A plaster cast of a footprint, estimated to be about 800 years old, unearthed at The Forks in Winnipeg. (Wendy Sawatzky/CBC) ((Wendy Sawatzky/CBC))

A major archeological dig at the Forks in downtown Winnipeg has come to a close, and the project moved indoors as archeologists analyze their findings.

The dig was necessary to clear the area at the Forks, where the Red and Assiniboine rivers meet in central Winnipeg. The end of the dig clears the way for construction of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.         

The next stage of the archeological research will be carbon-dating objects that were found.

"That one small portion of the site is finished in the archeological sense," chief archeologist Sid Kroeker said. "But there's a lot more history scattered throughout the Forks."

The team unearthed an array of artifacts, including pottery, arrow heads and bison bones.          

The prize discovery was a footprint dating back 700 to 800 years.          

Archeologists hope the project will paint a picture of life in the area thousands of years ago: who lived there, the materials and tools they used, and the food they ate.        

The area has a rich history that includes an aboriginal camp, the fur trade, the construction of the railway, waves of immigration and the Industrial Age.

The footprint was the most unusual find, said Kroeker, considering the complicated series of events that needed to take place in order for it to be preserved.

The Forks site is considered one of the top 10 archeological sites in North America, Kroeker said.