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Ancient North Dakota hearth fire younger than hoped

Stanton, North Dakota (AP) 9-09

Archaeologists studying the remains of an ancient hearth fire unearthed by flooding at the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site say it isn’t as old as they had hoped.

The charred sediment, charcoal, animal bones and stone tool flakes found on the Knife River bank date to sometime between 1300 and 1430 A.D.

National Park Service archaeologist Jay Sturdevant says the results dash hopes that because the hearth was relatively deep beneath the present-day surface it might have been used thousands of years ago.

Previous digs have found evidence of a buried village believed to date to about 1000 B.C. – much older than the old Mandan and Hidatsa earth lodge villages. The hearth revealed this spring was deeper, but not old enough to tell more about the buried village.

 

 

 

 

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