Screenshot of Knowledge Network video about Mt. Edziza. Click to go to site.
For various reasons I’ve been off work for a while and that has meant being off blogging as well. If you’ve commented on posts recently then thanks; if you’ve emailed my gmail account and still would like a reply then maybe try again.
Anyway, what better way to resume making the occasional post here than a film about the place where I did some of my first ever fieldwork: assessing the then-proposed Site Z dam site on the Stikine River in Tahltan territory, far Northwestern British Columbia, in the shadow of Mt. Edziza. Edziza is well known to Northwest Archaeologists as one of the region’s most important sources of obsidian, a volcanic glass highly suitable for making certain kinds of stone tools.
The video, Edziza: Life from Ash and Ice, can be watched in full on the B.C. Knowledge Network’s web site. (NB: I had to change the resolution from a default of “lousy”). Obviously the geology of the Edziza Complex is pretty cool (and is covered in the first half of the video, which features John Clague among others), but there’s quite a bit of more direct archaeological interest in the second half.
Posted in Archaeology, First Nations, Northwest Interior, Technology
Tagged Archaeology, british columbia, documentaries, Edziza, geology, Mt. Edziza, obsidian, Tahltan, videos, volcanoes, XRF
Paul Kane: Mt. St. Helens erupting by night, 1847. Source: Wikipedia
Today is the 30th anniversary of the cataclysmic eruption of Mount St. Helens, an explosion so large that it could be heard as far north as southern Vancouver Island. The mountain has erupted many times in the past – one of which was captured by the well known painter Paul Kane (above) – and will continue to erupt indefinitely. Many of these eruptions and its fickle nature loom large in oral histories. The ash from prior eruptions forms important geological marker horizons all over the Northwest. Judging by this map, there are no known obsidian sources directly associated with Mount St Helens. These are the more obvious kinds of connections to archaeology and they shouldn’t be discounted. Another approach exemplifies a kind of morbidly creative lateral thinking.
Posted in Archaeology, Northwest Interior, Northwest Coast, Technology, Washington State
Tagged bone technology, bones, experimental archaeology, Mount St Helens, Site formation processes, taphonomy, volcanoes, Washington State, zooarchaeology