Simon Fraser University archeology professor Bob Muir displays one of about 80 unique tablets found at their field-school site at the Puntledge RV Campground.

SFU archeology students discover tablets that could be 2,000 years old

Discovery was made at Puntledge RV Campground in Courtenay

In his more than 30 years as an archeologist, Bob Muir admitted he has never seen a site quite like the one the Simon Fraser University professor is exploring with his students.

The area, located at the Puntledge RV Campground off Condensory Road, while extremely rich in midden – a deposit containing shells, animal bones and other items that indicate the site of human settlement – contains a find which Muir best described as “a little mystifying.”

Throughout the course of their six-week field school, Muir, along with a fellow SFU professor and 21 third-and fourth-year students, have uncovered around 80 tablets and pebbles at their 100x120m exploration site on the traditional territory of the K’ómoks First Nation.

“I’ve never heard of (them) – I was a little skeptical at first. I was in disbelief; I couldn’t believe we found them,” he noted.

Muir described the pebbles or tablets as flat pieces of stone with images sketched on one side – symbols which could be interpreted as a tree, feather or a symbol of fertility.

“In some ways, this site is very unusual.”

The “well-preserved and pristine” area is only one of three sites within the Comox Valley where the tablets with intricate designs have been found in the province.

The site was initially discovered last year following a barbecue held by the K’ómoks First Nation. Shell was discovered when a roasting pit was dug for the event, Muir explained.

“They thought, ‘Uh oh, there’s a site here,’ and we figured out how large it really is.”

As the students began digging for well-preserved shell and animal bone, they discovered many bone needles used for fishing, harpoon points, herring rakes, and sewing or leather work. They also found preserved deer, elk, dog bones and skulls, but arguably the most exciting discovery was the tablets.

Muir estimated they are about 2,000 years old.

While he said it’s difficult to see any connection between the symbols and patterns on the tablets as some are hard to see with the eye, all of the items excavated will be taken back to SFU for documentation and photos.

While the field school wraps up Friday, students will spend the next two weeks back on campus, undertaking individual projects related to their findings.

Muir will spend more time examining the finds and tablets, and at the end of the year or early next year, the items will be boxed and returned to the K’ómoks First Nation for display.

 

Just Posted

Painter Fiona Ackerman starts North Island College fall 2019 Artist Talk Series

Acclaimed Vancouver-based painter Fiona Ackerman will join North Island College as the… Continue reading

Comox Valley Record readers ‘Take us Along’ on holidays

When it comes to spreading the news, readers of the Comox Valley… Continue reading

Some Cumberland businesses closing for climate strike rally Friday

A Climate Strike Cumberland Solidarity Rally is set for outside the Cumberland municipal office

Comox contestant competes on Great Canadian Baking Show

Andrea Nauta auditioned for the show before but was lucky second time around

Comox hires former Nanaimo city manager as interim CAO

The position will be for an estimated six months

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

‘He’s trying to kill me’: Victoria police commandeer boats to reach screaming woman

No charges laid and civilians to be awarded honours after incident on Gorge Waterway

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

Most Read