September 22, 2014 11:12 pm

WATCH: Canada’s oldest archaeological find unearthed on Haida Gwaii

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There are more clues emerging of past life on Haida Gwaii after three archaeological expeditions this past summer.

Researchers used sophisticated remote-controlled underwater vehicles to probe the ocean depths and a University of Victoria team turned up evidence of a sophisticated coastal community nearly 14,000 years ago.

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The secrets to ancient Haida Gwaii civilization could be buried far below more than 100 metres of water but with the university’s autonomous underwater vehicle, called the Bluefin, and its side-scan sonar, researchers could be on the brink of a major archaeological discovery

Since the last ice age, the ocean floor has risen 120 metres, which means any evidence is also that far down. But there have been significant findings already.

Finding fishing weirs — built in tidal waters and at the mouths of rivers to direct the passage of fish — is the goal of the expedition. So far, the ones found here at current ocean levels are up to a couple of thousand years old.

The 10 day research trip in August was the first of its kind globally and the team is now pouring over the sonar images.

A boulder rock wall is likely a fishing weir, potentially the oldest in the world by 5,000 years.

A depression in the seafloor could be evidence of a campsite on the ancient beachfront.

— with files from Elaine Yong, Global News

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