A burial site dated 1,000 A.D. revealed an important archeological find a Native American woman buried with a long stone pestle, possibly for leather working. The burial, in the process of repatriation, may have a cultural affiliation with the Pigwacket or Arosaguntacook peoples. The burial represented the most recent occupation of a large prehistoric maritime cod fishing station on Great Diamond Island. Excavated by the University of Southern Maine, the site was occupied for 4,500 years, primarily in the late winter and spring. The 25,000 recovered bones and shells indicate a focus on cod fish, deer, and soft-shell clams. The site’s abundance of bones from small mammals suggests fur processing and clothing manufacturing activities.
Native Americans are still a presence in Portland.