A Connecticut State Department of Transportation project for the construction of a new bridge led to the discovery of 12,500-year-old artifacts and evidence of what scientists are calling southern New England's earliest people, the Hartford Courant reports. The state agency began excavating the site, initially slated for a bridge, in January, and have since uncovered archaeological artifacts dating back to the Paleoindian period. The principal investigator on the dig, senior archaeologist David Leslie, said excavation has turned up about 15,000 artifacts and 27 features. “This is the once-in-lifetime opportunity to look [at a site of this age] in Connecticut,” said Catherine Labadia, a staff archaeologist with the State Historic Preservation Office. “This site has the potential to make us understand the first peopling of Connecticut in a way we haven’t been able to.” The Courant reports that only a couple of Paleoindian features have ever been discovered in New England.
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