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4 June 2006
Dig planned at ancient site in North Dakota

A site along Lake Sakakawea (North Dakota, USA) where American Indians camped and hunted ancient bison is to be excavated this summer by an archaeological team. The Beacon Island site, estimated at 12,000 years old, was exposed when the lake shrank in recent dry years, said Fern Swenson, state historical preservation director. Experts call it one of the rarest sites in North America, she said.
     Preliminary tests have been done at the site, said Fred Sellet, field director for the excavation from the University of South Florida. "These were Paleo-Indians and represent some of the earliest archaeological remains in that part of the world," he added.
     The PaleoCultural Research Group, a nonprofit group directed by Stanley Ahler, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota got a federal grant to salvage archaeological data from Beacon Island, which is on federal property. Wave action is destroying the site, Sellet said. Swenson said the site is where Agate Basin Indians hunted ancient bison in a boggy area created by retreating glaciers. After the kill, the hunting band butchered the animals and camped there.

Source: Grand Forks Herald (3 June 2006)

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