Introduction: The Voices of Objects
Since archaeologists find only those material remains that have
survived the passage of time, they must turn to ethnographic records,
historical documents and experimental techniques for a fuller picture
of past ways of life.
For example, to complement what is known about prehistoric basket
making in the northeast of North America, one can observe the methods
still used today by Amerindian craftspeople and study 16th-century
documents reporting the Amerindians’ lifestyle, assuming that
techniques have been passed down in a continuous manner from one
generation to the next. The present-day descendants of the groups
studied by archaeologists represent a living memory that provides
a key to the past.
Quebec archaeologists find cultural objects, or artifacts, made
by men, women and children, as well as organic remains, or ecofacts,
found in association with human occupations of archaeological sites.
Ecofacts include material such as animal bones, wood, charcoal and
seeds. This section presents a few examples of the remains discovered
on the various sites in the regions visited in this virtual exhibition.
In the following presentation, “B.P.” stands for “before
the present” and ”M.R.C.” stands for “Municipalité Regionale
de Comté” (regional municipality in a county).
Center, Université de Montréal 2006. All rights reserved. Questions/comments?