Chacmool 2018- Chacmool as a Community

November 9th-11th

For more than 50 years the Chacmool conference has been the center of archaeological research in western Canada, providing an opportunity to present original research, innovative interpretations, and for professionals and students to network with some of the leading scholars in the discipline. The 2018 conference will focus on building an ever stronger sense of community for local archaeologists, integrating professionals from the consulting industry with academics from across disciplines and from local universities. This is also a critical juncture for the conference, and discussion will also revolve around new directions for the continued success of the program.

Registration will be on-site: $25 for students, $50 for professionals and non-students. Students can also exchange volunteer hours (6 hours) for free admission

Venue: Rosza Centre, University of Calgary

Check out the Program Here

Please contact Dr. Geoffrey McCafferty for more information:


November 2018 Lecture Series

NOV 21st, 2018

Presenter: Terence Clark
Assistant Professor, University of Saskatchewan and Director of the shíshálh Archaeological Research Project
Location: Tom Oliver Room ES 162 , University of Calgary @ 7:30pm

Title:  T’i s-tsitsiy-im-ut: the shíshálh Archaeological Research Project (sARP)

This talk will discuss the results of the shíshálh Archaeological Research Project, a long-term collaborative project based in Sechelt, BC. SARP has uncovered the most elaborate pre-contact burials yet known in Canada, with one individual interred with over 350,000 ground stone beads. This talk will discuss previous fieldwork activities and outline the future directions of the project. Topics will include coastal survey, shell midden excavation, public archaeology, museum exhibitions, landscapes of meaning, community-based research, and mortuary archaeology.

Downtown Calgary Walk

October 13th, 10:30am-12:30pm

Have you ever wondered about the archaeology that lies beneath Calgary’s downtown? Wanted to know more about the evolution of our city and the surrounding area? Or have you just wanted to feel like a tourist in your own city?
The ASA is offering a downtown walking tour this October. It’s free. It’s outside. It’s your city. So come join us for a two hour walk around downtown.
Space is limited but if need be we may add a second day.
Contact us at to sign up!!

October 2018 Lecture Series

Where & When: U of C, Tom Oliver Room ES162 @ 730pm, Oct 17th

Presenter: Ben Potter

Title: Ancient Beringians and the Colonization of the Americas

Recent genetic analyses of two buried infants from Alaska reveal a previously unknown group of people, called Ancient Beringians, that play an important role in illuminating the early prehistory of Native Americans. These and other recent genetic analyses have transformed our understanding of the peopling of the Americas. This presentation explores this new genetic framework, rigorously connected to archaeology and paleoecology of Siberia, Beringia and Northwestern North America. The timing of migrations, the routes used, including the interior Ice-Free-Corridor and coastal route (or both), and the later genetic diversification of Native Americans are discussed. The integration of these sciences provides for novel models of this first colonization of the Americas.

Edworthy Park Walking Tour

The ASA-Calgary Centre would like to invite you to our free walking tour of Edworthy Park on Sunday, September 23 from 10:30-12. Join us for a fun, informative ramble through the ages to reveal the unique facets of one of Calgary’s recreational gems. We’ll be exploring the fascinating geological, archaeological and historic past of this popular spot and learn why it has been a local hot spot for many millennia. Glacial lakes, stone circles, and sandstone quarrying are just a few of the topics that will be covered. Space is limited so please preregister to attend. Preregister by e-mailing Registrants will be emailed with more appropriate parking info, map, etc.

September 2018 Lecture Series

We are back with our Lecture Series starting September 19th, 2018.
Location: Tom Oliver Room ES 162 , University of Calgary

Presenter:  Jack Brink
Curator Emiritus, Royal Alberta Museum

Title:  Archaeological Survey, and a UNESCO World Heritage Nomination, for Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park.

Writing-on-Stone Park (WOS) is home to one of the largest collections of rock art (petroglyphs and pictographs) in North America. Spread over a vast region of the Milk River valley and tributary coulees are thousands of carved and painted rock art images. So important is this rock art and associated landscape that the Park area has been proposed for designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This nomination is currently under consideration. In anticipation of the nomination Alberta Parks acquired two new parcels of land located along the Milk River to the west of the current park. In total some 14 quarter sections were acquired. I volunteered to conduct an initial archaeological review of these new lands in order to give Parks a better understanding of heritage resources on their property. In this talk I will discuss the results of these surveys, including new discoveries of rock art, historic graffiti, archaeological and historic sites. In addition, I will provide an inside look at the UNESCO nomination process that took 13 years to complete.

Tour at McDougall Memorial United Church

Please join the McDougall Stoney Mission Society on July 7 at 11:00am or 2:00pm at the McDougall Memorial United Church Site for a site tour and talk with Dr. Margaret Kennedy. There will be two tours, so choose the time that works best for you! Dr. Kennedy led a detailed archeological study of the Morleyville Mission settlement in 1984 and 1985, and will share her findings and interpretations of what she found at one of southern Alberta’s most significant historic sites.

We will walk around the lower ledge where she did the excavation, so please wear walking shoes and dress for the weather. A great learning opportunity for all ages! Pack a picnic if you like, it’s another great way to enjoy the site!

Admission is by donation. They are a non-profit society and depend on your donations to keep providing these informative sessions at the site.
Visit for more information or contact

Volunteer Field Work

July 24th- August 24th 2018

Lifeways of Canada on behalf of Alberta Transportation will be offering a Public Archaeology Program at the Junction Site (DkPi-2) near Fort Macleod, Alberta.

The Junction Site (DkPi-2) is a large campsite and bison killsite. Previous excavations have recovered over 500 projectile points (arrowheads) as well as thousands of other artifacts related to the precontact occupation found here. The 2018 excavations will further contribute to the interpretation and understanding of this important site.

For more information or to register, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator Scott Graham at or call Lifeways Office at: 403-730-9461

Junction Archaeology Volunteer Poster 2018

Cluny Tour June 16th

If you are unable to attend the volunteer excavations at Cluny, do not worry! The ASA is having a special tour on Saturday, June 16th at the Cluny Fortified Village. Find out how the site is shaping up this season and checkout the amazing interpretive center at Blackfoot Crossing. There is a small fee for the interpretive center that must be paid to also visit the archaeological site.

Weather is always changing so prepare to dress accordingly. Also, we suggest you pack your own lunch and water as there will not be any provided.

Forks Volunteer Field work – June 3rd-8th

Barney Reeves and Margaret Kennedy have conducted large-scale archaeological inventory of the complex ceremonial stone feature sites located on the horseshoe bend of the lower Red Deer River and at the Forks of the Red Deer and South Saskatchewan rivers since 2012.  Fieldwork in 2016 was concentrated along the valley walls of the bedrock-incised horseshoe bend of the lower Red Deer River below the Minor Medicine Wheels Ceremonial Complex on the valley edge.  Reeves and Kennedy spent much of the 2013 and 2015 field seasons recording thousands of stone features in the Complex on prairie level  and found a significant array of sites including constructed and cairn-marked travois/foot trails, complex stone circles, cairns, rock alignments, vision quests and of course the three known medicine wheels (Minor I,II and III).  In 2016, they and their trusty cohort of volunteers (Janice Andreas, Kay and Steve Farquharson, Cam Gardner, Helen Markussen, Terry Quinn) explored the spurs, benches and lower terraces of the Red Deer River valley to see how features there might relate to the Ceremonial Complex above and/or to the Red Deer River itself in this stunning location.  Gary Adams and crew, who had conducted the first major inventory of the area in 1975 and 1976, had recorded 15 sites in the valley.  We added another 30 sites bringing the total of individual stone features to some 1500.


The sites on prairie level are large and complex and inevitably tie in through direct line of sight with the medicine wheel locales.  If you are in a spot on the landscape where the medicine wheels are out of view, there is a high likelihood there will be no stone feature site there.  The sites along the valley wall and lower terraces are much smaller, often isolated yet are often ceremonial in nature themselves.  Thus one can identify vision quest sites, impressive large stone circles and stone arcs on points of higher elevation and aspect in the valley itself.  These sites are part of an entirety of ceremonial landscape use at this significant locale along the Red Deer River.


In the 2017 field season, Reeves and Kennedy revisited the Minor Complex as well as conducted inventory of stone features at the Muddy Springs and south Cabri Lake basin in Saskatchewan.  Volunteers (Janice Andreas, Liz Bryan, Julia Coutts, Liam Fleishhacker, Cam Gardner, Hugh Henry, Helen Markussen, Terry Quinn, Connie Sykes, Bern Weinhold) also helped out.  Muddy Springs is a prominent, now artificially enlarged springs that clearly was a focal point of ceremonial practice and land use in the past.  Two Subgroup 1 medicine wheels and a variety of cairns, rock alignments and stone circle types were recorded in the area around the springs.  Reeves and Kennedy also explored a coulee system immediately to the northeast of Muddy Springs as well as isolated hills in the basin just south of Cabri Lake.  Again, ceremonial stone features including some very large cairns and a new form of stone circle we call squared circles (square outline with rounded corners) were found in those localities.


The past five (and soon to be six) years of research at the Forks and lower Red Deer River vicinities have led Reeves and Kennedy to the appreciation of ceremonial land use there – the significance of natural features such as the Forks, the horseshoe bend of the Red Deer River (the Minor Locale) and Cabri Lake and the culturally constructed referents such as medicine wheels that altogether drew people to the area for repeated ceremonial and social practice over thousands of years.


For this upcoming field season beginning in late May, Reeves and Kennedy will be selectively evaluating the impacts of the October 2017 devastating wild fires that ignited in Kennedy Coulee and spread quickly all the way to Cabri Lake, a distance of some 38 km from west to east.  Sites recorded by Gary Adams in his 1975 and’76 surveys in Kennedy Coulee and other significant sites such as the Hugo Dosch bison kill and processing complex just east the provincial border in Saskatchewan were burned as were the numerous  stone features recorded by Reeves and Kennedy along Empress Creek and in Muddy Springs southwest of Cabri Lake. Some small areas of the burn have been flown with a UAV.  Butch Amundson and Tom Howat of Stantec flew a section and a half of the burned area at Muddy Springs in December 2017and Adam Hauer has recorded burned site areas around the Hugo Dosch site where he had undertaken archaeological inventory and testing for his MA thesis research at the University of Saskatchewan. Further UAV flights are planned over burned sections on the 96 Ranch south of Cabri Lake in May prior to the initiation of 2018 ground-based fieldwork.


Volunteers interested in participating in the 2018 fieldwork who are available June 3rd to 8th are invited to contact Barney Reeves ( or Margaret Kennedy ( for further details.