Southeast
Photography: Matthew Sanger.

Coastal ancient burial site suggests early hunter-gatherers interacted

A nearly 4,000-year-old burial site found off the coast of Georgia hints at ties between hunter-gatherers on opposite sides of North America, according to research led by faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

A research team led by Matthew Sanger, assistant professor of anthropology at Binghamton University, analyzed human remains, stone tools and a copper band found in an ancient burial pit in the McQueen shell ring on St. Catherine’s Island, Georgia. The burial at the shell ring closely resembles similar graves found in the Great Lakes region, suggesting an exchange network between the Great Lakes and the coastal southeast United States. Similarities in mortuary practices suggest that the movement of objects between these two regions was more direct and unmediated than archaeologists previously assumed.

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