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					          Post-Glacial Landscape and Agate Basin

                               Colonization

                      of Central Saskatchewan


                                    by

                                David Meyer*
                                     &
                              Andrea Freeman**

*Department of Archaeology                       **Department of Archaeology
 University of Saskatchewan                        University of Calgary
 Saskatoon, SK                                     Calgary, AB
   Agate Basin complex found
     throughout the Great Plains

   Type site: Agate Basin site,
                Wyoming

   Agate Basin Time Period:
     ca. 10,500 - 10,000 B.P.
 Subsistence economy based on
   bison hunting

 Bison antiquus
Bison antiquus
Bison antiquus
Agate Basin site

(Frison & Stanford 1982)
Agate Basin site

(Frison 1978:158)
(Gail Helgason 1987:69)
Points hafted in foreshafts

(Frison 1978:336)
BOREAL FOREST




                        The Sites:

                        - Fenton Ferry

                        - Zarry 1

             PARKLAND




 GRASSLAND
Agate Basin Distribution
                               Boreal Forest




                                                                          Glacial

 ca. 10,000 B.P.                                          Herb/Shrub
                                                                          Glacial
                                                                            Lake
                                                                             Lake
                                                                               Agassiz
                                                                                Agassiz




                                                              Grassland




                           0     10 0       20 0   30 0
                                  Ki l ometre s
What about the Environment?

      the landscape?

      10,500 - 10,000 B.P.
ca. 10,500 B.P




Dyke et al., 2003
Geological Survey
of Canada Map
ca. 10,000 B.P




 Dyke et al., 2003
 Geological Survey
 of Canada Map
ca. 10,000 B.P




Dyke et al., 2003
Geological Survey
of Canada Map
Chaotic Glacial Front:
 ice blocks buried in sediment

 rivers of glacial meltwater
  (including the North and South
    Saskatchewan river)

 cold glacial lakes

 dry, cold winds off the glacier
  (prevailing southeast winds)
Vegetation Zones

 ca. 10,000 B.P.                                 Boreal Forest


                                                                        Glacial
                                                                        Glacial
                                                                          Lake
                                           Herb/Shrub                      Lake
                                                                             Agassiz
                                                                              Agassiz




                                                            Grassland




                   0   10 0       20 0   30 0
                        Ki l ometre s
Plant and animal Resources

  shrub/herb and grassland:
   - bison, elk, mule deer


  forest/tundra:
   - caribou, moose, muskoxen
     Fenton Ferry site

 discovered by Lawrence and
   Lenore Hanson

 collected by the Hanson family
   1960s-1970s

 a SCAPE site
BOREAL FOREST




                        Fenton Ferry site



             PARKLAND




 GRASSLAND
                                                                          Nipawin
                                  River
           Prince Albert


                                          Birch Hills

                             Fenton                     Melfort
                             Ferry Site

        Rosthern
                                  Wakaw

                                                             0       20     4 0 km
                   Zarry I Site
North



         Saskatoon                 Humboldt

                                                                 Sask.     Man.
Fenton Ferry site   Agate Basin point bases
Fenton Ferry site   end scrapers
Fenton Ferry Site, landscape setting:
  glacial front - 300 km to the northeast

  Glacial Lake Agassiz - 120 km to the northeast
   (Campbell Beach level)

  at the northern edge of the open plains,
    near the forest edge
     Zarry 1 site

 discovered by Pat Adams,
   2003


 collected by Pat Adams
   and Doug Frey
BOREAL FOREST




                        Zarry 1 site



             PARKLAND




 GRASSLAND
                                                                          Nipawin
                                  River
           Prince Albert


                                          Birch Hills

                             Fenton                     Melfort
                             Ferry Site

        Rosthern
                                  Wakaw

                                                             0       20     4 0 km
                   Zarry I Site
North



         Saskatoon                 Humboldt

                                                                 Sask.     Man.
Zarry 1 Site
Zarry 1 site: points and point fragments   Pat Adams collection
   Home Base Sites:
 scrapers = domestic activities

 point bases = refurbishing fore-
   shafts after returning from hunts

 preforms = making projectile points
   Most Agate Basin point occurrences are isolated
    finds on cultivated fields - probable hunting losses


   In contrast the Fenton Ferry and Zarry 1 sites are
     base camps - include whole social groups
Southern Connections:

    Knife River flint
    fused shale (porcellanite)

    silicified peat
Fenton Ferry and Zarry 1 similarities:

     same lithic materials
      (southern connections)

     same tools (e.g. point bases)

     same landscape setting
Same social group?
    Significance of the Agate Basin Occupation:


    The Agate Basin peoples were the first
      established occupants of the region


    There was a very limited occupation of this region
      by makers of fluted points
      (e.g. the fluted point from Meskanaw)


 The few fluted points probably reflect exploratory
   forays into the newly deglaciated regions
                    Summary
   Fenton Ferry and Zarry 1 contain classic plains
    Agate Basin cultural materials

   These two sites were base camps - occupied
    by whole social groups (perhaps the same group)

   The lithic materials reflect southern connections

   These people occupied an herb/shrub or grassland
    environment, and preferred to camp on elevations
    overlooking the South Saskatchewan River

   This was the first established occupation of central
    Saskatchewan
 The End




Glacial Lake Agassiz


Cover of “Life Land and Water”
Edited by W.J. Mayer-Oakes
1967
Acknowledgements:

  SSHRC - MCRI

  Hanson family, Birch Hills

  Pat Adams, Fish Creek

  Doug Frey, Saskatoon

				
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