Archaeological work in Huu-ay-aht territory, 2012
Quick note to say that the upcoming February meeting of the Victoria Chapter of the Archaeological Society of B.C. should be a good one (sadly I am back east at the time):
Coastal Field Archaeology in Huu-ay-aht Territory: Highlights from the 2012 Bamfield Marine Science Centre Archaeological Field School
Tuesday February 19th, 2013, 7:30 pm Pacific Forestry Centre,
506 West Burnside Road. map
Free and Open to the Public
Abstract: In July and August of 2012, the Huu-ay-aht First Nation and the Bamfield Marine Science Centre co-hosted a ‘Coastal Field Archaeology’ course on Huu-ay-aht Government Lands in Barkley Sound on western Vancouver Island. Continue reading
Posted in Archaeology, fieldwork, First Nations, Northwest Coast, Shell Middens, Vancouver Island
Tagged Archaeological Society of BC, Archaeology, ASBC, fieldschools, Huu-ay-aht, Vancouver Island
Stone Bowls in bedrock at Willows Beach, Victoria. Photo courtesy of Beth Weathers.
Investigation into Intertidal Bedrock Bowls at Willows Beach, Victoria.
Tuesday Sept 18, 2012, 7:30 pm Pacific Forestry Centre,
506 West Burnside Road. map
Free and Open to the Public
Overview (via ASBC): In 2009, Beth Weathers was informed by a local resident that there were some “Indian Bowls” in a bedrock outcrop at Willows Beach in the Oak Bay area of Victoria. Upon investigation, Beth identified and recorded 27 bowls that have been ground into one granite outcrop near the mouth of Bowker Creek. These bowls, and others like them, will eventually became the topic of her MA thesis. Beth will present information and results to date from her studies into these fascinating ancient features.
Bio: Beth Weathers has worked as a professional archaeologist for over a decade, first in Cultural Resource Management consulting, then at the British Columbia Archaeology Branch, where she is still employed. She was also instructor and TA for two semesters at UVic during her spare time.
Note: At the completion of Beth’s presentation a brief period will be devoted to the Annual General Meeting business.
For information, e-mail email@example.com
PS: While we’re talking public talks, where is the Archaeology Forum going to be this year?
View of Woss Lake. Source: panoramio user cyberhun.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA,
Archaeology of the Nimpkish River Valley, Northeastern Vancouver Island
Coast Interior Archaeology
TUESDAY FEB. 21, 2012, 7:30 pm
Pacific Forestry Centre,
506 West Burnside Road. (map)
Free and Open to the Public
ASBC Nanaimo Members in the Field, 2011: Photo: Colleen Parsley, Source: ASBC Nanaimo.
I posted this as a comment a few days ago, but decided it was worth a post on its own: there is a worrisome news snippet in the Nanaimo paper concerning the Archaeological Society of BC, Nanaimo Chapter. (At least, I infer this is the society in question!).
The full text indicates there will be a public meeting on Monday November 7th at Vancouver Island University which suggests the Nanaimo organization is in tough times:
7 p.m. The Archaeological Society is on the brink of collapse. If you feel the archaeology of Nanaimo and area has significant value, please come share your ideas at Bldg 356 Room 109 on the VIU campus. Continue reading
Parks Canada - UVIC Archaeological Project in the Intertidal Zone, 2010.
Next up for the local (Victoria) branch of the Archaeological Society of B.C. is a Tuesday, October 18th talk by Daryl Fedje of Parks Canada Archaeology. Details below; it is free and open to the public. I know of some of this research to be presented and if I can add an editorial comment:it is now clearly demonstrated that the intertidal zone has very high potential for un-disturbed archaeological deposits, some of which show exceptional preservation. These include not only classic “waterlogged sites” with woody preservation, but also numerous water-saturated shell middens, and even the remains of intact house features. I think it’s probable that in the Salish Sea at least, the intertidal zone is a hugely unappreciated zone of interest and I hope the Archaeology Branch and Consulting Archaeologists are working together to make sure it gets a thorough examination. And, if they aren’t, then it would be welcome if First Nations were to apply pressure by demanding routine subsurface testing in intertidal zones as a minimum requirement for shoreline archaeological assessments, perhaps commenting to this effect when reviewing permit applications. Anyway:
Intertidal Archaeology in the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve
October 18th, 2011, 7:30
pm Pacific Forestry Centre,
506 West Burnside Road (Map)
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
Abstract: Recent investigations in the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve included a focus on the intertidal zone. Analyses of cultural and paleoecological data obtained from these investigations has resulted in a more detailed sea level history for the area and, discovery of a suite of archaeological sites associated with sea levels slightly lower than modern. These now-intertidal sites include intact shell middens and apparent house features dating as early as 4,000 years ago.
Bio: The Victoria ASBC Branch president writes, “Daryl Fedje is a long-time archaeologist with Parks Canada, now based in Sidney, B.C. He is widely published, with a respected international reputation. Research in the Gulf Islands that he directs, co-directs, or facilitates is some of the most current work relevant to the Victoria region – but of course with wider ramifications.“
Posted in Archaeology, Cultural Resource Management, Northwest Coast, Shell Middens, underwater archaeology, Vancouver Island
Tagged Archaeological Society of BC, ASBC, CRM, Gulf Islands, Intertidal, Salish Sea, waterlogged sites, wet sites
Cropped screenshot of detail of cairn marking Sahsima, south Oak Bay. Source: Burnt Embers blog; click to visit.
I recently have started following a wonderful new blog called Burnt Embers. It’s mostly a photo blog of the author’s surroundings – which appear to be deepest south Oak Bay, which is a municipality adjacent to Victoria, B.C. It’s a wealthy municipality not really known for being sensitive to archaeological concerns or First Nations history: for example, it’s the locale of the rather messy Esplanade controversy I documented last year (1, 2, 3).
Anyway, the blogger at Burnt Embers, one “ehpem”, has recently done a great service by bringing to light a series of attractive cairns, emblazoned with art by Tsartlip artist Charles Elliot (Temoseng), which pay tribute to Songhees and Straits Salish places, history, and names. As ehpem points out, Oak Bay Council has erected these cairns but provides no other information about them, whether on their website or anywhere else. They’ve been sort of bolted onto the Oak Bay landscape. No matter: ehpem has photographed them beautifully and assembled a great series of pages documenting each one and also created a google map which is really handy for getting around from cairn to cairn. The cairns are, in the order which ehpem documents them:
Sahsima – a transformer stone near the Chinese Cemetery. Sahsima, meaning “harpoon”, was the original name identified by Songhees elder James Fraser for the point where the Chinese Cemetery is located: Hayls the Transformer, with spirit companions, Raven and Mink, came by in his canoe, frightening away the seal the harpooner had been stalking. The harpooner rebuked them, Hayls turned him to stone as he stood there poised to throw the harpoon, saying “You’ll be the boss for seals … from Sooke to Nanaimo.” Continue reading
Posted in anthropology, Archaeology, First Nations, history, Vancouver Island
Tagged blogs, burnt embers, Charles Elliot, Lekwungen, Oak Bay, photography, Salish, Songhees, Straits Salish, Temoseng, Victoria BC
Kelsey, Rodney and Jinky in the older deposits at Hiikwis.
The local (Victoria) branch of the Archaeological Society of B.C. is firing up it’s winter lecture series. The first talk is on Tuesday, and features UVic’s own Kelsey MacLean, speaking on the enigmatic stone tool assemblage from Hiikwis, in Barkley Sound. Details below; it is free and open to the public.
M.A. Candidate, University of Victoria
Chipped Stone in Barkley Sound.
Abstract: In 2008, Hiikwis became the first archaeological site in Barkley Sound with a significant sample of chipped stone materials. This material provides new insights into the culture history of Barkley Sound and the Nuu-chah-nulth peoples. It is well known that settlement patterns changed drastically in Barkley Sound from approximately 1500 to 1000 AD (Marshall 1993:40), which is a period of occupation represented at Hiikwis. Although the population movements both before and during this time have been theorized about before, Hiikwis is causing researchers to reconsider their previous assertions. Analysis of the chipped stone materials aims to determine who created these stone tools, and why there is a relative abundance of these tools at this site in contrast to the surrounding excavated locations. Essentially, why are there chipped stone tools here, but not next door?
Bio: Kelsey MacLean is currently an MA candidate at the University of Victoria. She is an executive member of the Victoria Branch of the Archaeological Society of BC and has a BA in Anthropology and Sociology from the University of Victoria. Her first fieldwork experience was in Barkley Sound in 2008 and she has returned each summer for further research. Her interest in the Tseshaht and the Barkley Sound region led to her pursuing her MA thesis project within this extended archaeological project.
SEP. 20, 2011, 7:30
pm Pacific Forestry Centre,
506 West Burnside Road.
UVIC students visiting "Aquattro Site" near Esquimalt Lagoon, 2008.
The next scheduled public talk of the Archaeological Society of BC, Victoria Chapter, will be held next Tuesday evening at 7.30 at the Pacific Forestry Centre, 506 West Burnside Road (map). The talk is free and open to any member of the public.
The talk is entitled Preliminary Investigation Results from DcRu-1151: A Locarno-Age Living and Processing Site at Esquimalt Lagoon, and will be given by local archaeologists Kristi Bowie and Kira Kristensen.
I had the pleasure of visiting this site while it was being excavated a few years ago. All signs were that the site included the remains of a house dating to between 2500 and 3500 years ago, the “Locarno Beach” period, though at that time the feature was not directly dated. Very little is known of domestic structures from this time and so the finds could be quite exciting. I’m looking forward to hearing more about this site, though it is doubtful I will be able to attend this talk due to the ongoing circumstances which also keep this blog running slowly. I am pasting in the abstract and speaker biographies below, or else click here for the PDF.
Posted in Archaeology, Cultural Resource Management, fieldwork, Northwest Coast, Vancouver Island
Tagged ASBC, CRM, Cultural Resource Management, Esquimalt, household archaeology, Salish, Songhees, Straits Salish
These darn, hidden sites that no one expects: archaeology at the Willows Beach Site, ca. 1990. (Not the MacKay Property) Source: Millennia Research 1990.
I apologize to readers from afar who may not be interested in the apparently parochial matter of a local woman’s encounter with archaeology on the Oak Bay waterfront, and the incomplete journalism which accompanied it.
But with the news Saturday (PDF*) that the Willows Beach landowner, Wendi MacKay, intends to appeal the earlier decision of Justice Fitzpatrick to the B.C. Court of Appeal, it becomes possible this case (previously 1, 2) will have repercussions for the practice of archaeology across the entire province. I hadn’t really thought about the implications of an appeal since, well, Fitzpatrick (section 33-38)] essentially says, “I would find the case in your favour if I could, but you gave up your rights to appeal, so I can’t.”
I might be calling wolf in my fears aired below.
But, bear with me.
Landowner Wendi MacKay in front of her house at DcRt-10. Source: Oak Bay News.
There is a new local newspaper article out on the Willows beach issue, below, which contains some important information and I think warrants new post. The article (PDF) from the Oak Bay News, confirms what was proposed in my previous post.
Namely, the archaeological work at the site did not cost anywhere near the $600,000 which was widely reported.