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Archaeological Investigations at the Red Tail Site (FbNp-10) and an Examination of Public Access to Archaeology in Saskatchewan



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The Red Tail site (FbNp-10) is a multicomponent habitation site located 2.5 km north of Saskatoon within the boundaries of Wanuskewin Heritage Park. The site was initially tested in the early 1980s and then excavated during the summers of 1988 and 1989 by University of Saskatchewan archaeology field school students, paid crews and many volunteers. Evidence from the site indicates that it was inhabited numerous times, beginning around 4,300 years before present with a McKean occupation, which also included the only Mckean house pit feature found on the Canadian Plains. Other associations with archaeological cultures include Sandy Creek, Besant and Avonlea, revealing that the most recent identifiable occupation to have occurred was between 1,300 – 1,000 years before present. The Sandy Creek component is only the second to be recovered from a site within Wanuskewin Heritage Park. As the longest running archaeological project in Canada, the sites that have been excavated at Wanuskewin have involved a number of volunteers and the success of such a cultural facility would not be possible without the interest of members of the public. The dissemination of information about archaeology to the public has a colourful past in Saskatchewan that began in 1935 with the formation of the Saskatoon Archaeological Society; a group of avocationals who were interested in learning and sharing information about this province’s rich cultural history. Since then, the Saskatchewan Archaeological Society and its associated chapters were formed and awareness for the importance of preserving the past has been communicated through many avenues, including programs that invite members of the public to participate in archaeological opportunities within the province. An examination of these avenues of information sharing demonstrates how important public interest and support is to archaeology and heritage works in Saskatchewan.



Precontact Archaeology Wanuskewin Heritage Park Public Archaeology Red Tail



Master of Arts (M.A.)


Archaeology and Anthropology




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