Repository logo

Late Precontact and Protocontact Stone Circle Sites at Little Manitou Lake, South-Central Saskatchewan

dc.contributor.advisorKennedy, Margaret
dc.contributor.advisorStuart, Glenn
dc.contributor.committeeMemberFoley, Chris
dc.contributor.committeeMemberAitken, Alec
dc.contributor.committeeMemberMerriam, James
dc.contributor.committeeMemberClark, Terence
dc.creatorJollymore, Kay Helen 1978- 2016
dc.description.abstractThis study focuses on the Little Manitou Lake archaeological complex, a collection of sites situated around the western end of Little Manitou Lake, located in south-central Saskatchewan. The majority of sites documented in this region contain stone circle features suggesting residential/domestic use while a handful of sites have been documented as ceremonial in nature, containing medicine wheels and vision quest features. Today, Little Manitou Lake is hypersaline and has been so for the last 2,000 years. Evidence suggests that the lake was previously a deep freshwater lake. Changing climatic and environmental conditions responsible for the transformation of the lake would likely have influenced lifeways of past populations and may have influenced use of this area. Archaeological sites around Little Manitou Lake have been hypothesized to relate to the saline/healing nature of the water. The named Manitou comes from an Algonquian word meaning “great spirit” and the lake became known as the “Lake of Healing Waters”. Ethnographic information indicates that aboriginal groups made pilgrimages to the lake to experience the lakes healing properties. The main objective of this research was to improve understanding of interactions between past populations and the environment of the Little Manitou Lake area and to set the local archaeological record into the broader context of Northern Plains prehistory. The importance of this area to past populations is demonstrated by the density of archaeological sites identified around the lake. Considering paleoenvironmental data in relation to these sites provides new insights about human-environment interactions and how changing environmental conditions may have influenced past use of this area. To achieve the objective of this study, three goals were set out and explored: to identify hearth deposits at archaeological sites that could provide dates for site occupation in the area, to review paleoenvironmental data to better understand changing water and salinity levels of the lake through time, and to carry out spatial analyses to evaluate how site placement may relate and help elucidate the overall cultural landscape. Hearth deposits, containing charred organics, were identified which produced dates for three archaeological sites, establishing part of the cultural chronology for the region and provided data which suggest occupation occurred during the late summer or early autumn. The sites were found to belong to the Precontact and Protocontact periods. Data from EkNk-3 indicated that occupation occurred during a period of transition from the Late Old Women’s phase to the Mortlach phase while data from EkNj-4 and EkNj-68 indicated that occupations occurred during the Mortlach phase. Dates from these sites, when compared to the literature relating to paleoenvironmental conditions in the region, allowed for the inference that Little Manitou Lake was a saline lake during site occupation, leading to an improved understanding of the environmental context in which the sites were utilized. Spatial analyses were conducted on both domestic and ceremonial sites in the area. Spatial evaluations of domestic sites at the western end of Little Manitou Lake provided insight about the patterning of features present at the sites. Spatial evaluations of ceremonial sites provided insight about the importance of prominent topographic features in the region and helped to elucidate the overall cultural landscape. Taken as a whole, data collected during this study provides substantive new insights about the archaeological environment at Little Manitou Lake.
dc.subjectLate Prehistoric
dc.subjectLate Precontact
dc.subjectMortlach Phase
dc.subjectOld Women's Phase
dc.subjectLittle Manitou Lake
dc.subjectLittle Ice Age
dc.titleLate Precontact and Protocontact Stone Circle Sites at Little Manitou Lake, South-Central Saskatchewan
dc.type.materialtext and Anthropology of Saskatchewan of Arts (M.A.)


Original bundle
Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
Thumbnail Image
17.69 MB
Adobe Portable Document Format
License bundle
Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
No Thumbnail Available
2.27 KB
Plain Text