view counter

Lac Seul area artifacts displayed at Hudson homecoming

Friday July 25, 2014
Photos by Rick Garrick/Wawatay News
Brad Hyslop, top, displays some of the pottery pieces he has found in the Lac Seul area.
Scotty Angeconeb, bottom, displays some of the bullets he has found in the Lac Seul area.
Both artifact hunters displayed some of their artifacts on June 28 during the Hudson Homecoming.
Photos by Rick Garrick/Wawatay News
Brad Hyslop, top, displays some of the pottery pieces he has found in the Lac Seul area.
Scotty Angeconeb, bottom, displays some of the bullets he has found in the Lac Seul area.
Both artifact hunters displayed some of their artifacts on June 28 during the Hudson Homecoming.

An exhibition of arrowheads and other artifacts from the Lac Seul area was featured during the Hudson Homecoming by local artifact hunters Scotty Angeconeb and Brad Hyslop.

“Arrowheads are pretty common,” said Angeconeb, from Lac Seul, during the June 28 exhibition at the Lost Lake Senior’s Drop-In Centre. “I’m looking for (a tomahawk) with a pipe on the end — a combination — I haven’t found that yet. Maybe I’ll find it next year.”

Angeconeb began his search for artifacts about 10 years ago after finding an arrowhead at Canoe River. He usually searches each spring while water levels are low along along the main channel from Frenchman’s Head to Canoe River, and has since found a variety of artifacts, including bullets, coins, pottery and pipes.

“I don’t look for pottery, I just stumble across it,” Angeconeb said. “I’m looking for arrowheads mainly.”

Angeconeb is particularly proud of a copper wristband he found on the shoreline of the old Frenchmen’s Head community site.

“I used to see them in comic books,” Angeconeb said.

Angeconeb recently found a 1916-dated penny he first thought was a loonie.

“The oldest are pennies from 1916 and a couple of quarters from 1919,” Angeconeb said. “I’ve got Queen Victoria here, I don’t know when she was a queen, but (the date) is scratched off.”
Hyslop believes that Lac Seul was a centre for trade and interaction before contact.

“I’ve been gathering data for over 22 years that seems to be supporting that hypothesis,” said Hyslop, who has lived in Hudson since he was a child. “Some of the raw materials for the artifacts comes from outside the area. There’s evidence that some of the artifacts that you see east of here, you don’t see west of here. There just seems to be this confluence where a lot of interaction between groups was occurring.”

Hyslop said the different groups were connected by the river systems throughout northwestern Ontario, Manitoba and Minnesota.

“It’s almost like an Internet for foragers,” Hyslop said. “Utilizing all those little webs (rivers), it was interconnected, highly interconnected, and well travelled.”

Hyslop said a couple of the spear points he found are about 7,000-8,000 years old based on similar dated artifacts from other areas.

“At the other end of the spectrum is fur trade items from the 1700s,” Hyslop said. “It’s still cool, but I’m more interested in the pre-contact stuff.”

Hyslop said the older spear points do not have the notches common on later projectile points.

“They don’t have the notches, the edges are actually ground,” Hyslop said. “And they have this lance-like type shape, whereas these ones have the notches. We’re thinking the notching came about (during) an interim stage step between the bow and the spear, which was called the atlatl — the throwing stick.”

Scientists believe the atlatl was used by early Native Americans, but it was still in widespread use at the time of contact.

“They would use a little paddle with a handle and a snap of the wrist,” Hyslop said. “They were able to fire the projectile at quite a high velocity. You see a decrease in the projectile point size simply because they didn’t need them that big. They were able to fire these ones with a fairly high velocity and greater accuracy.”

Hyslop said the artifacts he has found are not his, he is simply the “guardian.”

“I tell people if you find an arrowhead you can pick it up or you can leave it,” Hyslop said.
“But if you pick it up, you’re responsible — you’re now the caretaker of the artifacts. So for me, it’s a great joy to be the caretaker of this material, but in some respects it’s almost like Lord of the Rings where as I get older, I’m feeling the burden of the responsibility of caring for it and really thinking carefully about what is the next step when I am no longer around and to make sure it goes into the right location so that the story and the learning can go on.”

Hyslop discovered the artifacts all over the Lac Seul Reservoir, from Ear Falls to Root River to McIntyre Bay to Route Bay to Shanty Narrows.


Email to a Friend
qr code
add to del.icio.us

Stumble It!

Post new comment

Comment policy

All comments submitted to Wawatay News Online must have a correct name, location and email address of the user. Wawatay will not approve comments without the required information.

The approval of comments will also be subjected to relevancy, laws of defamation and good taste.

Once posted, comments become the property of Wawatay News. Wawatay News reserves the right to publish or use this comment in any way in the future for online use, in print, and by any other media at the discretion of Wawatay News.

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.