The Monumentality of Clam Gardens in the Southern Gulf Islands, British Columbia
Author(s): Eric McLay
Clam gardens represent monumental coastal landscapes constructed by Northwest Coast hunter-gather-fisher peoples over the past 1000 years. The slow, laborious movement of boulders and cobbles to build up rock-walled intertidal terraces not only created new productive shellfish habitat for greater food security, but transformed social and political relations over peoples’ rights to lands, foreshore and access to shellfish at a regional scale. As large-scale community works, clam gardens must be viewed as contested monuments that were actively negotiated in their construction, use and maintenance over time. More broadly, clam gardens must be viewed as monuments where new forms of domestic relations were created by peoples, shellfish, and the animated sea. This paper will explore aspects of monumentality of clam gardens in the Southern Gulf Islands, British Columbia, where regional archaeological survey have discovered these megalithic works stretch for kilometres along the coast.
Cite this Record
The Monumentality of Clam Gardens in the Southern Gulf Islands, British Columbia. Eric McLay. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403611)
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min long: -169.717; min lat: 42.553 ; max long: -122.607; max lat: 71.301 ;