Investigation of the old Cumberland House trading post (FIMn-8) : an analysis of the artifact and faunal assemblages
Froehlich, Laurie L.
The Old Cumberland House site (FIMn-8) is a fur trading post site located in the vicinity of the Cumberland House settlement in east central Saskatchewan. This site contains the remains of the first Hudson's Bay Company western inland trading post. In the fall of 1774, Samuel Hearne established this post on the southern shore of Cumberland Lake. This post remained in use until 1794 when operations were moved 1.5 km northwest to the location of the (New) Cumberland House fur trade post. Old Cumberland house was excavated during the field seasons of 1991, 1992, and 1994 in an effort to establish whether it was the true location of the Hudson's Bay Company post. This project was a joint effort between the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Saskatchewan and the Cumberland House Historical Society. Funding was provided by the Access to Archaeology Program of the Department of Communications, the Cumberland House Development Corporation, and the Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation. Excavations at the Old Cumberland House site focused on existing features. The excavation of this site provides the opportunity for analysis of the physical layout of the first Hudson's Bay Company western inland trading post as no maps exist. Information obtained during excavation will be compared with historical textual documents. An in depth analysis of the Cumberland House journals provides a more complete picture of the structural and functional components of the post. The presence or absence of specific faunal and artifact materials in each area will help to deduce the function of each structure. Finally, an examination of faunal materials from the Old Cumberland House site and information from the Cumberland House journals will provide evidence to suggest that a diverse array of local resources was available to the occupants of Old Cumberland House.