Washed Away? Was Tse-whit-zen Deserted in the Aftermath of Cascadian Earthquakes?
The northern segment of the Cascadia subduction zone has ruptured at least four times in the last 2000 years. Each of these giant earthquakes triggered a tsunami that potentially inundated the Tse-whit-zen village site to depths of 3-6 m and exposed it to currents of ~10 m/s. We compare the timing of these tsunamis, as recorded by wash-over deposits at Tse-whit-zen and sand sheets in the marshes at Discovery Bay, some 50 km to the east of Tse-whit-zen, with the palaeodemographic history of the village. The latter is modeled using the probability density of AMS radiocarbon ages as a population proxy, and tested against a null model derived from the IntCal13 calibration database. The results suggest that the size of the population at Tse-whit-zen oscillated wildly in the 1500 years before European contact, with minima in the wake of each of these natural disasters.
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
- Society for American Archaeology 82nd Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC (2017) •
- Study of Human Ecodynamics at Tse-whit-zen, a 2,800-Year-Old Lower Elwha Klallam Coastal Village in Washington State, U.S.A.
Cite this Record
Washed Away? Was Tse-whit-zen Deserted in the Aftermath of Cascadian Earthquakes?. Ian Hutchinson, Sarah L. Sterling, Virginia L. Butler, Carrie Garrison-Laney. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430201)
North America - NW Coast/Alaska
min long: -169.717; min lat: 42.553 ; max long: -122.607; max lat: 71.301 ;
Abstract Id(s): 15120