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Flint, First Export

3/20/2005:

As closely as archeologists can figure, North Dakota’s first export commodity was flint, a semi-translucent igneous rock that was mined in Dunn and Mercer Counties about 9,500 B.C.

Indigenous peoples of the northern plains hunted mammoths, giant bison and other large animals during this time period. Flint from the Knife River region was used for making knives, scrapers, arrows and other tools, because when chipped, this type of stone provided sharp, knife-like, serrated edges that were very hard and durable. Prehistoric weapons and tools made of Knife River flint have been found from western New York state to western Montana and from central Alberta to northeastern New Mexico.

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm