Friday, 3 February 2017

Archaeologists Dig Up An 800-Year-Old Native American Pot. What They Found Inside Is Changing History

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In 2008, on a dig in the First Nation’s Menominee Reservation in Wisconsin, archaeologists made a small but stunning discovery: a tiny clay pot.


Though it might not have seemed very impressive at first glimpse, this little piece of pottery was determined to be about 800 years old.

And inside that pot? Something that changes how we’re looking at extinction, preservation, and food storage, as well as how humans have influenced the planet in their time on it.

It’s amazing to think that a little clay pot buried in the ground 800 years ago would still be relevant today, but it’s true! It’s actually brought an extinct species of squash that was presumed to be lost forever - as inside the pot, archaeologists found a stash of seeds. The seeds were probably buried in the pot as a method of storing food supplies. They were determined to be an old, now-extinct species of squash.

Now, seven years after making this stunning discovery, students in Winnipeg decided to plant the 800-year-old seeds… To everyone’s amazement, something grew!

The squash was named Gete-okosomin. It means “Cool Old Squash” in the Menominee language. 


Now, they’re working to cultivate the squash so that it doesn’t go extinct ..again.

It may be just a humble squash, but it’s also a symbol of First Nations’ community and history, as well as a fascinating look into how amazing plants can be.


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