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An ancient fire pit has been discovered in northern Utah.

Ian Harvey

A team of scientists has recently analyzed a tribal pit that was used to make fires over 12,000 years ago. Along with the pit, spears and tobacco seeds were also discovered.

fire pit illustration Photo Credit

Fire pit illustration Photo Credit

The pit was found on a military testing range at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. The government kindly alerted scientists and historians and allowed the artifacts to be recovered and put on display at Utah’s Natural History Museum in Salt Lake City.

The Natural History Museum of Utah Photo Credit

The Natural History Museum of Utah Photo Credit

Hill Air Force Base’s archaeologist and Cultural Resource Manager Anya Kitterman stated that she worked with a research team to unearth and study the remains of charcoal and evidence signifying that the pit was likely used to cook up the animals.

The early findings have allowed the team to more vividly grasp what life was like for the people of this era. The presence of tobacco seeds by the fire pit shows that our ancestors did indeed manage to get some R&R time alongside their daily battle for survival. It gives historians an amazing sense of pride and joy to be able to recreate the lives of early humans.

Some scientists felt as if no major discoveries had been made in Northern Utah for an especially long period of time, making this find even more special; the hard work, patience, and dedication of Utah’s archaeologists has finally paid off.

Daron Duke described the significance of the finding as incredible. It seems that the creators of the fire pit were among the very first people to settle in the Great Basin, a wide area that spans across 6 states in modern America. It is thought that humans were responsible for the spread of tobacco across the continent, and now this finding of tobacco seeds at one of Utah’s earliest archeological sites suggests that the use of tobacco could be just as old as the Great Basin culture itself.