Development of a research design related to archaeological studies in the Athabasca oil sands area

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  • To provide an overview of the archaeological potential and the development activities in the oil sands area of Alberta, with a recommended organization and program to maximize the recovery of valuable information through efficient and practical research and effective regulation of responsibilities by government and development agencies. AIthough the limited archaeological work evidences human occupation of the oil sands area at least 8,000 years ago, we can say little about the human activities in the area during most of the subsequent time period. In order to reconstruct man's prehistory in this area, careful data collection and interpretation of data from a large number of sites is necessary. Development of the bituminous sand deposits of the area has begun and is expected to increase over the next 20 years or more. The nature of the recovery methods used in the operations will cause permanent and extensive terrain disruption. One of the consequences will be extensive loss of archaeological data unless effort is expanded to recover evidence pertaining to man's occupation before damage is incurred.

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