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Erosion threatens Canadian archaeological sites

Erosion is taking its toll on sites that offers a wealth of information on Newfoundland and Labrador’s existence prior to European settlers.

There are 56 dig sites spread through Burnside and Salvage, said Mr. McLean.

“Burnside, from a fairly humble operation, has become an ongoing archeological research project, into its 21st year now,” he said. “We have the largest aboriginal quarry on the island of Newfoundland, and we also have one of the oldest human occupations in Newfoundland.”

Human occupation in the area dates back 5,000 years, and aside from the Beothuk, Maritime Archaic Indians and Palaeo Eskimos also inhabited the region.

“We’ve provided a lot of information on aboriginal life in Bonavista Bay leading up to the time of European contact and before contact,” said Mr. McLean.

He said new archeological sites are found each year, and even places known of for several years, including Bloody Bay Cove and the Beaches site, still contain thousands of artifacts.

“There’s still a lot of work to do around the Burnside area.”

Much of the coastal section of north eastern Newfoundland is affected by erosion, said Mr. McLean, and archeological sites are lost because of this.

“We do our best to combat some of the erosion of the archeological sites there,” he said.

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