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Pyrites
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PostWed Feb 27, 2019 3:37 pm 
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CBC article discusses ancient clam farms.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/clam-gardens-dating-1.4761214

&

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/clam-gardens-call-into-question-hunter-gatherer-past-of-b-c-first-nations-1.3068709

Farther south, could a few of the old low tidal walls be clam gardens, not fish traps? Itís hard to imagine needing to increase natural production of clams in Puget Sound.

Best.

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Anne Elk
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PostWed Feb 27, 2019 6:47 pm 
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Thanks for putting up these links, Pyrites.  I'm going to enjoy reading all the details in the PLOS ONE research paper referenced in the current CBC article.   up.gif

At first it seemed like "old news" since I have a 2006 book on the subject by Judith Williams in my library.  Seems like what's new is that the researchers have begun to figure out how old the clam gardens are.  You commented,

Quote:
Itís hard to imagine needing to increase natural production of clams in Puget Sound.

We've always assumed that the coast natives were much more nomadic than they actually were, and unsophisticated (compared to us). These gardens would have enabled them to make substantial increase within each tribe's territory, and made their harvesting sustainable.  What's intriguing is the possibility of how much we don't have access to because of changing sea levels.  I seem to recall reading that there was once a land bridge between Haida Gwaii and the mainland (or a much smaller, shallower channel).
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DigitalJanitor
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PostThu Feb 28, 2019 3:43 pm 
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Given that tribes here in Washington extensively burned to clear land for huckleberries in the mountains, and burned to keep Sequim prairie open for deer and elk... yeah, there's probably a lot we've missed along the way.

Example: Wouldn't surprise me at all that we're running into camas in places that it was introduced and somehow encouraged.

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fairweather friend
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PostWed Apr 10, 2019 6:39 pm 
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DigitalJanitor wrote:
Example: Wouldn't surprise me at all that we're running into camas in places that it was introduced and somehow encouraged.

I doubt coastal tribes introduced camas to the San Juans, but there are plenty of places in the islands where they appeared to "garden" it.  Death camas and edible camas tubers are difficult to tell apart when the plants are not in bloom so local tribes would weed death camas out of the prime growing areas and chuck it down by the water's edge.  Even now, you can see this growth pattern persist in places.  Yellow Island offers a good example.
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Malachai Constant
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PostWed Apr 10, 2019 8:44 pm 
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When I was a young teen in Port Orchard exploring a vacant lot I stumbled across a huge plot of moon snail shells neatly arranged  in rows. I assume it was some sort of indigenous midden. Now I wish that I would have alerted someone at UW or WSU. The shells were intact but very old. I assume someone used to eat the things.

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DigitalJanitor
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PostThu Apr 11, 2019 8:38 am 
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fairweather friend wrote:
I doubt coastal tribes introduced camas to the San Juans, but there are plenty of places in the islands where they appeared to "garden" it.†

This is exactly what I'm thinking... native folks probably had a keen eye for the areas where it would be likely to thrive and I'm guessing transplanting bulbs into 'good spots' happened.

Records state there was a large Kittitas band camp near where Thorp is now. There are big swaths of camas choked meadows up in Joe Watt. I always wonder while looking at those purple flowers in spring if it is all just beneficial circumstance or if this is the remnants of a human-intentional thing I'm looking at.

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Doppelganger
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PostFri Apr 12, 2019 7:40 am 
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This reminds me that I need to find and try some wapato tuber, whenever I see it I just go 'huh there's some arrowhead' and forget about the part that's still underground

Quite a few white objects that appear to be old bivalves in Fig 4 showing a cutaway of a wall, in the lowest "previous beach deposits" layer. Pretty sizable if I am interpreting the scale correctly, and I assume they were left in place by the constructors of the wall, but they might be live clams who dug their way under the wall? https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0211194#pone-0211194-g003
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