Tuesday, July 28, 2009


The image above shows a gunflint discovered at the Beaubassin/Fort Lawrence archaeological site. A gunflint was used to create a spark to light the gunpowder inside the barrel of a gun, to propel the shot. Gunflint production started in the 1600’s with the invention of snaphance guns (Lenk 1965).

All gunflints were manufactured mainly in France and England, and then imported (Woodward 1960). Usually, English flints are dark grey to black whereas the French flints are easily distinguished by their honey-yellow or blonde color. It was usually held intact by a strip of leather or lead.

Natives utilized gunflints differently than Europeans. The Natives fired and retouched their gunflints bifacially (Witthoft 1966), while Europeans worked their gunflints unifacially. In the archaeological record, a gunflint worked bifacially most likely has been utilized by Natives. Gunflint may also have been traded with Natives, who found these objects very useful. The next image shows a scraper, which is an aboriginal tool similiar to the gunflint that was used either for hideworking or woodworking purposes:

To see the flintlock mechanism: http://arc.id.au/Flintlock.html

Article inspired by Colin QUINN, «An experimental use-wear and functional analysis of gunflints», [PDF], Lambda Alpha Journal, Department of Anthropology, University Notre Dame, Volume 34, 2004, p.60-71.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Staffordshire pottery

Staffordshire pottery is pottery that is produced in the Staffordshire potteries area of the United Kingdom. This area is in the Midlands - the potteries used to centre around six separate towns (Burslem, Fenton, Hanley, Longton, Stoke and Tunstall) which are now Stoke on Trent.

The area really came into focus as the powerhouse of pottery production in the UK in the 1700-1800s but, the truth is, that this has been a significant pottery producing area for centuries. Staffordshire has plenty of clay, lead, salt and coal in the area which made it a perfect place for pottery production.

In early days potters would simply dig clay up from roads which is thought to have led to the term ‘potholes’! It was quite common for farmers to make pottery at this stage - the land was not good enough for them to make enough money from farming so many worked as potters as a sideline. Gradually many of the farmers moved into full-time pottery production.

In its heyday there were hundreds of manufacturers producing all kinds of pottery in Staffordshire - some of whom became famous names and some of whom are still producing pottery to this day. Well known pottery companies include:

• Wedgwood
• Spode
• Minton
• Aynsley
• Doulton
• Twyford

Here are some Staffordshire pottery fragments found at the Beaubassin-Fort Lawrence archaeological site.

Complete article: http://www.staffordshire.co.uk/Staffordshire_Pottery_History.htm

Friday, July 3, 2009

How to get here

The Beaubassin and Fort Lawrence Public Archaeology Experience begins at Fort Beauséjour-Fort Cumberland National Historic Site of Canada.

Driving directions from New-Brunswick:

1.Head south on Route 2 E
2.Take exit 513A toward Aulac
3.Merge onto Route 16
4.Turn left at Aulac Rd
5.Turn right at Fort Beausejour Rd

Destination will be on your right

Driving directions from Nova Scotia:

1.Head northwest on HWY-104 W
Entering New Brunswick
2.Continue on Route 2 W
3.Take exit 513A toward Aulac
4.Merge onto Route 16
5.Turn left at Aulac Rd
6.Turn right at Fort Beausejour Rd

Destination will be on your right

View Larger Map

Visit us! You can come directly on the Beaubassin and Fort Lawrence archaeological site by following these driving directions:

Driving directions from New-Brunswick:

1. Head south on Route 2 E
Entering Nova Scotia
2. Take exit 1A toward LaPlanche St/2/6
3. Turn right at Fort Lawrence Rd

Destination will be on your right

Driving directions from Nova Scotia:

1. Head northwest on HWY-104 W
2. Take exit 1 toward LaPlanche St/Amherst
3. Keep right at the fork to continue toward Fort Lawrence Rd
4. Turn left at Fort Lawrence Rd

Destination will be on your right

View Untitled in a larger map

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Contact us

For any information, please call us at : (506) 364-5080
Fax: (506) 536-4399

Or e-mail us at : fort.beausejour@pc.gc.ca


Fort Beauséjour-Fort Cumberland National Historic Site of Canada
111 Fort Beauséjour Road
Aulac, New Brunswick
E4L 2W5

Public Archaeology Program Evaluation

We would appreciate your help in evaluating our Public Archaeology Program at the Beaubassin and Fort Lawrence National Historic Sites of Canada. We value your opinion. Thank you very much.

How to send us your evaluation:

1. Copy/Paste all the following questions in a new e-mail from your personal address
2. Answer to questions
3. Send completed evaluation to fort.beausejour@pc.gc.ca

If this procedure does not seem confidential enough to you, please send your completed evaluation form in the pre-stamped envelope included in your Public Archaeology Experience participant kit.


1. Where did you hear about this activity?

2. What did you most enjoy during the day?

3. How do you feel about the length of the program?

4. Were your expectations met? Do you feel you received value for your money?

5. Any areas to improve upon?

6. Can you think of ideas that might make the program more interesting?

7. Would you recommend this program to others?

8. Would you travel 300km or more to participate in a similar program?

9. Would you be interested in a program allowing you to focus on ONE aspect of the archaeological process other than excavating (ex.: washing artifacts, recording, etc.) ?

10. Would you be interested in following the progress of this excavation on the web even if you had not participated in the excavation?

Other comments please: