An ancient village older than the pyramids has been unearthed by a University of Victoria student, and a B.C. First Nation says it backs up tribe stories passed down for generations.
Alisha Gauvreau, an anthropology PhD student at UVic, has been excavating a rocky spit on Triquet Island, some 500 kilometres northwest of Victoria.
Scientists say the artifacts exhumed on the remote island are painting a picture of how our civilization began.
“I remember when we get the dates back and we just kind of sat there going, holy moly, this is old,” said Gauvreau.“What this is doing is just changing our idea of the way in which North America was first peopled.”
What the team found is incredible: Tools for lighting fires, fish hooks and spears, all dating back 14,000 years.
The discovery has led experts to believe a large human migration may have occurred on B.C.’s unfrozen coastline.
What’s more remarkable, according to one B.C. First Nation, is that the scientific discovery appears to corroborate the tribe's oral history.
“It’s very special to not only me, but our entire tribe,” said Heiltsuk Nation’s William Housty.
Housty said Heiltsuk First Nation elders have passed down stories of ancient coastal villages for ages, and those cultural stories are now cemented in fact.
“To think about how these stories survived all of that, only to be supported by this archeological evidence is just amazing,” he said.
The B.C. village is the oldest to be discovered in North America, but crews’ work isn’t over yet.
Scientists will dig on other remote B.C. islands to keep tracking the ancient footprint of man as far as it goes.
With a report from CTV Vancouver Island's Scott Cunningham