As most of us know New York City is the Big Apple of the Northeast. This wasn’t always the case. About 500  years ago (1500 and 1530) when Europeans were starting to visit the New World, a new settlement the size of Manhattan was established in Canada on the North Shore of Lake Ontario in Canada. Called the “Mantle Site” the area was settled was settled by the Wendat (Huron) and was the largest and most cosmopolitan of its time and apparently “a real stunner for archaeologists”.

Between 1,500 and 1,800 people lived in Mantle and art and pottery at the site show signs that all 5 nations of the Iroquois to the south in New York State. This indicates contact and trade. Added to this the earliest examples of European goods predate the arrival of the European explorers by 100 years.

We know that the Basque people of northern Spain did get around and makers marks traced to the Basques was stamped on wrought iron objects. In the early 16th century Basque fishermen and whalers sailed to the waters off Newfoundland and Labrador.

Excavations at the site between 2003 and 2005 uncovered 98 longhouses, a palisade of three rows (a fence made of heavy wooden stakes and used for defense) and about 200,000 artifacts. Dozens of examples of art have been unearthed showing haunting human faces and depictions of animals, with analysis ongoing.

There’s a so much more to the article so instead of my precis version,  I recommend that you click on ‘Mantle’ Site, Ancient ‘New York City’ Of Canada, Found On Lake Ontario Shore for an interesting learning experience.

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