Archaeologists say an extensive Native American village they've uncovered in downtown Miami is one of the most significant prehistoric sites in the United States.
The Miami Herald reports that over the past several months, archaeologists have dug up eight large circles comprised of uniformly carved holes in the limestone. They think these are foundation holes for Tequesta Indian dwellings that could date back 2,000 years.
"What’s unusual and unique about the site is that it’s this huge chunk of land where a major part of this ancient Tequesta village site is preserved," archaeologist Bob Carr told the Herald. "It’s one of the earliest urban plans in eastern North America. You can actually see this extraordinary configuration of these buildings and structures."
The finds have left officials and a downtown developer in a quandary. MDM Development Group plans to develop the site. The state and Miami-Dade County historic-preservation officials want the city to consider other options that could salvage the site, or at least a portion of it.
"We will do our utmost," MDM director Ian Swanson told the paper. "There is no easy answer to this at all."
MDM already has leases for businesses on the site and could lose substantial money if that happens.