Unearthing, discoveries from the past
At a worksite in Canada, where we were providing geotechnical expertise, materials testing, inspection, and hydrogeological consulting for a transportation roadway redevelopment and infrastructure project, we also had a team of 30 digging by hand. Our archaeologists were conducting a Stage 4 assessment, or full excavation of the site, triggered by our discovery, two years earlier, of 1,000 artifacts during a government-mandated evaluation of the area.
The power of partnerships
Wood’s team – including bioarchaeologists, zooarchaeologists, lithic analysts, ceramic analysts, palaeobotanists, and two dozen field technicians – partnered with Indigenous Nations to unearth and identify tens of thousands of artifacts excavated from more than 800 1×1 metre squares of soil. The discoveries included: pottery, clay smoking pipes, chipped stone drills, arrowheads, darts, knives, blades, and scrapers; faunal bone from deer, beaver, turtle, and fish; plus, stone beads and bone jewelry. Most of the artifacts were associated with a Late Woodland Iroquoian village site, dating to AD 1350-1600. Also recovered were projectile points dating to the Late Archaic (1900-1500 BC).
Among several immovable features found at the site were refuse deposits and wooden posts used in traditional longhouse dwellings. Soil samples taken from remnants of fire pits even led to the discovery of 600-year-old carbonized corn and beans.
Full range of expertise & solutions
Wood’s Cultural Heritage Resource Management team partners worldwide with clients and the appropriate government and regulatory agencies to provide a fully integrated approach for investigating, avoiding, or mitigating potential impacts to cultural resources.
Our North American team of nearly 70 full-time specialists, plus approximately 100 seasonal employees, provides a comprehensive range of archaeological management services, which contribute to studies required by relevant laws and regulations. These include: archaeological and architectural/built environment surveys; archaeological site and historic structure evaluations and documentation; archival research; consultation with Indigenous Nations in Canada and US federally-recognised Native American Tribes; geomorphology; geospatial remote sensing; faunal and human skeletal analysis; and, comprehensive analysis for historic and prehistoric artifacts.
Our cultural resources experts across the United States and Canada collaborate to provide government and commercial clients, alike, with the expertise, resources and advice they require for mandated permitting and regulatory approval of projects. This includes work for transportation, infrastructure, pipelines and highways, transmission corridors, mines, military installations, reservoirs, and private development.
Whether our clients need an archaeological predictive model for cultural resources along a multi-state parkway, or an archaeological survey and inventory of significant sites found across thousands of hectares of land, Wood has that in-house expertise. Our team even discovered two tiny seeds during an archaeological excavation, as part of work required by the US National Historic Preservation Act. Those seeds, carbon dated to 1,050-700 BC, are among the oldest evidence in North America of domesticated tobacco, which has a long and prominent role in Native American religious ceremonies.