Speaker Series: Flooded Landscapes

  • Aug. 10, 2011 8:00 a.m.

Submitted by Jordie Laidlaw, Gwaii Haanas Youth Reporte–Parks Canada archaeologist Daryl Fedje and his team have been researching the presence of ancient humans on Haida Gwaii for the past two decades. One of the most significant discoveries was a woven spruce root cord, a wooden wedge and a basket handle, each preserved in sediment, radio-carbon dated as 10,700 years old. To put this into context, these items were made 5,500 years before the first Kingdom of Egypt formed.Fifteen thousand years ago, Huxley Island, north of Burnaby narrows, would have been considered a mountain jutting out of the broad grassy plains that extended towards Prince Rupert. Over time, sea levels rose about 165 metres, changing the landscape dramatically by flooding the plains and submerging the village sites. The once massive mountain range became engulfed in seawater, forming the island archipelago that we know as Haida Gwaii. Years ago, dives near Huxley Island revealed what used to be a lake that is now 50 meters under the water, surrounded by a scattering of stone tools. Deeper, at 145 metres, the remains of an ancient forest were found, with parts of trees sticking out of the ground.While deep water archaeology in the past has shown us some of the history of Haida Gwaii during the Stone Age, intertidal archaeology this year has revealed even more signs of human habitation around Heater Harbour, from a few hundred years ago. The remains of fish traps constructed across streams, numerous culturally modified trees (CMTs), hand tools and a large stone structure indicate that there may have been a thriving community living there. The boulders have been removed from a large strip of the beach there for an unknown purpose, one possible explanation put forward is the people who did this may have been attempting to increase clam production by enhancing the clams natural habitat, but at the moment, why hundreds of metres of beach was cleared remains a mystery and an archaeological challenge that will keep Parks Canada archaeologists coming back for more.

Just Posted

Broken axle New Hazelton derailment could happen again: TSB

Derailment by New Hazelton caused by a broken axle can happen again without different way to inspect

Terrace resident’s bill banning single-use plastics introduced in Ottawa

MP Nathan Cullen’s presented Ben Korving’s private member’s bill Wednesday

Mold shuts down construction at QC supportive housing project

Construction of the new 19-unit modular housing complex in Queen Charlotte has… Continue reading

Conservation office launches new gaurdian role for Haida Gwaii

Possition developed in part to improve partnerships with Haida Nation

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Man wanted for sex trafficking, confinement may be heading to B.C.

Kevin Myrthil, 26, is also accused of assault on a 19-year-old woman at an Edmonton hotel

B.C. Speaker Darryl Plecas resumes battle with suspended staff

Committee meets at B.C. legislature to consider new allegations

Former B.C. fire chief sues his city after termination

Keith Green’s civil claim says that he believes he was wrongfully terminated

B.C. man injured in police shooting now in wheelchair

“Shots were fired by police and the Kelowna man was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.”

Risk of ‘deadly avalanches’ leads to warning for B.C.’s south coast

Weak layer of snow on Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland could trigger an avalanche

Peter Tork, Monkees’ lovable bass-guitar player, dies at 77

Tork, Micky Dolenz, David Jones and Michael Nesmith formed the made-for-television rock band

From a drunk judge to Clifford Olson: George Garrett recounts a life in B.C. news radio

New book from ‘Intrepid Reporter’ George Garrett offers readers a glimpse behind the headlines

Most Read