By Carlie Connolly
President of the Archaeological Society, Janice Andreas remembered back to the meetings she had in 1975 when they had two archaeologists in Medicine Hat who started the group doing different projects. John Brumley did research out in the Suffield military reserve and Laurie Milne did work on the Saamis site.
When Andreas looked back at the minutes, she observed all of the things they wanted to do.
“They wanted to have speakers, they wanted to have work sessions and they wanted to do excavations and go on field trips,” she said.
The first year, they completed all of that.
The first excavation they were testing was an application for a small site overlooking the Seven Persons Creek, and that was the received by June.
The interest was high in archaeology back then and there was lots of research going on. March 5 will mark the 40th anniversary of the society and Andreas said that she is happy to see how far the group has come.
“I’m truly impressed when I remember the quality of people that we’ve had in the club.
The names of the people that we’ve had and the research they’ve presented is just overwhelming to think that all of that has actually happened in Medicine Hat,” she said.
She said that part of the reason Alberta is so rich in archaeological sites is because it has a fair amount of untilled land.
At the time of the first meeting, Andreas didn’t know much about archaeology but was very fascinated with it. The society has worked on a number of different sites and mapping of sites over the years, and Andreas has seen many including sites including some in Montana.
One of the interesting finds is at a site in Elkwater, where they have 9,000 years of evidence in the area. She said that excavation was interesting there. People would camp in the same spot, and it was a natural place of camping for them. As they would excavate down, they found more and more evidence of people living in that area.
With the group of people over the years coming and going, Andreas said she still stays in touch.
“For the most part, everyone has kept in touch and we all have happy memories.”
The society will be holding its annual general meeting at 5 p.m. at the Esplanade Studio Theatre on Feb. 27. Everyone is welcome to attend. There will also be a dinner and discussion hosted by Todd Kristensen. He will discuss frozen artifacts and alpine archaeology in the Mackenzie Mountains of the Northwest Territories. Anyone who is interested in joining the society at the dinner is encouraged to call Andreas at 403-526-3346 so that she can have numbers on attendance.
The society meets in winter months on the third Wednesday of the month at Police Point Nature Centre in Medicine Hat at 7 p.m. People can visit the website for more information at http://www.arkyalberta.com