Category Archives: Oregon

Public talk in Portland, Oregon: The Kwädąy Dän Ts’ìnchį Project

View of the glacial edge high in the Tatsenshini where Kwäday Dän Ts’ìnchi was found in 1999.

View of the glacial edge high in the Tatsenshini where Kwäday Dän Ts’ìnchi was found in 1999. Photo credit: Al Mackie

I don’t usually plug public talks in cities that don’t contain the Shining Tower of Blog HQ, but I’m making an exception for this one.  BlogBrother Alexander and BlogSisterInLaw Kjerstin are speaking on Tuesday evening in Portland on the topic of “The Kwädąy Dän Ts’ìnchį Project, a Collaborative Study of a Man Frozen in a Glacier and His Belongings.

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Harpoon Arrows

Fishing at the Dalles, 1850, pencil drawing by George Catlin. Source: NYPL.

Fishing at the Dalles, 1850, pencil drawing by George Catlin. Source: NYPL.

I’m probably the last person to get the memo that you can fire a harpoon with a bow and arrow.  In fact,  I only just got my head around firing a harpoon with an atlatl.  Anyway, take a squint at the picture above – the figure in the lower left background is clearly shooting a harpoon-arrow from his bow.  The picture is from about 1850 and is a pencil drawing of a scene at The Dalles, on the Columbia River.  I’ll take a closer look at this picture below. Continue reading

Northwest Anthropological Conference 2013 – Portland March 27-30

View of reconstructed Cathlapotle Chinookan Plankhouse relatively close to Portland.

View of reconstructed Cathlapotle Chinookan Plankhouse relatively close to Portland. Click for source.

The 2013 Northwest Anthropology conference is coming up soon at the end of March, but it’s not too late to submit a symposium proposal (deadline January 28th) or contribute a paper (deadline February 8th).

NWAC is always an excellent conference which draws on Anthropology broadly but with a hefty dose of archaeology, sometimes mostly archaeology.  I’ve noticed in the past it also draws a lot of participation from Tribal and First Nations groups, from consulting and government archaeologists, interested laypeople, as well as academics of all levels from undergrads to retirees.  In that sense it is far more multi-vocal than the “really big conferences” tend to be.  It also has a tradition of very reasonable fees and hotel rates and this year is no exception.  Add on Portland’s status as microbrewery capital of (probably) the entire world and what’s not to like?

The conference is hosted by the excellent Department of Anthropology at Portland State University, with lead organization apparently by occasional blog commenter (and Professor Emeritus) Ken Ames.

The Canadian Archaeological Association conference is also coming up locally in May (at Whistler), so more on that in due course, but just for now, the call for sessions is open until January 31st.

Public talks in Vancouver and Victoria

Unusual fish hook fashioned from a canine tooth.  Burnaby Narrows, Haida Gwaii, 2012.  Photo by Jenny Cohen.

Unusual fish hook fashioned from a canine tooth. Ca. 3000 years old, Burnaby Narrows, Haida Gwaii, 2012. Photo by Jenny Cohen.

Quick note to say there are two forthcoming public talks that might be of interest to residents of Vancouver or Victoria.  The Vancouver one is by Dr. Ken Ames, Professor Emeritus at Portland State University, speaking at UBC on Thursday October 18th at 11.30.  The Victoria one is by yours truly, speaking to the Archaeological Society of BC on Tuesday October 16th at 7.30.  Details are below. Continue reading

Big Bucks for Early Coast at OSU

Screenshot of PSAL Web Page.

It looks like big Northwest Coast projects on old sites are in the works at Oregon State University.  I came across a new blog which is the public face of something called the Pacific Slope Archaeological Lab with the mission of “Discovery, recovery, and interpretation of First Americans archaeology in the New World’s Far West.”  The blog points to a large number of projects which have been initiated or are planned under this research umbrella.  How is such a wide-ranging and ambitious research project possible?  A million dollar endowment making a fund under the direction of OSU Associate Professor Loren Davis isn’t hurting.

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Oregon Earthquakes and Tsunamis

Source: Byram 2007.

Every few centuries, on average, the Northwest Coast gets shocked by a massive mega-thrust earthquake, on the order of 8 to 9 on the Richter scale.  On occasion, these produce a devastating tsunami wave.  It wouldn’t be surprising then if such disruptive events featured in aboriginal oral histories and also in the archaeological record itself.  There is a growing body of research on this topic which I am not planning on reviewing at this time, but a nicely focused starting point is a series of papers in the Oregon Historical Quarterly, available online.

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Oregon’s weird weirs

Dense fish trap / weir in an Oregon estuary. Source: Byram pdf @ WARP website

(edit: I completely stupidly mixed up who did the poster under discussion. Apologies all around, fixed the text below)

I mentioned the Wetland Archaeology Research Project (WARP) and their revamped website once before in reference to Nancy Greene’s pioneering fishtrap work at Comox.  I’m glad to see they have another interesting conference-style poster available for download, this one by Robert Losey (now at the University of Alberta) Scott Byram on the topic of Oregon fish weirs in unusual settings (PDF).

If a cow patch strikes you as an unusual setting, of course.

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