Radiocarbon Dating of a Fish Spine Suggests There is not an Archaeological Site East of Edgewater View, Edgewater Park, Cleveland, Ohio.


Metin I. Eren1,2 and Michelle R. Bebber1


In December 2020 Kent State University archaeologists received an email from an interested party about possible bone artifacts washed up on the Lake Erie shore of Edgewater Park (Figure 1). These possible artifacts looked like needles: narrow, thin, and possessing a point on one end and an “eye” on the opposite end (Figure 2). So, Kent State archaeologists and the objects’ discoverers planned an afternoon excursion to visit the find spot a few days after the initial email contact. More needle-like items were recovered on the shore (Figure 3). Survey of the adjacent cliffs south of the beach yielded no sign of any archaeological material, which suggested that these “needles” washed up on shore from a recently disturbed underwater site. Given the geological development of the Great Lakes (Jackson et al. 2000; Larson and Schaetzl 2001), the conversation quickly turned to the possibility of a disturbed underwater Pleistocene site (see Lyman 2015 for a review of Pleistocene bone needles). Everyone was puzzled by the lack of flaked stone debitage, but given the number of pointy objects (n=12), Eren provisionally suggested some sort of “Pleistocene needle cache.”

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