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Archaeologists uncovering the past at Calgary area dig

Archaeologists are learning more about early life along the Bow River as they work to preserve historic resources affected by the 2013 floods in southern Alberta. 


Derrick Foster, Senior Archaeologist with Lifeways of Canada, uses some delicate spade work to uncover clues to the past

Flooding of the McKinnon Flats area, southeast of Calgary, revealed that the Prairie’s earliest inhabitants, dating back at least 2,500 years, used the site primarily as a “campsite”, where they processed bison for food and other materials from a nearby bison kill site.

“In working to preserve vital archaeological resources impacted by the destructive southern Alberta floods, we are learning more about the lives of the First Peoples and their kinship with this land. Efforts to ensure this vital chapter of our collective history is not lost will help to create a greater awareness and understanding of our past for Albertans today and for generations to come.”

Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Culture and Tourism

The McKinnon Flats project is part of Alberta Culture and Tourism’s efforts to address the impacts of the 2013 floods. Archaeologists and paleontologists have been exploring along riverbanks and areas affected by flooding in an effort to identify, preserve and protect Alberta’s archaeological and paleontological resources.

While the three-year project wraps up in 2016, the public is encouraged to report the discovery of any artifacts, bones or fossils uncovered by the flood through the province’s “Report a Find” program.

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