This post contains a total of 314 images of archaeology excavation techniques from a wide variety of sites. These were used by the creator of this web site to develop social studies curriculum for Kelsey School Division in The Pas, Manitoba and to provide additional illustrations for the associated Archaeology Excavation Simulation web site.
This post also serves to present many more photos of archaeological excavations photographed by the author Paul C. Thistle beyond those able to be used to illustrate the exemplar Southern Indian Lake 182 excavation outlined on the author’s new Archaeology Excavation Simulation web site that includes an hour-long Narrated PowerPoint detailing the theory & practice of the author’s simulation method.
Viewers here are advised to download the author’s descriptions of all 129 slides in the following series PDF file Techniques of Archaeology by Thistle 1978 03 . Each slide caption in the 5 series immediately below has the number of the related narration text. Some are rather extensive. They were produced by your blogger 1976-1978 to support senior & junior high school Native Studies curriculum.
Archaeological Techniques Slide Show Sections:
Survey to Find Archaeological Sites
Preparing & Excavating a Boreal Forest Archaeological Site
Northwest Pacific Coast Archaeological Sites
Atypical Heavy Equipment Excavation Method
Archaeological Laboratory Work
Survey to Find Archaeological Sites:
Preparing & Excavating a Boreal Forest Archaeological Site:
The following section focusses on the salvage excavation identified as SIL 182 carried out in 1974 in advance of hydro electric dam flooding of Southern Indian Lake in northern Manitoba that would inundate this prehistoric site.
The first 2 slides below are from another site nearby the SIL 182 excavation camp that was cleared on a rainy day instead of attempting to excavate in the rain.
Northwest Pacific Coast Archaeological Sites:
Note: The author wishes to express his appreciation to Bjorn Simonsen at the British Columbia Archaeological Sites Advisory Board for his suggestions, directions, & permission to visit & photograph the excavations in BC pictured in this post (1976). Additional information on the Little Qualicum Beach wet excavation site next shown here is available in Bernick, Kathryn. 1983. A Site Catchment Analysis of the Little Qualicum River Site, DiSc 1 .
Atypical Heavy Equipment Excavation Method:
Fort Pitt, an historic site located on the North Saskatchewan River in modern-day Saskatchewan was destroyed by fire after it was surrendered to Big Bear’s Cree during the Riel Resistance in April 1885. In 1976, this site was being excavated as the author was passing through on his ‘photo safari’.
Archaeological Laboratory Work:
The above “The Techniques of Archaeology” 5-part slide series as well as the following ones on Ozette, Thompson River Pit Houses, & Fort Walsh were developed to supplement Native Studies Curriculum for senior & junior high schools for the Kelsey School Division in The Pas, MB. The author has been told that they remain there in 2021.
Other Excavations & Related Slide Shows:
SIL 182 Base Camp & Activities
Ozette Excavation on the Coast of Washington
Thompson River Pit House Excavations
Fort Walsh North-West Mounted Police Historic Site Excavation
Upper Fort Garry
Manitoba Museum of Man & Nature Boreal Forest Archaeology Exhibit
Yukon Klondike Archaeology
The Sam Waller Museum Archaeology
Archaeology Excavation Travelling Exhibit
SIL 182 Base Camp & Activities:
This grouping of images gives an overview of the Southern Indian Lake SIL 182 excavation camp as well as various related activities.
While teaching Native Studies in The Pas, Manitoba, Canada, the creator of this web site spent the summer of 1976 on a ‘photo safari’ visiting museums in a huge figure-8 route stretching from Haida Gwaii on the Pacific coast to Ottawa, ON visiting historic sites & archaeological excavations with the aim to produce 35 mm colour slide shows to bolster the Kelsey School Division Native Studies curriculum. The final product was 40 slide shows on a variety of subjects including the one on archaeological methods shown above. The following slide shows address other specific sites as stand-alone slide presentations or excerpts from those with archaeology sections dealing with a wide variety of Indigenous histories or cultures.
Ozette Excavation on the Coast of Washington:
Viewers here are encouraged to download the PDF with detailed information on each slide at the Ozette Excavation . The related slide numbers in this document appear in the slide caption.
Thompson River Pit House Excavations:
Viewers here are encouraged to download the PDF of slide descriptions at Thompson River Archaeology XXI . The related slide numbers in this document appear in the slide captions.
Fort Walsh North-West Mounted Police Historic Site Excavation:
Viewers here are encouraged to download the detailed descriptions of each slide at Fort Walsh Archaeology V NWMP III established in 1875 to address the illegal alcohol trade in the Cypress Hills, Northwest Territory (modern-day Saskatchewan). The document’s slide numbers are shown in the image caption.
Upper Fort Garry:
Except for the first, the following slides were taken by the author on 2 occasions, 1979 & 1982. This details the National Historic Site Upper Fort Garry, the Hudson’s Bay Company depot constructed on the north bank of the Assiniboine River in Winnipeg, Manitoba just west of its confluence with the Red River.
Manitoba Museum of Man & Nature Boreal Forest Archaeology Exhibit:
The following slides show the author’s images taken at the new MMMN [now known as the Manitoba Museum] Boreal Forest Gallery in 1980.
Yukon Klondike Archaeology:
While I was Director/Curator of The Dawson City Museum & Historical Society, 1999-2002, I was able to visit excavation projects including one on the site of the Klondike Mines Railway yard at Klondike City on the south bank of the Klondike River at its confluence with the Yukon River across from Dawson City.
Of course, during the Gold Rush after the August 1896 discovery of the significant deposits up the Klondike River, the explosion of population in Dawson City created a shortage of land there. This forced the later arriving gold seekers to move up the steep hills closely surrounding the limited flat land on all sides of Dawson City & Klondike City (immediately across the Klondike River mouth) to construct small terraces for tents & small cabins. This location is situated on the Tr’o-ju-wch’in Heritage Site, a traditional Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation locale traditionally used to dry fish & meat. The terraces on the steep hill behind the flats remain with fans of refuse downhill from each of them were also being excavated at the time. See the author’s review of the lead archaeologist Michael Brand (2002) Archaeological Investigations of Transient Residences on the Hillsides Surrounding Dawson City at Review of BRAND .
The Sam Waller Museum Archaeology:
The completion of a $1.7 million capital project led by Paul C. Thistle to move The Sam Waller Museum in The Pas into a Manitoba provincially designated historic site to create an effectively climate-controlled professional museum facility—while protecting the brick facade from strong vapour pressure forcing humidity injected into interior spaces out to the winter season freezing point where expansion would have destroyed the brick—permitted the planning & installation of permanent & temporary exhibit galleries. See the hour-long narrated PowerPoint about the ways by which this was accomplished in https://miscellaneousmuseology.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/adaptive-re-use-project-for-the-sam-waller-museum-narration-2.pptx .
Also note the images of the author’s salvage work at the Henry Highway house construction site on the Opaskwayak Cree Nation reserve just across the Saskatchewan River from The Pas, MB.
Paul C. Thistle’s Excavation Travelling Exhibit:
Update 28 September 2021: In the course of my museology programme at the University of Winnipeg under Dr. George Lammers, in 1979 I undertook a project to construct a travelling exhibit case on archaeological excavation. This was based on my 1975 experience assisting in the excavation of a boreal forest site SIL 182 at Sandhill Bay, Southern Indian Lake in northern Manitoba. Artifacts & the equipment were supplied by the UW Archaeology Department. Viewers are encouraged to read the accompanying course paper at Excavation Travelling Exhibit Paper .
I add references to the further development of my excavation simulation for post-secondary purposes by archaeologist Dr. Shannon M. Fie, Professor of Anthropology at Beloit College, Wisconsin. See Prof. Fie’s poster presented at a session on teaching archaeology at the 2019 Society for American Archaeology conference at Fie 2015-SAA poster(1) . Dr. Fie has made her simulation “a regular component of my introductory archaeology course. It is also proven useful in my mid-level methods course in instructing and reinforcing mapping techniques prior to conducting test excavations on campus” at Fie 2015-Digging without Dirt (Fie 2015:1-2) . Also see Quave, K., Fie, S., Greiff, A., & Agnew, D. 2021. “Centering the Margins: Knowledge Production in the Introductory Archaeology Course.” Advances in Archaeological Practice, 9 (2), 87-100 at https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/advances-in-archaeological-practice/article/centering-the-margins/20B3DF276E6B1DB83CF63758402E29CA [scroll down from the first page.].