The Burton Acres Shell Midden site is located on Vashon Island in Puget Sound, at an advantageous spot for fishing and shellfishing. Although it had been the focus of preservation efforts, little was known about the contents of the site until a winter storm in 1995 caused severe erosion. In response, a collaborative effort between the Burke Museum, University of Washington, King County Landmarks and Heritage Commission, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Vashon Park District, and McMurray Middle School resulted in a unique two-week public project involving 375 volunteers. Members of the public were invited to share in the discovery process, following archaeological protocol from excavation to artifact cataloging. This book continues that discovery process, presenting and explaining the data gleaned from the site and offering interpretations based on the various objects found that speak to people's lives at this place.
Multiple perspectives on the history of Burton Acres Shell Midden express the collaborative nature of the project, with contributions by Puyallup tribal member Judy Wright, cultural anthropologist Llyn De Danaan, and several archaeologists including a summary by Julie Stein.
Vashon Island Archaeology describes the step-by-step guidelines developed for this public investigation, useful for other archaeologists involved in similar projects. It also provides insight into the careful and extensive planning required for such an endeavor. Finally, it demonstrates that a community that participates in the discovery of their local history gains a broad understanding of the importance of stewardship, preservation, and interpretation of cultural resources.
Julie K. Stein is Professor of Anthropology and Divisional Dean of Research, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Washington. Laura S. Phillips is Archaeology Collections Manager at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, University of Washington.
ContributorsPrefaceAcknowledgments1. The Project: A Tribal Perspective--Judy Wright2. The Project: An Archaeological Perspective--Julie K. Stein3. Ethnographic Background--LLyn De Danaan4. Field and Laboratory Methods and Procedures--Mary Parr, Julie K. Stein, and Laura S. Phillips5. Stratigraphy and Dating--Julie K. Stein6. Historic Artifacts--MaryAnn Emery7. Lithics--Timothy Allen8. Bone and Antler Tools--Laura S. Phillips9. Faunal Analysis: Mammal and Bird Remains--Kristine Bovy10. Faunal Analysis: Fish Remains--Robert Kopperl and Virginia Butler11. Faunal Analysis: Shellfish Remains--Laura S. Phillips12. Botanical Analysis--Nancy A. Stenholm13. Conclusions--Julie K. Stein