Cutler Fossil Site

“Ten thousand years ago, the stillinland site remained rather arid and therefore comparatively uninviting to potential hunters and gatherers elsewhere in the region. Yet humans have lived in the general neighborhood of present-day south Florida for at least about 10,000 years. The best evidence for first Floridians in the Miami area comes from what is now the Deering Estate at Cutler.” Frank, Andrew K.. Before the Pioneers (Florida in Focus) (pp. 13-14). University Press of Florida. Kindle Edition.

Archaeologists have unearthed evidence of 10,000 years of continuous human inhabitation on the grounds of what is now the Deering Estate. The oldest human remains found at the Deering Estate were found at the Cutler Fossil Site. “The Cutler Fossil Site excavated in the 1980’s revealed a Paleo Indian shelter and bones of mega fauna from the Pleistocene Era when sea levels were considerably lower.”

“The Cutler Fossil is a watering hole into which all manner of Pleistocene beasts toppled. Sandwiched between the limestone layers of the sinkhole, some 16 feet above the current sea level of the nearby Biscayne Bay, were bones of dire wolfs, mastodons, camels, llamas, saber-toothed tigers, and the American lion. Though the site is protected, the city has sprawled around it in the intervening 10,000 years. Looking down into the ancient pit from the ridge, you can hear the rumble of nearby cars. But the site is hidden and sheltered from the road and the water, protected by its isolation and its elevation.” Jessica Leigh Hester, Wired


  1. Despite the heat, wear long sleeves and long pants. You should protect yourself from plants and insects.
  2. Wear a pair of good walking shoes. Do not wear sandals.
  3. Bring a reusable water bottle and a snack (energy bar and fruit are good).
  4. Always wear sunscreen.
  5. There is a possibility of encountering some wildlife (crocodiles, snakes, raccoons). You can always look, but never touch.
  6. The Deering Estate allows visitors to bring food into the property. So pack a picnic , if you wish.
  7. Please feel free to bring your phone, GoPro or camera.
  8. This is a hike through a natural terrain! Dress Appropriately!!

Deering Estate History website
Jessica Leigh Hester in Wired
Sheila Steiglitz, Cutler Bay News

2019 April Cutler Fossil Site
2018 Fall Cutler Fossil Site

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