A B C’s of Archaeology (But not X?): Newfoundland

A few weeks ago I was looking through Twitter and I happened upon a post from a history group who had started listing a series of European archaeological sites in alphabetical order by site name with a little detail about each site. That got me wondering if I could do the same for Newfoundland and Labrador; could I come up with a list of site names for all the letters of the alphabet? Turns out I could, mostly. For both the Island and mainland portions of the Province, there are multiple site names for 25 letters of the alphabet with the exception of the letter X. Below is a list of 25 randomly selected sites with a little information about each. Some of these sites I’ve told you about in previous blog posts (see the purple text).

Site Name: A-20
Outside Gander near the Commonwealth War Graves.
Site Description: USAAF aircraft which collided with an RCAF Hurricane.
Culture: Euro-American; Euro-American
Cultural Phase/Complex: Canadian; American
Period Dates: 1939-1945 (World War II)
Site Name: Back Harbour 3 
Location: In Back Harbour, near Twillingate.           
Site Description: Possible living and working site; hearth found but C14 produced a recent date. Three “Areas” were tested by MacLeod and his crew in the north, east, and south ends of the site.
Culture: Maritime Archaic            
Another Back Harbour site
Site Name: Campbellton 2
In Campbellton.
Site Description: Spot find of a Beothuk ancestor side-notched spear head.            
Culture: Recent period (Beothuk ancestor)            
Cultural Phase/Complex: Beaches complex
Site Name: Deer Harbour Underwater
South side of Deer Harbour, Trinity Bay.
Site Description: Likely several European ship wrecks- underwater deposit of artifacts. There are artifacts dating from the 17th Century to the 19th C.    
Culture: European            
Period Dates: 17th C to 19th C
Site Name: Esso
Location: The exact site location is unknown, in Seal Cove, in the town of Fogo.     
Site Description: The ‘site’ was a spot find of a Maritime Archaic stone gouge.
Culture: Maritime Archaic            
Period Dates: 3000 – 1200 BC
Maritime Archaic stone gouge found at the Esso site. Holly.
Site Name: Fern Hill
West of the community of Tors Cove along a portion of the East Coast Trail.              
Site Description: MUN Archaeology grad students collected ceramics scattered on trail, and noted 2 potential foundations west of the trail, 1 stone lined pit east of the trail while hiking.
Culture: Euro-American  
Cultural Phase/Complex: Newfoundlander             
Period Dates: Late 18th to 19th century. (Ceramics Typology)
Site Name: Greenspond 1
Northwest end of Greenspond Island.    
Site Description: European burial, single male.  Exact date is unclear but it is certainly historic.              
Culture: European            
Period Dates: 17th – 19th century.     
Site Name: Heart’s Ease 2
At the mouth of Heart’s Ease Inlet, Trinity Bay.   
Site Description: Surface collected Dorset ground biface tip (ground partially on 2 faces) and a pot lid flake (?).  Site also has fire cracked rock and charcoal.           
Culture: Pre-Inuit (Late) 
Cultural Phase/Complex: Dorset  
Site Name: Ilhavo Park
At the intersection of Duckworth Street and Plymouth Road St. John’s.   
Site Description: This site currently occupies a vacant lot approximately 60 m west by a maximum of 10 m north-south. 
Culture: European; Euro-American            
Cultural Phase/Complex: Newfoundlander             
Period Dates: 1700-2003
Site Name: Junction Brook 
Somewhere along Junction Brook, near Deer Lake.          
Site Description: Site consists of a 27” stone chisel (?), unique tool made of a green stone.    
Culture: Maritime Archaic
Site Name: King George IV Lake Site 2
Location: King George IV Lake.
Site Description:  A collapsed tmoqta’wi’kn used by Mi’kmaq hunters from Bay St. George in the 1940’s. From limited testing, site function appears as butchering and salting moose in barrels during the winter months.        
Culture: Mi’kmaq             
Period Dates: 20th century
Site Name: Lane’s Cove
Across the harbour from the town of Englee.      
Site Description: A Dorset site from which a lot of stone artifacts were recovered.
Culture: Pre-Inuit (Late) 
Cultural Phase/Complex: Dorset (middle) 
Site Name: Minchin Cove
Minchin Cove, Newman Sound, Bonavista Bay.  
Site Description: A series of 13 rock mounds and several rock walls, numbering in total 20 features, make up this site.   
Culture: European    
Site Name: North Cove 1
On the Dog Peninsula near Bird Cove.    
Site Description: Large campsite with 12 hearths, 2 middens, 10 flake concentrations, 1 pebble circle, and 1 red-stained pebble with red soil. Designated by the archaeologist as Area A Recent Period; Area B Dorset occupation below the Recent Period occupation.
Culture: Pre-Inuit (Late); Recent Period (Beothuk ancestor)           
Cultural Phase/Complex: Dorset; Beaches complex?; Daniel Rattle complex?          
Period Dates: Area A Early Recent Period 1060+/-50 (Beta-123953); 1220+/-60 (Beta-108556); 1110+/-50 (Beta-123954); Area B Early Recent Period 1030+/-60 (Beta-108557); 1030+/-50 (Beta-108558); 1250+/-50 (Beta-13955) this last date may also be Dorset (All years before present)
Site Name: Oakes Lane Cemetery
Off Oakes Lane in CBS.  
Site Description: Three graves in a small family plot- ~19thC.  Likely Richard Rideout and possibly 2 wives.  Head and probable foot stones are visible.  Slight possibility of other graves.              
Culture: Euro-American  
Cultural Phase/Complex: Newfoundlander             
Period Dates: ~19th Century
Site Name: Peat Garden North
Located approximately 300m west of Bird Cove.
Site Description: Dorset Pre-Inuit Spring/Summer habitation site with three areas of activity. Features include a midden, lithic scatters, hearths, and a house.  A possible second house was uncovered in 2002. Excavated house defined by raised perimeter of stacked beach rocks.
Culture: Pre-Inuit (Late) 
Cultural Phase/Complex: Dorset  
Period Dates: 1570+/-60 (Beta 113160), 1380+/-50 (GX-2975), 1490+/-50 (TO-10468), 959+/-45 (BGS 2254), 1030+/-290 (TO-9555), 677+/-45 (BGS2321) (All years before present)
Site Name: Quidi Vidi Battery
South side of Quidi Vidi Harbour, St. John’s.        
Site Description: A gun battery put in place during the American Revolution (1775-1783).  The battery was repaired and altered several times until it was abandoned in 1870.              
Culture: European            
Cultural Phase/Complex: English 
Period Dates: 1780-1870
Site Name: Red Indian Falls 5
South side of Exploits River east of Noel Paul’s Brook.      
Site Description: Three housepits in line along long, narrow point of land.
Culture: Beothuk              
Period Dates: 1499-1829
Site Name: Sops Island
Northeastern tip of Sop’s Island.              
Site Description: Small Dorset and Groswater (& Maritime Archaic?) camp located north of the Sop’s Island site at Open Head.     
Culture: Maritime Archaic?; Pre-Inuit (Early?); Pre-Inuit (Late)      
Cultural Phase/Complex: Groswater?; Dorset      
Blowouts where artifacts were found at Sops Island.
Site Name: Tom Grant’s Hole
Approximately 1.5 km northeast of Burgeo.
Site Description: Gunflints and pipestems were found along the beach and 2 stone flakes were found in shovel tests.
Culture: Precontact; European
Site Name: Upper Drake Island
Near northeast tip of island.
Site Description: Stone flakes collected from cobble beaches on eastern and western ends of site, flakes found in 8 test pits; 8 other pits were sterile.
Culture: Precontact
Site Name: Valna Fad
Site Description: The site contains a pit feature which measures 10 feet by 10 feet inside. This dry laid stonework cellar was built into the side of a rising landscape. A low lying deteriorating stone wall lies to the east of the cellar.
Culture: European
Period Dates: Local informants date the site to the mid 19th century.
Site Name: Woody Point 2
Woody Point, near the Lighthouse Restaurant.
Site Description: Site consists of scatter precontact and late historic material.
Culture: Maritime Archaic; Pre-Inuit (Early); Intermediate Period?; Recent Period; European
Cultural Phase/Complex: Groswater; Brinex complex?; Cow Head complex
Period Dates: European 19th – 20th Century
Location: no site name starting with letter X
Site Description:
Cultural Phase/Complex:
Period Dates:
Site Name: Yankee Point 1
Between the communities of Nameless Cove and Savage Cove.
Site Description: The site consists of a small scatter of large flakes in a previously wooded area.
Culture: Recent Period (Beothuk ancestor)
Cultural Phase/Complex: Beaches complex
Site Name: Zenava MFV
Off Lord’s Cove, Burin Peninsula
Culture: Euro-American
Cultural Phase/Complex: Canadian
Period Dates: Sank in 1971

Aardvark Archaeology 
2004  Archaeological Investigations at Ilhavo Park (CjAe-53) Duckworth Street and Plymouth Road, St. John’s Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Daly, Lisa
2015 Aviation Archaeology Of World War II Gander An Examination Of Military And Civilian Life At The Newfoundland Airport. MUN, PhD.pdf

Holly, Donald
1997 An Archaeological Survey of Fogo Island, Newfoundland, 1997.

Mills, Stephen
2003  Historic Resources Stage 1 Assessment Ilhavo Park, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Schwarz, Fred & Roy Skanes
2005 Stage 2 Assessment of DjBl-04, Woody Point, Bonne Bay, Newfoundland: Interim Report on Site Significance.

Temple, Blair
2007 The 1966-69 Archaeological Excavations at Back Harbour, North Twillingate Island, Newfoundland.pdf

4 thoughts on “A B C’s of Archaeology (But not X?): Newfoundland

  1. This is a wonderful post. I’m so glad exploratory work is being done before it’s too late. Back Harbour, Gander and Trinity Bay are such potentially rich sites for study! Thank you.

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