2,000-Yr.-Old Remains Unearthed in South Florida: Thought to be of Tequesta Indian Woman

PHOTO Courtesy: State Archives of Florida, "Florida Memory.

PHOTO Courtesy: State Archives of Florida, “Florida Memory.

DAVIE, FLORIDA — The 2,000-year-old remains of a fully intact skeleton were unearthed shortly before Christmas as construction crews were installing new waterlines on Pine Island Road in Davie, Florida.

The remains are believed to be of a Tequesta American Indian woman. The Tequesta tribe lived in southeastern Florida along the Atlantic Coast prior to the arrival of Europeans to the region. The Tequesta Tribe reportedly were evacuated to Cuba during the 1770s.

Davie, Florida is located in Broward County, near Fort Lauderdale.

“It’s either Tequesta or the member of a people that predates the Tequesta,” said Bob Carr of the Archaeological and Historical Conservancy in Davie. “It’s unusually well preserved, considering it’s been under a highway with thousands of cars going over it every day.”

Finding fully intact skeletal remains are rare, according to Carr.

The remains are of a woman who was about five feet tall and who was between 20 and 30 years old at the time of her death.

The age of the remains were based on artifacts that were discovered previously in area prior, including pottery shards, that were determined to be 2,000 years old.

The skeletal remains are now being analyzed by State of Florida and local archaeological officials.

In keeping with provisions of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, commonly known as NAGPRA, the Seminole and Miccosukee Indian Tribes in south Florida will gain control of the remains for re-interment once the Florida and local officials are done with their analysis.

Both tribes have been involved with the handling of the unearthed remains since the discovery. Out of due respect, the tribes have insisted no photographs be of the skeletal remains be shared with the media.

A portion of Pine Island Road was closed after the discovery and was reopened this past Thursday when authorities released the information relating to the discovery.

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