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Seattle-area dig yields 10,000-year old stone tools

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SEATTLE (AP) — An archaeological survey to clear the way for construction near a Redmond mall has unearthed thousands of stone tools crafted at least 10,000 years ago.

Archaeologist Robert Kopperl, who led the investigation, tells The Seattle Times that it’s the oldest archaeological site in the Puget Sound lowland with stone tools.

The rare find is providing new insights into a time when prehistoric bison and mammoths still roamed what is now Western Washington.

Chemical analysis of one of the tools revealed traces of the food they were eating, including bison, deer, bear, sheep and salmon. The dig also uncovered a fragment of salmon bone, evidence that the fish made its way up local streams for at least 10,000 years.

The site near Redmond Town Center mall was initially surveyed in 2009, as the city of Redmond embarked on a project to restore salmon habitat in Bear Creek.