Deep within the Great Bear Rainforest, on the remote Triquet Island off Canada’s western coast, a group of archeologists made the discovery of a lifetime. They began digging without any expectations, but their incredible finding would ultimately bring an ancient folktale to life.
It was the first archaeological dig carried out on the remote island, and the participants weren’t expecting to find much. However, deep down they wanted to believe that the stories they heard were true. What would they uncover in the cold Canadian mud?
Peeling Away The Layers
Working in cooperation with a group of students from the University of Victoria, the archeologists toiled away as they dug deeper and deeper into the earth, carefully removing one layer after another. At the eight foot mark, they finally came across what they were after – deposits of fossil soil. They came to this island expecting to carry out a routine dig, but now, everything had changed. The archeologists were completely shocked. What would they uncover within the fossil soil?
Beneath The Mud
Deep within the thick mud, the archeologists identified the remains of an ancient style of oven called a hearth. They also found burnt pieces of charcoal alongside the oven. This one discovery had the potential to change the entire human history of not just this single island, but of the entire North American hemisphere. However, before jumping to conclusions, the archaeologists needed to be sure that their evidence was legitimate, so they continued to dig for more clues.
As their search continued, they came across a whole wealth of other surprising artifacts including various types of weapons, as well as tools for hunting, fishing, and lighting fires. Both the students and the archaeologists couldn’t believe how much evidence they had uncovered. When they first began the dig, they were skeptical that they’d find the slightest traces of anything worthwhile. Now, they found themselves standing on a potentially groundbreaking discovery. But the most significant piece of the puzzle was yet to come.
A Local Legend
Considering that most historians doubted that this island was ever inhabited, what drove the team of archeologists to dig there in the first place? Their hypothesis came from local stories about the Heiltsuk people. The Heiltsuk people claimed for centuries that they were the first nation indigenous to the Great Bear Rain Forest and that their ancestors came to Triquet Island to seek refuge during the Ice Age. However, archeologists and scientists have denied these claims due to a lack of prehistoric proof. How could this be?
Engulfed In Ice?
Throughout the Ice Age, a vast majority of Western Canada was completely covered in ice and was therefore uninhabitable. Because Triquet Island is situated just off the coast of British Columbia, scientists have long assumed that it too was frozen during the Ice Age. This is why historians, scientists, and archeologists have rejected the claims of the Heiltsuk people. However, the group of archaeologists digging on Triquet Island would soon discover something that would shake this notion to its core.
Proof At Last
The Heiltsuk people were optimistic that the findings of the archeological expedition would support their claims that they had historical ownership over the land on Triquet Island. Until then, the oldest artifact in favor of their existence on the island dated back to about 7190 BCE. The only issue was that the Heiltsuk people were known for a lifestyle centered around fishing. Based on the new findings, however, the ancient inhabitants of Triquet Island had a much different diet…
Following The Clues
Among the various artifacts found during the archeological excavation on Triquet Island were spears and other tools presumed to be used for hunting. When the researchers took a closer look at these artifacts, they realized that the spears were far too big to be used for fishing. Moreso, the island was virtually absent of land mammals for which a spear of this size would be practical. Something here didn’t add up. The archaeologists were determined to get to the bottom of it.
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