Testament to the Past

This past fall I had the fortune to visit the Brockinton Site, located just south of Melita, Manitoba. The site is slowly eroding into the Souris River; each year a little more of the site is lost. We know a good deal about this site thanks to E. Leigh Syms who excavated this site in the late 1960s and early 1970s. While no excavations have occurred for 40 years, Leigh Syms continues to study the collections, revealing new insights.

Thousands of bison bones

The largest part of the site is a large bison pound and kill site where about 1200 years ago First Nation people had successfully killed hundreds of bison. When we arrived at the site we encountered tens of thousands of bison bones exposed by the low water, a testament to the ancient peoples who were sustained by the herds of bison that once roamed Manitoba’s grasslands.

Graham Young standing, Randy Mooi kneeling and Lila Knox walking at the site


Kevin Brownlee

Curator of Archaeology

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Kevin Brownlee obtained his Master’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Manitoba. He was hired as the Curator of Archaeology at the Manitoba Museum in 2003. His research focuses on the archaeology of Manitoba’s boreal forest and the emerging filed of indigenous archaeology.