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A Journey to a New Land

Mammoths and Tundra
Multimedia Library

Dr. Jon Driver

Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University

Description of Charlie Lake Cave

Charlie Lake Cave is located on the side of a very steep hill, just outside the town of Fort St. John, British Columbia. You can imagine the cave perched on the top of a small cliff. The site itself is somewhat unusual because in front of the cave there is a very large boulder. So between the back of the boulder and the little cliff that contains the cave, there is a very deep gully. When people visited the site in prehistoric times there would have been a fairly deep hole sitting right in front of the cave entrance. Over the years people discarded artifacts and bones down into the gully in front of the cave, and also over the years, soil built up in that gully. As a result, we have a long record of artifacts and animal bones, buried by successive layers of soil, that were left behind by the people who stopped at the cave, probably for one or two nights, when they were on a hunting trip, or making a temporary camp for the purposes of perhaps fishing, gathering berries, that kind of activity.