Archeological sites that hold the key to our past will soon be better protected thanks to a new investment by the province. Rodney MacDonald, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, announced today, Sept. 8, that the province will invest $13,300 in new mapping technology to identify areas with a high likelihood for archeological remains. “We are committed to identifying and protecting sites that will allow us to learn more about our cultural history and better understand where we came from,” said Mr. MacDonald. The new mapping technology identifies areas with a high potential for sites pre-dating European settlement in the 1600s. Specialized software searches coloured digital maps that indicate ideal conditions for a settlement, such as nearness to drinking water and transportation corridors. Although this technology exists elsewhere, this particular model was developed in Nova Scotia based on the province’s specific conditions and settlement patterns. “These sites have an important historical significance in our communities,” said Mr. MacDonald. “Early knowledge and awareness will ensure the sites are properly protected.” The new technology will be a valuable tool for planning agencies and developers who can identify areas of high potential for archeological sites in advance. This will help them prevent accidental damage to sites, potential delays and additional project costs. The new archeological mapping technology supports the Special Places Protection Act, which protects archeological sites and remains. There are currently close to 1,400 known sites in Nova Scotia.