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Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.
By Emily Heffter
Archaeologists have unearthed ancient tools on the site of a planned $18 million bypass around downtown Granite Falls.
The carved stones were found during a routine environmental study and likely won't affect the road's construction, which is scheduled to start in 2007, Snohomish County Public Works officials said.
"The good thing about all this is that we're finding it during our preliminary engineering and not discovering it during construction," said Crilly Ritz, a senior environmental planner with Public Works. "If you find something during construction, it can affect your schedule."
It's hard to determine the exact age of the artifacts because of the area's acidic soil, said Phil LeTourneau, the principal investigator for BOAS, a Seattle archaeological firm that Snohomish County hired to study the site. Similar items at other sites have been dated at 4,500 to 7,000 years old, he said.
The artifacts are mostly pointy, leaf-shape stones, probably used as spear tips, LeTourneau said. Over the years, he said, the acid in the soil has begun breaking them down into clay.
This type of site is common in the area, LeTourneau said.
Without knowing the age, it's hard to determine which tribes used the tools. The county is working with the Tulalips, Stillaguamish and Sauk-Suiattles on an agreement.
The chairman of the lead tribe on the agreement, the Tulalips, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
The new two-mile section of road will route trucks around Granite Falls' downtown.
Emily Heffter: 425-783-0624 or email@example.com
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