A stone axe, made of chloride schist. The people of Mantle would have cleared the land using axes like these.
A ceramic coronet pipe with metal insert found on site.
This iron object, believed to be part of an axe, was found buried beneath either a longhouse or plaza. It, along with two copper beads also found on site, are the earliest European artifacts ever found in the Great Lakes region.
An X-ray of the iron artifact revealed a maker's mark stamped on it. Research reveals that 16th century Basque artifacts, from a province in northern Spain, have the same mark.
The black pigments used to decorate these sherds are a type of bone black pigment which has a high calcium content (~10-12% for both sherds).
A model of a longhouse at the Royal Ontario Museum. The Mantle site has 98 of them. Built of wood, a material that does not preserve well archaeologically, the houses at Mantle were between 80 to 100 feet long and were as wide as they were tall. At Mantle two of the longhouses are substantially larger than 100 feet and would likely have been used for public ceremonies.
The inside of the longhouse, goods were kept and fires made. An extended family would have lived in them. When a man married a woman he moved in with her family.
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Owen Jarus is a regular contributor to Live Science who writes about archaeology and humans' past. He has also written for The Independent (UK), The Canadian Press (CP) and The Associated Press (AP), among others. Owen has a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Toronto and a journalism degree from Ryerson University.