Annotation: Kilgii Gwaay excavations.

Excavation at Kilgii Gwaay, southern Haida Gwaii.

I’ve found that individual powerpoint slides can be saved as JPG images, complete with their annotations.  Since I have a lot of these I may share some.  The above shows excavation in the shell-rich component of the intertidal site at Kilgii Gwaay.  The combination of shellfish remains and saturation in slightly alkaline sea water has produced remarkable preservation for a site which is firmly dated via about 20 carbon samples to 9450 14C BP, or around 10,700 calendar years ago.  In this picture you can see some of the evidence: bone tools, stone tools, and the remains of shellfish, fish and mammals which, together with birds, formed the basis of the diet at this summertime camp.

Kilgii Gwaay gives real insight into the maritime capabilities of these early occupants of southern Haida Gwaii.  The site itself is near the southern end of this remote and rugged archipelago, around which boat travel is the only practical option.  The site is positioned between Hecate Strait and the open Pacific, and the resource suite at Kilgii Gwaay reflects use of such resources as albatross, fur seal, harbour seal, sea otter, alcids, large (ca. 50 pound) halibut and lingcod, and of course numerous rockfish.  This testifies to a diverse and fluent relationship to marine resources, and use of the full suite of available resources from a variety of niches, many of them high wave energy, deep water, or offshore.  There is also a substantial representation of black bear, which were probably trapped, as few to no projectile points or even bifaces were found at this site.  Wooden artifacts suggest sophisticated organic technology as well. Despite the intertidal context, there were pockets of clearly intact cultural materials in their primary context.

View from west over Kilgii Gwaay and Rose Harbour, towards Hecate Strait and the BC Mainland.

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