offers archaeologists an assist at Miami Circle
to map the Brickell Point site where the archaeologically important
Miami Circle was discovered have been aided by a businessman donating
time and equipment to measure its features using state-of-the-art
Kilmon, president of ViaLink, a local company that uses Global Positioning
System technology, or GPS, for large-scale mapping programs, proposed
a solution to a problem confronting county archaeologist John Ricisak.
Ricisak is trying to decipher a possible pattern or order to myriad
holes at the site, which is linked to settlements in the region than
may be 19 centuries old.
Kilmon is surveying the site using cutting-edge technology to achieve
previously untried levels of accuracy. He estimated the value of the
job at $100,000.
will take a year to do it all," he said, "The only way to
see the overall picture is in a computer overview."
GPS mapping with horizontal accuracy to several hundredths of a foot
is fairly common, Mr. Kilmon said, no other firm has accomplished
three-dimensional accuracy to a 5,000th of a foot, the magnitude employed
for the Brickell Point site.
dimensional mapping of the holes reveals variations in depth, positioning
and formation that may yield clues to their purpose, he said.
which he said prepared maps of the Valujet crash site in the
Everglades will also superimpose high-resolution digital aerial
photographs and survey grids showing where artifacts were found on
computer models of the Circle site.
Ricisak said the Circle which has been uncovered for mapping
will be re-covered next week shortly after a British Broadcasting
Corp. crew finishes a shoot on the area that it begun during a dig
county may use a state grant to solicit bids from professional photographers
for aerial shots free of distortions, Mr. Ricisak said, and also to
complement Mr. Kilmon's work with more traditional surveying methods.
need to get better photos of the site than we have up to this point,"
he says. "Most of what we have were taken from a crane looking
straight down in the final days of the controversy."
circle of 24 large holes in the limestone bedrock that came to be
known as the Miami Circle was discovered at the site during routine
archaeological excavations after the demolition of an apartment building
to make way for new development in 1998.
its function is not known, archaeologists have suggested it was once
the site of a Tequesta Indian building. Radiocarbon dating of charcoal
samples from the site date back to about AD 100.
grass roots movement to preserve the site, at the confluence of the
Miami River and Biscayne Bay, led the state to buy it last year. State
archaeological officials have said a task force of state, county and
city representatives to begin long-term planning for the site will
be set up over the next year.
Mr. Ricisak said, digging has been completed and classification of
the artifacts found is next on the agenda.
include the hundreds of holes in the limestone similar to those composing
the Miami Circle, he said.
out the circle is easy," Mr. Ricisak said, "but figuring
out what the others are is not so easy.
have hundreds and hundreds of other holes, most of which appear to
be randomly distributed. They look like all the stars in the night
could be because they are random or because there are so many it's
hard to pick out patterns.
could be we are looking at patterns superimposed over other patterns
superimposed over others over 1,200 years, for an infinite variety
of purposes some related to structures or huts such as whatever
the Circle was associated with, some to erect totem poles or racks
for drying fish or skins, for example."
ViaLink, (305) 891-9393 or flheritage.com/brickellpoint.