Archeologists in Montreal have uncovered Iroquois artifacts that date mostly to around 1375.

Thousands of artifacts – mostly pottery – have been found during an excavation at Peel and Sherbrooke Streets, where digging has been underway since 2016.

Archeologist Roland Tremblay called it a “major discovery.”

“We find their cooking vessels, essentially. But we also find their pipes because they were made out of ceramics,” he told CTV Montreal.

The researchers also found a tooth from a beluga whale. It’s not known what the tooth was used for, although it’s believed it came from relatives down the St. Lawrence River toward Quebec City. This is not the first time Indigenous treasures have been found at the site. The site was excavated once before after pottery was found in 1859.

Tremblay said that six out of 10 of the radio carbon dates show the artifacts are from the late fourteenth century, around 1375.

“That’s a little mind-boggling so we have to understand why,” Tremblay said. “We’re working on that right now.”

Christine Zachary Deom, a former elected Chief of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, said she thinks the discoveries are “wonderful.”

“It just actually means to me that the things that I heard as a child, the oral tradition is there and it's alive and well,” she said.

“It just really highlight(s) that the Mohawks have been present all the way through,” she added.

The City of Montreal is providing archeology training to members of the Mohawk community so that they can be a part of future digs. Zachary Deom called it “the best inclusion I’ve ever seen.”

Montreal is also working with the community on ways to commemorate the ancient village. One idea is for metal grates at the site that echo designs from the ancient pottery.


Responses to "Iroquois artifacts uncovered in downtown Montreal date back to 14th century"

  1. Beautiful find.

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