Hundreds of artifacts, some of them thousands of years old, unearthed during construction of Denver International Airport will be displayed in the airport's main terminal, officials say.

The artifacts include stone tools and weapons, ceramic pot shards and other relics. Thousands of other items - from arrowhead fragments to rock flakes left by ancient toolmakers - remain in or on the ground, left undisturbed while archaeologists charted DIA's 53 square miles for an environmental impact study.Airport officials also have been asked to build a public exhibit where a "hamlet" of 1,300-year-old pit houses was discovered and reburied by DIA archaeologists.

Archaeologist Marcia Tate of Powers Elevation Co., which surveyed sites for the environmental study, said the oldest site - a 6,000-year-old hunting camp - now lies beneath Concourse B.

Tate's company recommended converting one dig into a public exhibit. The Box Elder-Tate Hamlet has remains of two A.D. 700 pit houses and fire rings dating back to 2000 B.C. and forward to Columbus. It was named for a farm and for Tate's husband, Bill.

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Nonskeletal objects found during construction are at the University of Colorado Museum in Boulder, Colo. Under Colorado law they are state property because they were found on municipal land. Denver would borrow them back for display.

The archaeologists said their search found no human bones or burial sites.

A Cheyenne tribal elder has suggested construction at the airport disturbed Indian spirits, accounting for one of the problems that has delayed the airport's opening.

"This is a part of the world where Indians have a long-established connection to the land," said Roger Echohawk, a Pawnee tribal historian hired to monitor DIA finds in 1991 and 1992.

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