An archaeological team began a two-week excavation in late August on a Waskaganish site that is believed to contain artifacts up to 7,000 years old.

The Saunders Goose Pond site was identified last summer after local resident Christopher Wesley found rough stone blades and arrowheads there. The site claims historical significance as a traditional fishing locale.

Led by Jim Chism of the Waskaganish Cultural Institute and CRA archaeologist Dario Izaguirre, the excavation aims to uncover clues about how people lived in James Bay thousands of years ago.

“We’re trying to find organic materials like charcoal or bone so that carbon dating can give us a more precise idea of how old the site is,” said Izaguirre.

Evidence dating back to such ancient time periods is virtually non-existent in northern climates, particularly in the James Bay region of the Canadian Shield, as much the land was below sea level at the time.