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16 May 2010
Ancient hunters' campsite found in Wyoming

A construction crew digging a water pipeline to supply the town of Pinedale (Wyoming, USA) halted work after archaeologists from Current Archaeological Research, hired to monitor the project for cultural resources, identified a distinct dark stain in the subsoil. The site, just west of the Fremont Lake lower dock car park, was shortly after divided into square meter units and painstakingly dug under the captivated gaze of some of the engineers, revealing obsidian flakes, by-products of tool making, knife-like biface tools, and large flat granite rocks for grinding.
     These efficient stone tools were created by skilled hands. The Current Archaeology team's David Wolfe reverently described the intricate and artistic craftsmanship of one piece, a drill base less than an inch wide, "It's just amazing the level of work."
     The site is thought to have been temporary home to a small band of hunters, likely an extended family, and may have been used around 4,000 years ago, although carbon dating will provide a more secure conclusion, Wolfe said, while the source of the obsidian will be determined using X-ray fluorescents.
     Commenting on the location of the site near Fremont Lake and Pine Creek, Wolfe remarked that "It's a nice campsite," and suggested that it may be one of many such sites where small bands of archaic hunters camped and processed wild plants and game.
     Wolfe estimated that the excavation could be completed rapidly with archaeologists at the site continue to work for 12-14 hours a day removing the artifacts. "We have to get this out of here... it's a nonrenewable resource," he said.

Source: Sublette Examiner (10 May 2010)

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