By AMY GAREIS     News-Herald Staff Writer

SCIO – Native American items that could date back some 2,000 years were recently discovered at the Harrison Hub Refracturation Plant in Scio, but officials don’t expect the find to impact development.

Various artifacts, including a hearth, were discovered during a route archaeological study as part of the construction plan and the items could range from 400 to 2,000 years old. George Francisco, executive vice president of corporate development for Utica East Ohio Mainstream LLC, said some of the most significant artifacts are groupings of charred stones, or hearths. The items will be recovered and removed for study by professional archaeologists and historians.

The hearth pictured above is one of the most significant artifacts found in the archeological survey at the North Township site, which was conducted in coordination with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Ohio Historic Preservation Office. Hearths were used by Native Americans for cooking and heat. Archeologists removed charcoal from the hearth for carbon dating.

“Artifact recovery scope and procedure is approved by the Ohio Historic Preservation Office and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” Francisco said. “It will not impact construction as the significant artifacts will be removed. Prior to their removal, the affected areas are cordoned off while construction proceeds in other areas.”

He said the investigation was required as part of the permit process and the items were recovered on behalf of the Ohio Historic Preservation Office. There was speculation as to what was found on the dig, but there definitely were no dinosaur bones in the mix.

“We believe there were rumors about what was discovered, including dinosaur bones, which is not true. Local residents have come along to the site after plowing to pick up arrowheads and the like, which is about the extent of what we discovered in our thorough investigation. Each of the agencies involved have been helpful and professional. We are pleased to recover the items of significance on behalf of the Ohio Historic Preservation Office and facilitate further study and analysis.” Photo provided

More information on the site can be found in this weeks print edition of the Harrison News-Herald.