Dig It: Consider joining the Archaeological Society of British Columbia

There are a surprising number of resident archeologists in Kamloops.

Local archeologists can be found working at First Nations organizations, acting as independent consultants, teaching archeology at Thompson Rivers University or working for engineering or archeology consulting companies.

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This time of year also finds an influx of archeologists to the area as field programs in the B.C. Interior ramp up for the summer season.

Earlier this year, several of the local archeologists (many of whom are contributors to the Dig It column), formed a Kamloops chapter of the Archaeological Society of British Columbia (ASBC).

The ASBC was founded in 1966 with the aim of bringing together archeology professionals, researchers and enthusiasts to share knowledge and promote the preservation of archeology sites and heritage in the province.

Archeology is considered a non-renewable resource as there are a finite number of archeological sites in the province that, once destroyed, are irreplaceable.

The ASBC has always maintained that educating the general public about the value of B.C.’s archeological heritage is one of the most effective means of preserving the threatened resource.

The goals of the society are twofold: to encourage the protection of archeological resources in the province and to provide lectures and publications about archeology to educate British Columbians.

The society publishes a quarterly journal about archeology called The Midden (uvic.ca/midden). Consulting archeologists, First Nations organizations, archeology students and avocational archeologists contribute to the journal as a platform for sharing new ideas, interesting finds and research results.

The Midden provides a way to record and share the growing body of knowledge about B.C.’s dynamic past.

The ASBC membership is comprised of a variety of professionals, students and archeology enthusiasts. The primary chapter of the ASBC is based in Victoria, but there are members from across B.C., other Canadian provinces and the United States.

Membership is not restricted to practicing archeologists. Anybody with a general interest in B.C. archeology and history is welcomed and encouraged to join.

The Kamloops chapter is growing. If you are interested in learning more about the ASBC or joining as a local member, go online to asbc.ca.

The Kamloops chapter of the ASBC has several events planned, so stay tuned for more details.

You’ll find several members at the Kamloops Regional Farmers’ Market this Saturday.

Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc has generously loaned the society a sample of artifacts for educational purposes.

The market runs from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the 200-block of St. Paul Street in downtown Kamloops.

Come find us this weekend to learn more about local artifacts and share stories about Kamloops archeology and prehistory.

Phoebe Murphy is a Kamloops-based archeologist. Interested in more? Go online to republicofarchaeology.ca. Dig It is KTW’s regularly published column on the history beneath our feet in the Kamloops region. A group of nine professional archeologists living and working in the area contribute columns to KTW’s print edition and online at kamloopsthisweek.com.

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