A hearth and the remains of five posts unearthed in central Oregon may be part of the oldest home site ever found in western North America.

The remains were dated nearly 10,000 years - more than 4,000 years older than pit houses previously found in the region's Great Basin, scientists said this week."These are the remains of a burned structure, a superstructure, probably lodgepole pine that would have been tied in the middle, something like a teepee," archaeologist Dennis Jenkins of the University of Oregon said.

These hunter-gatherers moved in small bands, following their food source and using the site more than a mile high as a summer camp, Jenkins said.

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Crude tools made of obsidian were found at the structure near Paulina Lake about 20 miles southeast of Bend. Blood residue analyses identified rabbits, bears, elk and bison. Remnants of hazelnuts, blackberries and chokecherries also were found in their hearth.

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