About Us

The approach of Aquilla Archaeology is to deliver detail oriented and technically rigorous studies grounded within a culturally ethical framework. Our strategy is to provide the most information possible which in turn results in optimal outcomes for all parties including the client and the community where the project is situated.

Our team consists of professionals who love heritage. Our passion about what we do infiltrates all aspects of our work. We are always seeking new and creative methods to enhance our results and are always keen to share how our work can reveal stories deeply embedded in the past.

Colleen Parsley.jpgColleen Parsley, M.A. has many years experience as an expert in Northwest Coast archaeology and particularly in Coast Salish archaeology.  Colleen owns a leading consulting archaeology firm in western Canada and has extensive expertise bioarchaeology and mortuary archaeology in coastal BC. Intersections between ethics, archaeology, colonialism and interactions with the dead are research themes explored in Colleen's work. Colleen also uses 3D laser and other technologies as tools to enhance documentation of Northwest Coast indigenous heritage.

Colleen  has directed multi-year archaeological excavation projects and has gone on to manage projects for  municipal, provincial, First Nation communities and private sectors. Colleen's project management portfolio include large scale projects such as large scale infrastructure for municipalities, pipelines, and mining projects but also smaller projects such as residential development, dock installations, and not-for-profit heritage work. In 2020 Colleen completed the Stz'uminus Origins Project which is the largest study of ancestral human remains undertaken from  in British Columbia. Under Colleen’s direction, Aquilla Archaeology has grown extensively since 2008.

laura.jpgLaura Termes, MSc in Osteoarchaeology, is from Qualicum Beach and has worked at archaeological sites in various parts of the world for several institutions. In 2013, Laura completed a one year curatorial internship at the SFU Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology and has recently moved to Nanaimo to join Aquilla Archaeology.

Laura has transitioned to SFU to complete her PhD and is now Aquilla Alumni. You may still occasionally see her in our lab identifying animal remains from our project excavations when she is not busy at school.


Culturally modified Douglas-fir tree from Stz'uminus First Nation Territory recorded in 2008. Douglas-fir bark was taken off in strips and collected for a variety of purposes but most importantly used as fire wood and for coverings on temporary shelters. See an example of how Douglas-fir bark was used or learn more about Douglas-fir CMTs.

Steve Thompson 2 smaller.jpg

Steve Thompson B.A. moved to Vancouver Island in 2019 bringing with him a wealth of archaeological experience primarily from the UK, and also Turkey where he worked at sites like Çatal Hüyük and Zeugma as well in South Africa and France.  Steve was a senior archaeologist at Wessex Archaeology in the UK for over seven years and has led teams of archaeologists for massive projects like at Larkhill, Stonehenge, and a nuclear power plant. One the most intriguing aspects of Steve's career is that for ten years he was in charge of archaeological field documentation and archaeological reports from the work done during the very popular television show "Time Team".

Steve led the two-year excavation on a 69 acre site at Larkhill, immediately north of the Stonehenge UNESCO World Heritage Site, for the UK Ministry of Defence. The site contained nationally and internationally important remains from the British Neolithic, including a newly discovered monumental Causewayed Enclosure dating to 5730-5600 BP, one of only around 70 known in the UK, this feature predates the earliest phase of the Stonehenge construction by about 800 years.  A 24-acre mock battlefield of trench systems from World War 1 was discovered and his team excavated over 5km of training trenches and over 300m of tunnels where Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and British troops trained prior to being sent to the Western Front. The work undertaken at Larkhill has become the single, largest archaeological investigation of a military training landscape of the 1914 – 1918 war to date.


brian.jpgBrian Vivian, M.A., Ph. D (candidate) was born and raised in Nanaimo. A renowned archaeologist in western Canada, Brian is very well established and experienced in the Canadian Arctic; Ghana, West Africa; the Canadian Plains and both Interior and Coastal Regions of British Columbia. Brian has completed hundreds of successful archeological projects of all types and for all sectors over the last thirty years.