2003 Little Shuswap Lake Archaeology Field School

During the summer of 2003 the department offered an archaeological field school at Little Shuswap Lake, near Chase, British Columbia. Under the direction of Dr. Bob Muir, seventeen students received training and practical experience in archaeological survey and excavation methods. The field school included five weeks of on-campus course work, labs, and exercises; a one week tour of archaeological sites in southern British Columbia; and seven weeks of excavation and survey, undertaken on Little Shuswap I.R.#1 (Quaaout). The Little Shuswap Band generously provided support for the project, including accommodations, storage, lab, and cooking facilities.

Graduate student Gord Moore directed the survey component of the field school, during which students developed practical skills in navigation, mapping, and site recording. Three previously unrecorded sites were discovered as a result of the survey.

The main focus of the field school was excavations of site EfQv 12, a prehistoric pithouse village located on the Quaaout Reserve. As this was the first detailed investigation ever conducted at EfQv 12, our research objectives primarily included mapping the site and determination of its age. Our preliminary assessment indicates that the site consists of a village of at least 12 houses and was established and occupied during the Plateau Horizon (1200–2400 BP). Analyses of materials collected during excavation are ongoing and will be the focus of Cinnamon Pandur's forthcoming Honours Thesis.

One of the highlights of the 2003 field school was a trip to the Bella Coola Valley where Professor Emeritus Phil Hobler was our host, providing a tour of archaeological sites and sharing his knowledge of the region with students.

Bob Muir