Capilano University Field School Blog

"At each logging camp a familiar discovery was a wood burning stove or oven. The one pictured {above} had stumped some former students of Muckle's in the past because the student who helped recover the stove had read an engraving on the side saying "To Jake". After pondering upon this curious inscription, it was realized that the "J" had incorrectly been read, and the whole etching had actually said "To Bake", commonly found on ovens." Source:

I noticed that the Capilano University Archaeology Field School, which just started a few days ago near Vancouver, has a blog.  So far there are three days worth of entries and it looks like it will be a lot of fun to follow along with the students who, under the direction of  Bob Muckle, will be continuing to work on the archaeology of historic logging in the Seymour River Watershed, which flows into Burrard Inlet.  Much of the logging was conducted by Japanese immigrants, making for a nice overlay of ethnicity and capitalism and material culture.

"Imagine being in the middle of a massive park, and stumbling upon a chair looking out over a ravine, with a foot rest and a stove to its side. Pictured {above} is a chair that the troop were shown today, and it was only discovered about eight years ago. Who made the chair, and when it was made is uncertain, but the creator obviously must have enjoyed the view." Source:

I heard Bob talk about this at UBC Archaeology Days last year and it was truly interesting stuff — and I don’t even want to add “for historical archaeology”!!  For example, check out the “stone chair” pictured above.  We found one of these at the remote western end of Upper Victoria Lake in southern Haida Gwaii last year, and puzzled over it for some time.  It was comfy, and faced west, which was maybe all we really needed to know.  Anyway,  I hope that they manage to keep up a daily posting routine about this fieldschool so that we can follow along from a distance, and I encourage you to encourage them by putting some hits on their site and maybe leave them some comments!

Bob Muckle and students. The anonymous blogger refers to the group as a "troop", which is a collective noun most commonly reserved for baboons. Source: . Click to clarify.

9 responses to “Capilano University Field School Blog

  1. There might be some interesting comparisons to be made between their materials and our Millennia excavations of the “Japan Town” portion of the National Historic Site of McLean’s Mill, near Port Alberni.


  2. And also Douglas Ross’s recent PhD dissertation on the Ewert Cannery near Annacis Island in the Fraser River.


  3. Looks like the “anonymous blogger” now has a name: Jessica Clayton.

    Morley and Bob Muckle have started a conversation over there – I think with the annoying comments field the best way to go is to make the comment anonymous and then sign your name within the text. It could be the SPAM settings are too harsh over there – I know my comment got eaten!


  4. Very good, dear friends.

    This is very nice for us. To who archaeology stays being Aegyptians, Greeks, Roman and so on…


  5. Hi Manuel, thanks for stopping by from so far away. I suspect you came from this page: (babelfish translation)

    Which has some nice links to industrial archaeology that people here might be interested in as well.



  6. I wonder what Darcy would have to say about that “stone chair”?


  7. I see that the ubiquitous and pleasant Tad McIlwraith visited the Capilano Field School and has a visitor’s report up on his blog here, with links to more pictures as well.

    Sounds like he’s getting the archaeology bug, but if, as rumour has it, he was the consumer of the Bud Lite Lime Beer bottle found then his learning curve will indeed be steep.

    The Capilano blog is being regularly updated here, as noted above:


  8. You must know, Quentin, that Bob is teaching me better than to salt sites with Bud Lite Lime! I’d have to be a fancy microbrew at least. I’m still waiting for the grad seminar on the archaeology of beer, but I grant you that starting with lower level drinking courses might be important as I reshape my identity towards your science.



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