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Nearly 30,000 artifacts unearthed along shores of Detroit River

Ambassador Bridge over the Detroit River. (WDIV)

DETROIT – Crews have unearthed nearly 30,000 artifacts along the shores of the Detroit River, specifically near the Ambassador Bridge.

CTV News in Windsor reports a group of workers has been digging for artifacts in the space where the new Gordie Howe International Bridge is being built.

Walpole Island First Nation and Aecom Canada started digging in May. Charlton Carscallen, the manager of cultural resources for Aecom, told CTV the team has made nearly 30,000 discoveries and they're only a third of the way complete.

Some of the items include arrowheads, pottery, stone drills and netting points.

Items ranging from a couple hundred years old during the earliest European incursions to nearly 10,000 year-old indigenous artifacts are being unearthed, CTV reports. 

“The artifacts are important, critical to telling the story, but what's really important here is the settlement pattern data that talks about historic, domestic and non-domestic use of the area,” Carscallen told CTV. 

“We like to think this is the heart and soul of our traditional territory,” adds Dean Jacobs, a member of Walpole Island First Nation. “This project does start connecting the dots of our First Nation at Walpole Island, the Windsor area is part of our traditional territory."

Aecom says it hopes to finish the dig by the end of 2019.

“We knew the site would be significant,” says company spokesperson Stan Korosec. “We've planned for the work to take place into 2019. We're working with the Walpole Island First Nation in order to ensure both their interests and those of the bridge company with respect to archeological work and bridge construction can be achieved to everyone's satisfaction."

More on this here from CTV.


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