Alyssa Hamza is a Project Archaeologist with Ember Archaeology. She is Ember’s lead for our Plains region projects, and our key contact for Treaty 7 First Nations.
She has Permit Holder status in Alberta, Saskatchewan and with Parks Canada. Alyssa has CRM experience in the Plains, Parkland, Eastern Slopes and Boreal regions. She began working in consulting archaeology in 2004, first as a volunteer, then as an employee of Arrow Archaeology Ltd, then as an independent contractor before starting with Ember in May of 2021. Her field experience includes leading and conducting HRIAs on power line projects, oil leases, access roads, water, irrigation, and gas pipelines, gravel pits, seismic projects, cell phone towers, residential and industrial subdivisions and forestry projects. She has extensive experience surveying and recording sites on the Northern Plains, from Moose Jaw to Foremost to Brooks and Fort MacLeod. Alyssa has also conducted numerous TLU surveys with many First Nations groups, including the Blood, Tsuu T’ina, Siksika, Stoney, Piikani, O’ Chiese, and Alexis. She has developed an excellent working relationship with many of these groups and was publicly given a Blackfoot name by the late Andy Black Water at the 2010 Sundance on the Blood reservation.
Alyssa was always fascinated with history and archaeology and knew from an early age that she wanted to be an archaeologist. This dream came to fruition when she met Don Boras and began working for Arrow Archaeology Ltd. while still in high school. She then completed her Bachelor of Science in Archaeology and Geography from the University of Lethbridge in 2009 and finished her Master of Arts at the same institution in 2013. She focused on lithic artifacts, mainly projectile points and raw materials, and examined typological variability between Besant, Outlook, and Sonota type points using metric and non-metric attributes. During her academic journey, she participated in multiple field schools and spent three seasons excavating at a bison kill site in Southern Alberta and two seasons at an ancient settlement site in Israel. As a consulting archaeologist, she also spent one season excavating at the historic townsite of Fort MacLeod, dating to 1874-1884, and another excavating at a historic CP Railroad site in Banff.
Alyssa’s diverse experiences make her an invaluable asset to the Ember team. When Alyssa is not working on archaeological projects or conducting research, she enjoys spending time with her mom and sister, walking her dog, reading, writing, hiking, trying new recipes, and gardening.