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Key Number: HS 81409
Site Name: Balzac Archaeological Site
Other Names:
Site Type: 1910 - Archaeological Site


ATS Legal Description:
Twp Rge Mer
26 1 5

Address: N/A
Number: N/A
Street: N/A
Avenue: N/A
Near Town: Lesser Slave Lake


Type Number Date View


Plan Shape:
Superstructure Cover:
Roof Structure:
Roof Cover:
Exterior Codes:
Exterior: N/A
Interior: N/A
Environment: Area: 40.38 ac
Condition: N/A
Alterations: N/A


Construction: Construction Date:
Usage: Usage Date:

Owner: Owner Date:
Alberta Infrastructure

Architect: N/A
Builder: N/A
Craftsman: N/A
History: RESOURCE Balzac Archaeological Site (EhPm-34)
LOCATION LSD 2 –1- 26- 1-W5M
Descriptive Plan 0113610, Block 1, Lot 1
DESIGNATION STATUS Provincial Historic Resource


The Balzac Archaeological Site (EhPm-34) is located along a large meander of Nose Creek in northern Calgary and adjacent parts of the Municipal District of Rockyview. Covering approximately 10 ha, it consists of a beautifully layered record of Aboriginal campsite occupations spanning the last 2000 years. The Late Prehistoric Period (ca. 1750 to 250 years ago) is represented in its entirety in this site. Also preserved are cultural materials from the Historic, Protohistoric and Middle Prehistoric Periods. The site was slightly damaged by development around 1980, but well over 90% remains intact.


The Balzac Site is highly significant for the quantity, diversity and integrity of its cultural materials. Most informative is the representation of the Late Prehistoric Period by at least six cultural levels containing Old Women’s Phase material (ca. AD 800 to 1750) and at least five cultural levels containing Avonlea Phase material (ca. AD 250 to 800). In total, at least 13 cultural levels within a matrix of 27 geological layers are present. Among archaeological sites in Alberta, normally only bison killsites with great time-depth are so well stratified (see Figure 2).

Stone tools recovered from this site include numerous time-diagnostic projectile points and a diverse range of other manufactured items. Over 7000 lithic artifacts have been identified in the course of very limited excavations. Rapid and frequent burial by stream flooding events over the millennia has also resulted in excellent faunal preservation. In excess of 120,000 animal bone remains have been recovered from the site, including a variety of bone tools with intact surfaces that retain signs of use. Such preservation of organic materials is highly unusual for Alberta archaeological sites. The site furthermore contains the most stratified sequence of pottery known in the province. Finally, features such as hearths and burn areas are also numerous and well preserved.

The Balzac Site, with its recurring discrete campsite strata, represents a clearly identifiable Aboriginal land use pattern in the Calgary area over two millennia. Fortuitous environmental circumstances have preserved it beautifully. In sum, this site can tell one of the most comprehensive and reliable stories about the prehistoric past available in Alberta.


Status: Status Date:

Designation Status: Designation Date:
Provincial Historic Resource
Register: N/A
Record Information: Record Information Date:
Tatiana Gilev 2003/06/20


Alberta Register of Historic Places: 4665-0071
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