Salt Spring Island Archives

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The Long Harbour Dig

John Stepaniuk & John Crofton

Accession Number Interviewer
Date Location
Media tape Audio CD mp3
ID 92 Topic




Unknown Speaker 0:00
was extremely rapid. And it only not only worried the, the the local people, but it also worried the senior government and our provincial government. And in fact, the government asked, you know, to introduce the 10 acre freeze in here in order to sort of slow down this. What I'm trying to say is that the the kind of developments that were taking place, a lot of things in the process were disappearing. And there is a bit of a fragile land or the unique areas or the areas that ordinarily would have been possible to preserve in the haste, these areas were would have gone by the wayside. They don't trust mandate is protect and preserve. As we progressed, the we have dealt basically with the land use issues, and that is the basic zoning and and subdivision bylaws and community plan. And community plan, there's a grand opening, you know, on here to say that what we would like to have in our community to preserve and those ideals, and there's no argument that we all wish to have a beautiful vistas unique areas for the flora and fauna on the MD, we want to see the preservation of some beautiful beaches and, and little islands Around this beautiful trust area. Trust area is stretches from Salzburg a property called violence, right up to Denman Island. Let's Katie, and amongst those little islands, there are 450, little dotted blue gems in this in this Arctic archipelago. And, and each one is quite unique. Now, for instance, in long Harbor, we have a little island, you know this already? Well, it's the wrong thing to say this time of the year where we have a snow on the ground, but actually, it's a tropical island and whether cactus grows. So what I'm, what the thoughts are, the reason I'm saying to you, all this, is that there is a part of the legislation that has been passed by the municipal government, and that is to give the mandate to the trust further, to set up a fun Trust Fund. Now, this is not entirely been in its in place, we have passed by legislation, but the mechanics and administration of that trust fund is still not well defined. And the trust fund is basically would be much the same as any other many other trust funds that operate in Great Britain, in Ontario, right here on San Juan Islands, beautiful islands in here and adjacent to our to the south of us. But they trust their island trust fund is something a little different, because it is deals with the the chain of islands, right here in this most unique area in the world. I am not a world traveler, but I was under His Majesty's forces. So they gave me an opportunity to travel in various parts. And I assure you that I never seen anything more beautiful than our chain of these islands in here. So in order to set up this trust fund, I thought the most appropriate place would be to first is to speak to the people who are concerned about the history of this area. And and somehow those ones who collect the concern about the heritage buildings, heritage sites, and this sort of ties in and thinking in that line, I thought I would approach you to seek an idea and and cooperation, how we jointly could start up the process. The actual funding of the trust is going to be down the road maybe two years from now. But But I would like to plant a few seeds among ourselves to see whether it is really in fact worthwhile to pursue that and also find a way how we can achieve these goals, how we can administer and who should be the participants, not necessarily that the trustees should be the participant, but somehow people from the community ought to be on the board of directors. So in order to care of that, and of course, we would like to see that this will be a perpetual protection. And once we have a studies already made of the ecological sites, we have numerous little islands designated. When I see a previous Trustees with me on here on island, Ruby Alton, who is with her hiking clients, and nature, nature organization, Marissa wonder who was with us for many, many years as a collector of sort of under defined certain areas, and there was a band study done. So we know what these areas are. Now, once we set up the trust, then we set up the priorities, how to achieve how to obtain those areas, how to administer. Also, there are people who offer to bequeath their property in perpetuity to to the community. Also, there's opportunity to make easements, just the right to enter for people across our property, inlay or maybe lower taxes to the property owner. So there are many, many ways that you could care for this for the land and also make use of it. So I only have a short time. So what I would like to ask you, is not to come up in here for a decision or any specific just to think about and discuss it in your group. How, and what method would you suggest one of the ideas, the reason that I came over, basically, to speak to you, one of the idea was that in order to go ahead, you got to find out where you failed. And we thought that if there was a possible through the archives, through your organization, is to make a progress, kind of progressive evolution to say, of the Gulf Islands, so we could demonstrate and illustrate what has taken place where we've been, what has taken place and where we are going. And now, if we are in fact, entering into a really major changes in here on that, we talked about changes in transportation, we you can see the kind of housing that is changes in in gauges, the certain density areas, does a fairly size good size subdivisions are developing. So whether we like it or not, the changes are upon us. Now the question is, How soon do we want to act to identify those areas, and to set up the trust fund and start slowly acquiring either buy, purchase, Buy Lease, buy whatever the method we can devise? And of course, the role of the historic society would be is to somehow would be the first group No, that would be kind of a prominent in the affairs of the island. And, and hopefully give us some suggestions and guidance in the coming about with this sort of proposal. So thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and I hope I didn't bore you and

Unknown Speaker 8:51
John Kraft. The focus of attention, as it already has been, will be on a video documentary made on the SFU archaeological site, or dig that took place at long Harbor during the summer of 1987 and 1988. There are two properties involved with the dig. The main one is property belonging to Brian Harding, sitting in the back seat, and the other to the highways department. There was Brian Harding, who invited Dr. Roy Carlson of SFU archaeology to conduct a dig on his property. And he and I worked together during the last two years to organize the production of the video, which hopefully you will soon see. I worked on the big and mighty Mavic. Seven and visited the site frequently. But during 1988 During that time, I frequently met people who wonder just what sort of club will come out of all the work that is being done. And I remember to Albertans who came up to me If one said rather aggressively, I don't understand what you're doing here. If you're digging for oil, I could agree with you. But all this digging around for a bunch of old stones and bones seems crazy to me. But a few reasons have been given for digging up the past. The one is that this is all part of an important search for knowledge for humanity, for an understanding of our humanity, or is one way to put it, we must come to appreciate and protect the ancient past as part of man's collective heritage. Well, no matter what reason anybody they have, for an interested in archaeology, I personally found it fascinating and a lot of fun. While I was on the dig, to discover how many people live in long harbor up to 4000 years ago. The video you will see, will describe and explain the archaeological techniques that were used on the dig, and will also explain the artifacts and the features uncovered. Before showing this film, by way of introduction, I would like first to give a very brief and general summary of DC post prehistory, and in particular the south coast. My sources of information are the books and papers that will be on display on the table over there during the break. And also another important source, of course, probably were the archaeologists I was working with, in particular David Johnston, who was in charge of from Simon Fraser. Well, let me review as I say very briefly, are some of the prehistory of are close by prehistory. I've been before by definition, both before written records. Since the early emblems of our coast lacked true writing. The transition between prehistory and history occurred here 200 years ago, with the first recorded arrival of Europeans. This does not mean that the Indians did not have a history. But this was contained in rich oral traditions, which were not recorded until after a European context. As you may know, from the handout that I just passed around, I have prepared. Prepared people, you'll see that people have arrived first of all arrived here on the coast about 12 to 11,000 years ago. This was a time of name, the major population expansion that took place throughout the North and South America, through North and South America, and it was triggered by the end of the last ice age and the opening of new routes south from the Yukon. And before that time, the northwest Pacific coast from Alaska to Olympia, Washington, is covered with placing lice up to two kilometers and kilometers thick. Archaeologists seem to be generally agree that people first reached North America sometime after the appearance of modern humans in Africa or in Eurasia about 35 to 45,000 years ago, and that their main entry route was by names on the Bering Strait. Some discoveries in the Yukon on the southern United States suggest that human habitation may have existed 20 to 30,000 years ago, there's areas but there's a great deal of uncertainty about this theory. However, because of the massive Sites found, there is no uncertainty about the chariot of 12,000 to 11,000 years ago as being the time when human beings began to occupy areas in great numbers from Alaska to the southern tip of South America. As one writer has discussed this, describe this phenomenon in relation to BC. He said the first humans in this province took part of one of the greatest human inventions of all, the colonization of the entire Western Hemisphere, almost 1/3 of the Earth's land surface. This writer also says that this completed mankind's expansion around the globe, with the exception of oceanic and polar areas. The big problem for archaeologists and trying to link link our West Coast. The northwest Pacific Coast with Asia is that all the migration routes that would have existed that long ago are now underwater. However, they hold that microblade technology seems to have originated in Asia, and then spread to Alaska, the Yukon and finally douar This technology was probably migration born, or following closely on what is known as the pebble. Pebble to tradition. Another conclusion reached by archaeologists is that these early migrants to our coasts, achieved a successful adaption adaptation to environmental resources and establish the basis for later high levels of cultural achievement early found among food collectors that as hunter gatherers are the world over. And this conclusion was based on the fact that our prehistoric ancestors in DC, sustainable, stable, comfortable and creative human environment for 10s of 1000s of people over 1000s of years. And on the handout, I have listed several development developmental stages for Northwest Coast cultural history. For the sake of simplicity, I would like now just to review them briefly in three phases, in a slightly different order from that shown on the handout. The first phase can be called the early phase for the period from 5000 to 3000 years ago. The second is the middle phase from 3000 to 1000 years ago, and the third is the late fees from 1000 ad to the present. Before the early things began, tool technology changed over a 2000 year period, from micro blades and Flintstones to include ground stone tools. firecracker rocks, and charcoal remains are an evidence of the sights and explore, but knows, shellfish or other former remains. In other words, there are no garbage dumps around the sites that existed before 5000 years ago. And so the implication from this is that people living during this period were highly nomadic. It was not until 5000 years ago when the early phase began, that shell midden deposits, and other than some cooking on a large and varied scale to replace human burials such as one I found it Longhorn are also an evidence that early phase sites along with the breeders a beat round stone tools. lesson was that when fortified cities were first being built in such biblical centers as Jericho and Jerusalem, as well as other Middle East areas. Our prehistoric ancestors along the DC Coast started to become settled in small communities. middle phase sites show a continuation of ground stone and bone technology with more emphasis on rolling stone and bone toys, brown stone knives and heavy animals or have a stone such as those that will be on display here.

Unknown Speaker 17:44
I did the video documentary to come. David Johnston refers to the cultures of this period as the final beach and marble and he goes into some detail regarding the artifacts fathered long harder pertaining to these cultures. And finally, the lake phase is characterized by a move to large structures to habitation sites for defensive purposes. sites were special to gathering activities such as those with shellfish, sea mammals, fish, particularly herring a lot Harbor, deer and berries and artifacts continue to be ground stone and both tools chisels ads shepstone arrowheads are everywhere. A new items include stone bows, harpoons, with lashing holes and an increased use of obsidian. For chip stone tools. The presence of obsidian indicates that long distance trading took place during this time. Here a source for obsidian was in Oregon. And the presence of fortified sites arrowhead etc implies that intensive competition existed between tribes and territorial rights. And that many people had strong interest in gaining power and domination over others. So in other words, they started catching up to civilize people about 1000 or so years ago. Now I'd like to hear hopefully, what a professional has to say about the log Harvard did.

Unknown Speaker 19:32
Be just a bit of a time lapse while this catch up to the video

Unknown Speaker 19:52
thought he had too long for the beginning of the video.

Unknown Speaker 20:47
Stop this one

Unknown Speaker 21:02
can you change the machine what I just what I want to do is

Unknown Speaker 21:26
the volume Did you watch the boy yeah

Unknown Speaker 21:44
set aside for later artifacts and volumes are cleaned prior to Identification and Analysis material on the way earring is the most commonly represented species dog sea mammals and a variety of species are also represented David jumped in the project

Unknown Speaker 22:09
was identified peers cultural components the oldest one dating between 3900 years ago and 2200 years ago the common beach area gets testified by the side effect was showing a fundamental shift to the second time period at approximately 1000 years ago was probably a late Marvel nine period this tip applies by this and it is characterized by a wider variety of types including improved on use and is diversified by mostly fishing implements on a beach, we then find the project into the vendor file or severes perhaps find me work soapstone pieces called what this one is probably rain fragments. Here we have a ship late preform into general shape prior to the ground into a projectile point for a nice

Unknown Speaker 24:06
shirt flake pizza is removed from the car either during the production of other artifacts or simply for removal. For sharp edge

Unknown Speaker 24:34
preform This one's shale. You can see it starting to attain the characteristic shape of a ground slate

Unknown Speaker 24:52
the younger components we have different types of artifacts. There Have a crown which was latched on to a wooden shank and be used for catching medium sized fish and we have a bow from the power this would have been paired with another bow which would have been the mirror image of this with last year this group here on top of the harpoon in this little channel here and in the blade bed between the two are what abreast of a crowd flight arming tip such as this one here

Unknown Speaker 26:06
we have a another type of Pelican this one is also bilaterally barbed this large a variety of probably used to the SEAL team

Unknown Speaker 26:24
this is the base fragment of a net needle the cord was lack of wind through here and use to pair

Unknown Speaker 26:43
here we have a pair of neck way that have been perforated for the ride pads to use

Unknown Speaker 27:02
here are a pair of fitting microplate needs were shipped off of a prepared core to produce bronze straight pieces extremely sharp edge knees were probably handcrafted needs repairing search

Unknown Speaker 27:36
seems to be seems like a hammer to drive off to the production process of either artifacts at the edge were around here that are over here we have a sandstone which is ground along the edge the seller is a good upgrade. And this was used to inside and ions into bone and stone artifacts were especially useful when it came to sectioning

Unknown Speaker 28:22
this next piece as a call through which was produced through the action on a similar side to this just running back and forth and upgrading away the stone this piece is a stone gaming piece preferably for a slogging game champ. It's a unique piece to the site and as far as I know make to the heritage

Unknown Speaker 29:06
This is a bone wedge you split bone which had previously been searching through the battered here come into contact with the hammer stone and broken

Unknown Speaker 29:31
neck we have an upgrading so this is the most common article on the site. The looks like a nicely shaped most of the readers here are found on irregular pieces of siltstone in the past, but it's used not unlike a honing stone would be today to produce Brown and brown Next to that is partially completed from 42 was intended to be a project down on the on this side it hadn't been grounded off. Shape has been produced to grindy and it started to have been sharpened and babbled on this side. When completed, it probably would have resembled the uniform graphite point which would have been years as an army

Unknown Speaker 30:41
the site is excavated layer by layer, we have enough younger the public to reveal older ground so, these are then contour map to record how the site built up over time. Long harbor sight is a typical coastal shell with a statue of rapid profile shows a number of layers. These distinguished on the basis of the relative amount of shell rock, Ash and soil found within the lower most living surfaces exposed at the bottom of the profile. It contains a number of postal that once supported a structure. This sloping surface at the back of the site was covered by a thick lens before shell. Probably representing downslope jumping activity after the site have been abandoned for some time. At another part of the site, excavations were carried out in seconds deposits reading just over three meters in depth. Here the shells are more numerous and in different layers, accounting for the great debt. As this transporters on a march that deposits are damp and muddy and must be wet screen. Wet screening washes the soapy covering up the larger material than the matrix allowing for bone that artifacts to be identified.

Unknown Speaker 32:17
It was hoped that the proximity of the freshwater Mars would allow for the preservation of wooden artifacts. However, the seasonal rising and falling of the water table made for poor preservation conditions and indeed helped to break down the farm that were preserved above the water table. As the seasons excavations draw to a close we have been given a brief look into the past of Indian to fish in the gathered wild food foods in this area. The witches Lab works to provide more fascinating insight into the lives of the prehistoric people of long part.

Unknown Speaker 33:27
Want to apologize first of all for these lines down here that's not on the film. But they resolve the tracking problem on the VCR which right doctor

Unknown Speaker 33:48
what happened

Unknown Speaker 34:01
wrap up the regular chat to check me out on the ritual to recall that there was something defective about consoling changed to a TV set up as a VCR and I wasn't sure what to do with the show longer screws. I want to mention that the this becomes the property of the Sultan Island Historical Society and will be made available at no cost to schools, to the Knowledge Network to service clubs and to any one individual or group of individuals who may be interested in the subject. I wonder if Brian did you have anything you'd like to say about plans

Unknown Speaker 34:47
for the future?

Unknown Speaker 34:59
Just mentioned In this big slab it

Unknown Speaker 35:08
will be a single data source. So we invited Dr Carson and Pete Johnson two other students over there's many of these sites storm it would be a possibility if other people are interested to contact the University but GBC very inexpensive to get started what we did John by organized a group of volunteers first we provided a combination some students they organize volunteers and training

Unknown Speaker 36:12
after the first year I decided to run a summer school mainly UC Davis from that semester students receive credits David Johnston himself

Unknown Speaker 36:33
come out in thesis to be a society

Unknown Speaker 36:44
that a lot of people now contribute towards this project first time on the scale and the large one of the three years that we've seen the smallest I believe that was recovered from these quickly made variable size museum pieces of this history project

Unknown Speaker 37:29
will be made available to both the video and the to the children

Unknown Speaker 37:42
it was rented most of the end of Long harbor

Unknown Speaker 38:04
you can always tell when a site is designed the shells would land up from a beach which is legally assigned to another common features everyone sees are the soldiers above a beach Long Beach. Ryan's place in the water from the harbor house is another written site you can see all the signs of the property also fresh water has to be available that is road beaches another example of a typical site for those things we

Unknown Speaker 38:43
usually use treats and monitors.

Unknown Speaker 38:59
Many questions

Unknown Speaker 39:10
what I'm going to put on display is an example of all of the above has been passed by the state and just what has to be done if you do see a potential site or if you fail to follow the subject to

Unknown Speaker 39:31

Unknown Speaker 39:37
with long harbor and one of the places that kind of borderline historical memory because I worked on several spots on the Ganges

Unknown Speaker 39:53
Well, I think that's going to be the thesis of David. Johnston's paper he's As he believes that Lacava had various other places, these were permanent Iran sites. And rather than just sort of seasonal tendencies.

Unknown Speaker 40:11
The other thing besides maybe the first structure, and this is kind of postponed just the last few days. The other thing I'd like to mention is this video was made possible by grace.

Unknown Speaker 40:54
Very important thing to do, will be made available to the school, because

Unknown Speaker 41:06
I might mention by inviting Grace Berg, who's on the school board to agenda this afternoon. So as you can see, on behalf of the school board this however, she and the rest of the school board, it's probably our very busy these days are the Goshi ated salaries of teachers and that sort of thing. So what I have done is I've suggested to two grades that are should like private showing up to the school board and I'll be happy to do so. Because I do think this is such a new sector.

Unknown Speaker 41:57
College, oh, Salzburg college and except for a small area from Burgoyne paid off

Unknown Speaker 42:15
well, this is why people are still traveling. So as I mentioned, it's Boris Johnson. This is your permanent, you're also what the word nomadic. This is indicated by the Raj movement that his grandmother said that they were always down there.

Unknown Speaker 42:42
And this is this is just a new theory that has been developed to explore more.

Unknown Speaker 42:53
Control about the 1960s when archeology along the US coast, started to become very commodified in the 60s and 70s. Picking up on what's going

Unknown Speaker 43:19
on questions during the break, I'll put off the books

Unknown Speaker 43:44
thank you very, very much, John. Bryan.

Unknown Speaker 43:54
It's most enjoyable and I think it's wonderful that we're setting aside some of our history and keeping doesn't disappear over to the provincial archives and it doesn't disappear. Period. I think that's wonderful. Now, I'm sure it's a tea and coffee to prepare.