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Archival archaeology of the sćəlexw village site DhRt-2 (Musqueam East) Hynes, Kyla Marie


This paper is an archaeological analysis of archival data relating to the sćəlexw village site, DhRt-2 (Musqueam East), located on the Musqueam IR 2 Reserve in Vancouver. DhRt-2 is the type-site for the Stselax Phase (approximately 1200 years ago to 1808 AD) in Charles Borden’s Fraser Delta Sequence. Despite being the subject of various research projects since the 1950s, with major excavations carried out from 1950-1961, a comprehensive site report was never written. Instead, Borden’s (1950; 1971) publications contained brief summaries of artifact types related to the Stselax Phase. The aim of this thesis is to collate and analyze the archival data from these excavations, focusing on stratigraphy and architectural features. This is supplemented by data from more recent research projects to provide a clearer understanding of settlement patterns and the site’s occupational history through time. Most importantly, the intention is to provide a comprehensive report of the early excavations that will be of value to archaeological researchers and to the descendant Musqueam community. This paper includes a history of the archaeological research at the site, as well as a presentation of the existing archival materials and analysis of the archaeological data. Three distinct occupational zones (related groups of layers and associated features) are identified and discussed: a wetland/river estuary, shell midden/terrace, and a village zone. Variations in the sequence of zones between excavation areas (Trenches 1, 2, and 3; Charles House; Units A-D) are considered as they relate to village development through time. Together, these analyses and data provide the first comprehensive view of this important archaeological site since excavations began in 1950.

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