While picking up rocks in a field. A Farmer Martin Simard of Sainte-Florence made a rare and unexpected find. A projectile point cut in stone, testifying to the frequentation of La Matapédia since prehistoric times. A year after this archaeological discovery. An expert report commissioned by the Ministry of Culture and Communications (MCCQ) reveals that the point could date from 5500 to 3000 years before our era.
“Since we are talking about a piece beyond 5000 years. It’s always surprising and it’s nice to see that Jacques Cartier can go get dressed”, jokes Michel Pelletier, the co-owner of the land in which had been buried the artifact since time immemorial. There were people who may have lived or were passing through here in Sainte-Florence. We may see that in the future. “
“It’s like winning a million dollars”
As the object discovered seemed to them to be a vestige of an ancient culture. Martin Simard and his wife, Mireille Salter, immediately contacted the Laboratory of Archeology and Heritage at the University of Quebec at Rimouski. Upon receipt of the photos, the university researchers saw that this was an important discovery. These put the discoverers in communication with the MRC de La Matapédia, which then accompanied them in declaring the discovery to the MCCQ. A legal obligation during fortuitous archaeological discoveries. For the co-owner of the land, “it’s like making a million dollars.” “On the other hand, it has no monetary value,” specifies Michel Pelletier. It has more historical value. ”
Mr. Pelletier, a history and heritage buff, showed the famous piece to archaeologist-prehistorian Roland Tremblay of Montreal during his visit to Miguasha National Park last summer. “He had found the artefact remarkable,” he said. According to him.The three other archaeologists present at Miguasha were surprised at the quality of the piece. “It’s not damaged. According to Mr. Tremblay, only a few small pieces are missing. But, he found it very interesting for its quality and its shape which allows to determine the age. There are several projectile points that were made by Native Americans and the shape defines the years or centuries. They cannot define age with carbon 14. “
Archaeologist Roland Tremblay has indicated that the piece discovered in Sainte-Florence is more precisely a point of sagaie. “It’s a kind of javelin or spear,” explains Michel Pelletier. A spear launches with a thruster to give more speed. This is for hunting. The point is too big to fit on an arrow. She couldn’t go far. ”
Research on the object has also determined that the stone used is chaille, also called chert. “It’s a kind of stone that you don’t find here,” says Pelletier. The 73-year-old former lamb and grain farmer had never seen a stone this color in his fields. “I have never found historical pieces like this. I saw, in my research, that there are tribes, whether it is the Mi’kmaq or the Algonquin, who brought with them this type of stone because where they went, being nomads, there was none. maybe had not. They weren’t taking a chance! ”
As the earth in which this rare piece rested belongs to Michel Pelletier and Aline Richard. They are necessarily the owners of the artefact. But, they decided to share this property with whoever found it, Mr. Simard, as well as his wife, Mrs. Salter.
The MRC de La Matapédia and the Archeology and Heritage Laboratory. They are also taking advantage of Archeology Month to salute the exemplary reflexes of these two couples. According to the cultural development advisor of the MRC, Pascal St-Amand, “they have helped advance knowledge and confirm the rich archaeological potential of La Matapédia”. This MRC is not at its first discoveries of material remains since archaeological surveys have so far been carried out on the sites of the Saint-Vianney sawmill and the Spanish influenza camp of Sainte-Irene.