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Bronze artifact found on Alaska's Seward Peninsula

Posted: November 15, 2011 - 12:01am

ANCHORAGE — Researchers excavating an Inupiat Eskimo home believed to be about 1,000 years old on Alaska’s west coast have recovered a bronze artifact that may have been cast in Asia during prehistoric times.

A University of Colorado at Boulder research associate says in a release the artifact found at Cape Espenberg resembles a buckle and may have been used as part of a harness or horse ornament before it reached Alaska.

John Hoffecker says a piece of leather wrapped around the object gave a radiocarbon date of about A.D. 600.

He says the bronze piece appears to be older than the house the research team was excavating.

Hoffecker says it’s not known what the object was used for but that it could have been a clasp or a decoration.

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