Site Deception (AhGx-4)

Site Name:

Site Deception



Borden Number:



City of Hamilton

Date Excavated:


Investigated or Excavated By:

William Fox, David M. Stothers, Ian Kenyon

About the Site:

Site Deception (AhGx-4), located along the southern shore of Cootes Paradise, west of Princess Point, was investigated by David Stothers in 1969 (Stothers 1969:14-15). The site is approximately 30 metres in area. The Ontario Archaeological Sites Database suggests that the site had been visited in 1961 and 1967. William Fox has noted that, as a boy, he recovered material from the site with his notes and finds now at the ROM (William Fox, pers. comm., July 14, 2016). It is suggested that Meadowood and Neutral components were present, but also a Flint Ridge microblade, which may reflect a Middle Woodland (e.g. Hopewell-related?) connection.

From the 1969 investigations, ceramics from the site were visually similar to reddish-brown sandstone and this deceptive appearance prompted the site to be named as such. One 5 foot by 5 foot square, AI, was emplaced. Cord-wrapped stick decorated and cord-malleated sherds were recovered and were considered “very crude” (Stothers 1969:14 and 15). The few rim sherds exhibited semi-circular punctates at the lip. The sherds also appeared to have been water-worn. A Levanna-like projectile point along with chert debitage, burnt bone and some body sherds were recovered in a small oval pit feature at the site. Based on the ceramics from this feature, which were distinct from those found previously, this pit may have been slightly later than the ‘crude’ ceramics at the site. Coil breaks were also identified on several ceramic sherds. In a later work, Stothers (1977:33) offers that, “Slight indications of Saugeen cultural material were found (Stothers 1969) … at [S]ite Deception.”.

A campaign in 2001 to relocated Site Deception turned up no further Middle Woodland material, however (Dave Smith, pers. comm., July 14, 2016). In discussing the small Middle Woodland component at the nearby Princess Point site (AhGx-1), Haines et al. (2011:241) briefly note Site Deception.

At SA McMaster:

One bag deriving from the 1969 investigations, comprising ceramics, lithics and minimal faunal remains.

Note all locations are approximate and do not represent actual archaeological sites. 

Resources about this site:

Haines, Helen, David Smith, David Galbraith and Tys Theysmeyer. 2011. The Point of Popularity: A Summary of 10,000 years of Human Activity at the Princess Point Promontory, Cootes Paradise Marsh, Hamilton, Ontario.  Canadian Journal of Archaeology 35:232-257.

Stothers, David. 1969. An Archaeological Survey of Coote’s Paradise Hamilton, Ont. (1969). Unpublished report on file, University of Toledo and Sustainable Archaeology, McMaster Innovation Park, Hamilton.

Stothers, David. 1977. The Princess Point Complex. Archaeological Survey of Canada, Paper No. 58. Ottawa: National Museum of Man.

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