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Three year study reveals Lake Superior’s ancient past

The conclusion of a three-year study about Lake Superior’s past has brought human activity along the shoreline into sharper focus.

Scientists from Northern Michigan University’s geography department recently completed a project at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore that located 23 new archaeological sites.

The researchers also helped define the shoreline as it existed 4,500 years ago.

Department head John Anderton said the National Park Service-backed effort was designed to find cultural resources so they can be protected during future road building and other developments.

“In the first year of the project, satellite imagery was used to identify distinct land forms, notches, ridges and barriers created by wave action, to map the older shorelines,” Northern Michigan spokeswoman Kristi Evans wrote on the school’s Web site. “They found that the water was 30-40 feet higher than it is today.”

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