PUBlic Professor Series | Dr. Shawn Bubel

Prehistoric Bison Hunters in Southern Alberta: Excavations at Fincastle Site

Dr. Shawn Bubel, Department of Geography & Environment

The Fincastle archaeological project began in 2003 with a survey of the previously unrecorded bison kill site located 4 km south of the Oldman River in Southern Alberta. Excavations have unearthed more than 130 projectile points, 120 stone tools, 4,100 tool manufacturing waste flakes, and 1,500 fire-broken rocks, along with 290,000+ bison bone fragments. The stratigraphic context of these remains indicates a single event that took place around 2500 years ago based on radiocarbon and OSL dates. Kill spots as well as primary and secondary butchering activity areas were identified. In addition, a number of ceremonial bone upright features were found. These features, along with the predominance of Knife River Flint, a stone material sourced to North Dakota, denote a strong cultural connection between the Fincastle hunters and groups living in the Middle Missouri area in the Late Middle Prehistoric Period. It is one of the oldest Besant-Sonota type sites in the Great Plains region, and the discoveries made at the site are attracting international attention. Research article: Thrill of the find keeps Bubel digging

ICYMI: Watch the video

Sponsored by: