|23 January 2005
Prehistoric huts found in Colorado
A team of archaeologists looking for historical artifacts at the Rueter-Hess Reservoir construction site (Colorado, USA) has found traces of huts used by nomadic tribes up to 5,000 years ago. Centennial Archaeology Inc., an archaeological surveyor, found 'shallow, basin-type structures' five feet below the ground's surface, said Chris Zier, owner of the company. The 'saucer-shaped depressions,' which are roughly 3 to 3.5 meters in diameter, were dug by tribes and covered by a crude brush structure made of sticks and other natural materials, he said. "These people were mainly hunter-gatherers, so they didn't stay in one place," Zier said. "But that doesn't mean they didn't live without shelter."
Although the artifacts have not been carbon-dated, Zier said the excavation team has found spear points used in the Middle Archaic Period roughly 3,000 to 5,000 years ago. The artifacts are being tested in the Centennial Archaeology laboratory and more data will be available by the end of the month. One site has been excavated and crews recently began work on a second one. The team will comb a total of four sites, some of which are near an area planned for a water treatment plant. Fire pits, stone tools and debitage - flakes and chips from stone tool production - have already been found at the prehistoric sites. The artifacts will be removed and put into storage for the Douglas County Historical Society. Norma Miller, a member of the society, was not aware of the discovery but was excited to find out her organization would be receiving the items. The pieces will be on display when the historical society finds a location for a museum.
Zier said the find is not rare for the area; archaeologist have uncovered about 100 similar sites in Colorado and Wyoming. Weaver Construction will be permitted to resume work at the reservoir site once the artifacts are collected.
Source: Douglas County News-Press (20 January 2005)
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