History in the Ground
With 9,000 years of human habitation, there's a lot of history in the ground in this province. The long-lost stories and artifacts of several aboriginal groups, plus those of the early Europeans, are a priceless heritage.
Archaeologists try to preserve the information and artifacts from these valuable sites in areas where they may otherwise be disturbed or even destroyed by common everyday activities such as road work, house building and mineral exploration. Such projects are generally referred to the Provincial Archaeology Office for review before work starts to determine if historic resources are at risk by the proposed development. If nothing of significance is found, the project can proceed as planned. If something important is discovered, the site may be excavated to preserve the information and artifacts, or the plans may simply be altered to avoid disturbing the site.
Finding a site consisting of something as simple as a Beothuk arrowhead, or as complex as an entire early European settlement such as Cupids, are examples of the changing cultural landscape over time. The Provincial Archaeology Office educates industry involved in resource development, government departments in land use and servicing projects, and private citizens who might be planning to build a cabin. It also brings the excitement of Archaeology to school children and the general public.Archaeology is as much a passion as a job, as there’s always the possibility of making that next big discovery.