Archaeological Dig Next Door

Archeological Site

Archaeological Site

Two weeks ago, I was wakened by voices that seemed to be coming from just outside my bedroom window.  Startled, and feeling a bit vulnerable, I got up to find a group of about 5-6 people in the front yard of the house next door.  I went out to investigate and the leader of the group came over to verify the boundaries of the property next door. (Our two properties are probably the only two in all of Vancouver that do not have a fence or hedge between our front lawns.) Robin, the leader, wearing a Simon Fraser University T-shirt, explained that he was heading up an archeological dig of the front lawn of the property, and introduced his crew, composed of members of several First Nations.  They had divided the lawn into quadrants and were setting up to take samples from each quadrant.

First Dig

First Dig

The house, which had been in the same family for 100 years, was sold last year to a woman named Dorothy.  Apparently, she wants to tear down the existing house and build something closer to the street, in the location of the existing front yard.  Because this area was inhabited by First Nations people of the Indian Arm – the Squamish and the Musqueam, the City of Vancouver requires an archaeological survey before any building applications are accepted.

Second Site

Second Site

Unfortunately for the new owner, the team, which grew to 9-10 by the end of the first week, found two sites of significance containing stone implements and other evidence of settlement. The team is now working on a report. Then comes the “long process” of negotiations with the First Nations and the City of Vancouver.

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