2002 excavations at Kilgii Gwaay Site.
Paleoethnobotany of Kilgii Gwaay: a 10,700 year old Ancestral Haida Archaeological Wet Site
Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 7:30 pm
Cornett Building B129
(North End of Cornett building)
University of Victoria (map)
The Victoria Chapter of the Archaeological Society of BC (ASBC) has a long-running monthly Fall-Spring speaker series which is starting again next week. The speaker is UVic Anthropology graduate student Jenny Cohen, speaking on results from her paleobotanical analysis of the 10,700 year old intertidal wet site, Kilgii Gwaay, in southern Haida Gwaii. It’s a fascinating site which gives real insight into the way of life of Ancestral Haida at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition and I’m sure Jenny’s thesis, nearing completion, will be of wide interest.
If you don’t have enough Kilgii Gwaay in your life then I recommend you jump over to the Burnt Embers blog, where there are some excellent photos from the tricky intertidal excavations at that site a few years ago: Setting Up; Keeping Water Out; Putting Water In; Water Screening; and Kilgii Gwaay Finds.
Abstract: Continue reading
Posted in Archaeology, Haida Gwaii, Northwest Coast
Tagged Archaeological Society of BC, ASBC, ethnobotany, Gwaii Haanas, Haida Gwaii, Haida Nation, Kilgii Gwaay, paleoethnobotany, waterlogged sites, wet sites
Panel from Petroglyph Park, Nanaimo. Source: danielleen.org
I’m about to disappear off the grid for a couple of weeks (fieldwork in Gwaii Haanas) but before I do, I want to give some publicity for the Annual BC Archaeology Forum. It’s great to have some advance notice of this and as you can see below it is co-hosted by VIU and the Snuneymuxw First Nation.
British Columbia Archaeology Forum
Saturday, October 18th, 2014
We are pleased to announce that the 2014 British Columbia Archaeology Forum will be hosted by Vancouver Island University in the territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation in Nanaimo, BC this coming October.
A reception will be held on the evening of Friday, October 17th, with Saturday the 18th reserved for a full day of speakers and presentations followed by an evening event, and optional Sunday excursions in the local area.
We are currently consulting with downtown hotels about the event and securing discounted rooms for forum participants; more information on this will be provided asap.
In the meantime, save the date — Saturday, October 18th, 2014 — and we’ll be in touch soon!
For more information, email: archforum2014 (at) gmail.com
Posted in Archaeology, Cultural Resource Management, First Nations, Miscellaneous, Northwest Interior, Northwest Coast, Teaching, Uncategorized, Vancouver Island
Tagged bc archaeology forum, Nanaimo, Snuneymuxw
Hilary Stewart drawing of a fish weir. Source: bcheritage.ca
Sad news out of Quadra Island with the news that Northwest Coast archaeological legend Hilary Stewart passed away on June 5th, at the age of 90. The local newspaper the Discovery Islander has a full obituary (page 2) (PDF) written by her friend, anthropologist Joy Inglis.
Posted in anthropology, Archaeology, First Nations, Northwest Coast, Teaching, Technology
Tagged Archaeological Society of BC, Archaeology, art, artifacts, ASBC, Hilary Stewart, illustration, Quadra Island
UVic field school students at work on Prevost Island inland midden site. Trust me, there really are dense midden deposits at this site.
I had a good visit the other day to the UVic archaeological field school, which is on Prevost Island in the Salish Sea. Prevost is a large island of about 1700 acres, mostly privately owned by an active farming family, but part of lies within Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. In some ways, it is the hub of the southern Gulf Islands, lying squarely between Salt Spring, Galiano, Pender and Mayne Islands. There’s no ferry to this island, so it’s surprisingly off the beaten track considering how centrally located it is. I suspect that’s a car-centric view, and taking the perspective of a maritime cultural landscape, this is one of the best-connected islands in the Salish Sea.
Anyway, the UVic fieldschool is being taught by doctoral student Eric McLay, whose research focuses on inland shell middens in the Salish Sea. These are middens well away from the high tide line — in the case of Prevost, about 800 metres inland. Several dozen comparable sites are known, such as the ones near the rockshelter burials on Gabriola Island. Why people brought substantial quantities of shell to these inland locations is something of a mystery, one which Eric, with the help of the fieldschool students and First Nations participants, and the support of the Wenner-Gren Foundation, aims to shed light on.
Posted in Archaeology, fieldwork, Northwest Coast, Shell Middens, Teaching, Uncategorized, Vancouver Island
Tagged Archaeology, Coast Salish, fieldschools, Prevost Island, ritual, Salish Sea, shell middens, Straits Salish, uvic
Quadra Island Clam Gardens. Source: Groesbeck et al. PLOS-1, 2014.
Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre and Discovery Passage SeaLife Society present:
1. Sea Level History of the Discovery Islands.
Daryl Fedje, University of Victoria
2. Quadra Island’s Ancient Clam Gardens.
Dana Lepofsky, Simon Fraser University
Monday, June 16th | 7 pm Quadra Island Community Centre
So I usually limit my announcements of public talks to those happening in the Victoria backyard of Blog World Headquarters but it so happens there is one exceptional one coming up on Quadra Island, where I’ll be spending the next week. The talk, actually two talks, will focus on two archaeological projects underway up there. The poster advertising the talks is here, or you can read more below.
Posted in Archaeology, Northwest Coast, Vancouver Island
Tagged aquaculture, Archaeology, Campbell River, clam gardens, clams, Discovery Islands, mariculture, Quadra Island, sea level history, SFU, shellfish, uvic
Clam garden in southern Haida Gwaii. Note the rock wall forming the flat terrace feature.
Transforming the Beach, Transforming our Thinking: Ancient Clam Gardens of Northern Quadra Island, BC.
Michelle Puckett (presenter) and Amy Groesbeck, Dana Lepofsky, Anne Salomon, Kirsten Rowell, Nicole Smith and Sue Formosa
Tuesday, May 20th, 7:30pm at the University of Victoria, Cornett Building, Room B129. All welcome, free.
SFU graduate student Michelle Puckett (formerly UVIC’s own) is giving the May ASBC Victoria talk – “clam gardens”. These intertidal features have taken NW Coast archaeology by storm over the last 15 years or so. Each one is a deliberate alteration of the beach in order to enhance shellfish productivity. Hundreds of these are now known, and as archaeologists’ eyes become more tuned to this site type I expect hundreds more to be recorded. Being, in effect, a kind of mariculture or aquaculture, these are important not only to our understanding of long term histories on the coast (they challenge the anthropological type “hunter-gatherer”) but they will also become important in land claims, I am sure. Click below to read the abstract and bio for this talk.
Posted in Archaeology, fieldwork, Northwest Coast, Technology, Vancouver Island
Tagged aquaculture, clam gardens, clams, Intertidal, mariculture, Salish Sea, SFU, shellfish, traditional use, uvic
Deep unit at Luxvbalis, EjTa-4, Calvert Island.
This blog’s world headquarters has temporarily moved out to the central coast, where yours truly is tagging along with Dr. Duncan McLaren and his team working on the early period archaeology and landscape history of the Hakai area. The project is sponsored in very generous style by the Hakai Beach Institute, which also funds and facilitates a variety of research on the cultural and natural history of this beautiful and sensitive area. One of the other Hakai projects is an archaeological fieldschool directed by Dr. Farid Rahemtulla of the University of Northern BC. I wrote about this fieldschool once before and you can get some background on this site (EjTa-4, Luxvbalis) at that link. The site is in the traditional territory of the Heiltsuk and Wuikinuxv First Nations. Yesterday I had the chance to visit the site, get shown around by Farid, and hang out at the screens with his great students – and to be the annoying guy with a camera.
So it’s a really deep site. Above you can see
Kira Cari in this years main excavation unit. They are expanding a unit from last year which went down 4.7 metres or so without bottoming out. As of yesterday, they are about 2.4 units down. Basal dates so far are in the 6-7,000 year old range but this might get older since the bottom is not yet reached and there may be older cultural deposits intact in the intertidal zone as well. Continue reading
Posted in Archaeology, fieldwork, Northwest Coast, Shell Middens, Teaching
Tagged Calvert Island, Hakai Beach Institute, Hakai Pass, Heiltsuk, Tula FOundation, UNBC, Wuikinuxv