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Great Lakes Reveal Ancient Hunting Grounds

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posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 05:41 PM
I've fished the area for decades in my small boat, sometimes as far as 10 miles out from the Canadian side. The waters become shallow, some places gradually and others as if the was a great cliff under the surface. On that shoal, the Rainbow and Lake trout have always been abundant. Little did I know what I was fishing above.

More than 100 feet deep in Lake Huron, on a wide stoney ridge that 9,000 years ago was a land bridge, University of Michigan researchers have found the first archeological evidence of human activity preserved beneath the Great Lakes.

The researchers located what they believe to be caribou-hunting structures and camps used by the early hunters of the period.

"This is the first time we've identified structures like these on the lake bottom," said John O'Shea, curator of Great Lakes Archaeology in the Museum of Anthropology and professor in the Department of Anthropology. "Scientifically, it's important because the entire ancient landscape has been preserved and has not been modified by farming, or modern development. That has implications for ecology, archaeology and environmental modeling."


[edit on 17/6/09 by masqua]

posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 06:17 PM
Wow it's nice they can find some ancient heritage that has been un-touched. The Native-Americans will be happy with this I am sure, even if it is a couple of hundred feed down.

Great find Masqua S&F.


posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 06:30 PM
Totally untouched, but for Zebra mussels.

Found another article online. This one also has a map of the submerged structure:

It's called the Alpena-Amberley Ridge.

I've been above that formation hundreds of times and never had a clue that it might have once been dry land. Instead, I believed that the Great lakes had always been decreasing in size since the waters of the last Ice Age leaked off the basin.

Perhaps more water flowed east into Georgian Bay and on into the St Lawrence.

Every day, i learn something new.

In the link, it states:

It’s truly a significant structure that would have once separated Lake Huron. Much of it is in water levels 40 to 120 feet below modern lake levels. There is no sediment on top, just sheer rock. It has a very Arctic look to it actually.”

The climate of our area would have been similar to the subarctic in the Paleo-Indian stage, between 7,500 to 10,000 years ago.


(The ridge) is covered in zebra mussels,” said O’Shea. “So that poses the next big challenge for archeologists looking for artifacts and evidence of activity.”

[edit on 17/6/09 by masqua]

posted on Jun, 29 2009 @ 11:41 AM
Nice Find..

There are several things we need to consider when processing information such as this. Recent scientific studies of the great lakes show that they were formed eleven to twelve thousand years ago. A relatively shot time in the grand scale of things. The lakes were formed by a glacier that swept down from Canada. This is evident by the rolling hills over parts of Michigan. As the glacier retreated it left behind the scoured out terrain which is now known as the great lakes. Nine thousand years ago when the experts surmise these hunting trails were used fits the time line perfect. The lakes themselves would be at lower levels creating a land bridge for the migrating caribou . The verdict is still out on the ancient hunters using the channeling effect, but further exploration should reveal this methodology.

Keep searching and the truth will be known


posted on Jun, 29 2009 @ 12:05 PM
reply to post by masqua
It's a great find and could be very well-preserved evidence of the earlier inhabitants of N America. I recall reading about the Oxbow Indians and their medicine wheels that littered the landscape for many years. Western farmers found the rocks got in the way of agriculture and made better piles of rocks instead...centuries of history were 'tidied up' without realizing what they were doing. With that in mind, the Huron site could be a gold mine of artifacts...

It's looking good so far as they've tentatively identified rock 'alleys' that could have been used to stampede caribou into dead ends ready for slaughter...

O'Shea and Meadows found features that they believe to be hunting pits, camps, caribou drive lanes and stone piles used to attract the caribou to the drive lanes. Drive lanes are long rows of rocks used to channel caribou into ambushes. The 1,148-foot structure they believe is a drive lane closely resembles one on Victoria Island in the Canadian subarctic.

The Paleo-Indian and early Archaic periods are poorly known in the Great Lakes region because most of their sites are thought to have been lost under the lakes. Yet they are also times of major shifts in culture and the environment. The Paleo-Indians were nomadic and pursued big game, O'Shea said. In the Archaic period, communities were more settled, with larger populations, a broad spectrum economy, and new long distance trade and ceremonial connections.
Archeological evidence of human activity found beneath Lake Huron (as above)

It's in the same neck of the woods as the controversial Canada's Sheguiandah Site (pre-Clovis) so it'd be interesting to see if they find submerged artifacts, lithics etc that show a latter similarity to Sheguiandoah. It's a favorite of J Canuck and his ears will be twitching somewhere right now

Did Paleo-Indians hunt on lands now submerged by the modern Great Lakes?

posted on Jun, 29 2009 @ 12:10 PM

Originally posted by OceanExplorer
Nice Find..

Thank you, and, yes, it is interesting... enough that I decided to actually contact Guy Meadows of the Marine Hydrodynamics Laboratories in the hopes of obtaining more information about the project. In his response to me, I was provided with a .pdf of the paper outlining the ongoing search as well as photos and descriptions of the vessels involved. The project will be continuing this summer.

As the glacier retreated it left behind the scoured out terrain which is now known as the great lakes. Nine thousand years ago when the experts surmise these hunting trails were used fits the time line perfect.

I agree with you on the sculpting of the Great Lakes Basin by the glaciers. As the project continues, the researchers will be diving on some promising features which were already photographed, but not fully investigated. The true kicker in this is the potential for hunting camps and artifacts such as tools being found on the Lake Stanley Causeway. Hunters certainly would have remained on location for extended periods.

Keep searching and the truth will be known

I fully intend to keep at it. I will not be posting anything from the .pdf sent to me by Dr. Meadows since the project is ongoing and the paper has not been made public yet, but will add anything released as it becomes available. I hope to also meet the crew as they will likely be docking in my local harbour for supplies during the summer months.

Thank you for your response.

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