Could these be the oldest human footprints in Wetland Archaeology for North America?


Daryl Fedje was feeling his age, kneeling in a waterlogged pit, trowel in hand, mud everywhere, water pooling a dirty brown in the low spots. It was a cold, gray April morning on the central British Columbia coast, with rain lashing the overhead tarp, and Fedje, an archaeologist at the Hakai Institute and the University of Victoria, and one of Canada’s leading researchers on the early human history of the Americas, was dueling with doubt. Still lanky at 62, with gray hair curling out from his ball cap, he wondered yet again if he was wasting time and hard-to-find money chasing a figment of his imagination.

Fedje had been thinking about EjTa4, and what he’d seen there, for almost a year. Situated on remote Calvert Island, the site sprawled for nearly 150 meters along the shore, its massive, vegetation-shrouded midden looming over the water and its long abandoned garden nestling at the base. The immense midden, comprised of shells and other refuse, hinted at an ancient occupation. So a year ago, Fedje and his close friend Duncan McLaren, a fellow Hakai Institute and University of Victoria archaeologist, decided to search for the site’s earliest layer, digging a small test pit below the tideline. They hoped to find a few stone tools or butchered bones. But when Fedje got to the bottom of the pit, he saw something strange: a black impression in gray clay. It looked like a human footprint.

Please see the rest of the excellent article by Heather Pringle, Hakai Magazine Contributing Editor:  Time Travelers–possibly 13,000+ year old footprints by a hearth in Central B.C. Canada

Also see the outstanding video, including drone shoots over the excavations:  A STEP BACK IN TIME from Hakai Magazine on Vimeo


NewsWARP America Coordinator, Dale Croes, and Japanese Colleagues joined Duncan and Daryl’s crew on a different wet site project on Triquet Island, B.C. following this great discovery.  We found a number of wood and fiber artifacts, dating as early as 7,000+ years old, and we will announce this in future reports in NewsWARP.  An earlier report at this wet site can be found in NewsWARP at:  Hakai Ancient Landscape, Central British Columbia Coast, Canada

Triquet May13-1

May 2015 field work exchange on Triquet Island in Central B.C. Canada with Bella Bella First Nations;  Dale Croes left, and wet sites crew from Japan:  Akira Matsui’s Assistant and representative, Rika Shinkai wearing Kwakiutl button blanket and Drs. Naoto Yamamoto and Tomonori Kanno; Hakai Project Directors and discoverers of human footprints on Calvert Island, Dr. Duncan McLaren on right and Daryl Fedje with baseball cap.

A Neolithic Fishing Lodge at Cham-Eslen (Canton of Zug, Switzerland)?

Renata Huber sent this attached  poster about a proposed neolithic fishing lodge at Cham-Eslen (Canton of Zug, Switzerland), which they presented at the international conference: Culture, Climate and Environment Interactions at the Prehistoric Wetland Sites conference 11-14 June 2014 at Bern, Switzerland:  Interesting bound net sinker cobbles and some net fragments have been found.  Twenty net weights were found with lime bast still attached.  Two or even three (?) log boats were found next to the single house feature, with one salvaged in 2013.

Similar bound, plain cobble, anchor stones are found in wet sites along the Northwest Coast, such as those wrapped with cherry bark from the Hoko River site.  Also a spruce twig net and end hafted and bound quartz crystal microblades were recovered.  See these artifacts in the Hoko River digital image archive as discussed under NewsWARP Announcements:  Hoko River Archaeological Site Complex Digital Archive

Renata recently sent a paper on the site in German.  This composite tool with an elaborately bound handle was found at the site (pictured here).  The paper can be obtained here:  Cham-Eslen (Kanton Zug, Schweiz):ein jungneolithisches Haus mit (fast) allem Drum und Dran?Taphonomische Aspekte einer Seeufersiedlung .

Please submit reports in any language on PDFs or .DOCs.  Here is an English summary of the paper too:

Taphonomic analyses carried out on wetland settlements illustrate just how much evidence is missing from dryland settlements. Moreover, various opportunities exist in the areas of macroscopic and even more so in microscopic analysis. These advantages are outlined using the lakeside settlement of Cham-Eslen as an example. The settlement is suitable in many ways for taphonomic examinations: the site consists of a single house, which was situated on an island (today submerged in the lake) and according to dendrochronological dates was probably inhabited for approximately 10 years. It has yielded well-preserved and unusual finds. From a macroscopic point of view, the distribution patterns of the heavier finds are used to ascertain what might be considered in situ (in other words, still located where they were originally deposited). Micromorphology is used to ascertain the state of preservation. Different areas with various states of preservation were identified in the samples by applying several criteria. These have provided evidence for the absence of limnic elements and bioturbation traces, as well as the presence of ash and evidence of trampling. A number of deeper cores served to investigate whether the site is, in fact, an island or whether it is the product of a process of erosion. The results revealed that the house in Cham-Eslen was built on a dry island, the centre of which was not affected by flooding during its occupation. Therefore, we may assume that the features in this area have survived in situ. However, the outer areas of the house do, in fact, show traces of regular soil disturbances.

Translation: Sandy Hämmerle, Galway, IrelandComposite tool with elaborately wrapped handle from Cham-Eslen

New Taphonomic Research in Archaeological Wetland Deposits: The Bone Midden of Zug-Riedmatt (Central Switzerland)

Eda Gross sent this attached  poster about the trans-disciplinary studies about the neolithic wetland-site of Zu-Riedmatt, which they presented at the international conference: Culture, Climate and Environment Interactions at the Prehistoric Wetland Sites conference 11-14 June 2014 at Bern, Switzerland:üster_Plogmann_K.Ismail-Meyer_B._Steiner_Ö.Akeret_E._Eckmeyer_A._Heitz-Weniger_E._Gross_S._Jacomet_Ph.Rentzel_G.F._Schaeren_J.Schibler_New_taphonomic_research_in_archaeological_wetland_deposits._the_bone_midden_of_Zug.Riedmatt_Central_Switzerland_

The site, dating about 3200-3100 cal. BC, is a wetland site in the Lorze River delta at the shoreline of Lake Zug, with abundant subsistence foraging opportunities and lithic materials for stone axe production.  See their trans-disciplinary results using 110 profile columns, 607 surface bulk samples, 1354 wood samples, 7432 bones, and 12,753 artifacts in this beautifully composed and narrated poster.

This UNESCO-World Heritage Site is described in the web site Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps (

CH-ZG-05, Zug–Riedmatt: The layers at Zug–Riedmatt are very well preserved, 60–140 cm thick and have also yielded a large amount of organic finds. Ongoing research in a very small test-trench has revealed an extraordinary potential especially for microstratigraphic data with regard to the formation of the cultural layers. The site provides the best preserved reference material of a former phase of Horgen Culture (around 3200 BC) in Central Switzerland.  logo_palafittes_en


Dear all,

This summer we hope to finish the replica of the Dover Bronze Age Boat and launch it to conduct sea trails and maybe sail it from Dover to Folkestone in the shadow of the famous White Cliffs. The half scale replica is based strictly on the archaeological evidence of the original boat, and we are very excited about the possibility of learning more about the seafaring capabilities of our prehistoric ancestors.

Of course, this will all take money, and we have therefore launched a ‘Kickstarter’ campaign in the hope of raising the necessary funds. More information can be found at:

It would be wonderful if you could help in any way and please, please could you pass on this message to all of your friends and colleagues; the more people who know about this, the more likely we might be able to realise our dream!

Many thanks

All best wishes


Peter Clark BA FSA MIFA FSA Scot

Deputy Director

t: +44 (0) 1227 462 062

m: +44 (0)7968 573 418