Hearths have always provided warmth, light and heat for cooking. In archaeological sites, charcoal from the fire can be dated to learn when people lived in the lodge. Our ancestors made broth (muushkamii) by boiling crushed animal bones. After they had been boiled, the bones were thrown in the fire. Burned bones reveal the different types of animals that people relied upon. The huge quantities of beaver bones in hearths indicate the importance of that animal in the Eastmain-1 area.

Stone tools, pottery sherds and other items found in or around hearths provide additional information about how people lived.

The number and size of the hearths indicate the type and size of dwelling the people were living in. This shaapuhtuwaan has three hearths and would house several families.

Excavating a hearth on the Eastmain River.

Excavating a hearth on the Eastmain River.