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Lake County Past spotlight: Prehistoric hunting camp being uncovered


Prehistoric hunting camp being uncovered

Ten thousand years of prehistory are being uncovered by archaeologists on the Superior National Forest.

Forest Service archaeologists, students and volunteers are working daily excavating one of the earliest prehistoric hunting camps in northern Minnesota. The site is located in the East Bearskin Lake campground, 23 miles north of Grand Marais on the Gunflint Trail.

Experts have estimated the site is approximately 10,000 years old based on artifacts uncovered including broken spear points and an exciting discovery last week of a rare stone scraper.  Fire hearths also have been located which contain enough prehistoric charcoal to enable carbon dating of the site.  Archaeologists say this may be one of the most significant finds in Minnesota and the Great Lakes area.

Interpretation of the artifacts and information recovered have led archaeologists to believe the occupants of the site were small families of caribou hunters living on the edge of a glacier.  They camped at this spot from time to time, repairing and making their stone hunting tools.  The site offers a panoramic view of the lake making it an ideal location for nomadic hunters to watch for migrating herds.