Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary/University of Michigan News Service/Tane Casserly
Divers examine boulders on the bottom of Lake Huron near Alpena, Michigan that were used as caribou drive lanes by hunters in this June 13, 2011 file photo.

Hunting Structure Submerged Under Lake Huron A Testament to Ancestors’ Sophistication


Autumn was the preferable hunting season for caribou, but the orientation of this hunting drive shows it would have only been effective if the animals were moving in a northwesterly direction, which the release says they would have done during spring migration from modern-day Ontario.

“It is noteworthy that V-shaped hunting blinds located upslope from Drop 45 are oriented to intercept animals moving to the southeast in the autumn,” said John O’Shea, the Emerson F. Greenman Professor of Anthropological Archaeology at the University of Michigan and lead author of the article, in Michigan News. “This concentration of differing types of hunting structures associated with alternative seasons of migration is consistent with caribou herd movement simulation data indicating that the area was a convergence point along different migration routes, where the landform tended to compress the animals in both the spring and autumn.”

Diver and remote operated vehicle collecting samples at Drop 45 Drive Lane in Lake Huron. (University of Michigan)

And the hunting was good. “I’m imagining seas of animals going through there,” O’Shea told CTV News London.

Not only that, but the find also suggests a cooperative hunt.

“The larger size and multiple parts of the complex drive lanes would have necessitated a larger cooperating group of individuals involved in the hunt,” O’Shea said in Michigan News. “The smaller V-shaped hunting blinds could be operated by very small family groups relying on the natural shape of the landform to channel caribou towards them.”

A stacked stone hunting blind that is incorporated into the ancient caribou hunting site found beneath Lake Huron. (John O'Shea/University of Michigan)


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Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
Why are people always so amazed to find out were weren't the savages they believed?

rubystargoats's picture
Submitted by rubystargoats on
Whoa, people could actually problem solve way back then to make their lives easier, or make some pretty awesome structures and stuff...No, really? They repeatedly find impressive engineering by ancient peoples all over the world, and they are still shocked and surprised...Anybody wonder if this isn't a sign of the scientists' unintelligence???