Thursday, August 30, 2007

Ancient Artifacts Found on North Carolina Campus

Willie Dryefor
National Geographic News
March 7, 2005

The discovery of 2,000-year-old artifacts on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is prompting archaeologists to rethink their theories about the early presence of Native Americans in North Carolina.

The artifacts include spear points and pottery fragments. Their location indicate that small bands of roaming Indians made a seasonal home on ground that later became the site of the nation's first state university, said Steve Davis, associate director of UNC's Research Laboratories of Archeology.

"They were living as bands of hunters and gatherers, moving seasonally as different resources became available," Davis said. "They were mostly gathering nut crops, wild seeds, and greens. And they were hunting. Probably their primary source of protein was the white-tailed deer."
The artifacts date back to a time before Native Americans began forming tribes. The Indians probably roamed central North Carolina in bands of 20 to 30 people, Davis said.

The artifacts were unearthed during a routine excavation on the UNC campus. Their discovery may fill a puzzling gap in scientists' understanding of Native American life in that part of the state.

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