The Earliest Evidence -
The Palaeo-Indian Period


The earliest evidence of a human presence in the Ottawa Valley dates from approximately 8,500 years ago. Environmental conditions had improved considerably by that time, as the Champlain Sea disappeared, and new plants and animals emerged.

The people who lived during the Palaeo-Indian Period made distinctive long and slender stone lance or javelin points.

Early Hunting Weapons

These elongated stone lance or javelin points were probably used to kill large animals such as caribou. They were carefully chipped to remove thin, parallel flakes from roughly shaped pieces of stone. Their shape and the way they were made indicate that they date from the Late Palaeo-Indian Period (about 8,000 to 8,500 years ago).

Two of the examples shown here were found on an island in the St. Lawrence River near Cornwall, rather than in the Ottawa Valley. The point with the small notches may be the only Ottawa Valley artifact from this early time period.

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