Two talks in Victoria next seven days

Burial cairn on Race Rocks.  Source:

Burial cairn on Race Rocks. Source:

Two very cool talks in Victoria over the next few days.  The first is a unique opportunity to hear from Cowichan (Coast Salish) “gravedigger” Harold C. Joe, who for more than 30 years has worked with archaeologists and anthropologists to care for the disturbed ancestral dead, among his other responsibilities.

The second talk is the monthly ASBC event which features Dr. Andreas Fuls of the Berlin Institute of Technology, who will address a topic in Mayan astronomy and the Mayan collapse.

If you’re not in Victoria you can probably stop reading, but if you click below then you’ll find  more details, including abstracts and the where and when.

The Harold Joe event includes a panel discussion with UVIC graduate students Kristina Bowie and Darcy Matthews.  It will be held Thursday March 13 in David Strong Building C122 at 4.30.  Link.

Dust & Bones – Panel Discussion on Ancestral Burial Sites of the Coast Salish
Harold C. Joe, Kristina Bowie and Darcy Matthews

Join consultant and grave digger Harold C. Joe for an introduction into the spiritual nature of Coast Salish ancestral burial sites. This presentation will be followed by an engaging conversation with local anthropologists Kristina Bowie and Darcy Mathews who will discuss the ongoing disturbances and desecration of First Nations ancestral burial sites.

Harold C. Joe, a Cowichan ancestral consultant and a traditional gravedigger since age 15, has over 30 years of experience in caring for the dead of his people and carries the responsibility of reburying ancestors at disturbed grave sites. Also a filmmaker, Joe has produced documentaries including, Wisdom of the River and Stolen Hearts.

Kristina Bowie is an MA candidate in anthropology (UVic) and an archaeologist with over 10 years of experience. Bowie’s current research focuses on the issue of missing children from former Residential Schools. This topic is of special consideration for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

Darcy Matthews is a BC consulting archaeologist of 17 years and a PhD candidate (UVic) specializing in Coast Salish burial practices. Matthews is also a former CSRS VFT Graduate Student Fellow.

The ASBC event is Tuesday March 18th at 7.30m also at UVIC, in the now-customary Cornett B129.  Maybe this is NW Coast of Yucatan or something.  You can get the following information at the spiffy new ASBC Victoria website:

A short history of Mayan astronomy: The Mayan calendar and the collapse of the Classic Maya culture
by Dr. Andreas Fuls, Berlin Institute of Technology, Germany

The Classic Maya developed a sophisticated calendar and observed the Sun, Moon, planets and stars. Precise astronomical data allow correlation of the Mayan calendar to the Christian calendar.  A new chronology is proposed and verified by different dating methods and data, which also results in a discussion of the so-called “Mayan collapse”.


Andreas Fuls is currently working at the Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation Science of the Berlin Institute of Technology, where he has worked for the last 25 years. His special fields are geodatabases and GIS, measurement systems and methods. He finished his dissertation at Hamburg University in 2006 in the history of science, more specifically in Maya archaeoastronomy and the solution of the Maya calendar correlation question. Andreas Fuls became interested in Maya glyphs in 1998 and in the Indus script in 2007, developing an epigraphic database of Indus inscriptions and mathematical methods to analyze undeciphered writing systems.

I guess my blog is a bit of a bulletin board at the moment, I’ll try to feed the insatiable demand for NW Coast Archaeology soon!

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