Road Widening Project Opens Window to the Past

Artifacts Dating Back to over 2,000 Years Were Discovered

Traffic has become a major problem in the waterloo region and has led to the expansion of the three-kilometer Fischer-Hallman Road. However, this is not just any ordinary road widening project. The project involved several representatives from the indigenous field and a group of archeologists. This road widening project has led to the discovery of many indigenous artifacts which are dated over a hundred years old and some date back to over 2000 years.

In May last year, the road was closed from Bleams all the way to Seabrook drive for the purpose of archeological assessment. Archeological assessments are important and must be undertaken in order to recognize and assess the potential of land for developmental processes. In the year 2016, archeological analysis was conducted on the west area for an independent project which led to the discovery of important native artifacts along with confirmation of a village site. Owing to the discovery of this village site, it was confirmed that the Waterloo region had a great possibility for achievement within its property. 

Following the archeological investigation, over 40,000 antiques on the east side of the road were identified and recorded and are currently undergoing analysis. The undertaking involved capital paving, consultant-associated engineering, and a contractor for the initial phase. The consulting engineering company did an all-encompassing assessment that enforced digging eight hundred one-square meters of soil and then sieving the soil over small nettings in order to harvest any artifacts.

Plenty of objects was discovered and through a top-tier investigation, they were associated with an old woodland village site termed as Iroquoian and it is believed to have existed from the year 1350 to 1600.  Objects discovered included: clay smoking pipes, stone drills, arrowheads, faunal bone of a deer, beaver, turtles, fish, knives, darts, pottery plus beautiful stone beads and bone jewelry. 

According to Slim, an associate archeologist with Wood Plc, the soil sampling not only led to the discovery of fire pits remnants and timber supports but also the discovery of carbonized corn and beans which are believed to be 600 years old. The former are deposits of traditional cabins that served as dwellings to the aforementioned community. 

Moreover, it has also been found that over 2000 years ago before the small town was established, native people passed through this area. Projectile points dating back to the year 1900 of the Archaic period were also detected.

Late last year, the artifacts discovered from the eastern side had been removed and Wood Plc obtained approval to assess the west side of the road. The site has been enclosed and in connection with other indigenous field specialists, the team from Wood Plc is working on and monitoring the excavation process. 

Following the approval from the Ministry of heritage, Sports, Culture and Tourism, the contractor in charge set up two lanes on the eastern half access thus enabling the reopening of the road to movement. Around April, the construction of a roundabout began far away from the excavation, and at the crossing of the two roads, Fischer-Hallman Road and Bleams Road. According to Justin Armstrong, project manager at Waterloo Region, the Archeological assessment of the western half of the access is anticipated to be completed by the end of this year and as soon as that happens the extension of the road will progress as planned. 

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