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Northern Exposure- Part 2

Just a few days after coming back from York Landing I was packing up the truck to make the drive back north, only this time I was going back to get my trowel dirty!

Years of watching dad pack the car for camping helped me tetris all of my gear into the pan of the truck!

Years of watching dad pack the car for camping helped me tetris all of my gear into the pan of the truck!

As you can imagine, the remnants of the fur trade are all over this fine country and while many of the big sites have been investigated there are hundreds of smaller posts scattered along the waterways just waiting for archaeologists to excavate and learn all about them.

This site was located by local archaeologist Keith Anderson after a forest fire had cleared out a lot of the vegetation, and coincidentally it’s less than 100m away from a post site that was excavated by provincial archaeologist Brian Smith in the 1990s.

The site seen from the water.

The site seen from the water.

Since this post is close to the eroding bank we decided to start work on it this summer.  Fortunately for me, Keith and his clearing crew had already done the hard work of removing the dead trees before I arrived (yes, I’m spoiled!).

When a burnt tree messes up your grid, cut it down!

When a burnt tree messes up your grid, cut it down!

My goals for this season were to determine the limits of the site, by identifying the walls of the post and any related features outside of visible structure, and to acquire enough artifacts to be able to figure out the date of the site.  I want to know if it was occupied at the same time as the other nearby post, was it also HBC or their rivals the Northwest Company?  There is much to learn from any new archaeological site, and this one will be no different!

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Amelia Fay

Curator of HBC Collection

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Amelia Fay joined The Manitoba Museum in September 2013. She received her BA in Anthropology from the University of Manitoba, an MA in Archaeology from Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN), and is currently finishing her Doctoral degree from MUN. Amelia’s research has focused on Inuit-European contact along the Labrador coast, and her interests are continually expanding to explore Aboriginal-European contact throughout Canada during the fur trade era.

Amelia’s job as Curator of the Hudson’s Bay Company Museum Collection involves building the collection, responding to public inquiries, preparing exhibits, and conducting her own research. Her research interests centre on the interactions between Europeans (including HBC employees) and Aboriginal peoples as they negotiated space, material culture, and their daily activities. Amelia’s goal is to showcase this amazing collection, and highlight the important role that Aboriginal people played in the establishment of the Hudson’s Bay Company.