A Mantle site in Canada that was occupied about 500 years ago could be the first New York where Europeans, or Wendat (Huron) people, were settling just beginning to visit the New World.
Excavations at the site, between 2003 and 2005, have uncovered its 98 longhouses, a palisade of three rows (a fence made of heavy wooden stakes and used for defense) and about 200,000 artifacts. Dozens of examples of art have been unearthed showing haunting human faces and depictions of animals, with analysis ongoing, according to the Huffington Post.
Now, a scholarly book detailing the discoveries is being prepared and a documentary about the site called “Curse of the Axe” aired this week on the History Channel in Canada.
“This is an Indiana Jones moment, this is huge,” said Ron Williamson, an archaeologist who led dig efforts at the site, in the documentary shown in a premiere at the Royal Ontario Museum. “It just seems to be a game-changer in every way.” [See Photos of the Mantle Site Artifacts]
Williamson is the founder of Archaeological Services Inc., a Canadian cultural resource management firm that excavated the site.
“It’s the largest, most complex, cosmopolitan village of its time,” said Williamson, also of the University of Toronto, in an interview with LiveScience. “All of the archaeologists, basically, when they see Mantle, they’re just utterly stunned.”
A woodpecker pipe effigy, about 5 cm across. The idea is that when you smoke the pipe, you become the woodpecker.