Artifacts B.C. Artifacts B.C. - Kosapsom


Table of

Table of

& History






Soil Profile

Time Periods


UVic Report
at DcRu4






Interpretations At Kosapsom:

There is a Gulf of Georgia Culture Type at the southern most part of the site (units/pits A-G) and a Locarno Beach Culture Type at the northern part of the site (units H-S). Archaeologists know this due to the style / technique of artifact manufacture found in each soil layer across the site and the radiocarbon date results from each soil layer. In general, the southern portion of the site was younger than those to the north. Kosapsom has many features such as hearths and post-moulds especially in the six units of F & G. This evidence at Kosapsom tells us that a house-pit was constructed during the Gulf Of Georgia time period. The buried housefloor in the six F and G units was anticipated and later confirmed from C14 dates to be from the Gulf of Georgia Cultural Type.

Glossary terms: Hearth, Post-mould, House-pit.

Unit Locations

Problems Associated With Kosapsom:


Before Present Gregorian Calendar
Locarno Beach 3500y - 2500y 1500 BC - 500 BC
Marpole 2500y - 1600y 400 BC - AD 400
Gulf of Georgia 1650y - 160y AD 400 - 1790
Historic 160y - present AD 1790 - present

As mentioned before, the Locarno Beach Culture Type ranges from 3500 - 2500 years BP and the Gulf of Georgia Culture Type between 1650 - 160 years BP. The problem at Kosapsom is that the radiocarbon dates taken from Locarno Beach strata do not fall within the standard range for Locarno Beach times. In fact, the C14 dates lie in what is commonly referred to as the Marpole Culture Type (2400 - 1600 years BP). One of the C14 dates taken from a layer associated with "pure" Locarno Beach artifacts, was dated at 2010 years BP (surprisingly young)! So, on the one hand, there is strong evidence to suggest that Locarno Beach Culture occurred at Kosapsom (faceted ground slate points and nephrite adzes), while on the other hand, the C14 dates suggest the time line to occur during the Marpole Culture Type. This means that more excavations are needed at this site in order to solve this problem.

Glossary terms: Nephrite.

Concluding Remarks:

Without meticulous digging and note taking, information obtained from Kosapsom would be lost forever. Excavations are unfortunately destructive to archaeological sites. The idea behind excavating is to minimize the amount of destruction. This is done by noting where all artifacts are found, their depth, their surroundings - all to aid in the interpretation of the site: what foods were eaten, what tools were used, how houses were built, how long it was used for and how the site changed over time.


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