NORTH AMERICA
WHAT: HISTORIC SHIPWRECKS
WHERE: QUEBEC, CANADA
EXCAVATION: 2019
DATE OF WRECKS: 16TH-20TH A.D.

Centuries of European fishing, whaling, and trading have taken place in and around the waters of the Gaspe Peninsula. In 1534 Jacques Cartier took his first steps on the shore of Gaspe Bay, claiming the land for France. Prior to Cartier, Basque whalers and fisherman had frequented the waters around Gaspe, Newfoundland, and Labrador. It is possible that even Vikings, who are known to have made camp in L’Anse aux Meadows Newfoundland, found their way 400 miles southwest to the shores of the Gaspe Coast. Before all of this, several populations of indigenous peoples lived in Gaspe, and used the surrounding ocean for fishing. Because of these centuries of human activity centering around the bays and Gulf of the St. Lawrence, the potential for material culture in the form of shipwrecks beneath the water is extremely high. This project will focus on locating cultural heritage materials in Gaspe Bay, an area sheltered by a peninsula known as Shiphead, and adjoining Forillon National Park to the north.

Gaspe Bay Archaeological Project 2020 Application

Relevant Bibliography

Blanchette, Jean-François. 1975. “The Historical Archaeology of a French Fishing Settlement in Gaspe (Quebec), 1713-1758: A Preliminary Study.” The Conference on Historic Site Archaeology Papers 1975 10: 24-49.

Cahill, Donald and Martin Ouellet. 2015. “An Analysis of Jacques Cartier’s Exploration of the Gaspé Coast, 1534.” Acadiensis XLIV(2): 75-94.

Lalande, Dominique. 1989. “Archaeological Excavations at Bon-Desir: Basque Presence in the St. Lawrence Estuary.” Northeast Historical Archaeology 18: 10-28.

Lee, David. 1970. “The French in Gaspe, 1534 to 1760.” Canadian Historic Sites: Occasional Papers in Archaeology and History 3: 26-53.

Samson, Roch. 1984. Fishermen and Merchants in 19th Century Gaspe. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Supply and Services Canada.

Turgeon, Laurier. 1998. “French Fishers, Fur Traders, and Amerindians during the Sixteenth Century: History and Archaeology.” The William and Mary Quarterly, 55(4): 585-610.

Vézina, Hélène, Marc Tremblay, Ève-Marie Lavoie, and Damian Labuda. 2014. “Concordance between Reported Ethnic Origins and Ancestral Origins of Gaspé Peninsula Residents.” Population-E 69(1): 7-28.

WOOD. 1862. THE LOWER ST. LAWRENCE OR QUEBEC TO HALIFAX VIA GASPE AND PICTOU. QUEBEC: MERCURY.

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