Beothuk and Maritime Archaic aDNA results meeting

Over the last 10 years, a research group from Memorial University and McMaster University have been working toward gaining further insight into the genetics and lifeways of Beothuk and Maritime Archaic populations in Newfoundland and Labrador. As a direct result of the continued support and interest from the Beothuk Institute, Innu Nation, NunatuKavut, Nunatsiavut, Miawpukek First Nation, Qalipu First Nation, The Rooms Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canadian Museum of History, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, they are delighted to report and discuss with you the results of this research prior to publication in Current Biology on 12 October 2017.

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2017 NLAS Fieldtrip to the Bordeaux site

A great day and an energetic hike out along the beautiful trail to Bordeaux Head last Saturday, September 2nd. Though we found numerous beach-strewn waterworn lithics from the former Dorset site, there was no evidence of any in-situ deposits. Our re-visit and testing of this “late” Middle Dorset site was the first to undertake any excavation since Urve Linnamae discovered the site in 1970. Like an increasing number of exposed coastal sites, it appears that erosion has taken what was left of this important site out to sea. Watch for a full report of our activities in the forthcoming Archaeology in Newfoundland and Labrador Annual Report Series that is put out by the Provincial Archaeology Office. http://www.tcii.gov.nl.ca/pao/arch_in_nl/index.html

We also created a YouTube video of our trip which can be seen here.

Water rolled lithic artifact

Testing the site

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2017 NLAS Fieldtrip

Planned Itinerary

  • Depart from Queen’s College 9 am; Carpooling encouraged. If you do not have a ride, let us know and we’ll try to match you up with one.
  • Meet at Robin’s Donuts in Arnold’s Cove at 10:30
  • 4km hike to Bordeaux to site @ 10:45
  • Arrive at Site 11:45, followed by 30min rest/lunch break
  • Two-hour archaeology program
  • 4km hike back to vehicles / drive back to St. John’s

Participant Opportunities

  • Take part in the relocation of an archaeological site using mapping and GPS unit
  • Observe archaeological testing
  • Learn about correct archaeological field recording procedures
  • Learn by observation, how to undertake radiocarbon sample (if present)
  • Learn about site protection and provincial heritage legislation via discussion during a lunchtime discussion

Recommendations / Requirements

  • You should be prepared to hike a total of two hours over varying terrain (hills, root covered trail, loose beach rocks) which will necessitate appropriate footwear, hiking boots are recommended. A hat, backpack, bug repellent, sunscreen are also a good idea.
  • We will break for 30 minutes or so upon arrival at the site. You are responsible for bringing your own food and water/beverages.

Note: This is a day-long excursion, and there are no toilet facilities along the trail or at the site. Be prepared to find a comfortable spot in the woods if the urge should arise.

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UPDATE Closure of Important Parks Canada Archaeological Facility

UPDATE
We were happy to learn early last month that this facility will now remain open. This is great news for archaeology in this area. We hope that our letter (see below) played some small role in this reversal.

Federal archeology lab in Dartmouth will remain open

 

 

The Newfoundland and Labrador Archaeological Society is saddened to learn of Parks Canada’s continuing plans to close their Archaeology Lab in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. This purpose-built facility was opened in 2009, specifically designed to preserve, house, and protect the archaeological artifacts from Atlantic Canada’s archaeological sites under federal jurisdiction.

According to a report from the Nova Scotia Archaeological Society (NSAS), Parks Canada’s continued plans are to shutter this world-class laboratory and ship the archaeological artifacts stored there to Gatineau, Quebec, for long-term storage.

The complete NLAS statement on this issue can be read here.

The current President of the NLAS was on CBC Central Radio morning show recently discussing this issue.

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CCARP 2016 Artifact Display

The Newfoundland and Labrador Archaeological Society (NLAS) Community Collections Archaeological Research Project (CCARP) for 2016 was based on a collection of historic and pre-contact artifacts collected from the North Coast of Labrador. It includes 11 stone tools, 7 kaolin pipes (provenience unknown, but likely from Labrador), and utensils and lead line weights collected at Okak. These items all came to the NLAS by way of the Labrador Institute, where they remained after being donated by Carol Brice-Bennett.

The collection of archaeological objects within the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador is restricted to licensed archaeological investigation under the Historic Resources Act. Archaeological objects have in the past been, and continue to be, collected by local citizens, who may or may not be aware of the legislation protecting the Province’s archaeological heritage.

The report is now online and can be found here.

The collection is now on display at the Happy Valley-Goose Bay campus of the College of the North Atlantic. See the photos of the display below.

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2017 NLAS Heritage Fair Award Winner

The NLAS has developed a Heritage Fair award called the First Peoples Award. The inaugural winner was Isaiah Pamak. He won for his project titled “Aftermath of the Spanish Flu”, which detailed the impacts the flu had in Labrador. Isaiah is a student at the Amos Comenius Memorial School, in Hopedale and the regional Heritage Fair was held in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. The heritage fair was run by the Historic Sites Association of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Congratulations Isaiah!

Images of the winner used with permission.

Isaiah with his project, “Aftermath of the Spanish Flu”.

Isaiah with NLAS Director Dr. Scott Neilsen.

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CCARP 2016

The Newfoundland and Labrador Archaeological Society (NLAS) Community Collections Archaeological Research Project (CCARP) for 2016 was based on a collection of historic and pre-contact artifacts collected from the North Coast of Labrador. It includes 11 stone tools, 7 kaolin pipes (provenience unknown, but likely from Labrador), and utensils and lead line weights collected at Okak. These items all came to the NLAS by way of the Labrador Institute, where they remained after being donated by Carol Brice-Bennett.

The collection of archaeological objects within the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador is restricted to licensed archaeological investigation under the Historic Resources Act. Archaeological objects have in the past been, and continue to be, collected by local citizens, who may or may not be aware of the legislation protecting the Province’s archaeological heritage.

The report is now online and can be found here.

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Spring Fling Membership Drive 2017

Last year’s Spring Fling Membership Drive was such a success that we’re offering it again this year! Renew your membership or become a member for the first time and receive a free publication until April 30th.

 

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In Memory of Ken Reynolds

The Newfoundland and Labrador Archaeological Society is truly saddened to learn of the passing of Ken Reynolds, of the Provincial Archaeology Office. With Ken’s death, we have lost both a great friend and a wonderful colleague, whose encyclopedic, broad-ranging knowledge of Newfoundland and Labrador archaeology can never be replaced. So many of us have had help, guidance, advice, and grand chats with Ken, and he made our small archaeological community a better place.

The NLAS understands that a scholarship in Ken’s name is being organized for the Department of Archaeology at Memorial University, and in the coming weeks we will announce our plans for a donation to the scholarship fund. We cannot think of a better way to honour Ken’s memory than to support future generations of archaeologists in the province. Thank you, Ken, for being a great friend, and for your never-ending enthusiasm for Newfoundland and Labrador’s archaeology.

http://www.barretts.ca/book-of-memories/2806911/Reynolds-Ken/obituary.php

Ken on Two Mile Island, Exploit's River, pondering a Beothuk housepit 2015.

Ken on Two Mile Island, Exploit’s River, pondering a Beothuk housepit 2015.

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CCARP Terms of Reference for 2016-2017

The Newfoundland and Labrador Archaeological Society (NLAS) seeks an archaeologist to catalogue an archaeological collection from Labrador for its 2016/2017 Community Collections Archaeological Research Project (CCARP). This will be the fourth CCARP produced by the NLAS, which is supported by funding from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

CCARP Terms of Reference 2016-2017

The collection this year is a combination of historic and pre-contact artifacts collected from the North Coast of Labrador. It includes 11 stone tools, 7 kaolin pipes (provenience unknown, but likely from Labrador), and utensils and lead line weights collected at Okak. These items all came to the NLAS by way of the Labrador Institute, where they remained after being donated by Carol Brice-Bennett.

The project will run from January 1, 2017 to March 1, 2017. LETTERS OF INTEREST along with a CV and REFERENCES (The names of two people as references, we don’t require letters up front with the application) are to be submitted by e-mail by 4 p.m., December 14, 2016 to:
nlas@nlarchsociety.ca

collection

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