VANCOUVER — Researchers using a robotic underwater vehicle off British Columbia’s northern coast believe they may have found the earliest evidence of human habitation in Canada.
Unfortunately, the site that could date back almost 14,000 years lies beneath hundreds of metres of water in the ocean around the Haida Gwaii archipelago.
Archaeologist Quentin Mackie from the University of Victoria and his team returned earlier this month from a research trip to the archipelago, where they used the autonomous underwater vehicle to scan the sea floor in search of evidence of ancient civilization.
“We’re not quite ready to say for sure that we found something,” he said. “We have really interesting-looking targets on the seafloor that, as an archeologist, they look like they could be cultural.” Read more.
GATINEAU — The “sacred fire” at a 3,000-year-old aboriginal archaeological site in Gatineau was stamped out and six people arrested Thursday when Gatineau police moved in to evict protesters who had been camping out in teepees for the past month.
The city obtained an injunction Thursday afternoon to remove the protesters and gave them a 6:45 deadline to clear out.
But they refused.
Roger Fleury, one of the organizers, had gone to court to ask for more time to prepare a defence. When he returned to the site, which the aboriginal protesters say is sacred, with the news that he had failed, he didn’t apologize. Tossing the injunction into the “sacred fire” at the centre of the campsite, he said:
“We’ll go to jail.” Read more.
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper says one of the two lost ships from Sir John Franklin’s doomed Arctic expedition has been found.
Harper says it’s not known yet whether the ship is HMS Erebus or HMS Terror.
The find was confirmed on Sunday using a remotely operated underwater vehicle recently acquired by Parks Canada.
"This is truly a historic moment for Canada," Harper said.
The news comes a day after a team of archeologists found a tiny fragment from the expedition — which they say is the first Franklin artifact found in modern times. Read more.
VICTORIA - B.C.’s Archaeology Branch can no longer force homeowners to pay for archeological research on their properties.
The province has abandoned its appeal of a 2013 B.C. Supreme Court ruling that found the Archaeology Branch acted improperly in forcing Wendi Mackay of Oak Bay to pay for archaeological research on her property.
In her judgment, Justice Laura Gerow ruled that the Archaeology Branch’s treatment of Mackay, who lives at 2072 Esplanade on Willows Beach, constituted a nuisance. Read more.
Grant Aylesworth recognizes that many people think archaeology involves khaki-clad researchers digging up museum-bound artifacts in exotic locales.
That happens, but in Canada a growing number of professional archaeologists such as Mr. Aylesworth are actually consulting for natural resource companies on their Canadian projects. Recent Supreme Court of Canada rulings underscore the need for energy and other resource companies to ensure their projects will not interfere with aboriginal title or treaty rights. Studying a project site for its archaeological or cultural significance is now part of the regular permitting process. Read more.
We know people have lived in the New World Arctic for about 5,000 years. Archaeological evidence clearly shows that a variety of cultures survived the harsh climate in Alaska, Canada and Greenland for thousands of years. Despite this, there are several unanswered questions about these people: Where did they come from? Did they come in several waves? When did they arrive? Who are their descendants? And who can call themselves the indigenous peoples of the Arctic?
We can now answer some of these questions, thanks to a comprehensive DNA study of current and former inhabitants of Greenland, Arctic Canada, Alaska, the Aleutian Islands and Siberia, conducted by an international team headed by the Centre for GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen.
The results have just been published in the leading scientific journal Science. Read more.
Aboriginal groups are concerned that Gatineau is paving over a significant piece of history after a recent archaeological dig was filled in as part of a waterfront improvement project.
The dig on Rue Jacques-Cartier, close to the intersection of the Gatineau and Ottawa rivers, found evidence of native encampments about 3,000 to 3,500 years ago. It ended July 10, according to the Ville de Gatineau.
On Thursday morning, all evidence of an archaeological site was gone. The area was a construction site, covered in dirt. Read more.
Canada has released underwater images of the world’s most northernly shipwreck – a three-masted merchant ship that went down 161 years ago after becoming trapped in Arctic ice.
The Canadian Armed Forces and Parks Canada produced the footage over six days, lowering a remotely operated HD camera through a hole in the sea ice, to capture images of a barnacle-encrusted hull and anchor from the ocean floor.
“It’s rare to have such a detailed view of a shipwreck from 1853,” Jonathan Moore, a senior underwater archaeologist for Parks Canada, said in a statement. “We anticipate more discoveries and insights as we pore over the collected information.” Read more.