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17 July 2007
Squirrels unearth ancient artifact in California

An amazing discovery has been unearthed in Placer County (California, USA). Amazing because of its historical significance, and amazing because of how it was found. Archaeologists did not carefully unearth the 8,000 to 10,000 year old artifact, but it appears some curious squirrels dug it up. Now, folks at the Maidu Indian Interpretive Center are trying to preserve what the squirrels unearthed. The center allows people to learn how Native Americans lived thousands of years ago. And it was here that the squirrels made their find in what could be called an ancient compost pile.
     "You can see where little tiny flakes have been knocked off to sharpen this or to give it a certain shape." explained Cultural Interpreter Rick Adams who stumbled up the unearthed artifact along the Maidu Nature Trail. It's a carefully carved tool or ceremonially object dating back that many years. Experts say it appears to be partially volcanic and may have originated in the Rancho Murietta area about 20 miles from where it was discovered. "We only find what the squirrels are giving us right now. And that's OK. We don't want to dig." said Park Specialist Chuck Kritzon. While the officials running the Maidu Center know there are probably more artifacts in the park, it is illegall for humans to dig them up on the protected land.

Sources: CBS13 (13 July 2007)

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