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Archaeology

Archaeological Events: “100 Years Celebrations”

2011 Archaological Excavations with Public Participation

Art Turner Sawmill
© Annie Turner
Public Archaeology along the Heritage Trail at Terra Nova National Park

More information on the historic context

Come and join the archaeologists on the scenic Heritage Trail and live archaeology in action. The dig will be supervised by Archaeologist Jenneth Curtis, and will allow participants to understand how archaeologists work. This is a great opportunity to participate in an archaeological excavation.

When: June 18th - 19th, 2011
June 23rd-24th 2011
Space id limited
Targeted Age Group: 14+
Fee: Park entry
Clothing: Adequate clothing and hat for summer work; rain gear
Personal Supplies: bug spray, suntan lotion, water
Book Now! (709) 533-3127 or david.saunders@pc.gc.ca



Programme d'archéologie publique

2011 Fortress of Louisbourg Public Archaeology Program

Click here for more information on the project, the logistics and registration




Diggin Up Dirt at Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada

“Diggin Up Dirt” at Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada

More information on the historic context

When: July 12th to July 29th, 2011
Targeted Age Group: 13-75
Space is limited.
Activity cost: $200 per person for one week; $500 per person for three weeks
Clothing: Adequate clothing and hat for summer work; rain gear
Personal Supplies: bug spray, suntan lotion, food and water
Reservations:
Please contact Brad Himour, tel: 403-292-4471,
Email: brad.himour@pc.gc.ca



Archaeological Excavation at Grand Pré National Historic Site of Canada

For information contact: Société Promotion Grand-Pré
or Grand-Pré Public Archaeology Program


Public Archaeology Experience

Beaubassin and Fort Lawrence National Historic Sites

Beaubassin, a newly acquired Parks Canada site, will initiate a Public Archaeology Experience to unearth artefacts attesting to the Acadian way of life and culture before the Deportation. The Experience will also include Fort Lawrence, constructed within the former Acadian village of Beaubassin, which commemorates the struggle between the French and British Empires.

When: July 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30, 31 and August 4, 5, 6, 7
Targeted Age Group: 17 years and over
Space is limited: 12 partipants/day
Fee: $36,70/day
Registration requirements: You must register at least two days before. Registrants should be in good physical condition to participate in the excavation. Activities will proceed at a comfortable pace, though some physical exertion will be required. The on-site field lab will provide the opportunity to participate in less strenuous archaeological activities. It is not required to have prior archaeological experience.
Clothing: The months of July and August are usually warm and pleasant, but participants should be prepared for rainy and cool conditions. There is also a fair amount of wind, and registrants should dress accordingly. It is recommended that participants be prepared to dress in layers, and should also bring rain gear, comfortable shoes, a wide brimmed hat, and sunglasses.
Supplies provided: Sunscreen and insect repellent will be provided, but some may opt to bring their own brands. Snacks and bottled water will be provided.
Supervision and Tasks: The archaeological team will be working under the supervision of Parks Canada senior archaeologist Charles Burke. Visitors are given the opportunity to touch the past through a public archaeology experience, and contribute to the archaeological research that is being conducted at a site of national significance. Something new has been added this year: participants will also be helping with sorting and cleaning the artifacts that are found. This means the archaeologists will be able to assess how work is going right on site, as well as provide for better conservation of the artifacts.
More info: fort.beausejour@pc.gc.ca
To register: Call 506-364-5080. You will be provided with the information to register and the types of payment accepted.



Archaeological excavations Archaeological Excavations at Rocky Mountain House
© Parks Canada
"Invisible History, A Public Archaeology Program" at Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site of Canada

The Rocky Mountain House Public Archaeology Program provides a unique opportunity for archaeology enthusiasts to join supervised digs at the Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site of Canada. The 2011 season will focus on field study at the Hudson’s Bay Company Fort which was occupied by fur traders, clerks, voyageurs, tradesman and First Nations between 1835 and 1861. The program will consist of two 4-day field sessions in mid-late August. During each session, a crew of up to 10 participants will excavate a portion of the midden area associated with the third trading post, learn about archaeological field and lab techniques, and attend presentations addressing current historical research at the site. Although the crew will spend much of their time with trowels in hand, there will be ample opportunity for experiencing the sights and sounds of Rocky Mountain House and exploring the rich Métis Culture.

When: August 16-19 and August 22-25
Targeted Age Group: 15-75
Space is Limited
Activity Cost: $250 per person for four days
Note: Lunches and one evening meal are provided
Clothing: Adequate clothing and hat for summer work; rain gear
Personal Supplies: Bug spray; sun block; snack food and water
Reservations: Please contact: Confluence Heritage Society at Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site of Canada
Telephone: 403-845-6680
Email: rocky.friends@pc.gc.ca

Historical and Archaeological Overview

Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site of Canada occupies a 228 hectare parcel of parkland within central Alberta located along the north bank of the North Saskatchewan River upstream of its confluence with the Clearwater River. There, in 1799, the North West and Hudson’s Bay Companies set up rival posts at what was at the time the end of the fur trade line on the North Saskatchewan River. From the beginning, competition for trade was intense at Rocky Mountain House. For over fifty years it was the most westerly and southerly post in Blackfeet country, and during its 76-year history, nine different Aboriginal cultures came to the site to trade. The explorer, fur trader and mapmaker, David Thompson wintered at the North West Company post in 1800-01, 1801-02 and in 1807 set out from there for the discovery of the Columbia River and a pass across the Rocky Mountains. In 1847, the artist Paul Kane visited and sketched the third fur trade post built on the National Historic Site, and in 1858-59 members of the Palliser Expedition, including Sir John Palliser and Dr. James Hector, over-wintered at the same post. The last fort was abandoned in 1875.

Rocky Mountain House Paul Kane Painting of Rocky Mountain House
© Library and Archives Canada, C-114374

Fur trade posts were protected by a defensive wood palisade, and thus the term “fort” is frequently applied to such sites. “House” was the common name given to these posts. A total of five fur trade posts or “forts” were constructed at Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site. An initial dig by local enthusiasts took place in 1937, but beginning in 1962 and continuing throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, professional archaeological field work and research identified the precise locations of four of the fur trade post sites at Rocky Mountain House including (1) North West Company Rocky Mountain House, 1799-1821 (and possibly Hudson’s Bay Company Rocky Mountain House 1821-35); (2) Hudson’s Bay Company Acton House, 1799-1821 (and possibly Hudson’s Bay Company Rocky Mountain House 1821-35; (3) Hudson’s Bay Company Rocky Mountain House, 1835-61; and (4) Hudson’s Bay Company Rocky Mountain House, 1868-75. Only the site of the Hudson’s Bay Company so-called “temporary fort”, built and used from 1865-68, remains elusive, and current evidence suggests it may have been removed by erosion of the North Saskatchewan River. Today, Parks Canada protects the archaeological remains of the four known trading posts while presenting the overall history of the National Historic Site.

Parks Canada archaeologists continue to conduct regular field work at Rocky Mountain House. With the new millennium, new research tools and methods such as geophysical surveys utilizing ground penetrating radar and gradient magnetometer have been used effectively on the fur trade post sites. Over the decades, Parks Canada archaeologists have unearthed thousands of artefacts. The Rocky Mountain House Visitor Centre displays a selection for you to examine. Click here for more archaeological information.

2011 Archaeological Presentations

Note: The presentations will be delivered in French but some information in English could be provided on an individual basis. We also suggest visitors to consult the entry « How to reach us » for the exact time of the presentations at the sites where they take place.

Fort-Chambly National Historic Site of Canada

August 10 - L’archéologie récente des forts de la vallée du Richelieu.

Presented by : André Charboneau, Pierre Cloutier, Maggy Bernier et Paul-Gaston L'Anglais


Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site of Canada

August 13- Objets d'histoire… Histoire d'objets.

Presented by : Diane Lebrun


Carillon Canal National Historic Site of Canada

August 14- Objets d'histoire… Histoire d'objets.

Presented by : Diane Lebrun

Artillery Park Heritage Site

August 17- Résultats des fouilles archéologiques au LHN des Forts-et-châteaux-Saint-Louis à Québec: les vestiges du service de la bouche du château Saint-Louis.

Presented by : Manon Goyette


Forges du Saint-Maurice National Historic Site of Canada

August 20- Objets d'histoire… Histoire d'objets.

Presented by : Diane Lebrun


Forges du Saint-Maurice National Historic Site of Canada

August 20- Du tesson à l'objet, le traitement des céramiques.

Presented by: Kateri Morin