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Archaeologists Find Unique Pre-European Village In Western Canada

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Bianca
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« on: June 20, 2008, 10:40:27 pm »












                                 Archaeologists find unique pre-European village in Western Canada






6/20/2008
Dragana Kovacevic
 

 


A mysterious First Nations society migrated to the Canadian Plains and eventually settled there, new archaeological findings suggest.

Siksika (Blackfoot) oral history has spoken of a peaceful group of people who broke from a tribe further south and who settled in the Blackfoot territory. The artefacts recently recovered at the site (about 120 kilometres east of Calgary) support these stories.

What's more, it appears its unknown inhabitants journeyed up from what is now north-central United States, to reach their eventual settlement site - the only one of its kind in the region.

Archaeologists found evidence of a living area surrounded by a trench and wooden palisade, along with pits often seen in communities where farming was a way of life. The team has uncovered bone and stone tools, arrowheads, pottery and glass trading beads.




Joining forces

The team excavating the dig is comprised of University of Calgary archaeology students who join the Blackfoot in studying the settlement site to help shed more light on the people who created it.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2008, 11:05:09 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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Bianca
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« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2008, 10:43:53 pm »










A woodland-style settlement



Known as the Cluny Fortified Village located on the Siksika First Nations reservation, the village may have been home to a small band of normally-sedentary people from North Dakota.

The style of settlement the team found at the site is a departure from the camp style typical to the region: "Tipi camps...were the usual dwelling sites of Alberta for thousands of years," says Dale Walde, a U of C field school director, overseeing the excavation.

He explains that evidence of tipi camps can be found in the rings left behind by tipi-anchoring stones. "This site has no tipi rings."

Instead its occupants left behind evidence of a woodland-style settlement. "It looks more like villages 1,500 kilometres away on the Missouri River in southern North Dakota," Walde says.

And there's more: "The pottery from Cluny is quite unlike other prehistory pottery found in Alberta, but it may be distantly related to ceramics from the Eastern Woodlands and the Middle Missouri region," says Walde. "The big mystery of Cluny is why this village site so different from everywhere else?"

"We're still unravelling the story and this site is like a gold mine," says Jack Royal, president of the Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park. "This is a very unique and valuable project because everything is uncovered, documented and prepared by the university and then it comes to our interpretive centre to be stored and used to teach the public about our history and culture."

The team now believes the unknown group descends from the Hidatsa culture.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2008, 11:15:39 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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Bianca
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« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2008, 10:46:43 pm »










Rekindling ties



The project has helped re-forge ties between the Siksika Nation and aboriginal groups in the United States.

"Several years ago we visited the Mandan tribe in North Dakota and had a pipe ceremony in one of their traditional earthlodges and we knew there was a connection and relationship between us before European contact," Royal said. "It was a very emotional ceremony because it was like meeting relatives you've never met before but knew were out there, and this is helping to re-establish that relationship."

The project is expected to continue for several years.



http://www.archaeologynews.org/Link.asp?ID=299670
« Last Edit: June 21, 2008, 11:25:26 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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