Laboratory of Archaeology at Iona

Project Snapshot

Project Size: 3,517 net square feet / 327 net square metres
Budget: $3.52 million
Status: In construction
Occupancy: 2024
Project Manager: UBC Project Services – James Cornelia
Project Coordinator: UBC Project Services – Victor Wong

Project Summary

Established in 1949 as part of the Faculty of Arts Department of Anthropology, the Laboratory of Archaeology (LOA)’s mission is to engage in the scholarly study of the material evidence of past cultures. It is one of three original provincial repositories for materials recovered from ancient villages and other archaeological sites in the province, and its collection houses ancestral remains from multiple communities. LOA recognizes the rights of Indigenous peoples and is committed to dealing sensitively and responsibly with Indigenous peoples on the care and disposition of these materials. LOA has partnered with Musqueam since 1949, and works with Indigenous communities to ensure informed consent for research of the testimonies left by their ancestors. LOA’s activities can be summarized in the acronym R.E.S.T. for Research, Engagement, Stewardship, and Training.

The proposed new LOA lab at Iona project involves the renovation of a portion of the sub-basement of the Iona Building to create a Community Research Centre. The Community Research Centre will include an Indigenous Knowledge and Archaeological Analysis Wet Lab where Indigenous knowledge keepers can work with materials and co-create knowledge with archaeologists and other researchers. Outfitted with a meeting space and hybrid meeting technology it will also enable remote community members to participate in the research process. This space will also be a working wet lab with the capacity to float soil samples and preserve the retrieved materials. A Community Research and Collaboration Lab will house the collections, and will include space for materials sorting. This space will be configured to enable the community, researchers and students to work on multiple projects simultaneously.