Miami Dredge Project Turns Up 18th Century Cannon Near Port

Miami is a city with a short history, so historical objects don't exactly turn up here everyday. So when a dredge team was relocating seagrass to an area near the Julia Tuttle Causeway and came across an old cannon, they were surprised to say the least.

The Corps says the discovery was made back in August. After digging up dirt during the PortMiami dredge, the dirt is transported to a mitigation site just north of the Julia Tuttle Causeway in Biscayne Bay. Workers for Great Lakes Dredge and Dock LLC Company were sifting through the dirt when they found the cannon. Workers then determined that the cannon had been dug up from one of the Port's turning basins.

The cannon was then transported to the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research for further investigation. It was determined that the cannon was from the 18th century.

Somewhat surprisingly, news reports from 1919 stated that 14 other cannons had been found in the same area.

"There was a Spanish mission at the mouth of the old Miami River entrance and ships visited there often. Old dredgers also used cannons as anchors; and, since the cannon was in inoperable condition with a broken muzzle and missing button at the end -- it could have been worn out and thrown overboard or possibly used as ballast for awhile," said Corps archeologist Grady Caulk in a statement.

Archeologists did conduct research to determine if any other shipwreck or ancient debris could be found in the same area, but nothing else was turned up.

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Kyle Munzenrieder