A team of archaeologists have been called in after a passerby made an unexpected discovery on a Kelowna beach.
The discovery was made by a member of the public, just south of where construction was taking place at the Royal Avenue Beach Access Park, near Kelowna General Hospital.
Teams are now investigating what the artifact could be. According to the City of Kelowna, the object looked to be an old, modified stone.
“It’s a modified piece of rock, pre-contact, that’s what they think,” said Andrew Gibbs, Senior Project Manager with the City of Kelowna.
Gibbs explained that pre-contact defines an object as being older than 1846, which would make it at least 173 years old today.
As a result, the construction project that was underway, erosion control and a path between Royal Avenue and Strathcona Park, has been halted.
The discovery of the artifact was made back in the spring, and since then the City has been working to have an archaeological assessment approved.
“When they discovered the artifact, we put the project on hold, then we had to apply for a permit to do an archaeological investigation, which you’ve seen on-site, that’s underway now,” Gibbs.
“The archaeologists will do their investigation on-site, then they’ll do a report, and they’ll submit that to the archaeology branch. That report will give us a better idea of what the history might have been.”
Archaeologists arrived on-site at the beginning of this week (Nov. 16). On-site with them is a monitor from the Westbank First Nation.
Gibbs isn’t sure the history of that specific area or the last time an artifact was found within city boundaries.
The city hopes to be back up and working on the project by next spring.
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