Presentation Abstract

This paper presents our research methodology to reconstruct pre-contact baseline marine ecological conditions in Burrard Inlet. Following the Back to the Future methodology outlined by Pauley et al. (1998) and emphasizing applied archaeological techniques, we will undertake multi-disciplinary research to reconstruct pre-contact baseline marine ecological conditions in Burrard Inlet. The marine ecosystems supported several communities of Tsleil-Waututh people in Burrard Inlet for millennia. The remains of Tsleil-Waututh village sites (shell middens) are very rich records of archaeofauna representing the accumulated remains of locally harvested species from about 1000 BC to AD 1792. Our research will investigate already excavated samples of archaeofauna and additional excavations of shell midden sites to develop a detailed record of pre-contact species abundance and diversity. Detailed analyses will include: • Extensive radiocarbon dating to identify the age of all samples and identify change through time. • Identification of large samples of archaeofauna (especially shellfish and fish) from major Tsleil-Waututh village sites • Analysis of the DNA from ancient and modern salmonid samples to identify past species abundance and to asses genetic continuity in local runs. • Analysis of the DNA from ancient and modern herring samples to determine if ancient herring populations here were local or migratory. • Analysis of ancient and modern clam shells using isotopic paleosclerology to identify resource harvesting pressure and season of harvest. The results of these techniques will be combined with research into historical and archival sources, and research into Tsleil-Waututh oral histories and traditional use studies to assess the pre-contact baseline ecological conditions of Burrard Inlet. All of this information will be used to develop a mass balance equation that represents the trophic structure of the pre-contact marine ecosystem in Burrard Inlet.

Session Title

Beyond theory: The Assessment and Management of Cumulative Effects in the Salish Sea

Keywords

Bass line ecology, Burrard inlet, Archeology

Conference Track

SSE8: Policy, Management, and Regulations

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE8-164

Start Date

5-4-2018 10:30 AM

End Date

5-4-2018 10:45 AM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 5th, 10:30 AM Apr 5th, 10:45 AM

Pre-contact baseline ecological reconstruction in Burrard Inlet

This paper presents our research methodology to reconstruct pre-contact baseline marine ecological conditions in Burrard Inlet. Following the Back to the Future methodology outlined by Pauley et al. (1998) and emphasizing applied archaeological techniques, we will undertake multi-disciplinary research to reconstruct pre-contact baseline marine ecological conditions in Burrard Inlet. The marine ecosystems supported several communities of Tsleil-Waututh people in Burrard Inlet for millennia. The remains of Tsleil-Waututh village sites (shell middens) are very rich records of archaeofauna representing the accumulated remains of locally harvested species from about 1000 BC to AD 1792. Our research will investigate already excavated samples of archaeofauna and additional excavations of shell midden sites to develop a detailed record of pre-contact species abundance and diversity. Detailed analyses will include: • Extensive radiocarbon dating to identify the age of all samples and identify change through time. • Identification of large samples of archaeofauna (especially shellfish and fish) from major Tsleil-Waututh village sites • Analysis of the DNA from ancient and modern salmonid samples to identify past species abundance and to asses genetic continuity in local runs. • Analysis of the DNA from ancient and modern herring samples to determine if ancient herring populations here were local or migratory. • Analysis of ancient and modern clam shells using isotopic paleosclerology to identify resource harvesting pressure and season of harvest. The results of these techniques will be combined with research into historical and archival sources, and research into Tsleil-Waututh oral histories and traditional use studies to assess the pre-contact baseline ecological conditions of Burrard Inlet. All of this information will be used to develop a mass balance equation that represents the trophic structure of the pre-contact marine ecosystem in Burrard Inlet.