Canadian archaeologists examine 2,200 year old Indigenous site
An archaeological dig has uncovered material that dates back more than 2,000 years on the Exploits River.
|Archaeologist Laurie Maclean combs through a dig site near Grand Falls-Windsor where he and Don Pelley|
found material dating back 2,200 years [Credit: Chris Ensing/CBC]
They say they found historical tools during a salvage dig, and may have saved the material from being destroyed by the river.
"This would be gone next year," said Maclean. "By next summer all the artifacts would be strewn further along the beach … and there's a good chance that stuff in situ would be destroyed."
Tests came back placing some of the material at 2,200 years old.
"This is the first radio carbon date from the interior for a Groswater site," said Maclean, who noted there are a number of Groswater sites in the area.
Maclean said there are 20 known features at the site. A feature could be something like a grave, house or fireplace.
Maclean shows some of the tools found at a dig site on the Exploits
River that date back 2,200 years |
[Credit: Chris Ensing/CBC]
The next step for Maclean is to bring the information back to his office and prepare a report to document the findings.
A local outdoor enthusiast, Pelley has been helping Maclean with his digs in Grand Falls-Windsor for years. Maclean calls Pelley his "archaeologist assistant."
"I get to go around and help them with the work," said Pelley, who said he's been doing this since the 1960s.
"I've got Indigenous blood in my veins," said Pelley. "It's interesting for me because it sort of brings to light some of the culture and certainly part of what I belong to."
Maclean and Don Pelley said that if they didn't document the site now,
the rising water levels|
could have destroyed the artifacts [Credit: Chris Ensing/CBC]
"Hopefully we'll be doing something next year," said Pelley.
He said he was surprised to find out there were items that traced back 2,200 years.
"A whole lot of things happened on the Exploits River. The Exploits River was one of the main highways for three, maybe four different types of Indigenous cultures," said Pelley.
He hopes that their discovery will lead to more exploration of the region and potentially one day be used to teach tourists about the local history.
Pelley said he hopes to be able to bring his three daughters out to the site to convince them to carry on with his work.
Until then he has no plans to slow down.
"I'll be at it until I can't be at it anymore."
Author: Chris Ensing | Source: CBC News [December 08, 2016]