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Video produced by ArchAnge Films for the Sherbrooke Museum of Nature and Science
Narrator: Adrian Burke, Director, Archaeoscience/Archaeosocial research team, Université de Montréal
Date: June 2015
Location: Université de Montréal
Length: 1:31

Adrian Burke is a geoarchaeologist. He explains how he helps archaeologists determine the sources of the raw materials used by the earliest inhabitants.

A close-up image of a man in front of a desk, a binder, a green table, and a bulletin board is displayed.

[Adrian Burke] Hi, my name is Adrian Burke, I’m a geo-archeologist. That means I’m interested in the rocks that people used in the past to make stone tools. By that I mean the projectile points or arrow heads, scrapers, gravers, that they would use every day to work skins, bone or antler.

On-screen text: An example. Adrian Burke holds a rock in his hands.

[A.B.] The job of the geo-archeologist is to help the archeologists to better identify the sources of raw material that people used in the past. In the case of the sites like Cliché-Rancourt, we find stones or rocks that come from different regions and were used to make stone tools. There is a material that is red chert, like this one, that came from the area of Mungsunmin in northern Maine. So it is my job to help the archeologists to better identify the exact geographic and geological source of this material to better identify how materials circulated in the past.

On-screen text: An anecdote.

[A.B.] The work of the geo-archeologist is very similar to that of a geologist in that we do a lot of field work, looking for rock out crops often in remote areas and sometimes this can put us into dangerous situations. For example, to recover this small sample of rock that was used in the past to make stone tools, we had to deal with the presence of several polar bears in the area of Ramah in northern Labrador.