1997 TOP SECRET TIP PAGE
The Ozette site in Washington, U.S.A.
(near Vancouver Island, B.C.)
on the Northwest Coast is a very special
This area was once a whale-hunting settlement
until around 1500 A.D.,
when a huge mudslide came and buried the
For two hundred years, the village lay
protected beneath the mud. The village,
however, was not forgotten by the people
who lived in the area. The descendants
of this village kept the memory of their
Then the sea began to strip away the mud
and it seemed as if the village might
become unprotected and fall prey to looters.
Local people called upon the
government to help excavate the site and
protect the remains.
As the archaeologists cleared away the
mud with high-pressure hoses, a wealth
of organic material came to view.
The team of archaeologists found several
cedar wood long houses with carved wood
panels painted in black with thunderbird
and wolves designs. Inside the houses
they found hearths, cooking platforms,
sleeping benches and mats.
Here is a picture of a cedar canoe that
was recovered from Ozette:
Over 50 000 artifacts were recovered !
All were very well preserved.
This was because the water and mud that
they were trapped
in prevented them from decomposing.
The most spectacular find was a huge block
of red cedar, a meter high,
carved in the form of a whale's dorsal
fin, and inlaid with
over 700 otter teeth arranged in the shape
a thunderbird holding a snake in its claws.
Isn't that amazing?
Unfortunately we don't find this many
remains at DhRl 16 because
most of the stuff has decomposed.
We did, however, find some basketry
at DhRl 16 that was waterlogged and so
This is a pretty rare find at this site
and the archaeologists are very excited.
Not every site can be like Ozette, and
indeed, VERY few are, but if
we are good archaeological detectives,
we can still find lots of stuff and
learn a great deal !
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OZETTE,
YOU CAN VISIT THE MAKAH PEOPLE'S WEB SITE