Two University of Saskatchewan archaeology students are celebrating after unearthing a 4,200-year-old Oxbow biface knife at Wanuskewin Heritage Park’s Wolf Willow dig site.

The artifact was found two and a half feet below the surface and was likely used as a spear-type weapon or cutting tool, according to Ernest Walker, a professor with the university’s archeology and anthropology department.

Students Madison Friesen, 21, and Brynn Walker, 19, made the discovery during their first-ever dig. The 19-year-old Walker is unrelated to the professor.

The students said they often come across bison bones and stone tools, so digging up a rare knife head was an exciting experience.   

“It’s really nice to see it in our own hands and be able to touch it, instead of just learning about it in a textbook,” Friesen said.

Professor Walker said, because the fossil was found two and a half feet below the surface, the discovery serves as a useful time marker for other finds in the area.

The Wolf Willow site was set to close, but officials with Wanuskewin said, with the recent discovery, they’ve elected to keep the site open for another year to see what else may be buried at the location.