In an era dedicated to sustainable methods for building, developing, and living our lives, it seems like archaeology is the best place to look for solutions. Innovative building technologies are important, of course. But perhaps looking backwards, rather than forwards, is the optimal means of learning how humans managed to live harmoniously with Planet Earth for millions of years. Wouldn’t it be nice if the people who dig up our cities in 2000 years viewed our civilization with a sense of respect, rather than horrified shame?

miami archaeology indian village

Archaeologist at the site where circle postholes were found dating back to the Tequesta Indians. Source: Chuck Fadel/AP via nydailynews.com

For example, a recent article in the New York Daily News highlights an ancient civilization uncovered in the beginning stages of a large commercial development in Miami. The project requires tons of concrete to complete a Whole Foods, 34-story hotel, movie theaters, restaurants and shopping centers. If approved, it will be directly atop “one of the earliest urban plans in eastern North America,” dating back 2000+ years.

We aren’t taking a stand for or against the development, but we do feel the immediate situation presents an opportunity for developers to step back and look at the big picture. Perhaps the technological advances we celebrate also obligate us to figure out how our ancestors and prehistoric peoples built their worlds in harmony with nature. We can take what we learn and apply it to our own design and build practices, resulting in a functional, well-designed, green society.

Contact LS&A Architecture and Interiors to implement green design strategies into your next private home or commercial development in Cambridge, MA.