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Abbreviation meaning before present, or before 1950, the year of the first carbon-14 dating tests.
Agathe Basin
Lance-shaped point (long, narrow leaf) associated with the Plano culture.
Antlers on the head of the cervids (caribou, moose, and deer).
Cultural era between 13 350 and 3 000 years before present (BP). Period during which the forest gradually took hold and the fauna diversified. Indigenous peoples survived primarily by hunting, fishing, and gathering.
Scientific discipline that aims to reconstitute the lives of past human populations and the evolution of their behaviours through the study of their material remains.
Person who studies past human cultures through the analysis of artifacts.
Study of remains of animal origin (bones, teeth, etc.) in an archaeological context.
Object or fragment of an old object that was made by humans. An artifact provides information on the culture and lifestyle of those who created it.
Lithic assemblage
Set of stone artifacts collected in a specific location (archaeological site, archaeological level, etc.).
Multi-functional stone tool that has sharp edges on two faces.
Mineral material consisting of quartz silica. Chalcedony has a milky transparency. Its microcrystalline structure and compactness make it an interesting stone for cutting tools.
Removal of stone on the face of a projectile point to facilitate hafting.
Eastern Townships
One of Quebec’s 21 tourist regions. It is located southeast of Quebec and is bordered with the United States, south and east.
Carbon-14 (14C or radiocarbon)
Radioactive isotope of carbon. It is used to date samples containing organic matter (absolute dating method). The half-life of its isotopes is 5 730 years.
Red Munsungun chert
Mineral material from the state of Maine. Its quality for tool cutting is outstanding.
Black and green chert
Material that may be from New York, Vermont, or Quebec. These are 400 million-year-old cherts of a quality highly suitable for cutting.
Material culture
Set of artifacts attributable to one or more cultures.
Dating method based on the study of the growth rings of trees.
The part furthest from the base of a tool (point, biface, borer).
Blank flake
Raw material fragment chipped off when cutting tools.
Organic remains associated with human settlements, such as food scraps, wood, charcoal, seeds, etc.
Some kind of stone bit used to drill wood, bone, and stone through rotational movements.
Archaeological dig
Step of the archaeology process following the potential study and field inventory. The land to be marked out and excavated. The excavation is done by digging excavation wells in the ground using a trowel. The soil is sieved to recover fragments of material that the excavator may have not seen.
Space created with or without stone where fire was made. The presence of a firestone may be an indicator of the presence of a dwelling.
Science that studies the Earth’s shape, its genesis, evolution, and dynamism.
The Earth’s cooling period during which maximum glacier expansion was reached.
End scraper
Robust tool, more or less triangular in shape, identifiable by the presence of a sharp edge. It was used to scrape wood and animal skins and bones.
Laurentide Ice Sheet
Continental glacier that covered much of Canada during the last ice age, some 100 000 to 12 000 years ago. In some places, it was over two kilometres thick.
Archaeological inventory
Prospecting step at which a team of archaeologists conduct samplings. The objective is to reveal places where human activities took place in the past.
Made of stone.
Chronological marker
Diagnostic artifact that can be attributed to a period or culture at a site or in an archaeological layer.
Champlain Sea
Salt water sea that covered the St. Lawrence lowlands 12 000 to 9 000 years before present.
Variant of fluted points. These points differ from the original Clovis type by the length of their flute, their concave base, and the slight curve on their edges, near the base.
Object used to perform a job. The term “tool” often refers to the lithic part, even if the tool itself may have had a handle.
Cultural era spanning nearly four thousand years in the Eastern Townships, 12 500 to 8 800 years before present (BP). It is divided into two sub-periods, the old Early Palaeoindian period and the Late Palaeoindian period. During the Early Palaeoindian period, glaciers retreated and the first human populations arrived on the territory. The Late Palaeoindian period is characterized by a much more favourable environment.
Science that studies pollen and spores in sediments to identify plant species.
Archaeological period
Timescale based on the particularities of material cultures. Archaeological periods are of very uneven duration.
Pointy stone tool that can penetrate animal skins through rotational movements. It was used to insert threads or strands of leather.
Clovis point
Projectile point with a flute characteristic of the Clovis culture in North America. Named after the town of Clovis, New Mexico, where the first specimens were found in 1929. The first points from the Clovis culture date back to some 13 500 years ago. Various appellations reflect regional differences.
Plano point
Long and narrow point (lance-shaped) with thin parallel retouching, characteristic of Plano culture. This culture appeared about 10 000 years ago.
Period of human occupation of a territory preceding the existence of written texts relating to it. In Quebec, prehistory ended when Jacques Cartier met Indigenous peoples in 1534.
The part closest to the base or handle of a tool.
Unit in the grid square of an excavation site, typically 1 metre x 1 metre. Each well is designated by coordinates. The location where the artifacts were found is determined in relation to both sides of the well and its depth.
One of the four subdivisions of an excavation unit (well). Its name is associated with cardinal points, for example, northeast quadrant or NEQ.
Very hard siliceous rock made of undistinguishable grains and used to make tools.
Side scraper
Tool with a large edge shaped into a straight edge. It was used for butchering, scraping animal skin, and woodworking. This tool is easier to use when hafted to a piece of bone or wood attached with leather strips or plant fibre.
Part of a stone that has been removed on one or more sides of a tool. They are produced when transforming one tool into another, for example when turning a biface into a point.
Acidic volcanic rock with quartz veins visible to the naked eye.
Mount Kineo rhyolite
Intrusive rock from the Moosehead Lake area of Maine. Green in colour, it degrades over time and fades until it becomes white. Its quality for tool cutting ranges from adequate to good.
New Hampshire rhyolite
Intrusive rock from two known sources: Mount Jasper, near the city of Berlin, and near the Jefferson village area. Its quality for tool cutting ranges from adequate to good.
Deposit of unconsolidated matter of mineral or organic origin.
Archaeological site
Location containing traces of past human activities. The three archaeological sites in this virtual exhibition are: the Cliche-Rancourt site in the Megantic region, the Gaudreau site in Weedon and the Kruger 2 site in Sherbrooke. These three sites are a part of the Eastern Townships region of Quebec.
Exploration technique for detecting traces of human occupation. Surveys are also used to delineate excavation sites and understand the organization of soil layers. They are usually done by digging holes of 50 centimetres by 50 centimetres in the soil.
Study of the series of soil layers at a site, i.e. the basis of relative chronology. Usually, the top layers are more recent than the deep layers.
Woodland period
Cultural era in the Eastern Townships 3 000 to 400 years before present. It corresponds to a period of major change, in particular with the emergence of ceramic vases and the development of agriculture.
Harvesting technique used during excavation to separate fine elements from coarse elements using a sifting screen. Sifting may be performed dry or wet for finer elements.
Absolute dating method that uses the properties of minerals that, when heated, emit light according to the irradiation received since they were buried.
First plant stage after glaciers retreated. It is characterized by the presence of mosses and lichens, and secondarily herbs and shrubs. Current plant formation of subpolar regions.
Study of the function of tools from the examination of wear marks, most of which are invisible to the naked eye.
Analysis method that consists in classifying artifacts according to their similarity and dissimilarity. Groupings are linked to contexts and localized in space and over time.
Science that studies animal bones found in archaeological sites. It is used to know the animal species present, their proportion, and the diet of the occupants.