Q: Why is an archaeological assessment necessary?
Archaeological sites are a non-renewable resource, and represent our only link with 98% of the province’s human history. Section 13 of the Heritage Conservation Act makes obtaining an approval from the Heritage Conservation Office and the Oil & Gas Commission mandatory prior to all Oil & Gas development. Fines for damaging cultural resources or archaeological sites may amount up to $1,000,000 and/or two years in prison.
Q: Can you conduct archaeological assessment during the winter months?
Yes. Heritage North has developed methods that allow all of the services that we provide to be carried out under even the most severe winter conditions. Furthermore, because we are invested in the appropriate tools with well-trained field staff, these winter assessments do not take appreciably longer to complete than they would under favourable conditions.
The methods used by Heritage North for winter assessments have become the standard for winter work in northeastern BC and are approved by both the Oil & Gas Commission and the Archaeology Branch of the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.
Q: What type of artifacts do you expect to find and where are they usually found?
Archaeological sites may be present in areas such as prominent ridges, breaks in slope, places of vegetation change or near water features and thus deemed as having archaeological potential and focused upon during field investigations. Small test pits are dug to discover the presence of cultural material, which can be 10,000 years old. The most common indicators of archaeological sites in northeastern BC are waste flakes of chert, fine siltstone and quartzite. Occasionally, significant tools and animal bones are found, which provide data for the reconstruction of human activities during the archaeological past.
Q: How long does it typically take to complete a project and receive a written report?
We generally conduct the assessments and provide a report to clients within seven to fourteen working days, depending on the location and type of project. Should it be required, however, priority projects can be returned within two days at no sub-charge.
Q: What are your safety standards?
Heritage North is registered with HSE and INS safety and standards. Our field crews are fully ticketed for work in the Oil & Gas industry and operate with all the appropriate safety equipment and training.
Q: What happens if you find an archaeological site on my project or land?
If cultural material is found on a project an impact assessment will determine if the archaeological site has significant heritage value and may only require a site alteration permit with the project able to continue as originally proposed. If the archaeological site is of value, the project may be redesigned to avoid the archaeological site, directionally drilled under the terrain feature to avoid impacting the cultural material, or if it cannot be avoided, it can be evaluated to mitigate the impact of the development.