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Canadian Historic Sites: Occasional Papers in Archaeology and History No. 6

The Excavation and Historical Identification of Rocky Mountain House

by William C. Noble





Techniques and Method

     Techniques of Excavation
     Methods of Analysis

Description of Features

          Exterior Walls
          Trench Feature
          Exterior Extension Walls
          Exterior Palisade Details
          South Gateway
          North Gateway
     Interior Palisade Walls
          Wall Behind Building II
          Wall Flanking South Gateway
          Interior Interstice
          North Corner Bastion
          South Gateway Overhead
          Southwest Bastion
          Building I
          Building II
          Building III
          Building IV
          Building V
          Building VI
          Building VII
          Pit 1
          Pit 2
          Pit 3
          Pit 4
          Pit 5
          Pit 6
          Pit 7
          Pit 8
          Pit 9
          Pit 10
          Pit 11
          Pit 12
          Pit 13
          Pit 14
          Pit 15
          Pit 16
          Pit 17
          Pit 18
          Pit 19
     Stain Feature
     Bead Cache
     Dump Against East Palisade
     Fur Press
     Surface Ash Deposits
     Wood Chip Concentrations

Artifact Descriptions

     Personal and Household Items
          Lead Cross
          Watch Winder
          Copper Band
          Hawk Bells
          Glass Vials
          Glass Bottles
     Hunting and Subsistence Items
          Gun Sear
          Spherical Lead Balls
          Spherical Lead Shot
          Lead Sprue
          Lead Sinker
          Melted Lead Pieces
          Pelt Stretcher
          Bone, Shell and Bark Artifacts
     Tools and Hardware
          Copper Rivet
          Copper Tack
          Iron Hoops and Fragments
          Iron Punches
          Offset Awls
          Cold Chisel
          Iron Wedges
          Clear Window Glass
          Threaded Lead Tube
          Silver Fragment
          Copper Strap
          Sheet Copper Fragments
          Tin Fragments
     Trade and Business Items
          Glass Trade Beads
          Metal Projectile Points
          Brass Banglers
          Bail Fasteners
          Bale Tag
          Brass Spigot
     Aboriginal Artifacts
          Stone Pipe Bowls
          Large Flesher
          Anvil Stone
          Chert Flakes

Interpretation and Historical Identification

     Two Forts on the Same Site
          The Original Fort
          The Extended Fort
     Historical Cross-Checks



1 Personal and Household Items

2 Concentration of Clay Pipe Bowl Portions

3 Concentration of Clay Pipe Stem Portions

4 Button Distribution

5 Ceramics from Rocky Mountain House

6 Hunting and Subsistence Items

7 Distribution of Spherical Lead Balls

8 Distribution of Lead Shot

9 Distribution of Antler Tine Tips

10 Tools and Hardware.

11 Analysis of Nails from Rocky Mountain House

12 Nail Heads and Mode of Manufacture

13 Rockwell B Hardness Tests on Sample Nail Shanks

14 Distribution of Sheet Copper Fragments

15 Trade and Business Items

16 Glass Beads from Rocky Mountain House

17 Distribution of Seed Beads

18 Shapes and Colours of Large Subcylindrical Beads

19 Distribution of Large Subcylindrical Beads

20 Shapes and Colours of Tubular Beads

21 Distribution of Tubular Beads

22 Shapes and Colours of Barrel Beads

23 Distribution of Barrel Beads

24 Shapes and Colours of Globular Beads

25 Distribution of Globular Beads

26 Distribution of Cut Metal Projectile Points

27 Cut Metal Projectile Point Measurements

28 Brass Banglers

29 Distribution of Brass Banglers

30 Bail Fastener Measurements

31 Distribution of Bail Fasteners

32 Aboriginal Artifacts

33 Stone Pipe Bowls

34 Distribution of Stone Pipe Bowls


1 Map of Rocky Mountain House area, Alberta

2 Contour map and quadrants at Rocky Mountain House

3 Ground plan of Rocky Mountain House

4 Fallen boards of palisade

5 The south gateway of the extended fort

6 The north corner bastion

7 Outline of the north corner

8 The original south gateway

9 The southwest bastion of the extended fort

10 Building I and its associated single-hearth fireplace

11 Double-hearth fireplace in building II

12 Double-hearth in building II

13 Double-hearth base in building II

14 Post 4 looking west

15 Ground plan of building III

16 Ground plan of building IV

17 Ground plan of building V

18 Ground plan of building VI

19 Plan of subterranean building VII in pit 11

20 East wall profile of pit 1

21 North wall profile of pit 2

22 West wall profile of pit 3

23 North wall profile of pit 4

24 North wall profile of pit 5

25 South wall profile of pit 6

26 West wall profile of pit 9

27 North wall profile of pit 10 and west wall section of dump adjoining pit 10

28 Pit 10 in cross-section

29 North wall profile of pit 11

30 Pit 11 excavation

31 East wall profile of pit 12

32 West wall profile of pit 13

33 East wall profile of pit 14

34 Pit 14 and its nest of iron hoops

35 East wall profile of pit 15

36 East wall profile of pit 17

37 Cross-section of pit 17

38 East wall profile of pit 18

39 East wall profile of pit 19

40 Fur press base

41 Aerial view of Rocky Mountain House

42 Banglers and pipe fragments

43 Decorated and plain buttons

44 Personal items

45 Ceramics and glass

46 Gunflints, shot and lead

47 Rivets, tacks and nails

48 Nail types

49 Nails and sharpening file

50 Wedges, awls and punches

51 Knife blades, files and fork

52 Glass trade beads

53 Projectile points and bail fasteners

54 The two forts at Rocky Mountain House

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