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Ethnographic perspectives on Laxyuup Gitxaała Irons, Jonathan William 2012

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ETHNOGRAPHIC PERSPECTIVES ON LAXYUUP GITXAAŁA  by JONATHAN WILLIAM IRONS B.A., Butler University, 2009  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS  in  THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES  (Anthropology)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  April 2012  © Jonathan William Irons 2012  Abstract In this thesis I use ethnographic research methods to examine the nature of archaeological practice when it occurs in collaboration with indigenous groups (collaborative archaeology). In 2011, I served as a member of the Laxyuup Gitxaała research project team, a project conducted by the University of British Columbia and under the auspices of Gitxaała Nation. In most writing on collaborative archaeology, authors use parables and simple explanations of special site procedures as a background for defending the practice. In-depth archaeological ethnographies of collaborative archaeological practice are few and far between. In this research I employed a reflective methodology and asked participants to journal about their experience of the daily archaeological work in order to address the experience of archaeological field practice. In my analysis I use these journals and my own reflections to describe archaeology as a stratigraphic profile. I present this profile as consisting of three layers, Fishing Narratives, Archaeological Work, and Land and Place. I provide a thick description of the consistency of these three layers, the shape of their features and their overall relationship to one another. I conclude by suggesting that the way in which anecdotal fishing narratives permeate the research experience affords collaborative archaeology a character which is supplemented and enhanced rather than compromised or restricted.  ii  Preface The research for this thesis was approved the University of British Columbia Behavioral Research Ethics Board. The research period from May to June 2011 was conducted under certificate H06-80199. The research period from June to August 2011 was conducted under certificate H11-00582. The research occurred in the context of a SSHRCC funded research project, Laxyuup Gitxaała (2010-2013), principal investigator: Charles R. Menzies. Jon Irons performed the research and conducted the analysis for this thesis. Jonathan Irons is the sole author of this manuscript, no portion of which has been previously published.  iii  Table of Contents Abstract ........................................................................................................................................ ii Preface ......................................................................................................................................... iii Table of Contents ....................................................................................................................... iv List of Figures .............................................................................................................................. v Acknowledgements .................................................................................................................... vi 1 2  Statement of the Thesis ......................................................................................................... 1 The Absence of Practice; Archaeological Ethnography in Indigenous Archaeology ..... 3 2.1 Sorting out archaeological ethnography .......................................................................... 5 2.2 Paths to an indigenous archaeology ................................................................................. 8  3  The Archaeo-Social Profile; Metaphor as Method...........................................................11 3.1 Laxyuup Gitxaała............................................................................................................. 11 3.2 Archaeological ethnographic method ............................................................................ 12 3.3 The archaeo-social profile as analytic technique .......................................................... 15 3.4 An interpretive narrative................................................................................................. 19  4  Archaeo-Social Soil; Archaeology at the Level of Experience ........................................ 21 4.1 Stratum I, Land and Place ............................................................................................... 21 4.2 Stratum II, Archaeological Work .................................................................................... 23 4.3 Features in stratum II ...................................................................................................... 27 4.4 Stratum III, Fishing Narratives ...................................................................................... 34 4.5 Features in stratum III .................................................................................................... 35  5  Collaborative Character; "Seeing the Social Profile ....................................................... 42  6  Of Value and Boundaries; Synthesis and Dialogic Conclusion ...................................... 48  References Cited........................................................................................................................ 50 Appendices......................................................................................................... ........................ 55 Appendix A Short Story ........................................................................................................ 55 Appendix B Journal Prompt ................................................................................................. 62  iv  List of Figures Figure 1  The Archaeo-Social Profile of Laxyuup Gitxaała.............................................. 17  v  Acknowledgements This thesis could not have been completed without the generosity and faithful collaboration of Gitxaała Nation. And so, I offer my sincere thanks to Gitxaała Nation for allowing me onto their traditional territory and for providing the research vessel which became so pivotal to my research metaphor. I must thank Merle and Ernie for their hospitality and unforgettable introduction to life on Lach Klan. My conversations with Roberta and Ken inspired me to find meaning in the landscape and for that I owe them. I would also like to thank Teddy and Russ for their marine expertise, fine at-sea cooking, memorable laughs and generally teaching me more about the sea than I would have learned in a lifetime on my own. I am also indebted to the journaling research participants without whose reflections, illustrations, foreign languages and cooperation I would have missed many significant research moments. Many thanks to Greg, Naomi, Kenzie and Kisha for entrusting me with your insights and for humoring my ethnographic intrusions. Moreover our conversations, both candid and formal were invaluable to my understanding of Northwest Coast archaeology, shellfish remains and rowing skills. I would also like to thank Andrew for his welcome and constructive supports, criticisms and comments on my archaeological and ethnographic methods. Writing this research has been a long process, a dance of sorts, around my unbridled imagination, creative rebellion and my pan-anthropological approach to archaeology. My committee has waded through fiction, fictiveness, creative academic writing and metaphors that, at times, have been cringe-worthy. Their commitment to hearing me out, reining me in and ultimately ensuring a rigorous piece of academic writing is admirable. Thank you David for your extensive editing and relaxing guitar-laden discussions. Thank you Charles for supporting my  vi  participation on your project, navigating the ethical landscape and humoring my style of anthropology. Although quite literally far removed from my physical research and writing, I complete all of my academic work fully conscious and appreciative of the support of my parents, James and Jonetta Irons, and the rest of my family. And finally, my beautiful wife-to-be Allison, thank you for exploring the academic limits with me, thank you for pushing me to finish, for singing my songs and for never doubting my capabilities and passions.  vii  Chapter 1: Statement of the Thesis Collaborative archaeology is a type of research into the past in which archaeologists work alongside local indigenous and aboriginal populations to actively integrate local perspectives, participants and agendas (Colwell-Chanthaphonh et al 2010; McGhee 2008; Smith and Wobst 2005). It is a young and growing approach to traditional archaeological research where anthropologists attempt to include and draw from multiple ways of knowing, as well as to provide benefits for people that know genocide and exploitation all too well. In this thesis I draw from my personal experiences as a member of the Laxyuup Gitxaała archaeological project in Northwest British Columbia, May-June, 2011. I attempt to use ethnographic observations to describe this intersection of multiple ways of knowing in a new light. As a member of the Laxyuup Gitxaała archaeological team I learned new ways to understand the importance of being somewhere, of seeing some place and of making sense out of archaeological research practices. Our base was the 60’ commercial fishing vessel, Katrena Leslie II, owned by Gitxaała Nation. The crew onboard the Katrena Leslie II included: Marvin (Teddy) Gamble (skipper) and Russ Gamble (engineer), two fisherman and Gitxaała community members. Onboard, I traveled first to Klewnuggit, then to Komodah at Lowe Inlet and on to Ks’waan with fellow University of British Columbia (UBC) graduate students and professional archaeologists Kenzie Jessome and Naomi Smethurst. Greg McKay, a Gitxaała and Gitxaała employee himself, worked alongside us and under the direction of Charles Menzies, our project director. We visited these sites and recorded their boundaries. From auger and shovel tests we gathered a sense of their structure. We remained in constant motion, moving from boat to land and back again, hauling equipment, soil and notes. After a week off I returned, this time Kenzie was replaced with a professor from the University of Alberta, Kisha Supernant, and another from UBC, Andrew Martindale. With these new passengers, Naomi, Greg and I revisited Ks’waan, 1  this time excavating. The flow between boat and land eased and became routine, Greg, Teddy and Russ guided our skiffs to complete the circuits. As students and professors, archaeologists and anthropologists, scholars and fishermen, we visited these places together and lived out collaboration. In describing this collaboration, I found that metaphor was an innovative and integrated framework from which I might address the nuanced positions of place and vision within the collaborative archaeological project. Adhering to a chronological report of the Laxyuup Gitxaała archaeological project would have prevented me from exploring the depth and experience of connection between events occurring in different points in time and space. Change in archaeological practice, in this case, is an artefact of accumulation and is best explored in a way not bound strictly to chronology -- for soil more often accumulates with lenses and disturbances blurring the original context -- but one illuminated by empirical experience. To the best of my abilities, I will endeavour to make what may otherwise be a cut and dry case of epistemological evaluation into something much more open and attuned to new and productive ways of representing collaborative research. Breaking from the current, broad comments on collaborative archaeology, in this thesis I use ethnographic reflections and specific accounts of experiences on the ground to illuminate the value of collaboration as a knowledge-making process which produces unique experiences among archaeological crew members in the field. In this way I move away from understandings of archaeological practice based on mechanical practice and excavation planning and to instead reflect on the changes in research experience and their significance for the character of collaborative archaeology.  2  Chapter 2: The Absence of Practice; Archaeological Ethnography in Indigenous Archaeology When I first proposed this research project, I was inspired by an exchange in American Antiquity between Robert McGhee (2008, 2010) and a number of prominent collaborative archaeologists (Colwell-Chanthaphonh et al 2010; Croes 2010; Silliman 2010; Wilcox 2010). The “McGhee Exchange” was essentially over the intellectual viability of so-called indigenous archaeology (a term referring to archaeological projects conducted in partnership with indigenous communities, under the supervision of indigenous communities or by archaeologists of indigenous heritage). McGhee claimed that indigenous archaeology undermined the systematic and scientific processes of archaeological research. The chorus in rebuttal of McGhee’s point suggested, through success stories from their own collaborative work, the necessity and viability of indigenous archaeology. While I disagreed whole-heartedly with McGhee’s argument, I was nonetheless intrigued by his call for an “intellectual foundation” of indigenous archaeology. Though much has been written about the need for indigenous archaeology, the parables of mistakes and successes of collaborative procedure, very little has been written on the processes and active experiences of conducting archaeology alongside, and even under the authority of, an indigenous community. What is missing, and should give scholars pause, is the lack of transparency and critical reflection on the processes of collaborative archaeology. Clarification is needed here, because many articles and chapters on indigenous and collaborative archaeology refer to process (e.g. Silliman 2008; Smith and Wobst 2005). By process, I do not mean simply the procedures and narratives of putting together, for example, a field school; or the details of meetings and the variety of agreements and permits and permissions acquired, or the demographics of successful  3  projects. What is missing is the dirt, so to speak, the soil forgotten about beneath the theoretical ground of indigenous archaeology. Dirt is the heart of the archaeological experience; the day to day operation, the social network, the narratives and the memories of active fieldwork. Although many archaeologists are as candid about the problems they faced in collaborative projects as they are about their successes, most have only recently begun to critically engage with the social experience of their active research and few if any have institutionalized this sort of inquiry into their research enterprises. I agree with Edgeworth (2006) and others that the social circumstances of moments in which archaeological data emerge in the field are integral to complete understandings of archaeological knowledge. Nowhere is this more crucial than in indigenous and collaborative projects wherein distinct or blended epistemologies may potentially collide. While the politics of practice in more traditional, “modernist,” archaeologies have been written about and understood (e.g. Edgeworth 2010; Gero 1996; Hamilakis and Anagnostopolous 2009), the academic, intellectual and ethnographic understandings of collaborative experience remain poorly researched. In this section, I justify an ethnographic examination of archaeological practice in order to better develop a discussion of how archaeology should relate to indigenous worldviews in collaborative settings. This thesis represents a convergence of two theoretical and methodological movements in archaeology: 1) what Edgeworth (2006) defined as the ethnography of archaeological practice, and 2) the movement to decolonize archaeology and develop the field of indigenous archaeology (Smith and Wobst 2005; Watkins 2000). Although arising out of distinct traditions, the two “turns” have met each other recently as archaeological ethnographers engage with ideas of heritage (Castañeda and Mathews 2008; Hollowell and Mortensen 2009) and collaborative archaeological scholars overhaul pedagogy and practice  4  (Silliman 2008). Below I discuss the influences of these two movements to contextualize my research methodology.  2.1 Sorting out archaeological ethnography Archaeological ethnography is the latest fusion between socio-cultural research methods and archaeological fieldwork. Although Franz Boas attempted to define anthropology as a single discipline working to understand human beings in the past and present (Boas 1919), most scholars in anthropology specialize in a single sub-discipline. Since the mid 20th century the fracture has only grown deeper. Although socio-cultural anthropology and archaeology grew apart, landing even in distinct academic departments, there were convergences of method. Most prominent was processualist ethnoarchaeology (i.e., Binford 1977) in which study of contemporary uses of material culture were used as analogues to understand the material past. However, Ian Hodder’s Çatalhöyük project was one of the first stages where ethnographic research was integrated into the archaeological endeavour rather than serving as a supplemental tool (e.g., Bartu 2000; Hamilton 2000). This is a primary feature of archaeological ethnography -- the integration of methods rather than an exchange of techniques. Early ethnographies of archaeological practice dealt with the practice of archaeology itself, treating the archaeological research context as a social sphere. Joan Gero (1996) examined elements of excavating and map drawing in a field school to underscore the embodiment and pervasiveness of a male-centered practice. In another vein, Matt Edgeworth (1991, 2003) conducted an ethnographic study of an archaeological excavation in the United Kingdom to  5  discuss the construction of archaeological knowledge through social and physical practices in the field. Since these first “iterations” of ethnography of archaeological practice, there have been a plethora of papers and edited publications which vaguely fall into an emergent sub-discipline (Breglia 2006; Edgeworth 2006; Everil 2007; Goodwin 2006; Hamilakis and Anagnostopolous 2009; Holtorf 2002; Meskell 2005; Moser 2007; Yarrow 2008). Perhaps the most confusing aspect of this change has been what to call it. Castañeda’s (2008: 30-31) synthesis describes three major trends. The first, archaeological ethnography, is the use of ethnographic data to understand specific practices in the past (this is often termed ethnoarchaeology). The second is the anthropology of archaeology in which archaeological practices, social contexts and political situations become the ethnographic object of understanding (many authors including Edgeworth [2006], Hamilakis and Anagnostopolous [2009] and Meskell [2005] refer to this as archaeological ethnography). The last trend is Castañeda’s own agenda, ethnographic archaeologies, characterized by more profound integrations of ethnographic methods in archaeological research (this is alternatively been described as ethno-critical archaeology by Zimmerman [1997, 2008]). Ethnographic archaeology here deliberately facilitates the engagement of archaeological practice with the contemporary social milieu; a milieu populated by so-called “stakeholders.” Departing from Castañeda’s nomenclature, I follow Edgeworth and use the term archaeological ethnography to describe my research methodology (though it accords more to what Castañeda describes as the anthropology of archaeology). For me, archaeological ethnography is the examination of the social process of active archaeological research through an integrated research project. Archaeological ethnography emerges as a new sort of processualism  6  by examining the physical and social processes of archaeology and by bringing such analyses to the fore of defining archaeological knowledge. In this way archaeological practice mimics Bourdieu’s habitus (Bourdieu 1977), something more constructive than simple action or social context. Ethnographic archaeology as a holistic research enterprise emphasizing the stakeholder (Castañeda and Mathews 2008) is an appealing perspective. However, much of the literature that can be described as ethnographic archaeology neglects any real examination of archaeological practice. For instance, Gordillo (2009) makes critical observations about understandings of preservation and ruins through the experience of local Argentineans. While a more nuanced understanding of what archaeologists refer to (with disdain) as looting is critically important to discussions of heritage, Gordillo does not address how practicing archaeologists may or may not reflect these perspectives in their daily work. Similarly, Breglia (2006, 2009) addresses the complex ways that local Mexicans relate, or in some cases refuse to relate, with preserved Mayan complexes in the Yucatán. However, Breglia does not consider how attitudes of local excavators may come to bear on the archaeological process itself and the ability for researchers to learn about heritages. Other ethnographic archaeologists offer unsatisfying and broad comments about the discipline. Castañeda (2008) suggests that the use of ethnography in archaeology should not be considered merely as a method, but rather a process of integration and collaboration in which understanding and inclusion are sought. Anne Pyburn (2008) suggests that practitioners, especially those in developing nations, critique and resist the unspoken rules of archaeological practice which suggest that a certain character and rigor is necessary for proper academic research into the past.  7  The detail in which archaeological ethnographers describe the politics and processes of knowledge making via examinations of fieldwork is rarely found in the ethnographic archaeologies above. However, ethnographic archaeologists are right to criticize ethnographers of field schools and gendered practice for ignoring the complicated social contexts in which archaeological practice is located. The primary difference is that ethnographic archaeologists are often socio-cultural anthropologists (Castañeda 2008, Gordillo 2009; Mortensen 2009) and archaeological ethnographers are archaeologists by training (Edgeworth 2003; Gero 1996; Meskell 2005). In my archaeological ethnography, I advocate a meeting of the two approaches. My training in anthropology qualifies me as neither solely an archaeologist nor an ethnographer. In this fusion of disciplinary techniques, I approach the roles and complexities presented by stakeholders as critical social/historical elements in the creation of archaeological data. Thus, I borrow from Edgeworth a focus on knowledge production, and from Castañeda a concern for the role of stakeholders in writing history. My archaeological ethnography specifically enters in dialogue with the problems in establishing indigenous and collaborative archaeologies in practice.  2.2 Paths to an indigenous archaeology The call to decolonize anthropology began well before the postprocessual movement in archaeology. Vine Deloria was one of the first to criticize anthropological researchers for exploiting North American Indian cultures for academic advancement. His works (Deloria 1969, 1997) provided powerful and bitter accounts of the systematic extermination of the indigenous populations of the United States and highlighted the relationship between scientists and Indians.  8  The so-called “Anthros” came onto reservations, recorded stories, took photographs and even dug up human bones and burial goods. Then the Anthros left and the Indians ended up with even less than before. Over the years, the response to this one way relationship has garnered support from scholars (indigenous and non-indigenous) all over the world. Pivotal impetus for this change came from Smith (1999) who spelled out specific alterations for the academic research enterprise. There are now many accounts of the achievements made by indigenous organizations to protect their land, their culture and their heritage (e.g. Nicholas 2006; Thomas 2000; Watkins 2000). The archaeological response called for systemic changes within the models and practices of research conducted around the world. Smith and Wobst (2005) provided a collection of essays on the inclusion of indigenous world views, repatriations, prescriptive suggestions for ethical and responsible research with indigenous communities, and offered several parables suggesting a need for auto-ethnographic aspects of indigenous archaeology. May et. al. (2005) illustrated some blatantly unethical practices of Franz Boas’ work in British Columbia. Similarly, Watkins (2000; 2005) contrasted the conflicts between archaeologists and indigenous people in Washington at Kennewick and Wenatchee, and suggested the need for consultation to occur prior to investigations as a proactive measure. Many of the authors in Smith and Wobst’s volume called for the inclusion of indigenous perspectives in the field, and legislation in many countries even demands it. Silliman (2008) advanced the idea into practice. Collaborating at Trowel’s Edge is an edited volume that centers on pedagogy and the field school as important sites of collaboration. Again, many contributions took what I call a parable form (e.g., Bendremer and Thomas 2008; Mills et. al. 2008; Rossen  9  2008) providing a narrative of successful collaborative experiences. Although these works and others (Leone 2008; Mathews 2008; May et. al. 2005; Watkins 2005) began to reveal the importance of documenting and evaluating experiences in the field, none provided evidence of pre-meditated ethnographic method as a critical element in collaborative research. Although the two volumes discussed above focused on practice by name (and even point discussion toward Hodder’s [1997] trowel edge), neither fully explored the aspects of practice of archaeological ethnographers like Edgeworth and the archaeological ethnographers. Archaeological practice, in a Bourdieusian sense (Bourdieu 1977) the archaeological habitus, is rarely addressed. Unfortunately, chapters and articles detailing the importance of “consultation” and “inclusion” in vague senses did not move the discipline closer to understanding the effect and effectiveness of its practice. Scholars looked only to epistemology to find the fractures between archaeological ways of knowing and others (Mason 2000; Silliman 2008; Wobst 2005; Zimmerman 2005, 2008). The literature in collaborative and indigenous archaeology represents an important and more inclusive understanding of archaeological method, but I think that there is a need to understand collaborative productive technique. To reiterate my summary of the McGhee Exchange above, intention and ethics in method can be easily understood and supported by success parables, but there is a lack of understanding of process, of technique, of the experience of collaborative archaeology. What is needed are archaeological ethnographic examinations focused solely on describing the embodied conditions that construct archaeological practice in collaborative projects. The methods and subject that I discuss below attempt to converge archaeological ethnography and the collaborative effort to decolonize anthropology.  10  Chapter 3: The Archaeo-Social Profile; Metaphor as Method As alluded to above, the guiding framework of my research is an archaeological ethnographic method. This can mean a number of different things, as there are perhaps as many flavours of archaeological ethnography as there are scholars conducting work. In this section, I clarify the specifics of how I approach ongoing archaeological fieldwork as a subject of study. I first discuss the details of the project I worked with and then address specific methods.  3.1 Laxyuup Gitxaała The Laxyuup Gitxaała project is a collaborative anthropological project organized by Charles Menzies from the University of British Columbia with the oversight of the Gitxaała Nation (Menzies 2004). The 2011 summer season focused on archaeological investigations in Gitxaała traditional territory, specifically a well-known fish trap site in Lowe Inlet and several sites, on and in the vicinity of, southern Banks Island. In addition, the team surveyed a reported site in Klewnuggit Inlet, and visited the Citeyats site first surveyed in the summer of 2009. The 2011 archaeological survey included soil probing, auger tests, soil cores, extensive topographic survey, five shovel test units and two small excavations. The season was divided into three excursions. The May trip (May 12 - 21) and the June trip (May 31 - June 10) involved work primarily in Lowe Inlet and the south of Banks Island. The August trip (August 21 September 1) investigated sites on the west coast of Banks Island. The team was based upon the Katrena Leslie II in May and June, and the Northern Monarch in August. Laxyuup Gitxaała represents the current iteration of a long and successful process of collaboration (Menzies 2001, 2004, n.d.). The relationship between Menzies and Gitxaała is very strong, not least because Menzies has family connections to Gitxaała and identifies as an  11  indigenous scholar. Given the ongoing ties between the Gitxaała Nation and the anthropology, as well as the archaeological focus in 2011, I found the project particularly suitable for examining successful and ethical collaboration; the very kind which is celebrated in the literature but never described adequately. As such, my ethnographic method detailed below, occurred as a contributive project to ongoing archaeological research making it archaeological ethnography.  3.2 Archaeological ethnographic method The ethnographic techniques I employed to study Laxyuup Gitxaała were threefold. Primarily I engaged in participant observation, the classic anthropological act of inserting one’s self into the daily and ongoing work and lifestyles of research subjects. As a participant observer, I lived aboard the Katrena Leslie II on the May and June trips;1 I arose and breakfasted with the crew; I was immersed in the archaeological work. I engaged in almost the entire coring process and participated in the digging and screening of the excavation units initiated in June. I was less involved, but provided assistance in the probing, bucket augering and topographic survey. I maintained a detailed and personal journal for the entirety of the trip, including the days between excursions. I recorded narratives of the daily work, identifying important formative events that typified the project and worked through my individual ideas to define themes emerging from the work. Finally, I served as an unofficial photographer, spending time when I was not working or writing by documenting the research. My approach to recording and writing ethnography mimics a style exemplified by Paul Rabinow in Notes on Fieldwork in Morocco (1977). I use a reflective trope focusing on my  1  I did not work aboard the boat during the August trip even though it was in my research period. As I was not actively there, I did not ask participants to journal (a method reviewed later). I was able to conduct interviews with some members of the crew from this trip.  12  position and experience to illuminate aspects of the anthropological process. This was very useful for a study that hinged on coming to terms with active fieldwork processes. The second aspect of my ethnographic technique was instituting individual journaling among consenting participants. I modeled this journaling from an ethnographic evaluation of a British field school conducted by Paul Everil (2007). He had a standard journal form and required students to fill out the form hourly; students reflected on their ongoing educational experience. I knew that in this professional (non-teaching oriented) project, such rigorous journaling would be an impediment. I chose instead to provide consenting participants with notebooks and a simple prompt (see Appendix B). I refer to this method as in-situ journaling because it occurred as close to the trowel’s edge as possible, during the reflective periods of the day, usually after dinner or on travel days. I approached participants on the archaeological team (vs. the boat crew) by email prior their involvement with the project wherein I disclosed my position as ethnographer, the nature of my research goals and my relationship with Menzies.2 As one of my graduate supervisors and director of the project, he occupies a complicated role in this research. As evidenced in much archaeological ethnography (including Everil 2007) the position of the director is rather indistinct; they are often busied with budgetary concerns and overall productivity. In the case of Menzies he was perhaps the most fluid of all the characters, wearing the hats of fisherman, indigenous scholar, socio-cultural anthropologist, Gitxaała member, labourer and supervisor (both academic and otherwise). While he appears throughout this thesis in observations and informal interactions, I have left him formally absent in an attempt to build a more bottom-up perspective of experience instead of one preoccupied by expectation. I cannot deny the 2  Special ethical consideration was given to the fact that Menzies was both the director (and thus employer) of the project team as well as a member of my thesis committee. The solutions to this potential conflict of interest were addressed in the Research Ethics Board approval found in Appendix B.  13  importance of his comments and input into my project, but I believe that one way to escape the parable format, and to maximize effective responses in in-situ journaling is to build a picture from those not designing the project. The rest of the participants were approached again when they arrived on the boat, and I discussed journaling and the open-ended prompt with them. I encouraged participants to journal daily, or as often as possible. I stressed that the work was not a personal evaluation of any individual, or an exposé on this project, but rather an attempt to grasp individual experience and narratives of the ongoing work they were involved in daily. Finally, I conducted interviews with a number of participants throughout the season. Most interviews were very informal, conducted on the deck of the boat, or during an opportune one-on-one moment in the kitchen. Given the small space on the boat and the constant flow of work, private, structured interviews were all but impossible. I recorded the interviews in my notes both in the moment and reflectively afterward. In addition, I conducted interviews with members of the August crew as well as a follow-up interview with a participant, Naomi, who worked on all three trips. These interviews were conducted on the phone and in person, and were far removed from the ongoing work. In addition to applying ethnographic observations as part of archaeological excavation, the final element of my archaeological ethnographic method is a merging of conceptual and analytic frameworks. While an archaeologist might use a vertical excavation to describe the culture history of a single place, and an ethnographer may provide a thick description of a specific society, I merge the two in a conceptual and metaphorical social profile. I conceived of these three forms of data collection as a sort of excavation exposing the layers of practice and experience that are otherwise unaddressed by modernist archaeology. The resulting pit exposes a  14  profile wall wherein I can evaluate the constitution and interaction of various events and themes. This “archaeo-social profile”, allows evaluation of different layers of meaning in the same way archaeologists attempt to map the layers of stratigraphy in an excavation profile wall. My personal reflections offer a broad level of observation and understanding. They offer contextualizations of the in-situ journaling, which might be likened to the substance and color of soil in any particular layer. The interviews then bring the substance of the layers to the level of discourse, illustrating the boundaries and hazy areas between layers.3  3.3 The archaeo-social profile as analytic technique In addition to my own personal journal I collected four in-situ journals. Combining two trips (21 days), participants recorded a total 57 individual entries, each day of fieldwork having at least one corresponding participant entry. Two participants recorded journals during both the May and June trips; the other two only covered one trip as the crew changed between May and June. I recorded three interactions that I consider informal interviews in the field, and three formally arranged interviews with participants after the August trip. In an effort to record the dialogues and ambient sounds of the ongoing fieldwork, I made audio recordings of 2 moments of practice. The first was our excavation at the Ks’waan site, and the second a recording of me and another worker mapping an exposed shell midden face, again, at Ks’waan. My analytical method consists of weaving together the various sources of data around distinct moments, or events played out in practice. Thinking archaeologically, these moments are features of sorts, preserved in the profile and revealed only in their juxtaposition to the mundane, 3  This use of archaeology as a metaphor for examining and understanding knowledge immediately invokes Foucault’s archaeology of knowledge (Foucault 1973). However, the language I use here is not meant as a Foucaultian comment on the accumulation of ideas and evolution of knowledge, but rather as a fusion of ethnographic and archaeological ways of determining and discussing data. This distinction can be observed in the fact that time moves along the X axis of my profile (Figure 1) instead of top to bottom.  15  preserved context (undisturbed stratigraphic accumulation). We might see a post-hole feature as a result of the jutting shape piercing strata below it, filling with soil from above and being covered over. Thus, to read and understand a feature, archaeologists may examine soil type, boundary and relative position (in-situ journals, interviews and my reflexive account respectively). While there are classic methods of ethnographic analysis that attempt to let “themes” emerge from coded textual data (Charmaz 2006), I have chosen to comb through and reflect on the journals and interviews for confirmations of or challenges to the influential moments I identified in the course of participant observation. By focusing outright on these ethnographic moments (features) in order to inform my analysis of text (soil and strata) I produce a more transparent and accountable analysis of my ethnographic data. The resulting analysis and reading are all the more honest and relevant to broader discussions because its origin is uniquely attuned to the local conditions rather than objective external frameworks. I read through my own journal first, covering the May and June trips, thinking about the specific moments highlighted and connections to other observations which were only evident as I re-read and reminisced about the events. By looking through the journal, I am essentially looking at a profile wall; some instances come out clearly, others need a closer look, but essentially it represents my own vision and understanding of a series of events recorded in a haphazard way. The strata I identified in this archaeo-social profile are as follows (see Figure 1), in the description of each I hint at the various features present: Stratum I: Land and Place. The significance of the ground on which we worked emerged as a stratigraphic layer as we recorded shell midden profiles as part of house depression and midden excavations. Narrative accounts (both those of contemporary Gitxaała and 18th century explorer accounts) helped to guide the archaeological survey. Specifically, the  16  Figure 1. The Archaeo-Social Profile of Laxyuup Gitxaała.  17  exploration and survey of the area surrounding the Ks’waan site exhibit the convergence of oral histories, written histories and archaeological exploration around ideas and knowledge of the landscape. Stratum II: Archaeological Work. This layer is defined by the relationship between people and the archaeological work. Specifically, mapping and the experience of doing it emerges as significant. We relied heavily on global positioning system (GPS) recording, as well as Total Data Station (TDS) topographic mapping. The methods of coring and augering, as well as a debate on site clearing, further reveal this feature. Stratum III: Fishing narratives. The fishing layer is significant to this project via a number of distinct moments. Daily conversations around the dining table aboard the Katrena Leslie II almost always included fishing stories. We engaged in fishing practices daily through the May and June trips. The archaeological work focused largely on shell midden, remnants of subsistence practices (mostly marine fauna). A discovery of great import was the discovery of northern abalone shell in an excavation unit at Ks’waan. In this archaeo-social profile, the vertical axis, traditionally the measure of relative time in archaeological profiles, here indicates the increasing level of importance for the definition of the project as collaborative. Importance increases from top to bottom (surface to depth) so that the “lowest” level, Land and Place, contains the most important aspect of the Gitxaała collaborative project--the location of research in the Gitxaała territory and the framing of research questions around specific sites and oral histories. The horizontal axis represents the temporal progression of the project. The incident around clearing brush occurred toward the beginning of the work and the discovery of the abalone was near the end. The illustrated features are shaped according to these two dimensions; dramatic ones focus on distinct events, elongated  18  ones deal with more frequent experiences. The exact shapes, however, correspond roughly to the types of features mapped in the Citeyats and Ks’waan excavation units.  3.4 An interpretive narrative As all the individuals involved in the project move through these stratigraphic layers, the stories become complex; they transcend time and space reaching into the past and re-locating on the landscape. As a stratigraphic profile riddled with bioturbation and superimposed occupations, an attempt at straightforward description of this “real” sequence is increasingly difficult and ineffective. Undoubtedly the stories, the oral histories of fishing that everyone engaged in, represent “real” events. Yet they hinge on metaphors, transitions, characterizations and mythologies that allow one to transcend the linearity of time and experiences of space. Considering these useful traits, I formed my understanding of the archaeo-social experience of Laxyuup Gitxaała via a fictive short story that narrates the changes an archaeologist undergoes as he experiences fishing, an indigenous village and shell middens (see Appendix A). This story uses literary devices such as characterization, personification and magical realism to expand upon and embody the ties between the non-linear experience of the project and the experiential analysis I explore in this thesis. It is akin to a photograph of Figure 1 in that it manufactures a more sensorial depiction (with colors, textures and a snapshot of context) than is illustrated in the drawing of the profile wall, and serves as an interpretive supplement throughout.  Having identified the basic strata, I move next to descriptions of the archaeo-social features. While I was able to identify broad themes via my own reflexive accounts, I go further into the level of experience to get to the features of the Laxyuup Gitxaała project. Stratigraphic profiles are inherently complicated and not preserved perfectly. There are intersections and 19  blurred lines. Thus, the fishing narratives are inexorably linked with landscape, as are the coring methods (in the sense that they are both forms of land use). To better illuminate the experience of Laxyuup Gitxaała, I look at the in-situ journals and interviews as the soil descriptions.  20  Chapter 4: Archaeo-Social Soil; Archaeology at the Level of Experience I deliberately link the metaphorical soil description with the on-the-ground experience of archaeological work. The soil is what holds many of the clues that archaeologists look for, be they diagnostic artefacts, shell middens or chemical indicators of fire. While many archaeologists have looked to the trowel’s edge to examine archaeological work and theory, few have looked to the soil. In this section I do just that; I examine the features of Laxyuup Gitxaała at the level of experience.  4.1 Stratum I, Land and Place In observing and mapping the archaeo-social profile (Figure 1) there were two distinct events in the course of the Laxyuup Gitxaała project. I first discuss the events in the “lower” strata -- its articulation between Archaeological Work and the significance place played in this collaborative project. As indicated in its basal position, the Land and Place layer is the most critical collaborative attribute of the project. In the language of Menzies’ original research proposal, the Laxyuup Gitxaała project “addresses the general question of the relationship between indigenous oral histories and archaeological reconstructions of the past” and “the extent to which archaeological and anthropological scholarship can validate or discount claims to history” (Menzies 2009: 5-7). Though place is not cited specifically, the research has implications in political debates on aboriginal rights and title. In this context, “claims to history” imply claims linked to specific places and ecological geographies. Thus, the research questions and the location of research hinge on place as a key to making the project collaborative and meaningful.  21  The Land and Place layer has no features to speak of; rather it serves as a relief upon which intersections of the upper strata play out. Nonetheless, a description of its makeup is useful and necessary. Like many archaeological strata, its soil description is nuanced with concentrations and lenses. The language used in the project proposal is important to begin with, but I look to practice and experience as indicators of soil composition. In an interview with Roberta, a Gitxaała community member who worked aboard the Northern Monarch in August, she continually emphasized the benefit of the project in terms of identifying, recording and ultimately confirming the presence of archaeological sites and a deep history of the Gitxaała on the land. When describing her own experience, she and her husband (also an August trip crew member) spoke to the experience of “being there,” of seeing the sites, confirming the oral histories they had been told. In this context, place becomes a tool and experience that the archaeological investigations contribute to and facilitate respectively. A narrative that the June crew referred to as the “Search for Colnett’s Pants4” also illustrates the relationship between place, confirmation and archaeology. The search for Colnett’s site involved surface survey and soil probing along a series of beaches in an inlet near the Ks’waan site. Eventually, the team located a small island with evidence of historical and contemporary use that seemed a likely candidate. The act of searching for and attempting to confirm documented interactions between 17th century explorers and the indigenous population speak to the way that oral histories and documented accounts orbited around the search and discovery of specific places. While the formal language of the proposal centers on the relationships of oral and anthropological histories, the experience of moving around Gitxaała in a boat looking for new 4  The name refers to a series of reconnaissance surveys conducted in an effort to locate and confirm the historical account of James Colnett and his ill-fated encounters with the 18th century aboriginal population of Calamity Bay (Galois 2004).  22  sites (and documenting the boundaries of known ones) illustrates how, archaeologically, history is explored via the places it occurred and is occurring. In this lowest (and therefore most integral to collaboration) level, I suggest that the foundation of the Laxyuup Gitxaała project ultimately centers on the re-encounter and personal experience of the places and sites within the traditional territory. I will inevitably return to this layer to discuss the interactions of several features there.  4.2 Stratum II, Archaeological Work The middle archaeo-social stratum is Archaeological Work. Of course fieldwork is important in an archaeological project, however, its presence in this metaphorical outline places it as symbolically integral to the collaborative project. It is important to note that the archaeosocial profile is revealed only when we look beneath the theoretical discourse of collaborative and indigenous archaeologies. A critical ethnographic examination of the ongoing archaeological fieldwork is vital to understanding this phase in archaeology. Thus, while it may seem common sense to include archaeological work and practice as integral to an archaeological project, its presence in this soil description is very much intentional and used as a visual and literal statement to elevate the physical and embodied practice of archaeological fieldwork to a level examined by anthropology. I begin with a similar description of the basic makeup of this level as I did above with Land and Place. From there, I describe the features mapped in Figure 1. Archaeological fieldwork contains a great deal of perfunctory steps; survey, excavation, bagging, cleaning and describing. These steps as broad technical concepts are very much present in this level. The archaeological techniques employed in the Laxyuup Gitxaała project were as follows: soil probe surveys were conducted to identify the boundaries of the midden sites; the presence of shell material or charcoal in the bit of the probes indicated a positive test for midden.  23  The TDS was employed as a mapping tool to document the topography and large archaeological features of Ks’waan, Komodah and “Colnett’s Island.” Bucket augers were employed as a means of surveying the faunal content of the middens; we did over 20 complete auger tests at the Ks’waan site alone. Percussion cores were used to attain a compressed stratigraphic description of the midden and to determine the depth of deposits across the site. The team conducted surface collection along the beaches of the visited sites and other potential sites in surrounding islands and inlets. Shovel tests were conducted at both Ks’waan and Komodah in May, and were used as an exploratory measure to map the near-surface stratigraphy and confirm the presence of house depressions and platforms. Excavation units were dug at Ks’waan, Colnett’s Island and Citeyats in June to expose the recent stratigraphy of suspected house depressions. All archaeological material (soil samples, auger tests, cores, surface collection, and excavated material) was bagged with provenience, dates and involved crew names recorded. Some archaeological materials from the auger tests were washed and dried on board the Katrena Leslie II. While the description of archaeological techniques above may suffice in some publications, I argue that these descriptions are but a single and hazy lens in the archaeological work stratum. The most salient and recognizable makeup of this level includes the social and personal experiences of carrying out these techniques. Thus, instead of a layer of archaeological technique containing social lenses, I describe the layer of Archaeological Work as consisting most prominently of the social processes with a series of semi-distinct lenses of archaeological technique throughout. The social aspects of archaeological fieldwork are unique to each project. Often it appears as novel and amusing, especially for those involved, to read about these social situations after the fact. However, rather than serving as anecdotes, the moments described below should  24  be considered inseparable acts and productions which, along with the perfunctory tasks, contribute to the archaeological process proper. While the work in Gitxaała shares many features with other, more traditional, projects I have worked, I focus on two moments that are characteristic of archaeological work in the region. These two moments center almost exclusively on my own experience. The first was my “trial by fire” introduction to archaeology on the northwest coast. On our way to the Komodah site, we briefly explored another reported site in the Klewnuggit Inlet. After donning my rain gear for the first time, stepping clumsily into the skiff and learning the proper dismount of a skiff on the shore, I suddenly found myself standing alone on the beach. The rest of the team, consisting of Kenzie, Naomi, Greg and Charles, had taken off immediately. Kenzie and Naomi have a great deal of site survey experience. Similarly, Charles had specific goals in mind and knew what his role was. Greg, familiar with field research in the region, paired off with Kenzie before he was too far away. I, however, was alone on the beach watching the rest of the team disappear into the tree line up the beach. I caught up with Naomi and Charles and found them dramatically plunging soil probes into the ground, twisting them, pulling them up and examining the dirt. The way that the team members went about their work and formed small groups manifest itself in similar ways throughout the trip. A similar incident occurred when we first arrived at the Ks’waan site, although I was able to keep up the second time. In these moments, I observed how the search for midden (as a diagnostic characteristic of the site) put relationships on display and allowed for bonds to begin through work. Kenzie and Greg both recounted in journals that certain amounts of teaching occurred back and forth as they worked together. This reflection that they both found meaningful was a result of the enduring social experience cemented during the  25  beach landings and reproduced in social and practical bonds throughout the season. Similarly, I paired with Naomi on both occasions; a condition that remained the same throughout most of the work. One time when I was not paired with Naomi was during “Hammer time” -- the coring survey that Greg, Kenzie and I conducted at Ks’waan. We referred it to as “hammer time” because of a humorous battle-cry I often yelled before we began the hammer action of the coring machine. Initially, I used it as a perfunctory notice to alert Greg and Kenzie that the obnoxious and piercing “ping” of the hammer was about to start, and to allow them time to put on ear protection. However, as the work continued for hours and days, and became more and more monotonous and frustrating, it served as comic relief and a form of bonding. The three of us shared many crude and silly jokes during the series of core tests. We even named the temperamental (at best) coring machine, imparting a social character onto it which we could interact with on a level beyond perfunctory work. We can see in these two vignettes the social dynamics at play in the process of conducting work. They address the social cohesiveness of the team, the ability to be friendly and enjoy the time we spent each day in the field. In the case of Greg and Kenzie, the work bonding became social through teaching. In the case of hammer time, the social bond ultimately allowed us to keep up with the pace we needed to complete the work. This is metaphorically played upon in the appended story whose protagonist, lacking these social ties, is often stranded and lost in transitions between plot elements. For now, I argue that social cohesion experienced throughout work and non-work conditions in Gitxaała contributes most to the makeup of the archaeological work stratum. The social process and experience of fieldwork lends color and texture to the  26  stratum, a color which allows for the articulation between Archaeological Work and Land and Place to stand out distinctly.  4.3 Features in stratum II If we imagine the Archaeological Work layer to exist as a distinct event for now, we can ignore the features that cut through it from above. These features are ultimately the result of events contextualized outside the texture and color that defines stratum III. For now, I only describe the features manifested between archaeological work and landscape and place. I describe them as they appear left to right in Figure 1, as it represents roughly the progression of the project in terms of time. The feature depths follow the same rule of importance; the more drawn out or dramatic, the more integral to the character of the collaborative project. The first feature is a small, shallow pit, representing the clearing of brush, specifically a moment that arose on the Komodah site. It was a subtle interaction between Kenzie and Charles in which Kenzie suggested we clear more of the site before we mapped it. The devil’s club and berry bushes covering the suspected house platforms were inconvenient and often slowed the progress of TDS mapping. However, Charles was of the opinion that total clearing of the site was problematic, unnecessary, and would destroy berry bushes that were still valuable and ripening. Where other sites are essentially razed and cleared to establish systematic grids and facilitate mapping or surface collection, the Laxyuup Gitxaała method was to leave natural growth undisturbed unless (as was the case with an excavation unit at Citeyats) it unavoidably obstructed the work. To illustrate this conflict, I note my final interview with Kenzie in which he offered a description of the spiritual significance of devil’s club as a protective symbol and why the boat  27  engineer carried it frequently. This contrasts to Kisha’s account of the unsuspected density of underbrush and deadfall as a “concern” considering her self-defined role as mapping expert. For the rest of the trip, the issue of clearing never came up, aside from an occasional branch snapped after blocking the line of site on important TDS shots. We suffered stings from devil’s club and trudged over deadfall without complaint. The effect on research process was that survey took longer to complete without a cleared site. Such an effect seems negligible considering the survey was still completed in time. However, the embodied experiences of team members crawling over deadfall and pulling branches to the side was a constant physical and procedural reminder of the way in Archaeological Work and Land and Place articulate via the awareness of the territory and land we were visiting. Archaeological Work here cuts into the conception and importance of the landscape and its contemporary importance as a subsistence resource. In this way, the story in Appendix A uses magical realism to allow middens to literally come alive. The land takes on its own agency in a metaphor not matched in the world of reality. This first feature speaks to the direct effect that collaborative archaeology has on the archaeological process. Similar events are often discussed surrounding the discovery, excavation or reburial of human remains on a site and are often highlighted for their drama and salience to ethical debates. Charles intentionally avoids such possibilities with the Laxyuup Gitxaała research project by not surveying near suspected or known burial sites, and the decision not to clear brush was the only significant effect that collaboration had in altering the completion of the ongoing research processes. Still, I have highlighted this moment as a feature because it fairly represents the team dynamics that affected the mechanical, and logistical processes of research with a collaborative mentality.  28  The second feature in this layer is similar in shape to a post hole associated with an elongated, shallow depression. This sole post hole represents the act of mapping, describing and understanding shell midden profiles. The team exposed and mapped two partially eroded shell middens at Komodah and Ks’waan. In addition, midden elements were mapped in excavations that went deeper than recent house depression occupations. This was particularly dramatic at Ks’waan, where we excavated through approximately 50 centimetres of shell midden beneath the occupational sequences (without hitting sterile levels). Ethnographically, this feature consists of a number of moments which actually cover the entirety of the project, however, I have placed it towards the front of the project because the presence and importance of understanding and finding shell middens emerged early on as a significant aspect of the Laxyuup Gitxaała character. The understanding and experience of middens come largely from my own experience. I was involved in most of the profile mapping in the project. I worked with Naomi for the two meter midden exposure and excavation unit at Ks’waan. I also worked with Andrew (a UBC archaeologist on the June trip) mapping the excavation unit profile walls at Citeyats. The feature’s shape draws from a variety of moments and is rather hazy; thus instead of describing the moments that define other features I focus here more on the moments that illustrate the boundaries. Middens are a diagnostic feature of most archaeological sites on the Northwest coast. They are essentially large, human-made deposits of discarded shellfish remains and bone. They glisten in beach outcroppings; they are often crumbly with indistinct stratigraphic boundaries. Samples taken from middens in the Laxyuup Gitxaała project were primarily for faunal analysis, an attempt to understand something about ancient subsistence systems (shells are identified by  29  species and samples are usually measured in weights and volumes). Often, especially when Naomi and I were mapping the exposed midden profile at Ks’waan, changes in stratigraphic layers were signified by little more than a change in shell density or type. In the excavation unit we mapped at Ks’waan, significant layers included a layer of large (often whole) butter clam shells, a layer described by its mussel content, a layer epitomized by the presence of periwinkle snail shells, a layer of urchin spines and abalone shell. These changes were reflected in auger samples and cores taken throughout the Ks’waan site. This feature sinks into the Land and Place stratum for two reasons. First is the way that middens provide increasing clarity into research about subsistence patterns. Just as contemporary subsistence in Gitxaała is linked to the land (the ebb and flow of tides, clam beds and fishing areas) so is the archaeological subsistence evidence linked to changing sea levels and perhaps even yearly seasons. The mapping of a shell midden like the exposed beach profile at Ks’waan is the first step in understanding the narrative of ancient people in this place. In this sense, the middens epitomize a type of archaeological site, and also delineate site boundaries for official records. This intersection is seen at the bottom of the feature (Figure 1) where it fades into a lens of middens as diagnostic of archaeological places. This feature may also be explained through recognizing the places where we worked as contemporary productive subsistence grounds, rich with shellfish and other marine resources. As such, middens emerge (quite literally in terms of excavation uncovering them) as archaeological evidence and discussion points for contemporary and past uses of the place. I will recall this element when I discuss the dramatic feature from the Fishing Narratives stratum that cuts through the midden feature. The second element defining the boundary of this feature is the idea of anthropogenic deposits, attributable exclusively to humans as opposed to naturally occuring biogenic deposits .  30  Midden sites along the northwest coast are anthropogenic and, as Andrew often clarified, anthropogenic deposits are architectural features, laid down systematically by ancient people in order to create land for houses and daily life. They were not accidental garbage heaps, but intentional and remarkable (sometimes up to 5 meters deep) constructions. The incident at Klewnuggit discussed above also included a moment in which Charles and Naomi were involved in determining whether shell found on the beach was a midden or not. Naomi referred to this moment, and was hesitant to call the exposed shell deposit anthropogenic or “cultural.”5 Whether or not the midden was anthropogenic was critical in determining the nature of the site and how it would be recorded. The ideas of “anthropogenic-ness” speak to the popular conceptions of past and present indigenous people on the northwest coast. Greg reflected on this in an interview in which he coined the term “Indian-genuity,” the prowess and abilities of his ancestors to build such remarkable things. Anthropogenic-ness reveals the power and historical presence of the architects and their descendents, the contemporary Gitxaała. The final feature in this stratum is the large, elongated pit occurring just after the midden post hole. Its length reflects the relative length of time it manifested itself in the work. Indeed, the physical mapping of the site consumed at least part of the crew for the entirety of the May and June trips and was also performed during the August trip. Producing topographical maps reveals the shapes and layouts of sites. With enough detail, it can reveal features hidden by the natural growth. Naomi was the resident mapping expert for the May and August trips, Kisha and Andrew handled the TDS during the June trip.6 If TDS mapping is essentially a record of place,  5  We also discovered an eroding midden up a creek from the beach. It was decided later that the shell at the top of the beach was likely eroded out from the midden up stream, thus putting it in an in-between area of neither truly biogenic nor anthropogenic. 6 Kisha was also testing a new mapping technique called Real Time Kinematic or RTK. This GPS based survey technique was a largely solitary act and remained something of a distinct and parallel occurrence during the project which I do not include in my archaeo-social profile  31  then the discussion of site mapping cannot be complete without mention of the GPS handheld units. I noticed very early on that the GPS were omnipresent. They were used to guide our motored skiffs to correct site locations. We took waypoints as a means to record the location of surface finds, auger tests, core samples, shovel tests and excavation units. Much like the middens, mapping was something that occurred almost constantly throughout the work. As such, it is difficult to pinpoint specific moments that epitomize the feature. I can remember clearly the rhythmic dance and cadence when I was involved in the mapping duos; dancing in small steps to and from the machine, sometimes following patterns, sometimes scattering and covering random points and calling, “got it,” each time the point was successfully taken by the machine. This is reflected in the appended story by the role of mapping as punctuation, as an element of pace pushing forward and linking disparate events and images (see Appendix A). I look to Kisha’s journal to illustrate the insider’s practical experience of mapping. She refers to certain days being “spatial” and reflects on her coming to terms with the spatial layout of the Ks’waan site. She also laments the “outsider” position of the mappers in archaeology when considering working alone, or in an isolated team. Naomi experienced the process similarly, as isolating, during the May trip, although she expresses it more in terms of being a rookie rather than expert in mapping. These accounts contrast with Greg’s descriptions and reflections on the mapping work. On the day Greg became most involved in mapping, he comments that being on the “pogo” is not the most exciting job. He describes himself feeling like “fish on a hook” being reeled in toward the total station. Greg’s reflections elsewhere really help to define the boundary of this feature because he made metaphorical connections between the archaeological work he was engaged in and his personal experiences as a child growing up in Gitxaała and throughout the territory. The  32  heavy smoke from the smudge fires we lit reminded him of growing up around the smoke houses. His time trudging over deadfall and bushwhacking reminded him of his “days hunting.” I do not mean to contrast Naomi and Kisha’s reflections to Greg’s. They are not necessarily distinct, isolated experiences. In fact, Kisha and Greg’s reflections on mapping reflect experiences on the same days as they worked together as a mapping team. I was not there to observe their interactions; however open or internal these experiences they wrote about were, they ultimately built the archaeological data equally as a pair. Nevertheless, Greg’s reflections and experience seem to transcend the perfunctory archaeological work, and are the reason the feature cuts into place (while Naomi and Kisha’s reflections fill in the feature). In some of his final entries, Greg comments that being at Citeyats and seeing these places connects him with the stories he was told by his family, allowing him a new vision and experience of the past and the places. He confirmed this in an interview aboard the Katrena Leslie II en route to Prince Rupert. When I asked what his favourite part of the trip was, he motioned to the mountains around the channel and said, “Seeing all this again.” A similar sentiment was shared by Roberta and her partner Ken when they each spoke fondly of visiting the places they had heard about. Naomi also comments that in the August trip, one of the most exciting moments was finding a site by being led “directly” to it by Ken. GPS use and TDS mapping speak at once to archaeological ways of seeing, recording and knowing the site. More than just producing accurate maps, especially within the research goals of this particular project, these methods speak to an awareness of place, be it the connection of past and present, the connection to places, or the position we each take in the work.  33  4.4 Stratum III, Fishing Narratives The top stratum in this archaeo-social profile consists of the fishing stories shared aboard the boat. The shape of the layer indicates its unique place in this project. It sits highest in the profile, suggesting it is least integral to the collaborative character of the project, yet it contains features which transcend the spectrum reaching deep into the most integral basal stratum. Its position on top also says something about its relationship to the layers below. The combination of stratum between archaeological work (the necessity for a team) and the project goals (as seen through the lens of place-finding) ultimately created a platform upon which fishing narratives could emerge as dramatic (even if less integral) and as clarifying moments of intersection between all elements of the project. The narrative nature of this stratum sets it apart from the others. These narratives refer to the frequent times when fishing stories were shared among the crew. Principal among these sharers was Charles and Russ who, at times, seemed only able to talk about fishing. The narratives were also supplemented by the experiences of fishing shared among the crew. These experiences involved crabbing, jigging, urchin picking, sea-weed picking and drying and a few attempts at hunting. While, in the instance of crabbing, the activities played out frequently and involved a variety of individuals, these experiences became narratives we told alongside fishing stories from childhood and other long-agos. As such, we often experienced a sort of jumping back in forth around the galley table. In Appendix A, the protagonist moves through scenes devoid of specific time, at times violently, as a device exaggerating the experience of storytelling within archaeological fieldwork. As with the lower strata, the features in the Fishing Narratives stratum approximate ones I observed in the profile drawings from our excavations. In Figure 1, note the shallow pit, or  34  hearth, with two large post holes flanking it; I will begin with this feature as it most closely resembles the context of the stratum in general.  4.5 Features in stratum III The “Discussions Around the Table” feature grounds the abstract idea of narratives and fishing experiences into a central location. The table refers to the galley table aboard the Katrena Leslie. Aside from the foam pads in our bunks, the table was the only place to sit around (especially on rainy days when the deck was soaked). Activity on the boat was usually centered in one of two places, the deck (usually in preparation for departure or the excitement of returning) and the table where meals were served and eaten each day. When it came to unwinding or getting organized, the table was the primary location, computers were out, books were read and passed around, maps were created and shown, and we even had a series of “bakeoffs.” The table was a locus around which much of the dialogue of the project played out. In my proposal, I anticipated that the galley table would be a center of archaeological planning and de-briefing. I expected we would meet each day, regularly, to discuss the progress of the project, the challenges and the direction it was going. This was not entirely false, but the archaeological discussion was really more of a supplement, a sort of cohesive element to tie together the stories. The majority of talk around the table consisted of stories, and most of them were of fishing. I determined early on that it would be difficult if not impossible to record these meetings as I had planned. The constant generator noise on the boat and the difficulty in determining the start and end of archaeological planning or the fishing discussion was insurmountable. Nevertheless, this feature is perhaps one of the most salient because it is reflected in three of the four journals, one interview and my own notes on the field season. Greg  35  wrote of his experience landing a halibut and often recounted meals made of fish caught on the trip. Naomi wrote on several occasions that she enjoyed hearing the stories of drama and heroism and humour from Charles and Russ; she even listed it in her final entry as the highlight of the trip. She noted the decreased frequency of it in August as a distinguishing element between the trips. Kenzie described the experience hearing the old fishing stories as “intoxicating.” The frequency with which storytelling occurred, and the experience as mentioned by almost all participants makes this feature the most distinct in the profile. Although there are moments when it might intersect with the Land and Place stratum, the table as a location articulates more with the Archaeological Work. I mentioned how discussions of plans for the day’s work, or sharing of maps often occurred within this matrix of storytelling. The planning and debating about the archaeological research was located more around this table than in the field. As such, I have drawn this feature as a shallow and elongated (i.e. enduring) pit. It is interesting, based on the journal responses, how nearly all team members identify fishing stories and other narratives as notable parts of the project, but they appear distinct from discussions of archaeological work. Often they are framed as vignettes, moments of, ‘this was interesting... okay now back to the work at hand.’ Naomi and Kenzie both demonstrate these parallel experiences and reflections on the experience. The discussions of mapping strategy, the reflections on cultural/not-cultural debates, dominate their writing. Indeed, the prompt asked participants to respond to the experience of the archaeological work. Nevertheless, experiences of storytelling consistently run as a thread through their journals. My own observations locate these experiences to the table directly. My inability to distinguish between the starts and ends of these parallel experiences suggests that they are interwoven in a pervasive and innocuous way. It is this distinction, seen in reflections but not in practice, that allows me to put the Fishing  36  Narratives stratum on top. It is something critical to the overall feel of the profile, of the project, but articulates in an unintentional way. The next two features share this convergent parallel manifestation in work. They remain hazy, but present distinct moments and effects that ultimately clarify their borders and their place in the profile. The first is the moment in which Greg caught a “small” halibut. Being from urban Chicago, and used to the mutated fresh-water aquatic life of Lake Michigan, I could hardly consider this creature small by any stretch of the imagination. The fish, in its size and the moment Greg pulled it up sit in my mind. Greg and I were going out for a row, as we were doing regularly for exercise, and he decided to bring a fishing hook and line. He suspected he knew a potentially rewarding place to jig for halibut. After rowing out for about forty-five minutes, approaching the quick moving tides on the edge of the Otter Channel, Greg had me use the oars to keep the skiff steady. He dropped the hook in, waited for it to hit the bottom, and we both lit a cigarette. After no more than two draws, the line tightened and Greg instantly knew he had a halibut. It dragged us around a bit, and Greg slowly reeled it in, hand over hand on bare fishing line, until it was near the surface. After two or three thrashing failures, Greg was able to grab hold of the hook and fling the fish over the side of the skiff where he promptly struck it between the eyes with a metal pole. We decided to motor back and Greg proudly showed off and cleaned his halibut on board the Katrena Leslie. We ate the fish in stew, fried its spine, and froze filets for later. Greg recounts this event as his most memorable from the trip, saying it was the first time in nearly 10 years he had gone fishing like that and caught such a fish. Naomi recalled in visceral detail watching Greg clean and cut up the fish, as she described in detail the act of gutting a seacucumber. Being there myself for the catch (although involved for the most part) I told the story  37  with much detail over and over about Greg reaching up and hauling the forty pound fish on board. I remember, when the spine was fried up, Naomi and Charles admiring the impressive vertebrae and considering how they may or may not preserve in the archaeological record. Similar discussions occurred regarding the unlikelihood of crab shells preserving as an explanation for their absence in the archaeological record. Kenzie, in his journal, was particularly sensitive to this connection between working with “descendents” of the archaeological people as illuminating and an important aspect of work (although he was not on the team for the halibut catch). The “Greg’s Halibut Catch” feature overlaps the bottom two layers converging in the Land and Place stratum near the midden profile feature. As it passes through the archaeological work stratum, its boundary is identified by the way in which the act of fishing illustrated discussions of the archaeological record in experiential ways for the team. It continues down and intersects the midden feature in this way as well, becoming a sort of ethnoarchaeological tool. However, the team was not just using fishing as a means to understand the archaeological record; I think, in many ways, that effect was unintended. The fishing grew out of the importance of fishing in the lives of the Gitxaała crew on board, especially those who made a living there. The narratives became something visceral and experienced via events like Greg’s halibut catch, and ultimately arose out of the pivotal importance of place and place-finding that made up the Land and Place stratum. In an archaeological sense, the intersection between the work features and the storytelling features is in the idea of middens as diagnostic of northwest coast sites, and therefore as important identification tools for the completion of the project goals. Middens are vital to understanding an archaeological place, and our goals in finding and mapping them demonstrate the importance as experienced in the work, and finally the fishing narratives appear as a  38  continuous thread that brings that experiential, memorial and anecdotal concept of fishing and the archaeological understanding together. The archaeological ways of seeing are reorganized in these moments and throughout the project. The “Discovery of the Abalone” feature is closely related to the halibut catch feature. This can be seen from the similar shapes of the two features and their relationship to the shallow pit discussion feature. Both features relate to and come out of the narrative discourse surrounding fishing; without the discussions, these other moments might not have emerged as so prominent and dramatic. This last feature contains within it the discovery of northern abalone shell in the house-depression excavation at Ks’waan. This feature transcends all of the strata because it is reflected in the experience of the archaeological work, it highlights contentious issues of rights and title and, I believe, was ultimately made possible and salient by the discourse and practice of fishing in the top stratum. There had been much talk of abalone on the May and June trips. Charles had discovered some distinctive abalone flecks in several auger tests and a shell had been photographed in a slough on the beach. So here, discovery is not a singular chronological event, but will be typified here by a discovery in an excavation unit (EU). I had been working the screen all morning. Naomi was excavating the EU, and had been since it was a meagre shovel test. Toward the end of the day, she offered to let me in to excavate and, after some hesitation, I jumped into the unit. We had nearly cleared the last of the dense occupational layers and were exposing loose, shelly midden in the floor of the unit. After I finished my first complete level and worked on the next, I saw an iridescent shimmer in the ground and identified a particularly unusual shell fragment. I showed it to Charles and he confirmed that it was abalone. From there we paid special attention to the screens, carefully picking out abalone fragments we identified by their distinctive shimmer  39  (different from mussel and other iridescent shells for its greenish hue) and the shapes of the fragments. From looking at decaying shells on the beaches, we were familiar with the perforations running along the shell, the distinctive “rim” fragments that shape the edge of the shell. The green and red outer colors of the shells were a signal too. It was unmistakeable, we filled bag after bag of fragments. We mapped shells in situ and carefully photographed the profiles and floors. We all were excited finding this much abalone, especially when abalone had never been found in any significant amounts in northwest coast middens. Russ cracked, all too observantly and wryly, “a little abalone turns up and everyone gets excited.” Abalone is a contentious issue in contemporary northwest coast aboriginal politics. It is a protected species; therefore, indigenous inhabitants of the coast are prohibited by law from utilizing it as a food resource. In the case of this species in particular, its identification in a midden representing historic and continued occupation of the territory, speaks to specific instances of subsistence practices that continue to this very day. Thus, the abalone enters the Land and Place stratum at a different location than the midden concentration. It represents more than just presence; it speaks to practice and the act of living off the land in specific ways which aboriginal communities must fight to maintain today. The discovery of abalone had a number of effects on the work. Naomi commented that personally the discovery filled her with a renewed energy and excitement in the excavation labour. She also noted that the work slowed significantly at that time and added another morning of work on a unit we could have finished that afternoon. Charles, in the way he brings up the abalone in discussions and presentations, highlights the effect that this discovery has on his perception of archaeological method as in need of incorporating ethnohistorical approaches. In  40  these ways, the discovery of abalone in this collaborative project shows how work changed both in practice and anticipation to effectively challenge a widely held archaeological expectation. Finally, I believe that the discovery of the abalone was linked intrinsically to the discourse of fishing. The abalone confirms this change in archaeological vision that I discussed briefly in the context of Greg’s halibut. The fishing narratives affected archaeological work, the ability to see the color and shape and shimmer of abalone shells was likely tied, in part, to the constant discussion of its use, taste and absence archaeologically. “The Discovery of the Abalone” is the final feature in this profile, and in, is the only one to alter the overall shape of the level (see Figure 1). I believe it was the omnipresence of the fishing narratives, the embodied experiences that associated with them, and the sharing of these stories between indigenous and non-indigenous members of the crew that attuned us to the nuances of the abalone shell and allowed the find to come to prominence. In this sense, it speaks most to collaborative archaeology at the level of individual experience. In practice, through personal reflections from the participants and their interviews, a number of issues converge on my own understanding the archaeo-social profile. This is nowhere more clear than in the importance and predominant role that stories of fishing had on the crew, and as these stories coloured the archaeological work, it is impossible not to see the effect of fishing narratives grow in retrospect. They still appear at the top of the profile, but in the end, they show so much penetration and interweaving with the rest of the project that their “depth” is of importance to the collaborative character.  41  Chapter 5: Collaborative Character; “Seeing” the Social Profile Through my archaeological ethnographic perspective, I seek to leave most theoretical and methodological discussions behind, to observe the experience of technique at the most basic level of meaning-making in archaeology. As noted in the review of collaborative literature, I emphasize the lack of focus on practice and ethnographic examinations of practice as significant for evaluating and defining collaborative archaeology. The section above provides a detailed, ‘thick’ description of the nuances and social experiences of the Laxyuup Gitxaała project. In this section, I recapitulate that discussion but focus on the “vertical” dimension of the profile (Figure 1). Thus, the amalgamations and relationships of features are discussed, and the overall collaborative character, or “feel” as one participant described it, made apparent. Looking at the archaeo-social profile, the way that the Archaeological Work stratum is sandwiched between the other two is important. Every feature either originates in the archaeological work or somehow converges with it in distinct moments. This is nowhere more apparent than in the cluster of features surrounding the midden profiles. Rather than archaeological fieldwork just imposing its practices and ways of understanding, I suggest that the collaborative experience of the project is altered through the ways in which the Land and Place and Fishing Narratives strata affect it. In this way the mechanics of archaeological work are not the most suitable canvases for illustrating the character of collaborative practice. Rather, mechanical practice is best discussed via the conception and experience of its relative importance in collaborative work. For instance, the acts of exposing and drawing midden profiles are not merely technique; they are not merely identification and understanding of a site. Rather, an equal amount of importance is placed on the idea of the land and the purpose for which we were working as a counterpoint. However, the boundary is not so clear, the discussion of what  42  anthropogenic can mean, and the idea of “Indian-genuity” blurs this line and transcends the divide between archaeological understandings of the past and contemporary dialogues and attitudes toward the Gitxaała. Moreover, given the way that the halibut catch slices through the process of drawing midden profiles, the collaborative experience adds to and enhances the ability to work within aboriginal territory. The result is a kind of ethnoarchaeology, one that does not look for contemporary analogues for understanding the past, but rather a sort that engages with contemporary dialogues and practices as empirical frameworks and embodied memories to reflect on in the process of doing archaeological work. This is a notable departure from other discourse on collaborative and ethnoarchaeology, and one that I think speaks to the conception of archaeological work in collaborative settings in general. Rather than seeing ethnoarchaeology as a technique or strategy for understanding the past, in the case of this collaborative project it emerges as a sort of “professional vision.” Charles Goodwin (1994) used this term to describe the ways in which gesture and interaction with material objects (e.g. pointing at a profile wall, or at a courtroom depiction) establish proper ways of seeing. In his example, a student on an archaeological field school in Argentina learns how to properly see and draw a stratigraphic profile not simply by being told how to, but by being shown with trowel-drawn outlines and the act of pointing out soil transitions they otherwise would not see. The influence that the discourse and practice of fishing has on the archaeological work, especially in the context and integrality of middens to the project, plays out as a similar change in professional vision. This “lower” concentration of features established this sort of collaborative vision and was manifested again in the discovery of the abalone, and my own ability to see it in the pit and the screen.  43  The practical result for archaeologists here is that better stratigraphic descriptions, and a better understanding of subsistence economies as understood via middens, can emerge. The Laxyuup Gitxaała team's nuanced, narrative-informed perspective on abalone shells illustrated the ways in which they differ from more robust shells like clam, and other iridescent shells like mussel in-situ. As Charles noted in a public talk, the presence of abalone in-situ and its importance in oral histories in Gitxaała and elsewhere reenergizes the question of how significant shellfish weights are deduced. The debate over the significance of shellfish weight is not a new one in archaeology on the Northwest Coast (Cannon et al 2008; Cannon 2011), nor is the inclusion of ethnohistorical evidence unique to this project (Moss and Erlandson 2010). However, collaborative research perspectives will, in all likelihood, yield new frameworks for recognizing site and culture-specific variations in the field and allow teams to adjust excavation processes accordingly. Such nuanced perspectives are, at least in part, the result of collaborative projects like this in which personal and emotional descriptions of abalone, for instance, play a similar role as fishing narratives did in the field. As much as collaborative practice fosters a more nuanced professional vision, I believe it also provides a more significant shift in interpretive awareness. While the vision moments are manifest in dramatic features hinging on specific instances, the other features are more elongated. Given the axis of time they run along, this suggests something more pervasive and subtle. That these nuances and changes in vision are developed and reflectively experienced by the crew throughout the project as a whole, (i.e. that they are not merely curiosities or happenstance occurrences) suggests that their effect departs from the pre-collaborative history of archaeological work.  44  The small brush clearing dip and the mapping pit represent precisely this gradual and shifting awareness. The mechanics and completion of archaeological work is not altered, but there are still significant supplements and alternate routes to knowledge that permeate "modernist" archaeology (Hamilakis and Anagnostopolous 2009). Most dramatic is the prominence of the GPS as a tool. As I noted in the previous section, the ideas of mapping and GPS as conceptualization of spatial relationships and accuracy also reveal the importance in documenting place as a goal of the project; a goal that articulates with the use of oral histories as guides. The importance of the land we were on as traditional territory attuned and highlighted the archaeological awareness of place. Where the obsession with GPS technology and reporting might be seen as an exposé of location, in the event of collaboration, archaeologists have opportunities to recognize this alternate and concurrent description and understanding of their tools and practices. Moreover, I believe that as part of a successful collaboration, archaeological methods (in this case the use of GPS and mapping as primary research goals) inherently take on these nuanced and applicable meanings. Rather than a collaborative agreement limiting or physically changing the effectiveness of archaeological technique, the GPS speaks to a heightened sense of work at the level of experience and metaphoric understanding; the machines and practices remain the same but they come to embody meanings and positions beyond simple locating or recording. Such changes are specific to the collaborative ideals in Laxyuup Gitxaała, but still speak more broadly to the ways in which a collaborative project is different from a more traditional project. Thus, the awareness of place emerges through these methods as a significant change in the understanding of the archaeological work despite the fact that the actual work processes (except in the case of the minor brush clearing feature) were rarely altered in significant ways.  45  Successful collaboration does not present a rubric under which archaeological practice must change and adapt to local conditions, but rather presents a language and a research design that frames the archaeological work as something positioned between, on the one hand, the experience of the crew and community on the ground, and on the other, the practical contributions of the work to the academy and local community. At least in the case of collaborative projects, changes and the unique character of fieldwork are better understood through experience and thus can significantly affect the archaeological practitioners if not the practical work of archaeology. Finally, the experience of collaboration, as I have described in the archaeo-social profile, provides a platform on which diverse ways of seeing the work, remembering work and experience ongoing work can intersect. Collaborative archaeology does not necessarily capitulate to local indigenous values as a research control. Instead, in the case of Laxyuup Gitxaała, the project takes on indigenous values as a guiding epistemology and design, as revealed in the order of layers. The Land and Place stratum supports the Archaeological Work. The academic archaeological work is taken very seriously, and is often not radically challenged or changed. The collaborative character of this work, then, lies in the epistemological foundation and the way in which the effects of research design (i.e. inclusion of community members on the crew) produces a third layer that intersects all three. In the case of Laxyuup Gitxaała, this layer resides in a platform, or fishing vessel, upon which dialogue could occur in new ways. In this collaborative framework, narratives, oral histories and local values do not emerge in opposition or parallel to ongoing archaeological work, but rather through features of intersection. Their position on the top of the archaeo-social profile at once removes them from highly altering roles in the research process, while nevertheless affording them the unique place  46  in the project to intersect and inhabit all aspects of the work. Thus, the collaborative experience does not compromise or run in opposition to archaeological work. Instead, it provides an environment in which perspectives from all the crew’s life experiences complicate and cloud the classic scientific/aboriginal epistemic duality. This position of narratives and oral histories combines with the effect that collaborative archaeology has on professional vision and awareness (and understanding) of place to make up the collaborative experience. Collaboration examined at this level does not reveal the tensions that many authors write about, nor does it present successful collaboration as a simple or straightforward thing. In fact, I have resisted describing the changes undergone in archaeology in terms of mechanical alterations of fieldwork procedures. Instead, I find the experience of archaeological practice as one supplemented from a two-strata system of Archaeological Work and Land and Place to one intersected by a third strata unique to collaborative research conditions. This third, uniquely collaborative strata may be an artefact of my own ethnographic perspective. Without a doubt my perspective on archaeological fieldwork has changed as a result of my experience in Laxyuup Gitxaała, however the other members of the team may not find my stratigraphic metaphor particularly profound or applicable. Nevertheless, I find a discussion of this third layer useful because it suggests subtle reorganization and change rather than genesis (difference rather than newness or original-ness). By describing collaboration in this way, I hope to have transcended the duality of archaeology as either compromised by, or opposed to, aboriginal agendas. I hope to have described a nuanced stratigraphic profile in which the differences in strata are most apparent in their intersections. And, most importantly, I hope to have described through an examination of archaeological practice, the benefits and unique effects that collaborating with an indigenous nation can have on the discipline.  47  Chapter 6: Of Value and Boundaries; Synthesis and Dialogic Conclusion This thesis evaluates collaborative archaeology as a knowledge making process. I consider value here to reflect positive contributions of collaborative work to archaeology generally. It is important to remember that a great deal of archaeology is practiced without intentional consultation and respect to local, indigenous groups. There is an Archaeology Hamilakis and Anagnostopolous (2009) refer to as “modernist archaeology,” or the hegemonic versions of relating to the past. In many ways, the “official” version of archaeology still refers to the method as typified by the ‘New Archaeologists’ (Trigger 2006) who sought to sterilize data collection and represent archaeology as science. Thus, indigenous and collaborative archaeologies emerge as alternatives in contrast to the official version. In Gitxaała, the awareness we had of what the land we worked on meant, the direct inclusion of community members as contributing parts of the crew (as opposed to labour or observers), and the way that narratives infused aspects of the work and interpretation, distinguish it from my previous experiences (Irons 2009). The question of value though, is not of an inherent value in collaboration as opposed to modernist approaches. Value refers here to whether or not the collaborative character of the project ultimately contributed to a positive research experience for those involved and an ability to answer research questions. This is not a new definition or grounds for evaluating collaborative projects. My data and analysis that fed this evaluation are based on an archaeological ethnographic traditions epitomized by Edgeworth and others. Thus, to determine the value of collaborative archaeology as a knowledge making process, as a productive event in the life of an archaeology research season, I reiterate my conclusions from the above section. Archaeological practice was positioned in this project between seemingly innocuous narratives, and the guiding research questions and collaborative  48  research with Gitxaała. The magnetism between the two led to a merging of experiences at the level of mechanical practice. All participants offered observations of and reflection on the way in which fishing narratives were interwoven with the research debate and planning. This set the stage for fishing practices to break through the anecdotal and enter into dialogue with the way in which questions like significance in shellfish weight can be answered. As stories about fishing and memories from community members were shared, a task like mapping took on new meaning both in practice (recall Greg’s characterization of walking around the bush with the stadia rod) and in metaphor as a way of understanding significance of a place. The value then, of collaboration in the Laxyuup Gitxaała project is the way in which archaeology became responsive, purposefully confronted by concerns and experience from community, and was put in a position to come to terms with perspectives and contributions that it might not otherwise have considered. The value is not in re-defining archaeology as a set of collaborative practices, although it undergoes some beneficial alterations; the values of collaboration are the conditions and environment of intersection presented to archaeologists in practice and the willingness to perforate the superimposed boundary of archaeological fieldwork. This thesis uses ethnographic research in order to reflect on the conditions unique to collaborative practices which place archaeology in dialogue with local people and places. In this way, archaeology is also in dialogue with itself, rather than simply commenting on itself. I think there is value in determining how collaborative archaeology is different or even better. However, this was not a comparative project. I have suggested the kind of anthropological synthesis necessary for bringing together modernist and alternative archaeological projects into dialogue. Only in this way, through collaborative synthesis will the critics of collaborative and indigenous archaeology be assuaged.  49  References Cited Bartu, Ayfer 2000 Where is Çatalhöyük? Multiple Sites in the Construction of an Archaeological Site. In Towards Reflexive Method in Archaeology: The Example at Çatalhöyük. Ian Hodder, ed. Pp. 101-109. Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. 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Ethnocritical Archaeology, Ethnography and Community Building. In Ethnographic Archaeologies: Reflections on Stakeholders and Archaeological Practices. Quetzil Castañeda and Christopher Mathews, eds. Pp. 183-204. Lanham: AltaMira. 2005 First, be Humble: Working with Indigenous Peoples and Other Descendent Communities. In Indigenous Archaeologies: Decolonizing Theory and Practice. Claire Smith and Hans Martin Wobst, eds. Pp. 301-314. New York: Routledge. 1997 Remythologizing the Relationships between Indians and Archaeologists. In Native Americans and Archaeologists: Stepping Stones to Common Ground. Nina Swindler, Kurt Dongoske, Roger Anyon and Alan Downer, eds. Walnut Creek CA: AltaMira.  54  Appendices Appendix A: Short Story This story was first drafted on returning on the Katrena Leslie II from Citeyats to Prince Rupert, it was revised in November 2011. While the context and message of this story arise specifically out of my thesis research, the events and characters in this story are fictional. Their dialogue, actions and the plot are of my own imagination. Midden Mr. Dalmore arrived at the site wearing faded green rain pants, rubber boots, a filthy sweater and a stained bandana to hold back his long, greying hair. These details were important because he had dreamed the night before of being in an excavation unit naked, searching for his trowel. Dalmore had landed on the beach with the rest of the team in a manner he was still getting used to. Two steel skiffs slowly floated in toward the rocky beaches, barnacles grating underneath as they landed. Hopping off into the cold northern Pacific waters, Dalmore was always astonished at the protection offered by his industrial-grade rain gear. As he approached the tree-line he met up with Lilly, a colleague from university. The pair had, the day before, cut a hasty, horizontal trench into the silty-sandy bank at the head of the beach. Their thin trench had levelled a seemingly natural rise in the landscape into a path nearly three meters long leading into the bank. At the business end of this trench, the pair had flattened the slough into a vertical wall that met the horizontal trench at a right angle. Their job was to describe the artefact before them, to draw and label the properties of the soil preserved in the wall. As he looked at the exposed profile, Dalmore began to see that the soil, which had looked mostly black with white flecks, was tempered with a variety of shapes and colors and textures. Looking top to bottom he saw browns, dusty greys, smears of black and purplish grit. And as he stepped closer he saw entire clam shells exposed and falling out from the wall lending it its white and brown speckled color. He saw crush mussels colored purple and dramatic chunks of black charcoal. Dalmore had seen only a few other walls of this type in his career as an archaeologist, although as he was looking now he was able to confidently identify it. This was shell midden, meter upon meter of crushed, discarded shell and bone remains stacked slowly, deposited over thousands of years. His vision of the wall became increasingly refined as he and Lilly moved closer. At first he had seen only the color of midden before him. But reaching out he touched the crumbly substances in the wall, feeling grit and crushing shell fragments in his hand. The textures and colors he felt revealed more and more layers to his eyes. Dalmore yawned and swallowed a small fly. Hacking, coughing, he turned to Lilly and they discussed the composition of the wall of shell. “Mm, okay. Can you see this light layer here?” Lilly asked. “Yeah,” said Dalmore. “And you agree that it’s clearly different from this shell above, right?” Dalmore squinted, looked up and down at the two layers. “Clearly,” he said. Lilly scraped the wall with her trowel to reveal fresh soil, and shells fell out of the profile, scraping and clacking as they tumbled to the base of the exposed horizon of midden. Lilly pointed with her trowel. “And it ends here, turning to this shell below.” 55  Dalmore leaned in over her shoulder. “I don’t see that. Just this.” And he pointed lower on the wall with his pencil. “But you don’t see this transition here?” Lilly asked. “Nah, I don’t see it really.” “No, neither do I,” signed Lilly. After a series of similar discussions, the pair was ready to begin drawing what they could see. Lilly set tape measures horizontally and vertically across the wall and Dalmore readied his graph paper. But to really begin they needed a level line. No ad hoc sketch could capture the nuance or record the layers in the wall with the precision that had come to be expected in academic circles. The line became a sort of lens through which they could see and describe the soil transitions as a series of accurate points plotted on paper. Dalmore levelled the line, a stained string stretched horizontally across the top of the profiled wall. A bubble in green solution moved from left to right as he raised and lowered the string. And within a glass cylinder, attached to the string above the midden, the bubble settled calmly in the center. Suddenly, Mr. Dalmore suffered a moment of clarity. He could see correctly and anew. His vision was like a concentrated beam of laser light, streaking with profound accuracy through the thick, coastal air. With his changing vision Dalmore could see through Lilly and the wall, deep into the under-ground. He stepped forward in the trench and the tape measures both fell to the ground. Lilly swore as she crouched in the thin trench to pick them up. Dalmore reached out over her toward the wall. It felt slimy. He looked at his hand and it was wet. He licked his fingers and they were salty. And as Dalmore leaned in closer to see with his changing eyes his moment of clarity caused his head to rush. He stumbled over Lilly and disappeared head-first into the wall. Mr. Dalmore was not a particularly graceful archaeologist. --Up the bank from Lilly, who suddenly realized she had been talking to an absent partner, another pair from the team was at work producing another kind of map. Atop the midden was wilderness, enormous trees living and fallen, thick bushes and the calls of eagles. The midden was contoured; a yawning and stretching that mimicked a natural landscape. The Doctors X and Y were veritable experts in recording this topography. They used a machine mounted atop a tripod. This total data station fired a laser which was meant to be reflected off a faceted mirror and recorded again in the machine. The call and response of machine and mirror was repeated ad nauseum throughout the forest collecting a series of data points. All the Doctors needed was a straight line of sight through the bush and the map would flourish. Doctor Y was working the machine and shot the laser to record a point. The laser, invisible to the human eye, rocketed from the total station, bounced of the mirror Doctor X held, and returned to the sensor in the computer. The machine beeped twice. “It took the point!” Doctor Y yelled across the distance, “but it beeped twice which is a little bizarre.” It was unclear to her whether or not Doctor X cared about the second beep. His sole visible trait, a furrowed brow, said only that he hated being in the bush. He straightened the rod the mirror sat upon. “Alright, let’s take it again to be sure.”  56  --The second beep had no effect on the map Doctors X and Y were making. It was but a malfunction of the equipment. Lilly hadn’t even heard the beep. But for Dalmore the moment was a fantastically visceral transition. Each time the Doctors took a point with their equipment, their world went unchanged. But for Dalmore, the path of the laser to the mirror and back to the machine was a waking eternity, each one transformative and accumulating in his mind. His body, when it fell into the midden, followed his eyes and transformed into a concentrated beam of invisible red light. He felt like he was falling in a dream. But instead of jerking awake, the feeling lingered and he felt he was plummeting faster and faster through the thick forest air. When the falling stopped and he found himself alone, far away from the midden. He was on a familiar steel row boat, bobbing up and down and drifting with the tide. His filthy hands grasped old wooden oars. He began to row hearing only the splash of the oars and the sound of silence. His eyes espied enormous rocks whipped by winds so hard they looked as if they were leaning. Dalmore’s gaze was fixated on a rock behind when the boat rocked violently. He nearly fell once again and grabbed tighter onto the oars for dear life. Turning forward he saw that a large man was sitting in the bow the row boat. As Dalmore came to his senses he recognized the man as Eliot. Although confused, Dalmore found the presence of his soft-spoken Indian friend relieving. He couldn’t be too far from reality. Eliot lit a cigarette and let it hang from his lips as he lowered an enormous fish hook into the water. “You ever been jigging before, Chicago?” Dalmore responded, in love with his nickname, “No, last time I fished I was a little kid.” “Mm, I used to fish and hunt growing up in the village. Haven’t done much since I moved to the city. I love being out here and seeing all this again.” The hook finally hit bottom and Eliot made a wide-eyed face at Dalmore. He jerked upward on the line making the hook jump along the sea floor. He took a drag on his cigarette and began to speak when the line pulled taught. Eliot slowly began to reel in the line when it pulled tight again. “Oh sh..., Chicago! We got something!” Dalmore stood silent, watching as Eliot towed in the line, hand over bare hand. “Oh, that’s a halibut. I’m sure of it. He’s fightin’!” Like a game of call and response, when Eliot would reel in some line, the fish would run. Eliot was grunting and the boat was being towed around as the fish fought. As the spotted, flat fish rose near the surface, it made eye contact with Eliot. It thrashed, exerting its entire organism in the throes of survival. As it tired, in a moment of calm, Eliot reached into the water, grabbed the line near the hook and hurled the fish aboard the boat. He beamed and panted. And he took a club and smashed in the fish’s skull killing it dead. “Shit, Eliot, that’s a big fucking fish,” said Dalmore. “It’s been like seven years since I got one.” Eliot eyed the fish. “But, meh, this guy is small, think about forty pounds?” Dalmore finally released his death grip on the oars and reached down forward to touch the still flopping fish. His fingers were inches away from the glistening skin of the animal when he was plucked from the boat, violently pulled from behind as if he was attached to an elastic band that had reached the end of its stretch. And Dalmore disappeared into the misty sky. 57  --“Yep! Got it,” said Doctor Y. And Doctor X stepped forward. --Mr. Dalmore landed again. He was back on a rock beach, pop-weed popping under the thick rubber soles of his gum boots. He was alone again on a small island, mostly beach with a small wood in the center. The sun was rising behind him and he looked across the water. He saw a treeless terraced landscape, not logged or succumbed to disease, but pristinely used. Preserved and present as it always had been. The peak of this island place was a subtle, forested hill. On this peak Dalmore saw a humble home. He saw the flashes of tee-vees inside the windows and the invisible beams of the satellite glowed green like aurora. A pack of domestic dogs scattered and yelped as a heap of opaque shells came pouring out from the door of the house and shattered on the ground below. After a while, the familiar grating a skiff on the rocky beach startled Dalmore. He had no idea how long he’d be looking over the water, but the tide had ebbed. The beach had expanded for what seemed like a mile. There was a woman on the skiff. She called out across the tidal zone. “Hey, Dalmore, ready to go kill some fish.” Curious, Dalmore walked toward the skiff. “How do you know my name?” “Let’s just say its Indian magic.” “Ah. What’s your name?” “Um, Katrena?” Dalmore nodded and looked around. “Wait! Are you just gonna leave it like that?” “Like what?” “Indian magic. Are you fucking serious?” “No, no. Well, you just, it didn’t seem out of the realm of possibility.” “You are serious. There’s nothin’ magical about an old woman on a skiff, Dalmore.” “Right, right, I know.” Katrena cackled. “Listen buddy, I don’t know exactly what’s wrong with you, but this low tide ain’t staying out forever. Just get in the boat. And give us a push.” The coast was transformed at low tide. Huge brownish-green leaves of seaweed were revealed and hung over the low rocks. Red and purple star fish crawled along the slimy landscape, exposed and appearing caught off-guard by the dramatic low tide. As the motored skiff cut slowly through the glistening canyon, Katrena pointed the skiff toward a group of rocks revealed only by the lowest tides. The skiff struck the rock harder than Katrena meant it to. “Shit. Alright, jump off and tie us up Dalmore.” Dalmore tied the bow line around a rock. “What the hell is that smell? he asked.” “Mm. Smells like cat piss. Must be in the right place.” Katrena stepped off the skiff onto the rock. 58  “Alright, look down Dalmore. What do you see.” Dalmore looked. At first he saw nothing but sea weed. But then he saw what looked like the rock moving. “Oh shit, there’s something crawling on the rocks!” “Yep. Abalones. Start picking, it’s about Time to get excited!” Dalmore took out his trusty Buck knife, flicked open the blade and pried one of the purple, perforated clams off the weedy rock. He looked uncertain as he held the yellow, slimy flesh of the creature in his hand. Katrena took it from him and tossed it into the skiff. After collecting a few more, they boarded the skiff and pushed off. Dalmore looked at his slimy hands. He reached over the side of the boat and dragged them in the water to wash. But they came up still slimy. Katrena observed Dalmore and commented. “Mmhm, Dalmore. There’s five-thousand years of fishing in my blood. And now it’s on your hands.” The skiff rose over a swell and came splashing down. The mist and drops of the salt water soaked Dalmore’s beard. --“Can you tilt the prism toward me? And move a bit to the right! A bit further, see that leaf?” Dr. X stepped over to his right. He still wasn’t clear of the leaf. Its spiny vine had caught his arm as he climbed over a behemoth of a fallen tree. “Okay, got it!” yelled Dr. Y. --Katrena was returning Dalmore to the island and he was disembarking the skiff when his foot caught. He stumbled but managed to avoid a cold dip. On the beach again, he looked around. The island had changed. The trees in the middle were fewer and there were a series of rectangular depressions aligned along an arc. As Dalmore approached the central depression he came face to face with an old, decaying and decorated wooden post. It rose from the floor at a slant, non-chalantly flaunting its timefullness. The earth in front of it began to sink, and Dalmore with it. It sank in the shape of a square like an elevator. He saw layers being revealed slowly, the same way they had been deposited. As the sinking stopped, he focused on the lines on the wall. He knew they were vestiges of a slow accumulation and evidence of presence on the place for time immemorial. But in these walls Dalmore saw the stories and events that peppered the lives of people on the land. He smelled the fires and felt the flesh of animals, he tasted their bones. He saw in the clam shells their tasty meat and heard the sound of a man slurping urchin goo from the spiny body. He saw Eliot kill the fish, he heard shells clacking and he saw Katrena toss an abalone. Dalmore pulled out his trowel. He scraped at the wall to reveal more living secrets. Some transitions were smooth and some impossibly awkward. Most were full of indecipherable subtleties. And across this wall profiling a living, breathing history Dalmore did the only thing he knew how to do, he strung another line, a fishing line with a bubble level on it. He pulled it tightly and lifted it up and down. And just as the bubble was settling in the center, Dalmore heard Katrena’s voice. 59  “Whatcha lookin’ at down there?” Dalmore looked up and saw Katrena bent over the edge of the hole. “I... I’m not even sure anymore,” he said. “Where are we Katrena?” “This is the old village.” “No one lives here now?” “Um, obviously not... Someone told me when I was a girl that we just had too many people for this little island.” “Huh. Hey, do you see what’s happening in this wall?” Katrena squinted and leaned closer. “Oh yeah. You’re seeing now, eh?” “Yeah, how am I supposed to map this? That sea urchin just crawled out of the wall!” “Afraid its Indian magic?” Katrena joked. “I don’t believe in magic.” “Well, you should. Anyway, this isn’t it. This is pretty simple Dalmore.” “What’s simple about this!” He gestured to the writhing wall. “Calm down! You anthros already have a term for this. Anthro, mm, yes, anthropogenic.” “That just means humans made it.” “Yeah, well, now you’ve dug it up, and it’s still being made. Confirmation. See?” “Not really. At all.” “We put the anthro in anthropogenic! You and I. God you’re dense!” “This might take a while Katrena.” “Ugh! You’re drawing these needless lines. Just like when you draw these walls as if there was one layer and then, suddenly another. Doesn’t work like that.” “Yeah, sometimes we see them and then can’t an hour later with the change in light.” “Well, right, it’s like looking through a lens. But this isn’t even really a lens though, it’s just experiences accumulating.” Dalmore looked back at the wall. “Each one is linked to another, Dalmore. You’re making one, and I am, and the team, wherever they are, they’re making some too. And together, well, here you have it. I can’t understand why you’re having trouble with it.” “I just want out of this hole. I’ve been tossed around too much today.” “Researchers. So soft. People have been moving point to point to navigate through these sites for thousands of years. You’ve had it pretty damn easy. Didn’t even have to row.” Katrena let down a ladder. And Dalmore climbed for what seemed like forever. When he neared the top Katrena was gone and the sky all around was an electric red, so intense, like a tunnel of beams of blazing lights. Dalmore realized the island was moving very fast. All he could do was stand and watch the forested landscape blurred all together, wondering when it would end. The red light suddenly went out and Dalmore was thrown from the island like a crash-test dummy. He flew through the air, crash landed into a bank and wound up face-down in a thin trench. “Sweet, salty Jesus Dalmore!” exclaimed Lilly turning around. “Where the fuck have you been? You’re filthy. Can we get to work now?” Dalmore shook his head and soil crumbled out. “I just needed to step away for a moment, to reboot my eyes. How long was I?” “Long enough to piss me off.” 60  The pair finished and not soon after, the Doctors X and Y came down from the site with scrapes and bites and bush in their hair. The site was mapped in its entirety. They bore in their smiles, exhaustion, and silly jokes the accomplishment of knowing. The gathered near the skiff and found Eliot who had been walking the beach all morning looking for artefacts on the surface. --The team had gathered on the deck of the Katrena Leslie II their fishing boat base. Eliot was talking excitedly about what he’d found on the beach when Dalmore escaped the conversation. He snuck away into the galley. He threw himself on the bench around the galley table. He was exhausted. Doctor Y came and sat down next to him, turning on her computer. “Want to see the map from today?” she said. “I’ve done quite enough mapping for today,” answered Dalmore. “Well, we’ll want to put in the point of that profile you and Lilly mapped, so we know exactly where it is.” “From what I’ve seen, I don’t know if we can really describe its location. It’s not just left or right of things, or north and south of them. Or even above or below. It’s before and after and everything at once.” “Yeah, but the GPS coordinates can tell us exactly. “Geographically maybe, but beneath the surface is heap upon heap of heaping helpings of human being. How do we map that? How do we put that into a computer?” “That’s deep man, you should put that in a poem.” Dalmore sighed, “I probably will.” The rest of the team filtered into the warm kitchen. Eliot was teaching Lilly about one of the shells she had pulled from the midden. Doctor X carefully sipped from his cup of coffee. As they sat down, Dalmore was pushed to the middle of what was a U-shaped bench. He was trapped on all sides by archaeologists. Listening to their conversations he knew his experience of the day was unique. But the others had been similar places, although at different times. But hell, the fish stew warming up on the stove was full of freshly caught fish. And there were stories that went with those fish. Perhaps the others didn’t have the time to reflect on what the stories meant for the midden. Perhaps they didn’t need to. The things were confounding enough without bringing actual fish into the analysis. Still, Dalmore was uneasy that the midden face would be reduced to a data point. He needed a way to talk about the link. He thought and then turned to Eliot. “Hey Eliot, when’s the last time you caught a halibut?” “Been a while, Chicago, I bet we could find one around here though. Up for a row?”  61  Appendix B: Journal Prompt  General Instruction: Please use this form to reflect on the events of your day. In particular, consider your role on the archaeology site, your own work and the research process. Feel free to use any style of writing (narrative, bullet points, jotting notes). The length and detail of the reflection can be to your choosing. Below are some prompts to help you begin. Feel free at anytime to respond or write about something different. Remember that no detail, story, recollection or thought is unimportant. Sample Prompts: Provide a narrative of your work on site today. What working role did you perform on site today? What changes (expected or unexpected) did you encounter while working? Did your relationship with the site change today? How does your experience on this site compare to others? What is a significant memory from today and why?  62  

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