New York-Size Ancient Native City Offers an ‘Indiana Jones Moment’

By ICTMN Staff July 11, 2012

As more details emerge about the ancient city dubbed Mantle, near Toronto, Ontario, it is becoming clear that this is one of the major archaeological discoveries ever made in North America.

Canadian television viewers got an introduction to the story on Monday night via the documentary The Curse of the Axe, but a report from tells more. Lead archaeologist Ron Williamson calls Mantle “the largest, most complex, cosmopolitan village of its time” and describes the discoveries as “an Indiana Jones moment.”

The site was occupied sometime around 1500 by the Wendat Huron; in and around the 98 longhouses thus far discovered, excavations have turned up some 200,000 artifacts. Williamson said the population is estimated to have been between 1,500 and 1,800, living in an area the size of Manhattan. With an annual need of 7,000 deer hides, the people of Mantle would have hunted over an area extending 26 miles in all directions from the settlement.

In the documentary, as quoted by LiveScience, researcher Jennifer Birch says that “When you think about a site like Mantle, 2,000 people, massive stockade around a community, a better analogy is that of a medieval town. … While the cultures are very different, the societal form really isn’t.”

Human pipe effigy Credit: Owen Jarus A human pipe effigy, it appears to offer a tantalizing glimpse at the faces of the people of the site.

Pottery artifact Credit: Owen Jarus A complete pot, with line decoration, discovered on site.

Mysterious artifact Credit: Owen Jarus Held together by an unknown substance, this tiny artifact has archaeologists puzzled as to its use and the meaning of the notching.

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Comment by LadyHawkღ on July 14, 2012 at 12:14pm
Comment by robbie J on July 14, 2012 at 4:04am

wow so intresting! is there any more info on this and can we be able to get The Curse of the Axe on line to veiw? thanks LH :)

Comment by Ravenblu on July 14, 2012 at 12:19am

Oh I do, I love history and ancient cities fascinate me perhaps because there are none in my sphere of the world to experience. thanks again.

Comment by Ravenblu on July 14, 2012 at 12:18am

Comment by LadyHawkღ on July 13, 2012 at 11:53pm

You are very welcome! I'm glad to see others share my interest in ancient cities.

Comment by Ravenblu on July 13, 2012 at 11:40pm

Thanks so much for this information. I have learnt so much in such a short time.

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