Public Excavation: Cluny Fortified Village

Public Archaeology Program Cluny Fortified Village: May 23rd – June 23rd 

The University of Calgary is offering a volunteer excavation program at Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park. 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, and 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 23 to June 23, 2017, Monday–Friday. Participants must commit to a minimum of two days with the program.
Cost consists of the daily admission fee to Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park ($12.00 + GST for adults, $8.00+GST for children and seniors). 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. The work day runs from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
Minimum age of participation is 12. Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times. All participants will be required to complete a Volunteer Liability Waiver Form and a Photography Waiver Form. The guardian of participants under the age of 18 must also complete an Informed Consent Form.

Visit for more information. To register or for more information, email or call 403-220-8537.

The Public Archaeology Program, the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, and the University of Calgary are not responsible for cancelled registrations or cancellations as the result of severe weather conditions. In the event of severe weather conditions, the Public Archaeology Program will attempt to contact excavation participants either the night before or early on the day of excavation. Changing weather conditions in the field may require cancellation of the workday while at the site. In either case, no refunds of the Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park admission fee or costs relating to travel to the park will be provided. Participants may re-register for alternative participation dates, but there is no guarantee that there will be other dates available in the excavation program.

Artifact Identification Contest!

Help out the Glenbow Town and Quarry Project by giving us more information about intriguing artifacts recovered from our past excavations. Put on your deerstalker hat and dig out your magnifying glass. Get sleuthing and dig up some clues on-line or in a book. You could win a great prize of Calgary Centre merchandise!!

This month:
Identify the label or manufacturer of this glass bottle.

Clue: This clear glass bottle fragment bears the letters LEA followed by an apostrophe, therefore it is not a LEA AND PERRINS bottle. The surface is flat, indicating a rectan-gular, rather than cylindrical bottle. It is 8 cm (3 in) in length.

To Enter: Submit your answer, with documentary support (no random guesses please), and your contact information to by June 30, 2017.

Last Month’s Winner: Thank you to Deb deLooze for finding evidence for the Sham-rock Tobacco Tag suggesting it was produced by the Imperial Tobacco Company.

Good Luck and may your investigation LEAd you to an answer!!

Cluny Field Trip

Don’t forget that the University of Calgary Public Archaeology Program is happy to be offering a tour of the Cluny Fortified Village Site for members of the Archaeological Society of Alberta on Saturday, June 3rd, 2017!

ASA members can sign up by contacting the Public Archaeology Program at

Click ASA Cluny Field Trip 2017 for more info!

Volunteer Opportunity: Forks and Minor Medicine Wheels locale

Volunteer opportunity at the Forks and Minor Medicine Wheels locale on the Lower Red Deer River with Drs. Barney Reeves and Margaret Kennedy

June 4- 9th.

Reeves and Kennedy are entering their fifth year studying the impressive stone feature sites located on the lower Red Deer and the Forks of the Red Deer and South Saskatchewan Rivers (SK). Field activities will include survey and possibly some mapping.  Volunteers need to be in good physical condition and prepared for any kind of weather.  Please be advised that there are rattlesnakes in the area.

We are based in Empress AB at the Forksview Motel, however accommodation is very limited there.  There is also a campground both in town and on the north side of town at Peter Fidler Park.  Other motels are located at some distance in Burstall and Oyen.  Volunteers might want to come a day early to hear three archaeology talks given by the project directors as well as Butch Amundson (Stantec). These talks begin at 10:30 on Saturday June 3 in the Empress Train Station just inside the entrance to Peter Fidler Park.

For further information please contact either Margaret Kennedy at, or Barney Reeves at

Stones & Bones

March 25th-26th, 2017: Flintknapping Workshop and Stones & Bones

We had a fantastic weekend at the Museum of the Highwood for our Stones and Bones event. Here are just some of the photos of what we saw this weekend and what you brought in to have checked out by the experts! Followed by our Flintknapping workshop where you can see the process of how stone tools are made and the end results (*with minor injuries*).
Thank you to all who came out!! See you next year!!

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You can read more about Stones & Bones in your local news: CBC and High River Times


April Lecture

APRIL 19th:
Presenter: Meaghan Peurmaki-Brown
Title:  Ancient Maya Settlement and Resource Development in East-Central Belize
Abstract: From 2014-2016, the Stann Creek Regional Archaeology Project (SCRAP) initiated Phase I Reconnaissance and Phase II Testing at the ancient Maya centre of Alabama, nestled up against the Maya Mountains in the Cockscomb region of the Stann Creek District of east-central Belize. First located by the Stann Creek Project in the 1970s, and later investigated by the Point Placencia Archaeological Project in the 1980s, the epicenter of the site was found to have been rapidly constructed during the late facet of the Late Classic and into the Terminal Classic (ca. 750-900 AD). In 2014, SCRAP members returned to the site in order to investigate settlement development at Alabama and its possible relationship to local resource extraction and trade. Phase I and Phase II had three goals: 1) to assess the Alabama epicenter for the first time since archaeological investigations in the 1980s, 2) to initiate the first systematic settlement survey, surface collection, and test excavations of residential zones in the area, and 3) to begin assessment of local, mesolocal, regional, and exotic resource development and use by the ancient Maya of the area. This presentation will introduce the audience to Alabama; discuss our current “boomtown” research framework and preliminary results; and outline our proposed plans for relational geography research in the larger Cockscomb region.

To check out Past Lecture Series please visit

2017 Archaeology Conference

April 27th-30th at The Resort at Cypress Hills Center Block, Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park (SK side)

Co-Hosted by the Saskatchewan Archaeological Society

Banquet Tickets:
If you are interested in attending the banquet, please make sure to purchase the tickets by Sunday (March 26th).  They will not be available for purchase after this date.
Conference Registration:
This Sunday (March 26th) is also the last day to register for the conference and receive lunch included on the Friday and Saturday of the conference.  You may still register after this date but lunches will not be included in your registration fee.Paper & Poster Abstract Deadline:
Presenters should take note that Sunday (March 26th) is also the last day to submit paper and poster abstracts. If you are a student, there are a number of financially beneficial opportunities for you at this year’s conference! Including:
  • Free Student Registration if you submit a poster or paper abstract
  • The Keith Lewis Memorial Student Presentation Award ($100 for Graduate, $75 for Undergraduate)
  • Regina Archaeological Society Travel Supplement Draw for Student Attendees (Two draws at approximately $100 each)
  • Association of Consulting Archaeologist’s Best Poster Award ($200)
  • Opportunity to hang out with really cool archaeologists!

The Resort at Cypress Hills (conference venue) is fully booked! However, there are a number of other options for accommodation in the area.

Maple Creek:
Cobble Creek Lodge
Willowbend Cabins

Near Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park:
Spring Valley Guest Ranch

There are non-electrified camping sites located near the Resort at Cypress Hills.  Flush toilets are available at the Visitor Centre or pit toilets in the camping area. Generators are okay and there is access to water and sewage disposal. The sites are free, first-come, first-serve but please call (306-662-5411) prior to arrival. Visit for further information.

Check out a schedule for the Conference below.

WRITTEN IN STONE: A Look at Traditional Stone Masonry and Early Calgary Quarries

WRITTEN IN STONE: A Look at Traditional Stone
Masonry and Early Calgary Quarries
Join us March 30th for a free evening of learning and networking at our 4th Heritage Trades Roundtable. Meet some of the people who preserve and maintain the buildings and structures we love. From lintels to monumental buildings, develop an appreciation of traditional building methods and materials that endure.
– Early masons, stonecutters & quarries in Calgary – Marilyn Williams, Heritage Roundtables steering committee
– Bringing to life an historical quarry: the Glenbow quarry archaeologist Shari Peyerl
– Stone masonry today, using traditional methods for repair and restoration – Shawn Thibault, Ravenstone Masonry and Conservation Inc.
– And more – brief talks on the importance of traditional mortars, restoration of Old City Hall

There will be an opportunity for discussion, and time before and after the talks to enjoyrefreshments, visit display table and expand your heritage network.

Date: Thursday, March 30th
Time: Doors open at 6:30pm, presentations begin at 7pm
Cost: Open to the public and free of charge!
Location: TBC
To register and details about the venue, follow the link below:

2017 Heritage Trades Roundtable

Castrum Cumidava in the Context of the Roman Occupation of Dacia

April 20, 2016. University of Calgary Room ES 162. 7:30pm

Dr. Álvaro Ibarra, College of Charleston

The emperor Trajan completed his conquest of Dacia (present-day Transylvania) in 106 CE. However, the Dacians were neither pacified nor ever fully romanized. The latest research conducted by the lecturer (via Braşov Archaeological Projects) suggests the presence of an ongoing native insurgency, one fought more intensely on the eastern frontier of Dacia through the end of the Roman occupation, 271 CE.

Through remote-sensing methods, ArcGIS, and landscape analysis, project contributors discovered a significant change in Roman military operations in eastern Dacia, an approach we are confident in effectively calling a counter-insurgency. The Roman counter-insurgency is evidenced in a shift from forts designed to support open-field battles to those positioned at key choke points and manned by smaller, mixed, mobile units suited for guerrilla warfare.

To compliment this overarching view of Roman strategy, BAP researchers also examined the material remains and data sets from the excavation of one specific frontier fort: Castrum Cumidava. In completing the narrative of the border experience in eastern Dacia, a more intimate picture of everyday life emerged from the common artifacts and personal effects utilized by the Roman auxiliary soldier stationed in a foreign and hostile environment. In this lecture, the speaker will relate how the everyday experiences of the inhabitants of a site like Castrum Cumidava are key to understanding the complex and violent interactions between Romans and Dacians, from the personal motivations of a career soldier to the political motivations of emperors.

From the Desert to the Plains: A Paleoethnobotanical Research Program

February 17, 2016. University of Calgary Room ES 162. 7:30pm

Dr. Glenn Stuart, University of Saskatchewan

In this presentation, Dr. Stuart will be describing paleoethnobotanical research he has conducted in the American Southwest and how the methods employed there are being adapted for his research on the Northern Plains. First, he will review results of archaeological pollen and macrobotanical analyses from recent work in the Phoenix Basin. Then he will explore the possibilities that similar research holds for elucidating the character of the archaeological record from Wanuskewin Heritage Park (WHP) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Finally, a few preliminary results from his research at WHP will be presented, to illustrate how greater concern with plant use might affect our interpretations of precontact subsistence practices.