80th Anniversary & Jessie Caldwell Memorial Lecture

The Saska­toon Archae­o­log­i­cal Soci­ety is pleased to announce that our 80th Anniver­sary & 2015 Jessie Cald­well Memo­r­i­al Lec­tur­er will be Dr. Leland Bement (Okla­homa Archae­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey)!

Dr. Leland Bement is with the Okla­homa Archae­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Okla­homa, Nor­man. He has been with the Sur­vey for 23 years. Sig­nif­i­cant research projects include exca­vat­ing the 10,500 year old Coop­er bison kill site, the 10,800 year old Jake Bluff bison kill, and the 9000 year old Raven­scroft bison kill site. He com­plet­ed his B.A. at Fort Lewis Col­lege, Col­orado in 1979, received his M.A. from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas at Austin in 1986 and com­plet­ed his Ph.D. at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas at Austin in 1991. He spe­cial­izes in Pale­oin­di­an stud­ies, ani­mal bone iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, hunter-gath­er­er adap­ta­tions, rock art, stone tool tech­nolo­gies, and pale­oen­vi­ron­men­tal recon­struc­tion. He has also pub­lished 2 books, includ­ing one on the Coop­er site, 48 jour­nal arti­cles and has worked on numer­ous oth­er research reports. Much of this work has been fund­ed by His­toric Preser­va­tion grants, the Nation­al Geo­graph­ic Soci­ety, and the Nation­al Sci­ence Foun­da­tion as well as from pri­vate dona­tions. In addi­tion to being a research archae­ol­o­gist at the Sur­vey, Dr. Bement is an adjunct asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of Anthro­pol­o­gy and grad­u­ate fac­ul­ty mem­ber at OU, and an adjunct full pro­fes­sor of Plant and Soil Sci­ences and a grad­u­ate fac­ul­ty mem­ber at OSU, Still­wa­ter. He is also a research fel­low at the Muse­um of Texas Tech, Lub­bock.

Large-Scale Bison Hunt­ing at the Beaver Riv­er Com­plex, South­ern Plains of North Amer­i­ca Or, Who left all these ani­mal bones in these gul­lies and why am I clean­ing them out?
The Beaver Riv­er Com­plex of Pale­oin­di­an bison kill sites trace the devel­op­ment of large-scale com­mu­nal bison kills from Clo­vis (13,000 years ago), to Fol­som (12,600–12,300 years ago), to post-Fol­som times (12,000 years ago) on the South­ern Plains of North Amer­i­ca. Arti­facts from key sites are illus­trat­ed and dis­cussed along with pat­terns of bison butcher­ing and kill site size and design. Key ques­tions to be addressed include: Why were these large-scale kills con­duct­ed? How many peo­ple were need­ed to suc­cess­ful­ly kill these ani­mals? What did they do with all the meat? How did bison hunt­ing fit into ear­ly Pale­oin­di­an adap­ta­tions on the Plains? Final­ly, what is the sig­nif­i­cance of a paint­ed bison skull at one of these kill sites?

Please join us on Fri­day, Sep­tem­ber 25th, 2015 at 7:30pm in the St. Thomas More The­atre (Main Floor, 1437 Cam­pus Dri­ve) on the Uni­ver­si­ty of Saskatchewan Cam­pus. There will be refresh­ments after the lec­ture in the Atri­um.

For more infor­ma­tion on the Jessie Cald­well Memo­r­i­al Lec­ture Series, fol­low this link.

September News — Speaker Announcement

The Saska­toon Archae­o­log­i­cal Soci­ety is pleased to announce our 80th Anniver­sary and Jessie Cald­well Memo­r­i­al Lec­ture speak­er!  Dr. Leland C. Bement (Okla­homa Archae­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey, Okla­homa State Uni­ver­si­ty) will be join­ing us as our keynote.  Dr. Bement is prob­a­bly best known for his work with the Coop­er Site, one of the best pre­served Fol­som bison kills on the South­ern Plains.  Lee will be speak­ing on Pale­oIn­di­an adap­ta­tions to chang­ing cli­mates and bison hunt­ing strate­gies.  Lee is an engag­ing speak­er and he has worked at many excep­tion­al Pale­oin­di­an sites in the south­ern plains.  This is a tru­ly spe­cial oppor­tu­ni­ty we are tak­ing advan­tage of to have him speak to the Saska­toon Archae­o­log­i­cal Soci­ety.

We are ask­ing for your help in fund­ing the Jessie Cald­well event this year, to be held the evening of Fri­day, Sept. 25th (more info will fol­low in the Bison Post).  Please con­sid­er con­tribut­ing to the Saska­toon Archae­o­log­i­cal Soci­ety by either mail­ing in a cheque (Saska­toon Archae­o­log­i­cal Soci­ety, Box 328, RPO Uni­ver­si­ty, Saska­toon SK, S7N 4J8) or you can give your con­tri­bu­tion in per­son to Dr. Mar­garet Kennedy at the Uni­ver­si­ty ( or to the folks in the main Archae­ol­o­gy and Anthro­pol­o­gy Depart­ment office if she is not around).

April Meeting Announcement

aprilmeetingJoin us tonight, Fri­day, April 17th at 7:00pm in Room 132 of the Archae­ol­o­gy Build­ing on the Uni­ver­si­ty of Saskatchewan cam­pus for our April Meet­ing.  Our speak­er will be Kar­men Van­derZwan speak­ing on the 2014 SAS study tour to Italy.  We will also hold our Annu­al Gen­er­al Meet­ing tonight.  All are wel­come to attend!

March Meeting Announcement


Join us on Fri­day, March 20th, 2015 at 7:00pm in Room 132 of the Archae­ol­o­gy Build­ing (55 Cam­pus Dri­ve) on the Uni­ver­si­ty of Saskatchewan cam­pus for our month­ly meet­ing.  Our March speak­er is Tim Panas.  Tim is the inter­im cura­tor at the Prince Albert His­tor­i­cal Muse­um. He is a ses­sion­al lec­tur­er at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Saskatchewan and a mem­ber-at-large of the Saskatchewan Archae­o­log­i­cal Soci­ety along with being a Direc­tor with the Saska­toon Archae­o­log­i­cal Soci­ety. His back­ground is in west­ern Cana­di­an his­to­ry and archae­ol­o­gy. He has had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to work in many facets of archae­ol­o­gy includ­ing insti­tu­tions such as the Cana­di­an Muse­um of His­to­ry, the Roy­al Alber­ta Muse­um and for sev­er­al gov­ern­ment agen­cies.

Stur­geon Fort is the trad­ing post that was built by Peter Pond of the North West Com­pa­ny just west of the cur­rent city of Prince Albert. There is lit­tle in the writ­ten record about Pond’s time along the North Saskatchewan Riv­er but the archae­o­log­i­cal record may reveal more. Parks Cana­da con­duct­ed two archae­o­log­i­cal exca­va­tions at the site in the 1960s and in 1995. What did they find? Mate­r­i­al from the Fort has been found with­in the Prince Albert His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety col­lec­tions. This pre­sen­ta­tion will exam­ine the mate­r­i­al that has been found and how this impact what is known about the site.

February Meeting Announcement!

Feb BP

Please join us on Wednes­day, Feb­ru­ary 25 at 7:00pm in Room 132 of the Archae­ol­o­gy Build­ing!

Tomasin Play­ford – A Biog­ra­phy

Tomasin orig­i­nal­ly comes from Bran­don, Man­i­to­ba where she com­plet­ed her under­grad­u­ate degree in Anthro­pol­o­gy. While there, she spent sev­er­al sum­mers work­ing in south­west­ern Man­i­to­ba on archae­o­log­i­cal sites in the Laud­er Sandills. She com­plet­ed her Master’s Degree in the Depart­ment of Archae­ol­o­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Saskatchewan where she com­pared sub­sis­tence strate­gies of two Late Pre­con­tact archae­o­log­i­cal groups inhab­it­ing the Cana­di­an north­east­ern Plains. Her recent­ly com­plet­ed PhD dis­ser­ta­tion quan­ti­fied ani­mal food resources and attempt­ed to explain sub­sis­tence vari­abil­i­ty by plac­ing sites with­in Abo­rig­i­nal sea­sons. She is cur­rent­ly the Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the Saskatchewan Archae­o­log­i­cal Soci­ety.

Abstract — Bison Today and Yes­ter­day: Using Mod­ern Bison Behav­iour to Under­stand Past Birthing Sched­ules

It is well estab­lished that bison played a piv­otal role in the life­ways of North­ern Plains peo­ple. Archae­ol­o­gists are very aware of this rela­tion­ship and real­ize that in order to bet­ter under­stand past peo­ples, it is nec­es­sary to under­stand the ani­mals that were impor­tant to them. There has been some debate about whether or not mod­ern day bison can be used to mod­el past and extinct bison species. Com­pli­cat­ing the mat­ter are con­tra­dic­tions in the his­tor­i­cal lit­er­a­ture. This pre­sen­ta­tion will address the fea­si­bil­i­ty of using mod­ern bison to mod­el past bison behav­iour, espe­cial­ly in regards to the nature and tim­ing of bison mat­ing and birth sched­ules, which has impli­ca­tions for esti­mat­ing sea­son­al­i­ty of archae­o­log­i­cal sites.