Stop 6: The Debert Paleo-Indian Site: First People in Nova Scotia after the Ice Age

Leave the Brookfield quarry. Get back on Highway 101, proceed northward to Truro, and connect to the Trans-Canada Highway westward to Amherst. Travel east about 8 km and turn right at the Debert exit.

Just before the Younger Dryas climatic event (see Stop 2) the first people migrated into the area, following herds of caribou and possibly other ice age mammals. They settled at a campsite near Debert, Nova Scotia. You can access a great description of the Debert archeological site from the Nova Scotia museum showing ancient artifacts and the geological setting.

It is important to note that the geological setting of the Debert site is similar to the buried wood and peat sites that we have visited on our virtual journey. The artifacts found at Debert and nearby Belmont were age dated between 10.6 and 11 ka, and are sandwiched between two sand units, thought to be wind-borne sands. Based on work done at the Belmont site, the lower sand unit is likely a glacial lake deposit. The upper sand unit may also be related to the re-formation of glacial lakes during the Younger Dryas cooling. Regeneration of local ice caps during the Younger Dryas may have been a factor in the abandonment of the Debert site.

Go back to the chopper (virtual field trip home page) or