Nfld. & Labrador

Ancient artifacts unearthed in Muskrat Falls development

An environmental engineer says the construction of the Muskrat Falls site in central Labrador has allowed archeologists to uncover thousands of artifacts.

Innu arrowheads, spears date back 3,000 years

Around 40,000 artifacts, mostly of Innu origin, have been discovered at the Muskrat Falls construction site so far. (CBC)

Thousands of artifacts have been uncovered during the construction of an hydroelectric project in central Labrador

Marion Organ, an environmental engineer, says workers at the Muskrat Falls construction site have unearthed around 40,000 items so far.

Organ said most of the items are of Innu origin and up to 3,000 years old, and include spears, arrowheads and knives.

I guess no one would have unearthed it had it not been for the development because we wouldn't be out looking for them.- Marion Organ, environmental engineer

She said if the hydroelectric mega-project wasn't being built, the artifacts might never have been uncovered.

"In a way, I guess no one would have unearthed it had it not been for the development because we wouldn't be out looking for them," Organ said.

The items aren't the sort of things you'd notice on a walk in the woods, she added.

The objects will help chronicle the long human history of the Labrador area.

"These are things that we'd have to actually look and survey for, so we are preserving that information. Now we have a lot of information we can bring back and tell a story [and] find out more of what life was like back then."

Organ said the archaeological sites include camping areas and fire pits.

According to Organ, the sites themselves will be destroyed by the development, but the artifacts will be preserved.

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