Presentation on theme: "Archaeology and the South March Highlands An Urgent Problem AHCAC Meeting – Sept 21, 2010 Dr. Bob Abell."— Presentation transcript:
Archaeology and the South March Highlands An Urgent Problem AHCAC Meeting – Sept 21, 2010 Dr. Bob Abell
What pre-history lies blasted apart? We will never know.
Because the process is flawed and the Fox manages the hen-house
Process Archaeological assessments are required – in 4 stages Developers hire – and sometimes fire Ministry “reviews and accepts” report – “that it meets minimum standards” City is the “approval authority”
Prehistory of Ottawa … the rocky upland areas …. should be considered to be of high potential for occupation by early postglacial sea mammal hunters along subsequent shorelines as local sea levels dropped from about 120 m above current sea level at around 11,000 radiocarbon years ago, to 90 meters above sea level at some time around 9,000 years ago. Dr. Robert McGhee
Stage Not all archaeologists have equal credentials –specific training (including location) –outlook and focus –background experience Controversy among experts (as in all fields) Developers can exploit to their benefit Site: Broughton Lands Period: Early Archaic Date: Circa 10,500 BP Material: Quartz Object Name: Biface Preform
Motion Whereas, the geological history of the Ottawa Valley region led to a prediction of early use of higher lands by pre-contact aboriginal groups during the late Palaeo period (Laliberté, 1998); Whereas, the South March Highlands was, at that time, the first land in Ottawa to rise above the level of the Champlain Sea; Whereas, Paleo-Indian lithic artifacts have been recovered from sites in this area (Swayze, 2005);
Motion (cont) Whereas, the significance of these sites has been recognized by internationally known experts, including Hansjürgen Müller-Beck, Professor Emeritus of Palaeo-history and Archaeology of Hunting Cultures, University of Tubingen, Germany; Whereas, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture has stated that the Ministry role is to ensure only that minimum standards are followed by licensed archaeologists;
Motion (cont) Whereas, Reports relating to proposed developments in the SMH and approved by the Ministry as meeting minimum standards have been reviewed by a top expert and described as “fatally flawed”(McGhee, 2010); Whereas, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture has stated that the City is the Approval Authority;
Motion (cont) Whereas, the City has a responsibility to ensure that Provincially Significant archaeological finds are protected from destruction during development;
Be it resolved that the AHCAC: Recommends that the City show leadership in the preservation of pre-contact archaeological heritage sites in all its operations to publicly provide an example in support of its own policies and legislation; Recommends that the City designate the South March Highlands, and any other area within the City boundaries having an equivalent elevation profile, as an area of "special interest" for pre-contact archaeology; Recommends that the City should immediately re-examine all development proposals for the area of the South March Highlands, and require new archaeological assessments for any planned development that would occur above 90 metres land elevation;
and Recommends that the City of Ottawa should direct City planners to give more scrutiny to developer-supplied archaeological assessments that appear to conflict with the predicted and known pre-contact potential for this area; Recommends that in the specific case of the KNL development planned for the area known as the Lands North of the Beaver Pond, that the City invoke clause 86 of their agreement with the developer to require further study, and, if the developer is not in agreement, to request the Minister of Tourism and Culture to issue a Stop Order under the terms of Clause 62 of the Ontario Heritage Act;
and Recommends that the City of Ottawa develop a clear research strategy and comprehensive management strategies for conserving pre-contact archaeology in the Ottawa area; Recommends that the City of Ottawa ensure that there is no destruction of any potential sites before a research and management strategy is in place; Recommends and strongly encourages the City to explore possibilities with the National Capital Commission and with Parks Canada of acquiring the lands and preserving the South March Highlands for both its ecological and its heritage value;
Recommends that the City incorporate strong protection for pre-contact archaeology in the 2020 Arts and Heritage Plan Renewal.