October Lecture Series

OCTOBER 16th (University of Calgary, ES 162) @ 7:30 pm:
Jeremy Leyden, University of Calgary
Recent Archaeological Investigations into the Precontact Bison Hunting Complex Along Lower Jumpingpound Creek

As a result of archaeological research into the effects of the 2013 southern Alberta floods, a spectacular bone bed associated with a previously unrecorded buffalo jump was identified along the banks Jumpingpound Creek. Investigations into this locality have revealed it to be at the heart of a substantial late precontact/protohistoric period bison hunting complex typified by kill deposits, drive structures, campsites, processing areas and related peripheral features. At the same time, this locality appears to be a named place associated with the oral traditions of local First Nations and which occurs in the context of a variety of natural, historical, traditional and archaeological phenomena germane to the understanding of its importance. This talk will discuss the findings of nearly four years of research at this location; work that was undertaken through a combination of professional and academic programs and which continues to progress.

September Lecture Series

SEPTEMBER 18th (University of Calgary, ES 162) @ 7:30pm :
Jon Driver, Simon Fraser University
Late Pleistocene people and environments at Tse’K’wa

Tse’K’wa (also known as Charlie Lake Cave) is located in northeastern British Columbia, Canada, and contains a deep sequence of deposits that span the last 12,500 years. As well as being a key to the cultural sequence in northeastern BC and northwestern Alberta, the site also contains tens of thousands of well-preserved animal bones that document changing environmental conditions and a range of human behaviours, including hunting, fishing, food storage, and ceremonial. This presentation will focus on the early period at the site, and will include new data from biomolecular studies of the animal bones.

April 2019 Lecture Series

April 17th @ 7:30 pm 
University of Calgary, Tom Oliver Room ES 162

History is Beaded into the Land: Archaeological Patterns Métis Lifeways in the 19th century ”
The Canadian west during the 1800s provides an interesting historical and archaeological case study that has potential to shed light on the dynamics of settlement, material culture, and the mobile nature of Métis peoples. Based originally in the Red River Settlement, some of the Métis began to expand west after 1845, forming interconnected wintering communities to participate in winter bison hunting. These wintering communities were almost entirely inhabited by Métis families, so the assemblages from wintering sites present a test case to examine the day to day material culture of the Métis hunting brigades during the mid- to late-1800s. In this paper, I examine patterns from previous and new excavations of Métis wintering sites in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and taking a Métis approach to understanding what these sites mean for understanding the historical significance of these places. I also discuss evidence for the presence of Métis in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan during this era.

Dr. Kisha Supernant is Métis and an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Alberta. She received her PhD from the University of British Columbia in 2011. Her research with Indigenous communities in Canada explores how archaeologists and communities can build collaborative research relationships. Her research interests include the relationship between cultural identities, landscapes, and the use of space, Métis archaeology, and heart-centered archaeological practice. She specializes specializing in the application of mapping methods to the human past and present, including the role of digital mapping and GIS spatial analysis in archaeological research. Her current research project, Exploring Métis Identity Through Archaeology (EMITA), takes a relational approach to exploring the material past of Métis communities, including her own family, in western Canada. She has published in local and international journals on GIS in archaeology, collaborative archaeological practice, indigenous archaeology, and conceptual mapping in digital humanities.

March Lecture Series

MARCH 20th, 2019

Presenter: Patrick Rennie
Location: Room ICT 121 , University of Calgary @ 7:30pm

Title:  The MacHaffie Site and its Place in NW Plains Archaeology

The MacHaffie Site (24JF4), located in SW Montana, has perhaps the best name recognition, while being the most poorly documented multi-component archaeology resource in the NW Plains.  It is also a site with connections to the University of Calgary.  Both Dr. Richard G. Forbis and Leslie B. Davis conducted excavations at the site — the former in 1951 and the latter from 1989 sporadically until 2010.  Although generally thought of as a Folsom campsite, the earliest and best documented occupations appear to be those of Scottsbluff.  The presentation will discuss recent efforts to fully catalogue and analyze the entire MacHaffie collection, the site geomorphology, and the current interpretations of that work.

February 2019 Lecture Series

FEBRUARY 20th, 2019

Presenter: Jenna Hurtubise
Location: Tom Oliver Room ES 162 , University of Calgary @ 7:30pm

 Title:  Entanglements of Conquest: The Chimú conquest of the Casma at Pan de Azúcar de Nepeña, Nepeña Valley, Peru

From the Romans to the Inca, empires have conquered regional ethnic groups via a multitude of direct and indirect tactics to gain territory and control resource extraction. Collective agency plays a key role in structuring interactions between locals and foreign intruders that cause transformations in material culture and cultural practices of both groups. These interactions are complex and dynamic in nature as locals respond in varying and multiple ways to episodes of conquest in relation to their own political and economic agendas, as well as how they strategize to make sense of these encounters. I am specifically interested in how locals responded immediately after conquest. In what ways were the responses dictated by the foreign states’ means of conquest, as well as indigenous agendas and values? How are negotiations between local and foreign elites and administrators at the moment of conquest reflected culturally and biologically? Are certain mediums more expressive and susceptible to change than others during this time of socio-political stress? This research focuses on these shifting and fluid responses through examining the Chimú conquest of the Casma at Pan de Azúcar de Nepeña, located in the Nepeña Valley, Peru, during the Late Intermediate Period (A.D. 1000 – 1400). Through an analysis of the cultural (architecture, ceramics, mortuary practices) and biological (skeletal analysis) data at Pan de Azúcar de Nepeña I examine the relationship and interactions between the Chimú and Casma before, during, and after conquest as well as how the Casma responded in varying ways to Chimú conquest.

January 2019 Lecture Series

Presenter: Dr. Elizabeth H. Paris, University of Calgary
Location: 
Room ICT 121 , University of Calgary @ 7:30pm

Title:  Ancient Maya Lithic Technology in the Jovel Valley of Chiapas, Mexico

The ancient Maya are widely recognized for their extensive development of chipped stone tool technology. The objects they created range from elaborate ceremonial objects to the tools that supported the everyday activities of ordinary households. This presentation examines the domestic lithic assemblages from sites in the Jovel Valley of highland Chiapas, which forms the western frontier of the Maya culture area. Located within a mountainous karstic plateau, valley residents had access to multiple sources of high-quality, fine-grained chert, and created diverse assemblages of formal and informal tools. Chert tool production and use in the Jovel Valley was particularly associated with the political center of Moxviquil, where assemblages emphasize weapons production, maguey fiber processing, woodworking, and cross-valley exchange. I also examine the significance of imported obsidian blades and chert spear points within the Jovel Valley, in the context of a robust, local production sphere.

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.

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.

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.

March Lecture Series

Presenter: Dr. Max Friesen, University of Toronto
Title: Inuvialuit Architecture: The Archaeology of Cruciform Houses in the Mackenzie Delta
Where:University of Calgary ICT 121
When: March 21st, 7:30 pm
Within the great range of house types occupied by Northern peoples in the 19th century, a few stand out due to their size, complexity, or unusual form. One of the most spectacular is the cruciform semi-subterranean house occupied by Inuvialuit in the Mackenzie Delta region, Northwest Territories. These are known through traditional knowledge and ethnohistoric sources as very large, carefully constructed driftwood-framed houses with three alcoves bordering a central floor area. Over the past 60 years, several archaeologists have excavated portions of cruciform houses, leading to gradually increasing knowledge about them. However, due to their great size, deep burial, and problems with permafrost, it has been difficult to excavate one fully. In this paper, I report on the recent excavation of two large cruciform houses at the site of Kuukpak on the East Channel of the Mackenzie River. Following a brief overview of the ethnohistoric record, I will interpret aspects of the houses’ architectural form, construction techniques, episodes of rebuilding, and change over time.