Archeometry: a field of expertise where nature meets culture



The members of the Groupe de recherche en archéométrie (Archeometry research group), diected by Réginald Auger, combine nature and culture to analyse the origins of spaces of identity. Using methods from social sciences and natural sciences, archaeologists and geographers are tracing changes in social and economic behaviour in response to climate change, in particular in Northerners. This is true investigative work, combining fieldwork, laboratory analysis and experiments aimed at discovering the functions of tools found at archaeological sites. 

For example, the loss of forest cover in Labrador is linked to the harsh conditions of the Little Ice Age and the arrival of the Europeans, which had a major impact on the landscape and lifestyle of the Inuit people. The information gathered by the researchers is contributing to sustainable management practices of aboriginal territories and to enhancing the value of Inuit heritage. 

The researchers are also examining carved stone objects found in Caucasia. Micro traces observed on these objects make it possible to determine the techniques used in the past and to evaluate the degree of technological advancement of the populations in question, as well as the needs that the tools were designed to fulfil. An analysis of the wearing down of stone tools sheds light on their daily use and provides us with information about the reasons for the development of prehistoric technologies. This research provides a better understanding of the design path of an invention when it is transferred from one culture to another. 

By promoting an understanding of the symbiosis between nature and culture, the research group is contributing to the training of highly qualified multi-disciplinary personnel. Its work on enhancing the value of human heritage has a direct impact on economic development and contributes to improving the quality of life of these populations in their natural environment.

Team

Groupe de recherche en archéométrie

Director

Réginald Auger, Université Laval

Regular members

  • Allison Bain, Université Laval 
  • Jean-François Moreau, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi 
  • Marcel Moussette, Université Laval