtis
Campaign, Victor Longo, Brian Conesa, Richard Haiduven, and
William Stanton.

References Cited

Abbott, R. Tucker
1974 American Seashells: The Marine Mollusca of the Atlan-
tic and Pacific Coasts of North America, 2"' ed. Van
Nostrand Reinhold, New York.

1970 As-built plans for abandonment of Brickell Point Apart-
ments' septic system and connection to sanitary sewer,
dated March, 1970. On file, Miami-Dade Historic Pres-
ervation Division.

Austin, Robert J.
1993 The Royce Mound: Middle Woodland Exchange and
Mortuary Customs in South Florida. The Florida Anthro-
pologist 46(4):291-309.

Austin, Robert J., Ronald M. Farquhar, and Karen J. Walker
2000 Isotope Analysis of Galena from Prehistoric Archaeologi-
cal Sites in South Florida. Florida Scientist 63(2):123-

Biscayne Engineering Co.
1995 Sketch of Survey (of Brickell Point Apartments prop-
erty). On file, Miami-Dade County Division of Historic
Preservation, Miami.

Bousquet, Steve
1999 State's Cost for Circle Goes Up. The Miami Herald,
Wednesday, September 29, 1999.

Brain, Jeffrey P.
1979 Tunica Treasure. Papers of the Peabody Museum of
Archaeology and Ethnology, Vol. 71, Salem, Massachu-

Brooks, H. Kelly
1974 Lake Okeechobee. In Environments ofSouth Florida:
Present and Past II, edited by Patrick J. Gleason, pp.
256-286. Miami Geological Society, Miami.

Bullen, Ripley P.
1975 A Guide to Identification ofFlorida Projectile Points.
Revised Edition. Kendall Books, Gainesville.

Calvo, Dana
1998 Out of the Past. Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Thursday,
December 31, 1998.

Cart, Robert S.
1981a The Brickell Store and Seminole Indian Trade. The
Florida Anthropologist 34(4):180-199.
1981b Dade County Historic Survey Final Report: The Archeo-
logical Survey. Historic Preservation Division, Metropol-
itan Dade County Office of Community and Economic
Development, Miami.
1999 The Miami Circle: A Closer View. Document available
at http://www.co.miami-dade.fl.us/parks/natarch.htm.

Car, Robert S., and John G. Beriault
1984 Prehistoric Man in Southern Florida. In Environments of
South Florida: Present and Past H, edited by Patrick J.
Gleason, pp. 1-14. Miami Geological Society, Coral

Davis, T. Frederick
1935 Juan Ponce de Leon's Voyages to Florida. Florida His-
torical Quarterly 14(1):3-69.

Dickel, David, and Robert S. Carr
1991 Archaeological Investigations of the Oak Knoll Mound,
8LL729, Lee County, Florida. Technical Report No. 21.
Archaeological and Historical Conservancy, Inc., Miami.

Finefrock, Don
1999 Circle Appraisers Split on Property's Value. The Miami
Herald, Friday, September 2, 1999.

Gaby, Donald C.
1993 The Miami River and Its Tributaries. The Historical
Association of Southern Florida, Miami.

Goggin, John M.
1940 The Tekesta Indians of Southern Florida. Florida Histor-
ical Quarterly 18(4):274-284.
1947 A Preliminary Definition of Archaeological Areas and
Periods in Florida. American Antiquity 13(2):114-127.
1949a The Archeology of the Glades Area, Southern Florida.
Typescript on file, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida His-
tory, University of Florida, Gainesville.
1949b Cultural Traditions in Florida Prehistory. In The Florida
Indian and His Neighbors, edited by John W. Griffin, pp,
13-44. Inter-American Center, Rollins College, Winter

Good, Mary Elizabeth
1983 A Comparison of Glass Beads from Upper Creek Indian




Towns in the Southeast and in Oklahoma. In Proceedings
of the 1982 Glass Trade Bead Conference, edited by
Charles F. Hayes III, pp. 159-166. Rochester Museum
and Science Center, Rochester.

Granger, Forrest
1954 Aerial view of downtown area of Miami, Florida. Forrest
Granger Collection, Florida State Archives, Tallahassee.

Griffin, John W.
1988 The Archeology ofEverglades National Park: A Synthe-
sis. Prepared under contract for the Southeastern Archeo-
logical Center, National Park Service, Tallahassee.
1989 Time and Space in South Florida: A Synthesis. The
Florida Anthropologist 42(3):179-204.

Griffin, John W., Sue B. Richardson, Mary Pohl, Carl D.
McMurray, C. Margaret Scany, Suzanne K. Fish, Elizabeth S.
Wing, L. Jill Loucks, and Marcia K. Welch
1982 Excavations at the Granada Site: Archaeology and His-
tory of the Granada Site, Vol. 1. Prepared for the City of
Miami by Florida Division of Archives, History and
Records Management, Tallahassee.

Haiduven, Richard G.
1999 A Phase I Archaeological Survey and Assessment of
1441 Brickell Avenue, Miami-Dade County, Florida.
Report on file, Florida Master Site File, Bureau of Ar-
chaeological Research, Florida Division of Historical
Resources, Tallahassee.

Hann, John H.
1991 Missions to the Calusa. University of Florida Press,

Laxson, Dan D.
1959 Three Salvaged Tequesta Sites in Dade County, Florida.
The Florida Anthropologist 12(3):57-64.
1968 The Dupont Plaza Site. The Florida Anthropologist

Loney, Jim
1998 Stone Circle of Mystery. Reuters, December 23, 1998.

McNicoll, Robert E.
1941 The Caloosa Village Tequesta: A Miami of the Sixteenth
Century. Tequesta 1(1):11-20.

Means, Guy H., and Thomas Scott
1999 A Geological Assessment of the Miami Circle Site. Re-
port on file, Florida Geological Survey, Tallahassee.

Merzer, Martin
1999a UF Archaeologist Doubtful of Circle Origins. The Miami
Herald, Friday, September 3, 1999.
1999b Unearthing Miami. The Miami Herald, Sunday, January
3, 1999.

Miami-Dade County Historic Preservation Division
1999 Miami Circle C.A.R.L. Application. On file, Bureau of
Archaeological Research, Florida Division of Historical
Resources, Tallahassee.

Milanich, Jerald T.
1999 Much Ado About a Circle. Archaeology 52 (No. 5,

National Ocean Service
1986 Geodetic Glossary. National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, Rockville, Maryland.

Newsom, Lee
1994 Archaeobotanical Data from Groves' Orange Midden
(8VO2601), Volusia County, Florida. The Florida An-
thropologist 47(4):404-417.

Parks, Arva Moore
1982 Where the River Found the Bay, Historical Study of the
Granada Site, Miami, Florida. Archaeology and History
of the Granada Site Vol. 2, Prepared for The City of
Miami by Division of Archives, History and Records
Management, Tallahassee.

Palache, Charles, Harry Berman, and Clifford Frondel
1944 The System ofMineralogy ofJames Dwight Dana and
Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892,
Seventh Edition, Vol. 1. John Wiley and Sons, New

Peters, Thelma
1984 Miami 1909, with Excerpts from Fannie Clemons'Diary.
Banyan Books, Miami.

Prinz, Martin, George Harlow, and Joseph Peters
1978 Guide to Rocks and Minerals. Simon and Schuster, New

Sears, William H.
1982 Fort Center: An Archaeological Site in the Lake
Okeechobee Basin. University Presses of Florida,

Seeman, Mark F.
1979 The Hopewell Interaction Sphere: The Evidence for
Interregional Trade and Structural Complexity. Indiana
Historical Society, Indianapolis.

Squires, Karl
1941 Pre-Columbian Man in Southern Florida. Tequesta

Ste. Claire, Dana
1996 Technological and Functional Analysis of Hernando
Projectile Points. The Florida Anthropologist 49(4):189-

Stirling, Matthew W.
1936 Florida Cultural Affiliations in Relation to Adjacent
Areas. In Essays in Anthropology Presented to Alfred
Louis Kroeber, edited by Robert H. Lowie, pp. 351-357.
University of California, Berkeley.

True, David O.
1944 The Freducci Map of 1514-1515. Tequesta 4: 50-55.

United States Geological Survey


2000 VoL. 53(4)


1950 Miami, Florida. 7.5-minute quadrangle map.
Washington, D.C.
1962 Miami, Florida. 7.5-minute quadrangle map,
photorevised 1969. Reston, Virginia.
1988 Miami, Florida. 7.5-minute quadrangle map,
photoinspected 1990. Reston, Virginia.

Walters, Sabrina
1998 Archaeological Find "Stunning." The Miami Herald,
Monday, December 28, 1998.

Walthall, John A.
1981 Galena and Aboriginal Trade in Eastern North America.
Scientific Papers, Vol. 17. Illinois State Museum,

Weisman, Brent R.
1989 Like Beads on a String: A Culture History of the Semi-
nole Indians in North Peninsular Florida. University of
Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.

Weisman, Brent R., Herschel E. Shepard, and George Luer
1999 The Origin and Significance of the Brickell Point Site
(8DA12), also known as the Miami Circle. Independent
assessment, typescript on file, Bureau of Archaeological
Research, Tallahassee.

Summary of Auger Test Data

Wheeler, Ryan J.
1992 The Riviera Complex: An East Okeechobee Archaeologi-
cal Area Settlement. The Florida Anthropologist 45(1):5-
2000 Cultural Resource Assessment ofBrickell Point and the
Miami Circle. Florida Archaeological Reports No. 10.
Bureau of Archaeological Research, Division of Histori-
cal Resources, Tallahassee.

Whoriskey, Peter
1999 County Wins Right to Buy Miami Circle. The Miami
Herald, Tuesday, June 29, 1999.

Willey, Gordon R.
1949 Excavations in Southeast Florida. Publications in An-
thropology No. 42, Yale University, New Haven.

Williams, Wilma
1983 Bridge to the Past Excavations at the Margate-Blount
Site. The Florida Anthropologist 36(3-4):142-153.

Auger No. Elevation at ground Elevation at top of Elevation at top of Comment
surface midden limestone
(m NGVD) (m NGVD) (mNGVD)
B27 2.53 _2.48
B28 2.59 _2.51
C13 1.95 _1.68 cut holes w/ midden
C27 2.44 __ 2.39
C28 2.47 -2.32 Encountered sewer
line trench
C29 2.50 -2.25 Encountered sewer
line trench
C30 2.50 Fill/rubble only
C31 2.56 Rubble only
C9 1.83 -1.51 sewer line trench in
D19 2.16 2.06
D22 2.26 _2.12
D26 2.44 2.34
D27 2.47 2.39
D28 2.50 2.37
D30 2.53 Concrete slab
Ell 1.98 1.13 0.89 septic tank
E13 1.95 1.25 0.47
E15 2.01 1.43 1.41 Midden in shallow
S_ pockets
E17 2.13 __ 1.80
E19 2.26 1.86 Numerous solution
Features w/ midden



2000 VOL. 53(4)

Auger No. Elevation at ground Elevation at top of Elevation at top of Comment
surface midden limestone
(m NGVD) (mNGVD) (m NGVD)
E21 2.35 -2.15 Shallow pockets w/
E27 2.50 2.26
E30 2.59 2.39
E34 2.56 2.49
E5 1.60 0.92
E6 1.65 0.93 0.92
E9 1.80 0.64
F26 2.50 1.52
F27 2.56 2.20 2.19
F28 2.56 2.40
F29 2.59 2.43
G11 1.92 1.51 0.91
G13 1.95 1.17 0.94
G15 2.07 1.57 1.37
G17 2.13 1.46 1.26
G22 2.44 1.78 1.71
G27 2.59 2.30
G28 2.62 2.31
G29 2.32 2.22
G34 2.50 Iron manhole cover
G37 1.95 1.27
G5 1.55 0.68
G6 1.58 0.80 0.60
G7 1.85 1.10 0.60
G9 1.83 0.59
H27 2.65 Concrete slab
H28 3.02 1.74 1.58
H29 2.68 Rubble only
H34 2.38_ 1.82
Ill 1.95 1.11 0.94
113 2.01 1.56 0.86
114 2.01 septic tank
117 2.38 1.21
121 2,44 2.09
127 2.68 2.19 2.01
129 2,65 2.20 1.95
134 2.44 2.15 2.10 Irregular limestone
w/ pockets of mid-
137 2.26 1.49 1.46
17 1,83 0.33
19 1.89 0.39
J20/J19 2.53 1.38 1.37
J21 2.38 1.82 1.70
J22 2.47 2.13
J31 2.83 Septic tank?
J32 2.68 2.22
J34 2.44 2.19 Cut hole in lime-
stone w/ midden
K10 1.92 _

Auger No. Elevation at ground Elevation at top of Elevation at top of Comment
surface midden limestone
(mNGVD) (m NGVD) (mNGVD)
K12 1.89 0.24
K14 2.01 1.41 0.71
K20/K19 2.19 1.17 1.12
K21 2.32 1.76 1.30
K22 2.38 1.70 1.32
K31/K30 2.59 2.16 2.15
K32 2.65 Concrete slab
K34 2.47 2.13
K37 2.26 1.35 1.30 1-2 mm indurated
crust noted on lime-
K40 1.89 -0.87 molded concrete
blocks found
K9 1.98 0.38
L14 1.86 marl/muck
L16 1.01 -0.24 -test did not reach
L17 1.49 -0.11 -0.56
L20/L19 1.74 1.14 1.04/0.94 Solution feature w/
L21 2.26 1.77 1.27
L24 2.90 2.08 1.42
L25 2.77 1.97 1.49
L31 2.74 2.01 1.90
L33 2.53 2.10
L34 2.41 2.08 2.07
M10 1.92 -- Did not reach mid-
M12 1.86 -- Rubble only
M15 2.13_ 0.68
M19 1.31 1.19 0.85
M20 1.98 0.98 0.58
M32 2.62 2.12 1.82
M34 2.38 2.03
M37 1.98 1.28 1.25
M40 1.98 Concrete slab
N13 1.86 -Rubble only
N29 2.41 Rubble only
N31 2.53 _2.08
N32 2.50 2.00 1.90
N34 1.98 1.86 cut oval hole w/
010 1.80 Rubble only
015 1.68 0.11
024 0.91 1.41 0.91 Datum at limestone
025 1.92 1.52 1.12
026 2.26 1.66 1.06
029 2.38 1.88 1.38
031 2.50 _1.90
034 2.01 _1.66 cut hole w/ midden
P10 1.46 10.50 In old river channel



Auger No. Elevation at ground Elevation at top of Elevation at top of Comment
surface midden limestone
(m NGVD) (m NGVD) (m NGVD)
P12 1.62 _
P24 2.23 0.84 0.83
P27 2.23 _1.48
P29 2.32 _1.57
P34 2.01 1.41 1.39 small cut hole w/
P40 1.71 0.25
Q15 1.25 0.05 clay & tan soil in
old river channel
Q31 2.23 1.81
Q34 1.95 0.95 0.93
R31 1.80 Rubble/fill only
R34 2.01 1.03
R39 1.77___ water at 140 cmbs

Summary of features excavated in the "Valley of the Holes"


cut by swimming nani french

B 8-9 15
C 9-10 13
D 28 48 large, round hole
E 9 5
F 10-11 18 cemented limestone at top
G 11 11-13 cemented limestone and midden
at top
H 6 5
I 7 5
J 11 17
K 14/12 28/32 double hole
L circular basin
L-1 13 20
L-2 14 16
L-3 10/6 11 double hole
M 9 13
N 8 9
0 12 24
P oblong basin
P-1 16-17 34 distinctive 1-2 mm indurated
crust in hole, 10-12 mm on lime-
stone surface adjacent to hole
P-2 14 19
P-3 15 33
P-4 8 9
P-5 10 10
Q 16 22
R 11/14 26/24 double hole Opa Locka Incised sherd from 12
S 9/7 10/12 double hole
T 8 11


2000 VOL. 53(4)


U 13 21 conical hole, indurated crust is
yellow-brown in color; silicon
rubber cast made
V U-shaped basin disturbed midden zone produced
glass trade bead
V-1 10 6
V-2 13-14 30
W 9 13
X 10 12 cemented midden prevalent in
____ this area
Y 10 14
Z 6/4 10 double hole
N34 19-35 42 oval hole cut hole found in auger test
034 11 21 cut hole found in auger test
AA kidneybean-shaped
AA-1 12 12 conical hole
BB kidneybean-shaped
BB-1 7-9 10
CC circular basin
CC-1 13 34
CC-2 7 10
CC-3 6 5
DD 11 8 conical hole
EE 10 21
FF 16-17 27
GG 10 25 double hole w/II
HH_ basin produced Hamilton biface
HH-1 9-10
II 10 14 double hole w/ GG
JJ depressional area or
shallow basin
JJ-1 8/10 31/14 double hole
JJ-2 7 12
JJ-3 12 18
JJ-4 15-16 28
JJ-5 13/15 14/28 double hole, joined
by channel
JJ-6 7-10 18
JJ-7 5/7 21/14 paired holes? produced Hernando biface
JJ-8 10 10
JJ-9 6 4
KK trough-like basin
LL 8/9 18 double hole
LL-1 irregular basin
MM basin
MM-1 9-14 24
MM-2 9 25
MM-3 10 16
NN 19 34
00 11__ unexcavated


Treasure of the Calusa: The Johnson/
Willcox Collection from Mound Key,
Florida is dedicated to the study of an
unusual artifact cache discovered over
100 years ago. Archaeologists and
historians believe that Mound Key is
Calos, the ancient capital of the
Calusa Indians. This is a magnificent
site, with over 125 acres of shell
mounds, shell ridges, sunken
watercourts, and canals, covered with
tropical foliage and surrounded by
e mangroves and the waters of Estero
Bay. Frank Johnson made his home
here in the late nineteenth century, and
while farming on one of the shell
mounds he and his sons found a
veritable treasure of Indian and
Spanish artifacts. The collection
includes glass and crystal beads;
ornaments of gold, silver, and copper;
as well as items of bone, shell, and
stone. With the help of fossil collector
Joseph Willcox, the collection became
part of the University of Pennsylvania
Museum of Archaeology and
Anthropology. The book is organized
around an illustrated catalog of the collection, and the artifacts are placed within the broader
archaeology and history of the Calusa and their neighbors.

Treasure of the Calusa: The Johnson/Wilcox Collection from Mound Key, Florida
200 pages, 28 black/white photographs, 55 line drawings, 5 maps, 27 tables, references, index
$29.95, ISBN 0-9701550-0-X, Paper

Available from the author and publisher:

Please send $29.95, plus $1.50 for shipping ($0.50 for additional copies), Florida residents add
appropriate local sales tax, and send to:
Ryan J. Wheeler
2026 Chuli Nene
Tallahassee, FL 32301
(850) 309-0625

Monographs in Florida Archaeology No. 1



Florida Geological Survey, 903 W. Tennessee Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32304

A routine archaeological investigation of a proposed
construction site located at the mouth of the Miami River on
the southern bank in downtown Miami, Florida revealed a
circular pattern of some 24 primary rectangular holes cut down
into limestonebedrock. Numerous secondary, smaller rounded
holes along with irregular shaped holes also were associated
with this site. The site had previously been occupied in the
1950's by six low-rise apartment complexes. A septic tank,
which serviced the apartment complexes, was also uncovered
at the site and is coincident with the southern edge of the
circular feature. This raised a concern about the Circle's
antiquity. In May of 1999, State geologists from the Florida
Geological Survey were asked to come to the site and assess
any geological evidence for the site's antiquity.


In May of 1999, Thomas Scott and Harley Means of the
Florida Geological Survey spent approximately two hours
observing, inspecting and photographing the Miami Circle
Site. They were accompanied by John Ricisak, Miami-Dade
County archaeologist, and two attorneys. The entire circular
feature and associated septic tank, as well as surrounding lands
and excavations were inspected by the geologists.

Bedrock Geology

The limestone bedrock into which the Circle is cut is the
Miami Limestone, oolite phase. At the site it is characterized
as a cross-bedded unit with medium size, well sorted ooids and
a minor amount of skeletal material and quartz sand. Ura-
nium/Thorium age dating has shown that this unit is approxi-
mately 125,000 years old (Osmond et al. 1965) and dates to
the last interglacial period, Sangamon, when sea levels were
slightly higher than modern levels.
In some areas of the site the surface of the Miami Lime-
stone is covered by a thin, several millimeters to a centimeter
or more, laminated duricrust. The crust was broken through
during excavation of the primary holes that make up the Circle
and have since healed, suggesting that quite some time has
passed since creation of the Circle. Multer and Hoffmeister
(1968) proposed that the origin of these crusts is the result of
subariel exposure, where acidic soil waters causes dissolution
of CaCO3 and capillary action and evaporation causes
reprecipitation in the form of a laminated crust on the bedrock
Radiocarbon age dating done on similar duricrusts in the
Florida Keys has produced ages of between 880 and 4395 +/-

90 years (Multer and Hoffmeister 1968). These dates corre-
lated to the duricrust thickness, suggesting that duricrusts in
this area accumulate at a rate of approximately lmm per 1000

Surficial Sediments

The limestone bedrock at the Miami Circle site is covered
by black, organic rich, sandy, fossiliferous sediment referred
to as a black midden material. The thickness of this unit is
variable and is no more than half a meter thick in the limited
areas where excavation has exposed it It contains cultural
material, shell, bone and limestone fragments. This material
has filled in all of the primary and secondary holes at the site.
Further excavation by archaeologists is needed to determine
the areal extent of this deposit
A thin veneer of recent fill material overlies the black
midden material. It consists of sand, concrete and other
materials hauled onto the site during past and recent construc-
tion. It appears to be strictly anthropogenic in origin.

Site Observations

The primary and secondary holes of the site were in-
spected. The twenty-four primary holes appear rectangular in
shape and in the bottoms of most of them we observed smaller,
circular holes as if these were pilot holes used to make the
larger rectangular holes. The exposed faces of the primary
holes exhibit vertical striations, which are an artifact of the
method used to excavate the holes. The vertical striations cut
through and expose the cross-bedded nature of the Miami
Limestone. Some of the faces of these holes are coated by a
thin deposit of duricrust that appears to have accumulated
since construction
Numerous, smaller secondary holes cut into the bedrock
occur throughout the site. Some of these holes are perfectly
circular in fashion and appear to be anthropogenic in origin.
Some of these secondary holes have a thin duricrust developed
on their surfaces that appears to have developed after their
There are other irregular shaped depressions and holes
exposed at the site, which are karstic in origin. Acidic
groundwater has acted on the calcium carbonate that the
Miami Limestone is made of causing dissolution. This is a
common occurrence throughout the area where the Miami
Limestone is at or near the surface. Thin deposits of duricrust
were observed on the surfaces of the karst features as well.
The septic tank system that occupies the site has been set


VOL. 53(4)




Figure 1. Circular saw cut marks on the limestone face adjacent to the septic tank system.

Figure 2. Duricrust development within a secondary hole at the Miami Circle.

down into a rectangular hole that was cut into the limestone.
Inspection of the face of the limestone here revealed circular
saw cut marks that were inconsistent with any other marks on

exposed limestone faces at the site. There were signs of
weathering on these faces but no observable accumulation of
duricrust on any limestone face adjacent to the septic tank


2000 VOL. 53(4)

system. There also are several small, round holes that have
been bisected by the machine that excavated the septic tank.
This shows that these holes were excavated prior to the septic
tank having been installed.


It is our opinion that the primary and secondary holes that
make up the Miami Circle site are anthropogenic in origin and
predate the installation of the septic tank system. There is
observable duricrust development in and around the holes that
make up the Circle and no duricrust on the septic tank walls.
There are healed fractures around several of the Circle site
holes and no such features adjacent to the septic tank. The
septic tank appears to have been set into the limestone with the
help of a circular saw and the Circle site holes have no such
marks, and in fact have vertical striations suggesting that they
were excavated by some pointed implement The cut face of
the limestone that holds the septic tank has bisected some
smaller, secondary holes showing that at least the secondary
holes were present prior to the septic tank's installation.

References Cited

Blatt, H, Middleton, G., and Murray, R.
1972 Origin of Sedimentary Rocks. Prentice Hall, Englewood
Cliffs, New Jersey.

Halley, R.B., and Evans, C.C.
1983 The Miami Limestone: A guide to selected outcrops and
their interpretation (with a discussion of diagenesis in the
formation). The Miami Geological Society, Miami.

Multer, H.G., and Hoffmeister, J.E.
1968 Subaerial laminated crusts of the Florida Keys. Geologi-
cal Society ofAmerica Bulletin 79:183-189.

Osmond, J.K., Carpenter, J.R., and Windom, H.L.
1965 230Th/234Ur age of the Pleistocene corals and oolites of
Florida. Journal of Geophysical Research 70:1843-1847.

Randazzo, A.F., and Jones, D.S. (editors)
1997 The Geology of Florida. University Press of Florida,





'Rosenstiel School ofMarine and Atmospheric Science, Division ofMarine Geology and Geophysics, University ofMiami,
4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33146

2Miami-Dade Office of Community and Economic Development, Historic Preservation Division, 140 W. Flagler St., Suite 1102,
Miami, FL 33130

3University of South Florida, Dept. of Geology, 4202 East Fowler Ave., Tampa, FL 33620


The Brickell Point archaeological site (8DA12) is located
on a 2.2-acre parcel of land at the mouth of the Miami River
in downtown Miami, Florida (Figure 1). Extensive black earth
midden deposits, associated with pre-Columbian aboriginal
habitation characterize the site, and it is believed to have been
an early component of a major Native American village that
became known as "Tequesta" during the historic contact
period (A.D. 1513-1750). A distinguishing feature of the site
is the presence of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of holes in the
surface of the underlying oolitic limestone basement that
exhibit evidence of human manufacture. Of particular note is
a series of larger "basins", as well as smaller holes, which
collectively form a circle approximately 11.5 meters in
diameter known as the "Miami Circle" (Figure 2).
The discovery of the "Miami Circle" has received an
extraordinary amount of media attention, leading to a bewil-
dering array of popular interpretations as to its nature and
origin. The Circle feature's apparent orientation to the
cardinal directions, and the alignment of certain holes within
and outside of it, have fueled public speculation of a possible
affiliation with pre-Columbian cultures in Mesoamerica; in
particular, the Maya. If correct, this would radically revise our
concept of the geographic extent of Mayan or other pre-
Hispanic Mesoamerican cultural influences.
Salvage archaeological excavations were conducted on the
site between August 1998 and February 1999. Cultural
material recovered at Brickell Point included large quantities
of bone and shell artifacts and refuse, ceramics, and numerous
examples of non-local stone, including ground stone celts and
celt fragments made from basaltic rock. A preliminary
assessment of the ceramic artifacts suggests the site was
occupied primarily during the Glades Ha through Ila periods
(A.D. 750-1400); however, radiocarbon dating indicates that
the earliest occupation of the site dates to at least 1,900 years
B.P. (Carr and Ricisak, this issue).
The presence of stone tools made of basaltic rock is
important because this rock type is not exposed at the surface

anywhere in Florida, therefore, these artifacts could not have
been derived from local sources and indicate that the site's
aboriginal occupants had access to a far ranging trade net-
work. Possible source rocks are found at many localities
within a 1000 km radius of Miami including Central America,
lending some, albeit tenuous, support to the Mesoamerican
connection hypothesis. Here we determine the geological
provenance of the Miami Circle celts to characterize the
exchange networks of prehistoric southeastern Florida and to
demonstrate that the celts are not of Central American origin.

Description of Hand Axes

Two complete, ground stone celts and fragments of at least
three others were found at Brickell Point. Each of the complete
celts is typical in form; with a sharpened blade or "bit" end
(for cutting or chopping) and with sides that taper to a blunt
"poll" end (appropriate for pounding). Of the two complete
specimens that were collected, only one was recovered in situ.
FS #350B (Figure 3A) was found within a shallow (11 cm
deep) circular postholee" feature cut into the limestone
bedrock outside of the eastern perimeter of the "Miami Cir-
cle". This artifact is made of medium-grained greenish-gray
stone that has been ground to a smooth finish. Its bit end is
convex and is beveled on one side, possibly as a result of re-
sharpening. Its sides taper to a slightly rounded poll. The celt
is generally oval in cross section with some flattening near the
bit end. Visible use wear includes a small chip and minor
nicks along the bit edge and some minor wear on the poll.
Maximum dimensions are approximately 91 mm from bit to
poll; 60 mm width at bit; 25 mm width at poll; and 31 mm
thick approximately 40 mm from bit edge.
The second complete celt (FS# 520; Figure 3B) was
recovered from a disturbed context in a spoil pile comprised of
mixed midden soil and modern fill removed during on-site
building demolition activity from an area along the east side
of the Circle feature. This artifact is particularly well made of
a fine-grained gray stone ground to a very smooth finish. It
shares the same general shape as FS# 350-B, but with distinct


VOL. 53(4)




differences. Its sides are slightly broader, its poll end is less
rounded, and its bit end is not beveled. This celt also exhibits
use wear as evidenced by a few very minor nicks on its bit end
and a lack of finish and some minor chipping on its poll. A
patch of an unidentified foreign substance (pine resin?) occurs
on one of the celt's broader sides and may be related to
hafting. The maximum dimensions of this artifact are 75 mm,
from bit to poll; 59 mm width at bit; 31 mm width at poll; and
30 mm thick at approximately 40 mm from bit edge.
Samples 516 and 517 (Figures 3C andD) were each stone
celtfragments recovered from intact midden deposits overlying
the bedrock surface within the area circumscribed by the Circle
feature. Sample 518 was a small fragment found within the
overlying midden just outside of the Circle's northwestern
quadrant Each sample is believed to be from a different
original artifact.

It is interesting to note how well the Brickell Point celts
conform to the general description of other stone celts found
in southern Florida given by Goggin in his unpublished
manuscript, The Archeology of the Glades Area (n.d.).
Goggin states "All the specimens seen are small, 75 to 92 mm
long ... roughly rectangular in shape with sides that taper to
a gently rounded or square [poll]. The bit is square or slightly
rounded. The surface is well finished but not polished."


Mineralogy and textures were identified using a
petrographic microscope at the Rosenstiel School of Marine
and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami. Two of the
fragmentary celts (516 and 518) were crushed and preparedfor
major and trace element analysis using direct coupled plasma

Figure 1. Location of Brickell Point archeological site on the Miami River near downtown Miami, Florida.


2000 VOL. 53(4)



Figure 2. Map of the "Miami Circle." Celt and celt fragment locations are indicated by labels set to the right of their recovery locations. Circle diameter is
11.5 meters.
% 4- ,Y_~


Brickell PT. -8DA12
Unit 46 @-140.2N, 323E
Level 2 @-5.63' NGVD
Stone Celt Fragment 516
14.226 grams

B 1 cm

Brickell PT.-8DA12
Unit 59 130N, 330E
Level 3 (6.2' 5.8' NGVD)
Stone Celt Fragment 517
17.455 grams

1 cm

Brickell PT.-8DA12
Unit 66 140N, 300E
Level Unknown
Stone Celt Fragment 518
2.493 grams


Figure 3. Photographs of celts and celt fragments. A) complete celts: FS#350-B (left) and FS#520 (right); B) celt
fragment 516; C) celt fragment 517; D) celt fragment 518.

(DCP) and inductively-coupled plasma-mass spectrometry
(ICP-MS) at the University of South Florida according to the
methods described in Klein (1989) and Savov et al. (in press).
Fragment 517 was held in reserve, in case additional analyses
requiring larger sample volumes (i.e., radiogenic isotopic
analysis or age dating) were required to solve the problem.


The intact celts are made of massive, fine- to medium-
grained, basalt. Vesicles (gas bubbles) and phenocrysts (larger
crystals) are absent. Grain size varies from <1 to 2 mm. The
primary mineralogy is dominated by plagioclase and pyroxene.
Both celts appear relatively fresh in hand sample, though the


2000 VOL. 53(4)



Table 1. Major and Trace Element Analyses of Celts from Brickell Point. Major elements by direct coupled plasma
(DCP). Trace elements by DCP and inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Numbers in
parentheses are the number of analyses used to calculate mean and standard deviation. Celt fragment 518 appeared
fresh in hand sample. Celt fragment 516 appeared metamorphosed in hand sample. n.a. means not analyzed

51.8 0.2
0.76 0.06
14.3 0.2
10.3 0.5
0.19 0.01
7.62 0.44
10.5 0.5
2.03 0.07
0.54 0.04

516 (2) Element (Dpm)
51.1 0.2 Sr
0.76 0.03 Ba
14.4 0.2 Ni
9.10 0.25 Sc
0.17 0.01 Cr
6.98 0.24 V
11.2 0.40 Zn
2.50 0.09 Cu
0.14 0.01 La
96.4 Ce

Oxide (wt%)

518 (2)
129 7
111 6
47 2
39 3
211 7
233 10
83 1
56 3
7.20 0.07
14.80 0.00
2.04 0.01
7.86 0.03
2.53 0.03
3.30 0.00
4.18 0.03
0.94 0.01
2.80 0.01
0.42 0.01
2.33 0.00
0.41 0.01

amount of secondary alteration is difficult to access without a
thin section.
Celt fragments 517 and 518 are fresh (dark grey with no
foliation) and similar to the intact celts. Celt fragment 516,
however, appeared metamorphosed in hand sample (green
with foliated texture). A thin section of sample 516 reveals
pervasive replacement of pyroxene by fibrous to platy, pale
green to pale brown amphibole, replacement of plagioclase by
a paler amphibole (not clay minerals), and replacement of Fe-
Ti oxides by titanite (sphene). Sulfides are the only opaque
oxides present. No thin section was made of celt fragment 518
because of insufficient sample size.
Major and trace elements of the celt fragment 516 and 518
are listed in Table 1. Both celt fragments are basaltic (-52
wt/ SiO2, 14.3 wt% A1203, and 0.76 wt% TiO2) and moder-
ately differentiated (7-8 wt% MgO, -10 wt%FeO) in composi-
tion. Thus, the source rock for these two celt fragments is
probably the same quarry or closely related sites. The compo-
sition of celt fragment 516 differs significantly from celt
fragment 518, however, with respect to the more mobile
chemical components (easily modified during alteration and
metamorphism) NaO0 (enriched by 23%) andK20 (depletedby
74%). Sample 516 also has a lower total of major element
oxides than 518 (total of 96.4 and 98.0 wt%, respectively),
indicating greater abundance of secondary hydrous minerals.
Determination ofthe metamorphic history of celt fragment 516

based on one thin section of an isolated sample is not possible,
but it probably has suffered some combination of non-oxida-
tive, hydrothermal alteration (Natland et al. 1984; Puffer and
Student 1992) and metamorphism up to amphibolite grade.


In order to determine the provenance of the Brickell Point
celts, we compared the mineralogy, texture, and major and
trace element analyses of sample 518 to published analyses of
possible source rocks. Since celt fragments 516 and 518 and
the whole celts are similar in their gross physical characteris-
tics (mafic, fine- to medium-grained, and non-vesicular), we
assume that they are chemically similar and will use the
chemistry of the fresher celt fragment (518) to determine the
provenance of the axes found at the circle.
We compiled a database of 776 major and trace element
analyses of basaltic rocks from Mexico, Central America,
South America, the Caribbean, and North America including
Canada and Newfoundland (Table 2). In addition, we in-
cluded analyses from locations unlikely to be the source of the
celts (Africa, Hawaii, Tazmania and the seafloor). The
complete database is available on our website
An important objective of this study is to distinguish
between a Caribbean region (Mexico, Central America, Puerto

516 (1)


Table 2. Summary of sources for database on basaltic rocks. There are a total of 776 chemical analysis considered.
Each of the analyses is a combination of major and trace elements, a) Arculus (1976: Tables 1A and 5D); b) Arculus
(1978: Table 1); c) Ariskin et al. (1987: Tablel); d) Bidard (1992: Tables 2 and 3); e) Bertrand and Coffrant (1977:
Table 1); f) Bryan et al. (1977: Table 3A); g) Donnelly et al. (1990: Table 1); h) Donnely and Rogers (1978: Tables 1 and
2); i) Dostal and Greenough (1992: Table 2); j) Goosens and Rose (1973: Tables 1 and 4); k) Goosens et al. (1977: Tables
3 and 4); 1) Gorring and Naslund (1995: Tables 1 and 2); m) Hawkesworth and Powell (1980: Tables 1-3); n) Houghton et
al. (1992: Table 1); o) Husch (1992: Tables 1, 2 and 4); p) Luhr et al. (1989: Table 1); q) MacRae and Metson (1985:
Table 1); r) Milla and Ragland (1992: Table 4); s) Papezik and Hodych (1980: Tables 1, 3 and 2); t) Pe-Piper et al. (1992:
Table 2); u) Philpotts (1992: Table 1); v) Philpotts and Martello (1985: Table 1); w) Philpotts and Reichenbach (1985:
Tablel); x) Puffer (1992: Tables 1 and Alb-Ald); y) Puffer et al. (1981; Tablel); z) Puffer and Student (1992: Table 1);
aa) Ragland et al (1992: Tables 1-4); bb) Ross (1992: Table 2); cc) Shirley (1987: Tables 1 and 2); dd) Smith and Barnes
(1994: Tables 3,5 and 6); ee) Smith et al. (1975: Tables 1 and 2); ff) Steiner et al. (1992: Tables 1 and 2); gg) Swinden et
al. (1997: Table 1); hh) Verma and Nelson (1989: Tablel); ii) Walker (1969: Tables 8-10, 12-13 and 17-18); jj) Warner et
al. (1985: Tables 4 and 5); kk) Warner et al. (1992: Table 3); U) Weigand and Ragland (1970: Tables 1 and 2); mm)
numbers include all single rock analyses and averages considered; nn) any analysis given as located in the states of
Virginia or West Virginia without a published latitude is defined as upper Appalachian as well as some Maine samples
not related to Canada or Newfoundland. Data used may not be original data from paper cited.

General Region Description and Comments No. of References
Location analyses""
Middle Mexico 11 p, hh
Central America Guatemala, El Salvador, 27 g, j, k
Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica
South Colombia 12 k
Venezuela 6 h
Ecuador and Peru 5 j, k

Rico, Lesser Antilles) or North American source. In general,
basalts from the Caribbean region are relatively young (less
than 30 million years), subaerial lavas, associated with
convergent, subduction zone tectonic environments (e.g, Robin
1982; Donnelly et al. 1990). In contrast, basalts from eastern
North America (ENA) are older (approximately 200 million
years), shallow crustal dikes currently exposed at the surface
by uplift and erosion, formed in a divergent tectonic environ-
ment during rifling of Pangea to form the Atlantic Ocean
(Weigand and Ragland 1970; Puffer 1992; Marzoli et al.
1999). Basalt that crystallizes in a shallow crustal environ-
ment tends to form fine to coarse-grained basaltic rocks
commonly referred to as diabase or dolerite. Basaltic magmas
from divergent and convergent tectonic environments are both
generated by partial melting of mantle rocks, but the mantle
above subduction zones is infiltratedby hydrous fluids released
from the subducting plate, which imparts a characteristic
geochemical fingerprint to the magmas.
Basalts from the Caribbean region and ENA are texturally
distinct One important distinction is that Caribbean lavas
tend to have abundant vesicles (gas bubbles) related to their
higher initial gas content and low pressure of eruption and
crystallization, whereas ENA basalts are typically massive

(vesicle-poor) because of their lower initial volatile content
and higher pressure of crystallization. Thus, the massive, non-
vesicular texture of the stone source for the celts suggests
derivation from a North American source. While most
publications describe ENA dike rocks as massive (e.g., Lester
and Allen, 1950; Sundeen and Huff, 1992), detailed descrip-
tions of vesicle contents are not commonly provided. How-
ever, diabase from Georgia has been described as "remarkably
free of cavities" (Lester and Allen, 1950) and is a possible
source rock.
Chemically, convergent margin lavas typically have
compositions extending to higher SiO,, A1203, Na2O, and K20
concentrations than divergent margin lavas. Figure 4 shows
that the ENA and Mid-Atlantic Ridge basalts have distinctly
lower total alkalis (Na2O + K20) at the same A1203 content
than do most basalts from Mexico, Central America, and the
Lesser Antilles. Celt fragment 518 clearly lies in the fields
defined by divergent margin related basalts. Therefore, the
geochemistry of the celts is consistent with a North American
source and inconsistent with a provenance from recent arc
volcanics in Mexico, Central America, or the Lesser Antilles.

Tim FWRMIA ANnmopoLoOisT

2000 VOL. 53(4)


Table 2. (Continued).

General Region Description and Comments No. of References
Location analyses"
The Greater Antilles: Calk-Alkaline Association. 27 g, h
Caribbean Cuba, Hispaniola,
Jamaica, Puerto
Rico Primative Island Arc and Mid-Ocean 10 h
Ridge Basalt Association.
Upper North of 16 deg. North latitude. 7 g, m
Lesser Antilles Calk-Alkaline Association.
North of 16 deg. North latitude. 8 g, h
Primative Island Arc Associations.
Lower South of 16 deg. North latitude. 62 a, b, g, m
Lesser Antilles Includes the Venezuela Islands.
Calk-Alkaline Association.
South of 16 deg. North latitude. 22 g, h, gg
Primative Island Arc Association.
Aruba 22 h
Mid-Ocean Ridge Basalt Association.
Not Antilles Gorgona Island 2 g
North Canada and Includes some parts of Maine.t 28 d, e, i, s, t
America Newfoundland
The United States Palisades Sill, New Jersey and 157 c, 1, q, cc, ff, ii
New York.
Upper Appalachians. 293 e, 1, n, o, u, v, w, x, y, z,
North of 37 deg. North latitude." aa, bb, dd, ee, 11

Lower Appalachians. 64 r, s, aa, j, 11, kk
South of 37 deg. North Latitude."
Unlikely Africa (Morocco and Karoo), 13 d, e, t k, gg, ii
Sources Tazmania, Hawaii, Sea Floor.

The ENA basaltic dikes can be subdivided into 5 main
chemical groups based mainly on the relative abundances of
SiO2, TiO2, and FeAO3 (e.g., Weigand and Ragland 1970;
Ragland et al. 1992; Milla and Ragland 1992): 1) Low-TiO2
quartz-normative (LTQ); 2) High-TiO2 quartz-normative
(HTQ); 3) High-Fe2O3 quartz-normative (HFQ); 4) Low-TiO,
olivine-normative (LTO); and 5) High-TiO2 olivine-normative
(HTO). On a plot of TiO2 versus SiO,, 4 of the 5 groups are
clearly distinguishable, with overlap of the HTQ and HFQ
group. Celt fragment 518 lies within the LTQ group to better
than 95% confidence (Figure 5).
The 5 main chemical groups have unequal geographical
distribution. Low-TiO2 quartz-normative basaltic dikes are
most common in Georgia-Alabama, where they occur together
with olivine normative compositions, and they are also found
as dikes and flows in Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and

Connecticut (Weigand and Ragland 1970; Smith et al. 1975;
Manspeizer et al. 1989). In order to determine the precise
source, we narrowed our search to those LTQ basalts having
chemical compositions defined by a restricted range of oxide
component abundances in weight percent (13 wt/o < Al203 <
16.0 wt% and Na20 + K20 > 2.0 wt%). Figure 6 plots K20
versus Fe2O3 and shows that the composition of celt fragment
518 is most similar (within 1 standard error or 66% confidence
level) to the low-TiO2 quartz-normative basalts in Georgia and
Alabama. The Georgia-Alabama (GAA) LTQ analyses
include an individual (GAA8; Weigand and Ragland 1970)
and a regional average (GAA AVG; Milla and Ragland 1992).
We are unable to pinpoint an exact quarry site; however, the
largest concentration of these NW-SE trending dikes in the
Georgia Piedmont area occurs within a 50 X 50 km area north
of Macon, Georgia (Lester and Allen 1950; Figure 7), and we


THE FLoRiDA AN'rmlopowGisr 2000 VOL 53(4)

14 15 16 17 18 19

AI203 (wt%)

Figure 4. Total alkalis (NaO+KO) plotted against AlO23 for basalts from convergent (filled circles) and divergent (open
squares) margin settings. Celt fragment 518 (filled square) has chemistry consistent with a divergent margin origin. One
standard error bars are shown on the celt symbol, but are obscured by the surrounding data. For clarity, only a subset of
the full database used in this study is shown. Convergent margin data include from Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El
Salvador, Guatemala, and the Lesser Antilles. Divergent margin data include eastern North America and the Mid-
Atlantic Ridge. Sources are listed in Table 2 and data are available on our website

suggest this is the most likely source area.

Implicationsfor Defining Prehistoric Exchange Networks in
Southeast Florida

In southeast Florida, ground stone artifacts made of any
material other than native limestone are, by definition,
evidence of long distance exchange. Locally available stone is
limited to limestones that are generally unsuitable for making
durable tools. Volcanic pumice can also occur "naturally" in
south Florida coastal areas and has been frequently found in
archaeological contexts in Miami-Dade County, including at
Brickell Point This material probably floated to south Florida
shores, however, and is not necessarily the result of long
distance exchange. Although easily carved and an excellent
abrasive, it also is far too soft for most other uses.
There is substantial archaeological evidence for the use and
trade of non-local stone, in both raw and finished form, in
southeastFlorida. Ground stone celts, although not a common
artifact type, are well represented in Miami-Dade County
prehistoric assemblages. Examples include whole stone celts
and/or celt fragments from the Snapper Creek Site (8DA9), the
Granada Site (8DA11), the Surfside Midden (8DA21), Oleta

River 1 (8DA25), Opa-Locka 1 (8DA48), Dolphin Stadium
(8DA411), the Cheetum Site (8DA1058), and the John Site
(8DA1081) (Robert Carr, personal communication 2000;
Willey 1949; Goggin 1964; Griffin et al. 1982). All of these
artifacts are believed to have been associated with pre-contact,
Glades period midden deposits and several share similar
characteristics of size and form with the Brickell Point celts.
Most are reported as being made of igneous rock, although
Willey (1949) described one fragment (from Opa-Locka 1) as
being of weathered sandstone. Unfortunately, specific infor-
mation about their temporal associations is scant. Only the
Granada example, a miniature celt 21 mm in length, was
reported as having been found in a "Glades III context (i.e.,
after A.D. 1200) (Griffin et al. 1982). The Granada Site, now
mostly destroyed, is located immediately across the Miami
River from Brickell Point and was also a component of the
village of Tequesta.
It is significant, but not surprising, that a basaltic celt with
a Macon-area quarry source might be found in southeast
Florida. Exotic ground stone artifacts recovered from south-
east Florida sites have traditionally been attributed to trade
with locations to the north (Fairbanks 1949; Goggin n.d.;
Willey 1949), a reasonable assumption given an overall dearth


2000 VoL. 53(4)




0 0








I I I '
O 0

0 0 0
80 00

0c o oo

m E:ePt
0 ff B B LT -1E

0 @


46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54

sio2 (wt%)

Figure 5. TO2 plotted against SiOz for eastern North America margin basalts and celt fragment 518 (filled square).
ENA data are from Alabama through Newfoundland. LTQ is low-TiO, quartz-normative basalt (open squares). LTO is
low-TiO, olivine-normative basalt (open diamonds). HFQ is high-Fe,03 quartz-normative basalt (open circles). HTQ is
high-TiO2 quartz-normative basalt (open circles with dot). HTO is high-TiO2 olivine-normative basalt (filled circles).
Celt fragment 518 has chemistry consistent with the LTQ group. Error bars on the celt data are one standard error of
the mean of multiple analyses of the same sample. Sources for data are listed in Table 2 under North America.

of archaeological evidence for prehistoric maritime-based
exchange between southeast Florida and points south. Goggin
(n.d.) describes the occurrence of stone celts on archaeological
sites outside the Glades Area as "steadily increasing ... as one
goes northward" and notes their relative abundance on the
lower St Johns River. Willey (1949) also notes that the
presence of ground stone celts was a feature shared by sites in
Florida's central and northwest Gulf Coast as well as in the St.
Johns River region of northeast Florida.
While Goggin (nd.) assigns both Glades Hand Glades II
period dates to ground stone celts found in southeast Florida,
Willey (1949) suggests that theywere "recently diffused" from
the north, presumably during the Glades II period (after AD.
1200), and that they are one of several manifestations of the
HopewellianandMississippian-inflenced Weeden Island and
St. Johns cultures on the Glades region. A Macon area
provenance of the Brickell Point celts suggests an affiliation
with the Late Woodland (A.D. 500-900) or the Mississippian
(A.D. 900-1685) cultures of the Macon Plateau, which were
characterized by well-developed ground stone complexes and
participation in far-ranging networks of material exchange
(Fairbanks 1956). The Mississippian horizon in Central
Georgia emerged contemporaneouslywith the beginning ofthe
Glades Ilb period (A.D. 900-1000) in southeast Florida and

lasted into the period of European contact (Fairbanks 1956;
Goggin 1949). Mississippian-related influences have been
noted in other aspects of Glades material culture in the Glades
II and II periods, most recently by Wheeler and Coleman
The route and means by which the Brickell Point celts
arrived in southeast Florida, and the time period in which they
were introduced, are unknown. Further investigations at the
site and the processing and analysis of previously excavated
material may serve to answer these questions. Additional
research and geochemical analysis of stone celts found
elsewhere in southeast Florida, and throughout the Florida
peninsula, is also needed to help define the nature and extent
of the distribution of this artifact type.


Ground stone celts from the Brickell Point archaeological
site were made from low-Ti, quartz-normative basaltic rock
characteristic of basaltic dikes from the Piedmont region of
Georgia, in the vicinity of Atlanta and Macon. These dikes
formed approximately 200 million years ago along the North
American margin associated with the break up of Pangea and
the formation of the Atlantic Ocean. The identification ofthis

I I i


| |


M M M . .







0 I-


0 0.45



0.30 -

10.5 11.0 11.5 12.0

Fe203T (wt%)

Figure 6. K20 plotted against FeO, (Fe03 = 1.1 X FeO) for LTQ-basalts from eastern North America and celt fragment
518 fliedd square). Analyses shown have 13 wt% < Al203< 16 wt%, Na2O+K20 > 2 wt%, and chemistry similar in most
respects to celt fragment 518. Samples from Georgia and Alabama (GAA) are shown as open squares. GAA AVG is an
average of 20 analyses of basaltic dikes from Georgia and Alabama (Milla and Ragland 1992). Error bars are 1 standard
error of the mean of multiple samples (regional mean). GAA8 is a single analysis of a basaltic dike located southeast of
Atlanta at 33" 36' 42" N and 83" 53' 48" W (Weigand and Ragland 1970; Weigandl970). The open triangle is sample
LC-102C2 (Ragland et al. 1992), the closest match of samples from South Carolina through Virginia. The open circles
are samples from Connecticut through New Jersey including: 1-LTQ Preakness (Husch 1992); 2-P6c (Puffer 1992); 3-
LSR10 (Husch 1992); 4-avg LSR 8,9, 10, 11 (Husch 1992); 5-Holyoke Ave Fdr (Philpotts 1992); and 7-WR7 (Weigand
and Ragland 1970). Error bars (le) on the single analyses are 3% for Al203 and 6% for K,0 (Milla and Ragland 1992).
At a one standard error (66% confidence level), celt fragment 518 is consistent with an origin from Georgia and
Alabama low-TiO, quartz normative basalt.

area as the stone's likely source supports previous assumptions
that ground stone celts from prehistoric archaeological sites in
southeast Florida originated from the north. It does not
support trade or interaction with pre-Columbian cultures in
Mexico, Central America, or the Caribbean.


This researchwas supportedbyNSF OCE-9702795 Early Career
Award to JED.

References Cited

Arculus, Richard J.
1976 Geology and Geochemistry of the Alkali Basalt-Andesite
Association of Grenada, Lesser Antilles Island Arc.
Geological Society ofAmerica Bulletin 87: 612-624.
1978 Mineralogy and Petrology of Grenada, Lesser Antilles
IslandArc. Contributions toMineralogyandPetrology 65:

Ariskin, A A., G. S. Barmina, M. Ya. Frenkel, and A. A.
1987 SimulatingLow-PressureTholeiite-Magma Crystallization.
Translated in Geokhimiya 9: 1240-1259.

B6dard, Jean H.
1992 Quartz-Normative Tholeiite Dikes from Anticosti Island,
Quebec. In Eastern North American Mesozoic
Magmatism, edited by John H. Puffer and Paul C. Ragland,
pp. 161-167. Geological Society ofAmerica Special Paper
268, Geological Society of America, Boulder, Colorado.

Bense, Judith A.
1994 Archaeology of the Southeastern United States:
Paleoindian to World War I. Academic Press, San Diego,

Bertrand, H., and D. Coffrant
1977 Geochemistry of Tholeiites from North-East American



2000 VoL 53(4)


Figure 7. Map of Southern Appalachian basaltic dikes and a few relevant archaeological sites. Latitude, longitude, state
boundaries and dike locations are composed and modified from Ragland et al. (1983: Figure 1) and Smith and Noltimier
(1979: Figure 1.) Above the fall line is the Piedmont area. a) Kolomoki. Late Woodland Sites: b) Aspalga; c) Crystal
River, d) McKeithen; e) Banks. Mississippian Sites: f) Lake Jackson; g) Etowah; h) Beaverdam; i) Hollywood; j)
Ocmulgee. Information about the debated Kolomoki site origin and the locations of all of the sites are found in Bense
1994 (Figures 6.25, 7.24 and pages 174-175); Hally 1994, and Jenkins 1985 (page 82).

Margin; Correlation with Morocco. Contributions to
Mineralogy and Petrology 63: 65-74.

Bryan, W. B., F. A. Frey, and G. Thompson
1977 Oldest Atlantic Seafloor Mesozoic Basalts from Western
NorthAtlantic Margin and EastemNorthAmerica. Contri-
butions to Minemlogy and Petrology 64: 223-242.

Claassen, C., and S. Sigmann
1993 Sourcing Busycon Artifacts of the Eastern United States.
American Antiquity 58(2): 333-347.

Donnelly, Thomas W., Dirk Beets, Michael J. Carr, Trevor Jackson,
Gerard Klaver, John Lewis, Rene Maury, Hans Schellenkens, Allan
Smith, Geoffery Wadge, and Denis Westercamp
1990 History and Tectonic Setting of Caribbean Magmatism. In
The Geology ofNorth America, Volume H, The Caribbean
Region, edited by Gabriel Dengo and J. E. Case, pp. 339-
174. Geological Society of North America, Boulder,


Donnely, Thomas W., and John J. W. Rogers
1978 The Distribution of Igneous Rock Suites Throughout the
Caribbean. GeologieEn Mijnbouw 57 (2): 151-162.

Dostal, J., and J. D. Greenough
1992 Geochemistry and Petrogenesis of the Early Mountain
Basalts of Nova Scotia, Canada. In Eastern North Amer-
ican Mesozoic Magmatism, edited by John H. Puffer and
Paul C. Ragland, pp. 149-159. Geological Society of
America SpecialPaper 268, Geological Society ofAmerica,
Boulder, Colorado.

Fairbanks, Charles H.
1949 A General Survey of Southeastern Prehistory. In The
Florida Indian and His Neighbors, edited by John W.
Griffin, pp. 55-75. Rollins College Inter-American Center,
Winter Park, Florida.



1956 Archeology of the Funeral Mound, Ocmulgee National
Monument, Georgia. Archaeological Research Series No.
3, National Park Service, US Department of Interior,
Washington, D.C.

Goggin, John M.
1949 Cultural Traditions in Florida Prehistory. In The Florida
Indian and His Neighbors, edited by John W. Griffin, pp.
13-44. Rollins College Inter-American Center, Winter
Park, Florida.
1964 The Snapper Creek Site. In Indian and Spanish Selected
Writings. Article first published in 1950. University of
Miami Press, Coral Gables.
n.d. The Archeology of the Glades Area, Southern Florida.
Typescript on file, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History,
University of Florida, Gainesville.

Goossens, Pierre J., and William L Rose Jr.
1973 Chemical Composition and Age Determination of
Tholeiitic Rocks in the Basic Igneous Complex, Ecuador.
Geological Society ofAmerica Bulletin 84: 1043-1052.

Goossens, P. J., W. I Rose Jr., and Decio Flores
1977 Geochemistry of Tholeiites of the Basic Igneous Complex
of Northwestern South America. Geological Society of
America Bulletin 88:1711-1720.

Gorring, Matthew L., and H R. Naslund
1995 Geochemical Reversals within the Lower 100m of the
Palisades Sill, New Jersey. Contributions to Mineralogy
andPetrology 119:263-276.

Griffin, John W., Sue B. Richardson, MaryPohl, Carl D. McMurray,
C. Margaret Scarry, Suzanne K. Fish, Elizabeth S. Wing, L. Jill
Loucks, and Marcia K. Welch
1982 Archaeology and History ofthe Granada Site, Volume I. In
Excavations at the Granada Site. Prepared under contract
for the City of Miami by the Florida Division of Archives,
History and Records Management, Tallahassee, Florida.

Hally, David J. (editor)
1994 OcmulgeeArchaeology, 1936-1986. University of Georgia
Press, Athens, Georgia.

Hawkesworth, C.J., and M. Powell
1980 Magma Genesis in the Lesser Antilles Island Arc. Earth
andPlanetary Science Letters. 51: 297-308.

Houghton, H. F., G. C. Herman, and R. A. Volkert
1992 Igneous Rocks of the Flemington Fault Zone, Central
Newark Basin, New Jersey. Geochemistry, Structure, and
Stratigraphy. In Eastern North American Mesozoic
Magmatism, editedby John H Puffer and Paul C. Ragland,
pp. 219-232. Geological Society of America Special Paper
268, Geological Society of America, Boulder, Colorado.

Husch, J. M.
1992 Geochemistry and petrogenesis of the Early Jurassic
'diabase from the central Newark basin of New Jersey and
Pennsylvania. In Eastern North American Mesozoic
Magmatism edited by John H Puffer and Paul C. Ragland,
pp. 169-192. Geological Society of America Special Paper
268, Geological Society of America, Boulder, Colorado.

Jenkins, Ned J.
1985 Prehistoric Chronology oftheLowerChattahoochee Valley:
A Preliminary Statement. In The Early Prehistoric South-
east: A Source Book, edited by Jerald T. Milanich, pp.73-
91. David Hurst Thomas, general editor. Garland Publish-
ing, New York.

Klein, Emily
1989 Geochemistry of Ocean Ridge Basalts: Mantle Processes
Revealed by Major Element, Trace Element and Isotope
Variations. Ph.D. dissertation, Geology Department,
Columbia University, New York.

Lester, J. G., and A. T. Allen
1950 Diabase of the Georgia Piedmont. Geological Society of
America Bulletin 61:1217-1224.

Luhr, James F., James F. Allen, Ian S. E. Carmichael, Stephen A.
Nelson, and Toshiaki
1989 Primitive Calc-Alkaline and Alkaline Rock Types from the
Western Mexican Volcanic Belt. Journal of Geophysical
Research 94 (B4): 4515-4530.

MacRae, N. D., and J. B. Metson
1985 In Situ Rare-Earth Element Analysis of Coexisting
Pyroxene and Plagioclase by Secondary Ion Mass Spec-
trometry. Chemical Geology 53: 325-333.

Manspeizer, Warren, Jelle DeBoer, John K. Costain, Albert J.
Froelich, Cahit Coruh, Paul E. Olsen, Gregory J. McHone, John H.
Puffer, David C. Prowell
1989 Post-Paleozoic activity. In The Appalachian-Oachita
Orogen in the United States, edited by R. D. Hatcher, W.
A. Thomas, and G. W. Viele, pp. 319-374. Geological
Society ofAmerica, The Geology ofNorthAmerica, v. F-2.

Marzoli, A., P. R. Renne, E. M. Piccirillo, M. Emesto, G. Bellieni,
andA. De Min
1999 Extensive 200-million-year-old continental floodbasalts of
the Central Atlantic MagmaticProvince. Science 284:616-

Milanich, J. T.
1994 Archaeology ofPrecolumbian Florida. University Press of
Florida, Gainesville.

Milla, Katherine A., and Paul C. Ragland
1992 Early Mesozoic Talbotton Diabase Dikes in West-Central
Georgia: Compositionally Homogeneous High-Fe Quartz
Tholeiites. In Eastern North American Mesozoic
Magmatism, edited by John H. Puffer and Paul C. Ragland,
pp. 347-359. Geological Society of America Special Paper
268, Geological Society of America, Boulder, Colorado.

Natland, James H., John Tamey, N. G. Marsh, W. G. Melson, and T.
1984 Compositions, stratigraphy, and alteration of pillow
basalts, Deep Sea Drilling Project Hole 543A, near the
Barbados Ridge. In Initial Reports of the Deep Sea Drilling
Project 78A, edited by B. Biju-Duval, J. C. Moore, et al.,
pp. 393-399. U. S. Government Printing Office, Washing-
ton, D. C.


2000 VOL. 53(4)


Papezik, V. S., and J. P. Hodych
1980 Early Mesozoic Diabase Dikes of the Avalon Peninsula,
Newfoundland: Petrochemistry, Mineralogy and Origin.
Canadian Journal of Earth Sciencesl7: 1417-1430.

Pe-Piper, Georgia, Lubomir F. Jansa, and Richard St. J. Lambert
1992 Early Mesozoic Magmatism on the Eastern Canadian
Margin: Petrogenetic and Tectonic Significance. In
Eastern North American Mesozoic Magmatism, edited by
HohnH Puffer andPaul C. Ragland, pp. 13-36. Geological
Society of America Special Paper 268, Geological Society
of America, Boulder, Colorado.

Philpotts, Anthony R.
1992 A Model for Emplacement of Magma in the Mesozoic
Hartford Basin. In Eastern North American Mesozoic
Magmatism, edited by John I Puffer and Paul C. Ragland,
pp. 137-148. Geological Society ofAmerica Special Paper
268, Geological Society of America, Boulder, Colorado.

Philpotts, Anthony R., and Angela Martello
1985 DiabaseFeederDikesfortheMesozoicBasaltsin Southern
NewEngland. American Journal ofScience 286:105-126.

Philpotts, Anthony R., and Ingrid Reichenbach
1985 Differentiation of Mesozoic basalts of the Hartford basin,
Connecticut. Geological Society of America Bulletin

Puffer, John a-
1992 Eastern North American Flood Basalts in the Incipient
Break Up of Pangea. In Eastern North America Mesozoic
Magmatism, edited by John H Puffer and Paul C. Ragland,
pp. 95-118.Geological Society of America Special Paper
268, Geological Society ofAmerica, Boulder, Colorado.

Puffer, John H., D. O. Hurtubise, F. J. Geiger, and Paul Lechler
1981 Chemical Composition and Stratigraphic Correlation of
Mesozioc Basalt Units of the Newark Basin, New Jersey,
andthe HartfordBasin, Connecticut Summary. Geological
Society ofAmerica Bulletin 92: Part 1: 155-159.

Puffer, John IH, and James J. Student
1992 Volcanic Structures, Eruptive Style, and Posteruptive
Deformation and Chemical Alteration of the Watchung
Flood Basalts, New Jersey. In Eastern North American
Mesozoic Magmatism, edited by John K Puffer and Paul
C. Ragland, pp. 261-277. Geological Society of America
Special Paper 268, Geological Society of America, Boul-
der, Colorado.

Ragland, Paul C., Laura E. Cummins, and Jonathan D. Arthur
1992 Compositional Patterns for Early Mesozoic Diabases from
South Carolina to Central Virginia In Eastern North
American Mesozoic Magmatism, edited by John H Puffer
and Paul C. Ragland, pp. 309-331. Geological Society of
AmericaSpecialPaper 268, Geological Society ofAmerica,
Boulder, Colorado.

Ragland, Paul C., Robert D. Hatcher, Jr., and David Whittington
1983 Juxtaposed Mesozoic diabase dike sets from the Carolinas:
A preliminary assessment Geology 11:394-399.

Robin, C.
1982 Mexico. In Andesites: Orogenic Andesites and Related
Rocks, eddited by R. S. Thorpe, pp. 138-166. John Wiley
& Sons, Chichester, Great Britain.

Ross, Martin E.
1992 Petrology and Tectonic Significance of Mesozoic Mafic
Dikes of the Coastal New England Igneous Province,
Massachusetts. In Eastern North American Mesozoic
Magmatism edited by JohnH. Puffer and Paul C. Ragland,
pp. 63-74. Geological Society of America Special Paper
268, Geological Society of America, Boulder, Colorado.

Rouse, Irving
1949 The Southeast and the West Indies. In The Florida Indian
and His Neighbors, edited by John W. Griffin, pp. 117-
137. Rollins College Inter-American Center, Winter Park,

Shirey, David N.
1987 Differentiation and Compaction in the Palisades Sill, New
Jersey. Journal ofPetrology 28 (5): 835-865.

Smith, Hale G.
1956 The European and the Indian: European-Indian Contacts
in Georgia and Florida. Florida Anthropological Society
Publications, Number 4, Gainesville.

Smith, Robert C., and John K Barnes
1994 Geochemistry and Geology of Metabasalt in Southeastern
Pennsylvania and Adjacent Maryland In Various Aspects
ofPiedmnont Geology in Lancaster and Chester Counties,
Pennsylvania, edited by Rodger T. Faill and W.D. Sevon,
pp. 45-72.59" Guidebook for theAnnualField Conference
ofPennsylvania Geologists. Field Conference ofPennsylva-
nia Geologists; P.O. Box 5871; Harrisburg, PA 17110-

Smith, T. E., andH. C. Noltimier
1979 Paleomagnetism of the Newark trend igneous rocks of the
North Central Appalachians and the opening ofthe Central
Atlantic Ocean.American Journal ofScience 279:778-807.

Smith, Robert C., Arthur W. Rose, and Robert Lanning
1975 Geology and Geochemistry ofTriassic Diabase in Pennsyl-
vania. GeologicalSocietyofAmericaBulletin 86:943-955.

Steiner, Jeffery C., Robert J. Walker, Richard D. Warner, and Todd
R. Olson
1992 ACumulus-Transport-DepositionModel forthe Differenti-
ation of the Palisades Sill. In Eastern North American
Mesozoic Magmatism, edited by John H Puffer and Paul
C. Ragland, pp. 193-217. Geological Society of America
Special Paper 268, Geological Society of America, Boul-
der, Colorado.

Swinden, H. Scott, G. A. Jenner, and Z. A. Szybinski
1997 Magmatic and Tectonic Evolution ofthe Cambrian-Ordovi-
cian Laurentian Margin of lapetus: Geochemical and
Isotopic Constraints From the Notre Dame Subzone,
Newfoundland. In The Nature ofMagmatism in the Appa-
lachian Orogen, edited by Krishna Sinha, Joseph B.
Whalen and John P. Hogan, pp. 337-365. Geological


ftommcz oE F SIYoNx Toom8 FOUND iN SouTH PtoORIDA

Society of America Memoir 191. Geological Society of
America, Boulder, Colorado.

Verma, Surendra P., and Stephen A. Nelson
1989 Isotopic and Trace Element Constraints on the Origin and
Evolution of Alkaline and Calc-Alkaline Magmas in the
Northwestern Volcanic Belt. Journal of Geophysical
Research 94 (B4): 4531-4544.

Walker, Kenneth
1969 The Palisades Sill, New Jersey: A Reinvestigation. The
Geological Society ofAmrica Special Paper 111. Geologi-
cal Society ofAmerica, Boulder, Colorado.

Warner, Richard D., David S. Snipes, Scott S. Hughes, Jeffery C.
Steiner, M. W. Davis, P. R. Manoogian, and Roman A. Schmitt
1985 Olivine-Normative Dolerite Dikes from Western South
Carolina: Mineralogy, Chemical Composition and Petro-
genesis. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 90:

Warner, Richard D., David S. Snipes, Scott S. Hughes, Robert J.
Walker, Roman Schmitt, and Jeffery C. Steiner
1992 Geochemistry and Petrology of Mesozoic Dikes in South
Carolina In Eastern North American Mesozoic Magma-
tism, edited by John H. Puffer and Paul C. Ragland, pp.
333-346. Geological Society ofAmerica Special Paper 268,
Geological Society of America, Boulder, Colorado.

Weigand, Peter W.
1970 Major and trace element geochemistry of the Mesozoic
dolerite diks from eastern NorthAmerica. Ph.D. disserta-
tion Department ofGeology,University ofNorth Carolina,
Chapel Hill.

Weigand, Peter. W., and Paul C. Ragland
1970 Geochemistry of Mesozoic Dolerite Dikes fromEastern
North America. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrol-
ogy 29: 195-214.

Wheeler, Ryan J., and Wesley F. Coleman
1996 OrnamentalBone Carving of Southern Florida: Some Late
StylesandTheirAssociations. TheFloridaAnthropologist

Willey, Gordon R.
1949 Ecavations in Souteast Florida. Yale University
Publications in Anthropology Number 42, Yale University
Press, London.


2000 VOL. 53(4)



' Department ofAnthropology, Soc. 107, University ofSouth Florida, Tampa, FL 33620-8100
E-mail: bweisman@chumal.cas.usfedu
21661 Beach Avenue, Atlantic Beach, FL 32233
E-mail: hnjshepard@earthlink.net
3 3222 Old Oak Drive, Sarasota, FL 34239
E-mail: gluer@grove.ufl.edu

This article is a summary statement of a review and
assessment of the Miami Circle archaeological site conducted
by the authors on May 12,1999, at the request of Robert S.
Carr, principal investigator of the site, and James J. Miller,
state archaeologist and chief ofthe FloridaBureau of Archaeo-
logical Research, in Tallahassee. At that time, excavations
directed by Carr and John Ricisak (see this issue) already had
begun to reveal much information about the Miami Circle.
Our assessment was designed to offer an independent evalua-
tion relative to possible acquisition of the site by the State of
Florida through the Conservation and Recreational Lands
(C.A.R.L) program.
The objectives of our examination were to determine the
origins of the site (aboriginal or modern) and its archaeologi-
cal significance.' We believe that the existing archaeological
evidence strongly supports the premise that the Miami Circle
was constructed by an aboriginal Florida society once residing
on the banks of the Miami River in what is now downtown
Miami. This conclusion is based on a detailed field examina-
tion of site features, specifically the circular pattern of large
holes or "basins" and their relationship to modern site intru-
sions consisting of footing removal trenches for
now-demolished apartments and an associated septic tank.
Those modern features clearly intrude on the portions of
the Miami Circle, dating the Circle feature to a time period
earlier than the modern construction and therefore not
associated with it Further, concreted archaeological midden
material found within some of the holes and the presence of a
"crust" on the surfaces of some of the holes indicates long
contact between the holes and the archaeological midden and
argues against the recent origin of the holes. It is important to
note that no modern artifacts were found in direct association
with the holes. Each hole appears to have been filled with
prehistoric midden deposit A further distinguishing feature
between the holes or basins and modern site features, i.e., the
footing removal trenches and septic tank, is the presence of
backhoe tooth marks on the latter and individual vertical
"groove-shaped" chippingmarks on the former. Thearchaeo-
logical evidence for the aboriginal construction of the Miami
Circle is compelling.
The patterned arrangement of the holes and basins and of
other alignments of smaller holes both inside and outside of

the Miami Circle clearly indicate intentional construction, and
as such have the potential to yield significant insights into the
world view and thought processes of its aboriginal makers.
Although it is not possible at present to reconstruct the
building or structure that the circular pattern represents,
regularities in size and placement of the holes suggest that an
architectural typology might have existed, and that the
building styles in use at the site might have been unique to this
region of Florida.
It seems likely to us based on an examination ofthe overall
site area that the circular feature is only part of a larger site
complex. It would be reasonable to conclude that an aborigi-
nal village, or portion of a village, is represented in the
archaeological deposits at the site, and that the circular
structure was a prominent architectural feature of that village.
We believe that the Brickell Point site is significant on local,
state, and national levels of significance, and that further
archaeological investigation and preservation would be of
enormous public benefit

Site Origin

There are a number of lines of archaeological evidence
bearing on the origin of the Miami Circle. Some of these
1. The observed presence of aboriginal artifacts in the
Circle's holes and basins; plus the prior excavators' reports of
no historic-period artifacts in the same contexts, support an
aboriginal origin of the Circle.
2. The presence of a clearly observable precipitate or crust on
the edges and inside surface of the Circle's holes and basins
supports the antiquity of these features.
3. The lack of a precipitate or crust on the surface of the rock
along the linear cuts associated with the septic tank and
footing removal trench supports a recent origin of these
4. The presence of backhoe bucket teeth marks in the rock
along the linear cuts associated with the septic tank and
footing removal trench supports a recent origin of these
5. The superposition of the septic tank and footing removal
trench over or through the Circle's adjacent holes and basins


VOL. 53(4)




is indicative of the more recent origin of the tank and trench.
6. The shallow, vertical grooves in some ofthe Circle's holes
and basins appear to be tool marks of a kind supporting an
aboriginal origin of these features.
7. The size and shape of the Circle's individual holes and
basins are consistent with what are frequently termed
"post-holes" and "wall-trenches" at some other sites of
aboriginal origin, and this supports an aboriginal origin of
these features. In this view, the Circle's holes and basins
originally would have accommodated wooden upright posts
(not stones) that long ago were removed or rotted away.
8. The general circular pattern ofthe Miami Circle resembles
some other post-hole patterns ofaboriginal structures that have
been documented archaeologically in the eastern United States
and supports an aboriginal origin of the Circle. These other
patterns include chiefs and council houses (Shapiro and
McEwan 1992:7-18, 63-68) as well as paired-post structures
(Clay 1998; Railey 1996:Figure 4.7; Webb and Snow 1945:52-

Site Significance

The Miami Circle is significant in terms of its identity and
context as a Native American archaeological site as well as in
its value to scientific research and the new knowledge that can
be gained from it Here, we briefly review some of the
evidence supporting the Circle's significance.

Significance in Aboriginal Contexts

The Miami Circle's position in the landscape suggests that
it had an important role at the Brickell Point site. Situated
near the water's edge, it was easily accessible by canoe via the
mouth of the Miami River. Situated on a point, it was widely
visible from Biscayne Bay and the Miami River. Its location
afforded wide views overlooking both Biscayne Bay to the east
and a stretch of the Miami River to the west.
The Miami Circle's location at the Brickell Point site
suggests that it had an important role in local and regional
Native American society. The Brickell Point site is a portion
of a regionally important Indian village. During the historic
contact period, ca. A.D. 1500-1750, this village was known as
Tequesta and was the seat of a Native American polity.
The Miami Circle represents the most complete remains to
be identified archaeologically in southeastern Florida of what
appears to be a Native American architectural structure. As
such, it is a rare and possibly unique cultural resource.

Significance in Research Potential

Analysis of materials excavated from the Miami Circle
(e.g., ceramics, faunal bone, botanical remains, etc.) can help
determine more about the Circle's age and function, and about
the people who used it
Further analysis of the Circle's pattern of holes and basins
could reveal more information about little-known Native
American architecture in Florida. It is possible that the Miami

Circle represents only the central portion of a larger structure,
other remains of which are still unexcavated and covered by
earth at the Brickell Point site.
Field observations indicate that the Miami Circle can be
divided into roughly symmetrical north and south halves, each
consisting of pairs of large and small basins that are roughly
rectangular in plan-view. Most of the paired basins appear to
be accompanied by a round hole lying immediately outside the
circle defined by the basins (Figure 1).
The site is also important for the widespread public interest
that it has attracted. This may help make funds available for
additional research (e.g., see article by Wheeler, this issue).

Further Observations Regarding the Brickell Point Site

The exposed surface of the limestone in and around the
Miami Circle exhibits numerous holes and fissures and a
modern reinforced-concrete septic tank. Many of the holes in
the limestone appear to be natural, and many appear to be
hand-made by humans. The latter openings can be identified
by marks left by the tools used by the makers. The tool marks
appear to have been created by some type of hand tool and not
by power-driven machinery. This evidence, plus archaeologi-
cal evidence that the black earth midden that was located
above the limestone is either contemporary with or later than
the man-made holes, indicates that the septic tank is a later
intrusion on an earlier site (Figure 1).
'Preliminary study indicates that many of the smaller,
human-made holes within and around the Miami Circle do not
create a recognizable pattern when viewed as a group, but
further study is required. However, the clearly visible Miami
Circle, approximately 11.5 m (38 ft) in diameter, is repre-
sented by a series of the human-made holes (within the
excavation grid lines 295-335 East and 105-145 North). This
series consists of large, approximately rectangular holes or
basins, that are fairly regularly spaced and that alternate with
smaller approximately rectangular holes or basins. The
rectangular openings, both large and small, were apparently
created by locating circular, or near-circular, holes adjacent to
one another and by then removing intervening material. The
long axes of the rectangular holes lie on the circumference of
the circle. There is evidence that 22, and possibly 23 or 24,
large holes or basins were hewn into the limestone. The total
number of smaller openings provided between the large holes
is less clear, for a smaller opening does not seem to have been
provided between larger holes near the east-west axis on the
east side, or near the north-south axis on the south side. In
addition, the smaller hole near the east-west axis on the west
side seems to have been offset to the north.
Another less-visible circle, approximately concentric with
the 38-foot circle, is traced by a series of human-made holes
which lie a foot or two outside the 38-foot circumference.
These circular holes, from 12-15 cm in diameter, canbe traced
around the northern half of the circle and around part of the
southern portion of the circle. The holes seem to be regularly
spaced at about the same interval as the larger holes in the
38-foot circle. In addition, smaller holes at various spacings


2000 Voi. 53(4)







a. f.
b a *eb
6 1 *d



north half
south half

% 0 *

b" *


Figure 1. A slightly oblique view of the Miami Circle showing patterns of basins and selected other holes. An
approximately east-west dashed line is drawn to divide the Circle into north and south halves. The line passes through
a large hole to the west of the Circle's center. Paired basins are numbered clockwise in each quadrant. Note the shift
from small to large basins (in the north half) to large to small basins (in the south half). A series of holes outside the
Circle (as defined by the basins) is lettered counter-clockwise in each quadrant. The exact pattern of holes in the
southeast quadrant is obscured by natural erosion, incomplete excavation, and the backhoe trench and septic tank pit.
A series of double holes crosses the Circle's north half, and a possible series of single holes crosses the Circle's south
half. Ticked lines show the edges of the septic tank pit that was dug in 1950 as well as the edges of a backhoe trench
dug in 1998 to remove a footing of the demolished Building No. 5 of the Brickel Point Apartments. The concrete sill
supported a low wall of a planter associated with the Brickell Point Apartments. Diagram by G. Luer.




5 feet


"ccanrcw~icALAM) cmBIzcnmALAL sszsnmMEN


are located between the larger holes of the larger circle.
There is also evidence, in at least two instances, that some
of the human-made holes are aligned in straight rows. One
row of irregularly spaced holes runs approximately east-west
through the Miami Circle and is nearly aligned with the north
face of the septic tank. A second row runs approximately
west-northwest to the east-southeast through the Circle,
intersecting the Circle a little north of its east-west axis on the
east side (Figure 1).
One very large, circular, human-made hole is located,
approximately, on the east-west axis of the Miami Circle,
about half-way between the center and the circumference,
toward the Circle's west side. Further analysis may reveal
other patterns which are not immediately obvious.


The holes aligned in circles and straight lines suggest that
the holes received posts that were part of a structure or
structures. However, there are not enough data available to
determine whether or not the holes aligned in straight rows
were related to each other or to the circles, another structure,
or other entities. Therefore, they will not be discussed further
here, except to say that although they seem to be contemporary
with the other holes, they may be evidence that the site
contained successive structures.
We should state explicitly that the holes arranged in circles
(described above and discussed here) are not part of any
European colonial, American territorial, or later American
construction typologies with which we are familiar.
The holes arranged in circles appear to reflect certain
construction typologies used in the southeastern United States
by Native Americans for large structures utilized as council
houses, chiefs' residences, and for other purposes. The wide
spacing of the holes indicates that the structure was not a
circular palisaded defensive structure, which is another type of
Native American structure. Prehistoric and historic council
houses and similar structures have been documented in
historical accounts and archaeology, a summary of which can
be found in Shapiro and McEwan (1992:7-18, 63-68).
If one assumes that the holes arranged in circles are
evidence of a council house or similar structure and compares
this site with other documented sites, several similarities and
differences become apparent The roof and sidewalls, if any,
probably were thatched with palm. If the 38-foot circle marks
the outer perimeter of the structure, the structure is similar in
size to smaller structures at other documented sites. There is
no evidence of interior columns, with the exception of the one
large off-centered hole, for which there is no precedent for use
as a column. It is possible that a conical roof, similar to that
at the Chiefs House at San Luis, was constructed, with or
without sidewalls, but without interior columns. It is possible
that this smaller building was accompanied by a larger
structure which served as a council house. On the other hand,
the 38-foot circle may be an inner ring of support posts for a
larger structure, possibly 18 m (60 ft) or more in diameter.
This larger size, however, would not eliminate the possibility

that other and possibly larger structures existed at the site.
The presence of the two concentric circles, similar in size and
hole spacing, may indicate that different structures occupied
the site at different times. Similarly, the elongation of the
large and small holes on the 38-foot circle might have resulted
from the construction of successive buildings, or might have
provided some tolerance for adjusting the spacing of posts
around the perimeter. The smaller holes located between the
larger holes, and many holes that appear to have been located
at random, may be related to support posts for benches
constructed for the occupants. Entrances, or passageways
between benches, might have been located on the east, south,
and west extremes of the Circle where there seems to be no
evidence of smaller holes.


The Miami Circle has extraordinary promise, both as an
archaeological and as a cultural resource. The entire site
should be investigated to obtain as much archaeological data
as possible, including additional features that may be related
to the 38-foot circle and other structures that might have been
on the site. The knowledge gained would be a very valuable
addition to research related to the Native Americans of Florida
and adjacent regions. The creation on this site ofa public park
with appropriate interpretation would be an outstanding
cultural contribution benefitting the southeastern United
States, Florida, and Miami-Dade County.

SThis article is a slightly edited version of the original report, which
was dated May 21, 1999. Another slightly modified version of the
original report was posted on September 28, 1999 at the web site of
Archaeology magazine-

We would like to thank Bob Carr and John Ricisak of the
Miami-Dade HistoricPreservationDivision, JimMilleroftheFlorida
Bureau of Archaeological Research, and representatives of the
developer, Michael Baumann, for helping arrange our visits to the
Miami Circle.

References Cited

Clay, R. Berle
1998 The Essential Features ofAdena Ritual and Their Implica-
tions. Southeastern Archaeology 17:1-21.

Shapiro, Gary, and Bonnie G. McEwan
1992 Archaeology at San Luis, Part One: The Apalachee
Council House. Florida Archaeology 6:1-173.

Railey, Jimmy A.
1996 Woodland Cultivators. InKentuckyArchaeology, edited by
R. Barry Lewis, pp. 79-125. The University Press of
Kentucky, Lexington.


2000 VOL. 53(4)


Aac AomIoGIca, ArD AtMCHmicORA ASsamaNT

Webb, William S., and Charls Snow
1945 TheAdmP Ieople. ReportsinAnthropologyandArchaeol-
ogy 6. University of Kentw cy, Lxington.





Southeast Florida Archaeological Society -
P.O. Box 2875, Stuart 34995-2875
Indian River Anthropological Society -
272 Terrace Shores Dr., Indialantic 32903
Volusia Anthropological Society
P.O. Box 1881, Ormond Beach 32175
St. Augustine Archaeological Association -
P.O. Box 1301, St. Augustine 32085

irtheast Florida Anthropological Society
44 Torino PI., Jacksonville 32244

Pensacola Archaeological Society
P.O. Box 13251, Pensacola 32591

Panhandle Archaeological Society at Tallahassee
2032 Longview Drive, Tallahassee 32303
Central Florida Anthropological Society
P.O. Box 261, Orlando 32801-0621

Central Gulf Coast Archaeological Society
7701 22nd Avenue, St. Petersburg 33710

Time Sifters Archaeology Society
P.O. Box 25642, Sarasota 34277
Kissimmee Valley Archaeological & Historical Conservancy
80 Bear Point Lane, Lake Placid 33852
Southwest Florida Archaeological Society
P.O. Box 9965, Naples 34101
Broward County Archaeological Society
6720 Nova Drive #7-102, Davie 33317
Archaeological Society of Southern Florida
2495 NW 35" Ave., Miami 33142


EDITOR'S NOTE: Abstracts of papers presented at this year's annual meeting in Fort Myers are being published in The Florida
Anthropologist so that those members who could not attend, as well as other interested readers of the journal, will have access to
the research that is being conducted in Florida.

Sylvanus T. Walker's Adventures in Florida
Arkansas Archaeological Survey, P.O. Box 241,Parkin AR
The name S.T. Walker is recognized among Florida archae-
ologists because of his work along the Gulf coast in the late
1800s, the results of which were published in several Smithso-
nian Institution annual reports. Little has been written about
his background, and even his first name was not widely known
until recently. Archival research atthe Smithsonian Institution
and efforts by Santa Rosa County historian Nathan Woolsey
have uncovered a great deal of information about Walker and
his activities in Florida in the late 1800s. In addition to his
archaeological endeavors, he collected fish, birds, and other
animals for various departments of the Smithsonian. At
various times, he was also a newspaper editor, a superinten-
dent of schools, and even a political cartoonist His letters and
contemporary newspaper accounts provide insights and
anecdotes about his interesting and often difficult life as a
Florida naturalist, publisher and family man.

Buried Treasures Within FDOT Rights-of-Way
1227 Oak Valley Drive, Seffier, FL 33584
This paper focuses on the effects of disturbances to archaeo-
logical sites found in Florida Department of Transportation
rights-of-way and other project areas. Various agents of
disturbance, including the effects of human land-altering
activities and natural forces, are identified, and the seemingly
destructive nature of transportation-related projects is dis-
cussed. Most importantly, the paper demonstrates that signifi-
cantarchaeological resources survive sometimes massive land-
altering activities to provide an amazing array of information
about Florida's past. Examples of significant sites discovered
under roadways and within bridge approaches are presented,
and erroneously held presumptions about site destruction are
examined. The paper concludes that archaeological site
assessment surveys, in compliance with federal, local, and
state regulations, provide important sources of discovery.
Significant archaeology concerning Florida's prehistory or
history can be found in "highly disturbed areas."

Feast or Famine: What We Have Gleaned from the
Archaeobotanical Remains at Presidio Santa Maria de

Florida Museum of Natural History, P.O. Box 117800,
Gainesville, FL 32611-7800
Presidio Santa Maria de Galve was a penal colony in
Pensacola Florida during the later years of the first Spanish
Period. Historic documents provide information on the foods
and supplies that this multiethnic community of garrisoned
troops, convict laborers, families, and Native Americans
requested. Not surprisingly, a comparison of the supplies
requested and those recovered archaeobotanically reveal some
disparity. What has been gleaned, in part, from the
archaeobotanical research is that supplies were exchanged via
multiple intercultural interactions between Europe, Mexico,
Spanish and French colonies in La Florida, and Native
American groups in the Southeast at this penal colony. Both
imported and indigenous species were recovered including
such goods as common and fava beans, chick peas, field peas,
corn, persimmon, and acorns. A comparison of the remains
from the Presidio site to other Spanish Colonial sites across La
Florida suggest similarities and differences in howplants were
procured, produced, distributed, and possibly prepared at
presidio Santa Maria de Galve.

The Snake Island Site (8502336): A Partially Inundated
Prehistoric Archaeological Site Eroding from an Island
Inside the Venice Inlet, Sarasota County, Florida
517Menendez St. Apt. 9, Venice, FL 34285
On a visit to Snake Island in 1995, a shell midden was
observed along the southwest shore of the island extending
underwater to the west Numerous ceramic sherds, shell tools,
and a variety of faunal specimens were determined to be
eroding out ofprimary context from the midden and adjacent
humic sand. Although the island has been used as a spoil site
by the Army Corps during the dredging of the Intracoastal
Waterway, the deposit lies on a relic shoreline once connected
to the mainland on a small peninsula between two bays. The
site was recorded on the Florida Site File and permission was
granted by the West Coast Inland Navigation District, owners
and managers of the island, to monitor the erosion and
conduct salvage surface collections over a four-year period.
Diagnostic ceramic sherds suggest the site was occupied
during the late Manasota and Safety Harbor Periods. The
numerous shell tools predominated by columella hammers and
Type C gastropod hammers, and sea turtle elements, might


reflect a functional association related to the procurement or
processing of sea turtles. This paper serves as an introduction
to the site, a history of the island, and a preliminary analysis
of the artifact assemblage.

More on Moore
Florida Museum of Natural History, P.O.Box 117800,
Gainesville FL 32611-7800
Recent research has provided additional information on the
life of Clarence B. Moore, his family, his interest in photogra-
phy, his death, and the Gopher ofPhiladelphia, the steamship
he used for more than a quarter century. Moore's life is an
extraordinary story, incorporating: articles on photography in
Cosmopolitan and Outing magazines, a wealthy widowed
mother who for two decades supported the inventor of a
perpetual motion machine later debunked by Moore, and death
in Mound Park Hospital (today the Bayfront Medical Center)
in St Petersburg, Florida, adjacent to mounds he had dug in
thirty-six years earlier.

The Marriage of Archaeology and Development: Will it
Sarasota County Historical Resources, 701 Plaza de Santo
Domingo, Sarasota, FL 34236
With the rapid growth ofdevelopment in Florida, the impact
to archaeological resources has been quite dramatic. Sarasota
County is unique among counties in Florida because it can
boast of having a department of Historical Resources, which
includes a full-time archaeologist Sarasota County adopted a
Historic Resource Protection Ordinance (Ordinance #98-051)
in 1995. Its purpose is to protect significant historical and
archaeological resources in Sarasota County. The Oaks/Vamo
Midden (8S01351) and the Oaks Preserve Development
(encompassing the Phase I cultural resource assessment
survey, the Phase I excavation, and final tree removal
monitoring) is used in the presentation as an example of the
full range of investigations used to mitigate the adverse effects
of development to a portion of a significant archaeological
resource. This example demonstrates the benefits of coopera-
tion between private developers and county government in the
preservation of our rich cultural heritage.

The Shields Mound Vicinity Revisited: 100 Years After
C.B. Moore
2882 Dickie Court, Jacksonville, FL 32216-5397
The Shields Mound (8DU12) is a St Johns H-period "plat-
form" mound that, a century after being excavated by C.B.
Moore, still looms large among the houses in south Jackson-
ville. In the summer of 1999, an anticipated long-term
investigation was initiated to determine the spatial extent of
the St. Johns I village associated with the mound. To date, the
excavation of several dozen shovel tests and two 1 x 2 m units
has yielded an impressive array of artifacts including various
St Johns I pottery types, nonlocal cord marked sherds, shell

beads, bone pins, lithic bifaces, and three pieces of copper.
This paper presents the preliminary results of ongoing testing
and explores the implications of these findings with regard to
local chronology and culture history.

The Archaeology of the Ridge and Canal Features of the
Key Marco Site
Dept. ofAnthropology, University of Houston, Houston, TX
The northwestern quadrant of the Key Marco site, 8CR48,
is characterized as having a number of shell ridges radiating
out from the interior to the waters edge. Canals are present
between these ridges. These features are identifiable on the
Sawyer map of 1896 but are no longer visible having been
filled in. Research conducted in the summer of 1998 and 1999
focused on the function of these ridges and their relationship
to the canals. Excavations have revealed that these shell ridges
are intentionally constructed, have extremely complex stratig-
raphy, and were utilized over a relatively long period of time.
The ridges contained numerous strata of residential structures
that were built up on pilings or stilts. Pilings also have been
recorded extending into the adjacent canals but it is not known
if they represent supports for houses or instead piers or
mooring pilings placed out in the canal. The question remains
whether the canal had water in it during the later occupation
of the ridge. Evidence for these interpretations will be pre-
sented in the paper.

Beehive Hill: A Second Late First Contact Site in Central
Janus Research, 2935 FirstAvenue North, St. Petersburg, FL
In the Spring of 1999, Janus Research, conducted Phase II
investigations of the Beehive Hill site (80S1726) located near
Reedy Creek in Osceola County. This multi-component
habitation and burial site appears to have been most inten-
sively utilized during the St Johns IA through the late
seventeenth century. The sites similarity with the nearby
Southport Mound site suggests a distinctive but as yet poorly
described cultural patterning for a group possibly having little
historic contact until the seventeenth century.

Key Marco Revisited: Topography and Archaeology near
the Court of the Pile Dwellers
'P.O. Box 9074, Naples, FL 34101-9074
'Archaeological and Historical Conservancy, Miami, FL
This paper will discuss the monitoring and excavation work
done by the authors on various properties at the Key Marco
Shell Midden (8CR48). Investigators from the Archaeological
and Historical Conservancy have worked on four properties
comprising an estimated 10% of the total acreage of the
historic shell key visited by Frank Hamilton Cushing in 1896.
Of particular interest is the substantiation of the essential
accuracy of the Wells Sawyer Contour Map produced by this


2000 VOL. 53(4)


same expedition over a century ago. The northwestern portion
of the Key Marco Shell Midden area has recently undergone
extensive development into a resort hotel/convention center
complex. This activity has allowed archaeologists from AHC
extensive opportunity to view subsurface features that have
been hidden or effaced by the modern development of the shell
key into a district called OldMarco Village. A rich assemblage
of artifacts, strata, and other features have been uncovered
which provide a better understanding of the formation,
function, and chronology of the Marco site and may serve as
a model for other large complex shell midden sites.

Tampa Bay Aboriginals from Contact to Extinction:
Thoughts and Speculations
P.O. Box 201, Terra Ceia, FL 34250
Intensive research by various scholars of original European
documents has led to remarkably detailed accounts (and
lengthybooks) about many ofFlorida's last native inhabitants.
While 16h century documentation touches upon the entire
peninsula, the following centuries are largely concerned with
north Florida and the panhandle. Ethnographic data for the
central peninsular Gulf Coast-including Tampa Bay--are
quite slim. The author presents a review of available informa-
tion and offers his thoughts and speculations about the Uzita,
Tocobaga, and Pohoy; the people (caught) between the
Timucua and Calusa.

The Search for Spiculate Clays near Timucuan Village
Sites in the Lower St. Johns River
'1370 Ocala #117, Tallahassee, FL 32304
2Florida Geological Survey, Tallahassee, FL
The identification of St. Johns cultural occupations is based
largely on the presence of ceramic vessels with pastes contain-
ingabundant microscopic silicate rods. These rods, commonly
referred to as sponge spicules, represent the structural remains
of freshwater sponges: Class Demospongiae, Family
Spongillidae. While many thousands of spiculate St Johns
sherds have been recovered, no raw spiculate clay sources have
been located. The focus of our study has been to explore this
contradiction and to consider a possible alternative hypothesis
that the presence of spicules in St. Johns vessels was a
cultural decision involving the purposeful addition of sponges
as tempering material. To establish the locations of clay or
spiculate material in the lower St Johns area, we examined
138 samples of poorly consolidated sediments curated by the
Florida Geologic Survey. This paper will review the character-
istics of clay sources from this region, discussvarious spiculate
bearingsediments, andthe physical requirements necessaryfor
the construction of viable ceramic vessels.

Investigations at the Early Nineteenth Century Mala
CompraPlantation: Joseph Martin Herandez' Home and
Detached Kitchen
209 Cotorro Lane, St. Augustine, FL 32086

JosephMartinHernandez'Mala CompraPlantation(8FL26)
was developed on land granted in 1816. Recent excavations in
Flagler County at Bings Landing County Park examined his
residence and detached kitchen, and over 14,000 artifacts were
analyzed which were mainly architectural and domestic in
nature. The owner's residence hadbeenburnedas documented
during the Second Seminole Indian War in 1836. The build-
ings were of frame construction with a masonry foundation,
butthere were differencesbetweenthe archaeologicalinforma-
tion and the historic description. Interesting insights were
recognized concerning the early nineteenth century carpentry
practices, such as nails being modified to accommodate needs
not met by the early nail manufacturers. Investigation results
have added meaningfully to our knowledge about rural
lifeways and architectural practices. The research funding
came from the Flagler County Board of County Commission-
ers, Flagler Tourist Development Council and Florida Depart-
ment of State, Division of Historical Resources.

A Distributional Study of Soapstone Vessels Throughout
Florida: Implications to Late Archaic Trade Networks and
the Expansion of Interaction Spheres
Division of Historical Resources, R.A. Gray Building, 500
SouthBronough Street, 4thFloor, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-
Recent research has compiled data regardingthe geographic
distribution of archaeological samples of soapstone vessels
recovered from Florida sites. Spatial analyses of these data
using modern Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software
recognizes several environmental factors common to sites
where occurrences of soapstone vessels have been recorded.
This information, when combined with several other lines of
evidence (including radioanalytical data, analysis of vessel
form and decoration, and geochemical constituent analysis),
provides a fresh approach to the current theories of Late
Archaic trade networks throughout Florida and the southeast

Jos6 Mariano Hernindez: Atypical Planter
901 N. Griffin Shores Dr., St. Augustine, FL 32084
Jos6 Mariano Hernandez as a plantation owner, was unique
in many ways. As a descendent of the ill-fated Minorcan
colony, he was the only Hispanic with extensive plantation
holdings in the early Territorial Period in Florida. He was also
a general in the Second Seminole War, and two of his planta-
tions-Mala Compra, his country residence, and St.
Joseph's-became military posts. Unlike many of his fellow
planters who abandoned their plantations after the Indian
uprising, he went back to farming after the war. He was
greatly respected in Florida and held several public positions.
In fact, he was the first Hispanic to ever serve in the U.S.

Pictures of Plummets and What They Can Tell Us
Ohio University-Chillicothe, 571 WestFifth St., P.O. Box 629,

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs