Echoes from the Past Virtual Museum of Canada
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 Introduction

A Story Told by Landscape

Prehistoric archaeology in Quebec offers a way of uncovering traces of the past that are often hidden beneath the surface. Researchers seek to understand the customs and lifeways of the men, women and children who once lived in this territory and adapted to various natural surroundings and social contexts in order to survive. Discovering the roots of these early populations means travelling back in time and being attentive to the stories recounted by the landscape.

For over 10 000 years, groups of people – some nomadic, some sedentary – have occupied this territory and lived off its resources. But evidence of this occupation by these ancestors of the First Peoples is today concealed by both the natural and human environment.

The objects found in archaeological excavations are studied by specialists who use various techniques to find answers to certain questions. Tiny, but culturally significant artifacts are sometimes painstakingly analysed. In some cases, the answers to archaeologists’ questions can be read in the landscape itself, for example, where there are sand terraces, sheltered coves and ocean upswellings. Certain gaps in our knowledge can be filled by archival documents and oral tradition.

 

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