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By Brian Leslie

March 26, 2021

What a Sweet Spot!

Have you ever been outside enjoying nature and thought to yourself – this sure is a sweet spot! Whether you are camping, fishing, hunting, or just enjoying the outdoors, there are certain aspects of our favorite spots that make them ideal and cherished. Nice sheltered level ground near the river – great for camping and

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By Madeline Coleman

March 8, 2021

Cecily Margaret Guido (Peggy Piggott)

Books and movies, like The Dig (author John Preston and director Simon Stone), reintroduce us to people in our archaeological history that have either been forgotten or downplayed by societal norms of the time. They encourage us to dig into the past to discover who these people were, and how they contributed to the advancement

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By Corey Cookson

December 8, 2020

Gear Review: Bug Nets

Working in the boreal forest as an archaeologist can be difficult for several reasons, but one of the biggest annoyances is the swarms of bugs during the summer months. On a typical day, we encounter black flies, mosquitoes, horse flies, and no-see-ums. Unlike in the province’s urban areas, the bugs in the forest are much

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By Corey Cookson

November 26, 2020

“If you move another step towards me, I’ll blow you to hell!” The story of Fort Whoop-Up and Whisky Trading Forts of Southern Alberta

In the 1860s, Southern Alberta was home to several American whisky trading posts that sold liquor and guns to the local Indigenous groups in exchange for bison robes. These transactions occurred despite the United States Law of 1832 that banned liquor sales to the Indigenous groups. One such fort was Fort Hamilton (Later renamed to

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By Corey Cookson

November 20, 2020

The 9 types of Medicine Wheels in Alberta

Most people are familiar with Medicine Wheels, either from popular culture or books such as “Canada’s Stonehenge” by Gordon Freeman. Many people might not know that while they are found all over the Northern Plains in Montana, Wyoming, and Saskatchewan, they are most numerous in southern Alberta. There are currently 57 documented medicine wheels in

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By Corey Cookson

October 1, 2020

Top 10 Sites of 2019!

We are heading into the fall of 2020 and the season crunch is in full swing! We have been pretty busy, despite the challenges of COVID-19, and have found quite a few new and exciting sites. This makes us recall the sites of 2019! It was hard to make time to write up what we

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By Brian Leslie

June 4, 2020

What’s in Your Bag?

Gear choice can have a big effect on your comfort level and efficiency while working in the forest. New workers, may have never been in the field and may not know what you really need to take for a full 12 hour day in the boreal forest. We expect to spend the entire day away

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By Kurtis Blaikie-Birkigt

April 28, 2020

What Projects Need HRA Approval, or “Clearance”?

As Consulting Archaeologists, most of our work supports “regulatory compliance”.  We help developers get government approval by assessing and mitigating potential impacts to historic resource sites.  I’m frequently asked by developers whether a specific project requires Historical Resource Act Approval (or “Clearance”, as it was known before 2012). This isn’t as easy a question as one

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By Brian Leslie

April 15, 2020

No volcanoes in Alberta, so where does the Obsidian come from?

When working close to an obsidian source (i.e. volcanoes), archaeologist will regularely find obsidian tools and debitage. However, in the boreal forests of northern Alberta, obsidian is a rare find indeed. So to find any evidence of it at all is pretty significant. Volcanic glass, or obsidian, is one of the sharpest naturally occurring materials

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By Brian Leslie

April 8, 2020

Infectious Diseases in the Archaeological Record

COVID-19 has now been designated a global pandemic and continues to spread throughout the world. Not getting infected with this potentially lethal virus is at the forefront of many peoples minds, and the very real possibility of extended quarantine has led to shortages of items such as toilet paper, disinfectant and non-perishable food. While this

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