Archaeological dig turns up artifacts 8,000-years-old

The future site of a bridge project funded by federal dollars requires scientists to find out what's beneath the dirt.

CHANHASSEN, Minn. - An archeological dig in the south metro is turning up artifacts thousands of years old.

It's at the future site of a bridge project that will be funded with federal dollars. Before work begins, federal historic preservation laws require scientists to find out what's beneath the dirt.

Ironically, with all of the cold weather lately, the group of people that can be thankful for it is the crew digging on the border of Shakopee and Chanhassen.

"Cold weather's good because we're working in a wetland and it helps to freeze the ground and make it easier to work with," explained Frank Florin, Florin Cultural Resource Services LLC.

It's better to work with winter's solid dark muck, than warm summer slop.

The crew has been at it for six weeks now and as traffic passes by the site, 8,000 years ago it was a place hunters and gatherers stopped.

"There's very few sites in Minnesota that are that old and this well preserved," said Florin. "This site, a lot of it is capped below six to ten feet of more recent sediment so it's quite well preserved."

Florin showed off one of the finds, a spear point that's believed to be about 8,000-years-old.

"To show up and they say we just found some bison teeth," smiled Audrey Schmitt, who lives down the road.

Schmitt contacted KARE 11 about the project and finds the dig fascinating. She said she's always had an appreciation for where she lives, but the dig has made it even more unique.

"I wake up every morning. I see the sunrise, I see this beautiful river so to know the history behind it, it makes this place even more special for me," she said.

All of the artifacts found will be given to the Minnesota Historical Society.

The crew has another two weeks of work. They'll be back in the spring at another nearby site and then construction will begin on the road nearby.


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