|29 July 2011
Prehistoric campsite discovered in Canada
Archaeologists have found evidence that proves First Nations people were in New Brunswick, Canada more than 10,000 years ago. A large campsite has been uncovered that proves people moved through the area when ice still covered parts of the province. "We have had individual finds and that's how we knew people were here," said Brent Suttie, archaeologist in charge of the site which has three subareas under excavation near Pennfield - the precise location is being kept secret for now.
"We had individual spear points that we knew were that old. But we never had the sites to give us contextual information - like what people were eating, how they were living, the structures they may have been living in, what the population size may have been." The site where the artifacts were discovered was intended to be the eastbound lanes of a new highway. Those plans changed when the artifacts were found by accident in 2009.
The search began after an archaeologist with the road building company needed to get better reception for a cell phone call, so he drove his truck to the top of the hill, Suttie said. "As he was walking and talking to another archaeologist from the same company, he looked down and spotted artifacts that were just laying out on the surface." Two years later they began excavating the first area and the road has been re-routed to bypass two of the three areas. The work is being done under a deadline because the highway will pass through the site in September. The highway plan has been altered to leave the other two areas untouched.
Suttie said they have found some material in the campsite that came from central Maine. "So, already we know there were some connections with central Maine as early as between 10,000 and 11,000 years," he said. There are 27 archaeologists, graduate students and some First Nations people working the area. Archaelogist Mike Nicholas, of Maliseet descent, said he's proud to find history of his possible ancestors - he is thrilled with the find and working on the project. "Pride in knowing my possible ancestors survived out here that long ago," Nicholas said.
Edited from CBC News (21 July 2011)
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