Thousands of artifacts are discovered at a 12,500-year-old Native American site in Connecticut that archaeologists say belonged to southern New England's first inhabitants

0


  • Site was discovered  by workers constructing a bridge over the Farmington River in Avon, Connecticut
  • Archaeologists found a fire pit and a number of posts for housing, and 15,000 artifacts that were mainly tools
  • The site dates back 12,500 years and was home to southern New England’s earliest inhabitants

An ancient settlement that dates back 12,500 years has been uncovered in Connecticut that experts say was once home to southern New England's earliest inhabitants. The site was discovered by the Department of Transportation while constructing a bridge over the Farmington River in Avon

An ancient settlement that dates back 12,500 years has been uncovered in Connecticut that experts say was once home to southern New England’s earliest inhabitants. The site was discovered by the Department of Transportation while constructing a bridge over the Farmington River in Avon

The site is located near Old Farms Road old in Avon and dates back to a time known as the Paleoindian Period. The archaeologist involved in the excavation have named it in honor of Brian D. Jones, the state archaeologist, who died in July

The site is located near Old Farms Road old in Avon and dates back to a time known as the Paleoindian Period. The archaeologist involved in the excavation have named it in honor of Brian D. Jones, the state archaeologist, who died in July 

Archaeologists found an open fire pit and a number of posts from temporary housing, along with 15,000 artifacts that were mostly primeval tools

Archaeologists found an open fire pit and a number of posts from temporary housing, along with 15,000 artifacts that were mostly primeval tools

The team uncovered 15,000 artifacts, most of which are ancient tools, and 27 features. The features are remnants of what the team calls 'human activity

The team uncovered 15,000 artifacts, most of which are ancient tools, and 27 features. The features are remnants of what the team calls ‘human activity

The site shows evidence of the earliest known population in Connecticut, she said. The Department of Transportation project required deep excavation for the construction of the bridge, which is the only reason this ancient site was discovered

The site shows evidence of the earliest known population in Connecticut, she said. The Department of Transportation project required deep excavation for the construction of the bridge, which is the only reason this ancient site was discovered

The Department of Transportation project required deep excavation for the construction of the bridge, which is the only reason this ancient site was discovered

The Department of Transportation project required deep excavation for the construction of the bridge, which is the only reason this ancient site was discovered

An ancient settlement that dates back 12,500 years has been uncovered in Connecticut  that was once home to southern New England’s earliest inhabitants.

The site was discovered by the Department of Transportation while constructing a bridge over the Farmington River in Avon.

Archaeologists found an open fire pit and a number of posts from temporary housing, along with 15,000 artifacts that were mostly primeval tools.

Catherine Labadia, a staff archaeologist with the State Historic Preservation Office, told The Hartford Courant: ‘This is the once-in-lifetime opportunity to look [at a site of this age] in Connecticut.’

‘This site has the potential to make us understand the first peopling of Connecticut in a way we haven’t been able to.’

The site is located near Old Farms Road old in Avon and dates back to a time known as the Paleoindian Period.

The archaeologist involved in the excavation have named it in honor of Brian D. Jones, the state archaeologist, who died in July.

The team uncovered 15,000 artifacts, most of which are ancient tools, and 27 features.

The features are remnants of what the team calls ‘human activity’.

They include holes and walls — what Senior Archaeologist David Leslie described as ‘traces of behavior’ that have been recorded in the earth.

 

Archaeologists also found an open fire pit, or hearth, and a number of posts from temporary houses.

Leslie noted that just a few Paleoindian features have ever been discovered in this part of the country and the Avon site revealed more than two dozen.

The site shows evidence of the earliest known population in Connecticut, she said.

The Department of Transportation project required deep excavation for the construction of the bridge, which is the only reason this ancient site was discovered.

Labadia said that such a deep dive — the artifacts and features were lodged about 6 feet under the surface — would likely have been cost-prohibitive to archaeologists working on their own.

‘It is these federal laws and the requirements that make people stop, look and listen,’ Labadia said.

‘It’s those laws that really have resulted in the largest identification of archaeological sites.’

The artifacts discovered in Connecticut coincide with a study from 2015 that concluded the North American hunters used spear-throwers to hurl their weapons over longer distances and bring down large prey.

Anthropologists have studied tiny fractures in the stone spear points used by the Paleo-Indian hunters that began appearing in North America between 13,000 and 11,000 years ago.

He found they contained distinctive chips and fractures that match those created in stone tools that have been thrown using a spear-thrower or atlatl.

These are essentially levers that are attached to the end of the spear or dart, allowing it to be thrown far faster and further than if thrown by hand like a javelin.

The technology is widely thought to be a predecessor of the bow and arrow that later became common among the Native cultures in North America.

The new study, conducted by Professor Karl Hutchings, an anthropologist at Thompson Rivers University in Canada, suggests that some of the earliest prehistoric humans to arrive in North America, known as the Clovis people, brought this technology with them.

It also helps to support theories that these early hunters were able to kill large prey like mammoths and other megafauna..

Professor Hutchings said that it was unlikely a handthrown spear with a stone point, or flute point as they are also known, alone would be enough to bring down such large animals, but a spear-thrower could give hunters the edge they needed.

This, he said, would have allowed these cultures to spread far more efficiently around the continent and inhabit a wide range of landscapes.

He said: ‘Close-range weapons such as the javelin or spear are well-suited to terrain-based hunting strategies.

‘With their requirement to drive game into trapping areas and knick points, terrain-based strategies tether big game hunters to specific locations and features, and generally require a considerable number of participants.

‘Such features and strategies should enhance greatly the success rates of those close-range weapons.

‘In contrast, in addition to providing Paleoindian hunters increased lethality and safety, the portability and range of the spear-thrower may have meant that Paleoindian hunters were not tethered to trapping areas and knick points, thereby facilitating greater mobility and reduced hunting-group sizes.’

 



Source By Breaking News Website | BreakingNews.WS