DATA INDICATES AGE OF
KWADAY DÄN SINCHI FIND
and CHAMPAGNE,Yukon – Initial radiocarbon dating indicates
the artifacts found at the Kwaday Dän Sinchi site in Tatshenshini
Alsek Park are roughly 550 years old.
“This latest piece
of information makes the Kwaday Dän Sinchi find just that much
more interesting – particularly now that we know for sure the
site dates back several centuries before the first known contact
between First Nations and European culture,” Culture Minister
Ian Waddell said today.Two samples – one from the hat, and another
from the cloak belonging to the ancient person – were sent to
a lab in Florida last month for radiocarbon dating.According
to the radiocarbon lab, both samples yielded dates that were
statistically the same, within an accuracy rate of 95 per cent.
This means the material used to make the hat and the animal
skins for the robe were harvested around the same time. That
time would have been somewhere between AD 1415 and AD 1445.
A third radiocarbon
measurement on a sample taken from a moose carcass also found
in the area indicates the animal died in the 1960s and therefore
is not associated with the older artifacts found at the site.
The new information
suggests the Kwaday Dän Sinchi person met his demise more than
50 years before Columbus was making his historic voyages to
what was then considered by Europeans to be the New World –
and over 300 years before the first known European contact on
the Northwest Coast.The 550-year estimate increases the significance
of the find. Human remains in a frozen state dating to pre-contact
times are extremely rare, as are the associated well-preserved
artifacts made from organic materials.
Champagne and Aishihik
First Nations Chief Bob Charlie said he is especially pleased
with the dating results. “At this age, Kwaday Dän Sinchi has
great potential for tying in with the oral history of the area
and with local knowledge of pre-contact clothing, tools and
land use patterns.”A management team is developing a research
strategy for the human remains, now in the care of the Royal
British Columbia Museum in Victoria. The team will be ready
to accept study proposals by the new year.
Media Relations Manager
Junction, Yukon (867) 634-2331
Yukon (867) 667-7825