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Swan River chert is a lithic material that was commonly utilized by precontact people on the southern part of the Canadian prairie provinces and the adjoining states since at least Clovis times. The chert occurs in glacial till and other Quaternary deposits within the area of use. It occurs in highest density west of lakes Winnipegosis and Manitoba. Archaeologists have speculated about its bedrock source at least since 1980. This paper describes one primary geological source of Swan River chert located in west-central Manitoba. Rather than a continuous bedded layer, the chert occurs in randomly distributed solution chimneys in Devonian carbonates of the Souris River Formation exposed in the Mafeking quarry, west-central Manitoba.
Plains Anthropologist © 2002 Taylor & Francis, Ltd.