Even the smallest historic object, lost or actively discarded, decades or even centuries ago, has a story to tell. In this presentation to the recent BC Historical Federation conference, Tom Bown gives a brief introduction to the types of historic artifacts that find their way to the historic archaeology collection of the Royal BC Museum. When the written word does not exist, what role do these objects have in telling the history of marginalized populations in BC?
Also, this talk considers some of the challenges of historic archaeology collections, as well as considering how this resource is currently being managed in British Columbia.
Bown is a volunteer research associate in archaeology at the Royal British Columbia Museum. After finishing a BSc at the University of Victoria, he worked several years for the RBCM archaeology section prior to a career with Natural Resources Canada.
He has been involved with numerous archaeological projects over the past 40 years with a specialty of identifying historic archaeological artifacts. Bown is a past president of the Archaeological Society of BC, a member of the Society for Historic Archaeology and an on-call staff member of Millennia Research Ltd.