NEW BOOK Available here: Comparative Anatomy of Branches, Roots and Wood of Some North American Dicotyledonous and Coniferous Trees and Woody Shrubs Used in Ethnographic Artifacts : Identification and Conservation Concerns

by Mary-Lou E. Florian

Mary-Lou Florian,  Emerita Conservation Scientist, Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria, B.C. Canada, has generous provided us a link to the chapter’s of her important and well illustrated new contribution: her lifetime work on plant identification with a study of comparative anatomy and conservation concerns for wet/wetland site and ethnographic wood and fiber artifacts.

The book deals with the comparative anatomy of the tissues of the bark, phloem, heartwood, sapwood, and pith in wood, branches, and roots of woody shrubs, hardwood trees and softwood coniferous trees, that were reported to be used historically in making ethnographic and archaeological artifacts. The species researched in this book are endemic to Northwest Coast of North America. The species used in the following chapters have anatomical characteristics that are also common in other genera in the same family. Even though the book is on species in the NW Coast of Canada , the information is applicable to tree genera in similar latitudinal environments in Canada, USA, Europe and Asia.

Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) branch bark cross section
Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) branch bark cross section

I am pleased we can almost immediately provide this new release to NewsWARP researchers throughout the world and make sure Mary-Lou’s monumental work can be used to assist with plant identification and conservation work that is so important and fundamental to wet/wetland artifact research.

You can download chapters of the entire book at this web site:  Comparative Anatomy of Branches, Roots, and Wood….

Scroll down and click on menu “Download” to find all the chapters.

transverse surface of hemlock heartwood showing at a growth ring a gradual  change of large, thin walled, early wood cells -upward- to shorter cells with thick walls to form late wood
Transverse surface of hemlock heartwood, showing at a growth ring, a gradual change of large, thin walled, early wood cells -upward- to shorter cells with thick walls to form late wood

Ethnobotany Research at the Middle and Late Neolithic Semi-agricultural site of Hekelingen III

Archaeobotanist Dr. Welmoed Out, Moesgaard Museum, Department of Archaeological Science and Conservation and NewsWARP subscriber sent us two of her recent articles on the archaeobotany of a Dutch Neolithic wetland site:  Helelingen III:

2015  The best of both worlds:  Human impact and plant subsistence at the Middle and Late Neolithic semi-agricultural site of Hekelingen III (2900-2500 BC) (Out with Walter Dorfler, Germany) (Click Here)


2016  Wood usage at Dutch Neolithic wetland sites  (Click Here)

A. Paddle, B. Bow, C. Haft and detail of shaft hole  Dutch Neolithic Welmoed A. Out(A) Paddle, Acer sp.

(B)  Bow fragment, 2 views, Taxus sp.

(C & D) Haft and detail of shaft hole, Acer sp.

Image:  National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden, the Netherlands

Marc-Antoine Kaeser’s papers on pile-dwellings around the Alps

Pile DwellingSince 2011, the Prehistoric pile-dwellings around the Alps have been listed in the UNESCO World Heritage charter. This reflects the importance of the study of these sites, both in the shaping of the methods of prehistoric science, and for the understanding of habitat, economy, craft and everyday life during the recent prehistory of Europe.

In this sense, the application to World Heritage which started in 2004 heralds the start of a new era in pile-dwelling research, fostered by a new generation of prehistorians, who take advantage of a renewed, critical and reflexive historiography in order to dispassionately address this potentially sensitive past.
Marc-Antoine Kaeser
Directeur du Laténium – Parc et musée d’archéologie
Professeur associé à l’Institut d’archéologie, Université de Neuchâtel
Laténium – Espace Paul-Vouga – CH-2068 Hauterive

Marc-Antoine Kaeser, sent these three papers (in French–we publish in all languages) on his work and an update will be presented at WARP30, June 28–July 2nd, 2016 in Bradford, England WARP30 .  Hope you can attend.

KAESER M.-A. (1997). «Le pacifisme des Lacustres. Considérations sur les fondements idéologiques du Sonderfall suisse». Revue historique neuchâteloise [Neuchâtel] 1997: 297-306.
KAESER M.-A. (2000). «Le fantasme lacustre. Un mythe et ses implications idéologiques dans la Suisse du XIXe siècle». In L’homme préhistorique: Images et imaginaire (A. & J. Ducros eds.). Paris, L’Harmattan: 81-107.
KAESER M.-A. (2002). «L’autonomie des représentations, ou lorsque l’imaginaire collectif s’empare des images savantes. L’exemple des stations palafittiques». In Lebensbilder – Scènes de vie. Actes du colloque de Zoug, 13-14 mars 2001 (P. Jud & G. Kaenel eds.). Zug, GPS/AGUS: 33-40.

The Comox Harbour Fish Trap Complex: A Large-Scale, Technologically Sophisticated Intertidal Fishery from British Columbia, Canada

By Nancy A. Greene, David C. McGee and Roderick J. Heitzmann

Comox photo

In March of 2010 we announced in NewsWARP the important work on some well preserved and sophisticated wet site fish trap complexes on eastern Vancouver Island, Comox Harbour, Canada.  The Canadian researchers have just published a brilliant report on this work in the Canadian Journal of Archaeology, and the CJA Editor, Gary Coupland, gave us permission to make this paper available to the international wet site/wetland archaeologist audience of NewsWARP.  Below is the abstract and the paper is linked at the end.  Thanks to CJA and the researchers for sharing this great synthesis for all.

Abstract. Results of highly detailed mapping and radiocarbon dating at a vast and largely unknown intertidal fish trap complex indicate a large-scale, technologically sophisticated Aboriginal trap fishery operated at Comox Harbour, Vancouver Island, British Columbia between about 1,300 and 100 years ago. Two temporally and morphologically distinct trap types were utilized, and the shift from the Winged Heart trap type to the Winged Chevron trap type ca. 700 B.P. appears abrupt and closely coincident with Little Ice Age climatic conditions and increased importance of salmon at Aboriginal village sites on west coast Vancouver Island, at Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) and south coast Alaska.

Comox fishtrap diagramDrawing comparisons from closely analogous historical and contemporary North American large-scale traps designed with knowledge of fish behaviour, the Winged Heart and Winged Chevron traps were likely designed to mass harvest herring and salmon, respectively. This study contributes to the wider consideration of marine adaptation on the Pacific Northwest Coast.

Winged Heart trap and Winged Chevron trap types Comox reducedSchematic diagrams of the Winged Heart trap and the Winged Chevron trap types.  Each type is a composite built with three components: leader, bilaterally positioned wings and enclosure, arranged along a central line.

Please find the full publication of this work at:  Comox Harbour Fish Trap Complex, British Columbia, Canada


Ozette: Excavating a Makah Whaling Village By Ruth Kirk


NEW BOOK:  Ozette: Excavating a Makah Whaling Village

By Ruth Kirk, Author

The first comprehensive book on the history and research at the Ozette Village site investigations is now released.  Author Ruth Kirk does an excellent job synthesizing all the details of the field work, discovery of preserved wet site houses under a mudslide, developing the fieldwork strategies and logistics for year-round operations and the considerable research accomplished concerning this massive Northwest Coast of North America wet site undertaking.  A must read to understand the work done on this major wet site.

Here are some of the comments about this book:

UW Press: Ruth Kirk was present, documenting the archaeological work from its beginning, and her firsthand knowledge of the people and efforts involved enrich her compelling story of discovery, fieldwork, and deepen our understanding of Makah cultural heritage.

Ozette WhaleAnything Ruth Kirk writes I will devoutly read, and to have her paired with the dramatic story of the Ozette dig is a decided pleasure. No writer is more qualified, nor more dedicated, to the telling of this enticing archeological tale. – Ivan Doig, author of Winter Brothers

Makahs worked with ‘Doc’ Daugherty and Ruth Kirk for more than 45 years and we have been greatly anticipating the completion this book. As Makahs, we know the beauty and strength of Ozette and now the rest of the world can too! – Janine Ledford, Executive Director, Makah Cultural and Research Center

11_005   11_011This book is an inspiration, just like ‘Doc’ Daugherty and his crew inspired us all at the Ozette Village site. We will never understand our future until we better understand the past and Ozette helps us do just that.
Ralph Munro, Washington Secretary of State 1980-2001

Ozette: Excavating a Makah Whaling Village will be highly popular among both professionals in anthropology and members of the interested public. This truly is one of her best writings and a synthesis as only Ruth Kirk could write. – Dale R. Croes, Ph.D., Washington State University and Director of the Pacific Northwest Archaeological Society


Google this title and obtain a copy through internet services.  Great to see this general synthesis of a major wet site undertaking.