What is archaeology?


Human history in Canada spans 11 000 years. It is reflected through different types of evidence including physical remains (archaeological resources) that have been left behind by individuals or groups of people. These archaeological resources can be found lying on top of the ground, buried in the earth or submerged in water. Through archaeological investigations, research and analysis, archaeologists work somewhat like detectives to uncover clues that allow them to understand the people who once inhabited the land. The archaeologists' research and interpretations contribute to the understanding of Canadian history and of history in general.

In Canada, archaeological resources abound and are varied in nature, reflecting the diversity of people and communities that moved through or occupied the land. Examples of archaeological sites are locations with rock art; campsites; homesteads; fur-trading, military and industrial sites as well as shipwrecks. Much of Canada's human history is revealed through these resources that in many cases are the only or one of very few pieces of evidence or information that exist.

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