Sponsored by: U-M Museum of Anthropology
Speaker: John M O’Shea, Professor, U-M Anthropology/Curator of Great Lakes Archaeology
Nine thousand years ago, a dry land corridor connected northern Lower Michigan with Southern Ontario and split the modern Lake Huron basin into two distinct lakes. This corridor provided a natural causeway for the semi-annual migration of caribou and an equally valuable terrain for Late Paleo-Indian and Early Archaic hunters seeking to exploit the herds.
We have developed a multi-layered strategy to identify, map, and investigate potential archaeological sites occurring on the Alpena-Amberley Ridge. Starting from a predictive model of the current lake bottom as dry land, we have employed an array of progressively more focused survey techniques including side scan sonar, multibeam sonar, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), mini remote operated vehicles (ROVs) and SCUBA trained archaeologist to investigate this uniquely preserved ancient land surface. Work to date has revealed a number of stone features that resemble in form, construction and location, ethnographically known caribou hunting structures from the Canadian Arctic.