Wetland gardens from 3800 years ago discovered in British Columbia

Excavations prior to a road-building project in British Columbia, Canada, discovered a wetland-gardening site in Pitt Meadows. The site dates back to 1800 BC.

The site of the wetland excavations (by The Province)

During construction works a rock platform measuring about 12-square metres made up of flat stones was unearthed. The structure would have rested a couple of metres underwater four millennia ago. The stones are layered in a pattern and packed densely, which was done intentionally. The scientists believe that the ancient inhabitants of the area used to engineer the wetland environment to increase the yield of a valuable, semi-aquatic plant known as a wapato – an important source of starch over the winter months.

Submerged pavement of the garden are (by Katzie Development Limited Partnership)

Beside the structure more than 3700 pieces of plant material were recovered from the site, along with more than 150 fire-hardened tips of what are believed to have been digging tools. After the site is excavated and documented the structures will be paved over with a public road. The new site provides more insight into survival strategies of the ancient inhabitants of British Columbia.

Ancient wapato tubers found at the site (by Katzie Development Limited Partnership)

(after The Province, CTV News & Katzie Development Limited Partnership)

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