12,300 year old fire pit found in northern Utah
An ancient tribal fire pit with tools, a spear tip and tobacco seeds that archaeologists say dates back 12,300 years was recently discovered on a military testing range in northern Utah.
|Daron Duke, Far Western Anthropological Research Group project leader, directs a team of archaeologists|
excavating a 12,300-year-old hearth/fire pit [Credit: U.S. Air Force/Todd Cromar]
Hill archaeologist and Cultural Resource Manager Anya Kitterman worked with Far Western Anthropological Research Group to uncover charcoal, animal bone fragments and other remnants from the cooking pit.
"When you come across a find like that, it's obviously very exciting," Kitterman said. "You're getting a real picture of the history of this land. It's an unbelievable feeling. We've been looking for something major like this for years."
|Eric Gingerich, foreground, and Kelly McGuire, both with Far Western Anthropological Research Group, |
excavate hearth site [Credit: U.S. Air Force/Todd Cromar]
The Great Basin is a huge region of watersheds that encompasses much of Nevada and parts of Utah, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and California.
The dig site was discovered about a year ago after previous surveys and calculations suggested the area had potential for significant archaeological resources, Kitterman said. Teams are actively surveying between 4 and 8 square miles of the training range each year, she said.
|Archaeologists excavate hearth site [Credit: U.S. Air Force/Todd Cromar]|
Barbara Fisher, chief of Hill's Environmental Public Affairs office, said the base consults with 21 Native American tribes about findings and archaeological work performed at the range.
Patty Timbimboo-Madsen, cultural and natural resources manager for the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation, said tribes care about findings and are glad work is being done to preserve such history.
"It's another piece of evidence that says we did exist, we did live here, and we had an impact," she said. "It's a testament to our people and the role we had. That's important."
Source: The Associated Press [August 06, 2016]