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Minnesota Wildfires Unearth 9,000 year old Indian Artifacts

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posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 03:07 PM
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One Year After Wildfire, Archeologists Unearth Indian Artifacts
(northlandsnewscenter.com)

Wildfires burned more than 93,000 acres in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wildness, now Forest Service archaeologists are finding stone tools that could be 9,000 years old on the cleared ground.


The Pagami Creek Fire covered 93,000 acres in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wildness. Now, scientists are finding a goldmine of clues to the region's past unearthed by the fire.

“It’s interesting because you see that landscape similar to what it was like after the glaciers receded; really open landscape and you can imagine what it looked like as tundra,” said archaeologist Lee Johnson.

These stone tools are leftover from some of the first inhabitants of the Northland; people who lived in the region after glaciers receded more than 10,000 years ago.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


See story for more.





posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 03:34 PM
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I am no geologist, but it seems odd that in 10,000 years no dirt or soil has covered them up (from the article they were in a dense growth area so there should not be too much wind erosion).

Hopefully they will follow up and we will hear more of this find.



posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 04:11 PM
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Impossible ! The world is only 6000 years old !
Haha.

Great find BlackMarketeer.
As usual, you are pretty great at this stuff we call ATS.



posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 04:19 PM
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reply to post by Blackmarketeer
 



i like the fact that things are being uncovered... but this last paragraph is just another reinforcement/conditioning stance that it uis revolting !


i suppose that people like Goths and Punks will make a bee-line to that remote area where the artifacts are being found...(yeah right...like they are inten on destroying stuff)
rather than conscientious & thoughtful people that respect nature and archeology sites...
and would not disturb the scene...

yeah... they would phone the appropriate authorities with the coordinates (GPS) like good citizens,.... so why the threat of Federal prosecution?


from OP

disturbing an archeological site can be a federal offense

zack vavricka


...

edit on 28-8-2012 by St Udio because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 04:22 PM
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Originally posted by Elton
I am no geologist, but it seems odd that in 10,000 years no dirt or soil has covered them up (from the article they were in a dense growth area so there should not be too much wind erosion).

Hopefully they will follow up and we will hear more of this find.


I thought the same thing about the depth of the topsoil here in West Michigan. Given 12 - 10, 000 years of forest growth and annual leaf fall, dead animals, etc., I should have more than 4 to 6 inches of topsoil on my property. I can't get over how much leaf litter is in the woods, and how little topsoil there is.

The property has been logged three times (1850s, 1920s and late 1960's), but it was never lived on until I moved on it. I believe I'm on a sandy out-wash from the glaciers, which may mean natural session (grasses came first then trees) had something to do with the shallow topsoil. I started to look into this before, I probably should again and start a post here on ATS about it.



posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 07:43 PM
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They did say the fire, while it didn't "turn over the earth like a plow" did remove all the vegetation, allowing them to see archeological sites previously hidden. I suspect the stone tools and artifacts were then subsequently uncovered during a field survey and digging.

Here is more on the team that did some of the archeological surveying after the fires;

Survey of Pagami Creek Fire Locality
(mnfieldnotes.com)

It will give you a better idea of what the site looked like post fire and how they made their discoveries.



posted on Aug, 29 2012 @ 08:35 AM
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Originally posted by Elton
I am no geologist, but it seems odd that in 10,000 years no dirt or soil has covered them up (from the article they were in a dense growth area so there should not be too much wind erosion).

Any farmer will tell you that fields grow stones. There are a couple of potential processes at work here - 'bioturbation' and 'cryroturbation'. In the former, artifacts can be brought to the surface by the action of trees, for instance. Archaeologists have been known to look under conifers for artifacts as the ground generally remains clear from the acid in the pine needles, and the growth of the tree can bring artifacts along to the surface. Similarly, as a tree falls and the roots become exposed, they may also hold archaeological materials. Animals will 'mine' sites as they tunnel as well.

In the latter case, the freeze/thaw cycle pushes objects up. I would also guess that a wildfire might even burn off leaf mould and heavily organic soils, exposing the sites.

There ya go...Archaeo 101 for the day.
S&F for the thread!

Quick addition here...in the year after a wildfire, there's lots of opportunity for wind and rain to scour the exposed terrain as well.


Originally posted by St Udio
... so why the threat of Federal prosecution?
In the US, archaeological resources are protected on Federal lands and disturbing them is an offence. In Ontario, the law applies across the board, and a provincial licence is required to do any field work.
edit on 29-8-2012 by JohnnyCanuck because: ...just because, eh?



posted on Aug, 29 2012 @ 01:01 PM
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where do people get the dates from?? what is it based on?? how did the determine 9000 yrs old.



posted on Aug, 29 2012 @ 01:04 PM
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Originally posted by votan
where do people get the dates from?? what is it based on?? how did the determine 9000 yrs old.


The dates are usually inscribed on the backside of the artifact, along with the phrase "Hecho en Mexico".



posted on Aug, 29 2012 @ 03:17 PM
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reply to post by Blackmarketeer
 


LOL, WOW, I never knew that.

Thanks for making my day lol



posted on Aug, 29 2012 @ 03:22 PM
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To follow up on what Johnny said -- the fires would have burned off the vegetation, leaving the area subject to erosion as well. If you've ever been on a dig (paleontological or archaeological) you know that we always find more material after a good rain.



posted on Aug, 29 2012 @ 03:36 PM
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Originally posted by Byrd
To follow up on what Johnny said -- the fires would have burned off the vegetation, leaving the area subject to erosion as well. If you've ever been on a dig (paleontological or archaeological) you know that we always find more material after a good rain.
Ever notice how there are only two things that look like lithic debris on a freshly-ploughed and rained-upon field...and one of them is bird crap?



posted on Aug, 29 2012 @ 05:33 PM
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Originally posted by Elton
I am no geologist, but it seems odd that in 10,000 years no dirt or soil has covered them up (from the article they were in a dense growth area so there should not be too much wind erosion).

Hopefully they will follow up and we will hear more of this find.


Ever hear of water erosion?



posted on Aug, 29 2012 @ 06:00 PM
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Originally posted by votan
where do people get the dates from?? what is it based on?? how did the determine 9000 yrs old.


Dates in the archeological record can be established in a number of ways. Here are a handful of the most common:

1. Radiometric Dating: Radioactive materials in rocks decay at a fixed rate of time pursuant to the equation D = D0 + N(t) (eλt − 1). There are several different processes to perform this sort of dating depending upon which type of rock is being tested...but the overall governing equation is the same.

2. Radiocarbon Dating: Essentially the same principle however this test works only with organic materials containing carbon. However...sometimes a stone tool or arrowhead will be found that has organic material on it which can be dated. This is really common around camp sites where stone points might have been used to skewer meat for cooking over a fire. The soot, ash, and grease from the meat can be used as a means to cross-check the inorganic radiometric dating.

3. Context of discovery: By far THE MOST important thing in any archeological site is the CONTEXT of where the artifact was discovered. For example, if someone showed you a bunch of pottery from an unknown civilization that depicted snakes on them...it tells you really nothing more than this civilization had vases with snakes on them. However, if they were discovered when excavating around what appears to be an altar...then we might surmise that this civilization believed snakes to have divine powers or some such thing. This is part of the reason why burial sites are basically gold mines. They provide ample organic material to corroborate the radiometric dating, as well as usually tell us something about the religious beliefs of the people being buried.

4. Style of the Tool: Believe it or not...not all stone tools are created equally or in the same fashion. If an artifact is found completely OUT of it's context but it shows a process of manufacture that clearly identifies it as belonging to the Clovis or Mousterian cultures then we can begin to at least have a crude ballpark estimate as to where and when these tools were made and used.

5. Geologic Sediments: The earth is built in layers upon layers of geologic sediments. If we find tools in a layer that was deposited 50,000 years ago...then we already have a good indication of roughly when this tool was made. The trained eye can also easily discern whether or not the artifact was naturally deposited in a 50,000 yr strata or whether or not someone dug a hole 40,000 years ago and buried the artifact. The soil will have any number of indications of not being deposited naturally directly above the artifact to the 40,000 yr strata...and which time it resumes it's normal depositional patterns.

Of course...the geologic sediment method wouldn't necessarily apply here, given that erosion appears to be playing a role. However, depending upon the specific pattern of erosion on the site itself...there still might be data which can be gleaned. Ideally, the archeologist will have multiple vectors of analysis like this that all agree with one another in order to date an object with a high degree of certainty.



posted on Aug, 29 2012 @ 10:11 PM
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Originally posted by JohnnyCanuck

Originally posted by Byrd
To follow up on what Johnny said -- the fires would have burned off the vegetation, leaving the area subject to erosion as well. If you've ever been on a dig (paleontological or archaeological) you know that we always find more material after a good rain.
Ever notice how there are only two things that look like lithic debris on a freshly-ploughed and rained-upon field...and one of them is bird crap?


This is why we don't lick lithics.


I was excited (well, somewhat) to find a fossil at the digsite but it was washed out from dirt that had been hauled into the area from another site.



posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 12:19 AM
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Originally posted by Blackmarketeer

Originally posted by votan
where do people get the dates from?? what is it based on?? how did the determine 9000 yrs old.


The dates are usually inscribed on the backside of the artifact, along with the phrase "Hecho en Mexico".



THAT IS EPIC lol



posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 05:39 PM
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reply to post by Blackmarketeer
 
I love the fact that we we are finding out more and more every year about North america. I just that one day we can have a better understanding of the natives 9.000 years ago...I would flag this but i cant yet so you got a star from me.



posted on Aug, 30 2012 @ 08:20 PM
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Originally posted by Byrd

Originally posted by JohnnyCanuck
Ever notice how there are only two things that look like lithic debris on a freshly-ploughed and rained-upon field...and one of them is bird crap?
This is why we don't lick lithics.


Then you're not from the school of thought that sticks unidentified stuff on your tongue to determine if they are bone or stone? Or (a York University favourite) pick lithic debris out of the screen and store it in your cheek like a chipmunk?






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