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WFTR410 - Intro to Heritage Management and Methodology

Introduction to Heritage Management and Methodology will introduce students to Field Assistant work in Archaeology. This course will teach a diverse set of skills, including basic artifact identification and evaluation, survey methods, basic geography, mapping and map interpretation, as well as how to identify and document Culturally Modified Trees. Participants will learn about provincial legislation, as well as First Nations perspectives on heritage issues and management.


Hours: 60 (Lecture Hours: 27; Laboratory Hours: 11; Field Experience Hours: 22)


Total Weeks: 2


High school transcripts indicating 60% or better in Grade 10 English;
60% or better in Adult Basic Education courses: English 040;

If student does not meet this requirement, student will be required to meet with the Workforce Training/ Continuing Education Coordinator and Course Instructor for assessment.


Non-Course Prerequisites:






Course Content:
Introduction to Provincial Heritage Legislation and First Nations Perspectives on Heritage Management and Archaeology
- Overview: What is Archaeology and Why Do We Do It?
- What is the BC Heritage Conservation Act?
- Who Regulates the Act ? (Arch Branch, Designated Departments i.e. OGC)
- First Nations Perspectives on Heritage Management in Western Canada/BC
- Why Protect Heritage ? (Guest speakers)
Archaeological Site Types
- What constitutes an archaeological site?
- Site types in Northeastern BC
- Preservation – why not all evidence of past lifeways can be found
Geology, Ecology, and Environment – Landscapes through Time
- Why are Geology and Biology Relevant to Archaeology?
- Identifying the Origin of Terrain Features
- Basic Vegetation Identification and Ecology (Guest speakers)
- Reconstructing the Past: How to Paint a Picture of What Life Used To Be
Artifact Identification and Analysis
- What is an Artifact?
- Basic Characteristics of Stone, Bone and Wood Artifacts
- What Makes for a Tool?
- Stone Artifacts - Material Types
- Basic Artifact Analysis
- What Can an Artifact Tell Us? Fancy Things You Can Do
Recording Soils
- Basic Soil Characteristics
- Identifying Soil Layers (Stratigraphy).
- Mapping Soil Layers
Culturally Modified Trees (CMT) – Identification and Recording
- What is a CMT?
- Why are CMTs Important?
- Characteristics of a CMT
- Recording CMTs
Principles of Archaeological Testing and Excavation
- The Why, How, When, Where, Who, and What of Testing
- Effective Note Taking & Mapping
- Basic Site Recording – the Site Form
- Excavation – Better then Testing
- Excavating by Natural Layers vs. Arbitrary Layers
- Recording Provenience of Artifacts and Features
- Taking Effective Notes

- Bagging, Tagging, Cataloging, and Proper Storage of Artifacts


Learning Outcomes:
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Cite Regional Heritage Legislation
- Discuss Who and How the BC Heritage Conservation Act is Implemented
- Identify areas Likely to Contain Archaeological Sites
- Interpret the Modern Landscape and How It Came to Be
- Identify Basic Vegetation Types and Their Associated Ecological Characteristics.
- Read Soils and Identify Their Characteristics
- Recognize Artifacts.
- Illustrate Stratigraphic Profiles
- Identify and Record Culturally Modified Trees

- Identify and describe why context, accurate recording, and proper curation are critical to the understanding and preservation of the past.

Identification; Analysis; Recording; Heritage Legislation


Perspectives on Heritage Management and First Nations' Culture


Identification, Recording, and Analysis of Archaeological Materials


Artifact analysis


Grading System: Percentage


Passing Grade: 75%


Percentage of Individual Work: 80


Percentage of Group Work: 20


Additional Comments:
- The fieldwork component of this course can be physically demanding at times (walking, bending, kneeling, lifting buckets). Students are expected to follow safety protocols established by both Northern Lights College and Archer CRM.
- Assignments will be focused on practical application. For example, lab assignments will consist of completing a stratigraphy profile, identification of lithics; map identification exercises. Individual projects will focus on an aspect of material culture of their choosing (ie. manufacturing a stone projectile point, moose bone fleshers, etc.).

- As this course is part of a short and intensive program, one hundred percent student attendance is required in this course. Students who do not present a written medical excuse for any absence may face expulsion from the course.


- Raw Lithic Material for Flint Knapping
- Graph Paper
- Straws
- Cardboard
- Glue
- Basic Field Kit
- Field Safety Vest
- Rite-in-the Rain Field Notebook and Paper
- Marshalltown Trowel
- String
- Tape Measure
- Paintbrush Set
- Dust Pan
- Compass

- Line Level


Text Books:
Textbooks are subject to change.  Please contact the bookstore at your local campus for current book lists.
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