British Columbia Archaeology in the 1970s

K Lad, Mark
Some of the practising archaeologists of British Columbia, in rare pauses in their perpetual melee with grant proposals, impact statements, budgetary commitment reports, permit applications, preliminary reports, final reports, student papers, theses, publications, conference papers, lecture preparations, museum displays and a myriad other foes, may recall with nostalgic fondness a time, not long ago, when their discipline was younger, simpler and more innocent. Without doubt, the last ten years
more » ... have been a decade of tremendous growth and change in B.C. archaeology-change which has profoundly affected the amount, type and results of archaeological research, and which in itself may not always have been uniformly productive in furthering the fundamental goals of the discipline. This paper will review briefly this decade of change and evaluate its effects in terms of two general criteria : (i) the amount of new information gained about past cultures in tire province, and (2) the efficiency with which this information has been passed on to the general public. In the early-to-mid 1960s the number of archaeologists possessing at least Master's degrees and employed full-time in British Columbia archaeology could be counted on the fingers of one hand with some digits left over. Students then seeking training in archaeology were members of a small and somewhat outcast group who hopefully submitted their names every summer for the one or two research projects happening in the province that year-and usually ended up working for construction companies. There were no field-schools, almost no graduate students, virtually no research funds, and a generally negative attitude towards archaeology by existing university anthropology-and-sociology programs. As late as 1970, UBC offered only one regular undergraduate course on North American archaeology and had only one practising prehistorian, C. E. Borden, who was hired as a member of the German department. Archaeology in B.C. before 1965 was a marginal discipline struggling for a minimal existence on emaciated budgets, with little university, governmental or public recognition. This situation began to change radically in 11 BG STUDIES, no. 48, Winter 1980-81