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Great Marpole Midden facts for kids

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Marpole Midden National Historic Site
Location Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Type National Historic Site of Canada

The Great Marpole Midden (also known as the Eburne Site, or Great Fraser Midden, and known in Halkomelem as c̓əsnaʔəm), is an ancient Musqueam village and burial site located in the Marpole neighbourhood of Vancouver, British Columbia.


The site was inhabited by Coast Salish people beginning at least 4,000 years ago, until about 200 years ago, with the arrival of smallpox on the Northwest Coast. During that time it was a village known as c̓əsnaʔəm. According to BC Heritage Industry Canada site, the Marpole Culture Type dates between 2400 BP and 1600 years BP.

In 1884 the midden was unearthed during the upgrading of Garypie Farm Road, and was the site of archaeological excavation throughout the subsequent decades. In 1892, Charles Hill-Tout did extensive excavations at the site for the Art, Historical, and Scientific Association of Vancouver, stimulating study of other middens in the region. American Museum of Natural History archaeologist, Harlan Ingersoll Smith, participating in the Jesup North Pacific Expedition from 1897 to 1899, mined the Marpole site for skeletal remains. In the 1950s and 1960s UBC professor Charles Edward Borden undertook salvage archaeology projects at the site. Borden "was the first to draw links between contemporary Musqueam peoples and excavated remains."

The construction of the Fraser Arms Hotel in the 1950s destroyed much of the site.

On May 25, 1933, the Marpole Midden was recognized as a National Historic Site of Canada, although the historic marker is located in nearby Marpole Park, while the midden itself is located a few blocks away, between Montcalm and Milton streets, south of Marine Drive.

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