By Josh Casey
When a flight of stairs were being constructed in April, near the museum, in Moricetown, artifacts and bone fragments were unearthed.
The unearthing of those artifacts led to many questions as to why there was not an archaeological dig prior to shovels breaking ground for the construction of the stairs.
“We did have some issues with the territory holder,” said Lucy Gagnon, executive director of the Moricetown Band.
Gagnon wouldn’t elaborate on what issues had arose citing, “I don’t really want to get in to it.” She did say those issues raised have since been resolved.
Anthropologist Rick Budhwa, who headed up the recovery said his team came in after workers found the bone fragments and artifacts.
“What we found there was nothing surprising … we found projectile points, scrapers, lots of flakes from stone tool manufacture and lots of bone fragments.”
Although Gagnon suggested the reasoning could have been based on past construction already completed in the area.
“I guess council felt like there was already a water line dug around that same area,” she said.
With the Moricetown RV park and campground closed this summer for construction, there’s a good chance that more artifacts could be unearthed.
“We’re starting to sort of retroactively plan for it and do some more surveying and monitoring up there based on their development plans and we’re working closely with the band to make sure they do some of the archaeology that needs to be done,” Budhwa explained.
Budhwa added there is a big difference between an excavation and recovery.
“In an excavation, there’s a lot of planning. The most important concept in archaeology is context it’s what is found in association with something else. If you find something lower in the ground then something else that is higher we can assume that it’s older. But, when something is disturbed, moved around then its just really about recovering the artifacts that are around…that context information is lost.”
The renovations, with a near $500 000 price tag will consist of making the park more accessible which includes the construction of a new washroom building, playground and electrical upgrades.