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Ancient Hunting Tools Discovered In Canadian Arctic

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April 28, 2010

Ancient Hunting Tools Discovered In Canadian Arctic

By Chad Love

Melting snowpack in the Canadian arctic is giving us a fascinating glimpse into ancient hunting culture and tactics...
 
From this story on the Discovery Channel's web site:
A treasure trove of ancient weapons has emerged from melting ice patches in the Canadian Arctic, revealing hunting strategies thousands of years old. The weapons, which include a 2,400-year-old spear throwing tools, a 1000-year-old ground squirrel snare, and bows and arrows dating back 850 years, have been found high in the remote Mackenzie Mountains, a region where Mountain Boreal caribou abound in the summer months. Dotted with ice patches resulting from accumulation of annual snow that, until recently, remained frozen all year, the mountains have been the caribous’ shelter for millennia. Seeking relief from the heat and annoying bugs, the animals huddle on the ice patches, becoming an easy target for hunters who recognized this behavior millennia ago.

Their tools buried deep beneath centuries of winter snow are now revealing how hunting strategies developed over thousands of years. "We are talking of complete examples of ancient technology, including arrows with wooden shafts, feathers and sinew hafting. These artifacts are giving us an entirely new appreciation of how ancient hunting tools were made and used,"  Tom Andrews, an archaeologist with the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Center in Yellowknife and lead researcher on the International Polar Year Ice Patch Study, told Discovery News.

 

Comments (16)

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from buckhunter wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

My son found an arrowhead this weekend in a freshly plowed field. He is having trouble understanding the head could be thousands of years old and may have been used to kill bear or elk in Ohio.

Our plan is to mount the head to a cedar shaft and hopefully this fall it will kill again.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Interesting stuff. Hope Discovery or History Channel does a story on it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JOHN ANDERSON wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Id keep the lo-cal of that find under your hat.You could find your self with quite a few unwanted visitors.buckhunter its pretty awesome though congrats to your boy!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from teufelhunden wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

"Dotted with ice patches resulting from accumulation of annual snow that, until recently, remained frozen all year,"

If it remained frozen "until recently" how did the ancients get them under the ice?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dkrugman63 wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

teufelhunden, do you live in a area that recieves much snow? We had a tough winter here in South Dakota, lots of snow, all winter long (almost 3 feet). This spring the snow is all gone, thankfully. But, something strange happened. I found all my dogs excrement on the green ground. Did he dig through the snow all winter long just to relieve himself on the ground? Probably not. I think what may have happened is he pooped on top of the snow. Some of it was later covered by more snow, but when the sun came out this spring and melted the snow, the excrement fell to the ground because the snow was no longer there to support it. Does that sound like what could have happened in Canada also?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bellringer wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Didya ever hear of snowfall?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bellringer wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Didya ever hear of snowfall?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ENO wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

If you read the article carefully it appears teufelhunden makes an excellent point. It's never been a secret that there have been warmer and cooler periods in history. In the 15th century the Vikings were farming Greenland. That ended as the climate gradually grew cooler. If the snow hadn't melted millennia ago the caribou wouldn't have grouped together on the smaller patches of ice. I don't understand what that has to do with dog excrement in South Dakota.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from labrador12 wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Have they found evidence of Polar Bears in the paleoclimatic environment, as well as the caribou? We can't drill for oil because the Polar Bears will lose their Ice and go extinct as many lawsuits currently claim. After all, if the weather gets warmer all the Polar bears are going to die. Which of course means that I should be forced to freeze to death in my house so that the Polar bears can live. Thank you Algore.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 86Ram wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

wow...what a great find

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from teufelhunden wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

At least ENO saw where I was going with my comment. I was being facetious about natural earth cycles vs. global warming but apparently my humor missed its mark.
To answer your question dkrugman63, I do not live in a cold climate. I live in the south but I do know that we had one of the coldest winters I have seen. I also heard the climate scientist try to convince me that it was one of the warmest on record.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ricefarm wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

I love these stories about ancient artifacts buried under centuries of ice and snow. My question is always "What did these ancient civilizations do to cause the global warming that made all the snow and ice melt thousands of years ago." I'm sure some day we will find old cave paintings by whoever was the Al Gore of the Fred Flinstone era to explain it all.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from bluecollarkid wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Don't tell me they found a lot of SUVs under the ice as well?! Those cavemen and their Hummers; its all their fault.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

I would to see a documentary done on the find. Things like this are all that I fins worthwhile to watch on the world of commercials. Maybe someone will pick it up. Sounds pretty interesting. I would probably have gone hungry if I would have had to hunt with a spear.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from pbshooter1217 wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Thats cool

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Waay cool. Ancient hunters made their gear from the stuff of the land and wanting to travel light and knowing they would be back next year, they cached stuff to pick up when they came back. After all with human populations so very low, who would take it? Clovis points are often found in such caches.
Buckhunter put that arrowhead on a string and let your kid wear it like an ornament or display it like the artifact it is. If you want to hunt with a stone point plenty of folks make new ones, you should not break a 2 thousand year old artifact attempting to hunt with it.
Labrador12, you don't make any sense, you plainly need your Depakote and Risperidal. Go take your meds!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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from buckhunter wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

My son found an arrowhead this weekend in a freshly plowed field. He is having trouble understanding the head could be thousands of years old and may have been used to kill bear or elk in Ohio.

Our plan is to mount the head to a cedar shaft and hopefully this fall it will kill again.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ricefarm wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

I love these stories about ancient artifacts buried under centuries of ice and snow. My question is always "What did these ancient civilizations do to cause the global warming that made all the snow and ice melt thousands of years ago." I'm sure some day we will find old cave paintings by whoever was the Al Gore of the Fred Flinstone era to explain it all.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from dkrugman63 wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

teufelhunden, do you live in a area that recieves much snow? We had a tough winter here in South Dakota, lots of snow, all winter long (almost 3 feet). This spring the snow is all gone, thankfully. But, something strange happened. I found all my dogs excrement on the green ground. Did he dig through the snow all winter long just to relieve himself on the ground? Probably not. I think what may have happened is he pooped on top of the snow. Some of it was later covered by more snow, but when the sun came out this spring and melted the snow, the excrement fell to the ground because the snow was no longer there to support it. Does that sound like what could have happened in Canada also?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ENO wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

If you read the article carefully it appears teufelhunden makes an excellent point. It's never been a secret that there have been warmer and cooler periods in history. In the 15th century the Vikings were farming Greenland. That ended as the climate gradually grew cooler. If the snow hadn't melted millennia ago the caribou wouldn't have grouped together on the smaller patches of ice. I don't understand what that has to do with dog excrement in South Dakota.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from teufelhunden wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

At least ENO saw where I was going with my comment. I was being facetious about natural earth cycles vs. global warming but apparently my humor missed its mark.
To answer your question dkrugman63, I do not live in a cold climate. I live in the south but I do know that we had one of the coldest winters I have seen. I also heard the climate scientist try to convince me that it was one of the warmest on record.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

I would to see a documentary done on the find. Things like this are all that I fins worthwhile to watch on the world of commercials. Maybe someone will pick it up. Sounds pretty interesting. I would probably have gone hungry if I would have had to hunt with a spear.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Interesting stuff. Hope Discovery or History Channel does a story on it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JOHN ANDERSON wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Id keep the lo-cal of that find under your hat.You could find your self with quite a few unwanted visitors.buckhunter its pretty awesome though congrats to your boy!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from teufelhunden wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

"Dotted with ice patches resulting from accumulation of annual snow that, until recently, remained frozen all year,"

If it remained frozen "until recently" how did the ancients get them under the ice?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bellringer wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Didya ever hear of snowfall?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bellringer wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Didya ever hear of snowfall?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 86Ram wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

wow...what a great find

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bluecollarkid wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Don't tell me they found a lot of SUVs under the ice as well?! Those cavemen and their Hummers; its all their fault.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from pbshooter1217 wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Thats cool

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Waay cool. Ancient hunters made their gear from the stuff of the land and wanting to travel light and knowing they would be back next year, they cached stuff to pick up when they came back. After all with human populations so very low, who would take it? Clovis points are often found in such caches.
Buckhunter put that arrowhead on a string and let your kid wear it like an ornament or display it like the artifact it is. If you want to hunt with a stone point plenty of folks make new ones, you should not break a 2 thousand year old artifact attempting to hunt with it.
Labrador12, you don't make any sense, you plainly need your Depakote and Risperidal. Go take your meds!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from labrador12 wrote 3 years 50 weeks ago

Have they found evidence of Polar Bears in the paleoclimatic environment, as well as the caribou? We can't drill for oil because the Polar Bears will lose their Ice and go extinct as many lawsuits currently claim. After all, if the weather gets warmer all the Polar bears are going to die. Which of course means that I should be forced to freeze to death in my house so that the Polar bears can live. Thank you Algore.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report

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