Woodhaven (Washington)

A Successful Collaboration: The Conservancy joined forces with the Stillaguamish Tribe to preserve a significant site.

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A collection of points discovered at the 8,700-year-old Woodhaven site. Credit Garth L. Baldwin.
A collection of points discovered at the 8,700-year-old Woodhaven site. Credit Garth L. Baldwin.

In June of 2013, the Conservancy’s Western Regional Director Cory Wilkins, and President Mark Michel met in northern Washington with representatives of the Stillaguamish Tribe to discuss collaborating to preserve the tribe’s ancestral lands. At that time, Stillaguamish Cultural Resources Representative Kerry Lyste provided the Conservancy with a list of several sites that the Tribe was working to preserve. At the top of that list was the Woodhaven site.

Woodhaven is a stunning 8,700-year-old habitation and stone tool-manufacturing site that consists of extensive lithic material and fire modified rock. Analysis of its lithic tools and debitage indicated that these items represent all stages—from raw material to finished product—of tool production.

The site was initially recorded in 2007 by Garth Baldwin and Genevieve Brown of Drayton Archaeological Research during a cultural resource survey of a proposed 35-acre residential development. The archaeologists did 53 shovel tests during the survey, 28 of which recovered cultural material. Nearly 13,000 lithic artifacts were recovered during subsequent excavations in 2008 and 2011, including numerous lanceolate points, large bifaces, cobble reduction flakes, and scrapers.  A hearth was unearthed as well as a few fragments of bone and a piece of obsidian.

The Woodhaven acquisition is a prime example of a successful collaboration between the Conservancy and other organizations. In this case, the Conservancy worked with the Stillaguamish Tribe to preserve one of the most important sites in Washington State, while ensuring the site and all cultural material are treated in accordance with the highest standards of the Stillaguamish Tribe.

Summary. Read More  in our Summer 2016 Issue of American Archaeology, Vol. 19 No. 3

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