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


Big game hunters from 9,000 years ago knew what they were doing—and archaeologists at the University of Michigan are getting a glimpse of just how skilled they were. Archaeologists have discovered a complex array of stone lanes and V-shaped structures on an underwater ridge in Lake Huron, marking the most elaborate hunting structure found to date under the Great Lakes.

An article detailing the 9,000-year-old caribou driving lane appeared this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The lane is 26-feet-wide and 98-feet long and ends in a natural cul-de-sac; it also has hunting blinds, structures meant to conceal hunters, built along it.

According to the University of Michigan News, it was discovered on the Alpena-Amberley Ridge, under 121 feet of water, about 35 miles southeast of what is now Alpena, Michigan, on what was once a dry land corridor connecting northeast Michigan to southern Ontario.

“Constructed on level limestone bedrock, the stone lane is comprised of two parallel lines of stones leading toward a cul-de-sac formed by the natural cobble pavement,” explains Michigan News. “Three circular hunting blinds are built into the stone lines, with additional stone alignments that may have served as blinds and obstructions for corralling caribou.”

An acoustic image of the caribou hunting site produced via a mosaic of scanning sonar images. (Light colored objects are stones that produce a strong acoustic signature while dark areas are acoustic shadows.) (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???