CALGARY – Archaeologists were digging at what they called a “gem of a find” just outside Calgary Thursday afternoon, at a rare spot where Aboriginal people used to camp and kill buffalo.
A stretch of river bank along the Bow River southeast of Calgary reads like a history book of the past thousand years. It was used by First Nations people nine times in that period, as a buffalo jump, a processing area and a campsite.
“We have nine sets of layers at the buffalo jump, nine sets of layers in the campsite, which seem to correlate in time,” said Alberta Culture and Tourism archaeologist Trevor Peck. “So it’s pretty special that way, it’s very, very rare.”
Bones and artifacts have been left behind between layers of flood sediments. The 2013 floods exposed them by eating away at the bank.
Archaeologists have visited before, but were back with students Thursday to try and get a better understanding of the stories underneath the land, and learn from the professionals.
“It’s awesome,” said University of Calgary student Ashley Cameron. “You can find the same thing over and over again but you’ll still be excited that you found something. It’s something that someone has touched so many years ago; it’s just an awesome feeling.”
The work will help the Alberta government decide whether more of the land needs to be protected for future research.
If you want to report an archaeological find, you can visit the Alberta Culture and Tourism website here. Officials say it helps if you take a photo and include it in your report.
With files from Erika Tucker