405 Allen Street, Kelso, WA

Upcoming Events

October 19, 2019 - 12 noon

Archaeological Wet Site of Southwest Washington:   A Brief Overview

With Dr. David Rice

While the most famous wet site in Washington is Ozette, on the Olympic Peninsula, southwest Washington also has its share of wet sites, brimming with information about the daily lives of those who came before. Dr. David Rice will talk about the importance of wet sites and how those of southwest Washington teach us more about the tribal pre-history of the Chinook, Cowlitz, and others.


Wet Site: a site that has been continuously or near continuously waterlogged so as to prevent oxygen from decaying organic material.

Wet sites matter. On the Northwest Coast in antiquity, an estimated 85 percent of objects were made entirely from wood and other plant materials that normally do not survive the ravages of time. Fortunately, wetlands, silt-laden rivers, high groundwater levels, and abundant rainfall in the Pacific Northwest combined to provide ideal conditions for long-term preservation of waterlogged wood. Waterlogged cultural remains sometimes are found unexpectedly, on beaches and eroding riverbanks or at the bottom of an excavation trench, but few archaeologists intentionally search for wet sites. Those who investigate these places can uncover artifacts, structures, and environmental remains that are missing from the usual reconstructions of past lifeways.

Whistles: The Story of Longview Fibre Company

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The Museum collects, preserves, and interprets information and artifacts that tell the story of Cowlitz County.

We provide exhibits, research facilities, and educational and public programs that serve a wide range of local citizens, students, and tourists.

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