54th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Archaeological Association

2022 Conference Sessions

All times listed in Mountain Time (UTC-6).

Thursday April 28, 2022

Time: 
10:40 AM to 12:00 PM
(MDT)
Room: 
Turner Valley Room
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Krista Gilliland, Western Heritage

Session Abstract

Sandy landforms, such as hills, dunes, sheets, and even small-scale localized sandy deposits, tend to be associated with archaeological sites in numbers that are disproportionate to those on other types of landforms. The reasons for this are numerous, and include the fact that sandy landforms are commonly elevated and well-drained, provide structural foundations for animal traps or pounds, are groundwater recharge or discharge areas, and can support an increased diversity of flora and fauna relative to the surrounding regions. However, sandy sites are also typically more susceptible to disturbance, destabilization, and erosion. Human activity, past or present, can be a contributing factor in this disturbance.

Experience working in sandy landscapes in the prairies, parkland, and boreal forest indicates that, although people appear to have preferentially selected these landforms, there are typically differences in the density, extent, and type of artifacts recovered, depending on the ecoregion. What explanations are there for these differences? Possibilities include: depositional environment and taphonomy, post-depositional disturbances, patterns of occupation and activity, cultural preferences, and resource availability, among others.

We invite researchers at all levels of experience and from all related fields (archaeology, traditional land use studies, geomorphology, etc.) to participate in this session, which will focus on discussions of the rich diversity, habitability, fragility, and formation of sandy landscapes. From landforms in the boreal forest, to the prairies, to dunes on the coast and along the Great Lakes, this session will focus on addressing commonalities and key differences in sandy sites in the north.. and beyond!

Presentations

10:40 AM: All the Same? Case Studies in Formation Processes and Sandy Sites in the Boreal Forest
Author(s):
  • Krista Gilliland - Western Heritage
  • Rob Kadis - Western Heritage

Assessing the interpretive value of an archaeological site is one of the primary goals of the consulting archaeologist, as it informs recommendations for site management. It is a challenge if the site yields few artifacts, no diagnostic tools, and has no known land use history. At aeolian-dominated sites in the boreal forest, this challenge is compounded by minimal to absent visual or textural differentiation of the stratigraphy. Further, as the entirety of large-scale aeolian landforms tend to be of high archaeological potential, recommending conventional avoidance strategies to developers may not be feasible. Establishing appropriate, effective assessment methods for these landforms is an evolving but essential process in CRM.

 

We present several case studies illustrating detailed stratigraphic description and portable luminescence methods as a means of ‘reading’ landforms to better understand the dynamics of aeolian activity in the boreal forest on the local level. We address questions such as: Are there tangible indicators of depositional history and disturbance that go beyond the visible?  and How are the site and associated landform related to others in the region? Our work demonstrates the value of an innovative approach in evaluating site significance and formulating meaningful recommendations for historic resources management.

11:00 AM: Recreational impacts and archaeology in the Redwater Sand Hills
Author(s):
  • Kurtis Blaikie-Birkigt - Tree Time Services Inc.

In 2005 I participated in a mitigative excavation of several sites on the North Saskatchewan River valley on the south edge of the Redwater Sand Hills. I had wondered to what extent these occupations were focused on the river, or would extend north into the sand hill area. Ten years later, I indulged my curiosity by organizing a public survey of part of the Redwater Provincial Recreation Area.

In one afternoon, 30 volunteers identified 12 newly recorded archaeological sites. All of the sites were identified in surface exposure resulting from recreational ATV use. Volunteers recovered a wide range of artifacts, including a diagnostic Besant point. These artifacts represented a variety of precontact and historic activities.

This survey demonstrated that the sand hills had significantly higher archaeological potential than previously assumed. It also demonstrated the threat that recreational ATV use poses to archaeological sites in sensitive sand hills environments. It is likely that both of these conclusions apply to other sand hill environments surrounding Edmonton. Further research and ongoing management of historic resource concerns in these areas is warranted.

11:20 AM: The Bigstick Site: A Unique McKean-age Bone Bed in the Bigstick Sand Hills of southwestern Saskatchewan
Author(s):
  • Tobi Krahulic - Jacobs Engineering Group
  • Alison Landals - Stantec Consulting Ltd.
  • Gwyn Langemann - Stantec Consulting Ltd.

In 2020, Stantec Consulting Ltd. excavated a rare McKean-age bison killsite in the Bigstick Sand Hills of southwestern Saskatchewan. The site is unusual, not only because of the age, but because our research indicated that the location of landforms in the past environment were not reflected in the present day landscape, complicating predictive modeling in this area.  The data from the bone bed suggest that site EaOh-23 represents a single kill event utilizing a parabolic dune formation as a natural trap. Despite its great age and the sandy matrix, the bone bed was remarkably well-preserved, yielding an assemblage of 19 McKean Complex projectile points in association with the butchered remains of over 30 bison. The Bigstick Sand Hills represent a unique environment within the prairies and the identification of this site offers important insight into the use of this area by McKean-age people. It is likely that similar sites may be present within the Sand Hills region but the constantly shifting sand dune environment requires specialized methodology to find sites of similar antiquity. 

11:40 AM: FlPg-143: a large, stratified site northeast of Edmonton
Author(s):
  • Kurtis Blaikie-Birkigt - Tree Time Services Inc.

While sand hill environments are known to have the potential for deep sedimentation, the majority of sites recorded in sand hill environments in the Edmonton region are small, with poor preservation, and often deflated stratigraphy. 

FlPg-143 was recorded northeast of Edmonton in 2020, in the context of a major pipeline impact assessment. FlPg-143 is an extensive, multi-component historic and pre-contact site with complex, intact stratigraphy. The artifact sample recovered from shovel testing includes diverse lithic materials, calcined bone and ungulate tooth enamel. The planned development was rerouted to avoid the site, so no excavation has been conducted, but the site has significant scientific and interpretative potential.

This site was identified by shovel testing within the basin of a complex dune-like feature, after testing of elevated portions of the landform were negative. This area was tested as a result of discussion with other consulting archaeologists about sites in other dune fields, and emphasizes the importance of sharing our learnings and testing our assumptions. This significant site could easily have been overlooked in my survey, and destroyed by the planned development.

Time: 
10:40 AM to 12:00 PM
(MDT)
Room: 
Online
Session Hosting Format: 
online session
Organizer(s): 
  • The CAA Student Committee
Contact Email: 

Session Abstract

Navigating a sea of unprecedented change (whether that be environmental, social, or political), more and more archaeologists are called upon to provide commentary on our current situation. Although often overlooked, students are the researchers, early professionals, and fiery commenters that these changes affect greatly and who are needed to drive considerable changes. This session hopes to center the voices of students and early-career researchers so that they can dip their toes into professional conference settings, gain experience presenting, and provide a platform for a new current of thinking. Presenting at a conference for the first time can be scary, and we are driven to make everyone feel included and that sharing your ideas is not a "sink or swim" experience. To increase accessibility, this session will comprise shortened talks of student work. Presentations for this session can involve creative ideas about how to address change, the results of any recent research project (in general), scientifically-grounded debates, a story from the field, a book review, or a research proposal- the only catch is your presentation must be given in only 5 minutes! "Surf's up!"

The presentations will be given synchronously using a hybrid format to provide an authentic experience of in-person talk but also accommodate those who may not be comfortable with the ongoing health crisis. Presentations will be grouped based on similarity in topic matter, so please provide a general description of the topic you will be discussing, in no more than 250 words, and submit it to the Abstract Submission Form of the CAA website. Visual components for presentations from accepted presenters will be limited to only 1-3 slides and will be requested prior to the presentation date to allow for compilation and smooth transition between presentations. A synchronous question-and-answer period will be offered at the end of the session. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to caa.students@gmail.com. We look forward to your submission and hearing your valuable perspectives and insights!

Presentations

10:40 AM: Trowel and Error: A podcast exploring career paths in Canadian archaeology
Author(s):
  • Isabelle Rutherford - Western University
  • Sydney Holland - Western University

Trowel and Error is a podcast created as a resource for students planning their career in archaeology. Our intention was to highlight the often under-discussed variability in archaeology-related career paths. We conducted a series of semi-structured interviews (n=8) with Canadian professionals currently engaging with archaeology in public and/or private sectors. We asked questions about career shifts and setbacks, sought advice for prospective archaeologists, and discussed stories from the field. Themes that emerged from these conversations included: navigating challenges during career transitions, the winding paths to success and stability, cultivating one’s passions, and the ongoing shifts towards collaborative, inclusive archaeological practices. Our goal is to provide these conversations on a free-to-use platform in both written and audio formats, so that Trowel and Error may be accessible to a broad audience, including those with different learning styles and at various stages in their careers. This ongoing project contributes to the growing body of publicly available information about archaeological practices in Canada and engages with an increasingly popular method of disseminating information. This work has the potential to inspire current students to engage with archaeology in creative and diverse ways, thus expanding what it means to be an archaeologist in Canada.

11:00 AM: Excavating Identity: reconciling bioarchaeology with my Indigeneity
Author(s):
  • Lauren Poeta - Western University

Boozhoo. Waabaabagaakwe n’dizhnikaas. Ajiik dodem niinda’aw. Wiikwemkoong n’doonjibaa. This is my story, that of an Indigenous scholar in bioarchaeology. Masking my Indigenous identity behind my white-passing body was long my strategy for surviving university, a strategy taught to many Indigenous relatives to navigate colonial spaces. While universities are adopting new “strategic plans” for Indigenous initiatives, these changes often homogenize the experiences of individual Indigenous students. Through my time navigating academic and professional spaces as an early career researcher, I have had varied experiences on the larger path to “unsettling” academe and archaeology.

Growing a supportive, family-like community while in graduate school allows me to merge my worlds to become the Indigenous scholar I already was. The two drivers of this transition were seeing other Indigenous scholars in my discipline and facing my intergenerational trauma in professional spaces during the residential school searches of 2021. This account of my experiences of forced emotional labour, paternalism, and tokenism explores how these moments could have been prevented. It is my hope that when I share my Truth, it will help others reflect on their own experiences of marginalization and/or complacency.

11:20 AM: The ChronoMB Project: Mapping the Distribution of Pre-Contact Archaeological Sites and Landscape Use in Manitoba
Author(s):
  • Brandi Cable

Manitoba has a rich and diverse culture history and an extensive archaeological record, however, the record itself is under-studied and would benefit from further research. The ChronoMB project aims to synthesize Manitoba's archaeological record using data from the Canadian Archaeological Radiocarbon Database (CARD) to map out these dates across the province using ArcGIS. Out of the 363 Manitoba dates in CARD, only 256 of those are pre-contact and have an associated culture history. The early stages of the project involved data cleaning and mapping; the next steps will survey collections within the province to provide additional data for CARD.

Outreach and dissemination are also crucial components of the ChronoMB project. As a founder of this project, and an Indigenous woman from northern Manitoba, it is important to me to make this research accessible to Indigenous communities, particularly Indigenous youth. This research will be disseminated in various formats, such as talks, posters, and social media, and will be translated into multiple Indigenous languages. I will incorporate the Cree language into my CAA talk to reflect the "Where Communities Meet" theme of the 2022 conference. 

11:40 AM: Examining Methods of Mandible Detachment and Tongue Removal at the Fincastle Site
Author(s):
  • Samantha Kondor - University of Lethbridge

The subject of my master's research focused on identifying specific element frequency patterns in the Fincastle bison assemblage; a mass bison kill site located in Southern Alberta. The Fincastle bison assemblage contains approximately 11,000 identifiable elements, with the full extent of the site not determined. The assemblage is unique because of the paucity of cranial elements, with no complete skulls uncovered. My research investigated frequency patterns in the assemblage to connect particular portions to cultural activity. Specifically, the process of cranial separation, mandible detachment, and tongue removal were investigated based on skull element portion and frequency. These activities have been described in the archaeological and historical literature with differing accounts. The focus of this research was to provide an anatomically and osteologically grounded analysis to interpret the patterns in the assemblage. The results indicate support for the historically documented method of tongue removal and a purposeful mandible detachment strategy. The mandible detachment strategy is used to infer cranial separation, coupled with the lack of cranial elements, but further investigation is required to confirm this hypothesis.

Time: 
10:40 AM to 03:40 PM
(MDT)
Room: 
Yukon Room
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Solène Mallet Gauthier, University of Alberta
  • Emily Haines, University of Alberta
Contact Email: 

Session Abstract

ENG

We often tend to associate the historic period with Euro-Canadian occupations while archaeological considerations of Indigenous peoples are mainly constrained to the “prehistoric” period. When Indigenous peoples of the historic period are studied, they are often only positioned in contrast to Euro-Canadians, or found in the background of their economic activities (e.g., the fur trade). These trends perpetuate the ideas of “acculturation” or “disappearance” of Indigenous peoples when confronted with Euro-Canadian contact and contributes to the erasure of the Indigenous presence in the historic period. The past few years have seen the development of a more inclusive understanding of historical archaeology that makes space for Indigenous peoples and their experiences. In fact, studying Indigenous archaeological occupations from the historic period allows for the examination of cultural change, resilience and the continuation of Indigenous peoples and cultures into the present.

We invite papers (virtual or in-person in English or French) that focus on the experience of Indigenous peoples during the historic period, historic Indigenous occupations, and papers that reinvite Indigenous peoples into the narrative of historic Canadian archaeology and history. This session aims to create a space for discussions for this topic to grow within Canadian archaeology, but we welcome contributions from other parts of the world that relate to this topic.

FR

Nous avons souvent tendance à associer la période historique aux occupations Euro-Canadiennes, alors que les peuples autochtones sont souvent confinés à la période dite préhistorique. Lorsqu’ils sont étudiés, les peuples autochtones vivant à la période historique servent souvent de contraste aux Euro-Canadiens ou sont retrouvés dans l’arrière-plan de leurs activités économiques (comme la traite des fourrures). Ces tendances perpétuent des idées selon lesquelles les peuples autochtones auraient été « acculturés » ou auraient tout simplement « disparu » lorsque confrontés à une présence Euro-Canadienne grandissante mais contribuent également à l’effacement de la présence des Autochtones de la période historique. Une archéologie historique plus inclusive a commencé à se développer au cours des dernières années et a permis de prendre en compte les expériences des peuples autochtones. Dans les faits, l’étude des occupations autochtones de la période historique permet d’examiner les questions de changements culturels, de résilience mais aussi de souligner la continuation des peuples et cultures autochtones dans le présent.

Nous invitons les communications (virtuelles ou en personne, en français ou en anglais) portant sur les expériences des peuples autochtones durant la période historique, sur les occupations autochtones de cette période, ainsi que les travaux qui cherchent à réinsérer les peuples autochtones dans le récit de la période historique au Canada. Cette session cherche à créer un espace de discussion pour participer au développement de ce sujet en archéologie au Canada, mais nous invitons également les présentations en lien avec le sujet qui portent sur d’autres régions du monde.

Presentations

10:40 AM: Re-reading Fur Trade Archaeology as Métis Archaeology in western Canada
Author(s):
  • Kisha Supernant - University of Alberta

Much historical archaeology in Canada has focused on the fur trade, with explorations of trading posts, forts, and other associated sites. These studies have tended to focus on the economies of European traders and, at times, Indigenous-fur trade relations. However, every fur-trade post, especially in western Canada, was built and largely staffed by Métis families. The focus on the European fur traders demonstrates the ways in which whiteness is centered in fur trade archaeology, although these places are deeply connected to the emergence of the Métis Nation and Métis coalescence as a distinct Indigenous identity. In this paper, I re-read the archaeological work of several fur trading posts along the North Saskatchewan River with a Métis lens, shifting the focus from the small number of European to the large number of Métis families who lived, worked, and made a home at fur trading post. This shift opens new interpretive possibilities for Indigenous historical archaeology in Canada.

11:00 AM: Reconsidering Connections Between European Trade and the Iroquoian Depopulation of the St. Lawrence River Valley Using a Bayesian Approach
Author(s):
  • Jonathan Micon - University of Georgia

The depopulation of the St. Lawrence River Valley by Iroquoian-speaking people has long fascinated archaeologists in northeastern North America. This departure had profound effects on surrounding Indigenous societies and ultimately opened the St. Lawrence River to European colonization in the seventeenth century. As the story goes, between 1450 and 1580, St. Lawrence Iroquoians were attacked and assimilated by their Huron-Wendat and Haudenosaunee neighbors over competition for European objects. Though there is little archaeological evidence to support this narrative, it has remained at the center of many scholarly discourses on the matter. In this paper, I use recently published radiocarbon timelines from southern Ontario and New York State alongside material proxies for St. Lawrence Iroquoian movement to explore the relationship between the timing of Iroquoian movements away from the St. Lawrence Valley, the emergence of inter-regional conflict, and the onset of European trade. I contend that any honest and accurate understanding of the factors driving depopulation must be contextualized within Iroquoian social and historical developments. These developments preceded depopulation and the beginnings of European trade by over a century and continued to influence Iroquoian relationships to the St. Lawrence Valley well after 1580.

11:20 AM: Teacups on the Prairies: Finding Métis Meanings Within English Ceramics
Author(s):
  • Dawn Wambold - Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology, University of Alberta

During the 1870’s, the Métis employed a hunting strategy which involved overwintering on the prairies to position themselves within proximity to the dwindling bison herds. The members of these overwintering communities were referred to as hivernants. English transferware ceramics, including those associated with tea, are one of several diagnostic belongings used to identify Métis hivernant sites. These fragile belongings seem incongruous when the seasonality and mobility of these bison hunting sites is considered. Previous studies have attributed the initial adoption of ceramics as an expression of status and social role within Métis settlements such as Red River. These same studies propose that the use of ceramics persisted into the hivernant lifestyle as part of a symbolic expression related to social interaction and integration. As a Métis archaeologist, I reopen the investigation into the use of English ceramics at hivernant sites and apply the Métis epistemologies of wâhkôhtowin and keeoukaywin to my research. By doing so, I reinvite the Métis into the narrative of their own histories and help to tell the story of teatime on the prairies in a more culturally relevant manner.

11:40 AM: The role of historic archaeology in interpreting the First Nation experience of the Klondike Gold Rush
Author(s):
  • Christian Thomas - Yukon Government
  • Allie Winton - Tr'ondek Hwech'in First Nation
  • Debbie Nagano - Tr'ondek Hwech'in First Nation
  • Lee Whalen - Yukon Government

The history of Canada is often centred on the colonial narratives of pioneers and explorers, and celebrated through monuments established at historic settlements. In these narratives the history of Indigenous peoples gets treated as an abbreviated preface to the history of a place.  Much of the founding mythos of the Yukon is similarly situated around the events related to the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898. In 2004 Canada placed Tr’ondëk-Klondike on the tentative list of sites to be nominated for World Heritage recognition. During the development of the nomination, the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation observed that many of the site attributes originally put forward for consideration in this process excluded the First Nation experience of a colonial event that dramatically impacted their society. While a broad and complex suite of information sources were ultimately resourced to develop the nomination, in this talk we will focus on the role of archaeological interpretation in expressing a more authentic understanding of the Klondike Gold Rush.  

01:00 PM: Learning from the recent past in Inuit Labrador
Author(s):
  • Laura Kelvin - University of Manitoba
  • Lisa Rankin - Memorial University

The conceptual divide between pre-contact and post contact archaeology is Eurocentric, and has often resulted in European-focused research during the post-contact era. This divide also limits our understandings of the past as it often silos methods and theories, and severs the continuity of Indigenous pasts, presents, and futures. Although archaeologists are increasingly recognizing the many issues surrounding this divide, Inuit archaeology throughout much of Inuit Nunangat is still focused on the time prior to European contact. However, Inuit archaeology in Labrador has always been primarily focused on the post-contact time period, and offers unique insight into the importance of Indigenous-centered, post-contact archaeology. Much of Inuit archaeology in Labrador has come about through community partnered research, and has been driven by direct questions from Inuit communities. Inuit archaeology in Labrador highlights the value post-contact, Indigenous-centered archaeology can have to contemporary Indigenous communities and the study of archaeology.

01:20 PM: Beaver Persistence and Resistance: Collaborative Research on Human-Animal Relationships
Author(s):
  • Jessica Metcalfe - Lakehead University
  • Elizabeth Carpenter - Lakehead University
  • Victoria Wanihadie - Tsattine Resurgence Society

Beaver people (Dane-zaa or Tsattine in the Beaver language) have lived in the Peace region of northwestern Alberta and northeastern British Columbia since time immemorial, but colonial impacts have resulted in frequent lack of recognition within their own territories. In this presentation, we describe the origins and development of a collaborative project that aims to assert Beaver presence in northwestern Alberta and investigate past and present relations between Beaver people and animals. Initially we planned to begin our project with land-based collaborative learning, but when this was delayed due to the global pandemic we turned to documenting colonial impacts on Beaver people and their ongoing persistence and resistance. We have produced an interactive timeline that is intended as a resource to help Beaver people and settler-Canadians better understand the events that contributed to the situation in which we now work and live. We argue that the ongoing injustices perpetrated against Beaver people demands a critical approach to archaeology that asks who benefits from our research and why, and includes Beaver people in respectful, meaningful, and beneficial ways. As others have pointed out, this may involve work that goes outside the boundaries of what is generally recognized as archaeology.

01:40 PM: Les missions Saint-François-de-Sales (Odanak) et Saint-François-Xavier (W8linak) : Une occupation traditionnelle w8banaki du territoire avant, pendant et après l’arrivée des Européens
Author(s):
  • Roxane Lévesque - Grand Conseil de la Nation Waban-Aki
  • Louis-Vincent Laperrière-Désorcy - Grand Conseil de la Nation Waban-Aki

Au début du XVIIIe siècle, les jésuites installent les missions Saint-François-de-Sales et Saint-François-Xavier sur Alsig8ntegw (rivière Saint-François) et W8linaktegw (rivière Bécancour), respectivement, deux rivières d’importance sur le territoire traditionnel de la Nation W8banaki appelé le Ndakina. Ces missions, implantées à l’emplacement de campements w8banakiak déjà existants, verront l’installation de plusieurs familles w8banaki qui continueront d’occuper, d’utiliser et de parcourir le territoire selon leurs traditions ancestrales. Malgré les divers ajustements que la présence européenne a entrainé au fil des siècles, les W8banakiak continuent de pratiquer fièrement leurs activités traditionnelles, telle la vannerie de frêne noir, la chasse, la pêche, le piégeage et la cueillette. L’utilisation et l’importance des rivières et de leur bassins versants comme voie navigable afin de parcourir le territoire ancestral, d’une extrémité à l’autre, est identifié dans les vestiges archéologiques, l’histoire écrite, la tradition orale et encore aujourd’hui par les activités entreprises sur le territoire par les membres de la Nation W8banaki. Nous présentons ici une synthèse des différentes recherches et projets réalisés au Bureau du Ndakina sur Alsig8ntegw et W8linaktegw pour illustrer l’utilisation et l’occupation traditionnelle du Ndakina à travers le temps.

02:00 PM: Transcending Time: Exploring households and their social organization at ts’unay
Author(s):
  • Angela  Burant - University of Saskatchewan

The existence of the shíshálh Nation within Lekw’emin (Jervis Inlet) during the precontact period has been well established, but minimal research has been conducted to show their continued presence throughout the historic period. As part of the shíshálh Archaeological Research Project (sARP), my research focused on the village of ts’unay, located in Lekw’emin, just north of modern-day Sechelt, British Columbia. This village site was inhabited up to the contact period until smallpox left the village nearly deserted, giving it the colonial name of Deserted Bay. The members that sustained the population occupied ts’unay throughout the contact period, even after the logging industry began to develop camps within the inlet system. Last summer, I conducted fieldwork at ts’unay to locate the historic houses and connect them to living members of the shíshálh Nation. Using spatial analysis, I will utilize archaeological remains found at the site to establish activity areas and any status differences. The community shared their lived histories relating to the site, including insights into its layout and the family affiliation associated with each household. This research will allow us to show the continuation of shíshálh people occupying land within Lekw’emin, and link living descendants with ancestral households.

02:20 PM: The Archaeology of 18th and 19th Century Indigenous-Land Relationships in the Grand River Valley, Ontario
Author(s):
  • Gary Warrick - Wilfrid Laurier University

In the late 18th and early 19th century, the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabeg (Mississauga) were inextricably linked to the lands and non-humans of the Grand River valley, southern Ontario. Archaeological evidence demonstrates that Indigenous-land relationships in the Grand River valley remained relatively the same for thousands of years and that they continue today despite the impacts of settler colonialism and despite historical and ongoing efforts by settlers to dispossess Indigenous peoples of their land. This paper will show how archaeological and historical evidence can dismantle the myths that are behind the erasure of Indigenous peoples from the colonial landscape and reinstate the Grand River as an Indigenous cultural heritage landscape.

02:40 PM: The Difficulties in Identifying 19th-Century Indigenous Sites in CRM
Author(s):
  • Matthew Beaudoin - TMHC

CRM archaeology in Ontario is increasingly being challenged to justify why a 19th-century archaeological site is or is not considered an Indigenous site. At its core, this question forces us to examine many of our base assumptions about the conceptual short-cuts that commonly used to make interpretations. This paper examines many of the common assumptions that are used by CRM archaeologists to identify 19th-century Indigenous sites and discusses the implications of these assumptions and the impacts on the contemporary Indigenous communities.

03:20 PM: An Exploration of Historical Archaeology and Urban Indigenous Histories in Canada
Author(s):
  • Emily Haines - University of Alberta, Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology
  • Solène Mallet Gauthier - University of Alberta, Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology

Urban spaces are heavily associated with settler colonialism and the functions of the state in what is now known as Canada. However, many Canadian cities have continued to host large Indigenous populations from their foundation to the modern day. The lives of Indigenous peoples throughout the historic period in these urban settings has rarely been explored archaeologically, with a far greater emphasis on prehistoric Indigenous presence being common. In this paper, we’ll briefly explore the historic lives of Indigenous peoples in Edmonton (Alberta) and Montréal (Québec) through their actual and potential archaeological footprints. We will examine the historical archaeological work that has been undertaken in these locales, the possibilities for an urban Indigenous historical archaeology that illuminates the varied experiences of Indigenous peoples during this period, and comment on the role archaeology can play in disrupting the narratives that continue to exclude Indigenous peoples from urban spaces by associating Indigeneity with hinterland and settler society with urbanity.

Time: 
10:40 AM to 04:20 PM
(MDT)
Room: 
British Columbia Room
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • John W. (Jack) Ives
Contact Email: 

Session Abstract

Now underway for a decade, the Apachean Origins project made use of a search image developed from genetic, linguistic and archaeological principles to better understand the departure of Dene ancestors from the Canadian Subarctic, destined to become the Ndee (Apache) and Dineh (Navajo) of the American Southwest and southern Plains. Much of our work has focused on the Promontory caves where, in 1930-31, Julian Steward recovered one of the most remarkable hunter-gatherer archeological assemblages in western North America. Apart from hundreds of moccasins, Steward found mittens, robe fragments, matting, cordage, copious and diverse gaming pieces, stone tools, and distinctive early Promontory Phase ceramics. Our more recent sondages of Caves 1 and 2 enhanced Steward’s collections while allowing for development of a high precision chronology, application of isotopic and ancient DNA techniques, obsidian sourcing, and detailed ceramic studies. As Steward and Sapir thought, the presence of a Subarctic moccasin style, chi-thos (or tabular bifaces), plat sinnet braiding, extensive evidence for successful bison and other large game hunting, and resonances with oral traditions continue to suggest vestiges of Subarctic and northern Plains heritage for Promontory Phase communities experiencing intense interactions with surrounding neighbours. Several Promontory findings also have direct implications for archaeological records farther afield, with rock art and isotopic links to distant locations, and indications of relationships with Dismal River, Franktown Cave (Colorado) and Mesa Verde and other Southwestern archaeological records. Our session will explore the Apachean transit from the north during a turbulent AD 13th century in western North America, in which there was significant environmental and ethnogenetic change, as communities with complex origins took shape.

Presentations

10:40 AM: Introductory Remarks: Beyond Promontory—Apachean Origins Today
Author(s):
  • Bruce Starlight - Tsuut'ina First Nation
  • John  Ives - Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta

A welcome and introduction to the session, featuring remarks from Bruce Starlight, Tsuut’ina First Nation about collaborative roles for Dene First Nations, archaeologists, and linguists in exploring connections between the Dene North and Dineh and Ndee worlds far to the south.

11:00 AM: Beyond Promontory: Search Image and Synthesis
Author(s):
  • John Ives - Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta

Much of our work on the Promontory archaeological record has been founded upon creating a realistic search image for ancestral Dene movement away from the Canadian Subarctic and toward the American Southwest and southern Plains. To avoid circular reasoning, this search image used transdisciplinary perspectives to see where linguistic, genetic, anthropological, oral tradition, and archaeological evidence converge in understanding one of the most extraordinary processes in western hemisphere human history. I will outline the search image and provide a framework for our initial Promontory findings—a high precision chronology of the Cave 1 and 2 occupations, the strong focus on large game (and particularly bison) hunting, the sophisticated hide processing capabilities, the remarkable moccasin assemblage, and results of space syntax as well as artifact accumulation analyses. Apart from significant push and pull factors, Promontory research has led us to more specific indications of migration, including evidence of counterstreaming or return visiting and scouting activities. These findings will set the stage for session papers covering diverse findings arising from existing collections, oral traditions, in the many other Plains, eastern slopes, and Southwestern locales where an early Dene presence can be anticipated in a turbulent AD 13th-century world.

11:20 AM: Lexical etymologies and Dene linguistic classifications
Author(s):
  • Conor Snoek - University of Lethbridge
  • Sally Rice - University of Alberta

Linguistic evidence has long played important role in determining the relationship of Apachean peoples to the Northern Dene (Sapir 1936). While the membership of Apachean languages in the Dene family is firmly established, the more precise determination of their linguistic affiliation to Northern Athapaskan linguistic groups has proved more difficult (Rice 2012). Historical relationships among words – etymologies – provide the most detailed source of information in determining the phylogenetic proximity of languages. This paper explores the further potential that lexical etymologies have in providing insights into Dene language and culture history drawing on data from the Pan-Dene Comparative Lexicon, a database containing over 20,000 words from the terminological domains of fish, flora, insects, mammals, landscape, gaming, anatomy, and kinship. On the basis of shared lexical material between groups of Dene languages, we argue for the division of the family into two large branches: Western and Eastern Dene. This branching hypothesis diverges in important points from the established consensus in Dene linguistics, grouping the Apachean languages together with the Dene languages of interior Canada. The lexical isogloss data presented will be supported by the results of computer-aided classifications of Dene languages.

11:40 AM: The Swiftness of Lightning: The Cultural and Social Dimensions of Incised Lines on Pre-contact Arrows from Alpine Ice Patches in Canada’s Northwest Territories
Author(s):
  • Naomi Smethurst - Government of Northwest Territories
  • Glen  MacKay - Government of Northwest Territories
  • Sarah Woodman - Government of Northwest Territories
  • Christian Thomas - Government of Yukon
  • Thomas Andrews - Spruceroot Heritage Consulting

In this paper, we examine the significance of incised sinuous lines, known as “lightning lines”, which have recently been identified on two late pre-contact birch arrows recovered from melting ice patches within alpine regions in Canada’s subarctic. Ethnographic-era observations demonstrate that the practice of inscribing similar lines on arrows was especially widespread across Plains and Southern Athapaskan groups. Given the known cultural affiliations between Northern and Southern Athapaskan groups, we evaluate the temporal and geographic distribution of the motif as well as its cultural meaning. Archaeological evidence suggests that the trait may be associated with a hunter-gatherer influence within the Southwest, western Central Plains and Great Basin regions in the pre-contact era, possibly affiliated with Promontory Phase dating to AD 1200-1400. We hypothesize that the two arrows found within the NWT, which are the most northerly known examples of the trait, suggests an axis of interaction between Subarctic Athapaskan and Plains groups, and perhaps extending even further south.

01:00 PM: Beyond borders: Insights into bison mobility from buffalo art and skeletal remains
Author(s):
  • Elizabeth Carpenter - Lakehead University
  • Jessica  Metcalfe - Lakehead University
  • Wes Olson - Wes Olson Bison Consulting Services

Bison (Bison bison) roamed North America for thousands of years. As a keystone species, their movements and behaviours profoundly influenced the cultural and ecological history of the continent. Bison have long been of critical importance to many societies across North America, including Dene groups. It has been suggested that bison hunting and mobility was a factor in guiding Dene migrations from subarctic Canada onto the plains, and eventually into the southwestern United States. Due to the near eradication of bison in the late 1800s following European settlement, bison migration patterns and the full extent of their pre-colonial range are not fully understood. There may be areas where bison historically lived and roamed that are not currently documented. In this presentation, we review multiple lines of evidence, including various forms of bison art and skeletal remains, which suggest that bison’s pre-colonial range may have extended significantly outside of its currently known boundaries. These findings provide insights about bison living in, and moving between, boreal forest, parkland and plains ecological zones, with implications for the people with whom their lives were intertwined.

01:20 PM: Ancient DNA-based sex determination of bison hide moccasins indicates Promontory cave occupants selected female hides for footwear
Author(s):
  • Sabrina Shirazi - University of Oklahoma, Norman
  • Nasreen Broomandkhoshbacht - University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Jonas Oppenheimer - University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Jessica Metcalfe - Lakehead University
  • Rob Found - Elk Island National Park
  • John Ives - University of Alberta
  • Beth Shapiro - University of California, Santa Cruz

The thirteenth-century human occupants of the Promontory caves, Utah, distinguished themselves from surrounding Fremont populations by being successful hunting specialists of bison in a peripheral region for that species. The hunters’ success is evident from the abundance of faunal remains excavated from the caves. The dry cave conditions preserved hundreds of worn moccasins, which are of particular interest because of the Canadian-Subarctic style in which they are made, and for their potential to reveal more about the hunting strategies of their wearers. Here, we isolate ancient DNA from 38 Promontory Cave 1 moccasin and hide fragments and use these data to determine the animal species and sex used to construct the moccasins. We found that moccasins were all made from bison and most (87%) were females. The strong female bias in our data, which we demonstrate is a significant departure from sex ratios in present-day bison herds, suggests that the occupants of the cave were purposefully targeting female bison for moccasin manufacture. Our study is the first to our knowledge to determine faunal sex ratios from an assemblage of archaeological leather and highlights another potential avenue for ancient DNA technologies to augment what can be learned from the archaeological record.

01:40 PM: The Local and the Distant Reflected in the Perishable Technologies from the Promontory Caves
Author(s):
  • Elizabeth Goldberg - University of Alberta
  • Katherine Latham - University of Alberta
  • Edward Jolie - Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona

Presenter: Elizabeth Goldberg

Renewed interest in the Promontory Caves assemblages and their connection to Apachean ancestors has resulted in new analyses of existing collections. Textiles and related perishable manufactures can be very revealing when it comes to past social boundaries and interactions, as they require a high degree of skill acquired through culturally constrained social learning processes. We draw on recent research seeking to identify technological stylistic patterns in perishable artifact construction to better contextualize the Promontory Caves perishable assemblage within the Great Basin archaeological record, and to identify possible connections to Dene language-speaking communities in the ethnographic present. The results of our analyses reveal how perishable artifacts from the Promontory Caves reflect technological stylistic connections with distant woven traditions to the north and west, as well as local continuities suggesting social interaction among diverse peoples in the eastern Great Basin during the Promontory Phase. The overall distinctiveness of the Promontory perishable industries further points to the Promontory Archaeological Culture as more than just a temporally late adaptive expression of the Fremont.

02:00 PM: Dog Traction at Promontory? The Case for Artifact 42BO1 11595
Author(s):
  • Katherine Latham - University of Alberta
  • Elizabeth Goldberg - University of Alberta
  • Edward Jolie - University of Arizona

Julian Steward’s (1937) report on archaeological materials from the Promontory Caves included the description of a woven rawhide artifact (42BO1 11595) for which he provided no interpretation. Recent re-analysis suggests this object may be part of a rawhide basket for a dog travois, a type of drag-sledge used for pulling loads. We explore this interpretation using comparative evidence from ethnographic sources and examples of historic travois curated in museums across North America. Our findings offer an additional line of evidence in support of the hypothesis that the Promontory Caves were inhabited by a proto-Apachean people. Though travois use was probably not common in the Great Basin, it was widely used throughout the Great Plains during the proto-historic period, and early ethnohistoric accounts indicate that a fully developed dog travois culture existed in this region prior to the introduction of horses in the early 18th century. The presence of a possible dog travois at the Promontory Caves is significant not only for its connection to Plains adapted cultures, but also as evidence that this technology existed as early as the 13th century. In fact, the Promontory specimen may represent the only archaeological dog travois in North America.

02:20 PM: The lessons of Promontory women: Social recruitment and ethnogenesis in the Late Fremont world
Author(s):
  • Gabriel Yanicki - Canadian Museum of History

The migration of ancestral Southern Dene speakers into the northeastern Great Basin in the mid-13th century AD did not occur within a social vacuum. Rather, the inhabitants of Utah’s Promontory Caves, distinctive for their Subarctic-inspired material culture and Plains-like familiarity with the coordinated hunting of bison, were participants in at least the periphery of the post-horticultural Late Fremont cultural sphere. At Promontory Cave 1, two aspects of women’s cultural practice and craft production—gaming materials and ceramics—point to a degree of demographic heterogeneity within the Promontory population. Concurrent changes at Late Fremont sites elsewhere around the Great Salt Lake suggest the Promontory record to be the product of alliance-making, intermarriage, and perhaps even coalescence, all ultimately linked to a transitory phase in the mutual development of associated ethnic identities. Focusing here on ceramics, the record from Promontory Point offers a number of practical lessons for the interpretation of material culture from the northern Plains, foremost among them being the typological uncertainty that will inherently accompany the craft production of highly exogamous peoples engaged in the communal hunting of bison. As with the Promontory example, this typological uncertainty is greatly informative of social processes.

02:40 PM: Apachean Ethnogenesis and Gender on the Western Plains Margin: Ongoing Investigations of the Promontory Culture occupation at Franktown Cave, Colorado.
Author(s):
  • Kevin Gilmore - HDR

Similarities in culturally diagnostic artifacts from the Promontory Culture (AD 1180–1280) component at Franktown Cave in Colorado and the Promontory Phase (AD 1250-1290) at the Promontory Caves in Utah provide evidence of a pre-A.D. 1300 migration of proto-Apacheans into the Rocky Mountain west using both Intermountain and Plains margin migration routes. Recent dates, descriptive, and isotopic analysis of artifacts from Franktown Cave has strengthened the association between the sites, as well as with early Dene sites in the Canadian Subarctic. Moving away from relatively simple comparisons of charismatic perishable artifacts toward examination of diachronic cultural change has been difficult due to the incompleteness of Franktown’s excavation records. However, the collections from Hugh Capps’ (1942) excavations at Franktown, which were accessioned based on stratigraphy, allows the separation of Early-Middle Ceramic, Promontory, and Western Dismal River assemblages. Returning to the Capps collections allows us to question whether the problematic “Franktown focus,” interpreted as a transitional Woodland-Upper Republican manifestation, may instead represent a blending of traditions that were the result of intermarriage between proto-Apachean migrants and local women potters. Intermarriage is supported by DNA evidence in modern Southwestern Apachean lineages and represented at Franktown by gendered technologies from different ethnicities.

03:20 PM: After Promontory: The Ancestral Apache Settlement and Life on the Central High Plains
Author(s):
  • Matthew Hill, Jr. - University of Iowa
  • Margaret Beck - University of Iowa

In the early 13th century, the appearance of Promontory groups in the Great Basin and the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains created opportunities for later ancestral Apache groups to move into the southern and central United States.  Three centuries later, the ancestors of modern Plains and Lipan Apache people appear in the ethnohistoric record from the Great Plains. That literature offers little insight into lifeways and land use patterns of these early Apachean groups. Here we synthesize our current understanding of the archaeological record for precontact Apache groups on the Central Great Plains. We summarize the regional variation in early Apache land use and subsistence practices and use Bayesian analysis chronometric dates to understand the nature and timing of Apache settlement across the region. We specifically address the potential for interactions with non-Apache Indigenous groups as ancestral Apache groups moved into the Central Plains.

03:40 PM: Stepping Out of the Cave: Leather footwear in a sandal world.
Author(s):
  • Erika Sutherland - Circle CRM Group Inc., University of Alberta

The Promontory Caves 1 and 2 have yielded the largest archaeological assemblage of leather moccasins currently known in North America. Of the nearly 300 examples, almost all of these moccasins are made in a distinctly subarctic style. For decades these moccasins have been seen as extremely unique and isolated in a wider regional context. However, these moccasins were made for walking, and walking is what they did: all over the American Plains. In recent years, several examples of these subarctic style moccasins are coming to light from Colorado, to Wyoming, and as far south as New Mexico. This paper will discuss the unique quality of this footwear, highlight the recently identified examples outside of the Promontory Caves, and will examine the wider implications of Apachean emergence in the Southern Dene world.  

04:00 PM: Northern-style Moccasins and the “Footprints of History” in the US Southwest: Rethinking the Early Diné (Navajo) “Standard Narrative” via Oral History and Archaeology
Author(s):
  • Wade Campbell - Boston University
  • Robert Weiner - University of Colorado - Boulder

Recent findings of long-distance Apachean movements from Promontory Cave have bearing on the early history of Diné (Navajo) people in the U.S. Southwest. Many archaeologists currently subscribe to a longstanding “late arrival narrative” that describes Navajo ancestors migrating from the northern Athabaskan world to the Southwest after AD 1300. On the other hand, there is no evidence in Diné oral tradition of a migration from the northern Athabaskan world, and proposed archaeological indicators of early Navajo sites (e.g., forked stick hogans) limit and essentialize a complex history. Diné clan histories describe events, places, and multicultural interactions during the 'Anaasází period (AD 700-1300) in great detail, revealing a far more interconnected and complex history of identity formation than currently presented by archaeologists. In this paper, we review elements of traditional history and recent archaeological findings—including Promontory-style moccasins from Southwestern collections—that complicate the late arrival narrative and suggest how a more culturally-informed archaeology of early Diné history might be put into practice. 

 

Time: 
01:00 PM to 03:00 PM
(MDT)
Room: 
Turner Valley Room
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Vincent Jankunis, Ember Archaeology
  • Timothy Allan, Ember Archaeology
  • Alexandra Burchill, Circle CRM Group Inc.

Session Abstract

Boreal forest covers approximately 60% of Canada’s land mass and is home to 70% of the Indigenous communities in Canada. Archaeologists who choose to work in this expansive and culturally rich environment must regularly contend with influences on the archaeological record and their approach to studying the past. First, there is the ecosystem itself which impacts the archaeological record with its acidic soils and natural regeneration cycle via forest fires. Then there are often the logistical constraints of the cultural resource management (CRM) framework on Boreal Forest archaeology, which restrict archaeological inventories to areas of industrial development. At times the cumulative effect of these environmental and methodological factors limit what archaeologists can conclude from their research. Often, archaeological sites identified within the Boreal Forest are described as inconsequential lithic scatters, or isolated campsites, a situation we have heard discouragingly described as “putting dots on a map”. Yet, decades of populating those maps with those little dots has facilitated growth in our understanding of the past, allowing archaeologists to say not just where sites were, but who was at the sites, what people were doing, when they were visited and why. In this session we explore the challenges of conducting research in the Boreal Forest of Canada, the strategies used to overcome those challenges, and how archaeologists have had to adapt to manage these unique and non-renewable resources.

Presentations

01:00 PM: More Than One Way to Screen a Cutblock: The Selection of High Potential Target Areas in the Boreal Forest of Alberta
Author(s):
  • Vincent Jankunis - Ember Archaeology

Since the late 1990s, a formal regulatory system for managing the impacts of forestry developments on historic resources has developed in Alberta. The current management system retains considerable variation when it comes to the selection of locations with high archaeological (or historic resource) potential often called “targets” or “target areas”. Variation in size, shape, and location largely result from the subjective nature of target selection that occurs when planned roads, cutblocks, and their expected impacts are reviewed by consulting archaeologists. The review of target areas by both clients and regulators can highlight another cause of variation in the creation of targets: the intended purpose of the target areas. It can be to precisely target parts of a landform where cultural materials are most likely to be found, to identify parts of the landscape that should be surveyed, or to inform avoidance strategies by identifying all landforms with high archaeological potential. This paper reviews Ember Archaeology’s approach to targeting areas of archaeological potential while working within the forestry sector. Target size, shape, and location are discussed, and the accuracy of selected target areas are explored by comparing these attributes to those of sites identified through field survey.

01:20 PM: Stagnant No More: Morainal Landforms of High Archaeological Potential
Author(s):
  • Peter Stewart - Western Heritage
  • Krista  Gilliland - Western Heritage

The availability of LiDAR-based imagery has been an invaluable tool for cultural resources management (CRM) professionals working in the boreal forest The ability to interpret terrain using bare earth imagery has helped illuminate landforms of high archaeological potential that would likely not have been targeted  using otherwise traditional approaches. For example, over the past seven years or so, numerous sites have been recorded on narrow, sinuous, elongated, or doughnut-shaped landforms characteristic of stagnant ice moraine. The results of archaeological assessments of these morainal landforms have continued to inform desktop screening strategies, helping to advance and refine understandings of where sites in the boreal forest are located. 

Here, we present an example from our 2021 field season that illustrates the variety and complexity of sites located in morainal terrain. In this example, seven archaeological sites were recorded on low-relief, moderately-defined landforms overlooking moderately to poorly drained terrain within a single harvest block, while similar landforms assessed in the surrounding areas did not return a high density of archaeological sites. Our work has wider resonance with cultural landscape studies, and highlights the continuing importance of CRM in advancing understandings of the record of human occupation in northern environments.

01:40 PM: Radiocarbon Dating in Alberta’s Northern Forests: challenges, and interpretations on human population
Author(s):
  • Timothy  Allan - Ember Archaeology
  • Sheila  Macdonald - Historic Resources Management Branch, Alberta Culture and Status of Women

Radiocarbon dating has been a staple of archeological interpretation for decades. Assemblages of radiocarbon dates can make significant interpretations on pre-contact indigenous populations. However, the boreal forest ecosystems of northern Alberta have presented many challenges to using dates for these purposes. First, the boreal regions of Alberta have been subject to very little academic study, relative to other regions. Second, acidic soils in the boreal region make dating of bone collagen problematic, as the collagen degrades quickly in these soils. Radiocarbon dating is also typically conducted in either research or mitigative excavation settings for archaeological consulting. However, dating can also be conducted under relatively low-cost settings such as forestry surveys or other historic resource impact assessments (HRIA). This study aims to outline a synthesis of Alberta’s boreal radiocarbon record, and an interpretation of the radiocarbon record on indigenous populations throughout the precontact period. Our results of reviewing roughly 170 radiocarbon dates indicate that populations were very sporadic from 10,000 cal BP until approximately 5,000 cal BP, then began to rise dramatically around 3,000 cal BP, another decline began at approximately 1,200 cal BP, with populations rising again after 800 cal BP.

02:00 PM: Dots to Grids in Alberta: When Archaeological Sites in Forestry Programs are Excavated due to Overlapping Non-Forestry Developments
Author(s):
  • Todd Kristensen - Archaeological Survey of Alberta
  • Darryl  Bereziuk - Archaeological Survey of Alberta

Archaeological sites discovered during impact assessments of forestry footprints in Alberta are
preferentially avoided as opposed to excavated. Forestry operators prefer the cost of lost timber
within avoided site boundaries over the cost of excavation programs that would be required prior
to harvesting or building roads on top of sites. One outcome is that forestry-related archaeology
sites in Alberta yield minimal data compared to other industries that more commonly proceed to
excavation. This paper summarizes data from 15 sites discovered under forestry programs that
were later excavated due to overlapping footprints with other industries or research projects. Our
goal is to illustrate the value of forestry compliance through a data-driven demonstration of what
forestry programs typically protect.

02:20 PM: A Northwestern Alberta Obsidian Toolstone Archaeological Assemblage from GfQo-15.
Author(s):
  • Michael Turney - Circle CRM Group

During the past field season, Circle CRM Group encountered a previously unreported archaeological site south of Grande Prairie, Northern Alberta, containing obsidian lithic raw material.  After the completion of 20 m2 of mitigative excavation, a lithic artifact assemblage composed of 747 pieces of debitage was recovered, the overwhelming majority of which was composed of obsidian toolstone. As one of the largest recoveries of obsidian lithic raw material (by several magnitudes) in Northern Alberta, the site is deemed of some interpretive significance. To provide context for this site, the researchers 1) contracted a pXRF source analysis, and 2) completed a preliminary deep dive through the grey literature of other obsidian finds spots in Northern Alberta.  The presentation aims to provide the results of pXRF sourcing, and a preliminary discussion of currently available sourcing information for obsidian in Northern Alberta. Furthermore, the presentation also aims to provide a discussion of comparative obsidian finds spots in Northern Alberta by a number of metrics, including: amount (counts and weight), contexts for find spots, the relation between obsidian debitage and tool counts, and the relationship between the obsidian and other toolstone components of the comparative site database.

02:40 PM: Findings and Interpretations at GbQn-13, an Early Prehistoric Period Site in Alberta’s west-central foothills
Author(s):
  • Alexandra Burchill - Circel CRM Group Inc.

In 2021, GbQn-13 was identified during a forestry assessment in Alberta’s west-central foothills. The site contains both a Scottsbluff projectile point base and obsidian flakes and can be placed within the Cody Tradition at the end of the Early Prehistoric Period based on the morphological traits of the point base. Early Prehistoric Period sites are uncommon in Alberta with in-situ buried sites exceptionally rare. The eastern foothills, stretching from northeastern British Columbia to southwestern Alberta, tend to contain more in-situ Early Prehistoric Period sites than elsewhere. This paper presents the findings and interpretations from GbQn-13 and looks at what may have attracted people to the eastern foothills during a time of drastic environmental changes in the region.

Time: 
01:00 PM to 03:00 PM
(MDT)
Room: 
Online
Session Hosting Format: 
online session
Organizer(s): 
  • Aleksa Alaica, University of Alberta, CLAAS (alaica@ualberta.ca)
  • Diana Moreiras, University of British Columbia, CLAAS (dianakarina.moreiras@ubc.ca)
  • Alec McLellan, Trent University, CLAAS (alec.mclellan@utoronto.ca)
Contact Email: 

Session Abstract

This session invites participants to present their emerging research on the archaeology of Latin America. We welcome researchers from all levels of experience and encourage collaborative papers to discuss social dynamics throughout the region. This online session provides an alternative venue for Latin American researchers to engage with their colleagues in which the ongoing global pandemic prevents many members of the Latin American community from traveling. By bringing together researchers from across the Americas, we hope that this session will serve to democratize the way that research is disseminated, but more importantly it provides an inclusive event permitting the participation of researchers regardless of funding, nation of residence, and citizenship.

In this session, participants will mobilize datasets that include regional and site-based analyses. We encourage the application of innovative theoretical frameworks that consider social interactions based on familial affiliation, political alliance, and economic networks. Furthermore, we welcome papers that examine how social interactions were influenced by economic and political circumstances, but also ceremonial and ritual practices. The breadth and diversity of past cultural horizons in Latin American will facilitate a fruitful discussion following the talks.

The Canadian Latin American Archaeology Society is committed to breaking down borders that separate researchers working across the region. Researchers that contribute to this session are encouraged to write their papers in mind of publishing their research in a special issue in a peer-reviewed journal. We anticipate that both Canadian-based and non-Canadian-based researchers will promote the importance of Latin American archaeology to the curricula of postsecondary institutions in Canada and abroad.

Presentations

01:00 PM: Tenam Puente and its Highland Neighbours in the Early Postclassic Period
Author(s):
  • Elizabeth Paris - University of Calgary
  • Roberto Lopez Bravo - Universidad de Ciencias y Artes de Chiapas
  • Gabriel Lalo Jacinto - INAH-Chiapas

This paper examines the reorganization of social, economic, and political networks in the Chiapas highlands during the Early Postclassic period, In the ninth century, many Maya polities in the Southern Lowlands experienced the collapse of their systems of dynastic rulership, resulting in few carved monuments with Long Count dates and the abandonment of many political centers. Notably, many sites in the Chiapas highlands avoided these negative outcomes, including the larger highland cities of Tenam Puente, Toniná, Lagartero and Chinkultic, as well as smaller centers in the western highlands such as Moxviquil. We examine archaeological evidence for the strategies by which these kingdoms embarked on new political and economic strategies during the Early Postclassic period, including the economic reorganization of long-distance exchange connections, engagement with long-distance professional merchants, and the promotion of new types of luxury goods. These innovations provide insight into the sources of political and economic resiliency utilized by these polities to pivot to new opportunities during a time of widespread political restructuring.

01:20 PM: Uncovering the Lives of Mexica (Aztec) Human Sacrifices using Multiple Stable Isotopes
Author(s):
  • Diana Moreiras Reynaga - The University of British Columbia

Human remains are commonly found in archaeological contexts and they are embedded with rich information about the archaeological past. In this paper, I discuss the biogeochemical methods of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen stable isotope analyses used to analyze human remains to find about what people ate and where they lived throughout their life in the ancient past. I will then present two case-studies from my own research where the lives of a group of individuals chosen as sacrifices by the Mexica (Aztec) were reconstructed. These skeletal collections were recovered from two Mexica ritual temples at Tenochtitlan and Tlatelolco dating to the Late Postclassic period.

01:40 PM: Spanish Identity through the material remains of Iglesia Mayor
Author(s):
  • Lorena Medina Martinez - University of Alaska Anchorage - INAH

The Spanish arrived in Mexico Tenochtitlan in 1519 and started to change the political, cultural and religious aspects of the area by reconfiguring the spatial sphere which would then be known as the capital of New Spain. In this presentation I will be talking about “Iglesia Mayor”, also known as The First Cathedral, one of the first churches built in Central Mexico using the parameters of Spanish architectural tradition. This investigation is the basis of my Master’s thesis at the University of Alaska Anchorage, in which I concluded that “Iglesia Mayor” was built to serve, unlike most of the churches in New Spain by the sixteenth century, the Spanish population, as evidenced in its architecture, decoration, and iconography.

02:00 PM: A Zooarchaeological Perspective on Maya Socio-political Status and Occupation at Contact-period Lamanai, Belize
Author(s):
  • Arianne Boileau - Simon Fraser University

The ancient Maya were a complex society formed of different hierarchical tiers based on social, political, and occupational positioning. Given the difficulty of identifying these tiers in the archaeological record, many studies have been limited to comparisons between elite and non-elite groups. At Lamanai, Belize, I use zooarchaeology to parse out hierarchical tiers and occupations within the community. I examine differences in animal taxa, skeletal elements, artifacts, and non-local fauna in elite and non-elite households. These methods allow me to assess whether different households had access to or controlled different sets of animal resources and engaged in different practices involving animal resources. The faunal data indicate that the community was possibly composed of five hierarchical tiers. Two elite groups enjoyed access to a more diverse group of taxa and animal parts and possibly controlled marine shell crafting. The three non-elite groups likely acted as butchers, fishmongers, and craft specialists, provisioning the elite with the products they acquired and produced. Overall, this study suggests that a careful examination of differences in the quantity and distribution of “valued” resources across a site, combined with other archaeological correlates, can provide insight into a community’s social and political composition.

02:20 PM: Non-Human and Human Encounters: Insights on Social Dynamics from North Coast Peru
Author(s):
  • Aleksa Alaica - University of Alberta

The arid North Coast of Peru was an important meeting place for coastal and highland communities. Human and non-human animal lives were inextricably intertwined through interregional exchange, migration, and pilgrimages.  During the Late Moche period (600-900 CE), humans, llamas, dogs, and guinea pig lives were braided together through networks of everyday activities and seasonal practices. By employing zooarchaeological and isotopic analyses, this paper explores the social dynamics of human societies through the life histories of their livestock, companion animals, and commensal species. The dietary and mobility diversity of llamas and alpacas attest to long-distance origin for many visiting communities to the North Coast. Human and dog remains have overlapping dietary and mobility patterns, which situates their live histories in coastal environments. While guinea pig remains reveals agricultural intensification during the Late Moche and into the Transitional period (900-1050 CE). The extensive incorporation of camelid meat into daily meals and large-scale feasts highlights the importance of camelid husbandry for the political economy of the Middle Horizon (600-1000 CE), a phase where both Moche and Wari interaction spheres reached their pinnacle. I argue that offering camelids to important seasonal events fostered social consolidation between distant communities transforming coastal and highland societies.

02:40 PM: Analyzing social changes throughout the agrarian landscape. Terraces excavation and multiple analysis of microfossils from soils in the Valley of Sondondo, Peru
Author(s):
  • Patricia Aparicio Martínez - Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (Peru). Universidad de Oviedo (Spain)
  • Alejandra Korstanje - Instituto de Arqueología y Museo. Laboratorio de Arqueobotánica. Universidad Nacional de Tucumán. Instituto Superior de Estudios Sociales - CONICET/UNT (Argentine)

In Peru, studies of pre-Hispanic terraces have adopted a number of different approaches. In almost all cases, typological and structural views have prevailed to conclusions strongly based on relative chronologies and broad generalizations, especially for the more complex stages of social development, mainly the horizons of the Wari and Inca Empires. Otherwise, some projects have focused on botanical aspects, others on agrarian technologies, while others have concentrated on social and economic relationships.

Our team focuses on the study of the agrarian landscapes from archeological excavations in terraces. The data obtained from them have identified some periods of creation and changes in the agrarian landscape from Early Intermediate Period until Inca times in the valley of Sondondo (Peru). Moreover, we have begun to conduct phytolith analysis in relation to soil and land use to more fully interpret terrace construction, use, and their social implications.

In this contribution, we will present the results of these excavations and the first multiple microfossil analysis from soils of agricultural terraces analyzed in the central Andes. Our innovative methods not only shed light on the types of crops cultivated, but also demonstrate how agrarian changes can serve as measures of sociopolitical transformations usually analyzed from settlements.

Time: 
01:00 PM to 03:20 PM
(MDT)
Room: 
Online
Session Hosting Format: 
online session
Organizer(s): 
  • Alysha Edwards, University of Montana
  • Andrea Shiverdecker, University of Montana

Session Abstract

With contributions from current graduate students at the University of Montana, this session will be separated between two major themes: cross-cultural and inter-regional interactions reflected in the archaeological record and the continuous evolution of archaeological and anthropological practices. In addressing these themes, presentations vary culturally, geographically, and theoretically. From examining subsistence practices and warfare in the arctic to social organization and cooperation in the southern interior of British Columbia, the first portion of the session elaborates on community relations as is reflected archaeologically and the connection to present populations. The second portion of this session addresses the challenges and implications of diversifying present day research methods and collaborative preservation. In merging presenters from varying backgrounds and research interests, this session is an example of ‘where communities meet’ and reflects the collaborative efforts towards addressing topics and issues in anthropology regardless of cultural and geographic context.

 

 

Presentations

01:00 PM: A Synergy of Abandonment: Archaeological Understandings of Abandoned Norse Arctic Settlements and North American Mining Ghost Towns
Author(s):
  • Andrea Shiverdecker - University of Montana

Landscapes of abandonment create an awe of mystique for humans from all walks of life. The most asked question is, ‘What caused this place to be abandoned?’. Taking an evolutionary theoretical concept of how colonialist commodification through imperialist capitalism created a World System Theory, the Table of Historical Abandonment model is born. This four-prong approach simplifies the causations of not only settlement sustainability, but of the culminating internal and external factors that ultimately lead to abandonment in a historical archaeological context. This model can provide insight into avenues of research into unknown realms of historical archaeology by making missing avenues of thought known as a needed echelon to be explored. A synergy is created between what is known of the abandoned mining Garnet Ghost Town outside of Missoula, Montana and what were the causations for the Norse abandonment of Greenland, showing an introductory exploration into the development and utilization of the Table of Historical Abandonment Model.

01:20 PM: The of Inclusion of Indigenous Perspectives in Museum Creation in North America
Author(s):
  • Jocelyn Palombo - University of Montana

Since the initial colonization of the Americas, there has been a constant struggle between the Indigenous populations and those outside who want to preserve the Native culture. As the disciplines of Anthropology and Archeology evolved so have museum studies and preservation ethics. While these academic areas grow Native populations and their descendants have started to become more vocal about their opinions on the curation and presentation of their cultures within museums. They work to remind the museums that they, Native Americans, are in fact still alive and that their culture is not dead. In recent years many strategies have been introduced and tested on small and large scales. Evaluating some of these approaches and implementing elements from them into the museum creation process will allow researchers to find an effective way to foster collaboration. which in turn will create museums that display Indigenous material in a way that the decedents, as well as the museum professionals, can be proud of.

01:40 PM: Issues in Culture Heritage Studies and Anthropology: Reflecting on the Challenges Posed by the ‘Inconvenient Indian’
Author(s):
  • Alysha Edwards - University of Montana

In present day cultural heritage studies (anthropology), we can recognize the progress made towards meaningful and ethical research through inclusive relationships in academia with communities that traditionally, would be the subject of research in anthropology and archaeology. Recognizing this, while my experience in academia is limited, here I offer observations and critiques to what are considered ‘issues in cultural heritage studies’. Here it can be argued, the issue is within anthropology- as a discipline struggling to move beyond traditional styles of academic research, where the Aboriginal desire for representation and consultation has challenged and continues to challenge what is or was considered the study of culture. Here, I discuss political and theoretical issues relevant to heritage ownership, representation, Indigenous knowledges, the ‘crisis of accumulation’, and the growing development of Indigenous studies and the implications for anthropology.

02:00 PM: Modern Impacts on Traditional Subsistence Hunting in the Canadian Arctic
Author(s):
  • Riza McClurkin - University of Montana

The tradition of arctic hunting is long and well documented, as both a means of food and an intrinsic link to culture. However, within the last centuries, that way of life has been threatened, and on many levels. While killing prey animals is the source of Arctic peoples’ entire livelihood, many people in western cultures see hunting as either a kind of sport or as murder. Most harmful is the idea that taking any animal life is at best unnecessary, and that the rights of animals trump the rights of arctic communities and their traditions.

02:20 PM: Engaging in Warfare on Kodiak Island
Author(s):
  • Sean Bowerbank - University of Montana


The Alutiiq people of the Alaskan Peninsula and its surrounding island have brought many questions forward within the field of arctic archeology. Warfare is an act among the people that brings many questions of social complexity and collapse.  The ramifications of warfare among the Aluttiq people around the 11th century shaped the complete replacement with the incoming Koniag. How did this conflict shape the collapse that followed with the arrival of the Koniag? With a thorough purview of the academic work done within the region and using theories proposed within other sectors of collapse within the Arctic a conclusion can be made of the catalyst for their collapse and eventual replacement. The collapse of main subsistence resources due to climate variations during the Medieval Warm Period led to the rise of warfare among the different Alutiiq tribes. This warfare led to a collapse of population that allowed for the Koniag people to have an easier transition into the area. This work can be used under a modern lens to look at how ancient peoples reacted to the variations of climate in relation to the current climate change being seen in the area.

02:40 PM: Uncovering Cooperation in Housepit 54, Bridge River, British Columbia
Author(s):
  • Megan Denis - University of Montana

There is a significant amount of literature regarding the theory of cooperation, as well as ethnographies and data from modern populations that clearly show cooperation, yet it is difficult to tease that information out of the archaeological record. My dissertation will focus on Bridge River’s Housepit 54 in British Columbia, Canada. Times of fluctuating resource availability should result in the inhabitants of the house utilizing different approaches to social organization. By examining different measures of wealth and privatization, it may be possible to determine the level and mechanisms of cooperation the ancestors of the modern St’át’imc Nation engaged in at different times in the village’s history. If successful, this method could be used in other areas of the world to similarly determine when cooperation was a beneficial strategy and which mechanism was the most useful.

Friday April 29, 2022

Time: 
08:20 AM to 10:40 AM
(MDT)
Room: 
Online
Session Hosting Format: 
online session
Organizer(s): 
  • Pierre M. Desrosiers, Canadian Museum of History
  • Gabriel Yanicki, Canadian Museum of History

Session Abstract

The Mercury Series and Archaeology in Canada – La collection Mercure et l’archéologie au Canada

Organizer(s):

Pierre M. Desrosiers

Gabriel Yanicki

 

ENG

Created in 1972, the Mercury Series celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2022. The imprint began as a collection of scholarly monographs within the purview of the disciplines practiced at the National Museum of Man, now the Canadian Museum of History: archaeology, ethnology, cultural studies, and history. Originally produced for quick release, in simple formats and with minimal editing, the series has since evolved into a range of thoughtfully designed, peer-reviewed publications. Today, the Mercury Series numbers close to 500 volumes, many of which feature pioneering research in their respective fields. A large proportion of those titles (181) concern archaeology, and they have had a significant impact on the discipline. Speakers in this session are invited to speak about the Mercury Series volumes that they have found particularly influential in their own research. This session thus both celebrates the quinquagenary of the series and highlights the continuing paths of inquiry in Canadian archaeology it has helped lay the foundations for.

 

FR

Fondée en 1972, la collection Mercure célèbre son 50e anniversaire en 2022. La collection a débuté par l’impression de livres savants abordant les thèmes de recherche du Musée national de l’Homme, maintenant le Musée canadien de l’histoire : archéologie, ethnologie, études culturelles et histoire. À sa création, elle se caractérisait par un style minimaliste et un travail éditorial sommaire en vue d’une diffusion rapide, mais elle a depuis évolué en une vaste production haut de gamme d’ouvrages évalués par un comité de lecture. La collection Mercure compte aujourd’hui près de 500 volumes, dont des ouvrages novateurs sur l’histoire, l’archéologie, la culture et l’ethnologie canadiennes. Un nombre important de ces livres (181) concernent l’archéologie et ils ont eu un impact significatif sur la recherche. Les participants à cette session sont invités à parler de volumes de la collection Mercure qui ont influencé leur propre recherche. Cette session, célèbre le quinquagénaire de la collection et souligne la continuité des thèmes de recherche qui caractérisent les fondations de l’archéologie canadienne.

Presentations

08:20 AM: Mercury Series: 50 years and beyond – La collection Mercure: 50 ans et au-delà
Author(s):
  • Pierre M. Desrosiers - Musée canadien de l'histoire

To understand the Mercury Series’ history, we must explore its origin and how it has evolved to become a reference that encompasses not only the museum’s research but also studies conducted by scholars attached to a variety of institutions. How a fast-released book series with very little edition, aiming at a specialized audience, printed in black and white with glued binding, and distributed for free, build up a name for itself? How did it change over time, what directions were taken and where is it going? These are some of the questions we will explore.

 

Pour comprendre l’histoire de la collection Mercure, il faut cerner son origine tout en décrivant comment elle s’est transformée de manière à devenir une référence dans les domaines de recherche du musée en incluant ses chercheurs et aussi ceux d’autres institutions. Comment une collection qui visait à la publication rapide avec un travail éditorial sommaire, pour un public spécialisé, imprimé en noir et blanc avec des reliures collées et distribuée gratuitement, a-t-elle pu obtenir un certain prestige? Comment a-t-elle changé à travers le temps, quelle direction a-t-elle prise et où s’en va-t-elle? Ce sont quelques-unes des questions que nous voulons explorer.

08:40 AM: Four Years with the Mercury Series at the Canadian Museum of History
Author(s):
  • John Willis - Retired Canadian Museum of History

From  2015 to 2019 I served as general editor of the in-house publishing programme of the Canadian Museum of History. The books are co-published with the University of Ottawa Press.  The job involved bringing to fruition projects already undertaken and continued solliciting of new manuscripts. We looked for work in French and English. Traditionally the Mercuries have consisted of works in History, Archaeology, ethnology and cultural studies.  A merger of the latter two, into a single rubric of Anthropology was envisaged.  A deliberate attempt was made to enlarge the scope of History publications, in terms of culture, women’s history, space and immigration.  The renown of the series in the field of archaeology is such that a constant stream of site monographies kept on coming in.  A reader in Historical archeology (Tu sais mon vieux Jean-Pierre) was launched at the CHA Annual meeting in 2017.  it features contributions between the same two covers from archaeologists and historians dans les deux langues officielles.  Not everything turned out as planned. But a number of good projects did see the light of day. From the perspective of this retired editor I can safely say;  je ne regrette rien.

09:00 AM: Introducing The Far Northeast: 3000 BP to Contact, and What 50 Years of the Mercury Series has Taught Us About the Last 3000 Years
Author(s):
  • Kenneth Holyoke - University of Toronto
  • Gabriel Hrynick - University of New Brunswick

In celebrating a quinquagenary for the Mercury Series, and a golden jubilee for archaeological research publications in Canada, the Canadian Museum of History and University of Ottawa Press have released two special editions of the Archaeology Papers in 2022, including a volume we co-edited, The Far Northeast: 3000 BP to Contact. In this paper, we argue that the authors of the seventeen chapters embody the spirit of the orange cardboard covers by presenting data-rich research that is critical reading for the archaeology of Atlantic Canada, Quebec, and adjacent regions, as well as a broader Northeastern and North American archaeology. We acknowledge that questions about spatio-temporal frameworks and connections to broader Northeast cultural geographies in our recent volume were made possible by earlier Mercury contributions, and that we can only address them by drawing on the data-rich reports the Mercury Series has published. But, as the youngest members of the Mercury family, we take the opportunity to be a little Mercurial ourselves and offer some suggestions about culture history in the Far Northeast.  

09:20 AM: At the Juncture of Merbs and Mercury
Author(s):
  • Janet Young - Canadian Museum of History

In 1983, the National Museum of Man Mercury Series published the Archaeological Survey of Canada Paper No.119. The volume titled “Patterns of Activity-Induced Pathology in a Canadian Inuit Population” was an updated version of Charles F. Merbs’ 1969 doctoral dissertation. The seminal work focused on the vanished Inuit of Southampton Island, the Sadlermiut. The wealth of information that it contains and the unique way of interpretating the data has made Merb’s contribution one of the most cited in the Mercury series. To this day, this volume is still a foundational document for researchers who study the bioarchaeology of the Inuit. Is it the mystery of the Sadlermiut people, the descriptive style of writing, or the innovation of reconstructing behaviour from skeletal remains that has fueled its endurance? We shall see.

09:40 AM: Past and Ongoing Research in Northern Yukon Territory
Author(s):
  • Lauriane Bourgeon - University of Kansas

Archaeological investigation in northern Yukon Territory began in the 1960s with a group of researchers from Quebec and Ontario. Among leading figures, archaeologists Jacques Cinq-Mars and Richard Morlan devoted many years of their career investigating the Old Crow Basin and the Bluefish Caves, eventually suggesting an early human arrival in North America during the Last Glacial Maximum. At a time when the Clovis-First hypothesis dominated the mainstream thinking, archaeological evidence from northern Yukon were highly contested by the scientific community. About 30 years later, I undertook a full zooarchaeological and taphonomic analysis of the faunal material from Bluefish Caves and showed that humans may have occupied the site as early as 23,500 years before present. Here I present the results of my research (also published in the Mercury Series, Archaeology Paper 179) and re-discuss the place of Bluefish Caves in the actual debate regarding the first people of the Americas.

10:00 AM: Measuring the impact of the Mercury Series
Author(s):
  • Gabriel Yanicki - Canadian Museum of History

To aid in the selection of volumes being considered for republication in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Mercury Series, a number of indicators have been employed to measure their overall impact. Citation counts of individual volumes provide an easily accessed overview, but with a few well-known caveats. Newer data, changing perspectives, and difficulties with the cross-comparability of citations across disciplines all present their own challenges. Scientometrics can be of limited use, meanwhile, in assessing the value of cultural heritage titles to descendant communities, or to the public at large. Alternate measures related to sales and availability on the secondary market offer windows of insight into the full impact of the Mercury Series, while also highlighting an ongoing need to promote its accessibility. This presentation is intended to solicit discussion about titles whose significance has endured, and perhaps to identify a few unheralded gems still awaiting their moment of wider discovery.

Time: 
08:20 AM to 04:20 PM
(MDT)
Room: 
Yukon Room
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Chris Thomas (christian.thomas@yukon.ca)
  • Norm Easton (Northeaston@gmail.com)

Session Abstract

This session will be a combined meeting focussing on both mountain archaeology and subarctic themed papers. Papers can be archaeological, historical, paleoenvironmental or anthroplogical in nature. The thematic area will include the Canadian Rockies (Alpine and Subalpine settings) and the subarctic north from Quebec to Alaska.

Presentations

08:20 AM: Blowing snow and summer landscapes: interlinked understandings of weather, ecology and cultural traditions in the advancement of Ice patch research.
Author(s):
  • Christian Thomas - Yukon Government
  • Jennifer Herkes - Two Crow Consulting
  • Kelsey Pennanen - University of Calgary

Glacial archaeology has become a global phenomenon unified by archaeological and ecological studies focused on understanding, and reacting to, climate change. Ice is lost and cultural values are endangered. In this narrative, a binary understanding of the phenomena is established that communicates only that past climate was colder and today’s climate is warmer. Ice has become centred as a medium more than a feature, and as a result, unique and nuanced ecological, meteorological, and cultural narratives have become lost within the story. In the alpine landscapes of the upper Yukon River watershed, snow and ice patches are created by weather, and have become integrated into the critical habitat of sheep and caribou. Despite the loss of ice, the meteorological process that led to ice forming snow accumulations play out annually and can be observed and understood within the context of a hunting landscape. In this talk we will discuss a variety of techniques that are used to understand the distribution of summer snow and its patterned accumulation across the ice patch landscape.

08:40 AM: Alpine Adventures-Ice Patch Research in Northern BC
Author(s):
  • Jennifer Herkes - Two Crow Consulting Inc
  • Sean McDougall - Carcross/Tagish First Nation
  • Ben Louter - Taku River Tlingit First Nation

In the summer of 2021 the Carcross Tagish First Nation, the Taku River Tlingit First Nation and the Teslin Tlingit Council worked together to develop a heritage investigation project that would look into the relationships that ancient people have with the alpine. This relationship is interconnected with the seasonal use of the alpine by specific animals. The alpine activities of ancient people leave heritage features such as hunting blinds, artifacts associated with ice patches, travel routes, and spiritual sites. 

Despite high snow levels, the season’s research activities identified three new archaeological sites by the CTFN crew and another seven sites by the TRTFN crew.  These sites support the recorded traditional knowledge and stories that describe the relationship with the alpine.

09:00 AM: Ice Patch Archaeology and Palaeoenvironmental Research in Jasper National Park (JNP), Alberta
Author(s):
  • Diana Tirlea - Royal Alberta Museum
  • Aaron Osicki - Parks Canada
  • Todd Kristensen - Archaeological Survey of Alberta
  • Robin Woywitka - MacEwan University
  • Britta Jensen - University of Alberta
  • Alison Criscitiello - University of Alberta
  • Krista Williams - Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute
  • Richard Caners - Royal Alberta Museum
  • Lisa Lumley - Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute
  • Ashley Thorsen - Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute
  • Paige Goshko - MacEwan University
  • Alwynne Beaudoin - Royal Alberta Museum

In 2009 wooden artifacts were recovered near a melting ice patch in Jasper National Park (JNP). This sparked increased surveying in JNP and area, resulting in recovered artifacts and faunal remains (leather strap (~300 cal yr BP), bison bone (4800-4442 cal yr BP), caribou antler (1286-1182 cal yr BP)). Ice patch samples can provide insight into environmental changes and the relationship between the environment and human activity, including historical ice patch and forest development, and climate trends. In 2018 and 2019, organic layers embedded in ice patches associated with archaeological finds were sampled for macrofossils (e.g., seeds, mites), pollen and volcanic ash. Conifer needles within ice and surficial wood nearby, returned the oldest dates between 6778-6502 cal yr BP. Identified remains, some from microhabitat specialists (e.g., oribatid mites, mosses), are characteristic of modern-day subalpine-alpine communities established at least 6500+ cal yr BP ago in the area. Recovered detrital tephra in the ice represents three events (Mazama Ash (~7.6 ka), Mount St. Helens Yn (~3.6 ka), Bridge River (~2.5 ka)), and can be used to determine ‘time of first’ appearance for these units. These ice patches are targeted for coring this winter for further analyses (e.g., isotopes, contaminants).

09:20 AM: Perishable Artifacts from Ice Patches associated with Obsidian Quarries near Mount Edziza, Tahltan Territory
Author(s):
  • Duncan McLaren - Cordillera Archaeology

In this paper I detail the results of archaeological survey of ice patches in the vicinity of the vast obsidian quarries and artifact scatters found near Goat Mountain and Kitsu Plateau. During the course of survey, over 50 perishable artifacts were found including stitched birch bark containers, walking staffs, carved and beveled sticks, an atlatl dart foreshaft and a stitched hide object – likely a leather and fur boot.  Radiocarbon ages on 13 collected perishable artifacts reveal that they span the last 7,000 years.  All of these finds were made against a massive and stunning backdrop of scattered obsidian artifacts: bifaces, cores, flakes and raw material nodules.  The archaeological landscape of the area is extremely significant.  The results reveal that ice patches in the area are shrinking as a result of warming climatic conditions and it is possible that many of these sites will be completely destroyed if these trends continue. 

09:40 AM: Alpine discoveries: Stone circle raises more questions than answers
Author(s):
  • Jennifer Herkes - Two Crow Consulting Inc
  • Sean  McDougall - Carcross/Tagish First Nation

Alpine investigations conducted in the 2021 season by the Carcross/Tagish First Nation revealed a unique site; a 5m wide stone circle, located in the high alpine, and associated with ice patches. The discovery is unique to BC, Yukon, and Alaska; there are not other similar sites recorded. 

The discovery has led to more questions than answers. The opportunities for research here allow for intersections of traditional knowledge and understandings as well as western scientific research in order to fully understand the site, as no one approach will actually be able to answer all the questions.

Some of these intersections become more complicated as the potential ceremonial aspects of the site are considered, and the implications that has on the opportunities for appropriate research to answer those questions. 

10:00 AM: Imaging Ice Patch Hunting Landscapes in 3D using UAV Platforms
Author(s):
  • Kelsey Pennanen - University of Calgary

The application of drones and immersive panoramic imagery allows for the exploration of unique landscape changes. The complex interactions associated with high alpine ice patch hunting and climate change have had a lasting impact on world heritage and using virtual explorative technology the continuing influence can be documented. Archaeological exploration of evidence preserved in ice has allowed for a more thorough understanding of human interactions over thousands of years. By digitally documenting the unique phenomenon of ice melt and exploring human influences at this crucial moment, photogrammetric reconstructions detail minute landscape undulations and can be used as a baseline to monitor ongoing changes. The use of panoramic imagery and virtual reality allow for the integration of datasets to showcase these significant sites for public tourism and as educational tools for protection. This talk is concluded with a suggestion on how virtual reality might aid in re-imagining heritage experiences throughout the Canadian sub-Arctic and will center on a case study in the southern lakes’ region of the Yukon territory.

10:40 AM: Community Archaeology in the Talkeetna Mountains, Alaska
Author(s):
  • Kathryn Krasinski - Adelphi University
  • Fran Seager-Boss - Chickaloon Village Traditional Council
  • Angela Wade - Chickaloon Village Traditional Council

Here we present an update integrating results of the 2021 field season with our multi-year collaborative community-participatory archaeology program in the Matanuska Watershed, southcentral Alaska. Descendant community members are active in research design from the inception of a research question to managing grants, project personnel, and interpreting discoveries. Fieldwork has provided physical evidence corroborating Dene Native Alaskans oral history that the mountains were an integral part of Dene life for millennia. The discovery of new archaeological sites shows a positive correlation with Dene place names as well as overlapping and adjacent to Dene circulation features or trails. Fieldwork has also promoted recalling oral history and Dene place names that were previously not recorded. Further, fieldwork corroborated how nexus points within the Talkeetna Mountains facilitated subsistence, trails, and social networks. While the alpine zone continues to be poorly inventoried our collaborative fieldwork indicates the Talkeetna mountains were an integral part of Dene past and current life. These results would have been impossible to achieve without relationship building and the collaborative approach guided by culture bearers.

11:00 AM: Bluefish Caves Revisited: Ongoing and Future Archaeological and Paleoecological Research in the Northern Yukon of Canada
Author(s):
  • Rolfe Mandel - University of Kansas
  • Lauriane Bourgeon - University of Kansas
  • Caroline Kisielinski - University of Kansas
  • Lauren Norman - University of Kansas
  • Dennis O’Rourke - University of Kansas

Bluefish Caves, which were excavated during the 1970s and 1980s under the direction of Jacques Cinq-Mars and yielded faunal remains dating to ca. 30,000-10,000 B.P. and artifacts, may represent the earliest well-documented evidence of humans in North America. However, the stratigraphic context of the artifacts and evidence of anthropogenic bone modification have been challenged. In 2019, the University of Kansas Odyssey Archaeological Research Program conducted limited archaeological testing at Cave III to gain a better understanding of site formation processes. Also, soil/sediment samples were collected at Cave III for ancient DNA (sedaDNA) analysis to determine the feasibility of isolating and sequencing ancient genetic material of transitional late Pleistocene/early Holocene flora and fauna from subarctic loess. Although artifacts were not found in Cave III, following initial processing of sedaDNA samples, sequences suggest recovery of sufficient nucleic acids for identification of multiple taxa in these samples. Also, reconnaissance of the area around the caves resulted in the discovery of Cave IV. The entrance and interior of Cave IV are almost completely filled with sediment. Hence, there is potential for intact cultural deposits in that cave, and it will tested by the Odyssey research team in July 2022.

11:20 AM: An update on research at the Britannia Creek site
Author(s):
  • Ty Heffner - Government of Yukon
  • Jodie MacMillan - Government of Yukon
  • Holly Smith - Government of Yukon

The Britannia Creek archaeological site contains evidence of occupations beginning in the terminal Pleistocene, around 13,500 years BP, and spanning the entire Holocene. Initial archaeological excavations occurred in 2013 and 2015. Yukon Government Archaeology Program, in partnership with Selkirk First Nation and Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in First Nation, conducted additional work at the site in 2019 during the making of a new film for the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre. This paper provides an update on our current understanding of the site.

11:40 AM: Results of Recent Archaeological Investigations of Glacial Lake Atna Shorelines in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve
Author(s):
  • Lee  Reininghaus - Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve

Over 14,000 years of human prehistory has been documented in central Alaska, however, many questions remain regarding terminal Pleistocene land use of areas located in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve (WRST).  With over 25 percent of WRST being covered in ice, it is hard to imagine that the park would have been hospitable for human habitation during the late Pleistocene.  In addition, the eastern area of the park was inundated by Glacial Lake Atna, a massive terminal Pleistocene proglacial lake.  The lake formed at various levels as a result of ice dams created by glacial advances, further complicating human occupation of the area.  Recognizing that the presence of Glacial Lake Atna would have influenced land use for people living in the region during the late Pleistocene, identification of terminal Lake Atna shorelines and associated geomorphological features was undertaken. As a result, 69 archeological sites have been identified. The majority of these sites are surface lithic scatters located in areas subject to deflation and other natural disturbances; however, one site, situated on an ancient shoreline of Lake Atna, revealed a subsurface hearth feature in a buried and stratified context that produced radiocarbon results dating the site to the late Pleistocene.

01:00 PM: Results of the Excavation and Analysis of Nataeł Na’, a Multi-Component Prehistoric Archaeological Site in the Northern Copper River Basin
Author(s):
  • John White - Texas A&M University
  • Ted Goebel - Texas A&M University
  • Auréade Henry - French National Centre for Scientific Research
  • Stephen Kuehn - Concord University
  • Michael Loso - Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park and Preserve
  • Jeffery Rasic - Gates if the Artic National Park and Preserve and Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve

Nataeł Na’ is a buried multi-component prehistoric site in the northern Copper River Basin. Federal archaeologists conducting compliance testing identified the site in 2016. During the 2017-2018 field seasons NPS Archaeologist Lee Reininghaus led test excavations at Nataeł Na’ that revealed a combustion feature dating to ~12,200-11,400 cal BP. In 2019 a team from the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M University initiated excavations to establish the stratigraphic context of artifacts and features, collect geoarchaeological samples, obtain additional radiocarbon dates, and increase the sample of artifacts. We excavated 4.75 m2, stratigraphically identifying multiple cultural components. Here we present the results of our analyses, reporting additional radiocarbon ages, details on site-formation processes, and lithic-technological activities carried out during the ~12 thousand cal BP occupation. Moreover, we introduce an earlier cultural component dating to the Allerød interstadial, the earliest evidence of humans south of the Alaska Range in the Pacific basin. Data from this site may elucidate the processes utilized during the initial peopling of Alaska, and more broadly of the Americas. We present these results hoping to contribute to the ongoing debate seeking to expand our understanding the earliest inhabitants of the Americas.

01:20 PM: From the Allerød to the Anthropocene – An Update on Analysis of The Little John Site (KdVo-6), Yukon Territory and a modest proposal
Author(s):
  • Norman Alexander Easton

The Little John site is located 50 m south of the Alaska Highway, 12 Km east of the Yukon-Alaska border overlooking Cheejil Niik / Mirror Creek, the easternmost tributary of the Tanana River. Archaeological excavations from 2002 to 2018 documented a multi-component site with evidence of cultural occupation from the Allerød c. 14,000 years ago to the present. Forty-six radio-carbon dates on bone, charcoal, and wood can be grouped into six Occupation Periods with cultural materials that can be related to a basal Chindadn Complex overlaid by artefacts of the Denali Complex, Northern Archaic tradition, Late Prehistoric, Contact-Traditional, and Historic occupations of the site. This presentation will provide an account of analysis of data generated by this project to date and present a hypothesis that the Chindadn complex represents the technology of the “Standstill Beringians”.

01:40 PM: Women and hide-working at the Little John site (KdVo-6), Yukon Territory: A feminist application of use-wear analysis
Author(s):
  • Jordan Handley - Stantec Consulting Ltd.

Using a feminist approach, this research identifies a hide-working toolkit in an archaeological assemblage of stone tools from the Little John site (KdVo-6), Yukon Territory dating to 14,000-11,900 years before present. An ethnographic literature review suggests that hide-working activities during this time: a) were likely the responsibility primarily of women, b) required a stone toolkit characterized by expediency, and c) utilized a range of different tool types. Inferences were addressed with a multi-stage lithic functional analysis that included ethnographic, microscopic, and macroscopic analytical components, resulting in the identification of a hide-working toolkit composed of nine specimens. The resulting toolkit includes a range of tool types characterized by expediency and variability. The results of this research identified a hide-working activity area at the Little John site. The expediency of the toolkit helps explain the limited visibility of women in the archaeological past and the variability conforms with a larger pattern in eastern Beringia. 

02:00 PM: Mammoth Ivory Rods from the Middle Tanana Valley, Alaska
Author(s):
  • Brian Wygal - Adelphi University
  • Kathryn Krasinski - Adelphi University
  • Charles Holmes - University of Alaska, Fairbanks
  • Barbara Crass - Museum of the North

The Holzman archaeological site, located along Shaw Creek in interior Alaska, contained two mammoth ivory rods dated 13,600-13,300 cal BP. These are the earliest known examples of osseous rod technology in the Americas. Beveled ivory, antler, and bone rods and points share technological similarities between Upper Paleolithic Europe, Asia, eastern Beringia, and the Clovis tradition of North America, and are therefore important tool types in understanding the late Pleistocene dispersal of modern humans. We describe the Holzman ivory tools in the broader context of late Pleistocene osseous technology with implications for acquisition and use of mammoth ivory in eastern Beringia.

02:20 PM: A preliminary characterization of antler foreshafts from mountain hunting sites in southern Yukon.
Author(s):
  • Christian Thomas - Yukon Government
  • Greg Hare

After 24 years of monitoring and collection work at ice patches in the southern Yukon, a large collection of well-preserved hunting weapons has been recovered. The value of this collection is that it has revealed a surprising variety of design types for a relatively focussed and consistent subsistence activity over the past 9,000 years. In this talk, we will present on the design characteristics of 1,000 to 9,000 year old antler hunting dart foreshafts so that these items can be discussed in the context of both earlier ice age osseous technologies and descendent arrow technologies from the subbarctic northwest.  

02:40 PM: Archaeological record around Ch'uljüüd Mänh Choh (Deadman Lake), headwaters of the Upper Tanana River
Author(s):
  • Robert Sattler - Tanana Chiefs Conference
  • Norman Alexander Easton - Yukon College
  • Angela Younie - Ember Archaeology
  • Jeff Rasic - National Park Service
  • Josh Reuther - Museum of the North

Deadman Lake is located in the upper Tanana River basin between Northway and the international border. The lake is within the traditional lands of the Upper Tanana Athabascan people, and the ethnographic place-name translates to “big pike lake.” Multiple cultural sites in vegetated dune field deposits provide a record of the middle to late Holocene cultural occupations along the shores of the lake. Here we present results spanning decades of fieldwork by multiple researchers, including unpublished archival and artifact collections, and focusing on the results of recent field school studies. Surficial deposits suggest active dunes during the early to middle Holocene while underlying late-glacial sand deposits are dated by non-cultural, arctic ground squirrel and gastropod remains. The archaeological record includes a diverse assemblage of lithic material including Wiki Peak, Batza Tena, unassigned groups, and distant Mount Edziza obsidian from northwest British Columbia. Field research over the past decade has been conducted in cooperation with Northway Natives, the landowner and Alaska Native village corporation.

03:20 PM: Late Holocene stone and copper arrow points of interior Alaska and Yukon
Author(s):
  • Robert  Sattler - Tanana Chiefs Conference
  • Julie  Esdale - Colorado State University
  • Christian Thomas - Yukon Government
  • Angela Younie - Ember Archaeology

Small stone projectile points and native copper arrowheads have been found in late Holocene contexts at sites in interior Alaska and the Yukon Territory. We present three examples from the middle Tanana River and one from the Upper Yukon River canyon below the international border. The Upper Yukon River example is from a buried context and is associated with southern sources of obsidian and a native copper preform. Dated charcoal from a hearth feature conforms to the timing of the eastern lobe of the White River ash event. Examples from the middle Tanana River valley, however, are undated and stylistically smaller than known and dated Chindadn points. The size of the stone points suggests that they were used with arrows versus darts, and the dating is consistent with the late Holocene transition to bow and arrow hunting technology known from the Yukon ice-patch record. Because these points are rare in Interior Alaska and the Yukon, this paper acts as both an introduction to this form and a call for similar identifications in the region.

03:40 PM: A wooden hunting bow from Telaquana Lake, Alaska
Author(s):
  • Jason Rogers - U.S. National Park Service
  • Kathryn Myers - U.S. National Park Service

In late September 2021, park employees found a carved wooden hunting bow in the waters of Telaquana Lake, in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska. The well-crafted bow measures 136 cm from tip to tip and is in a good state of preservation. The bow was transported to the National Park Service’s Alaska Regional Curatorial Center in Anchorage, where it is currently undergoing analysis and conservation treatment. Typology, manufacture, age, and other parameters will be presented.

04:00 PM: Two Archaeological Birch-Bark Canoes from the Yukon River, Alaska
Author(s):
  • Jason Rogers - U.S. National Park Service
  • Joshua Reuther - University of Alaska Museum of the North

In the summer of 2017, a birchbark object was found eroding from a riverbank near the village of Tanana, Alaska. The artifact was removed and eventually brought to the attention of the Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC) in Fairbanks. Realizing that the find was potentially significant, TCC contacted the University of Alaska Museum of the North (UAMN), who determined that the find was a birchbark canoe fragment. Further research in the UAMN collections turned up fragments of another previously unrecognized birchbark canoe, from the city of Galena. These are the only known archaeological examples of birch-bark canoes from Alaska. This paper will discuss context, materials, construction techniques, and dating of the canoes.

Time: 
08:20 AM to 05:00 PM
(MDT)
Room: 
British Columbia Room
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Bill Byrne, Government of Alberta (retired)
  • Ray LeBlanc, University of Alberta (retired)
  • Eric Damkjar, Archaeological Survey of Alberta (retired)
Contact Email: 

Session Abstract

In his 40 years with the Archaeological Survey of Alberta and as Curator of Archaeology at the Royal Alberta Museum (now emeritus), Jack Brink has undertaken ground-breaking field research across Alberta, produced many publications and presentations for professional and avocational audiences, played a formative role in the development of cultural resource management policy in Alberta, been a creative and driving force in the establishment of world-class interpretive facilities and public programs, provided encouragement and facilitated opportunities for many students and colleagues, and fostered meaningful and lasting partnerships with Indigenous groups and individuals. 

Jack’s most important fieldwork involves the archaeology of communal bison hunting. For more than 25 years, he led a program of research at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, significantly expanding our understanding of strategic elements of the hunt and of subsequent meat processing decisions and activities. Jack’s other archaeological passion is Indigenous rock art -- Jack has probably studied every significant rock art site in Alberta, developing state-of-the-art technologies to document and to protect this vulnerable and unique record of cultural expression. Jack has consistently approached his research with great dedication, originality, collegiality and respect for Indigenous knowledge and sensibility that informs his study of the archaeological record.

Jack’s career and personality are infused with collegiality, humour and a sense of joy in what he does. This session is an opportunity for friends and colleagues to honour Jack through presentations of original research and through reminiscences and observations on shared experiences and friendships.

Presentations

08:40 AM: An Introduction to the Archaeology of the Kakwa Region in the North Alberta Rocky Mountains
Author(s):
  • Darryl Bereziuk - Archaeological Survey of Alberta

The northern Alberta Rocky Mountains near Grande Cache remain the least known archaeological region in Alberta’s mountain system. An introduction to the archaeology of the Grande Cache region was provided by Jack Brink who led an archaeological survey and excavation program of the major lake and river systems during the mid- to late-1970’s. This work provided an initial characterization of the archaeological record associated with the transitional montane environment of the upper Smoky River valley near Grande Cache. Thirty years later, the Archaeological Survey of Alberta engaged upon another multi-year archaeological survey in the region, this time focusing on high elevation alpine and sub-alpine environments of the Kakwa region to the west of Grande Cache. This paper presents the results of helicopter-assisted, exploratory reconnaissance of this previously unexplored area of the Rocky Mountain Natural Region, characterizes the identified archaeological sites, and explores geographical constraints and cultural motives that may have influenced precontact settlement and land use patterns within this remote mountainous region.

09:00 AM: The Finer Features of the Junction Site
Author(s):
  • Brian Vivian - Lifeways of Canada
  • Janet Blakey - Lifeways of Canada

This paper reports on the success of three seasons of excavation at the Junction Site, where anomalies identified through the use of a magnetometer became focal points for the mitigative excavations completed.  Here we assess the utility of this technique (and other remote sensing techniques tested) in identifying buried features and further describe the many different features exposed.   Our discussion concludes with an analysis of results and identification of the salient characteristics which distinguish the different functions of the features identified.

09:20 AM: A Remarkable Pit Feature at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
Author(s):
  • Eric Damkjar - Archaeological Survey of Alberta (retired)

The Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo Jump (HSI) site complex consists of three main functional components: the gathering basin and drive-lanes where animals were driven to the cliff edge; the jump or kill site, where they met their end and primary butchering took place; and the processing area on the level prairie below where meat and bone were further processed for immediate consumption and for longer-term storage. These latter activities are represented in the numerous features found in the processing area, such as hearths, boiling pits, roasting pits, and concentrations of fire-broken rock. While it is not always possible to assign specific function, the vast majority of features appear to have been utilitarian in purpose. However, a large and unusual pit feature appears to be an exception. Over a metre in depth, the pit contained over 8700 bone fragments, almost a thousand being identifiable elements, and numerous artifacts including Avonlea projectile points, substantial portions of a large ceramic vessel, ochre-covered bones, and two bison mandible spatualte artifacts, unique at HSI. This remarkable feature will be described and some interpretive thoughts offered.

09:40 AM: The Recovery of a 1,600 Year Old Roasting Pit Feature from Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
Author(s):
  • Bob Dawe - Royal Alberta Museum
  • Carmen Li - Royal Alberta Museum
  • Darren Tanke - Royal Tyrrell Museum

Key words: roasting pit feature, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, plaster jacketing

Abstract: More than a hundred pre-contact pit features have been recorded during the excavations of the processing area at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. In 1990 a largely intact 1,600 year old roasting pit feature was located and left in situ as it was considered a good candidate for potential future display. In 2016 the feature was recovered to exhibit in the new Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton. Using a technique commonly used by paleontologists for fossil recovery the feature was excavated, and enclosed in a plaster jacket. After transport, the final excavation of the feature was accomplished in the museum, allowing optimal excavation conditions that produced some startling results. This methodology allows the preservation and long term interpretation of archaeological material, and provides an alternative to dismantling these features as a consequence of standard archaeological research investigation.

10:00 AM: The 2021 Excavations at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, UNESCO World Heritage Site: Taking Jack Brink’s Excavations to a New Level
Author(s):
  • Shawn Bubel - University of Lethbridge
  • Kevin McGeough - University of Lethbridge
  • Robert Dawe - Royal Alberta Museum

Decades of archaeological excavations, research, and aboriginal consultation have revealed the complex history of Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. Jack Brink is one of these researchers and a major accomplishment of his was developing an extensive understanding of what has come to be called “the processing area”. In 2016, a team from the Royal Alberta Museum returned to the processing area to remove a roasting pit that had been left intact by the earlier excavations. They recovered cultural material from a context that had been presumed to be below occupation levels. Radiocarbon dates on bone from this excavation proved to be the earliest dated cultural material recovered at the site, and older than the first presumed use of the site as a buffalo jump. In 2021, a joint team from the University of Lethbridge and the Royal Alberta Museum returned to the site to further explore this early use of the processing area, continuing the excavations started by Brink. While the area investigated was limited and materials discovered were minimal, the results were stunning, revealing that activities here have been occurring for more than 8,500 years. These results are presented as a tribute to Jack’s contributions to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.

10:40 AM: Microbotanical Remains, Residues, and Usewear: Other Views of Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
Author(s):
  • Brian Kooyman - Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Calgary

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is one of the best-known archaeological sites in Canada and a UNESCO World Heritage site. A great deal has been written about it, including by Jack Brink, and the site’s excavations and remains have contributed greatly to our understanding of bison hunting on the Great Plains. This paper examines phytoliths, charcoal, lithic tool residues and usewear to cast new cultural and paleoenvironmental light on this remarkable site.

11:00 AM: Stories from Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump (DkPj-1): An Interview with Boyd Wettlaufer
Author(s):
  • Karen Giering - Royal Alberta Museum

Boyd Wettlaufer carried out the first systematic excavations at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump in 1949. Stories from Wettlaufer himself describe how he first came to work at the site, where he discovered some Paleoindian artifacts and what he thought they indicated. Wettlaufer also described his relations with the local population, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous. The presence of the Paleoindian artifacts, as well as certain landscape features, suggests the site was used as a bison kill as long ago as 9000 BP. Several of these artifacts are made of exotic raw materials suggesting that the people present at Head-Smashed-In were involved in the trade and movement of raw materials which are not native to Alberta.

11:20 AM: For What It’s Worth/Please Prove Me Wrong: Thoughts from a Recovering Archaeologist
Author(s):
  • Brian Spurling

You step away to follow other career interests, reconnect with old friends 25 years later and ... boom ... things really changed.  Over this discontinuity, the profession truly busted out of universities and museums for opportunities in consultancies, government, and NGOs.  Prospective practitioners don’t see archaeology as “the gateway drug” to the hard sciences anymore.  A new generation is leaning into societal relevance and agency, focusing on partnerships, progressive reforms, decolonization, advancing indigenization and responding to the heavy responsibilities of helping investigate the missing children.  More subjectively constructed, humanistic narratives are populating the archaeological record.  Challenges to the trope of humanity’s ineluctable march to inequity and constraint, along with case studies with lessons for the Anthropocene, are having their moment.  All to the good.  But there’s been scant progress on some vital legacy problems.   Peak archaeology has surely passed.   Resource loss far exceeds meaningful conservation, and no oversight or governance exists to measure, much less mitigate this.  And where are the communicators effectively amplifying archaeology’s value in the public square?  Like Jack Brink.  The discipline needs to level up or risk reverting to a small, precarious enterprise, ill-equipped to face climate change, relentless development, fierce competition for funding, and indifference.

01:20 PM: Newly Identified Red Ochre Handprint at Sandstone Ranch along the Milk River in Southern Alberta
Author(s):
  • Trevor Peck - Circle CRM Group Inc.
  • Caroline Hudecek-Cuffe - Archaeological Survey of Alberta

In 2017, Archaeological Survey staff investigated claims of rock art being present on a sandstone outcrop at Sandstone Ranch, lands owned and managed jointly by the Nature of Conservancy of Canada, the Alberta Conservation Association, and the Alberta Fish and Game Association. Sandstone Ranch is situated within the Milk River Ridge natural area, encompassing native grasslands that support livestock grazing and a wide diversity of wildlife along the Milk River in southern Alberta. A preliminary visit to the outcrop resulted in the identification of several red ochre smears and at least one partial handprint. This paper will discuss this newly identified rock art and how it relates to the distribution of other red ochre handprints and smears in Plains rock art.

01:40 PM: A Method for Detecting and Monitoring Changes to the Okotoks Erratic – “Big Rock” Provincial Historic Site.
Author(s):
  • Peter Dawson - Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Calgary
  • Jack Brink - Royal Alberta Museum (retired)
  • Alireza  Farrokhi - Alberta Culture and Status of Women
  • Fengman Jia - Geomatics Engineering, University of Calgary
  • Derek Lichti - Geomatics Engineering, University of Calgary

When it comes to exploring how new technologies can be used to document, protect, and preserve rock art sites in Alberta, Jack Brink has been a true innovator. He was one of the first researchers to use terrestrial laser scanning to digitally capture rock art panels at Writing on Stone Provincial Park, and in 2013 he helped organize the scanning of the Okotoks Big Rock. With Jack’s help and encouragement, we demonstrate how 3D laser scanning can be used to detect and monitor changes at this highly significant Provincial Historic Site using scanning data acquired over a period of 7 years. Point clouds of the erratic captured in 2013, 2016, and 2020 were compared using change detection analysis, revealing the movement/repositioning of rocks and emergence of "unofficial" paths around the base of the erratic, along with changes to fencing and interpretive trails. These results are encouraging and suggest this method may be an effective way to monitor heritage sites over time.

02:00 PM: Jack Brink, the Milk River, and Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai’pi: A Non-humorous Story of Humanity in Southern Alberta
Author(s):
  • Todd Kristensen - Archaeological Survey of Alberta
  • Terra Lekach - Independent

Jack Brink is not so different from the Milk River at the edge of southern Alberta. Not just because he meanders endlessly but because his career has crossed international boundaries, and, like the river, he too is old. The Milk River flows through Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai’pi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its impressive collection of rock art within a sacred cultural landscape of the modern Niitsítapi (Blackfoot). Jack Brink’s career has been interwoven with the site since the 1970s. This paper is a story of archaeology and connection along the Milk River.

02:20 PM: Reconciling Local, Global, and Indigenous Values: Lessons from the World Heritage Inscription of the Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai’pi Cultural Landscape
Author(s):
  • Michael A. Klassen - Klahanee Heritage Research

After a nomination process lasting 15 years, Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai’pi was designated a World Heritage Site in 2019. From inception to inscription, Jack Brink was instrumental in making this designation happen, inspiring and encouraging a dedicated team of Blackfoot advisors and Alberta Parks employees. Although this inscription recognizes the international significance of this Blackfoot cultural landscape, the nomination process also exposed dissonance between local, global, and Indigenous values. Blackfoot perspectives emphasize the ancient and sacred connection to the broader landscape, while remaining inclusive of settler society’s recent historical relationship to the place. Conversely, the historical Euro-Canadian presence highlighted weaknesses in the nomination, while local community concerns impacted the effectiveness of the proposed boundary and buffer zone. In consequence, international experts struggled to reconcile globalized universalism with local perspectives and Indigenous values. Throughout the nomination, Jack helped the team navigate this contested landscape and politicized history, ultimately leading to a successful but imperfect inscription – one that still circumscribes the contemporary Indigenous relationship to this site. Although the World Heritage nomination process accrued many tangible benefits for Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai’pi, the potential of this inscription for advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples has yet to be fully realized.

02:40 PM: Archaeological Survey of Alberta Occasional Paper No. 99: The Last Waltz (Revisited)
Author(s):
  • David Burley - Dept of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University

Archaeological Survey of Alberta Occasional Paper No. 99 was released in 1991, a publication neither paid for or recognized by the government of Alberta. In the face of substantial government cuts to the Survey with survivors sent to the Provincial Museum, Jack Brink and remaining comrades produced a retrospective of ASA highlights between 1973 and 1991. The volume was not a doom and gloom tirade in the wake of decimation, as normal folks might write. Instead, it was an 18-year concatenation of collegial comradery, stupid stories, holiday antics, and significant memories. I revisit Occasional Paper 99 and the central role Jack Brink played in the almost two-decade period it documents.

03:20 PM: The Early Precontact Period at the Ahai Mneh Site (FiPp-33), near Lake Wabamun. Alberta
Author(s):
  • John W. (Jack) Ives - University of Alberta

When Jack Brink and I were MA students at the University of Alberta in 1975, I applied spatial analytical methods to disentangle artifact distributions at an important site type in Alberta: those with rich lithic records, but highly compressed stratigraphy.  Archaeologists working at these sites run the risk of associating artifacts merely because they occur near each other. Natural disturbances in thinly stratified deposits mean artifacts found near each other can easily come from different time periods. In our 2010-2012 research at Ahai Mneh in central Alberta, we returned to these issues and were able to identify a deeper Paleo-Indigenous period component, also present in surface collections from an adjacent cultivated field. Enigmatic and initially unprepossessing artifacts from Ahai Mneh actually have fascinating stories to tell if we are willing to delve into the microcosm of human decisions for which they still preserve traces. Examples include a failed effort at making a fluted point, an unusual Hell Gap-like point, a Scottsbluff point, and a fractured Alberta point base. While the results of such analyses involve inferences, they are much better than casual assumptions about associations, and point to the need for serious regulatory reform in requiring 3-D piece-plotting of artifacts.

 

03:40 PM: Do We Know Jack About Microblades in Canada?
Author(s):
  • Martin Magne - Independent Scholar

The literature on microblade technology world-wide has become voluminous. In Canada our understanding of its origins, permutations, and significance have developed considerably since MacNeish, Sanger, Morlan, Borden and others started recognizing the variations that exist, some 60 years ago. A recent exchange with Jack revealed that despite his extensive archaeological experience and knowledge, he really knows nothing about microblades, prompting reflection about how microblades are commonly perceived by non-specialists. Based in part on patterns in Scandinavia and northwestern Europe where post-glacial and Neolithic microblades are abundant, I present conclusions about microblades in Canada and the northwest generally, outlining where more research and data would be productive.

04:00 PM: A Long Way from Home: Finds of Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) shells in central Alberta
Author(s):
  • Alwynne  Beaudoin - Royal Alberta Museum
  • Diana Tirlea - Royal Alberta Museum
  • Samuel Owen - Royal Alberta Museum

In recent years, there have been several finds of Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) shells in central Alberta. Queen Conch is a marine gastropod mollusc that is widespread in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, so these shells are clearly not of local origin. Their taxonomic identification is confirmed by the large size, thickness, ornamentation and morphology of the shells, and comparison with modern specimens. One specimen lacks its distinctive flange. Two were found in buried context – one shallow, one deep - that suggests probable archaeological significance, rather than chance modern discards. Their exact point of origin is unknown. However, one yielded a radiocarbon date of around 1000 RCYBP, with a marine reservoir correction assuming an origin near the mouth of the Mississippi. Conch meat was, and is, a valuable food resource in the Caribbean and Gulf region, as attested by shell mounds. Robust conch shell has been used as a tool material, with flange removal being a common form of tool production. Various marine shells are found in archaeological sites throughout the Mississippi watershed and beyond in interior North America. Pending confirmation, our hypothesis is that these specimens were traded or brought inland from the Gulf coast.

04:20 PM: I Don’t Know Jack
Author(s):
  • Peter Ramsden - McMaster University

I have been repeatedly encouraged to contribute to a session entitled "Archaeology on the Brink: Celebrating the Career of Jack Brink", at this year's CAA conference. I was unaware that anybody of this name had a career, but I'm always up for a celebration. So I took it upon myself to investigate just who Jack Brink is, and where he fits into the scheme of things. My findings, as I reveal them in this presentation, may surprise you.

Time: 
10:40 AM to 04:20 PM
(MDT)
Room: 
Turner Valley Room
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Stephanie Halmhofer, University of Alberta
Contact Email: 

Session Abstract

In writing about established and emerging themes in the sub-field of contemporary archaeology, Laura McAtackney (2020, p. 218) noted that “contemporary archaeology means many things to many different people.” Contemporary archaeology “can include many aspects of doing and being archaeological in the contemporary as well as a focus on the contemporary as our subject of study” (McAtackney, 2020, p. 218). It is through this inclusive spirit that I am organizing this session to explore the archaeology of and in the contemporary world. This session is intentionally broad to include a wide variety of contemporary archaeologies. Examples of paper topics might include how are archaeologists engaging with contemporary methods and sub-fields, such as digital archaeology and archaeogaming? How have archaeological methods been adapted to better suit the contemporary world, such as new or modified methods during the time of COVID-19? What are examples of archaeological projects focused on the contemporary? What are the contemporary impacts of archaeology (of any era)? This session will be hosted in-person, however I happily welcome presenters who wish to participate virtually.    

Presentations

10:40 AM: Un-Erasing the Indigenous Paleolithic: Re-Writing the Ancient Past of the Western Hemisphere (the Americas)
Author(s):
  • Paulette Steeves - Algoma University

The presence of Indigenous people on the continents of North and South America 12,000- 15,000 years before the present has been aggressively denied for over a century. Anthropologists’ denial of the deep Indigenous past of the Americas, has cleaved Indigenous people’s links to their homeland and created them as recent immigrants to the Americas, on a global scale of human history. Yet, Indigenous oral traditions and the published archaeological record tell a much different story. Based on the published data of hundreds of pre 12,000 years before present archaeological sites, oral traditions, environmental evidence and paleo mammalian migrations, I argue that people have been in the Western Hemisphere for over 130,000 years. 

11:00 AM: Land Back: Soil & Archaeology
Author(s):
  • Rebecca Gray - Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology

This paper will examine archaeological relationships to place & soil. Though archaeologists frequently interact with soil, these encounters are often dictated according to transactional and static beliefs about land. In reflection of Vanessa Watts’ article “Indigenous Place-Thought & Agency Amongst Humans and Non-Humans (First Woman and Sky Woman Go On A European World Tour!)” (2013), this talk will draw on Indigenous theories and scholarship of sovereignty, with particular attention to knowledges from Denendeh. We will engage with how reciprocal & ethical relationships with soil relate to climate disaster, museum collections, heritage legislation, land dispossession, extractive industries, queerness, and time within the borders of what is colonially referred to as Canada.

11:20 AM: Language Priority in Indigenous Archaeological Interpretation
Author(s):
  • Rita Uju Onah - Department of Archaeology Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s Canada

The struggle for an agency in colonial context existed when the colonized could clone themselves, either before or within their context of expanding European colonial powers. The need to present the agency of the Indigenous people became a problem in academic works.  Scholars seek to advance an argument that gives agency and the ability to chart the ways of life through Indigenous settings and the complexities of literacy in the relevant literature. In the same way, interpretation in Archaeology needs to be done by Indigenous voices. This will not just untangle colonial influence on Indigenous representation, but Knowledge holders can be equal as co-authors of their language. This paper discusses a means of Indigenous voice acknowledgement in Archaeological research through oral tradition or any unwritten document of Indigenous knowledge. Apparently, the process of documentation in a way that do not seek to erase other people forms of knowledge. The goal is to ensure that researchers do not use ambiguous vocabulary in writing about Indigenous people who own the research project; instead, they should rely on their own words of understanding and making of knowledge.

Keywords: Indigenous, Oral, History, Interpretation

 

11:40 AM: Fulfilling the Ethos of Repatriation: Entanglements Between Archives and Repatriation
Author(s):
  • Rebecca Bourgeois - University of Alberta

Conversations about repatriation typically focus on the act of arranging and achieving the physical return of cultural belongings to their communities. To truly fulfill the ethos of repatriation, however, we must expand our definition to also include the archival and community work necessary for re-welcoming collected materials. This presentation will investigate this interdisciplinary entanglement in the contexts of public-facing cultural heritage regulations and an upcoming community-driven archival project with the Tłı̨chǫ government (Treaty 11, Northwest Territories). The Tłı̨chǫ are currently in possession of stored materials and wish to develop a welcoming space where these belongings can be experienced by the community and where future repatriations can be held. In this paper, I will argue that the ethos of repatriation is not always fulfilled through physical returns and that the reconnection process is not finished until the belongings are fully re-welcomed back into their community. Through this work, archival structures will be reconceptualized within the context of Indigenous Knowledge Systems, and it will be shown that reframing cultural materials as living things with active roles in their cultural systems, rather than simply as indicators of past life, will re-tool anthropo­logical research to address reconciliation through decolonization.

01:00 PM: Documenting COVID Heritage in Canada, the United States, and Chile: Initial Considerations
Author(s):
  • Robert Muckle - Capilano University
  • Kelly  Britt - City University of New York
  • Margaret Lou Brown - Duke University
  • Stacey Camp - Michigan State University
  • Dante Angelo - Universidad de Tarapacá, Chile

The COVID-19 pandemic has radically altered life as we know it around the globe. Amid the early days of the pandemic, many people communicated their hopes, feelings, and longings regarding COVID-19 and poltical and social upheaval using materiality and artwork. How we navigate our environment and place also shifted dramatically. This talk explores these changes using data systematically collected and anlayzed in Canada, the United States, and Chile. The first portion of the presentation considers the ethical challenges of documenting materiality and landscapes in the middle of an ongoing social and medical crisis in the US and Chile. The latter part of the presentation focuses on COVID-related art, trash, and structures through the lenses of archaeology and inequality in MetroVancouver, including how the material record correlates with public health directives, and how COVID-19 is being imprinted in the archaeological record. The studies reported here are part of a global effort at documenting, and providing insight into human responses to, the material record of COVID. 

01:20 PM: Art and Archaeology: Understanding Drawing within Archaeological Contexts
Author(s):
  • Hailey Kennedy - Grant MacEwan University

Observational skills provide the foundation for many archaeological and drawing techniques. Drawing was often seen as critical in archaeology and formally taught within classes. However, the widespread use and adoption of digital photography and image-making has resulted in a decline in the use of drawing within archaeology, and such skills are now only briefly considered in archaeological teaching as practical and worthwhile endeavours. The analytical importance of drawing within archaeology is not usually considered beyond its role in providing visual representations for readers of archaeological reports or through its informal use by researchers in the field. This paper considers the role drawing can have within archaeology and suggests that drawing can and should be used as a tool to aid in critical observation. Two main sources of data were collected for this study: a collection of interviews with specialists (archaeologists, artists, etc.); and an experiment involving eight individuals to test whether critical observation skills were improved if individuals are provided instruction in basic drawing techniques. The results of this study suggest that drawing can be a useful mode of observation that generates data for archaeological interpretation rather than simply being a means of representing data.

01:40 PM: Haptic Touch Feedback and the Tactile Gap in Digital Archaeology
Author(s):
  • Christopher Wai - University of Toronto

The future of digital archaeology has been accelerated in the context of the pandemic, wherein much teaching both in archaeological and museum contexts has moved onto online platforms. However, one of the most perduring challenges to the educational process that is difficult to replicate is the tactile gap between an online lab/ tutorial and interactions with physical objects and spaces, whether they be real artifacts, replicas, cast models or physical reconstructions. This is and has always been one of the final frontiers of virtual reality technologies. Current developments in haptic touch feedback (e.g. vibrations, pulsations) and full body tracking technologies have begun to experiment with the possibilities of bridging this gap. Granted, much of it is not yet commercially available. Drawing on my work in Peru and Cambodia, I speculate on these new directions and perhaps one of the final frontiers in bridging the gap between the digital and physical worlds to create both more immersive and affective spaces in virtual reality. I consider the current state of haptic feedback and full body tracking technologies and their current strategies and experimental implementations. How might archaeologists implement and advance this with what is available, particularly beyond the novelty factor?

02:00 PM: Augmented and Virtual Realities for Cultural Heritage: Tools of Engagement or Novelty Trends?
Author(s):
  • Cara Tremain - Langara College

Cultural heritage is relevant for everyone, yet it is something that we need to engage with to fully understand and appreciate. For those of us who teach archaeology, relaying the importance of cultural heritage to our students is essential. But in a fast-paced world, with constant distractions, it can be difficult to engage students in a discipline that many assume to have little relevance in – or connection to – today’s world. With an ever-growing suite of digital technologies on the market, which are becoming more widely available and accessible than ever before, there are exciting potentials for increasing student engagement with cultural heritage in new and modern ways. This presentation will share the results of a research study undertaken in the Anthropology laboratory at Langara College, where volunteers were given the opportunity to engage with cultural heritage using augmented and virtual realities. The aim of the study was to investigate whether or not these kinds of technologies had a measurable impact on student appreciation of cultural heritage in digital spaces, and whether or not they could attract more students to studying archaeology.

02:20 PM: Digging through Digital Artifacts: Thoughts on Developing Theory in and of Archaeogaming
Author(s):
  • Katie Biittner - MacEwan University
  • John Aycock - University of Calgary

Archaeogaming is broadly understood as the archaeology in and of video games. While the adaptation of archaeological methods for analysing video games requires only moderate challenges to our long-held understandings of material culture and the archaeological record, research in this relatively new subfield has been met with critique largely relating to theory, or lack thereof. In this paper, we will present the theoretical frameworks that we have adapted and applied in our analyses of digital artifacts associated with the video games Mystery House and Entombed, including how we have recently expanded our approach to include ethnoarchaeology, in our quest to develop a theory of and for archaeogaming. 

02:40 PM: Archaeogaming and emulation: complexities of preservation in digital marketplaces
Author(s):
  • Madelyn Hertz - Western University

The modern videogame landscape is increasingly reliant on virtual storefronts— purchasing physical game discs or cartridges is now largely reserved for special editions or limited run releases and curating an expansive playable collection no longer requires amassing large physical assemblages. However, in leaving behind physical media and heavily relying on digital collections, videogame preservation is left vulnerable to circumstances beyond individual control, especially on consoles. Official storefronts, such as the Nintendo eShop and the PlayStation Store are relied on by consumers and creators alike to publish and distribute virtual titles. However, many companies now find it unprofitable to support storefronts for old consoles and have announced the shuttering of digital marketplaces. Once closed, games not already purchased are lost, leading to an interesting problem for games preservation and curation. Emulation allows for the continued preservation of these ‘lost’ titles as well as rare or inaccessible physical releases, but the practice operates in a legal gray area, making it difficult to be seen as the gold standard of games preservation. This presentation navigates the relationship between emulation and the games industry regarding approaches to heritage preservation, as gaming corporations rally against what might be the only thing keeping legacy titles alive.

03:20 PM: Media is Crazy: Trying to Understand Global Media Interest and Media Bias Associated with an Archaeological Site in Canada
Author(s):
  • Robert Muckle - Capilano University

An archaeology project included the discovery and excavation of a small early twentieth century Nikkei (Japanese-Canadian) settlement in British Columbia. The project was featured in many media stories locally, nationally, and internationally. One popular international magazine credited it as the top story and archaeological discovery of the year. Another media outlet described it has one of the most important archaeological discoveries ever, which of course is ridiculous. Many stories were good, but others absurd. Some became click-bait and at least one entered the realm of fake news. This presentation speculates on why, after 15 years of telling the same story of the site for 15 years, there was a frenzy of media interest starting in 2019 and continuing today. Much of the speculation is based on conversations with journalists. The presentation also describes some of the lessons learned about understanding media and archaeology in contemporary times.

03:40 PM: Bison Story of Wanuskewin
Author(s):
  • Kathleen Willie - University of Saskatchewan

Home to people for over 6000 years, the Opimihaw valley has more than 19 archaeological sites identified throughout, 9 of which have been excavated. The faunal assemblage from the Wolf Willow habitation site, the most recently excavated site at Wanuskewin, forms the basis of this work and largely consists of Plains bison remains. Its proximity to one of two bison jumps at the park connects it further to the importance of the bison in the past. Continuing to document bison and people’s longstanding relationship with the Opimihaw valley, this work examines these animals' integral role in the Wanuskewin landscape, past and present. In December 2019, Wanuskewin Heritage Park was able to return a herd of Plains Bison to their ancestral land, wheres months after their initial arrival the herd discovered a series of petroglyphs. This work examines and furthers the idea of the bison's longstanding importance to the area, the history, the people, and the Plains, and how their reestablishment is vital in many ways. 

Time: 
01:00 PM to 04:40 PM
(MDT)
Room: 
Chairman Room
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Rachel Archambault, Université Laval
  • Allison Bain, Université Laval

Session Abstract

Les recherches archéologiques axées sur le XIXe siècle connaissent un fort engouement au Canada depuis quelques années, bien que dans certaines régions ce siècle ait été largement ignoré, donnant la priorité aux occupations plus anciennes. Les études portant sur ce siècle démontrent la pertinence de cette période et la diversité des thèmes qui peuvent être abordées, telles que l’archéologie sociale, urbaine, capitaliste, féministe, autochtone et environnementale. Cette session désire mettre en lumière les recherches archéologiques portant sur le XIXe siècle qui permettent de raconter l’histoire d’une ville, d’un quartier, d’un site ou d’un individu sous de nouvelles perspectives. L’approche de cette session est volontairement très vaste et inclusive, dans une volonté de permettre aux chercheurs de présenter leurs récents projets axés sur le XIXe siècle et d’encourager les échanges multidisciplinaires. À titre d’exemple, les propositions de communication peuvent être articulées autour des questions d’urbanisme, de santé et d’hygiène, d’enjeux sociaux, d’économie, de structures sociales, de groupes marginalisés ou d’univers domestique.

 

Archaeological research on the 19th century has been going strong in Canada over the last few years, although in some regions this century has been largely ignored, prioritizing older occupations. Recent studies in 19th century archaeology clearly demonstrate both its relevance as well as the diversity of themes that can be explored, including social, urban, capitalist, feminist, indigenous, queer and environmental archaeologies. This session aims to highlight recent research on the 19th-century and we invite speakers to tell their archeological stories of cities, districts, sites or individuals. The themes of this session are deliberately broad and inclusive, and we hope to encourage exchange across diverse areas of interest. Communications may also be articulated around issues such as urban planning, health and hygiene, or other economic and social issues, such as the archaeology of groups traditionally underrepresented in the archaeological record.

Presentations

01:00 PM: Visualizing the Material Histories of the Métis in Edmonton
Author(s):
  • Emily Haines - University of Alberta, Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology

What is today called the city of Edmonton has been an Indigenous space from time immemorial. Métis peoples have been a significant presence in the area since the early 19th century, only shortly after the founding of the first Fort Edmonton near the modern town of Fort Saskatchewan. Yet, the Métis are often positioned as peripheral in narratives of Edmonton’s development. This is encouraged by a paucity of archaeological sites and historical materials recognized as Métis in the city. What happened to the material footprint of the Métis in Edmonton? Could there be intact archaeological deposits associated with the Métis below the urban landscape? To understand the modern invisibility of Métis material culture and the archaeological potential for Métis sites in Edmonton, I map Métis land use from the beginning to the end of the nineteenth century onto satellite images of Edmonton’s core. Inserting Métis material history onto Edmonton’s urban landscape not only reveals a chapter of the long and rich history of Métis peoples in the city, it also allows us to imagine the possibilities for an urban Métis archaeology.

01:20 PM: Boom and Bust in the Peace Country: A New Community-Based Archaeology Program at the Old Bezanson Townsite
Author(s):
  • Shawn Morton - Northwestern Polytechnic
  • Meaghan Peuramaki-Brown - Athabasca University

When settlements expand rapidly in response to resource development, "instant cities" can arise. The success of such centres is often dependent on location relative to extraction and associated distribution activities. This “boomtown” framework dominates much of our research into ancient Maya settlement development in Belize. We now expand our research gaze to a very different context: the early 20th century in the Peace Country of Northern Alberta. Specifically, we propose to explore this region’s relations to deep Indigenous histories, settler land speculation, railway prospection, and economic development in agriculture and forestry. Our focus is on the Old Bezanson Townsite in Treaty 8 territory. The primary period of occupation at the townsite is relatively recent (ca. 1910-1926 CE); however, few historical documents remain to chronicle its rise and fall. It, therefore, largely falls to archaeology and oral histories to bring to light stories of the townsite and its inhabitants. We explicitly frame this research within a long-term community-based program of activity. Our presentation intends to outline our goals and processes as we develop this research alongside our community partners, present the results of our first (2021) field season, and solicit feedback from colleagues as we enter new cultural territory as scholars.

01:40 PM: A Look at 100 Years of Table Glassware : The Anderson-Pitl 19th Century Collection
Author(s):
  • Rachel Archambault - Université Laval

The unearthing of an undisturbed privy rich in artifacts and ecofacts is in itself a valuable discovery. But when this material makes it possible to tell 100 years of continuous occupation on the site, in addition to highlighting the evolution of styles, trends and manufacturing processes of these objects, it is exceptional! As part of my master's research, liquor bottles and table glassware found in the Hedley Lodge privy, a victorian house located in Limoilou (Quebec City), were studied from a socio-economic perspective. It was during this research that I've realized that the table glassware belonging to the Anderson and Pitl families illustrated perfectly the trends and the technological innovations that characterize 19th-century glass production. From stem glass with cut panels to moulded shooters, let's look at the evolution of the glassware that has embellished the Hedley Lodge table for many decades. 

02:00 PM: Locating Fort Vermilion II: Tying Archival Records to the Archaeological Remains
Author(s):
  • James Thompson

As part of the Fort Vermilion field school, my fellow students and I were exposed to archival research. The local museum has copies of the journals relating to the Hudson’s Bay Company fur trade posts in the area; the originals are in the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives (HBCA) in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We reviewed entries relating to the operations of the fur trade in this region, especially focusing on location information because the original position of Fort Vermilion II, constructed in 1830, has not yet been confirmed. Unfortunately, these journals did not contain precise descriptions of where this post and others were located or how they were built. I decided to explore this topic further and examined journals from Sir John Lefroy. “Fort Lefroy” may have existed on the northern bank of the Peace River around 1844, which is in the same general locality of the site we excavated. Was this the original location of Fort Vermilion II? This paper presents the possible localities for Fort Vermilion II. First-hand accounts recorded by surveyors provide clues to why we did not unearth earlier artifacts in our excavations around the Big House of Fort Vermilion II, which was in use until 1940. 

02:20 PM: “Masters of the Beautiful Art”: Drawing Meaning from Victorian Hairwork through an Archaeology of Technology Approach
Author(s):
  • Katherine Brent - University of Toronto Department of Anthropology

Hairwork, a craft inextricably intertwined with and arguably most associated with the nineteenth century, is the practice of making keepsakes such as wreaths and jewelry from human hair. Hair for hairwork was often sourced from deceased kin, thus implicating the craft into mortuary customs. While hairwork has been extensively studied from historical and artistic perspectives, an archaeology of technology approach can be used to further elicit meaning from hairwork, particularly from its production process. This study invokes archaeological themes such as craftsperson identity, the transmission of crafting knowledge, the processes of production, and the meaning and properties of materials to elucidate meanings of corporeality, temporality, performance, and embodiment within nineteenth century mortuary hairwork. In this study, these themes are addressed through the exploration of the material culture of hairwork as an artifact, alongside nineteenth century hairworking manuals and periodical pieces. Through this examination, several topics emerge, including those concerning gender and professional status, the geographically situated dissemination of hairworking knowledge through popular media, practice and choice in crafting, and the ‘imperishable’ and eternal nature of hair. Through further analysis of these topics, hairwork can be argued to be a corporeal, temporally transcendent, performative, and embodied craft.

02:40 PM: Sites wanted: Developing an archaeology of the 19th century in Québec City
Author(s):
  • Allison Bain - Université Laval
  • Camille Thériault - Université Laval
  • Rachel Archambault - Archéolab

Québec City, known for the 18th century charm of the Lower Town area and its UNESCO Heritage Status, has a rich tradition of research-driven excavations by Université Laval, the Ville de Québec and Parks Canada. However, the majority of sites chosen for public interpretation emphasize the city’s history as the capital of New France, to the detriment of previous or later occupations. While much archaeology of the 19th century occurs, it is not prioritised for interpretive purposes. Five years ago, Université Laval chose to move its historical archaeology field school out of the heritage zone focusing instead on the city’s limits, specifically targeting 19th century occupations. Work at the Anderson site in the Limoilou neighbourhood has led us to think differently about the city in the 1800s and this paper will reflect our recent thoughts about how we tell the story of Québec City’s past.

03:20 PM: St Ann’s Market and Parliament of the Province of Canada in Montréal, 1832-1849: a closer look at the 3D reconstruction of the city’s largest public building of its time.
Author(s):
  • François Gignac - Pointe-à-Callière, cité d'archéologie et d'histoire de Montréal

In 1832, Montréal erected its first covered market. Inspired by neoclassical architecture, the market, Montréal’s largest public building at the time, was transformed in 1844 to host the Parliament of the Province of Canada, but burned down completely in 1849.

From 2010 to 2017, Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archaeology and History Complex, carried out a program of archaeological excavations on this Old Montréal site. Since 2019, a vast research and development program has included the study of the collection of artifacts (more than 350,000), a restoration program and the creation of an interactive 3D platform. The latter is created by studying the archaeological remains and artifact deposition, the few items of ancient iconography, as well as historical documents, and allows us to present new hypotheses about the building’s appearance and functionality. The use of modern technologies helps us recreate, study, understand and share with the public its great archaeological and historical value.

A behind the scenes look at a 3D model created by Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archeology and History Complex.

03:40 PM: The archaeological identification of a household in Canada’s parliament in Montreal, 1844-1849
Author(s):
  • Hendrik Van Gijseghem - Pointe-à-Callière, Montreal Archaeology and history complex
  • François  Gignac - Pointe-à-Callière, Montreal Archaeology and history complex

For five years in the mid-19th century, the province of Canada’s Parliament sat in the elegant building that had formerly housed St Anne’s market since 1832. Burned to the ground by rioters in 1849, the site has been remarkably well preserved according to a convergence of largely random circumstances. Since 2010, excavations by Pointe-à-Callière have revealed distinct contexts related to building’s twin vocations as market and parliament. Historical sources indicate that Parliament’s chief messenger – André Leroux dit Cardinal - resided in the building with his family, and here we present evidence that this residence has been identified. While material culture is biased toward artifacts that have survived the fire, this is a rare opportunity to recover and inventory the near totality of the ceramic possessions of a middle-class household in Victorian Montreal.  

04:00 PM: Les nouvelles perspectives de l’archéologie des crises de mortalité au Québec : l’exemple des sites sépulcraux du Poste des Irlandais à Montréal (BiFj-139) et de l’Hôpital de la Marine à Québec (CeEt-755)
Author(s):
  • Clotilde Roger - Université Laval

En se penchant sur l'archéologie des crises de mortalité, et plus particulièrement celle des épidémies, l'archéologue se heurte à l'impossibilité de lire les maladies sur le squelette (à la manière d’un traumatisme crânien, par exemple). On doit regrouper plusieurs arguments archéologiques pour proposer l’interprétation de crise sanitaire.

Certains sites font toutefois exception, c’est-à-dire ceux dont les sources historiques exposent indéniablement leur vocation sanitaire. Prenons les cimetières du Poste des Irlandais et de l’Hôpital de la Marine (typhus et choléra) : ces espaces hospitaliers et funéraires sont le reflet d’une période de stress sanitaire ayant crispé la société du XIXe et leur ancrage dans le paysage a marqué les mémoires. Puisque les sources préfigurent la nature du site, la réflexion a désormais le loisir d’extrapoler la trame narrative de ces cimetières de « contagieux ».

L’objectif de cette présentation est de discuter du potentiel heuristique de sites liés aux épidémies au Québec du XIXe siècle et de saisir leur inscription dans le tissu urbain : comment les crises de mortalité du XIXe siècle ont-elles fait du cimetière un lieu de mutations? On tentera de surcroît de démontrer de possibles avenues qui contribueront à l’archéothanatologie au Québec.

Time: 
01:20 PM to 04:20 PM
(MDT)
Room: 
Online
Session Hosting Format: 
online session
Organizer(s): 
  • Alicia L. Hawkins, University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Louis Lesage, Huron-Wendat Nation
  • Heather Walder, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Session Abstract

Minimally invasive and non-destructive analytical approaches are effective at addressing many aspects of the Woodland archaeological record in the Northeast. Encompassing everything from use of legacy data to archaeometric applications, such as micro-computed tomography, these studies have in common an effort to learn from existing collections while altering them as little as possible. In this proposed on-line session, we highlight some of the insights arising from such studies. 

From answering fundamental research questions about subsistence and diet, to untangling interregional exchange networks, interdisciplinary scholars are gleaning new insights from the archaeological record, emphasizing the importance of curated archaeological materials for future research.

Presentations

01:20 PM: Contextualizing environmental change through Woodland period biomolecular archaeology
Author(s):
  • Eric J. Guiry - School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester
  • Thomas C.A. Royle - Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University
  • Michael Buckley - Department of Earth Sciences, University of Manchester

Some of the earliest work (ca. 1970s) developing and testing the principles of biomolecular approaches to major archaeological questions, such as the spread of agriculture, was done in Woodland archaeological contexts. In the intervening 45 years, biomolecular techniques, including stable isotope and ancient DNA analyses, have demonstrated great potential to shed light on patterns and diversity in past human experience as well as ecological processes, with relevance to addressing questions about increasingly pressing environmental change. Over the same period, methodological improvements mean that these techniques (individually or in tandem) can often be applied using very small sample sizes, making them minimally invasive to the physical integrity of specimens and, in turn, opening up a wider range of potential research questions. In this presentation, we explore the kinds of research questions that can be addressed using biomolecular analyses of Woodland period animal remains to generate ecological baselines useful for contextualizing some of today’s environmental challenges.

01:40 PM: A matter of fat: molecules at the service of Woodland archaeology
Author(s):
  • Karine Taché - Université Laval

Biomolecular archeology is a growing field of study that revived material culture research and unveiled a range of perishable organic products once inaccessible to archaeologists. The extraction and characterization of organic molecules deposited by human activity on the surface or inside ancient ceramics, for example, allow unprecedented possibilities for the reconstruction of foods and foodways in the past. In this presentation, some basic principles of lipid residue analyses applied to archeology are discussed through two case studies. The first sheds light on the motivations behind the adoption of pottery in Early Woodland northeastern North America, while the second reveals variability in Late Woodland culinary traditions. These two studies illustrate not only the contributions and promises of biomolecular archaeology, but also its limits and the challenges that this emerging field of archaeometry will face in the years to come.

02:00 PM: Exploring the applicability of ZooMS integrated to zooarchaeological methods in the Northeast: the case study of Nominingue Lake (Hautes-Laurentides, Qc)
Author(s):
  • Geneviève Pothier-Bouchard - Université Laval
  • Julien Riel-Salvatore - Université de Montréal
  • Karine  Taché - Université Laval

ZooMS (Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry) collagen fingerprinting is increasingly applied on prehistoric faunal collections - especially highly fragmented and/or altered ones – to tackle questions regarding diet, subsistence, and hunting strategies. Using a mass sampling strategy (i.e., hundreds of bone fragments), the ZooMS is a powerful tool to improve overall taxonomic identification of the indeterminate fraction of faunal assemblages. Question-oriented sampling strategies can further help improve specific dimensions of our reconstructions about past subsistence behaviours. In addition, with collections showing poor collagen preservation, using a portable FTIR instrument can be an effective and cost-efficient in-field pre-screening method for ZooMS.

We present here preliminary zooarchaeological results on taphonomically challenging faunal collections recovered in the Hautes-Laurentides region of Québec between 2015-2021 informed by this integrated approach. Building on a case study focused on heavily fragmented assemblages in northwest Italy, we refine that methodology to further explore the applicability of these minimally invasive techniques in NE North America.

 

 

02:20 PM: Faunal Analysis without Getting Our Hands Dirty: Meta-Analysis of Legacy Zooarchaeological Data from the Lower Great Lakes
Author(s):
  • Trevor J. Orchard - University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Suzanne Needs-Howarth - Perca Zooarchaeological Research & The Archaeology Centre, University of Toronto
  • Alicia L. Hawkins - University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Louis Lesage - Bureau du Nionwentsïo, Huron-Wendat Nation

More than a century of archaeology in Ontario has produced a massive quantity of archaeological collections and associated data sets, a large proportion of which have been subject to relatively limited analyses. For several years, we have been working to (re-)analyze legacy faunal collections and to pull together legacy faunal data that have resulted from past research and compliance archaeology activities. Drawing on this growing database of newly generated and legacy zooarchaeological data, our collaborative research team has been turning to large-scale, GIS-based meta-analyses to explore broad trends across various aspects of the archaeology and historical ecology of the Lower Great Lakes region through roughly the past 1000 years. In this paper, we examine both the vast potential of such an approach and some of the challenges we have been faced with, and continue to grapple with, in our ongoing attempts to meaningfully synthesize and interpret faunal data of varying resolution and quality. Despite these challenges, our research is already providing fascinating insights into past human interactions with high-trophic-level fishes (salmonids and Sander) and the now-extinct passenger pigeon, highlighting the potential of large-scale meta-analyses to more broadly contribute to our understanding of human–animal and landscape interactions in the Northeast.


Plus d'un siècle d'archéologie en Ontario a produit une quantité significative de collections archéologiques et d'ensembles de données associés, dont une grande partie a fait l'objet d'analyses relativement limitées. Au cours des dernières années, nous nous sommes intéressés à (ré)analyser des collections fauniques découvertes il y a longtemps. Le but était de rassembler des données sur la faune issues des recherches et d’activités de gestion des ressources culturelles passées. En s'appuyant sur cette base de données zooarchéologiques nouvellement générées et obtenue par ces collections, notre équipe de recherche collaborative s'est tournée vers des méta-analyses à grande échelle, basées sur un SIG, pour explorer les grandes tendances de divers aspects de l'archéologie et de l'écologie historique de la région des Grands Lacs qui se sont déroulés depuis environ les 1000 dernières années. Dans cet présentation, nous examinons à la fois le vaste potentiel d'une telle approche et certains des défis auxquels nous avons été confrontés, et continuons à être confrontés, dans nos tentatives de continuer à synthétiser et d'interpréter de manière significative des données fauniques de quantités et de qualités variables. Malgré ces défis, nos recherches fournissent déjà des informations fascinantes sur les interactions des humaine du passé avec les poissons de niveau trophique élevé (salmonidés et Sander) et avec le pigeon voyageur, aujourd'hui disparu, soulignant ainsi le potentiel des méta-analyses à grande échelle pour contribuer plus largement à notre compréhension des interactions homme–animaux et paysage dans le Nord-Est.

02:40 PM: Big Fish, Small Fish: Exploring Wendat Fishing Practices through Osteometric Analysis of Yellow Perch Remains
Author(s):
  • Tyaibah Biswas - University of Toronto
  • Trevor Orchard - University of Toronto
  • Alicia Hawkins - University of Toronto

Can investigations of legacy collections act as a sustainable means to provide meaningful knowledge of Indigenous practices without the need for further destructive archaeological analyses? Here, we used legacy collections from the Ellery site and non-destructive osteometric methods to examine Wendat fishing practices/resource management from 1550-1640 AD. Yellow perch (Perca flavenscens) elements from pre- and post-contact occupations were compared for changes in size. Previously established regression equations were used to estimate fish size based on measurements of the frontal, operculum, quadrate, dentary, angular/articular, and maxilla. Differences could arise from the impacts of European colonization, changes in water bodies accessed, the nature of fishing technology, or climatic differences.

03:00 PM: Textured thresholds: Non-destructive approaches to Wendat ground stone celt biographies
Author(s):
  • Tiziana Gallo - Rebanks postdoctoral Fellow - Royal Ontario Museum (Ontario Archaeology Art & Culture)

Abstract coming soon!

03:20 PM: Working with Private Collections: A Case Study in Huron-Wendat Archaeology
Author(s):
  • Bonnie Glencross - Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Gary  Warrick - Wilfrid Laurier University

Archaeologists are faced with difficult ethical debates when choosing to work with privately held collections. Private collections are common and can be important sources of information about the past. However, disputes over illicit recovery and ownership, often the lack of systematic recovery and/or substantial provenience, and their private nature making them inaccessible are but a few of the associated pitfalls.  In Ontario, artifacts held in museums or private hands that were collected prior to the Ontario Heritage Act (1974) remain the property of the museum or individual. As time passes, risk of damage and loss of privately held collections is inevitable. We present a case study involving a large private collection from a 17th century Huron-Wendat village site located in southern Ontario, illustrating the region’s history of engagement with collectors and how conditions of cooperation have changed. Our hope is to broaden collaboration between collectors and archaeologists, creating an open dialogue with an eye to innovative approaches to re-engagement with private collections and defining the role of private collections in archaeological research and education in Ontario.

03:40 PM: Using Legacy Collections to Investigate Subtle Changes in Tionontaté Ceramic Artifacts
Author(s):
  • Robert Wojtowicz - ASI Heritage
  • Caitlin Coleman - ASI Heritage
  • Alexis Dunlop - ASI Heritage

In 2014, ASI reached an agreement with Charles Garrad to assume curatorial responsibility for his archaeological collections, which represent his life’s work as an avocational archaeologist in the Collingwood area of Ontario. The collections are derived from 47 Tionontaté sites that date roughly from the 1450s to 1650. In the fall of 2017, a volunteer project was undertaken by ASI staff to document the ceramic assemblages within Garrad’s collections. The ceramic collections were previously broken down by typology, but a detailed analysis of all the ceramic artifacts had never been done. Our new work is revealing subtle changes in how Tionontaté potters decorated their vessels over time, and the large selection of sites is providing a new appreciation of these trends. Working with legacy data on this scale has its challenges, but it is helping us to refine our ideas about how ceramics evolved from early Tionontaté migration to the Collingwood area to the approximate arrival of Samuel de Champlain.

 

04:00 PM: Technological choices past and present: minimizing destructive analyses in pottery studies
Author(s):
  • Gregory Braun - University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Amy St. John - Université Laval

In this collaborative study, we use minimally invasive or non-invasive materials science techniques to explore possible links between Indigenous sites in Ontario and Québec, Canada. Our goal – to explore the technological practices associated with Late Woodland pottery manufacture – required analytical methodologies rarely used in this region. Petrographic and micro-CT analyses were carried out on extant archaeological collections. Our results demonstrate that using petrography and micro-CT together in a complementary manner allows us to gain insights into ceramic production that neither technique can provide alone. In addition, micro-CT can be used to examine some of the same elements of ceramic technology as petrography; in this way we can minimize the use of destructive analyses. Through observations made using both techniques, we can examine the technological choices and gestures of potters made during the manufacturing sequence; we can also relate them to communities of practice situated within the landscape. Our findings also suggest that, as a discipline, we should re-evaluate our reliance on pottery decoration to infer ethnicity; if we wish to address research questions proposed by our Indigenous collaborators, we must shift our focus toward other avenues of inquiry, one such avenue being ceramic technology. 

Time: 
04:30 PM to 06:30 PM
(MDT)
Room: 
Strathcona Room
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Krista Gilliland, Western Heritage

Session Abstract

At conferences, poster sessions are the great equalizer. From students to seasoned professionals, and from all aspects of the discipline (academic, consultant, avocational, and hobbyist), the poster session brings various groups together to provide a forum for fellowship, networking, and the exchange of ideas.

 

The conference poster session was a favourite of the late Dr. Terry Gibson, a leader in the use of magnetometry, innovative technologies, and a scientific approach in consulting archaeology. He was inspired and energized by meeting new people from all walks of life, the exchange of ideas, and reminiscing with friends and colleagues. Those who chatted with him at conferences often walked away having made a new friend or mentor, found inspiration, or were challenged to rethink their ideas.

 

It is with this spirit of creativity, community, and enthusiasm that Western Heritage is sponsoring a poster session in honour of the memory of one of our founding members. Researchers from all aspects of archaeology or history and from all career stages are encouraged to present. Conference participants are invited to attend the session, meet some new presenters, talk with old friends, and discuss some novel ideas. Visit ‘Terry’s Corner’ for a retrospective on some of the key projects over the course of his career, and virtually toast his memory. Drinks and snacks will be provided.

Presentations

(Re-)Imagining the Schreiber Wood Landscape: Digital Reconstructions of 19th Century Settler Occupations at the University of Toronto Mississauga
Author(s):
  • Mahalia Johnna Baguio - University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Ya Qi Mo - University of Toronto Mississauga

The Schreiber Wood Project is an undergraduate archaeological field school program conducted on the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) campus. Since 2013, surveys and excavations have provided insight into the Schreiber family who inhabited the property on which UTM now sits during the late 19th century. This poster shows our process in creating an interactive digital reconstruction of two sites that have been explored through the project to date: AjGw-535, the location of a house known as Iverholme, and AjGw-534, an area that may relate to a second house known as Mount Woodham. We utilized historical images of each house, digitized them through free-form sketches, and created an interactive image slider using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. The outcome of these reconstructions is to create an interactive and informative method to compare the historical condition of the two sites with their present state highlighting the landscape changes and cultural modifications through time. Further steps could be taken towards 3D-modelling and augmented reality technology for the direction of visualization in the future.

3D Reconstruction of a Cultural Landscape: Interpreting Shadowmere of the Schreiber Estate
Author(s):
  • Yunfei Lin - Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Kiara Kim - Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto Mississauga

The Schreiber Wood Project (SWP) focuses on historical sites located on the property now occupied by the University of Toronto Mississauga. The project documents the cultural landscape and activities created by the occupation of the Schreiber family during the late 19th to early 20th century. As part of this project, we report the documentation and 3D reconstruction of Shadowmere, an artificial lake used during the Schreiber family. An integration of total station and hand-held Global Positioning System (GPS) data were used to document Shadowmere. 3D maps were modelled using ArcGIS to reconstruct the features in the landscape, which included the remains of an earthen dam, abutments of a stone bridge and an abandoned trail. The analysis of the features through a 3D reconstruction helped us interpret the original water level and the size of Shadowmere. Based on our analysis, the artificial lake was approximately 2 meters deep, with an area of ~510.78 m2 and a volume of ~1004.56 m3. The documentation of Shadowmere contributes to reconstructing the residential occupancy of the Schreiber family and understanding the lives of European settler colonists in Erindale, Ontario.

AMS 14C Dating of Residential Construction and Occupation at the Ancient Maya Townsite of Alabama, East-Central Belize
Author(s):
  • Matthew Longstaffe - University of Calgary
  • Meaghan Peuramaki-Brown - Athabasca University

 

Archaeological research at the ancient Maya townsite of Alabama, Belize, presents many contextual challenges rarely faced by researchers working in other, more heavily studied, geographic subregions of the Eastern Maya lowlands. These challenges include a poorly preserved and fragmentary ceramic assemblage, a relatively short period of occupation (interpreted as a “boomtown”), and an earthen-core construction practice that complicates stratigraphic profiles. Together, these issues significantly constrain our ability to detail the timing of platform construction and residential occupation and abandonment processes. To address these challenges, we expanded our program of AMS 14C assays to apply a Bayesian statistical framework to refine age models for the deposition of materials associated with residential occupation and associated building-platform construction. In this poster presentation, we summarize the results of these analyses, highlight the successes and limitations of this approach given our contextual challenges, and outline lessons learned to guide future radiocarbon sample selection and excavation strategies at Alabama. Our study contributes to the ongoing program of research by the Stann Creek Regional Archaeology Project (SCRAP), which aims to better understand the timing and tempo of urban development processes at ancient Alabama and in the greater subregion of East-Central Belize.

An Overview of the Fort Carlton Provincial Park (FfNp-1) 2021 Field Season
Author(s):
  • Alyshia Reesor - Saskatchewan Archaeological Society
  • Sarah Pocha-Tait - Saskatchewan Archaeological Society; University of Saskatchewan

Fort Carlton was a fur trade post stationed on the south bank of the North Saskatchewan River that operated for nearly 75 years from 1810 to 1885. It has been previously excavated from 1964 to 1991. It was again excavated during the 2021 field season as the first of a three-year research project between Saskatchewan Parks, the University of Saskatchewan Anthropology and Archaeology department, and the Saskatchewan Archaeological Society. This excavation was conducted as a way to engage students and the public about archaeology and fur trade history.

The 2021 field season served as an exploratory year to determine site boundaries and to determine where to excavate in the coming years. A total of 7 shovel tests and 23 units were placed and excavated from early May to late August with artefact analysis taking place between May and December 2021. Information gathered was used to determine where to excavate in future years and what could be determined about the site. This poster highlights the information uncovered from a basic analysis of artefacts and an in-depth four-month ceramic analysis.

CAVEWEST: A Database for Cave Research and Management in the Western Cordillera of North America
Author(s):
  • Marina Elliott - Simon Fraser University
  • Briggs Buchanan - University of Tulsa
  • Jon Driver - Simon Fraser University
  • Mark Collard - Simon Fraser University

Here, we introduce a new interdisciplinary research project called CAVEWEST. The project is inspired by recent efforts to document caves in South Africa’s Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, which have yielded spectacular results. It is our intention to apply a similar systematic approach to the Western Cordillera of North America, from Alaska to the US-Mexico border. Specifically, CAVEWEST has two aims. One is to create a baseline database of information that is pertinent to research on, and management of, the known caves and rock shelters in the Western Cordillera. The second aim is to develop a network of Institutional Partners. These will include archaeological research centers, Indigenous organisations, and recreational caving clubs. The Institutional Partners will participate in the selection of the variables for which data will be collected, and in the design of the protocols for how the completed database will be accessed and shared. In addition, they will be the database’s primary users when it is complete. We anticipate that, among other things, CAVEWEST will result in a step-shift in the amount of archaeological and palaeontological research on the caves and rockshelters of the Western Cordillera and also greatly enhance management of the cultural resources they contain.

Compensatory excavations at Archaeological Site GfQv-28, northern Alberta
Author(s):
  • Krista Gilliland - Western Heritage

To ensure that projects proceed according to budget and schedule and to ensure positive relationships with local community members and other stakeholders, developers typically achieve regulatory approvals, including those under the Historical Resources Act (HRA), prior to development proceeding. Occasionally, construction may proceed ahead of addressing regulatory requirements, putting a project into non-compliance with the HRA. Non-compliance may result in a financial penalty or the requirement for compensatory work, although the details of these penalties are not typically shared with industry or with consultants.

 

Here, we present an example of recent compensatory excavations of Archaeological Site GfQv-28 in northern Alberta. Recorded during an assessment of a project footprint that had been partially developed prior to addressing regulatory requirements, Site GfQv-28 was estimated to be 80% intact at the time of the survey. However, nearby Site GfQv-27, recorded in the disturbed portion of the footprint, was estimated to be over 90% destroyed. We present the results of the initial archaeological assessment and subsequent Stage 1 excavations of Site GfQv-28 as a case study illustrating the processes that can trigger compensatory excavation requirements in Alberta and the value of compensatory requirements in lieu of a strictly financial penalty.

Dental Polish as a Method for Determining Seasonality for Bison
Author(s):
  • Tatyanna Ewald - Atlatl Archaeology Ltd.

Analysis of microwear patterns on teeth has been proven to determine an animal's diet and therefore seasonality at death. This is based on the recognition that food characterizing general dietary patterns leaves unique signatures on the enamel of teeth. Unfortunately, this has been limited to broader inferences regarding diet, such as seasonal grazing and browsing. This research evaluates dental polish in archaeological bison as a means of determining seasonality for these specimens. Dental polish analysis is applied to bison teeth to assess signatures left by grasses with variable moisture content and exogenous grit to infer the season at death for these specimens. Correlations of dental polish with seasonal patterns were identified based on modern observations which determined four seasonal categories within southern Alberta based on these variables. Subsequently, dental polish of bison from several archaeological assemblages in the northern plains were examined, allowing for assessment of seasonality for these individuals.

Dr. Terry Gibson’s Contributions to the Bodo Archaeological Sites
Author(s):
  • Courtney Lakevold - Bodo Archaeological Society

Dr. Terry Gibson was the first professional archaeologist to discover and name the Bodo Bison Skulls Archaeological Site. He saw great scientific and cultural potential in the development of the site for students and the public and set up and directed the first archaeological field schools with the University of Alberta. Inspired by interest in the site from his students and the local community, Terry, along with local community members, worked to establish the Bodo Archaeological Society in 2003. With his devoted interest in the site and mentoring of his former students who directed work there, many years of archaeological exploration and public engagement have continued. In his last year, Terry conducted geophysical work and lectured summer students on his latest research at the site. He was a board member of the Bodo Archaeological Society from the beginning and stayed on until his passing in August 2018. This poster will highlight Terry’s contributions to the Bodo Archaeological Site and the Bodo Archaeological Society.

Introducing the New Brunswick Archaeology Bibliography Project: Using Bibliography to Track the Profession
Author(s):
  • Trevor Dow - University of New Brunswick
  • Kenneth  Holyoke - University of Toronto
  • Gabriel Hrynick - University of New Brunswick

In this poster, we introduce the New Brunswick Archaeological Bibliography Project, an effort to catalogue published sources about New Brunswick archaeology for New Brunswick Bibliographies Series (NBBS). The NBBS is a collaboration between the University of New Brunswick (UNB) Libraries and Gaspereau Press that aspires to support New Brunswick studies by focusing attention on the province’s published heritage. In the spirit of the series, we believe our bibliography highlights research emphases and gaps that offer direction for research. However, the bibliography also reflects trends in the dissemination of New Brunswick research through time and changes in the way the profession is practiced in the province. In this poster, we explore these trends and consider possible implications of them for policy, legislation, and future research.

Kabeshinàn: Situating the BiFw-6 site in Broader Cultural Landscapes
Author(s):
  • Samantha Albanese - Western University
  • Peter Timmins - Western University

The Ottawa-Gatineau region is the location of a vast ancient cultural landscape which has been largely overlooked by academic study for the past twenty years. Kabeshinàn (Anishinaabemowin for 'Meeting Place'), now known as Leamy Lake Park, Gatineau on settler maps, is situated at the meeting of Gatineau and Ottawa Rivers. Kabeshinàn contains BiFw-6, one of thirteen known multi-component pre-contact Indigenous archaeological sites. My research examines how the BiFw-6 site fits within broader regional and cultural landscapes. This analysis provides insight into the site's existence as a meeting place for Indigenous Peoples, and its connection to Indigenous lifeways through examining evidence of repeated settlement. There is a unique opportunity to better understand BiFw-6, and the larger complex of archaeological sites within Kabeshinàn, its role as a persistent place, and its correlation with group agency and tradition making.

The methodology of this project includes comparative typological, attribute, and spatial analysis of formal stone tools and ceramics excavated between 1993 and 2003. This data, in turn, will be used to identify evidence of cultural traditions, site functions, trade, and cultural knowledge exchange. This research contributes to our understanding of Indigenous settlement and lived experiences in the Ottawa-Gatineau region.

Le projet Érosion : une approche multidisciplinaire pour pérenniser le patrimoine archéologique riverain de la Nation Waban-Aki
Author(s):
  • Geneviève Treyvaud - Grand Conseil de la Nation Waban-Aki
  • Alexandre Tellier - Grand Conseil de la Nation Waban-Aki

Le projet Érosion est une initiative pluriannuelle pour évaluer et suivre l’érosion sur les sites et zones de potentiel archéologiques le long de deux rivières importantes pour la Nation W8banaki et ses ancêtres : Alsig8ntegw (rivière Saint-François) et W8linaktegw (rivière Bécancour). Le patrimoine archéologique riverain est particulièrement menacé par les changements climatiques et le développement immobilier. Il faut agir rapidement et intelligemment pour le pérenniser.

Le projet est une collaboration entre le Bureau du Ndakina, les Bureaux Environnement et Terre d’Odanak et Wôlinak, ainsi que les organismes de bassin versant COGESAF (rivière Saint-François) et GROBEC (rivière Bécancour). Il projet est financé par RCAANC. Il mise sur une approche multidisciplinaire et l’utilisation de plusieurs types de données pour assurer la gestion et la protection du patrimoine archéologique du Ndakina, le territoire ancestral de la Nation W8banaki. Dans la communication, nous décrirons la méthodologie employée ainsi que les avenues futures pour le projet. Notamment, il sera question des sources d’informations utilisées pour l’identification des zones de potentiel ainsi que le protocole de collecte de données sur le terrain. La méthodologie que nous proposons, bien que développée sur deux rivières en particulier, peut être appliquer sur d’autres cours d’eau.

Magnetic Gradiometry in the Mattheis Research Ranch
Author(s):
  • Katherine Gadd - University of Alberta

Archaeological sites are non-renewable resources; once a site is destroyed, there will never be another one like it. As such, archaeological methods are developing to learn as much about archaeological sites as possible with as little disturbance as possible. The goal of this research has been to learn more about how magnetometry can help to identify the types of cultural remains likely to be found on the Alberta Plains and examine how they can contribute to the study of landscape archaeology in the area. This work shows how the imprint left behind by the human agents who created the places on the Mattheis Research Ranch can be detected through magnetic gradiometry.

Terry Gibson and the ‘archaeology of the invisible’
Author(s):
  • Scott Hamilton - Lakehead University

Dr. Terry Gibson was a leader on the vanguard of consulting archaeology and influenced many to incorporate emerging technologies into their research. He was particularly important in developing archaeological geophysics. While we were contemporaries, in the early 1980s was an important mentor who introduced me to magnetic gradiometry (and later ground penetrating radar and magnetic susceptibility), and led me to explore how micro-computers might someday revolutionize archaeological cataloguing, database development, analysis and digital data presentation. His research innovation continued right up to his death with exploration of ‘real-time’ data collection and analysis in field archaeology. This poster celebrates aspects of his contribution and highlights projects that have Terry’s creative ‘fingerprints’ all over them.  

The Application of an Emic Lens to The Practice and Use of Geographical Information Systems in Archaeology.
Author(s):
  • Benjamin Kucher

The field of archaeology is no stranger to the creation and use of maps, but what exactly is the purpose of a map in archaeological research? What information does it tell us about the site we are studying? In a fundamental sense, a map can be defined as a diagrammatic representation of an area of land or sea showing physical features such as cities, buildings, roads,and other features. While it is useful to create a map for one’s study site for orienting oneself, rarely does a map tell us anything about the functionality of a site. Through a comparison of contemporary practices in geographical information systems and historical culturally created maps, specifically the Catawba DeerSkin Map, I identify and discuss the need for the creation of culturally relevant maps that both orient the researcher in their settings and contribute to our understanding of sites on a larger scale.

The Listing of Historic Resources in Alberta: History, Challenges, and New Advances
Author(s):
  • Colleen Haukaas - Archaeological Survey, Government of Alberta
  • Robert Gustas - Archaeological Survey, Government of Alberta

The Historic Resources Management Branch (HRMB) at the Government of Alberta is challenged with the protection of the province’s historic resources. In order to efficiently communicate concerns with industry representatives, the HRMB has developed the Listing of Historic Resources (LHR), a biannual publication of lands that contain known or high potential archaeological and palaeontological sites, Indigenous traditional use sites of a historical resource nature, and historic structures.

This poster will outline some of the methodological challenges faced in building and maintaining a large-scale spatial dataset representing diverse historical resources. We discuss how we collect data representing these resource sites and perform spatial analysis with FME Desktop and ArcMap to assign historic resource values to lands in accordance with HRMB regulations. Additionally we outline how the Listing is published to users in an online format using a Web GIS platform (ArcGIS Portal). Notable challenges that we highlight are integrating legacy data, protecting anonymity of historic resource sites, maintaining data quality, and delivering spatial information to a diverse user base with highly variable computing environments and familiarity with spatial data.

Thunder Bay through Time: City Planning and Archaeological Mapping
Author(s):
  • Jade Ross - City of Thunder Bay
  • Scott  Hamilton - Lakehead University
  • Clarence Surette - Lakehead University

     Accurate and high-resolution mapping of archaeological sites and features within urban landscapes has broad applications as a Municipal planning and development tool and a research database for institutions. The poster features an ongoing collaborative initiative between the City of Thunder Bay, Fort William First Nations, and Lakehead University. It strives to amalgamate all available archaeological data for Thunder Bay from Ontario’s Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture into an ArcGIS project. The Municipal LiDAR data enables production of a precise digital elevation model to help understand archaeological site distribution upon a dynamic Holocene landscape. Beginning with ~9000-year-old glacial Lake Minong shorelines and stream systems, the patterned distribution of archaeological sites is being examined. These early sites are also considered in light of outcrops of the Gunflint Formation to consider the influence of the preferred lithic material. Middle and Late Holocene landscapes and archaeological sites are also considered. The project will continue with ground-truthing inspections to confirm disputed site locations. The goal is to produce a functional map with GIS layers identifying currently known sites and zones of enhanced archaeological potential to aid in planning processes.

Saturday April 30, 2022

Time: 
08:00 AM to 10:20 AM
(MDT)
Room: 
Turner Valley Room
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Kelsey Pennanen U of Calgary
  • Liam Wadsworth U of Alberta
  • Scott Hamilton Lakehead U
Contact Email: 

Session Abstract

Over the past thirty years, archaeological practice has undergone significant transformation in part because of the development of increasingly powerful and accessible electronic technology. This computer-driven spatial revolution has provided new avenues for increasingly non-invasive investigation of known archaeological sites and their landscapes, monitoring sites at risk, and to search for significant places not yet known. This is coupled with a shift towards applied archaeology, driven by the need for more expedient, precise, and comprehensive heritage documentation within environmental impact assessments, and also research directed by engagement with Indigenous descendent communities. Canadian archaeology, however, has only begun to reflexively examine the use of non-invasive digital technologies shaping the ways we ‘do’ archaeology. To reflect on the possibilities and consequences of a technologically based archaeological future, this session explores the trajectory of changing professional practice in Canada by reviewing methodological innovations, limitations, and implications of non-invasive technology. This includes important and deliberate reflection on how perspectives and priorities shift when conducting community-engaged research with Indigenous partners.

Presentations

08:00 AM: Non-invasive archaeology: identifying and addressing ambiguity.
Author(s):
  • Scott Hamilton - Lakehead University

Geophysical and aerial remote sensing methods are becoming better known and more widely practised in Canadian archaeology. Superficial consideration focuses on comparatively low cost and non-invasive capacity but downplay methodological limits and interpretative ambiguity. Also undervalued are validation tests of the output.

These challenges are addressed with reference to aerial mapping of the Fort Ellice 1 and 2 sites (Hudson’s Bay Company, 1831-1890), located in southwestern Manitoba. Both are in comparatively undisturbed prairie, with a rich archival record. The work was triggered by proposed development of cultural heritage walking trails and signage. Since they are registered heritage sites, provincial approval requires demonstration that the archaeological deposits will remain undisturbed. It was thought that aerial remote sensing might be effective to identify the fort ruins, thereby ensuring that the interpretative facilities avoided them.

Investigations involve integration of archival description and imagery with georeferenced digital data (orthophotos, satellite and LiDAR imagery, NTSB shapefiles and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) mapping output). Critical considerations involve the precision and accuracy of the various data sources, its interpretative resolution, and the limits to effective digital integration. Since no subsurface validation was permitted, the efficacy of non-invasive ‘ground truthing’ is also considered.  

08:20 AM: Remotely-Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Technologies for the Investigation of Persistent Places in the Canadian Arctic
Author(s):
  • Samantha Walker - McGill University

Canadian Arctic archaeology has recently seen an influx in the use of remotely-piloted aircraft (RPA) technologies as a non-invasive means of detecting, mapping, and monitoring archaeological sites. In this paper, I discuss how RPA technologies can support moves beyond site-based research in Canadian Arctic contexts by helping us investigate new questions about past landscapes. I outline some of these affordances using examples from my research on three persistent places in Amittuq (Northern Foxe Basin), Nunavut. These include the use of RPA technologies to expand and intensify archaeological survey, to orthorectify geographic datasets, and to identify patterned relationships between archaeological materials and biophysical landscape elements. The interpolation of RPA datasets with satellite-based digital elevation models has also provided a baseline for paleotopographic reconstructions that help elucidate how place-community relations in Amittuq have changed over millennia. When paired with alternative lines of historic evidence, such as spatialized data derived from Iglulingmiut oral testimonies, the modelling of RPA survey data facilitates new, unexpected ways of engaging with archaeological landscapes.

08:40 AM: Breaking Open the Black Box: Next Steps for Non-invasive Archaeology in Canada
Author(s):
  • William Wadsworth - University of Alberta

Recently, Canadian archaeologists have been called upon by Indigenous communities to provide more expedient and non-destructive heritage management solutions compared to traditional archaeology. Although not limited to the geophysical detection of unmarked graves, the recent findings at former Indian Residential Schools have punctuated the urgency for archaeologists to adopt non-invasive approaches. Within archaeological remote sensing, it was recently noted that the popularity of these techniques had begun to exceed the technical training of their users. As a result of the diverse backgrounds of users in non-invasive archaeology, there remains great variation in how these techniques are employed and what results are produced. To avoid “black box” approaches, now more than ever archaeologists need new resources to avoid potentially traumatic situations that follow uninformed data processing and interpretation. In this paper, I will propose reflexive considerations regarding the state of non-invasive techniques in Canadian archaeology, specifically highlighting training and access to equipment and software as key problems. I will also review possible open-source software and materials already available for training, data processing, and report generation as possible strategies to mitigate these issues. Finally, a call will be made for the establishment of future training opportunities for the non-invasive archaeologist.

09:00 AM: Five Years Later: Reflecting on the Alberta Digital Heritage Archive
Author(s):
  • Madisen Hvidberg - University of Calgary
  • Christina Robinson - University of Calgary
  • Peter Dawson - University of Calgary

In 2017 the Digital Heritage Research group at the University of Calgary launched the province’s first online Digital Heritage Archive (https://alberta.preserve.ucalgary.ca/). The archive combines 3D site replicas derived from terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) and drone photogrammetry with historic information and photographs to create a centralized repository for heritage resources within Alberta, which is publicly accessible online. At the inception of the archive, it was an academically funded and focused project dedicated to exploring how digital technology can be used to preserve, protect, and mobilize knowledge about Alberta’s diverse heritage resources. However, in the last five years our team has learned many lessons that have grown and expanded the archive into a community-based, grassroots heritage preservation program.  In this paper, we will be reflecting on the last five years operating the archive, the developments it has seen, and the directions we hope it will continue to grow into the future. 

09:20 AM: Applying statistical and geospatial methods to boreal forest archaeology in Central Newfoundland
Author(s):
  • James Williamson - Memorial University Newfoundland and Labrador

The Beothuk, an indigenous people of Newfoundland, lived in the Exploits River Valley in Central Newfoundland and built semi-permanent houses there between AD 1600 and AD 1829. Their dwellings, otherwise known as house-pits, have generally not been recorded using detailed survey techniques, and there is only one overarching study of their residences. Using current survey data and statistical analyses, I hope to show the relationships between different house-pits to discuss whether the temporal or demographic relationships of the Beothuk using them. In this presentation, I will be reviewing the method and the preliminary results of the numerical analysis. Modern surveying methods make offsite interpretations possible and allow more complex geospatial analyses, while prior discussions primarily used traditional, very low-resolution survey methods. I have applied computational methods to glean information from the surface morphology of these features about their society. I used drone photogrammetry to record these house-pits and interpreted them using GIS tools. I am now using R to analyze the similarity of specific house-pits based on their internal features. I will discuss my preliminary results and their implications for understanding the Beothuk house-pits in the Exploits River Valley.

09:40 AM: Aerodrome Archaeology of World War I Canada
Author(s):
  • Michael Deal - Memorial University
  • Henry Cary - Mount Allison University
  • Maria Lear - Memorial University
  • Bryn Tapper - Memorial University

Camp Rathbun in Deseronto, Ontario, is one of a handful of aviation facilities built in Canada during the First World War. Established as a flight school for Royal Flying Corps/Royal Air Force (RFC/RAF) personnel, Camp Rathbun was an extensive aerodrome complex of hangars, barracks, magazines, and other support structures and features. Though dismantled after the war, the site is relatively undisturbed and has unparalleled potential for revealing what life was like for RFC/RAF trainees in the formative years of aviation. In September 2021, the lead author and a crew of three archaeologists and eight volunteers conducted a preliminary assessment of the site, which included targeted geophysical survey. Our goals were to comprehensively map the site, document the standing buildings (including hangars relocated offsite) and surface collect from a surviving dump behind the camp barracks. This paper describes the historical research, field work, and preliminary artifact analysis, as well as how the investigation has contributed to an understanding of Camp Rathbun’s archaeological and heritage significance. It will also outline how this understanding will inform recommendations for future research, management, and protection of the site.

Time: 
08:00 AM to 11:20 AM
(MDT)
Room: 
Yukon Room
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Natasha Lyons, Ursus Heritage Consulting and Simon Fraser University
  • Andrew Martindale, University of British Columbia

Session Abstract

Interpretation is at the heart and soul of archaeological practice yet at times becomes a rote process. Among our interpretive sins, we may draw uncritically on ethnographic analogy, rely on the sole theoretical lens of our formative academic years, limit ourselves to particular scales of analysis, and/or create blinders to particular modes of thinking. This session provides a venue for critical reflection on archaeological meaning-making, focused particularly on the building blocks of interpretation. We ask participants to both consider and unpack the rationale(s) behind their own interpretive practices and their accompanying limitations and possibilities. This process may involve high-level deconstruction of your theoretical and methodological paradigms and practices, mid-level deconstruction of your interpretive process with a compelling body of data, or re-visiting a sequence of routine small-level steps that might be re-conceived to different effect. We ask you to articulate the implications and real-world outcomes of your interpretive choices. We invite contributions from a span of geographies, specialties, and orientations (including theories, methodologies, and practitioners). 

Presentations

08:00 AM: Blurring Interpretive Boundaries: Re-Examining Numic Landscape in West-Central Colorado, USA
Author(s):
  • Mairead Doery - University of Arizona

Archaeologists regularly draw from ethnography and oral history to interpret material findings. While these are culturally grounded practices, relegating local ontologies to the final stage of research ignores the role they can play in developing research questions and methods for studying Indigenous pasts. American Indian Studies scholars advocate for incorporating Indigenous epistemologies and ontologies in all stages of research, including a meaningful consideration of the animate, social nature of landscapes. Indigenous human-landscape relationships are evidenced through the material record, but also in placenames and place-lore. These knowledge systems challenge Western conceptions of the world and introduce new evidence for understanding it. This paper re-examines the Numic (ancestral Ute) landscape in west-central Colorado using a research framework that centers Indigenous knowledge. Using archival and ethnographic sources, I am developing a geo-database that links Ute placenames and place-lore to identify localities for archaeological survey, and new classes of evidence to document. This data is interpreted using oral traditions, which demonstrate tenets of Ute philosophy. Combining these layers of information challenges environmentally deterministic interpretations of Numic land-use. Instead, by placing Indigenous knowledge at the forefront of archaeological inquiry, this research illuminates a fuller breadth of the ways Numic groups engaged with cultural landscapes.

08:20 AM: ‘There’s Nothing (of significance) Here: understanding data interpretation blind spots in archaeological-science.
Author(s):
  • hagwil hayetsk Charles R. Menzies - UBC

We all have blind spots. Harmless blind spots might be amusing. Blind spots cloaked in the mantle of authority, however, can have a rather pernicious life with manifold ill effects. This paper explores interpretive blind spots within the euro-centric science of archaeology. We begin by setting the stage for how the North American variant of this science had its roots in a white supremacist ethnic mobility and replacement ideology.  While we acknowledge that a discipline can slip the shackles of its parents’ desires, that the practitioners of the discipline can act in ways contradictory to its initial conception, we find a blind spot persist in the disciple’s continued adherence to a euro-centric ideology of science.  Next we draw upon our own experience appropriating archaeological-science for Indigenous led inquiry. Here we examine the intersection of euro-centric skepticism and pragmatic discovery focussed blindness. We explore this through two stories: “the archaeologist and the waakyil (current) patch,” and; “there’s nothing of significance here (archaeologists and abalone). Finally we conclude by suggesting a way out of this legacy blind spot through upending the euro-centrism of archaeological science and adopting an Indigenous intellectual framework.

08:40 AM: Using 2-eyed seeing to understand archaeobotanical data within the context of land use planning at Katzie First Nation
Author(s):
  • Tanja Hoffmann - University of Cambridge; Katzie First Nation
  • Natasha Lyons - Ursus Heritage Consulting; Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University
  • Roma  Leon - Katzie First Nation
  • Mike  Leon - Katzie First Nation

Two-eyed seeing is a concept developed by Mi’kmaw Elder Albert Marshall that aims to see the strengths of Indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing from one eye and those of Western knowledges and ways of knowing from the other. Marshall teaches us that “no one person ever has more than one small piece of the knowledge," and thus it requires people to work in collective to address complex questions, weaving back and forth knowledges, perspectives, and positions from a footing of respect and equality. In this paper, we apply a two-eyed seeing approach to questions of whether and how archaeobotanical study is useful to the sovereign pursuits of Katzie First Nation, a Coast Salish community of southwestern British Columbia. Archaeobotanical methods and data have undoubtedly provided a wealth of information about ancient and traditional land practices within Katzie territory, but here we look first at how this knowledge is viewed through Katzie and outside researchers’ eyes respectively, and second how it is best applied, through these lenses, to aiding governance pursuits related to land use planning and intergovernmental negotiations, restoring critical resource habitats, and to re-asserting Katzie management principles and customary law to govern these.

09:00 AM: Say what we mean; mean what we say: language and interpretation in commercial archaeology
Author(s):
  • Joshua Dent - TMHC Inc.
  • Holly Martelle - TMHC Inc.
  • Matthew Beaudoin - TMHC Inc.
  • Lara Wood - TMHC Inc.

The relationship of language with interpretation is an important part of archaeological discourse. This paper shares examples of how an anachronistic and government-endorsed language of archaeology shapes the interpretation of commercial practice (e.g., designations for the paleo period). As more people review commercial archaeological products, archaeologists and non-archaeologists alike are challenging the use of particular language and by extension the interpretations of commercial archaeologists (e.g., use of “Iroquoian” culture historical references in Anishinaabe traditional territories). The vernacular of commercial archaeology is slowly shifting as these interventions are negotiated but are the interpretations changing as well? The challenges of shifting language and interpretation in a practice caught between government standardization and predetermination of terms and methodologies are examined alongside ongoing strategies to realize change.

09:20 AM: How Materials Come to Matter: Exploring Lithic Value during the Tuniit (Paleo-Inuit) Period in Amittuq, Nunavut.
Author(s):
  • Kyle Forsythe - Royal Alberta Museum

Lithic artifacts have long been employed as key components in reconstructions of Tuniit (4800 – 600 BP) culture history in the Eastern Canadian Arctic. However, little of this work has considered the potential affective roles of lithic raw materials, and how their social importance may have emerged and changed as part of situated landscape practices. In this paper, I argue that engagement with Inuit oral history can facilitate historically specific explorations of lithic value. While raw materials vary between ancestral Inuit and Tuniit archaeological assemblages, Inuit maintain intimate knowledge of all elements of the Amittuq (northern Foxe Basin) landscape, including the stone resources used by Tuniit communities. This specialized body of knowledge presents a unique set of possibilities for archaeological research. Inuit testimony can help us to better understand the unique capacities and potentials of lithic resources and the ways they may have acquired value as part of Tuniit communities. To this end, I discuss 1. the personal experiences in which these materials are considered by Inuit; 2. how the material properties of different stone types lend themselves to specific sets of practices; 3. how lithic materials acquire value as part of a wider topology of people and places. 

09:40 AM: ‘We Are the Land’: Embodying Land-based Relationships in the use of Archaeobotanical Evidence toward the Service of Sts’ailes Sovereignty in British Columbia
Author(s):
  • Natasha Lyons - Ursus Heritage Consulting; Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University
  • Morgan Ritchie - Sts'ailes; Department of Anthropology; University of British Columbia
  • Michael  Blake - Department of Anthropology, University of British Columbia
  • Willie  Charlie - Sts'ailes
  • Alison Wylie - Department of Philosophy, University of British Columbia

Archaeobotany is a branch of archaeology that can provide direct evidence of the enduring ties that First Nations communities in British Columbia and throughout Canada have to their ancestral territories.  In B.C., the legal recognition of these ancestral and ongoing ties has regularly been contested and denied by settler institutions and remain largely unresolved at many levels of government. In this paper, we describe how a large and comprehensive archaeobotanical data set is being collected and analyzed to interpret five millennia worth of sustained land and resource use by Sts’ailes, a Coast Salish community whose territory includes many ancestral settlements on the middle Harrison River of southwestern British Columbia. We organize the data in a fashion to address legal concepts of rights, title, and Western ownership principles, at the same time as situating them within Sts’ailes understandings of relationships to human and non-human beings and customary law principles governing land use and tenure. This framework helps to bolster the historical and evidentiary foundations for negotiating self-governance and the maintenance of reclaimed lands and critical ecosystems by the Sts’ailes and other First Nations communities throughout British Columbia.

10:00 AM: Relating Data, Shifting Interpretations: How Métis knowledge challenges standard archaeological data organization.
Author(s):
  • Kisha Supernant - University of Alberta

Archaeological interpretation is deeply connected to the ways archaeologists categorize, sort, and analyze the material data about the past. Typical archaeological data structures emphasize taxonomies based on form, function, material, and linear time, all categories based on western knowledge systems. Indigenous knowledge systems challenge the fundamental assumptions on which archaeology categories are founded; if Indigenous knowledge is to inform archaeological interpretation, it must do so in all aspects of the archaeological process. Therefore, Indigenous knowledge systems invite a radical reimagining of how we sort, order, and analyze archaeological data. In this presentation, I will discuss how Metis knowledge systems challenge typical categories of historical archaeology, including commonly used functional categories, and invite new possibilities for interpretation. Using an example of beads and beadwork, I explore how organizing data based on Métis ways of knowing shift the interpretive focus from hybridity to relationality, compress ideas of linear time, and lead to new possibilities for understanding the Métis material record.

10:40 AM: What is an Arrow?
Author(s):
  • Christian Thomas - Yukon Government

Arrows are readily indefinable objects that are widely understood by the public as weapons of either hunting or war. But to archaeologists they are artifacts that symbolize different types of information: culture historical “ethnicity”, site function, technological transition, regional type, or temporal marker. These types of classifications can be useful analytical tools, but they often involve projecting meanings on to artifacts that might not align with the typology of the artifact’s maker. In this process artifacts become caricatures symbolizing information that bares little resemblance to traditional design principals. In this talk, we discuss arrows recovered from ancient hunting landscapes in the Yukon, and how the Ice Patch Research Group is analysing the design of hunting arrows using ethnographic descriptions interpreted in the context of biological, geographical, and ecological land use settings. By connecting observed artifact traits with described traditional design principles it is possible to derive nuanced interpretive meaning from these artifacts. In this we hope to understand arrows, not as a caricature, but as object filled with meaning that serves to enhance the public’s sense of place and tradition when experiencing archaeology.    

11:00 AM: The banality of sampling: epistemic colonialism in the landscapes of British Columbia archaeology
Author(s):
  • Andrew Martindale - UBC

The archaeological identification of complex cultural phenomena in history relies on long inferential chains connecting material gestures to interpretation via the fragmented archaeological record. Interpretive confidence increases with any of 1) increased sampling representativeness, 2) less ambitious interpretive goals, 3) conformation to deductive principles and 4) alignment with alternate historical sources. However, archaeological data are rarely sampled adequately for the scale of analytical unit necessary to describe broad patterns in space and/or time. This creates the recurring teleology in which evidence is mobilized to demonstrate rather than test prior assumptions. Avoidance of this circularity creates either a focus on behaviour rather than culture, reification of culturally situated expectations, or the subservience of material data to other kinds of evidence. Using examples from rock art and its legal implications, I explore the challenges of navigating through these pathways, the consequences of not attending to them, and the opportunities provided when sampling within and between evidentiary forms align.  

Time: 
08:00 AM to 12:00 PM
(MDT)
Room: 
British Columbia Room
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Shawn Bubel, Archaeological Society of Alberta
Contact Email: 

Session Abstract

The aim of this session is to share information about Alberta archaeology to all those interested: academics, professional working in CRM, and the general public. The Archaeological Society of Alberta (ASA) serves as a liaison between the public and the Archaeological Survey/Royal Alberta Museum. Members of the ASA help protect Alberta's cultural resources and educate people about the importance these non-renewable resources. Thus, the ASA encourages the reporting of archaeological sites and artifacts, and assists in the dissemination of archaeological discoveries and projects. Presenters in this session will share information about their recent finds, field work, and research projects relating to Alberta Archaeology. This session is open to all those interested in Alberta Archaeology, and especially welcomes students and members of the pubic to present and attend.

Presentations

08:00 AM: Public Archaeology in East Central Alberta: Successes, Challenges and Lessons
Author(s):
  • Courtney Lakevold - Bodo Archaeological Society

The Bodo Archaeological Society (BAS), a regional centre of the Archaeological Society of Alberta, was formed in 2003 to promote public archaeology, education, and conservation of historical and archaeological resources at the Bodo Archaeological Sites, located in East Central Alberta. The tours and programs at Bodo have engaged and educated the public for over a decade by providing an authentic experience at an archaeological excavation. These programs have also promoted an understanding and awareness of the discipline of archaeology in Alberta and North America. This presentation will discuss the evolution of the programs and the BAS, what our successes and challenges have been so far, lessons learned while developing and maintaining these programs, our partnerships with important stakeholders, and the value of doing public archaeology.

08:20 AM: When Life Gives you Lemons: Make an Online Expansion of the University of Calgary’s Indigenous Youth Engagement Program
Author(s):
  • Madisen Hvidberg - University of Calgary
  • Lindsay Amundsen-Meyer - University of Calgary

The University of Calgary’s Archaeological Indigenous Youth Engagement (IYE) program, operated in partnership with Old Sun Community College, focuses on incorporating knowledge students have learned throughout their junior high and high school education into applications commonly used for archaeology. Traditionally, this program has combined in-classroom and on-site teaching activities but during the COVID-19 pandemic has expanded to incorporate a large self-guided digital program, including topics specifically focused on decolonization and reconciliation through archaeology. This paper will discuss the redevelopments of the IYE program during the pandemic, our public education and outreach initiatives, as well as our plans for the future of the program in a post-pandemic world. 

08:40 AM: The Dead Can’t Speak: A Look in to Cemeteries of Métis Communities in Alberta
Author(s):
  • Maria Nelson - Undergraduate Student, University of Alberta

Cemeteries are a place for processing grief, remembrance, and respect. In many places, cemeteries are woven into the community’s story. The dead may not speak, but that does not mean there is nothing to be gained from examining the spaces that they occupy. The original goal of this paper was to explore the relationship between historical Métis cemeteries and Métis identity, but this goal quickly changed. Four locations within Alberta were chosen due to their connection with historical Métis communities. The most prominent pattern that was determined was the distinctive lack of Métis individuals in these spaces. For communities that have been around over a century and half, it should have been reflected through their cemeteries. And yet, they are not. Why? Where are all of these individuals buried, if they are not buried in the cemeteries of their community parishes? To answer these questions, I dug into the story of the communities, compared scrip records to grave markers, and the all too familiar trend of erasing Métis history. 

09:00 AM: Investigating seasonality estimates at the Fincastle site
Author(s):
  • Samantha Kondor

Mass bison kill events, such as the Fincastle site, have been the dominant focus of zooarchaeological work on the Great Plains. A common component of bison zooarchaeological research is a dentition analysis for estimating the seasonality of the kill. This research is possible because bison are born in the spring; therefore, their dentition at death corresponds to a season. Mass bison kill events are often linked to a fall seasonality, as it is theorized these events occurred as a way to stockpile resources for winter. My master’s thesis research analyzed the Fincastle bison mandible assemblage using four common aging methods to assess the eruption and wear patterns of the mandibular molars. The Fincastle site is a single component bonebed; there is no inherent reason for temporal variation in the bonebed that would result in different seasonality estimates. My research identified patterns in the eruption and wear sequence of the Fincastle molar cusps that did not match the four reference methods. This research indicates the complexity of seasonality models and provides evidence that further research is needed in bison dentition analyses to understand the connection between age and seasonality estimates.

09:20 AM: Dendroarchaeological Investigations in the Beaver Hills: A Case Study of the Robertson Spruce Lodge
Author(s):
  • Greg King - University of Alberta Augustana
  • Kelly Heinemann - University of Alberta Augustana
  • Dylan Reade - High Level Moving Picture Company Ltd.
  • Mike Boyd - Strathcona County Museum and Archives

 

One of the most problematic issues facing archaeologists and local historians is the inability to scientifically verify the construction dates of old buildings. Complications include exaggerations of age, unsubstantiated guesses based on local or family stories, modern renovations, and survey documents that may not refer to specific buildings.

Dendroarchaeology, which uses the annual radial growth of trees to exactly determine the construction date of a wooden historical building or structure, offers one possible solution. However, to our knowledge, the method has not been applied within east-central Alberta. One of the major hurdles is that forests are assumed to be younger than wooden structures of interest, owing to fires and logging.

“Spruce Lodge'' was built by Walter Scott Robertson on land acquired in 1890 at what is today the hamlet of South Cooking Lake. The cabin is one of the oldest buildings still standing in Strathcona County. However, the date of construction was unknown, with some suggesting 1893, 1896 or 1898.We used dendroarchaeological sampling of more than 30 cabin timbers to accurately determine the building date. Here we share results of this case study and the potential to expand this work within communities interested in better understanding local histories.

09:40 AM: Diversity in Archaeological Employment
Author(s):
  • Madi Badger - MacEwan University

Current research on equity, diversity, and inclusion in archaeology has largely focused on academia. For this study, I broadly examine representation in archaeology focusing on the experiences of those in Cultural Resource Management (CRM). Specifically, a survey was distributed to CRM companies across Canada that focused on the role of gender and sexual orientation in the workplace, and the possible inequity as a result. The purpose of this study was to determine if there is an underrepresentation of members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in CRM archaeology. As well, CRM has a reputation of being a heteronormative, male-dominated field, and I wanted to look at how this affects marginalized archaeologists. Initial results of the survey indicate issues with working conditions related to gender and sexual orientation. This paper will present the results of said survey, as well as offer insight on how to make archaeology a more inclusive field based on the issues identified.

10:00 AM: Food is more than just animals: Plant analyses from Parkland sites in Alberta
Author(s):
  • Kate Peach - Stantec Consulting Ltd.
  • Clarence  Surette - Lakehead University

Recent samples from excavated precontact period sites in the parkland area of Alberta, including the North Saskatchewan River valley, were primarily analyzed for floral remains.  Samples included carbonized food residues from pottery sherds, stone tools and feature fill (boiling pits, hearths). To recover the maximum information possible, multiple techniques were employed when examining each specimen.  This multi-proxy approach allowed for the recovery of a wide range of macro-and-micro botanical remains.  This presentation provides a summary of the results from five sites, discussing how these results have suggested interesting lines of interpretation, changing our views of landscape use in the parkland area and the functions of specific lithic tool types.   

10:40 AM: From slate pencils to militia buttons: a complex historic site in Calgary
Author(s):
  • Meg Porter - Stantec Consulting Ltd.

As part of a cultural resource management program on behalf of the City of Calgary for their Bonnybrook Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion, Stantec archaeologists have investigated the remains at site EgPm‑137 from 2016 and 2019. Initially the site of St. Dunstan’s Calgary Industrial School from 1898 to 1907, it was purchased by the Department of Defence and used for storage and military training into the 1920s. The site was then used as a feedlot and later, an unsanctioned dump. Within the ruins of the school foundations the material culture recovered is almost exclusively related to the military presence at the site. This presentation will focus on the Department of Defence's occupation of EgPm-137, share the findings and challenges, and explore some historic milestones.

11:00 AM: A Well Preserved Cody Complex Campsite at FiPj-176 - EL. Smith Water Treatment Plant, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Author(s):
  • Gareth Spicer - Turtle Island CRM

Cody Complex archaeological sites, well preserved and with authoritative dates are rare. This paper describes one such site (FiPj-176) located within the North Saskatchewan River valley in Edmonton, Alberta. The Cody portion of this site was subject to mitigative excavations in association with the installation of a new water intact pipe at the EL. Smith Water Treatment Plant operated by EPCOR Water Services. This 9,000 year old, single occupation, site includes a lithic assemblage of Knife River Flint and other exotic tool stone distributed over two distinct activity areas, one of which in association with a a concentration of burnt and calcined bone interpreted as a hearth feature. In alignment with current research, the site is reflective of a small highly mobile group of hunter/gathers. This group likely travelled over a vast area to access a diverse range of resources (including tool stone), as a means to mitigate localized procurement and nutritional limitations. The site offers a level of interpretive and research potential exhibited by a limited corpus of archaeological sites on the Northern Plains of North America.

Key words:

Cody Complex, Knife River Flint, mobility, North Saskatchewan River valley, Edmonton, EPCOR

11:20 AM: Developing the West: An Examination of Railway Construction Camps in Western Canada
Author(s):
  • Joshua Read - Stantec Consulting Ltd

The expansion and development of Western Canada by immigrating settlers was driven by the construction and maintenance of the trans-national rail system built at the turn of the 20th century. The development of the railway not only allowed for the movement of peoples but allowed for the advancement of industries such as logging and mining. While the effect of the railway on the development of Western Canada is undeniable, analysis of day-to-day activities for the railway construction workers has been relatively understudied from an archaeological perspective. Rail construction camps have been recorded along the original Grand Truck Pacific Railway in the Edson/Hinton and Jasper areas within Alberta but little excavation has been undertaken at these sites. A Stage 1 excavation conducted at site FiQi-27, one of the largest excavations at rail construction sites in the province, was undertaken in 2020 to further investigate the range of  activities, the ethnicities of the workforce, and the function of various structures at the site. The results of these investigations are presented here and will be used to aid in the interpretation of railway activities in this region of Western Canada.

11:40 AM: Circle CRM Public Archaeology: The Swainson Site (FeOw-2)
Author(s):
  • Trevor Peck - Circle CRM Group Inc.
  • Kyle Belanger - Circle CRM .
  • Grant Smith - Circle CRM
  • Meg  Simper - Cirlce CRM
  • amanda wong - Circle CRM

Circle CRM believes in engaging the communities within which we work using the tools of our trade - archaeology. These communities include the general public with an emphasis on Indigenous communities - the ancestors of the peoples who created the archaeological record. In the summer of 2021, Circle worked with locals from near Sedgewick, Alberta, to survey and test the Swainson Site (FeOw-2). Work at the Swainson site allowed Circle staff, the local land owner, and local collectors to revisit the previously known site for which further testing had been recommended. In the 1970s, cultivation had exposed hundreds of “Besant” points manufactured on Knife River Flint in association with bison bone. In 1974, a small trench excavation by Maurice Doll, Provincial Museum of Alberta, found some intact material below the plough-zone in association with a single “Besant” point of Knife River Flint; subsequently, no further work has been conducted at the site. The current team managed to relocate the site, find an intact processing area, recover a diagnostic Sonota point of Knife River Flint, obtain a radiocarbon data that supports the Sonota interpretation, and make the local newspaper.

Time: 
08:00 AM to 12:00 PM
(MDT)
Room: 
Chairman Room
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Kelly Monteleone, University of Calgary
  • Lisa Sonnenburg, Parks Canada
  • Bryn Letham, Simon Fraser University

Session Abstract

The dynamism of coastal landscapes was a force that ancient people reckoned with and which modern populations - archaeologists included - must account for. Reconstructing ancient coastal environments helps archaeologists to better predict and understand the locations of ancient settlements and in interpreting site formation processes. Furthermore, accounting for how people experienced coastline change informs our interpretations of the past and may contribute to discussions surrounding modern-day human-coastline interactions. This session invites discussions of methods or case studies for studying Canada’s changing coasts through an archaeological lens. How has sea level change or other geomorphological transformations impacted coastal landscapes and coastal populations? What cutting-edge methods are best employed for studying the archaeological record of these landscapes? How have past and/or present perceptions of the coastal change shaped our understanding of these places? How will climate change affect our ability to study these landscapes? How can traditional knowledge inform our understanding of coastal change and adaptation?

Presentations

Connecting Open Science and Archaeology: The University of Victoria Zooarchaeology Lab (UVicZL) Comparative Collection - A Source of Cultural and Ecological Knowledge
Author(s):
  • Kathryn McKenzie - UVic, HECA Lab

Comparative collections are key to facilitating anthropological, biogeographical, ecological, and ethnobiological interpretation of the dynamic natural and cultural history of human-animal interactions. The UVicZL, possibly the largest and most representative regional collection for species on the Northwest Coast (NWC), contains skeletal remains from over 2,500 animals compiled over 40 years. This research facility, used to identify zooarchaeological assemblages from sites across the NWC, allows researchers to reconstruct animal husbandry practices, biodiversity patterns, environmental conditions, and economic and trade systems. My research transforms the UVicZL collection into a discoverable, citable resource. Data repositories and aggregators, including Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), will give researchers access to digitized specimen attribute data annotated with linked open data including taxonomic, genomic, Indigenous nomenclature, skeletal element ontology, and geospatial data. An accessible annotated collection can stimulate research that spans disciplines, bridges cultural barriers, and stimulates research questions about species biodiversity, animal domestication and exploitation, landscape modification, and responses to climate change based on past environmental conditions, regional heritage, and biological information. Improving collection discovery and access stimulates interdisciplinary research and facilitates a deep-time perspective of human and animal ecological and cultural relationships to improve future environmental and resource management techniques.

08:00 AM: Geological and Cultural Factors Influencing Human Relationships with Intertidal Ecosystems at Early Through Late Holocene Archaeological Sites on Labouchere Bay, Southeast Alaska
Author(s):
  • Mark Williams - University of New Mexico, SWCA Environmental Consultants

Intertidal coastal areas are highly reliable and productive environments, but they are affected disproportionately by changing sea levels, especially in recently-deglaciated high-latitude regions. In Southeast Alaska, ancient humans relied on intertidal ecosystems throughout the Holocene, but they had to contend with rapidly fluctuating sea levels, as well as changing cultural practices. This paper examines humans’ evolving relationship with the intertidal landscape of Labouchere Bay starting at the end of the last glacial period. The rapid postglacial marine transgression was associated with use of the shoreline for temporary encampments. The first evidence for long-term systematic shellfish exploitation coincided with the maximum highstand during the early Holocene, c. 9,500 calendar years ago. As the sea level gradually receded due to terrestrial subsidence throughout the middle and late Holocene (c. 7,000 - 2,500 years ago), shellfish harvesting activity at Labouchere Bay increased in intensity. Although the early occupation of Labouchere Bay was influenced heavily by changing sea level, later occupation seems to have been influenced more by cultural factors coinciding with the regional emergence of clan-oriented hierarchical labor allocation.

08:20 AM: New Insights into Human-Environmental Interactions of North Atlantic Coasts using Stable Isotope Sclerochronology
Author(s):
  • Sarah Kuehn - Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Megan MacKinnon - Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Marisa Dusseault - Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Meghan Burchell - Memorial University of Newfoundland

 

Shell midden deposits in Atlantic Canada have the potential to yield high-resolution climate reconstructions based on stable oxygen isotope sclerochronology. To produce accurate and precise interpretations from shell data, identifying species-specific protocols is necessary to ensure fidelity in sea surface temperature (SST) reconstruction and interpretations of seasonality and timing of site occupation.  We discuss how two species of marine mollusks commonly found in archeological deposits, Mya arenaria (soft-shelled clam) and Crassostrea virginica (eastern oyster) can be used for SST reconstruction and seasonality. However, the shell structure of both of these species presents unique challenges for analysis when compared to other hard-shelled clams. To work around these challenges, our approach includes a  combination of thick/thin sectioning, digital imaging, FTIR spectroscopy, precision radiocarbon dating, and high-resolution isotope sampling to present preliminary SST data for the North Atlantic. Our work centers on two case studies: Port Joli, Nova Scotia, and Hog Island, Prince Edward Island, between ~2000 years BP to present day. Further, we extend our discussion to the wider field of archaeology and explore how archaeologists can better utilize shell data to its fullest potential.

 

08:40 AM: Environmental changes on the outer continental shelf of Prince of Wales Island, southeast Alaska
Author(s):
  • Kelly Monteleone - University of Calgary/Mount Royal University
  • Rosita Worl - Sealaska Heritage Insitute
  • Andrew Wickert - University of Minnesota

Current representations of late Pleistocene to early Holocene sea-level change are coarse representations and lack depictions of human experiences. On the continental shelf west of Prince of Wales Island in southeast Alaska, there was up to 176 m of sea-level rise, from -165 m to 11 m, in approximately 7000 years: an enormous change. Sea-level changes would have been both slow and punctuated, and these dramatic changes would have affected how the people hunted, fish, gathered, and lived. Biological refugia and archaeological evidence indicate that people were present by at least 12,000 cal BP, and human migration through the coastal region into the Americas may have been ongoing. The transforming environmental and landscape reconstructions will be used to hypothesize the local environmental changes at specific locations and sea levels at the end of the Pleistocene.

09:00 AM: Transforming Landscapes at Severn House (GlIv-1)
Author(s):
  • Jean-Luc Pilon - Carleton University
  • Katherine Davidson - Carleton University

The erosion taking place at GlIv-1 (Severn House) has been observed and documented through photography, satellite imagery, HBC post journals and cartography, and first-hand observation. By analyzing such records, we can see a continuous process of erosion since the post was established in 1759. Severn House is put at risk by several factors that have contributed to and accelerated the erosion of the Severn River: natural processes such as river dynamics, but also permafrost loss and changes in freeze-thaw cycles that may be due to climate change, urban development, deforestation and other human activity. Such erosion also places at risk the modern community of Fort Severn First Nation, as seen through the decommissioning of several buildings along the top of the riverbank. While there have been different attempts at mitigating this erosion through the 262 years of the post’s existence, more is urgently needed to reduce the impact on the community and its heritage resources.

09:20 AM: Archaeological Potential of S’Gaan Kinghlas - The Bowie Sea Mount
Author(s):
  • Rob Field - Sea Beneayh Marine & Heritage

S’Gaan Kinghlas / Supernatural One Looking Outward / is the traditional Haida of the Bowie Seamount, a 3000 m tall volcanic pinnacle whose peak is 20 m below surface. Located 100 nautical miles (180 km) west of Haida Gwaii the southernmost peak in the Kodiak-Bowie chain. The Haida are remarkable maritime oriented people, renowned seafarers who used ocean-going canoes in Hecate Strait, venturing north to Alaska and south to Washington State for trade and raiding. They were adept fishers of resources, including whales, porpoise, and sea-lion. Still, without modern technology, how would they know of something submerged far out into the open ocean?
    Possibly the seamount was exposed during the last ice age duringlower sea levels when the coastal forebulge was in effect. Haida ancestors visited this island to exploit pelagic resources and possibly retrieve fine grained volcanic material for stone tool production. Video from previous explorations show a landscape with archaeological potential, including terraced beaches and rock overhangs that could have served as shelter. I am developing a proposal to undertake further underwater survey of the seamount using ROV technology and a technical scuba divers to examine areas of high potential for archaeological remains.
 

09:40 AM: Cultural Resource Management in the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area: Challenges and Opportunities
Author(s):
  • Lisa Sonnenburg - Parks Canada

The LSNMCA covers approximately 10,000 square kilometers of water, and includes sections of mainland shoreline and numerous islands. The challenges of identifying, managing, monitoring and protecting shoreline and submerged cultural resources in this vast area are many, but also provide opportunities for establishing cooperative relationships with local communities, testing out new technologies, and creating innovative solutions. With the Government of Canada pledging to conserve 30% of Canada’s lands and oceans by 2030, more new NMCAs and other protected areas are being proposed and established over the next five to ten years. Approaches being developed in the LSNMCA can provide insight into the management of cultural resources in protected marine, freshwater and coastal areas.

10:00 AM: How many metric tons of fish in a shell midden? Using zooarchaeological data and geospatial models to estimate Indigenous harvests of fish in Barkley Sound, BC, Canada
Author(s):
  • Robert  Gustas - University of Victoria
  • Dylan Hillis - University of Victoria
  • Jacob  Salmen-Hartley - Parks Canada
  • Iain  McKechnie - University of Victoria

Zooarchaeological data recovered from shell midden sites are an important focus for coastal archaeology globally. These cultural deposits contain complex records of everyday life and can include millennia of Indigenous fish harvests. In our study area fish represent the most numerous vertebrate skeletal elements in shell middens, yet the composition and absolute quantity of fish contained in these coastal settlement sites is poorly resolved. Here we integrate zooarchaeological bone counts with geospatial data to derive estimates of the total amount of fish biomass represented in five shell midden sites. This approach links the volume of sediments with MNI counts and fish body mass estimates to derive harvested fish biomass. Across the five sites examined in our study area, our geospatial models calculate site volumes ranging from 846-21,833 m3 and our zooarchaeological data suggest that between 3,000-7,000 fish are present per m3 with larger-bodied fish contributing proportionally higher biomass than MNI counts might suggest. We estimate these five sites contain 48,100 m3 of shell midden and 126,000- 243,000.metric tons of harvested fish biomass spanning 4,500 years. These quantitative estimates add detail to the role which ancient Indigenous fisheries had in the marine historical ecology of the North Pacific.

10:40 AM: “We Were Here, We Were Always Here”: A Holistic Approach to the Pictographs of Lekw’emin (Jervis Inlet)
Author(s):
  • Kali Sielsky - University of Saskatchewan

Understanding the creation and ongoing use of rock art can give insight into the connection of physical place and the spiritual world. Rock art sits uniquely at the loci of the archaeological record and past belief systems. It can offer insight into the thoughts of past peoples, in a way that no other dataset is able to. The purpose of this research is to examine changing Indigenous worldviews, specifically through the lens of rock art, within the shíshálh swiya (shíshálh world and landscape). shíshálh lands have among the highest density of rock art images on the Northwest Coast. The research area, Lekw’emin (Jervis Inlet), located north of Sechelt, British Columbia, has seventeen documented rock art sites that were recorded in 1966. Using a holistic approach, my research involved the re-recording and documentation of these sites using modern methods and technology, in addition to ethnographic analysis involving archival records and interviews with elders and local members of the community. By using this approach, we are able to gain a better understanding of these sites and how they have been utilized over time by the shíshálh Nation.

11:00 AM: 3000 Years of History: an analysis of past shellfish harvesting practices using data from the Kakmakimilh Archaeological Project on Tseshaht territory in the Broken Group Islands.
Author(s):
  • Arra Oman - Historical Ecology and Coastal Archaeology Laboratory, Department of Anthropology, University of Victoria, BC, Canada

The use of zooarchaeological data to address ecological questions is an emerging subfield in anthropology. This study examines a 3,000-year-record of Indigenous resource use from a coastal village west of Vancouver Island. Persistent habitation over millennia by Indigenous Peoples in this region created a vast archive of ecological information regarding past environments and the cultural selectivity of harvesting practices. The Kakmakimilh Archaeological project is a joint initiative between Tseshaht First Nation, Bamfield Marine Science Centre, Parks Canada and the University of Victoria which aids Tseshaht in reclaiming their history. I participated in this project in 2021 and examined the harvest profiles of two species of shellfish (Red Turban snails, California mussels) and two fish genera (Greenling,  Rockfish) using established regressions and caliper measurements. In this presentation, I examine trends in fish and shellfish size as a record of human cultural practices—including community social dynamics (e.g., harvesting areas by household) and fishing practices (e.g., preferential fishing for smaller fish in order to reduce impact). I explore these archaeological data to consider the incidence of preferential seafood harvesting and the impacts on these marine species that human and nonhuman predators, such as sea otters, may have had.

11:20 AM: Exploring the Marine Reservoir Effect on Late Archaic Period Swordfish Remains: A Case Study from Maine, USA.
Author(s):
  • Bonnie Newsom - Anthropology Department and Climate Change Institute, University of Maine
  • Sky Heller - Hudson Museum and Climate Change Institute University of Maine
  • Arthur Spiess - Maine Historic Preservation Commission
  • Katherine Allen - School of Earth and Climate Sciences and Climate Change Institute, University of Maine

Archaeological research indicates that swordfish hunting among Indigenous peoples in Maine ended abruptly in the region ca. 3800 BP, seemingly coincident in time with a significant culture change and environmental change from a micro-tidal to macro-tidal Gulf of Maine. Accurate dating of swordfish bone from archaeological sites is essential for exploring the timing, contemporaneity, and cause and effect of these changes; however, few studies have explored the Marine Reservoir Effect on archaeological swordfish recovered from Maine sites, complicating efforts to reconcile cultural and environmental chronologies. In this paper, we report new radiocarbon dates on swordfish from three Late Archaic period sites in Maine. We compare these with similar data from coeval terrestrial species as well as pre-WWII 20th century swordfish samples to assess the Marine Reservoir Effect on swordfish remains. We then discuss the implications for contemporaneity with cultural and environmental changes.

Time: 
10:40 AM to 12:20 PM
(MDT)
Room: 
Online
Session Hosting Format: 
online session
Organizer(s): 
  • Jode MacKay, Circle CRM Group
Contact Email: 

Session Abstract

The Session will seek to reflect on archaeological, anthropological and community impacts, related to the rise in recent wildfire activity and weather/ecological influences. Discussion topics maybe wide ranging, and will likely encompass landscape impact, methodological concerns during archaeological assessments (pre- and post- impact), wildfire rehabilitation and living in communities in a post-wildfire ravaged area.
Session presentations will seek a diverse voice of experiences, ranging from Regulatory, Consultant, Academic, First Nation and Community perspective, with key points related to compiling recent data from wildfire related programs, present findings and disseminate key points, identify strengths and weaknesses in current methodologies, with the ultimate goal of creating guidance for future ecological impacts and resulting Regulatory Policy.

Presentations

10:40 AM: The BCAPA Wildfire and Ecological Committee
Author(s):
  • Jode MacKay - Circle CRM Group Inc.

The membership of the British Columbia Association of Professional Archaeologists is engaged in archaeological research and the archaeological resource management process throughout British Columbia. In September of 2021, the Membership struck a new committee: the Wildfire and Ecological Impact Committee, (WEC). The Mandate of the WEC is three-fold: i) to track the progress of the current Wildfire Permit; ii) to centralize, organize, compile and experience share data of various wildfire related programs, and iii) with the ultimate goal, of preparing future guidance documents (for Industry, Regulators, Consultants, Academics and Communities). This presentation will seek to overview the last five years of wildfire activity within the Province of British Columbia, outline the response, and variety of actions that are commonly undertaken in response to wildfire destruction, resulting rehabilitation and remediation projects, various industry actions, and ongoing development of preventative. Ultimately, the paper will propose several future areas of interest which will require assessment in advance of the next wildfire season. We believe that both, community and archaeological voices can have an immediate effect for positive change in addressing the strengths and weaknesses of the currently employed systems, aid in the protection of heritage resources, and develop beneficial community practices.

11:00 AM: Wildfire Impacts and Archaeology in Alberta
Author(s):
  • Angela Younie - Ember Archaeology
  • Brian Leslie - Ember Archaeology
  • Braedy Chapman - Ember Archaeology

In recent decades, natural events such as coastal erosion, flooding, and forest fires have become both an increasing threat to archaeological sites and a source of opportunity for discovery, protection, and management. Numerous case studies in Alberta have shown that natural phenomenon, such as wildfires and windstorms, can reveal the presence of materials previously obscured by thick vegetation or forest detritus. It has been observed that post-impact assessments conducted after timber salvage operations can reveal significant cultural resources due to the disruption of buried sediments. As the rate of wildfire increases, we propose that now is the time to develop a framework for preservation of heritage sites that may be impacted during fire fighting efforts. This should include the study of sites that are revealed after fire, and the associated fire fighting efforts, have run their course. Drawing from case studies in the combined management of wildfire and heritage resources from across western North America, we discuss how these might be applied to Alberta-specific environments and archaeological sites. Throughout, we address the importance of how indigenous ways of understanding heritage, forest, and wildfires can shape the future of archaeological study and environmental management.

11:20 AM: Phytolith Analysis of Indigenous Forest Gardens: a Pilot Study Examining Land Management Practices
Author(s):
  • Kali Wade - Atlatl Archaeology Ltd
  • Chelsey Geralda Armstrong - Simon Fraser University
  • Michael Blake - University of British Columbia
  • Natasha Lyons - Ursus Heritage Consulting
  • Morgan Ritchie - University of British Columbia

Phytoliths are an important archaeological dataset that can provide valuable evidence in reconstructing paleoecosystems, analyzing environmental change, and identifying past human land-use activities. This study examines phytolith assemblages from 17 soil samples taken from modern ecosystems surrounding archaeological sites in Sts’ailes (Coast Salish) and Gitselasu (Ts’msyen) territories. Samples were taken during the summer of 2021, from nine shovel tests and trenches completed in two ecosystems: forest garden shovel tests (n=6) and conifer forest shovel tests (n=3). Phytolith presence was ubiquitous in every sample, displayed substantial concentrations per gram of sediment in each sample, and showed a variety of textbook morphologies. Monocots dominate the assemblages with an abundance of grass silica short cells (GSSC’s) in both forest garden and surrounding conifer forest ecosystems. GSSC's hold potential promise in identifying ecosystems as well as conifer forest understory compositions, following previous work completed in the area. Additional work is ongoing, to better understand phytolith signatures of forest management and ecosystem change over time. This work contributes to a wider set of experimental methodologies attempting to document integrated cultural-biophysical phenomena for a more complete view of Indigenous historical ecologies.