America's Stonehenge still surrounded by condos and controversy





To anyone driving over the Miami Bridge, it doesn’t look like much. Blink and you miss the small billboard that announces the Miami Circle sits just below on the river’s edge – a dusty parcel of 2.2 acres surrounded by chain-link fencing in the shadow of the giant Sheraton Hotel and 30-story condos. At its center is a circle of pale limestone, 38 foot in diameter, pitted with what looks like post-holes. But to historians and archaeologists who excavated here furiously for months in the late 1990s, this is nothing less than America’s Stonehenge.

The archaeological site in the heart of Miami, revealing secrets going back at least 2,000 years, received an eleventh-hour reprieve from the developers who wanted to obliterate the “Miami Circle.” At the last minute county commissioners voted to borrow $8.7 million to help buy them off.

Two 40-story towers were to go up on the plot, at the mouth of the Miami River on the edge of Biscayne Bay. Thus the way was opened for a deal that will see the building of a cultural museum on the site.
Native American tribes are certainly not news in Miami and South Florida, as the entire state was originally inhabited by Seminole and Miccosukee.


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