DOWNTOWN MIAMI -- Archeologists picked through dirt Friday, uncovering pieces of knives, jewelry, architectural elements, and animal remains from a 1,000-year-old Tequesta Indian village that once stood at the mouth of the Miami River.
City law dictates that such an excavation must be completed before a new movie theater project called Met Square is built at the site in downtown Miami, reports CBS Miami.
In 1998, archeologist Bob Carr discovered what is now called the Miami Circle, the primary village of the Tequesta, one of the first Native North American groups encountered by Juan Ponce de León in 1513, according to HistoryMiami.
Carr told the Miami Herald that he now believes the Tequesta settlement encompassed both banks of the Miami River and continued west towards Miami Avenue and as far north as Flagler Street.
The Miami Circle was designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior, and is now a park.
Yet the surrounding land, like the future site of Met Square, will be canvased for historically significant remains and cleared for development.
The site was altered twice before, most recently as a paved parking lot, and before that as the site of the Henry Flagler's impressive Royal Palm Hotel.
When the hotel was built in 1897, builders cleared the land by moving a Tequesta burial ground to a nearby location, which is now likely under a downtown office building, reports the Miami Herald.
And before construction began on the downtown Whole Foods, archeologists reportedly found remains from a Tequesta cemetery, which have since been reburied.
CBS Miami reports that the excavation, which began in November, will continue through the summer when construction can then begin on Met Square.
The discovered artifacts will be on display soon at HistoryMiami.
Click below for images from Friday's dig in downtown Miami: