Author:Genevieve Hill (University of Exeter)
Paper short abstract:
This image shows a boat-based survey of wetlands on the Northwest Coast. Previous TAG sessions have considered how waterscapes should be considered active spaces of cultural exchange and development. Here we see not only survey from the water, but a reorientation of attention to waterscapes and their interaction with the land.
Paper long abstract:
This photo comes from a boat-based wetland survey on the east coast of Vancouver Island, B.C., in the traditional territory of the Halkomelem people.
A great deal of the traditional territory of the Halkomelem is associated with watery features, yet previous archaeological survey in the area has turned up very little evidence of sites not directly associated with coastal middens. A look at the ethnographic record indicates that lakes, rivers and wetlands were all sites of intense human activity. This is supported by historic sources, which suggest that the Halkomelem made frequent use of the full spectrum of water features until reserves were created, and laws were introduced by the Crown to restrict access to resources. It is curious that in an area with such a vast number of watery places, survey on foot is still de rigueur. This is why traditional use practices associated with waterscapes not reflected in the archaeological literature.
Previous TAG sessions have considered how waterscapes, rather than being a barrier, should be considered active spaces of cultural exchange and development. Discussion was lively, and there seemed to be unanimous agreement that looking at archaeological sites from the perspective of those who were deeply connected with the water would be a very productive exercise.This image shows an attempt to survey from the water and to consider the experience of being reoriented in that environment.
EXHIBITION - A picture is worth a thousand words: images of archaeological practice, past and present