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 info@arkycalgary.com. 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 https://www.mcdougallstoneymission.com/ for more information or contact president@mcdougallstoneymission.com

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 scott@lifewaysofcanada.com 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 (bokr40@icloud.com) or Margaret Kennedy (marg.kennedy@usask.ca) for further details.

Head-Smashed-In Tour: June 2nd

Please join the Archaeological Society on a field trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Head-Smashed-In (HSI) Buffalo Jump on Saturday, June 2nd. Bus will depart from south end of Calgary at 7:45 am. Expect to be back in Calgary around 5:30pm. The field trip will include a walking tour of the drive lanes at HSI; we encourage wearing sturdy footwear and to dress appropriately for the weather conditions. There is no cost for the field trip thanks to a generous donation from Plains Midstream.

*To register please email: info@arkycalgary.com

The trip is limited to 48 participants and registration will be on a “first registered first served” basis. Preregistration is required to attend. A wait list will be compiled if necessary. Once registration is confirmed, a map will be provided to the bus meeting place.

**Please note that lunch and water will not be provided.
*** We suggest bringing a bag lunch as we will be touring the drive lanes over lunch.

Cluny Volunteer Excavations

The University of Calgary is offering a volunteer excavation program at Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park this summer. Participants will excavate alongside members of the Archaeology Field School at the famous Cluny Fortified Village site. First time participants will receive a tour of the archaeological site. Volunteers will be supervised by experienced University of Calgary graduate students. Training in archaeological excavation techniques will be provided on site. All artifacts from the site are the property of the Siksika Nation and, ultimately, will be stored at Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park Interpretive Centre.

The program will operate from May 22 to June 22, 2018, Tuesday–Saturday. Cost consists of the daily admission fee to Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park ($12.00 + GST for adults, $8.00 for children). Participants will meet with volunteer program supervisors at the Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park Interpretive Centre parking lot at 9:00 AM each day—please note that there are no overnight accommodation facilities at the park.

Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times; the minimum age requirement is 12. All participants will be required to complete a Volunteer Liability Waiver Form and a Photography Waiver Form. Participants under the age of 18 must also complete an Informed Consent Form.

Check out our Facebook Page (University of Calgary Public Archaeology Program – https://www.facebook.com/UCpubarky) and our website (https://antharky.ucalgary.ca/public-archaeology/) for updates.

Please email pubarky@ucalgary.ca or call 403-220-8537 to register or for further information.

Stone Circle Mapping

*Please note this event is through the Lethbridge Center*
May 26th- May 27th

ASA – Lethbridge Center requires volunteers to aid in the mapping and recording of approximately 50 stone circles at a previously recorded site along the Little Bow River. Dr. Peter Dawson from the University of Calgary will be joining and demonstrating the use of drones with multi-spectral imaging to map the site and help locate other rings that may be hidden.

*Please note that you must be an ASA member to attend. If you haven’t bought your membership yet, the cost is $10 for students and $20 for individuals or families.Please email arky.lethbridge@gmail.com to RSVP

Brazeau Reservoir Public Survey

May 26th @ Brazeau Reservoir PRA

Tree Time Services Inc. is sponsoring the Archaeological Society of Alberta’s (ASA) public survey of the Brazeau Reservoir. TTSI team members and volunteers from the ASA will be on hand to lead a survey and teach people how to spot artifacts in the exposed sands. In past years, people have found many projectile points, boiling pits, and ancient horse fossils.

The event is free for ASA members. For more information or to become part of the ASA, contact brazeauarchaeologicalsurvey@gmail.com