Recognizing a Possible Site

There are more than 46,000 archaeological sites currently recorded in British Columbia with many more being added to the provincial inventory every year. For this reason, it is very likely that you will encounter an archaeological site during your lifetime either knowingly or unknowingly.

The remnants of British Columbia’s earliest cultures are represented in today’s landscape by a wide variety of site types, most of which are related to art, habitations, resource gathering and production, tool making, and traditional ceremonial or ritual activities. Some sites that may be immediately visible to a non-archaeologist include:

  • Rock art, including pictographs and petroglyphs.
  • Surface features such as depressions created by former habitations, earthen fortifications, rock cairns, fish traps and clam gardens.
  • Artifacts that have become visible on the land surface owing to erosion or recent land altering activity. These may be produced in a variety of materials such as stone, bone, antler, wood, or shell.
  • Buried cultural remains that may be sighted in a cutbank, excavation, eroded shoreline, or other exposed deposit.

Please do not disturb any archaeological remains that you may encounter. It is also very important that you report your discovery following the Procedures for Reporting Finds or the Procedures for Reporting Human Remains.

For more information, please see: