Sixteen months ago, the Related Group began a project to build three towers, including a 75-story Baccarat-branded luxury skyscraper, in Miami’s Brickell district. Unfortunately for the company, on that very same spot 7,000 years earlier, one of the earliest Indigenous civilizations in human history lived there, leaving behind invaluable relics. Now, as the Miami Herald reports, the Related Group has had to quietly delay its development plans in favor of an archeological excavation.
“You’re going back to the time of the emergence of the first cities in Mesopotamia,” William Pestle, archaeologist and anthropologist at the University of Miami, told the paper. “This is legitimately old.” According to The Wall Street Journal, the developers were required to consult with the Seminole tribe once human remains were found and turn them over to be reburied in undisclosed locations at the tribe’s request. (Related paid $104 million for the property and already took out $164 million in construction loans.)
Scientists are apparently frustrated at the city and the Related Company for staying so mum about the dig site, and local residents and archaeologists are now pushing Miami’s historic-preservation board to designate it a protected archaeological landmark, which would probably further mess with Related’s plans to build the towers. Meanwhile, no one at Related seemed to be excited to talk about these extremely significant findings, only noting in a statement to the Herald that the company has “followed all existing laws and regulations for any site in a designated archaeological zone.”