Miami Circle - Artifacts - Zooarchaeology


Florida Museum of Natural History zooarchaeologist Irvy Quitmyer and University of Florida student Erin Kennedy studied the animal bones found at the Miami Circle and concluded that popular foods were marine bony fish, sharks, and rays, as well as freshwater turtles, marine turtles, terrestrial turtles and snakes. The remains of animals like squirrel, rabbit, deer, dog, and Caribbean monk seal, and birds and amphibians also were found in the samples. Most of the animals identified came from brackish water habitats like those adjacent to the site in Biscayne Bay as well as the upper reaches of the Miami River and nearby pine woods and hammocks. A variety of methods were used in capturing the animals, including harpoons, nets, hook and line fishing, gathering, as well as fish traps, and canoes were probably important in transporting a day’s catch. In terms of human impact on the environment, Quitmyer and Kennedy note that many of the Miami Circle aquatic species are high level predators—shark, snook, and freshwater bass—possibly indicating the first intensive use of the local environment.