Moncur Gallery | Archaic Period
The Moncur Gallery is located in Boissevain, Manitoba. It hosts a variety of displays, fascinating original paintings, models of archaeological work, a map of the area during the time of transition from First nation to European dominance.
Moncur Gallery Boissevain Turtle Mountains Natural History Natives First Nations Manitoba Southwest

Archaic Period

The Archaic period in Manitoba represents a change to the archaeological record in that it sees a large population growth, and with that, an expansion of regional differences and advances.  From the nomadic hunters of before came new specializations; from fish hooks and net sinkers, wood working axes and grinding tools such as the mano and metate.  These lifestyle and technological changes had a profound effect on the people living in Manitoba at that time.  More regional differences can be seen, perhaps developing their own style of artifacts and languages.


The bow and arrow had not yet been invented on the plains so spear hunting was widely used, especially the atlatl. The high concentration of points found in the archaeological record during this time could indicate that groups of people were now larger, or coming together to form large groups, during the plentiful summer months.


Points from the different traditions like the Oxbow, Pelican Lake or McKean-Duncan Complex show a variety of new forms compared to the older lanceolate type points.  These new atlatl points are smaller in size and, in some cases, have notched edges for hafting to spears.  These tiny points show a new skill requirement that would have taken years to master.