We meet archaeologist Dr. Rudy Reimer to study the ground beneath our feet and Kai shows us how to make our own rocks!
RUDY: I teach here at SFU, assistant professor here in the departments of archaeology and First Nations studies. Which is really fantastic to teach the uh younger generation about archaeology, about First Nations studies. For me, getting out into the field uh is where the most of the action happens doing archaeological survey in different areas and finding sites is really exciting, but also doing lab work. Analyzing, cleaning, examining the artifacts and the animal bones and other things that we find can be equally as exciting because we can get a, a lot of data and when we find something that’s new or unexpected, uh that gets really exciting. One of the special things that I found was called a microblade and they’re essentially the ancient versions of Swiss army knives. They were multipurpose tools and the one that I found was made out of a unique rock known as quartz crystal.
RUDY: It looks like glass, but it’s a very hard and durable stone that was highly prized ‘cause it would hold its edge for a very long time.
RUDY: We’re here at SFU in the museum of archaeology and ethnology. We have a, an example of an archaeological site profile and this is a famous site known as Namu. It’s on the central coast of British Columbia in Heiltsuk Territory and what makes Namu really fascinating is that it’s a deep and continuous occupation from 10, 11, 12,000 years ago right down here at the bottom. When the glaciers left, people showed up on the scene and so you can see the layers of shell mixed in with artifacts, there’s house posts that you can see on the top and fire pits and layers of shell, and this gives us slices of time that archaeologists can excavate through, find feature and artifacts that tell us about what people were doing at this really incredible site.
RUDY: This is an adsblade made out of material called nephrite and nephrite is extremely hard and durable and adsblades is, if you’re a woodworker or a carver, are really important for carving cedar or other kinds of wood and these materials were highly prized because adsblades and nephrite were handed down from generation to generation, but when we look at sites like Namu like this, we find artifacts of these styles and these kinds of materials that give us really a fascinating insight into the ancient past.