We had the pleasure of a presentation by Cathy Linowski during our noon meeting on Monday 20 November.
Cathy graduated from Simon Fraser University, majoring in botany and archaeology.
Over the years, she has worked for the Alberta Dept. of Agriculture and done teaching for the Medicine Hat College on the Brooks campus.
Cathy is currently an active member of the Southeast Alberta Archaeological Society (of which President Bruce is the chair) and she works as a field botanist for Environment and Climate Change, monitoring rare and endangered plant species in the Dry Mixed grass prairie.
What a pleasure to listen to, learn from, and ask questions of someone who is a passionate expert in her field!
"Archaeology is the study of past humans, and how they lived, by examining their material remains. Through excavation and analysis, these material remains can tell a story about how humans have tackled problems, survived, and thrived. Archaeologists can determine timelines, range of occupation, and learn aspects about diet, housing, social status, and lifestyle of the peoples that lived there".
Moving on from what archaeology is, Cathy took us on a trip to develop our understanding of why it is important and what archaeologists do. She then moved into:.
Archaeology in Alberta, in Medicine Hat, and specifically, the Saamis Archaeological site.
One of many snippets of interesting information from the southeast region of Alberta, is that the Majorville Medicine Wheel near Bassano dates back 4500 years - and is still used. The center is 9m across, with 28 spokes.
Cathy gave us clarity on what an archaeological site is, prehistoric archaeological sites, archaeological artifacts and features, and the interesting issue of reporting an archaeological find.
If you find an archaeological artifact, photograph it, write down the location of the find, your contact details, and email this information to: sheila.macdonald@gov.ab.ca.
Yes, you can keep your artifact, OR you can choose to donate it to the Royal Alberta Museum for curating and display. You may not sell it.
Over 80% of sites in Alberta predate the arrival of Europeans. Some sites are more than 13,000 years old, while some are just a few hundred years old.
Common types of prehistoric sites include: campsites, animal kill sites, rock art sites, and ceremonial sites.
It was interesting to hear that Alberta has over 40,000 recorded archaeological sites, managed by the Government of Alberta, with approximately 500 new records added each year. There are over 50 documented historic and prehistoric archaeological sites within Medicine Hat. Historic archaeology sites in Medicine Hat include Medalta and the IXL brink plant.
A final note on the Saamis Archaeological site: it was designated a Provincial Historic Site in 1984. Fencing to limit riparian erosion and allow for natural regeneration along Seven Persons Creek was installed in 2019. Restricting off-leash dogs was also  imposed. Cathy was happy to report that recovery of the area has been excellent.
All in all, a very interesting and informative presentation, for which many thanks, Cathy Linowski!