We acknowledge that we live and work on unceded Indigenous territories and we thank the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations for their hospitality.

BC VOICES: The Return of the Midden!

BC VOICES: The Return of the Midden!

July 14, 2016

Cover of the latest edition of The Midden (Vol. 46, No. 1 & 2)


The Mystery of the Saturna Island Figure Head: Grant Keddie


Historical and Archaeological Investigations of the D’arcy Island Leper Colony, 1891-1924: Diana French

The Return of the Midden!
by Jacob Earnshaw, President of the Archaeological Society of British Columbia (ASBC)

The above articles are archived issues from the Archaeological Society of British Columbia’s journal, The Midden. This year both the ASBC, and its journal turn 50, and to mark its anniversary we are releasing a new 2016 PDF issue of The Midden. Over the last three years it went on hiatus due to heavy demands on the volunteer editorial board. With its release we hope to regain past Society members and gain some new ones. While the above issues and the entire 50 year archive of The Midden will be released by the University of Victoria Libraries this fall, new issues will only be viewable by membership (for a period of six months).

We have attached a membership form below for those interested in joining the Society and supporting the work we do.

This issue (Vol. 46, No. 1 & 2, see Image 1 above) contains a number of articles about recent and ongoing research. From a summary of the Sechelt Archaeology Project from 2008 to the present (Bilton & Letham), to the application of digital enhancement techniques to rock art on the Central Coast (Skala), a collaborative effort between SFU and Treaty 8 to repurpose digital assets (McLaughlin), and the exploration of a new group of artifacts (Eldridge), the articles in this issue represents only a fraction of the excellent work taking place in BC (Table of Contents attached below).

For those unfamiliar with the ASBC, it was started in 1966 to pull together professionals and enthusiasts of archaeology within BC. Primary aims have always been to encourage the identification and protection of archaeological sites and material throughout BC. The best way to ensure these protections is through education. Over the years the ASBC has given the public and professionals access to lectures, tours, and publications. Recent years have seen the collapse of the Nanaimo Chapter and the Vancouver executive Branch, and the loss of many Society members. From the ashes, we rebuild.

It is our hope to grow the Society and The Midden to better reflect the renaissance of archaeological work going on in this province. Countless projects are filling in the gaps in knowledge about BC’s history, in many cases substantiating First Nations histories, clarifying historical narratives and shedding light on the human use of landscapes. First Nations are becoming ever-stronger partners in archaeological fieldwork and research and, as shown with the Tsilhqot’in decision, appear to be on the cusp of a far different relationship with settler society than they have known in the past. No doubt archaeology will be a necessary tool for all Nations in the years to come.

The last few decades have seen a transition towards greater corporatization of archaeology within the province. This has lead to great resources for archaeologists, and vast numbers of discoveries. While the ASBC embraces this powerhouse of archaeological research, it is also tied to its roots in public and academic research. We hope that the next 50 years will offer a position for the ASBC to engage the public and professionals in projects and research that represents both public/private funding, and settler/First Nations leadership.

It is also our hope to restart local chapters within cities throughout BC, renew the lecture series held in Vancouver and create a larger online presence. Here in Victoria our most pressing task is to restore the membership lost following Vancouver’s period of inactivity. We will continue to host monthly archaeology lectures at the University of Victoria between September and May of each year, as well as workshops, tours, and archaeological volunteering for members when possible!

We welcome any new submissions to the Midden for the fall issue. Any piece related to archaeology in British Columbia, or vicinity will be considered! Please contact asbcmidden@gmail.com.

Please, if you have interest in joining the Society membership is only 25$ for the year ($18 for students and non-waged individuals, and $35 for families). Attached is our membership form.