Association for Washington Archaeology

9,000 year old stone tools from Colville National Forest, Washington. Source: The Spokesman-Review.

I was a little surprised (and probably shouldn’t be) to find out there was an organization called the Association for Washington Archaeology – equivalent to the Archaeological Society of B.C.  They have a journal (equivalent to The Midden), and are clearly a respected avocational archaeology organization.  They have a pretty low profile, obviously: but partly this must be another symptom of the poor cross-border communication between BC, Alaska, Washington, and Oregon  – the core jurisdictions bounding the Northwest Coast.  They even have a blog called Washington Archaeology, which is only a few weeks old.  Their own link to it is both hidden under a “feedback button” and is broken: I hope that linking it here helps people find it.  There’s not much there yet, but it did lead me to a nice news roundup on the Tse-whit-zen site, and also to an interesting story on a 9,000 year old site in the Colville National Forest, near a town called Republic – just south of the Canadian border close to Grand Forks BC. (map).  Intriguingly, the artifacts are dated using Thermo-Luminescence  (with a 900 year old margin of error).  TL is seldom applied in North America, let alone in the Northwest. At this site, a complete lack of organics suitable for radiocarbon dating made TL a necessary technique.  It would be good to see this used in BC, even as a dating method of last resort.   As can be seen in the picture above, the left-most piece appears to be of the Cascade-style reduction of discoidal core manufacture, which we think is early, coastal, Pacific-Rim, and probably Asian in origin.  Anyway, it is good to see this organization starting a blog and moving out onto the internet – I hope to see more from them soon.

Discoidal core from Gwaii Haanas, 10,700 cal BP. Diameter ca. 9 cm. Figure drawn by J. McSporran.

2 responses to “Association for Washington Archaeology

  1. Hello-
    Thank you for the publicity for our website!

    The ‘blog’ was supposed to be hidden from view for another week or two, as I am slowly upgrading the website. I figured the ‘Feedback’ button was a safe one to replace, as we have never received any feedback. Anyhow, I am glad you found a useful link on there.

    AWA is primarily composed of professionals (CRM, Agencies, Tribes, Professors), with a few students and other interested parties. We publish a quarterly newsletter, and we have just published the 14th issue of our peer-reviewed journal “Archaeology in Washington”. We still have copies of volumes 10-14, should you or anyone else be interested.

    We also offer a student research grant, the most recent recipient of which is conducting research in both BC and Washington. A great reminder that the similarities of the region cross political boundaries.

    Anyhow, thanks for the writeup – I will return the favor here in a few weeks when I get everything up and running!

    Tom Becker
    President, Association for Washington Archaeology


  2. Hi Tom,

    Thanks for stopping by – and sorry if I let the cat out of the bag. I think it turned up on google, somehow. Good to have more information on the AWA and yes, anything we can do to get information flowing back and forth across the border will be a good thing.




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