FREDERICTON — The New Brunswick government says testing has revealed that a Fredericton suburb was once home to an indigenous encampment that is one of the oldest sites in northeastern North America.
The site in Marysville, N.B., was uncovered during road construction.
To confirm the site's estimated age, a number of charcoal samples from a firepit were sent for radiocarbon dating.
The province says the resulting dates were slightly older than expected, indicating the site was occupied about 12,700 years ago.
The area was once on the shoreline of a large glacial lake at the end of the last ice age.
Archeological excavations last summer uncovered evidence of a small indigenous encampment, with thousands of fragments of stone tools, charcoal and animal-bone fragments.
The province says the intact firepit was a rare find for an archeological site of this age.
"The results of the radiocarbon testing are significant as the site will provide new insights into the lives of some of the first inhabitants of what is now New Brunswick," Heritage Minister John Ames said in a statement.
"These new radiocarbon dates not only confirm the antiquity of the site but also that central New Brunswick was occupied by indigenous peoples within a millennia of the melting of the last ice sheets."