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BC Speleo-Paleo Resources


In the fields of archaeology and paleontology, there have been some significant finds in BC caves. The cave environment --alkaline conditions, cool temperatures, the absence of light, and difficult access for either animals or humans -- usually makes for undisturbed archaeological sites and well-preserved animal remains.

On northern Vancouver Island, mountain goat bones carbon-dated at 12,000 years old have been found in two caves. What makes this discovery so remarkable is that mountain goats are no longer found on Vancouver Island. In other caves on Vancouver Island, 2500 to 8000 year old bones from the endangered Vancouver Island Marmot have been found. These caves are in locations where no Vancouver Island Marmots live today, showing that the marmots once occupied a much wider geographic range.

In addition, some of the marmot bones found in the Vancouver Island caves exhibit cut markings that could only have been made by human tools. These archaeological sites are the first on the northwest coast discovered in the mountainous subalpine region--all others have been coastal sites.

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This site created Sept '95,
Updated .