Archaeological Sites in British Columbia & Other Dates

Posted on October 8, 2010


(Note:  BP means before the present, with the present being standardized at 1950.  These dates, when not taken from historical data*, are the result by and large of radiocarbon dating and are approximations only.)

30,000 BP – Beringia settled

  • Beringia is a territory comprising parts of Siberia, Alaska, the Yukon and a now-lost area beneath the Bering Sea.

17,000 BP – Beringians begin colonization of the Americas.

  • Using watercraft, and skirting the remains of the continental Laurentide icesheet, America`s first human settlers follow the western coastline of the Americas all the way to the southern tip of South America.

12,000 BP – Glaciers retreat from B.C.

11,000 – 10,500 BP – Women (probably) develop agriculture for the first time in the Middle East.

10,500 BP – Goatfell complex

Intermontane stemmed point tradition – This site in the Kootenays is related to other sites further south and is associated with a hunting way of life.

§        Intermontane stemmed point tradition, fluted point tradition and pebble tool tradition are classifications that archeologists use to refer to different ways of manufacturing tools found in different places by people often pursuing different ways of life.  There are many more such classifications that refer to tools found in other times and other places.

10,500 BP – Charlie Lake Cave

  • Fluted point tradition – This site is located near the town of present-day Ft. St. John. It is associated with the hunting of prehistoric bison.

10,000 BP – Skogland’s Landing

  • Pebble tool tradition – This site is on Massett Inlet on Haida Gwai.

9,700 BP – Namu Site

  • Pebble tool tradition – This site is located near the mouth of Burke Channel on the central coast. This setting indicates a reliance on fishing and sea mammal hunting. Locations like this and the Skogland’s Landing site suggest that these people had efficient watercraft and spread down the coast 10,000 years ago or more. At Namu, evidence of trade with peoples at the head of the Bella Coola River goes back 10 to 9 thousand years (obsidian.) This site has been continuously occupied to the present day.

9000 BP – Milliken Site

  • Pebble tool tradition – This site is associated with the salmon fishery in the Fraser Canyon. Although the soil conditions have destroyed any direct evidence of salmon bones, charred chokeberry pits have been found at this site. This fruit ripens at the time of the salmon runs in the Fraser Canyon.

8000 BP – Glenrose Cannery Site

  • Pebble tool tradition – This site on the lower Fraser is associated with deer and elk remains. Although the Fraser River is a major salmon stream, it may have been that this particular site was one of several used by these people for different purposes. They may have fished elsewhere.

8000 BP – Bear Cove Site

  • Pebble tool tradition – Many sea mammal remains. Not at the site of a salmon stream.
  • Establishment of permanent winter villages on the coast perhaps some 6,500 years ago.  (No direct evidence.

5500 BP – Sumerians invent writing

5500 BP – Shell middens appear on B.C. coast

  • Shell middens – essentially accumulations of ancient garbage – represent permanent villages

5000 BP – Wheel appears in Mesopotamia

5000 BPBluejackets Creek Site

  • Northwest Coast cultural traits are identified with this site.

o       Along the coast, from 5,000 years ago to the present, 90% of the protein in the diet was from the sea – by inference, mostly salmon.

4500 BP – Construction begins on Egyptian pyramids.

4500 BP – Mauer Pit House Site

  • Pit houses are associated with historical Thompson culture.

4300 BP – Baker Site

  • Thompson pit houses found at this site.
4250 BP – Stonehenge built

o       An increase in the quantity and quality of specialized woodworking tools between 4000 and 3000 years ago may be associated with the development of the cedar plank house which was found historically on the coast.

3500 BP – Status culture well-established on the NW Coast

Dentalia shell veil

3500 BP – Dentalia shells traded to Saskatchewan

  • In North America, these shells are found only on the NW Coast.

3000 BP – Paul Mason Site

  • A complete plank-house village similar to historical villages was found at this site.

 2150 BP – Great Wall of China built
 1950 BP – Christian era begins
  1500 BP – Saxons begin invasion of Britain
              • The Anglo-Saxon claim for Britain dates from this time. It is not an aboriginal claim, since the Celts were there before them.
950 BP – Chinese invent gunpowder

 735 BP – Magna Carta signed
 458 BP – Columbus reaches West Indies

 176 BP – Juan Perez encounters the Haida

 175 BP – American Revolution begins

101 BP – Colony of Vancouver Island founded

92 BP – Colony of British Columbia founded

83 BP – Canadian Confederation

79 BP – B.C. joins Confederation

36 BP – First World War begins

1 BP – First Nations and Japanese given vote in B.C.