Join us on Friday, April 13th at 7:00 pm in Room 132 of the Archaeology Building (55 Campus Drive) for our monthly meeting! Jennifer Rychlo will be presenting “The Camp Rayner Site: Early Cultural Transitions on the Northern Plains”. This meeting will also include our Annual General Meeting. All are welcome!
Abstract: The Camp Rayner Site: Early Cultural Transitions on the Northern Plains
The Camp Rayner site is a multicomponent site located on the northern shores of Lake Diefenbaker in central Saskatchewan. The earliest levels at the site date to the end of the Early Precontact period and the beginning of the Middle Precontact period; a time believed to represent a transition of cultural practices on the Northern Plains. Early Precontact groups are broadly known as big-game hunters who utilized exotic, high-quality lithics to create stone spears and tools. This changes dramatically by the Middle Precontact period, where groups utilize more broad-based subsistence strategies and focus their efforts on exploiting locally available resources. Additionally, this era coincides with a climatic event known as the Hypsithermal, which caused increased warmth and aridity on the Northern Plains and may have been a catalyst for cultural change and adaptation. Unfortunately, sites which contain levels dating to these time periods are relatively rare on the Northern Plains and the mechanics regarding these cultural changes remain poorly understood. The components at the Camp Rayner site offer archaeologists a rare opportunity to explore the manner in which this cultural transition took place and how human groups were adapting to environmental change on the Northern Plains. Specifically, through analyzing the lithic and faunal materials present in the Early Precontact and Middle Precontact levels at the Camp Rayner site, patterns of behaviour related to food and resource procurement can be compared between the two time periods and morefully understood.
Jennifer Rychlo studied Archaeology at the University of Saskatchewan and received her B.A. in 2013 and her M.A. in 2016 under the supervision of Dr. Ernest Walker. Her thesis focused on the transitional time period between the Early Precontact (or Paleoindian) period and the Middle Precontact period on the Northern Plains, occurring approximately 7,500 years ago. Currently, Jennifer works as a consultant archaeologist for Golder Associates in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where she conducts heritage resource impact assessments across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.