2000 SCES-SFU Kamloops Archaeology Field School

The 9th SCES-SFU Archaeology Field School was held on the Kamloops Indian Reserve in May and June. Twenty-two students were enrolled. For the first time, provincial RIC certification was offered as a component of the field school. The Field School is part of an ongoing research project that is investigating long-term land use patterns in the region. It is also an expression of our commitment to working with the Kamloops Indian Band.

This year was the final season of excavation at two sites that we have been excavating over the past six years. These sites, EeRb 144 and 140, each have produced substantial evidence of intermittent occupation and use over the past 7,000 years, and possibly longer. They are located on adjoining terrace remnants above the South Thompson River. Both are located within land being developed as part of the large, Sun Rivers housing project. The range of materials recovered from these sites spans the entire sequence of known Middle and Late Period artifacts, including Lehman, Lochnore, and Nesikep points. In fact, data from these sites are expected to refine the local chronology and culture history of the area, given the thousands of artifacts and well-preserved organic remains recovered. Faunal remains are extensive and include thousands of animal, bird, and fish bones; freshwater mussel shell; birch bark; a portion of a bird feather; and other organic materials. More than eight thousand soil samples have been collected and processed by flotation to recover seeds and other remains. A suite of radiocarbon dates from the sites in the area is currently being run. Detailed studies are now underway on artifacts, debitage, features, and other aspects of our excavations.

George Nicholas