The Seymour Valley Community Archaeology Project
The Seymour Valley Community Archaeology Project is an undertaking of the anthropology department at Capilano University, with support from Metro Vancouver. The geographic focus of the project is within the lower potion of the Seymour Valley known as the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve (LSCR).
The Human Past in the Seymour Valley
Humans have been active in the Seymour Valley for a very long time, in a variety of ways. First Nations utilized the land and resources for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans and those of European descent. Several decades of substantial logging began in the late 1800s, and the use of the valley as a domestic water supply began in the early 1900s with the construction of a dam and water lines. The infamous Lillooet Cattle Trail was constructed through the area in the 1870s, residential settlement in the area began more than 100 years ago, as did small scale mining and ranching. Recreational cabins, trail and road building, and commercial enterprises such as stores and teahouses added to the kinds of activities occurring in that part of the valley now known as the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve during the early part of the 20th century. By the mid 1900s, much of the commercial activity had been curtailed, residential and recreational use had been restricted, habitation structures were demolished and the area was closed to the public, only to re-open for public use again in 1987.
The Seymour Valley Archaeology Project
The Seymour Valley Archaeological Project focuses on the identification, recording, and analysis of remains of early 20th century logging and settlement.
Specific Objectives of the project include:
- Documenting heritage resources
- Contributing to a more complete picture of local history
- Training university students in archaeological methods
- Public education on archaeology and local history
Seymour Valley Archaeology Project Activities
- Fieldwork, including the identification and excavation of archaeological sites, occurs for seven weeks each May and June. The bulk of the fieldwork is undertaken by 15 university students enrolled in Capilano University's Archaeology Field School.
- Public Education occurs year round. K-12 on-site activities and week-end public excavation days occur during May and June. Speaking engagements to community groups by the project director occur throughout the year.
- Laboratory and documentary research, by the project director and student volunteers occurs year round.
- More than 150 university students have been trained in archaeological field methods. Many have gone on to careers in archaeology
- Television programs, newspaper articles, public excavation days, museum exhibits, community lectures, and K-12 school site visits and activities have exposed many thousands of people to archaeology and local history
- Several publications and presentations at scholarly conferences have exposed the project to hertiage specialists throughout North America
- Research has been considered in Metro Vancouver planning
- Several heritage sites have been recorded to provincial archaeology standards
- More than 2,000 artifacts have been recovered from early 20th century residential sites and logging camps for scholarly study and display
For further information, contact the project director:
2055 Purcell Way
North Vancouver, BC V7J 3H5