Page 13 - Discovery on Ingonish Island, 1975
ISSUE : Issue 14
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1976/8/1
Discovery on Ingonish lsland,1975 by Dr. Ronaia Nash i? gonish Harbour at the tirae of Louisbourg '- • a fantastic codfish place. Unfortunate? ly there's very little bone preserved at this site, so it??s difficult to say just what was going on there • but it was a large site and people were certainly living there over centuries. You're holding a point that I would say is something on the order of 8000 years old--soraething that's not far reraoved from the Clovis points, typical of the Debert site. Now the Debert site dates 10,000 years ago. This point is slightly smaller than the Clovis and it's only fluted (a characteristic deep groove) on one side • and I would say it's slightly later. Fluting is definitely a character? istic and in fact it's a very delicate operation to extract that kind of flake from a very narrow striking platform. Ihese early points are characterized by not crude stonework as you might expect but excellent stonework. The main kind of tool found are large knives, stone knives. Knife is a kind of blanket term that covers a lot of functions. I*m find? ing hundreds. (Ihen they were used in the place they were made?) Yes. (And people were coming here?) Yes. The pro? jectile points suggest sorae time range. I would say probably 2 or 3000 years. We were digging down at 30 centimeter level today • and when you see that much stuff and that much depth leads you to question just how much nomadism is there? Or was it as some people have defined it as a sort of base camp and peopled lived out from there? i, [hat we are talking about is at least two occupations of this site. One is a Paleo- Indian, Early Man occupation with the Clovis-like point. And the other I'd call Archaic, and it forms a rather substan? tial range of time as well. There may be continuity in the general area. And, in fact, these things may fall one upon the other. There's no, say, stratigraphic breaks in the site. No occupation then sterile sand then another occupation • no? thing like that at all. So I wouldn't re? ject out of hand the idea of local con? tinuity and evolution. (Are we confident we're talking about direct descendants of Dr. Ron Nash: Here's how I found the site. I have a map out of Hoffman's thesis (B, G. Hoffman's The Historical Ethnography of the Micraac'of the Sixteenth and Seven? teenth Centuries), And there's a place called Geganisg, which is a Micmac name meaning "remarkable place," It's a Ingo? nish, I figured there must be a site there, I went out to the Island, got off the boat and started looking along the bank there, where there was sorae erosion taking place. And I saw these flakes, chipping debris, eroding out of the bank. Now when you raanufacture stone tools, you start with a huge block of stone and you end up with sorae sraall part • and in the process you throw away a thousand flakes from the process of just chippir' it into shape. Just waste pieces. This is the kind of material that I first saw. So I call the site Geganisg--and it is a remarkable site. In parts it appears to bQ a quarry site. There's an outcrop of basalt on the island and people could go there and manufacture their stone tools. Some of the other functions of the site I'm not sure of. I'ra not sure why people were caraping on the island. I want to talk to geologists and find out whether the island raight have been connected to the raainland at the tirae the site was oc? cupied. On the other hand it raight have been a particularly good place for cod? fish. Ihis was the case for the whole In- CENTRAL& NOVA SCOTIA TRUST COMRUW is now called CENTRAL&EASTERN; TRUST COMR'VNY Same Quality Service under a New Name 225 Charlotte St., Sydney, 539-9210 Building Supplies **The Home Care Centre'* Welton Street Dial: 564-5518
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