Poohkay Site

The Poohkay Site: A Hell Gap or Western Stemmed Point Tradition Cache in Alberta’s Peace River Country

Working in conjunction with staff archaeologist Darryl Bereziuk of the Archaeological Survey of Alberta, Executive Director Dr. Jack Ives is analyzing a unique artifact collection from the Eaglesham area in Northwestern Alberta. Over a few decades Mr. Nick Poohkay discovered a series of tools, including several large spear tips, while cultivating the crest of a small knoll on his farm. He has most generously donated these artifacts to the Royal Alberta Museum. These tools bear unmistakable signs of being a cache of items from the Early Prehistoric Period or Paleoindian era, and were found roughly two kilometers to the north of the findspot for the Donaldson fluted point. Both of these locations occur on a unique, undulating landform from the floor of former Glacial Lake Peace. The Poohkay points are large, averaging more than 100 mm in length. They resemble Hell Gap specimens from the Northern Plains, and a variety of Western Stemmed Point tradition specimens from the southern Plateau and Great Basin regions.

Poohkay Cache

The large bifacial preforms from the Poohkay cache, near
Eaglesham in northwestern Alberta, arrayed around a
biface nearly 24 cm in length from the Sexsmith area,
also in the Peace River country.

Ives and Bereziuk acknowledge the assistance and insights offered by avocational archaeologists the late Morris Burroughs and Mr. Nick Poohkay in working with this site and collection, and thank Mr. & Mrs. Charle Ulland for access to the Poohkay site for further testing.