Archaeology Field Course Begins in Slocan Valley, BC

Caitlin Tuten-Rhodes '12 excavating at the Slocan Narrows Pithouse Village.
Caitlin Tuten-Rhodes '12 excavating at the Slocan Narrows Pithouse Village.

During the summer of 2011, 13 students from Hamilton College and Selkirk College will attend a six-week intensive archaeology field immersion course in the prehistory, history, ethnography and language of the indigenous peoples of the interior Pacific Northwest.  We'll be publishing reports of their progress periodically over the next several weeks.


The students along with Assistant Professor of Anthropology Nathan Goodale, Visiting Instructor of Anthropology Alissa Nauman, and Teaching Assistants Erica Kowsz ’11, Maddy Gunter ’11, and Lisa Smith (Ph.D. candidate, University of Montana) will be conducting archaeological field work at the Slocan Narrows Housepit Village in southeastern British Columbia.  

During the course students will be trained in archaeological field methods, Sinixt nselchin (Salish language), and take a field trip to the Mid-Fraser Valley.  During the first week of the course the students began to excavate at a pithouse village that emerged approximately 3,000 years ago with occupations extending to the contact period.

Liz Scholz ’13 remarked “while she was a little intimidated she enjoyed learning excavation techniques.” Extensive vegetation removal was required before excavation began and Adrien Hilmy ’13 noted that “he enjoyed being a lumberjack for a couple days.” Sam Doyon ’12 enjoyed learning survey techniques and “operating the total station.”

Next week the students will shift gears and immerse themselves in the native language of the area, nselchin, with a five-day intensive course taught by the Salish School of Spokane.  Chelsea Lewis ’13 “expects that the course will be exciting and a nice change of pace from the field.”

Back to Top