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Archeology 201 Final Project Student Number 10019523 Tyler Cowan Lab Section Monday PM Howard Cyr
2 Introduction Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump. Below the cliff provided a source of fresh water and shelter for the hunters. Early Hunters recognized the potential in the topography of this location. 2008). truly exhibiting the ingenuity of aboriginal people to hunt efficiently.500 years. for archaeologists to analyse and study to better understand the plains aboriginal people. aboriginal people of the plains have used this Cliff to trap and kill bison.”(Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump Interpretative Centre. “West of the cliff lies a large drainage basin 40 square km in extent. despite their lack of sophisticated weapons. As this World Heritage Site becomes ever the more popular. The most important of artifacts still being . located in Alberta Canada. as an ideal site for killing bison. tourist transportation and facilitation are becoming a necessity within the area. Although Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump was historically used to herd the bison over the edge of a precipice. This is a natural grazing area with plenty of water and mixed grass which remains fresh well into the fall. which means to a certain extent. the agitation of the surrounding artifacts. For more than 5. In order to ensure the preservation of delicate artifacts that will be useful in the continued study of the aboriginal plains people. the proposed area of disturbance must be checked for artifacts so as not to destroy or lose valuable archaeological sites and artifacts. and harvest the dead carcasses in the camp below. is one of the world's largest and best preserved buffalo jumps known to exist. This natural grazing area attracted herds of buffalo late into the fall. Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump now remains as a priceless plethora of useful artifacts.
The proposed development of a Bus Facility poses a threat to unseen artifacts. These test sites where excavated using brushes. A decision could now be made based upon the scientific data collected as to whether a bus facility could be put into place without disturbing important artifacts and potential excavation sites. Select artifacts where sent to the lab for thermoluminescent and radiocarbon dating. broom pans. After each artifact was recorded a graph showing the location and type of artifact was drawn. These type of sites are obvious archaeological sites. and catalogue number for later studying. where as what lies beneath the ground hidden until discovered is what potentially . in order to determine the relative age of the discovered artifacts. Methods In order to properly determine whether or not the proposed bus facility would interfere with the surrounding artifacts two strategically picked test excavation locations where chosen in order to check if the proposed area had potentially important artifacts such as camp sites of previous hunters. description. Many tipi rings. thus.3 studied today is the actual camps rather than the kill sites within the Head Smashed In area. and buffalo bones still reside above the ground around Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump. two localities will be tested to determine the archaeological value of the site in order to decide if the proposed bus facility should proceed as planned. The test excavations consisted of 2 x 2 meter squares dug into the ground up to 30 cm deep. to better understand what previously occurred at the select location. These Methods where very appropriate in determining potential archaeological sites. Each artifact that was recovered was catalogued recording its provenience. and trowels to ensure that all artifacts would be discovered within the test site.
R9. and C7 are all made by the plains aboriginal people with a paddle and anvil technique. R3. These bits of ceramics most likely belong to a more recent time . and decrease your chances of overturning a site during construction. you increase your chances of finding an archeological site. K2. R8. R10 of which encompass small pieces of burnt wood: K1. The side that is open on the crescent faces towards the east blocking out the harsh western wind. R4. When you put these two sets of artifacts together you would get what looks like it might have been a small fire pit within the tipi. The rocks mentioned above are fairly large in size making them good weights for the edge of a tipi. K3. Drawing attention to the middle of the graph there is a smaller ring of rocks: R7. C4. Other forms of identifying archaeological sites that might have aided in choosing optimal dig sites would be to use technology such as Ground penetrating radar to identify the common shape of what could be a tipi ring or a kill site. and R6 within The graph of Location 1 Level 1 you can see that they are shaped in a crescent which resembles a tipi ring. R1. with relatively perfect provenience. R2. If you look at Artifacts: R1. which is quite important with Alberta's variable temperatures (Vickers 1986: 7). K4. Interpretation After excavating Location 1 Level 1. The next set of artifacts are the ceramics: C3.4 can be a very important site because they will be older. R12. and better preserved. C5. By choosing two separate sites within the proposed area. cataloguing all of the artifacts and and plotting the points of the artifacts onto a graph (colour coated based upon identity) I soon discovered that Location 1 Level 1 resembled a tipi. C6. C1 and C2 are more recent ceramics because they have glaze and are wheel thrown. R5.
The Glass remnants within the tipi also could lead to the possibility of a people other than natives using the area. relative to how long Head Smashed In has been used. The deer antler is most definitely been used as a tool because the Natives would not need a deer for meat considering they were camping yet they would need it as a tool. specifically: M1. through trade with immigrants to North America. M4 shows a large difference in time between the projectile points above and the modern bullets found in the same tipi. In conclusion Location 1 Level 1 proved to be a campsite that has had multiple uses over the years and is most definitely an important archaeological dig site should be excavated further in order to . M2. Although most artifacts within this excavation are typical of the plains aboriginal people. M5 is a glass bottle top. which is also somewhat modern debris.5 frame possibly within the last 150 years. There are five bones lying within the tipi ring 4 of which are bison bones and one of which is a deer antler most likely used as a soft hammer. Out of these artifacts the most important to look at is M4 which is a used bullet shell. M3. M4. This shows that the same tipi ring has continually been used over long periods of time. The shell casing for a bullet is a relatively new it only came into use within the late 1800's and the early 1900's which shows that perhaps the natives. there are a few items within the South East sector of the tipi which shows more modern technology. although still using old tipi rings. M5. Glass blowing was not a skill that the Plains aboriginal people ever acquired. There are some small lithic tools and projectile points within the South West corner of the map would be possible possibly an area where they where making tools and or storing tools for cutting up bison. Natives most likely picked up this Glass bottle top and the other glass piece. began adopting new techniques to hunt such as a rifle. M1.
The majority of the bones within this site are fractured or incomplete in some way or another making it a definitive place of death for the bison after they have been ran off of Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump. A bus facility should not be built if they wish to preserve artifacts that will be beneficial to further archaeological studies. The characteristics of this site that lead me to believe this is that the site only contained Bison bones. The possibility that the Plains Aboriginal people travelled annually to Head Smashed In is very high. Within this kill site there is 29 identified specimens and the minimum number of individuals would be 4. L15 is Knife River Flint which comes from North Dakota.6 fully understand what has gone on over the years in that area. However I would recommend that further archaeological studies ensue. This would mean that the Aboriginal Plains people travel or trade long distances. and knifes. Yet this site is still most definitely a kill site. Recommendations If construction of bus facilities was to proceed within the proposed area it would stir up important artifacts that are still archaeologically beneficial. Within Location 2 Level 6 the entire level is covered in silt meaning that a stream has flown over this site at one time which would have destroyed the original provenience of the site making perfect interpretation very difficult. In conclusion Location 2 Level 6 is a kill site that has most likely been covered by a river that has previously dried up leaving the remains of the kill site covered in the silt. L12. No further archaeological work is needed at this site to determine whether or not a bus facility may proceed to be built here. This site contains plenty of bones and because it is covered in silt the bones are very well preserved (Reeves 1978:157). This site would be quite beneficial to researchers because they could study the projectile points in order to see what types of Tribes hunted in the Head Smashed In area. so as to ensure that the site can . L1. projectile points. Lodged in L5.
As Reeves said in his Head Smashed in Buffalo jump report. “The campsite debris is thickest near the kill. Edmonton . 2008 Reeves.7 be fully understood and so that artifacts can be fully protected.”(Reeves 1978:154) Bibliography Unesco World Heritage Site Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump Interpretative Centre. Brian 1978 Head Smashed In Report 5500 Years of Bison Jumping In The Alberta Plains Pg 154 Reeves. Brian 1978 Head Smashed In Report 5500 Years of Bison Jumping In The Alberta Plains Pg 157 Vickers J Roderick 1986 Alberta Plains Prehistory A Review Archaeological Survey of Alberta Occasional Paper 27.
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