This week I’ve had the privilege of attending a Gathering at an Anishnabe community and learning about their history and the history of this region.
One of the most intriguing pieces of information (to me) was presented by an archeologist who said that after the Anishnabe (“First People”) arrived in (northern) Ontario following the ice age, some 10,000 years ago, that for 5,000 years they lived the same lifestyle – that of the hunter/gatherer.
Artifacts from 2,000 years ago indicated that they knew how to farm but chose not to and until the mid-1800’s they were hunter/gatherers/gardeners, moving from spring camps, to summer camps, to fall locations, to winter camps. Each location had its specific benefits and when they moved to their next camp they left “no sign” that they had been there, other than the gardening areas that had been created. (Not sure what those looked like.) Artifacts for the camps typically include a few seed beads, a few pieces of shot (ammunition)- from recent history, and charred bone fragments, and that is basically all that is ever found.
And now to the trees
An archeo-botanist set up a display showing pictures of seeds & bark, etc found in this area from thousands of years ago. Here is some of what I wrote down. (thought you might be interested)
11,000 BC: wild plum, hickory, butternut, maple, beech, oak,
1,000 BC: butternut, hickory, black walnut,
600-1650 AD: dogwood, sumac, elderberry,
Oh, and I also held in my hand a “hammer” stone from ancient times. Perhaps 4,000 years ago (I should have written it down). The stone was shaped somewhat like a balloon with a waist, in case you wanted an “image”. (like my description?? :D )
-- ~ Debbie, Canada (http://www.execulink.com/~yohan)