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'This site has other stories to tell': Sask. man finds ancient bison bone


A community-focused historian has found several potential ancient artifacts along the Saskatchewan River, including a bison bone that is over 8,000 years old.

Dave Rondeau has visited the site north of Prince Albert for years. It piqued his interest as he often saw bones protrude from the land. Recently, he sent one for carbon testing in Ottawa. Results showed it was the shoulder blade of a bison from 8,200 years ago.

Dave Rondeau had this bone carbon tested and found out it was dated back 8,200 years. (Stacey Hein/CTV News)

"That bone sample wasn't even taken from the very bottom paleosol, so this site has other stories to tell," Rondeau told CTV News.

Paleosols - the dark lines in the land - are a strong sign of human habitation, according to Rondeau. He believes the site may have been a bison jump.

The site is also home to many pieces of debitage - the leftover matter from making stone tools and weapons. Rondeau said, after finding numerous traditional Indigenous tools, the next step is involving First Nation peoples.

Sturgeon Lake First Nation band councillor Anita Parenteau is excited to share the history with her community.

"This is proof that we were here, and I can't wait to see what they find," she said.

A spring flood or rain can erode part of the land, and reveal more artifacts, according to archaeologist Gabriel Lamarche.

"Even if there's not an active excavation, there will be ongoing opportunities to see what was going on at that site over time," Lamarche told CTV News.

Rondeau said studying and preserving this site is crucial.

"It could easily be lost, or destroyed. We have to re-examine where we live because once this history is lost, it's gone forever," he said.

A geoarchaeologist from the University of Calgary is expected to assess the site in spring to learn more about the unique landscape. Top Stories

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