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During much of the last 90000 years Ontario has been covered in thick ice sheets of the Wisconsinan glaciation By 12000 years ago the ice sheets began to retreat and a series of large pro-glacial lakes formed between the land to the south and the edge of the ice As people followed the retreating ice they were attracted to the rich environment along the lakes shores Many of the earliest Palaeo-Indian sites in Ontario have been found along the margins of Lake Algonquin and Lake Iroquois After 10000 years ago the ice in the Great Lakes basin continued to melt back exposing the whole of the Lake Huron basin A large lobe of ice still occupied parts of the Lake Superior basin until about 9000 years ago splitting it into two parts The first known human occupation in the upper Great Lakes occurred while ice still lay in the Lake Superior basin Most Early Palaeo-Indian sites have been found on or close to relic shorelines of glacial lakes There seems little doubt that the shores of glacial lakes Algonquin and Iroquois provided an attractive environment for Early Palaeo-Indian settlement People may have been attracted to the land close to the lakeshore for a number of reasons Cold winds blowing off the lake may have prevented a closed forest from growing in the area This would have provided hunters with good visibility along the lakeshore and attractive grazing for herbivorous mammals The more open breezy environment may also have been more insect free than the surrounding country - a benefit to humans and animals alike Fishing and wildfowling would also have been possible subsistence activities Lastly although there is no direct evidence to support this notion Palaeo-Indian people may have used the lake for travel Winter lake travel would certainly have been possible and it is conceivable that boats of some kind were also in use
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