Underwater Archaeological Stratigraphy

A diagram of the different soil layers located at Hare Harbor, Quebec in 2008.  Wood chips were located at the deepest layer, then whale bone, then codfish bones.
Created by Ben Ford

An underwater archaeological stratigraphy reveals the different levels of soil in Hare Harbor, Quebec. The stratigraphy – a process archeologists use to help date materials by identifying soil layers – showed the deepest level of soil (labeled G) contained wood chips, possibly the residue of site construction. The second level contained large whale bones (labeled E), marking a period when whales were caught and processed. The third level, the top-most, was full of codfish bones (labeled B). This means that after whales had declined, people turned to processing fish for the commercial market in Europe.

Learn more about what archaeologists have uncovered at Hare Harbor and how it has helped scientists understand this early whaling community and its occupants.