Heiltsuk First Nation village among oldest in North America

Wow. Not much cooler than this! From The Province: Heiltsuk First Nation village among oldest in North America: Archeologists.

A Heiltsuk village site on B.C.’s mid-coast is three times as old as the Great Pyramid at Giza and among the oldest human settlements in North America, according to researchers at the Hakai Institute.

The excavation on Triquet Island has already produced extremely rare artifacts, including a wooden projectile-launching device called an atlatl, compound fish hooks and a hand drill used for lighting fires, said Alisha Gauvreau, a PhD student at the University of Victoria.

The village has been in use for about 14,000 years, based on analysis of charcoal recovered from a hearth about 2.5 metres below the surface, making it one of the oldest First Nations settlements yet uncovered. Dates from the most recent tests range from 13,613 to 14,086 years ago.

“We were so happy to find something we could date,” she said. What started as a one-metre-by-one-metre “keyhole” into the past, expanded last summer into a three-metre trench with evidence of fire related in age to a nearby cache of stone tools.

“It appears we had people sitting in one area making stone tools beside evidence of a fire pit, what we are calling a bean-shaped hearth,” she said. “The material that we have recovered from that trench has really helped us weave a narrative for the occupation of this site.” [continue]

2 thoughts on “Heiltsuk First Nation village among oldest in North America

  1. I was interested to read about the effect of two tsunamis on the populations of this ancient village. Given the evidence, it looks as though the earliest of the tsunamis was perhaps even more devastating than the major 21st century examples in Banda Aceh and Fukushima. Thank you for sharing this!

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