Understanding geographical constraints on human land use patterns in the eastern slopes of Alberta

January 15, 2014. Robin Woywitka and Darryl Bereziuk, Archaeological Survey of Alberta. 

Most cultural resource management (CRM) projects undertaken in the eastern slopes of Alberta are focused on spatially constricted developments such as road alignments, forestry cutblocks, petroleum pads and pipelines. Often the evaluation of archaeological potential for these projects is focused on geographic constraints in the immediate vicinity of the development (e.g., proximity to water, local topography and soil properties). This paper examines broader scale geographic characteristics that influence the movement of people through the eastern slopes, focusing on the connections between hinterland site locations and resource procurement destinations (e.g., major lakes, lithic sources, alpine environments). Case studies from the Lick Creek Basin, Willmore Wilderness Park, Kakwa Wildland Park and Musreau Lake will be presented. These case studies highlight the use of digital terrain analysis and lithic raw material studies in identifying links between site location and resource procurement destinations.