At the First Nation’s Menominee Reservation in Wisconsin, archaeologists made a small but stunning discovery: a tiny clay pot that according to reports was around 800 years old. While it may not sound much at first, what experts discovered inside of it is beyond fascinating.
The contents of the 800-year-old clay pot changed how we look at extinction, preservation and food storage, and the numerous ancient plants that existed on Earth in the distant past—which have now been exterminated regrettably.
Every once in a while, experts come across discoveries that may not seem as much, but bring back many pieces of mother nature back to life.
The mystery clay pot had remained buried beneath the surface for around 800 years. Most likely, someone buried it in order to preserve its contents for later. For some reason, the clay pot was forgotten and 800 years later, someone dug it up.
Alright so, what’s inside it?
But, thanks to our indigenous ancestors a little piece of mother nature has been saved from extinction.
Ancient people knew how important preservation was, they valued the past, present, and future, unlike most of Earth’s population today.
The clay pot was unearthed at the Menominee Reservation in Wisconsin, where it remained buried for at least 800 years. Its contents were miraculously preserved.
When experts carefully opened the 800-year-old clay pot, they discovered a stash of seeds. Archaeologists concluded that the seeds were most likely buried in the pot in order to store food supplies.
Archeologists eventually decided to see what kind of seeds were preserved for 800 years. Experts determined that the seeds inside the 800-year-old clay pot were an old, now-extinct species of squash.
Eventually, someone decided to plant the seeds. The result: history-changing, 800-year-old, extinct squash. And boy did it grow!
The ancient squash was named “Gete-Okosomin” which basically means “Cool Old Squash” in Anishinaabe.
Now, experts will work on preserving the squash saving it from future extinction.
While this nearly extinct squash to some may be just ordinary squash, for others it’s an ancient symbol of a community and history that existed in the area, and for some reason decided to preserve food by stacking it inside clay pots for future generations to find.
To find out more check our Seed Keeping at Tumblr.
If you would like to help preserve Gete Okosomin, Anishinaabe crops, farming systems, language, and culture, and of course the land itself – please donate to the folks who do it best: White Earth Land Recovery Project.
The mission of the White Earth Land Recovery Project is to facilitate the recovery of the original land base of the White Earth Indian Reservation while preserving and restoring traditional practices of sound land stewardship, language fluency, community development, and strengthening our spiritual and cultural heritage.