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Canadian Historic Sites: Occasional Papers in Archaeology and History No. 1

Archaeological Investigations of the National Historic Sites Service, 1962-1966

by John H. Rick

Excavations in Saskatchewan

Sturgeon Fort

The only contract awarded during the 1962 season went to the Saskatchewan Museum of Natural History to excavate Sturgeon Fort, some three miles west of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. This site, the first fur trading post on the North Saskatchewan River, was occupied from 1776 to 1780 by a group of independent traders who had organized themselves into a pool. Norman F. Barka was employed by the Museum to direct the excavation project. The fort had been subjected to heavy erosion by the river and the 1962 excavations were intended to salvage such information as was still obtainable, It was found that, unfortunately, much of the site had already been washed away so that comparatively little in the way of structural data was obtained. However, the work yielded a small, but closely dated, collection of the manufactured items brought into the wilderness by the traders (Barka 1966a).

Among the artifacts recovered by Barka were over 2,000 trade beads comprising 80 different varieties. This collection was further augmented during the summer of 1966 by Terrence W. Foster's excavation of a cache pit which erosion had uncovered in the river bank (Foster 1966).

15 Some trade goods were recovered from the 1962 excavations at Sturgeon Fort, an 18th-century trading post in Saskatchewan. Erosion had destroyed much of the site so that the architectural details recovered were relatively few, but the artifacts (including a large collection of trade beads) depict the range of items brought into the wilderness for use and for trade.
(Roger T. Grange, Jr.)

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