New: Wetland Settlements of the Baltic, A Prehistoric Perspective

Dear NewsWarp Members:

I am Elena Pranckenaite from Lithuania, I am working with wetland objects – lake dwellings in Lithuania.

A few weeks ago we have published a book, concerning wetland archaeology in the Baltic region. I think, that researches can find some interesting material from this region

Thank you very much,

All the best,

Sincerely,  Elena Pranckenaite
Center of Underwater Archaeology

To see Table of Contents:  Table of Contents

About this Publication:  This is the first publication to provide an overview of the archaeological investigations of wetland sites throughout the entire Baltic region. The book aims to provide a thorough historiography of its subject by presenting the specifics of this region through a discussion of ongoing and already completed investigations, as well as presenting the concise results of these reports and the types of objects that have been discovered. This collection of articles consists of chapters prepared by experienced researchers, as well as younger scholars from Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Russia, Poland and Germany, all of whom specialise in wetland archaeology objects. The separate chapters of this book analyse the prehistorical archaeological objects of waterlogged places that have previously been investigated and also provide information about ongoing investigations. Moreover, under discussion in these articles are the specific problems relating to the preservation of the objects’ themselves, the investigative methodologies applied, the separate types of object under analysis, as well as reconstruction of natural environment and potential for the future perspectives.

Sunken Village Collaborative Effort Featured in Yomiuri Shinbun Newspaper

Our joint SPSCC/AINW/Japanese/Tribes project at the Sunken Village wet site in 2007 was featured in a column written by project sponsor, Akira Matsui, in the popular Yomiuri Shinbun Newspaper, with a circulation of  over 100 million–called the biggest newspaper in the world.  The interest in archaeology by the Japanese population is reflected in these frequent news stories on archaeology in the popular press:  Akira Matsui article–translation 2-18-08 by Jaered and Dale Croes 2

Sunken Village Wet Site, Oregon, USA–Synthesis in JWA9

 Volume 9 of the Journal of Wetland Archaeology is dedicated to the well-preserved wet site of Sunken Village, on the southern end of Sauvie Island, Portland, Oregon, USA.  Sunken Village is one of only ca. 250 archaeological sites in the USA to have been given National Historic Landmark status.

Sunken Village (35MU4) represents the largest known acorn leaching pit site in the North America. During the low waters of September 2007, the international team of Japanese, U.S. and Tribal archaeologist mapped over 110 hemlock bough lined pits containing remnant of numerous waterlogged acorns, as well as basketry fragments, wooden wedges and abundant wood and fiber debitage. We estimate that, if all pits recorded were used, over 2.5 million acorns could be leached in a season at this site.

One fragile and ancient diamond-plaited soft flat bag recovered has drawn attention from regional basketry experts in the desert west of the U.S.A. Great Basin, through Jomon period wet site specialists in Japan.  This distinct basketry type is recorded for up to 9,000 years in cave sites in the state of Nevada, U.S.A through Klamath and Puget Sound Native American modern collects in Northwestern U.S.A..  In Japan these diamond-plaited soft bags are seen associated with acorn pit waterlogged sites from 7,000 years ago through Ainu modern collections. We have used cladistic analyses to associate ancient Northwest Coast basketry through over 2,800 museum baskets collections, and plan to expand that sample into the contact and ancient U.S. Great Basin and Japanese Jomon basketry.  We hope this will demonstrate the first concrete evidence of a broad Pacific and very ancient cultural sharing, where ideas moved rapidly throughout the North Pacific Basin, as demonstrated through the use of acorn pit processing/storage, and with the sharing of distinct styles of basketry around at least the North Pacific.

To order:

Sunken Village Publication Out Now

Underwater Archaeology and the Future of Submerged European Prehistory


Though the deadline for the Call for Papers is past, we wanted to announce this upcoming Oxbow Books publication.

The publication will be based upon, but not exclusive to papers presented at: EAA 15th Annual Meeting: September 17, 2009 – Riva del Garda, Italy Underwater archaeology and the future of submerged European prehistory.

Major events of human prehistory, such as the post-glacial recolonization of Northern Europe and the spread of agriculture though the Mediterranean, took place across landscapes that are now, at least partially, underwater — the consequence of global sea-level rise and regional crustal subsidence since the Late Pleistocene. Much of the submerged landscapes lie at depths accessible to divers and can be investigated archaeologically. Prehistoric underwater research has emerged in recent decades from the western Baltic to the eastern Mediterranean and methodology can be  applied to coastal regions throughout Europe and its surrounding environs. Moreover, there is a growing awareness of the potential for underwater archaeology to transform our ideas about key events in prehistory.