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2 July 2000
U.S. prehistoric campsite excavated

Archaeologists are uncovering a possible camp site for prehistoric nomads thousands of years ago near Rock Springs (Wyoming, U.S.A.). "This one is just golden," said Terry Del Bene, U.S. Bureau of Land Management archaeologist and historian.
      The site, a few miles northeast of the FMC soda ash plant, has been named the Blue Point Site after a prominent geological feature in the area. Digging began in the summer of 1999. No human remains have been found, Del Bene said. However, many remains of rabbits and different plants have been uncovered.
      "This is an early site which has been occupied several times over thousands of years," he said. Dave Johnson, field supervisor for Western Archaeological Services, said artifacts found at the site date back 9,500 years, 8,200 years, 7,300 years, 6,400 years and 5,400 years.
      Prehistoric humans probably kept coming back because the site used to be an intermittent lake that sustained plants and animals, he said. The prehistoric humans were nomadic, following their food sources and thus did not stay for extended periods in one area, Johnson said. Del Bene said the nomads' harsh lifestyle probably kept them from living much past their mid-30s. The Blue Point Site provides some evidence of domesticated dogs, although the issue is still being debated, he said.
      The site was discovered during a survey by FMC in the early 1980s. Nothing was done until the company planned a pond expansion in the 1990s and further evidence of the site's significance was discovered.

Source: The Billings Gazette (20 June 2000)

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