Archaeological treasure beneath the skyscrapers

May 01, 2013 11:00AM

Royal Palm Hotel

An archaeological dig at the site of the future Met Square entertainment complex has unearthed several stages in Miami’s history of development dating from 500 BC, the Miami Herald reported.

The complex will include a 12-screen movie theater with hardwood floors, custom sound panels and hand-stitched leather seats, a JW Marriott Marquis hotel and a Whole Foods.

A Miami law requires archaeological assessments in certain parts of the city before construction can proceed.

Archaeologist Bob Carr and his crew have chipped away at what has for decades served as a downtown parking lot to discover remnants of Miami pioneer Henry Flagler’s Royal Palm Hotel, including room keys, and artifacts of a Tequesta Indian village built on what was once the banks of the Miami River.

“That this has always been a prime location is evident from the thousands of objects we have found from the people who lived here,’’ Carr, whose nonprofit Archaeological and Historical Conservancy has been digging in phases on the Met Miami properties since 2005, was reported as saying in the Herald. “What’s exciting about this project is you get to slice through time, from ancient times right through modern times.’’ [Miami Herald]Emily Schmall