Special Event

8th Annual DIG Conference, 2019

June 10, 2019

8th Annual Developing International Geoarchaeology Conference at Simon Fraser University, Canada from June 17-21, 2019

For general enquiries please write to dig2019.sfu@gmail.com or contact the DIG 2019 conference organizers

Francesco Berna Rudy Reimer
Candice Koopowitz       
Peter Locher   
Brandi MacDonald Lucy Wilson

You can also follow us on Twitter.

About DIG

Developing International Geoarchaeology (DIG) is the title of a series of very successful international conferences. The goal of DIG is to bring together a wide variety of international researchers, practitioners and students in this diverse and interdisciplinary field to facilitate discussion, stimulate research, and promote international scholarship in geoarchaeology. The conference is biennial, having first been held in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada 2005, followed by Cambridge, UK, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, University of Tennessee Knoxville, USA, University of Basel, Switzerland, Alghero University in Sardinia and Newcastle University, UK.

DIG 2019 Keynote Speaker. We have the pleasure to announce that the Keynote Speaker of DIG2019 is Professor Charly French. Charles Andrew Ivey French is Professor in Geoarchaeology and the Director of the McBurney Laboratory for Geoarchaeology at Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge, UK.

Paper and Poster Prizes. One student paper and one student poster will be selected and awarded the prize for best DIG 2019 submissions.

Conference Workshops. As is traditional for DIG, there will be a petrographic thin section micromorphology workshop at the end of the conference. This is an informal workshop that will take place in the Petrography Teaching Lab of the Department of Earth Sciences, equipped with twenty Nikon Eclipse microscopes. The Geoarchaeology Lab Thermo-Nicolet iN10 MX FTIR image microscope will be also available. A selection of petrographic reference slides and sediment thin sections from archaeological sites around the world will be available to look at. As usual delegates are encouraged to bring their own slides for discussion.

Conference Field Trip. British Columbia has a rich archaeological heritage, from prehistory through the colonial period. As part of the conference there will be the opportunity to take part in a field trip to explore parts of what is arguably one of the most spectacular landscape in the world and home of ancient populations, first nations and “Transformers”. We will leave SFU in the morning and travel north on the Sea-to-Sky highway to Squamish. Guided by Dr Rudy Reimer/Yumks we will stop at large scale geological features and pictographs to learn about a narrative regarding an ancient and epic battle between a Squamish Nation warrior and a two headed serpent.

Conference Dinner. The conference dinner on the evening of the 18th June will be at Nuba Lebanese Restaurant. Please, use the registration process to inform us of any dietary preference or allergy.


June 17th, 2019 - “The Study” Pub and Restaurant, SFU Burnaby Campus
4.30-6.30 Welcome Reception
June 18th, 2019 - Room 10011, Blusson Hall, SFU Burnaby Campus
9.00-9.30 Registration
9.30-9.45 Francesco Berna and George Nicholas (Simon Fraser University)
Welcome Note
9.45-10.15 Charly French (University of Cambridge) - Keynote Address
Chronicling resilience of valley systems in semi-arid landscapes of southern Peru and East Africa
LANDSCAPE GEOGRAPHY I (Chair: Francesco Berna)
10.15-10.45 Joanna Walker (University of Cambridge)
Buried Indus Landscapes: Using Geoarchaeology to assess Human-Environment Interactions innorthwest India
10.45-11.00 Coffee Break
11.00-11.30 Ailidh Hathway (Simon Fraser University)
A Microsedimentological Approach to Wetland Reconstruction: A Preliminary Case Study of Wonderwerk Cave, South Africa.
11.30-12.00 Michael C. Wilson (Douglas College)
Late Pleistocene to Early Holocene Trends in Landscape Stability: Geoarchaeological Findings from British Columbia and Alberta, Western Canada
12.00-12.30 Hasan Ahmadi-Karvigh (University of Teheran)
Zoroaster's time based on new geoarchaeological findings in Seistan
12.30-1.30 Lunch Break
LANDSCAPE GEOGRAPHY II (Chair: Brandi MacDonald)
1.30-2.00 Shari Maria Silverman (Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission)
Landform Study to Understand its Sites: West Beach Barrier Berm, Whidbey Island, Washington state, United States (Puget Sound)
2.00-2.30 Christopher Carey (University of Brighton)
A geoarchaeological analysis of a Bronze Age roundhouse and reave system on Dartmoor, UK
2.30-3.00 Beatrice Fletcher (McMaster University)
Systematic Investigation of Anthropogenic Chemical Signatures at a 17th Century Huron-Wendat Village
Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, SFU Burnaby Campus
3.00-3.15 Coffee Break
3.15-4.15; Poster Session
4.30-5.30 Tour of The Department of Archaeology
Nuba in Gastown Lebanese Restaurant, 207 W Hastings St, Vancouver
(Transfer from SFU by Bus 95)
6.45-9.00 Conference Dinner
June 19th, 2019 Room 10011, Blusson Hall, SFU Burnaby Campus
9.00-9.30 Brandi MacDonald (Archaeometry Laboratory at MURR)
Geoarchaeological and Geochemical Approaches to Obsidian Source Distribution in Northwestern Patagonia
9.30-10.00 Aviad Agam (Tel-Aviv University)
Identifying Geologic origins of Flint at Acheulo-Yabrudian Qesem Cave, Israel: Results of an integrated study
10.00-10.30 Cornel Pop (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)
Evaluating landscape knowledge and lithic resource selection at the French Middle Palaeolithic site of Bau de l’Aubesier
10.30-10.45 Coffee Break
10.45-11.15 Peter Mears (University of New Brunswick - Saint John)
Weight versus the number of pieces: Do our interpretations of raw material use vary depending upon how we quantify use?  A case study from the Middle Palaeolithic in the Vaucluse, southern France.
11.15-11.45 Krista Gilliland (Western Heritage)
Illuminated from the Ground Up: An evaluation of luminescence dating methods for building a cultural chronology in Canada’s north
11.45-12.15 Jayde Hirniak (Arizona State University)
Using Cryptotephra in Archaeology- Precise Correlations and Improved Age Estimates
12.15-1.30 Lunch Break
1.30-2.00 Ximena Villagran (Universidade de São Paulo) - Invited Presentation
On the evidence of hearths at Serra da Capivara (Brazil), the oldest human settlements in South America
2.00-2.30 Magnus Haaland (University of Bergen)
What's in that black layer? A report on a 85,000 year old dark sedimentary feature in Blombos Cave, South Africa.
2.30-3.00 Candice Koopowitz (Simon Fraser University)
Evaluating the infrared 630cm-1 O-H libration band in bone mineral as evidence of burning: an application to the Oldowan Fauna of Wonderwerk Cave
3.00-3.15 Coffee break
3.15-3.45 Matthea Wiebe (Simon Fraser University)
Experimental strike-a-light fire-starting and its use as a starting point for identification of pyrogenic microdebitage in the archaeological record 
3.45-4.15 Géraldine Fiers (Ghent University)
Experimental alteration of flint used on prehistoric sites in NW Belgium
4.15-4.45 Éva Halbruker (Ghent University)
The impact of post depositional alterations on the preservation of microwear traces.
4.45-5.15 Hannah Herrick (Simon Fraser University)
Best practices for analyzing archaeological lime production
June 20th, 2019 - Room 10011, Blusson Hall, SFU Burnaby Campus
9.00-9.30 Rudy Reimer (Simon Fraser University)
Sourcing pre-contact lithic materials in British Columbia: integrating traditional knowledge and geochemistry.
9.30-10.00 Farid Rahemtulla (University of Northern British Columbia)
Smokehouse Island: an indigenous terra formed island on the Babine River, North Central British Columbia
10.00-10.30 Morgan Ritchie ( Sts’ailes & University of British Columbia)
Multi-scalar geoarchaeology study of Settlement of Riverine Islands and the formation of the Harrison-Chehalis Confluence, SW, British Columbia.
10.30-10.45 Coffee break
10.45-11.15 Francesco Berna (Simon Fraser University)
Microstratigraphic study of combustion features from short-lived intermittent occupation at a 1300-year-old Coast Salish rock shelter, British Columbia
11.15-11.45 Andrew Latimer (Simon Fraser University)
How Skwxwú7mesh Transformer Sites Convey and Encode Cultural and Geological Knowledge
11.45-12.15 Lucy Wilson and Brandi MacDonald
12.15-12.30 Organizing Committee Members
Concluding Remarks
12.30-1.30 Lunch break
Room TASC2 7530, TASC-2 Building, SFU Burnaby Campus
1.30-4.30 Soil Micromorphology Workshop
June 21st, 2019 Field Trip led by Rudy Reimer
“Geological features and the epic battle between a Squamish Nation warrior and a two-headed serpent”
9.00 Depart from SFU Burnaby Campus
10.15-10.30 Arrival and Visit Squamish Downtown
10.30-11.00 Transfer to Squamish Chief Parking Lot
11.00-11.30 Squamish Chief
11.30-11.45 Transfer to Murrin Park
11.45-12.30 Murrin Park
12.30-1.00 Transfer to Porteau Cove
1.00-2.00 Porteau Cove (Picnic Lunch)
2.00-2.30 Transfer to Whyte Cliff Park
2.30-3.15 Whyte Cliff Park
3.30 Drop Off at Lonsdale Quay - Public Transit Sea-Bus to Downtown Vancouver
4.00 Return to SFU Burnaby Campus


Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, SFU Burnaby Campus
Tuesday to Thursday 10am-12pm 1-4pm
    Ales Bajer and Lenka Lisá (Mendel University in Brno)
       “Archaeological Dark Earth as a marker of past landscape cultivation; case study from Moravia, Czech Republic”
     Megan Thibodeau and Francesco Berna  (Simon Fraser University)
        “Wood ash in the Oldowan layers of Wonderwerk cave, South Africa”
    Emma Betz (University of Oxford) and Matthew McCarty (University of British Columbia)
        “Stylistic and Scientific Analysis of a Fortuna Statuette”
    Valentina Caruso (University of Milan, Italy) et al.
         “Microstructural and chemical degradation of archaeological and modern human bones: a new application of synchrotron radiation µCT and FT-IR transmission”
    Emma Lowther (Simon Fraser University) et al.
        “Soil micromorphology analysis of the pre-contact site Smokehouse Island, Lake Babine, North Central British Columbia”
    Emily Purcell (Simon Fraser University) et al.
        “Using biogenic Silica Microremains to understand Anthropogenic Deposits in Sts’ailes Territory, BC”
    Nicholas Riddick (McMaster University) et al.
         “Multi-proxy paleoenvironmental record of coastal uplift and abandonment (6th c. CE) of Lechaion’s inner harbour, Corinth (Greece)”
     Irini Sifogeorgaki and Gerrit Dusseldorp (Leiden University)
        “ Stratigraphic assessment of Umhlatuzana Rock Shelter, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa”
     Earl Stefanyshen and Francesco Berna (Simon Fraser University)
        “Microstratigraphic protocol to assess the wildfire impact to buried archaeological sites”
     Lucy Wilson (University of New Brunswick – Saint John)
        “Geochemical Characterisation of Flint from the Vaucluse, Southern France”

Getting to and Around Simon Fraser University Burnaby Campus

DIG 2019 will take place at Simon Fraser University Burnaby Campus in the Vancouver metro area. The campus is situated on top of Burnaby Mountain and is well connected to public transport by Bus and SkyTrain. Taxis from the airport are $75 and from downtown Vancouver about $45. There are no Uber or Lyft services available in Metro Vancouver. For further information on how to reach SFU Burnaby mountain campus see here. The conference will take place in the Saywell Hall / Blusson Hall Complex on the Eastern Side of campus.

Conference accommodation

On-Campus Options

Special Group arrangement for DIG2019

Private Residence          Single room – Shared Bathroom             $41/night + Tax          

Other on-campus accommodations

Townhouse Quad Units 4 Single bedrooms + 2 bathrooms $165/night + Tax

Reservations for one of the on-campus accommodation options should be made online here.


Off-Campus Options

Participants wishing to arrange their own accommodation have several off-campus options. Some suggestions are listed here below and can be booked independently.

The Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver (5-star - 60 min by Bus 95)

Address: 845 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2K6

Phone: (604) 682-5511     https://www.suttonplace.com/hotels/sutton-place-hotel-vancouver-van


Executive Plaza Hotel Metro Vancouver (4-star - 30 min by Skytrain and Bus 145)

Address: 405 North Rd, Coquitlam, BC V3K 3V9

Phone: (604) 936-9399     http://www.executiveplazahotel.ca


Inn at The Quay (3-star - 45 min by Skytrain and Bus)

Address: 900 Quayside Dr, New Westminster, BC V3M 6G1

Phone: (604) 520-1776     https://www.innatwestminsterquay.com


Patricia Hotel (2-star - 50 min by Bus 95)

Address: 403 E Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1P6

Phone: (604) 255-4301     https://www.patriciahotel.ca