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 materialsKeep Reading
June 12, 2019
Edible Plants Series – Wild Berries Part 1
If you follow our blog, or have read any of the other installments of the Edible Plant Series, you will notice some repetition in the following cautionary note. Do not eat any wild plants that you can not identify with 100% certainty! Berries are generally safer than plants like mushrooms, since most edible berries doKeep Reading
April 24, 2019
Edible Plant Series – Wild Mushrooms
For this installment of the Edible Plant Series I decided to take a bite out of mushrooms. Before I get into the bread and butter of this topic, I must first do what everyone must do when they are discussing eating wild mushrooms. I must state: DO NOT EAT ANY MUSHROOMS THAT YOU CAN NOTKeep Reading
February 6, 2018
An atlatl is a throwing stick with a small hook used to throw darts (projectiles). It allowed the hunter or warrior to create more leverage to increase the speed and distance of the dart. This weapon was used throughout North America including Alberta, approximately between 7,500 and 1,350 B.P.Keep Reading
December 4, 2017
Public Archaeology at the Brazeau Reservoir
Public archaeological programs are an excellent opportunity for people with a general interest in archaeology or amateur archaeologists to learn what an artifact is, and to practice the techniques that are used to find and interpret them. Often these programs will have a dig component, where people join for a few days or a week,Keep Reading
November 20, 2017
Working in the Winter
Specializing in forestry archaeology in Alberta, I haven’t had much opportunity to work in winter conditions. One of the nice things about forestry is its relatively long planning horizon and the flexibility to schedule our work. Unfortunately, in fall 2012, a variety of factors conspired to push some of our fieldwork into late October, andKeep Reading
October 23, 2017
Why do HRIAs (Historic Resource Impact Assessments)?
“Archaeological heritage is an essential element in the affirmation of our Canadian identity and a source of inspiration and knowledge. It is the policy of the Government of Canada to protect and manage this heritage.1” This sentiment is echoed through all levels of government and most provinces2, territories, and municipalities have either a piece ofKeep Reading
October 9, 2017
What is Mitigative Excavation?
Mitigative excavation is the process of digging an archaeological site that is threatened either by development or natural erosion. Mitigative excavations have different goals than academic excavations. The goal of mitigative excavations is is to save as much information about the site before it is destroyed, whereas in academic digs the goal is to answerKeep Reading
September 25, 2017
HRV 4C – What Happens Now?
You have made a plan for a development and reviewed your plan against the Listing of Historic Resources. You’ve found that you have a conflict on your land parcel, it is listed with an HRV of 4C. What does that mean? An HRV of 4C indicates that an historic resource site is located on thatKeep Reading
August 28, 2017
Index to Alberta Homestead Records 1870 to 1930
Many people are interested in researching their family history and genealogy. The Index to Alberta Homestead Records are an excellent place to start your research. The following blog will give instructions on how to use the Index. If you wish to learn what the homestead records are, or how they can help archaeologists, please checkKeep Reading