Archaeology in British Columbia

British Columbia’s heritage includes archaeological sites – the physical evidence of how and where people lived in the past.

For 98 percent of the time people have lived in British Columbia, no written records were made. Archaeological sites and oral tradition are the only vestiges of a rich history extending back at least 14,000 years. This resource is of great value to First Nations, local communities and the general public. We need to protect and conserve this rich but fragile legacy.

The Provincial Government recognizes the importance of archaeological sites through the Heritage Conservation Act.  Under this Act, the Archaeology Branch is responsible for maintaining and distributing archaeological information and deciding if permits can be issued to allow development to take place within protected sites.

One of the most famous archaeological sites in British Columbia is Kwäday Dän Ts'ìnchi, the frozen remains of an ancient person at the edge of a glacier in British Columbia's Tatshenshini-Alsek Park.

For information on reporting archaeological finds and sites, please see: