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13,000-year-old artifacts found at bottom of Florida salt spring

A collection of prehistoric artifacts have been found 90 feet below the surface of the Little Salt Spring, south of Tampa, Florida.

Artifacts are delicately uncovered from a ledge 90 feet below the surface, archaeologists say, offering up glimpses of what life was like for who is believed to have been Florida’s first residents.

John Gifford, an underwater archaeologist with UM’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science along with aquarium divers are working together to gather the artifacts.

“In the last ice age, between about 10,000 and 13,000 years ago, the water level was 90 feet lower then than it is today,” Gifford said. “It’s generally thought that along that early beach area, those early humans left their tools or whatever artifacts they found at that site.”

The site has been under excavation by scientists sporadically over the past three years, and only about 6 percent of the submerged ledge has been scoured.

“Little Salt Spring,” Gifford said, “is where we have at least a fighting chance at finding some traces of human activity say 9,000 or 10,000 years ago.”

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