According to research conducted by the University of Massachusetts Archaeological Services, people have lived in and around Rattlesnake for at least 5,000 years.
The archaeologists discovered knife blades, projectile points, scrapers, and evidence of understory burning during the fifth and fourth millenia before the present. They discovered stone tools, pottery, and the remains of kitchen refuse from 2,000 years ago.
And at the time the people in Medieval Europe were building cathedrals, the people around Rattlesnake were using fine ceramics.
People moved to the area at about the time the then lake at the southern foot of Rattlesnake Mountain began to change into a bog, now called Kampoosa Bog. As a bog or swamp, Kampoosa Bog could provide cattails and other reeds, other plants, and attract animals. Cattails not only provided food, but were used to build warm houses.
Most likely, the people came only during the fall and early winter, to harvest nuts and hunt.
A core taken from the bog tells us of frequent fire. Very likely, hunters carefully burnt the forest understory so as to attract animals to browse on the regrowth and make hunting easier. Although it is not well known, such burning was common up until the Europeans put an end to it. Quite simply, for nearly half the time since the land was covered by the ice of the last glaciation, forest fires ruled the ecology.
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