Miami Circle - Artifacts - Pumice


Florida State University geologist Stephen Kish and archaeologist Ryan Wheeler studied a large sample of pumice artifacts from the Miami Circle. Pumice is a light, frothy glass that is produced during volcanic eruptions. It does not occur naturally in Florida. Analysis of pumice artifacts from the Miami Circle and other Florida sites reveal a uniform group of shapes and wear patterns, and a common source in the area around Veracruz on the Gulf Coast of Mexico. The large number of pumice artifacts from the Miami Circle may be associated with a major eruption or a major storm event that washed pumice deposits into the ocean. The lack of other exotic materials from Mexico in Florida archaeological sites suggests that the pumice was not transported to Florida by humans, but rather by ocean currents. The study shows that similar pumice artifacts are found at the Miami Circle and sites like Fort Center on the western side of Lake Okeechobee. This suggests that ancestral Tequesta exchange networks were active around 2,000 years ago and reached well into the interior of Florida.