ASBC Victoria – Public Talk Tue Oct 18: Daryl Fedje on Gulf Islands Archaeology

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)


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.

12 responses to “ASBC Victoria – Public Talk Tue Oct 18: Daryl Fedje on Gulf Islands Archaeology

  1. Is there any way us non-Victorians can get a copy of the presentation? Or perhaps a short synopsis posted on NCA? 🙂


    • Fedje et al 2009 Sea-levels and Archaeology in the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve CJA


      • full reference is: Fedje, Daryl W., Ian D. Sumpter and John R. Southon (2009) Sea-levels and Archaeology in the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. Canadian Journal of Archaeology 33(2):234–253.

        also see another paper from the same issue:

        Grier, Colin, Patrick Dolan, Kelly Derr and Eric McLay (2009) Assessing Sea Level Changes in the Southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia Using Archaeological Data from Coastal Spit Locations. Canadian Journal of Archaeology 33(2):254–280.


  2. Wish I could be there. The beach on Sidney Spit was a heck of a lot nicer than the snow we’re about to get up here.


  3. Hi Drew, Hi Jo

    Jo – Someone, maybe me, could ask Daryl for a key slide or two to post here and/or take notes.


    • Yeah, lets see that pic at Sidney spit of the two feet of clayey silt he dug through (likely a layer some or many would have terminated the test at) to find the paleosol littered with lithics…


  4. You mean the Human Backhoe?


  5. So, wil someone put something in this blog that gives us ‘on the edge’ an idea of what was presented and discussed? Is there a copy of the power-point maybe? Who do I ask? Are there e-files of the references quoted above?


  6. Hi Edgewater,

    There is no formal way of disseminating the talk. However I am pretty sure I will be able to hack out a summary and some pictures, maybe on the weekend. My day job is taking almost all my time right now though.

    Suffice it to say for now, it was an excellent talk with some profound discoveries (an early Locarno village 3,000 BP with up to 5 probable house platforms right on the surface?!? Holy Cats), presented in the precise, congenial and understated way, which is the hallmark of a Daryl Fedje presentation – I’ve had the good fortune to see many of these


  7. Not entirely related, but ASBC, I just saw this worrisome snippet in the Nanaimo newspaper:

    MONDAY, NOV. 7

    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.


  8. Pingback: Intertidal archaeology |

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