Archaeologist talk to focus on Ozette site
By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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Archaeologist Gary Wessen of Washington State University will present a lecture, “Examining Prehistoric Cultural Behavior Represented by Marine Shellfish at the Ozette Site,” at 7 tonight at the Feiro Marine Life Center on City Pier.
Admission is free with a Feiro membership card, or a $5 donation for nonmembers.
The lecture will examine Wessen’s investigations into large piles of marine shellfish found at the archaeological site, which has produced more than 55,000 artifacts from 2,000 years of the pre-European contact Makah culture.
Wessen will “consider the range and detail of the information about cultural behavior they reflect.
“Beyond such basic information as what species were used, the shellfish remains tell us about how and when these animals were collected, how they were used and also provide insights into the social relationships of the people who lived at Ozette approximately 300-400 years ago,” Wessen said.
Ozette Village, a Makah settlement near Lake Ozette, was covered by a mudslide in about 1560 and rediscovered by archaeologists in 1970 after a storm caused erosion that revealed the long-buried longhouses and artifacts.
Many of the artifacts from the 11-year dig are on display in the Makah Museum at the Makah Cultural and Research Center in Neah Bay.
The mudslide preserved several houses and their contents, which represented many activities of the Makah, from whale and seal hunting to salmon and halibut fishing, and from toys and games to bows and arrows.
Makah oral history includes tales of a “great slide” that engulfed a portion of Ozette.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at email@example.com.
Last modified: October 17. 2013 5:37PM