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    The Alaska Artifact

    Monday, May 6, 2019 Last Updated 2019-10-25T11:53:24Z
    In 2011, a team from the University of Colorado was researching prehistoric climate change when they stumbled upon an unusual artifact.

    The focus site was a 1,000-year-old Eskimo settlement at Cape Espenberg, Alaska.Centuries older than the house in which it was found, the bronze object resembled a tiny belt buckle.

    Remarkably, it appears to have been made in a mold.

    If so, it’s the only ancient artifact of cast bronze to come from Alaska.The item, a broken ring fastened to a rectangular frame, had a leather strap attached.

    Radiocarbon dating placed the leather at around AD 600 but doesn’t necessarily reflect the metal’s age.

    Since bronze wasn’t worked in Alaska, it had to have come from somewhere else.Most likely manufactured in East Asia, the bronze could have reached the Inupiat Eskimos through trading and been passed down through the generations as a valuable heirloom.

    Researchers still can’t figure out what either continent supposedly used it for.


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