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3,500-year-old pottery found on Northern Mariana Island

Ancient pottery and artifacts have been uncovered on the island of Tinian which could help researchers learn how people first came to the area.

As the theory goes, about 3,000 to 3,500 years ago, sea levels around Asia began to drop, Peterson said. The main road in Tumon, for example, would have been completely under water 6,000 years ago.

Coastal Asian people, those around the south coast of China, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines, were sea-faring and nomadic, so when the sea level started dropping, people had to travel further to find necessities, historians have said. The changes could have wiped out mangrove habitats, a food source for the nomads, so they started making wider migrations, eventually ending up in the Marianas, Peterson said.

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Story: Arvin Tembar, Pacific Daily News | Photo: Shannon Murphy

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