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Chris Thomas
MA candidate
Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta, Canada

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Arial photography serves a number of functions for the archaeologist. When on survey, Arial photographs gives the research a preview of the ecological context of the study area, which helps the archaeologist predict where to test for sites. For example, in the central Yukon archaeological sites tend to be found on prominent landscape features such as hills, lakes and streams. Hills, especially those with a good view of the surrounding landscape, tend to be good places to find archaeological sites because they were used as hunting look outs in the traditional economies of the area. As well, food resources (such as fish, water fowl, fur bearers and moose) tend to be concentrated around lakes and streams so archaeological sites will be found near these resources.

This archaeological site map, which corresponds to the air photo, depicts the distribution of sites discovered during survey in the Lhustaw Wetland Habitat Protection Area, on the traditional territory of Selkirk First Nation people. Sites represented on this map not only represent the geographical distribution of peoples on the land, but it also shows where people were at different times in the past. Each symbol on the map represents a different time period in Yukon prehistory from historic times to approximately 8,000 years ago.