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ASA September Lecture: "Archaeological Survey, and a UNESCO World Heritage Nomination, for Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park"

Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - 7:30pm
Tom Oliver Room (Earth Sciences 162)

Jack Brink, Curator Emeritus, Royal Alberta Museum

Archaeological Society of Alberta September Lecture: "Archaeological Survey, and a UNESCO World Heritage Nomination, for Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park" 

Abstract: Writing-on-Stone Park (WOS) is home to one of the largest collections of rock art (petroglyphs and pictographs) in North America. Spread over a vast region of the Milk River valley and tributary coulees are thousands of carved and painted rock art images. So important is this rock art and associated landscape that the Park area has been proposed for designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This nomination is currently under consideration. In anticipation of the nomination Alberta Parks acquired two new parcels of land located along the Milk River to the west of the current park. In total some 14 quarter sections were acquired. I volunteered to conduct an initial archaeological review of these new lands in order to give Parks a better understanding of heritage resources on their property. In this talk I will discuss the results of these surveys, including new discoveries of rock art, historic graffiti, archaeological and historic sites. In addition, I will provide an inside look at the UNESCO nomination process that took 13 years to complete.

Bio: Jack Brink recently retired from the position of Curator of Archaeology at the Royal Alberta Museum, a position he held for 20 years. He spent an additional 20 years in various positions with the Archaeological Survey of Alberta. His special areas of interest are the archaeology of the Northern Plains, in particular communal hunting of game animals and rock art research. He was a member of the teams that developed the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump site and the new visitor centre at Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park. He has about 70 publications to his name including the book Imagining Head-Smashed-In: Aboriginal Buffalo Hunting on the Northern Plains which won six awards for public writing. He has a BA and MA in Anthropology and was awarded an Honourary Doctorate degree. He has served as President of the Plains Anthropological Society and the Canadian Archaeological Association. He spent the last five years of employment helping to develop archaeology galleries at the new downtown Royal Alberta Museum, set to open in a few weeks. Writing-on-Stone has always been a special place for Jack. It was the first place he was sent as a new employee of the Archaeological Survey of Alberta, and it is a place he has never left. He is a founding member of the team that is pushing for UNESCO World Heritage designation, a 13 year project that will come to an end in the next few months.

All welcome to attend!