About the Paleo Period in Ontario


The time periods that archaeologists recognise
in Southern Ontario based on the finds they made at many sites for over 100 years now
that we have been investigating these archaeological record in this area. And I am going to go through time from the
earliest occupations that begin way back 13,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age. Prior to 13,000 years ago the Southern Ontario
was covered by the glaciers of the last great ice age and it wasn’t until they retreated
that you could have vegetation, and animals, and of course people come into this particular
area in order to occupy it. Obviously in the ice age it was much colder
and even though the ice had retreated from this area, the time period that we are dealing
with here was much much colder than it is today, but it would have been fairly cold
most of the year and the glaciers were just to the north even at this time these huge
glaciers you can imagine what it was like. We have very different kinds of vegetation
and this diorama also shows that, that at this time it would be like Canada’s north
land up near the north near the treeline would be quite open but it would be dominated by
needle-like, trees with needles, coniferous trees such as spruce, pine, these sorts of
things. The kinds of animal species that lived here
are much different than they were today that what you would find in Southern Ontario and
of course one of the major species that is shown here is caribou, we know caribou were
around at this time. And the earliest as I said were paleo Indians,
or literally old or ancient Indians and they came into this area following the glaciers
and we recognise them largely because of the distinctive kinds of stone tools that they
made.These sites are so old, going back as I say 13,000 years ago that material like
bone and antler animal remains just doesn’t preserve on these particular sites. So we are forced to find out about these groups
directly by using stone tools. We know that these peoples, remember they
were the first to come into this area, lived in very very small groups. Because of the nature of the environment at
the time where it was dominated by trees like spruce and pine and so on, there wasn’t much
in the way of plant food, so hunting, trapping, fishing were the main activities of individuals
at this time and we certainly know they were hunting these animals. As I say we no longer find today in the area,
we know that they were certainly hunting caribou, we know that they were certainly hunting arctic
fox, we know they were very small groups, because these sites are incredibly rare, so
all of Southern Ontario may have only had 300 or 400 people at this particular time. So we know that they spent most of their time
hunting, fishing, trapping at their subsistence pursuits.

Posts Tagged with…

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *