Tse-whit-zen existed before Christ walked the Earth

Tse-whit-zen is 1,000 years older than scientists originally thought.

The Native American village may be as old as 2,700 years, Frances Charles, chairwoman of the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe, said Saturday at a healing ceremony at the site.

Charles said archaeologists had based their new findings on the results of radiocarbon dating, also known as carbon 14 dating.

Carbon 14 is a radioactive isotope found in organic materials that decays at a measurable rate.

Scientists tested animal bones and fire pits to reach the 2,700-year figure.

Tse-whit-zen (pronounced cha-wheet-zen) already has been called the largest Native American archaeological site in Washington and one of the most significant in the nation by scientists.

During archaeological excavation that began in August 2003 and lasted last month, archaeologists uncovered burials, the remains of longhouses and more than 13,000 artifacts that included brooches, fish hooks and combs.

Peninsula Daily News

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