5/02/2013 10:54:00 AM

Archaeologists Discover Remains of Ancient Village Beneath Miami's First Hotel

A historic postcard of the Royal Palm Hotel.
Archaeologists digging around the site of what will become a mega-entertainment complex in Miami have discovered, not just remnants of the city’s first swank hotel, but evidence of a village dating back to 500 BC, the Miami Herald reports. The site has been a parking lot since 1926 when a hurricane destroyed the glam Royal Palm, the hotel credited with launching Miami as a tourism destination in 1897. But it turns out the site has been popular for much longer. Archaeologists on the dig discovered remnants of a village of Tequestas, a tribe that is thought to have lived in what is now Miami for 2,500 years before disease decimated the populations in the 1700s. Historians have been removing and cataloging tools and the bones and shells of the animals that the tribe hunted. After the dig is complete, developers will break ground on the new building, including a Mondrian-inspired hotel.

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