Cultural Forests in Cross Section: The Exposure and Destruction of CMT Chronologies on Vancouver Island’s West Coast.
Author(s): Jacob Earnshaw
Culturally Modified Trees (CMTs) bearing the scars of First Nation’s resource use are ubiquitous in British Columbia’s old growth forests, yet remain one of the most endangered archaeological site types due to industrial logging. The majority of CMTs are bark strip features with precise spatial, temporal, and harvesting pattern data that, when viewed on a landscape level, have great informative value related to forest use. However, CMT use in archaeological studies has been infrequent, small scale and largely confined to gray literature. Studies that do include CMTs have not accounted for the presence of invisible or "embedded" scars, which have fully healed over and cause unknown bias to samples. My research in Nuu-chah-nulth territory on Vancouver Island compares gray literature on CMTs taken from standing forests with data collected during surveys of stumps within expansive old-growth clearcuts. Logging activity has exposed the actual spatial extent and temporal reach of CMT archives in the landscape to be considerably different from what is recorded in Archaeological Impact Assessments. The wealth of data in cross-sectioned cultural forests may lead to greater insights regarding indigenous forest management and conservation strategies, local histories prior to and during the contact period, and greater old-growth protections.
Cite this Record
Cultural Forests in Cross Section: The Exposure and Destruction of CMT Chronologies on Vancouver Island’s West Coast.. Jacob Earnshaw. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430277)
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min long: -169.717; min lat: 42.553 ; max long: -122.607; max lat: 71.301 ;
Abstract Id(s): 14962