From dots to documents: Archaeology in the Boreal Forest 

  • Madeline Coleman, Tree Time Services Inc.
  • Petr Kurzybov, Western Heritage Services Inc.
  • Jody Pletz, Taiga Heritage Consulting Ltd.

The Boreal forest in Canada is a challenging environment, both in the past and present, affecting how people lived, migrated, and changed their lives to adapt to these surroundings. Many of the previously discovered sites in the Boreal forest have often been smaller in size and more difficult to find than their counterparts in other regions. Over the past few decades, the Boreal forest has been represented by a variety of interesting archaeological sites and equally interesting individuals dedicated to proving that these sites are more then just dots on a map. Years of exploration in this vast landscape has facilitated changes in methodology, allowing for the discovery of not only more sites, but also larger, and more significant sites than those previously seen. This, in turn, has shifted how archaeologists have had to adapt to manage and research these unique and non-renewable resources. In this session we explore the secrets our boreal environment has revealed to those dedicated to coaxing them out: from site finds, landscape changes and people migrations to changes in the methods used for site identification and evaluation, including both successful and less fruitful results and methods. All of these avenues of research have transformed boreal archaeological sites from just dots on the map to documents worth discussing.