Saskatchewan’s heritage digs deep

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Buried beneath your feet, under city streets and farmer’s fields is nearly 10,000 years of human history in Saskatchewan. It is this fact that the Saskatchewan Archaeological Society is celebrating during the month of June. 

Saskatchewan Archaeological Society volunteers excavating a chimney mound/hearth at South Branch House near St. Louis, SK during one of last year’s field schools. South Branch House is a Hudson’s Bay Trading Co. site estimated to be about 225 years old [Credit: Karmen VanderZwan]

Kicking off the archaeology season with public lectures being hosted by chapters of the SAS throughout the province, the SAS is working towards increasing public awareness about archaeology and archaeological projects in Saskatchewan. 

“Archaeology is very much a public matter,” said SAS Executive Director, Talina Cyr-Steenkamp. “People can find archaeological items in their own backyard and we want people to know how to preserve and protect our heritage. After-all, Heritage is not a renewable resource.” 

Cyr-Steenkamp says that as Saskatchewan grows and there are more developments cropping up, there is no shortage of work for archaeologists who can ensure that no artifacts and historical items are lost or damaged. 

The SAS will be running three field-schools in June and July, that are open to the public. Anyone of any age or skill level is invited to participate. 

Two of the field-schools are excavation sites, and will allow participants to experience the work that is involved in conducting an archeological dig. From photographing artifacts in situ to cleaning and cataloguing them once they have been exhumed. 

“We train volunteers on site so they don’t have to have previous experience,” said Cyr-Steenkamp. “Every year we get newcomers as well as regulars. It’s really great to get a wide variety of people helping out and sharing knowledge.” 

The third field-school, starts June 15 and is a chance for participants to walk the landscapes around Cabri Lake, surveying for aboveground archaeological finds. Cry-Steenkamp says that there is a lot of Saskatchewan’s physical heritage found above ground, if you know what you are looking for. 

If you are interested in participating in any of these field schools, you can contact the SAS through their website at www.saskarchsoc.ca. 

Author: Jane Caulfield | Source: Metro News [June 14, 2012]

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