Stone fish trap, believed to be 11,000 years old, found near Alaskan coast

Researchers have discovered a stone fish trap believed to be at least 11,000 years old off the coast of southeast Alaska, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The NOAA said a team of scientists from Sealaska Heritage Institute and NOAA Ocean Exploration was exploring an "underwater region" of southern southeast Alaska in May before discovering what NOAA believes to be the "oldest stone fish weir ever found in the world."

Sunfish Inc., an academics and robotics company, confirmed the fish trap's existence. 

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NOAA said before the discovery, the oldest known weirs dated from 7,500 to 8,000 years ago.

"The entire vessel was bouncing with excitement when we realized it was indeed a weir. Personally, I felt relief after a decade of saying this was a weir. Finally confirming the location was satisfying and exhilarating," Dr. Kelly Monteleone told Storyful. Monteleone is an archaeologist at the University of Calgary and piloted the underwater craft on the exploration journey that found the weir.

Storyful contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.