2006 Field School at Keatley Creek

Participants of the 2006 Field School at Keatley Creek. Standing (l-r): Shannon Croft, Dennis Evans, Erin Sommerville, Ryan Dickie, Jon Sheppard; seated: Dee Dahl, Jennifer Denison, Brooke Nadasdi, Heather Kendall, Mykol Knighton, Heather Newton, David Le Beau, Jamie Hoskins, Ryan Sagarbarria; front Sheriff Hossain and Jesse Morin.


In 2006, an archaeological field school was held at the site of Keatley Creek, near Lillooet BC. SFU has been conducting research at this site for the last 21 years, primarily under the direction of Dr. Brian Hayden. In 2006 seventeen students participated in the project, under the direction of Dr. Bob Muir and Jesse Morin (UBC, PhD candidate).

Excavations focused on investigation of a small housepit situated on the periphery of the main village site. The house has two very distinct occupation floors, one dating to approximately 300 years ago and the other dating to approximately 2,000 years ago. The isolated location and the unique assemblage of stone tools and animal bones found on the floor of the house suggest that it was not a standard domestic residential structure, but rather was used for communal ceremonial activities. Analyses of materials collected during excavation are ongoing and will be the focus of Jon Sheppard's forthcoming BA Honours Thesis.

In addition to excavation, the field school involved detailed digital mapping of several archaeological sites. At the request of the Pavilion Indian Band (Ts'kw'aylaxw First Nation) the students spent three weeks mapping a large housepit village on the west side of the Fraser River, near McKay Creek. The field school also completed a detailed topographic map of the core of the Keatley Creek Village.

The philosophy, framework, and many of the lessons taught during the field school were heavily based on the teachings of the late Phil Hobler. We did our best to continue the tradition that he began.

Bob Muir