Ed Carriere, Suquamish Elder and Master Basketmaker, and Dale Croes, Wet Site Archaeologist Featured in Suquamish News

Ed Carriere and my trip to the 30th Anniversary of the Wetland Archaeology Research Project (WARP) Conference was featured in his Suquamish Tribal Newspaper, pages 5-6:  Suquamish News, page 5-6 WARP30 .  Their news paper has many other articles you may find interesting too.

Ed truly enjoyed the conference, hearing all the papers and meeting everyone.  We look forward to sharing our work together in the future.

6-29-16  Ed showing our work at WARP30
Ed Carriere showing WARP30 delegates his replication of ancient wet site basketry work at the anniversary conference

WARP30 Abstract/PowerPoint: Fading Visions–Future Values: Pathways to Engagement?

By Andrian Olivier

Olivers English Heritage Wetlands

The significance of wetlands for archaeology and cultural heritage has long been understood and reiterated repeatedly since the 1930s. Different strategies for improving understanding of wetland archaeology and managing the cultural heritage component of wetlands have evolved and been implemented (or not) with varying degrees of success over the intervening years. Discovery and excavation of well-preserved material within wetlands (or former wetlands) continue to astound and astonish both archaeologists and the public on a regular basis, and we have no difficulty using this material to tell new and exciting stories. Nevertheless, as a group, we still find it difficult to build the integrated management approaches that we have long espoused. With a few notable exceptions we have yet to achieve a real measure of active two-way public engagement with, and participation in wetland archaeology that delivers genuine public benefit in terms that the public understands, and which can be transformed into active public (and then political) support. Many of the problems and issues related specifically to wetland archaeology are being addressed, but of all challenges that continue to bear down on the natural and historic environments, perhaps the greatest is to understand why people seem to find it so difficult to look after their environment. In local contexts, and in the context of the Florence and Faro Conventions much is being achieved across Europe to build public engagement and participation in cultural heritage, and there is much that wetland archaeologists can learn from this. Perhaps it is now time to move away from all-embracing management strategies and visionary approaches and refocus our attention on how to use our unique source material in practice, not simply for outreach and communication, but to build real two-way public engagement that delivers actual and recognisable public benefit.

Olivers Gap between aspiration and practice
Gap between aspiration and practice….

To view Andrian Oliver’s Slide Notes and WARP30 PowerPoint click here:  PowerPoint Slide Notes and Adrian Olivier’s WARP30 PowerPoint

WARP30 Abstract/PowerPoint: Rivers in Prehistory: Human-Environment Interactions in the Making

By Andrea Vianello

Rivers have been the invisible “elephant in the room” in the archaeological literature, known to be there and even addressed directly in case of flooding or some other natural disaster, but largely absent from interpretations. Some rivers have been closely associated to specific civilisations, but the actual dynamics in the human-environment interactions are often too simplistic.

Andrea Vianello

Settling near rivers can provide some advantages, but rivers are characteristically diverse, geographically and with the varying of seasons and the passing of years, and generally unreliable in their patterns. This situation has always stressed the relationship that humans have had with rivers, and resulted in a variety of responses. Ultimately, rather than explaining a single event, unique or repeated in time, rivers need to be approached as a dynamic entity that prompted constant responses from humans. The dynamism of this relationship is essential, and a key differentiator with seascapes and other wetlands, which are usually static environment with very long spans in between any significant change.

After researching the role of rivers in ancient cultures, no single pattern has emerged, and even responses to the same event have been different. This diversity is perhaps the most accessible of human-environment interactions, one that is strong even today since many contemporary cities are crossed by rivers, which represent the only natural space within the urban environment. Life on rivers is certainly a wet one, as floods and temporary wetlands can be expected, challenging the notion that a (permanent) wetland is a separate or distinctive environment. Rivers seem therefore an ideal case to investigate these interactions and determine the role of the most important resource of all, water, in human life. By adopting a consistent method to investigate them, it is possible to include rivers in our interpretations.

To see Andrea Vianello’s WARP30 PowerPoint click here: Rivers in Prehistory: Human-Environment Interactions on the Making

WARP30 Abstract/PowerPoint: An Infrastructure Project in Sweden: Alvastra Pile-Dwelling

By

Nathalie Hinders, Gregory Strand Tanner, and Jackie Taffinder

Abstract: The Alvastra pile-dwelling is a wooden platform in the middle of a mire connected to the mainland by a wooden causeway. The platform is surrounded by a fence or palisade of oak piles driven into the ground. It was built around 3000 BC in the Dags Mosse mire, Alvastra, in the province of Östergöt-land. The wooden platform was the scene of large-scale ritual activities, activities that are focused on the meeting of cultures.

The Alvastra pile-dwelling was excavated the first time from 1909 until 1930 by Otto Frödin. The results of this excavation were published in 2011 by Hans Browall. The second excavation was conducted between 1976 and 1980 by a group of archaeologists from Stockholm University under the leadership of Professor Mats Malmer. The results have, for various reasons, never been published in their entirety. As this is such an important site, the inaccessibility of the material has held research into the cultural relations of the Neolithic back. It is thus of vital importance that the material be made accessible to the archaeological community.

Jackies field mapJackies field photo

Field maps and photograph from Stockholm University excavations

 The pile-dwelling is for several reasons of great archaeological significance, both nationally and inter-nationally:

  • At this place two archaeological cultures are represented – the Pitted Ware Culture and the Funnel Beaker Culture
  • This site is fixed in time. The more than 800 piles used to build this platform can be related to each other by their tree rings. They represent 42 years, a floating chronology, which has also been attached to calendar years by numerous radiocarbon dates
  • Because of the waterlogged conditions in this mire, organic material has been preserved in unusually large amounts – tools of bone and antler, wooden objects apart from the piles in the platform, apples, carbonized grain, tinder mushrooms, human bones and animal bones
  • The non-organic material excavated from the site consists ofpotsherds, flint tools and stone tools of various kinds. It is diverse and very rich, making many different kinds of archaeological research possible. Other research is also possible, for example climatic change. Much ongoing genetic research is based on the human bones but much remains to be done on the other kinds of material

In 2014 the Swedish History Museum and the Department of Archaeology at Stockholm University was granted funding by the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences to digitize the assemblages from the 1976-1980 excavations and to construct a research platform for the Alvastra pile-dwelling site, i.e. to provide an infrastructure for research. The project was launched in April 2015 and will work for three years to make the assemblages digitally available and to collect all available resources in a digital platform accessible from the home page of the Swedish History Muse-um. This paper is a presentation of an infrastructure project in Sweden. The paper will describe the project and present what has been done so far.

To see the WARP30 PowerPoint of project click here:  Alvasta Pile Dwellings Sweden