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Ancient East Asian artifact unearthed in Alaska

A bronze artifact, the first ever made from a cast, has been unearthed in an ancient Eskimo dwelling in Alaska.

“I was totally astonished,” said Hoffecker. “The object appears to be older than the house we were excavating by at least a few hundred years.”

Hoffecker and his CU-Boulder colleague Owen Mason said the bronze object resembles a belt buckle and may have been used as part of a harness or horse ornament prior to its arrival in Alaska. While they speculated the Inupiat Eskimos could have used the artifact as a clasp for human clothing or perhaps as part of a shaman’s regalia, its function on both continents still remains a puzzle, they said.

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Story: Jon Hoffecker, Eurekalert | Photo: Jeremy Foin, University of California, Davis

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