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28 June 2010
Ancient Canadian burial site discovered

The husky, five-foot tall man walked the forests of Northern Ontario (Canada) while the city of Babylon flourish and the Great Pyramids were being built. A remarkable 4,600 year old grave site was revealed when water levels fell in Big Trout Lake. A First Nations fisherman made the discovery. The burial would indicate that the man held a high stauts in his society. The skeleton and nearby sediment are tinted with ocher and there is a granite slab that seems to be associate with the grave. Dusting bodies with ocher before burial was a common practice in ancient times, and is found throughout the world.
     Life was not easy in the boreal forest environment, where temperatures can drop to -30 degrees Centigrade. Food was pleantiful in spring and summer, but the small tribes of individuals would have had to travel long distances to find food during winter. Isotope analysis of the bones show that the man's diet consisted mostly of lake fish with some land mammals like caribou.
     Canadian First tribes who now inhabit the area retain many of the prehistoric traditions and practices. The ancient ancestor whose reamins were uncovered would still recognize the canoes, snowshoes and clothing in use today. According to Professor Scott Hamilton of Lakehead University, Thunder Bay (Canada), "What we see is this really interesting mix, an admixture, of traditional technology and the incorporation of new technology to practice a traditional life. The past is very recent in the far north," says Hamilton. Even the appearance of Europeans in the 17th century did nothing to alter the indigenous way of life, and Hamilton says prehistoric traditions are still alive today: "(The First Nation) may be gathering and harvesting resources with European technology but they're (still using a) fairly significant amount of traditional technology..."
     First Nation Chief Donny Morris has said that the man will be reburied after testing is complete. The excavation is unusual, as Canadian law bans archaeological digs at First Nation burial sites.      

Source: The Independent (June 23, 2010)

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