Tuesday, April 05, 2016

The Tequesta's Miami Circle: is it only a dog park now? By Geniusofdespair

Blanca Mesa has written a beautiful article reminding us about the Miami Circle in the Biscayne Times. Here is an excerpt, read the whole article it is worth it:

On a recent dry, sunny afternoon, a dog walker and a few tourists were at the Miami Circle. None of them realized they were at the site of a 2000-year-old archaeological site, the very cradle of Miami civilization.
“Is it here?” asked a woman, her eyes darting across the landscape of dried grass and limestone rocks that hid the Miami Circle.
The air smelled faintly of dog excrement and marine life, the Miami River lapping against the seawall. Across the narrow dark river, mega yachts were anchored. On the Brickell Bridge, the iconic statue of a Tequesta warrior stood, his arms outstretched toward the blue sky, now obscured by the concrete and glass of a new downtown real estate boom.
Perhaps we have forgotten about the Miami Circle because we buried it. Perhaps we have forgotten because we are a city that redefines itself every few years, and waves of newcomers roll in with every tide, like seaweed, with no memory of what the Miami Circle meant to the community when it was discovered in the summer of 1998.
We have lost touch with what it means to contemplate a connection to 2000 years past, when the hands of an ancient people carved the very bedrock that would build a city in the 20th Century.
But because we saved this place where the river meets the bay, we can still imagine what it was like to live under an open blue sky, close to the sea, at a time when it seemed the world had no end.


Anonymous said...

Written like a Marjory Stoneman Douglass piece...visualize the impact of sacrifice that turned into apathetic disdain and loss..

Anonymous said...

It's ok, I'm sure dog piss is good for its preservation...

Anonymous said...

Please inform us of Miami connection to Mossak Fonseca circle before it is hurried under rocks and dirt. Long Live Leaks.

Anonymous said...

The Flagler Circles across the river are/were even more interesting. An entire riverfront village being covered up by another high-rise with only one circle remaining for viewing. And one has to wonder where they put the hundreds of remains that were discovered when digging for the Whole Foods building.

Anonymous said...

We are strange people. We know what we should do, but we won't do it. We look with disdain on crazy people blowing up ancient artifacts, massive physical remains of cultures long past, yet the one site that we know about right here among us, , we use as a dog park. Are we any better?

Anonymous said...

The preservation of that site was a rare victory for the people of this County. Had it not happened, there would be not one, but two highrise condominiums on that postage stamp-sized piece of land. A lot of people, including one of the writers of this blog, worked hard to save the site. Ultimately though, the decision by the State and the County to find a way to preserve it was a political one. Neither the Mayor Alex Penelas nor the Governor Jeb Bush wanted to be the one to blame for not saving the magnificent Miami Circle, which had been described as everything from a Mayan calendar, to an American Stonehenge, to a landing site for aliens. And because the Super Bowl was in town just when the battle to save the site was reaching its peak, the site received a tremendous amount of national and international press. Lots of opportunities for good PR.The site was and is significant for what it actually is, one of the few remaining vestiges of Miami's prehistoric past and a place where you can go to learn about and contemplate it while looking out into the Bay. Few people appreciate that, and I doubt the people that allow their dogs to run rampant and defecate there even have a clue about it. It is the Miami way, unfortunately. Saving the Circle was the exception.

Anonymous said...

We all remember the fight to save the site. I knew when people showed up with drums and incense, that they would not be able to put a highrise there. But a dog park, No!

Anonymous said...

Everyone makes choices in life. Josh Billig chose history and respect.

Mason Won't Budge Ancient Stone
February 16, 1999|By LUISA YANEZ Miami Bureau
MIAMI — At first, stonemason Joshua Billig saw cutting and moving the ancient Miami Circle simply as a professional challenge.

Then, voices from the past began to haunt him.

"Wash your hands of this," a Seminole spiritual leader warned the pony-tailed Billig, 41. "Cut clean. Don't be the one that does this job."

Billig, a member of a well-known Coconut Grove family, listened to Bobby C. Billie, who had been keeping vigil at the site near the Miami River.

On Sunday, the stonemason backed out of the job, leaving the developer frustrated and sending the future of the circle into turmoil again.

"It took a little while for me to find my conscience with the help of my wife," said Billig, who has become an activist to preserve the site. "I hope this gives those who want to save it enough time to find a solution in this mess."

Full article: http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1999-02-16/news/9902160255_1_miami-circle-joshua-billig-stonemason