Duwamish composite stone anchor. Source: UW.
I was talking the other day about how under-represented organic technology is in archaeology generally, and especially on the Northwest Coast, where the old adage is that 95% of the technology was made out of plants (trees, wood, bark, roots, grasses, seaweeds). A classic example of this phenomenon are anchor stones and sinker stones. While some of these stones had grooves or perforated holes (and are thereby very visible and durable in the archaeological record), many may have been made by the more simple, subtle and expedient method of simply wrapping line or basketry around an unmodified rock. When the organic component rots away, as it will most of the time, then the archaeologist has, well, an unmodified rock.
Anyway, it was a lucky stroke for my current interest that I came across the above photo from the University of Washington Digital Archives.
Posted in Archaeology, Northwest Coast, Technology, Washington State
Tagged Archaeology, Duwamish, Hoko River, organic technology, reef netting, Technology, underwater archaeology, waterlogged sites, wet sites
Hoko River project director Dale Croes, apparently wearing chaps, at the site in 1977.
Some time ago I pointed readers to the vast repository of Hoko River wet site excavation pictures put online by Dale Croes. Unfortunately, those links broke but now, via blog reader APM, I hear that the Hoko photo gallery is back online. I will definitely be mining this repository for lots of posts. Not only is this one of the most interesting sites ever excavated on the Northwest Coast, the pictures are a superb combination of excavation, artifact, and camp life – the latter a visual record of local archaeology as social practice in the 1970s. Also, as I mentioned previously, the lush, rich colour of the old Kodachrome slide film is stunning – you just don’t see that in modern digital cameras or even print film, despite the undeniable advantages of digital.
From the main page, many of the most interesting pictures are found under the “camp life” link. There you will be confronted with an awkward frames-based link layout. Not all links work still, but I’d say 90% do. You can browse easily by clicking on the pictures that open on the right-hand frame to get the next picture. This is easier than keeping the mouse centred on the picture number to the left. Right click on the picture to bring it up in its own window or tab. Some pages are organized as thumbnails, such as the wet site stratigraphy series. Because of the slightly awkward interface, I’ll aim to create a series of posts here which point to what I think are interesting aspects of this wonderful site.
Richard Daugherty and survey crew evaluate potential of Hoko Site in 1967 in WSU research vessel.
Posted in Archaeology, archives, Northwest Coast, pics, Washington State
Tagged Dale Croes, Hoko River, Makah, Washington State, Washington State University, waterlogged sites, wet sites, WSU
Hoko barbed wooden point.
Edited Feb 17/2010: Fixed the broken links.
So, a new school year beckons. Erk. As a distraction, treat yourself to the huge photo library of the Hoko River site which was put online by Dale Croes. A few dead links in there, but some pictures of fantastic artifacts, plus a sense of the project unfolding – slug fest included, as well as a visit from Hoko Site patron and “Clan of the Cave Bear Author” Jean Auel. The pictures are dusty, scanned-in transparencies (I think) which retain sense of nostalgia and the quiet punchiness of colour us old farts remember as fondly as we do the occasional upside-down slide at conferences. I’ll probably occasionally use the Hoko site as the basis for future posts here. On the left, a substantial barbed wooden(!!) point from the 2400 year old wet site deposits.