Research and teaching collections

The Department of Archaeology houses multiple research and teaching collections that can be used by students and researchers. Please see below for a list and brief description of our material collections. For access to these materials, please email the Laboratory Manager at 


The Department’s hominin fossil cast teaching collection is used in our palaeoanthropology, primatology and introductory bioanthropology courses. The collection includes cranial and post-cranial elements from a wide variety of hominin species.


The primatology teaching collection is used in our primatology and palaeoanthropology courses. It is comprised of both skeletal elements and casts.

Osteology and Forensic

The Department’s extensive osteology collection includes modern human skeletons as well as reference casts illustrating aging and pathologies (pictured above). The forensic teaching collections is comprised of recent human and animal remains incorporating and illustrating different pathological, traumatic, and taphonomic processes. Osteological material from both collections is used in our osteology, forensic, and advanced bioanthropology courses.


The zooarchaeology teaching and reference materials are a collection of recent and sub-fossil animal skeletons, invertebrate exoskeletons, and other animal hard tissues. This collection is used to support the Department’s zooarchaeology courses as well as to provide a comparative reference for researchers analyzing archaeological faunal material.

Depending on availability, bench space in the zooarchaeology lab may be available to non-departmental researchers. In certain circumstances, a bench fee may apply. Researchers interested in using the zooarchaeology comparative collection should contact the Laboratory Manager (


The historic collection is used for both research and teaching. It contains the major artifact categories encountered in North American historic sites. This collection is used in the historic archaeology and material culture courses.  It is open to researchers for use as a reference collection. Researchers interested in using the historic collection should contact the Laboratory Manager (

Laboratory Teaching

This is a collection of material (achaeobotanical, artifact casts, ceramics, faunal, lithics, typology, etc.) used to support a variety of laboratory and lecture-based courses. Maps, microfiche, and photo archives are also available for use in archaeological research and teaching upon request


This teaching and reference collection includes domesticated plants, seeds, and prepared whole and charred wood specimens developed to aid in the identification of plant remains from archaeological sites in British Columbia. This collection is used in archaeobotany courses. 


Our lithics collections is comprised of source samples from quarry sites located in British Columbia and around the world. Our Lithic Tool Type and Tool Production Collection was developed by Dr. Dennis Sandgathe and illustrates the various tool types and steps taken in their production. Both of these collections are used in our material culture and advanced lithic courses.