Significant palaeontological find at construction site of New Home for Nigel House

I am writing today to let you know that Bison bones estimated to be approximately 13,000 years old have been discovered, evaluated, and recovered from the construction site of the New Home for Nigel House.

The bones were discovered on Wednesday, October 19, 2022 during excavation. Work in that area was immediately halted. Andrew Watson, an archaeologist from Millenia Research, was brought on site to determine the significance of the find, to preserve the site, and recover any important artifacts.

Mr. Watson identified this as a ‘significant palaeontological find’, and palaeontologist Dr. Edward Davies Ph.D., P.Geo., was brought in on the investigation. A few pieces including a ‘complete robust left Bison metatarsal, a bovoid vertebra, and other small fragments’, were taken to Millennia Research Ltd., and determined to likely be bison bones, approximately 12,000 to 14,000 years old. The rest of the find is considered significant, including a large, robust scapula (shoulder blade) with three visible ribs, embedded in the lower layer of the Nigel House construction site. The age of the bones is also estimated by its position within the ‘stratigraphic section’ (layers of clay, peat, volcanic ash, and so on) of the excavation.

A plan for careful recovery of the bones was prepared by Dr. Davies and approved by the BC Fossil Management Office, who also reached out to the Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations. Using this plan, the bones were recovered from the site on Wednesday, November 2, 2022. The bones will be stored at the British Columbia Museum for further study, including Carbon 14 and DNA tests.

Broadmead Care is excited about this significant palaeontological find, and will continue to work closely with the appropriate regulatory and governing bodies to ensure these important items receive respectful and conscientious care. We will keep you updated as and when there is more information to share.