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September 14, 2007

What was life like in Seattle 4,000 years ago?

Archaeology Day at Discovery Park / Sat., Oct. 6, 2007

SeattleDiscover what archaeology is all about at the Burke Museum’s annual Archaeology Day at Discovery Park, Sat., Oct. 6. Burke Museum archaeologists have teamed up with Seattle Parks and Recreation and the King County Wastewater Treatment Division to present a family-friendly event filled with hands-on activities and guided tours, in celebration of Washington State Archaeology Month.

Visit the site where Native Americans lived 4,200 years ago in Seattle’s Discovery Park. Learn about how the West Point site was discovered during construction of the King County Waste Treatment Facility. Discover the geological history of the park and try your hand at archaeology activities suitable for all ages.

Walking Tours:

  • Learn how the land and resources around Discovery Park have changed through time and how Native peoples have adapted to those changes over time.
  • Walking tours of the West Point site by archaeologists on the Burke Museum staff will commence at 10:30 am and continue throughout the day.

Open House:

The West Point Treatment Plant will host an open house with lots of information on protecting water quality and producing resources from the wastewater of the region. Light refreshments will be available.

Ask the Scientist:

Learn about new research taking place at the Burke Museum from Archaeology Graduate Students that have received the Burke Museum Archaeology Research Fellowship

  • See ancient tools from Washington State and try to guess how they were used
  • Learn about past shellfish use in Puget Sound and how the changing environment is affecting this resource
  • Learn about how erosion, powered by rising sea levels and increased boat traffic, is destroying archaeological sites in Puget Sound

Hands-on Activities:

West Point tools:

  • See and touch replicas of some of the most beautiful artifacts found at West Point
  • Make“stick dice” like those used in games thousands of years ago
  • See fishing tools that were found at West Point and make a Salmon Trolling Hook
  • See and touch tools used to weave baskets in the past and weave your own bracelet to wear home

Animals and plants people used 2000 years ago:

  • Learn about the animals that were eaten by the early inhabitants of the West Point site
  • Learn how to split and carve wood with ancient tools and try your hand at cutting food with stone knives
  • Learn about plants that were eaten and used to make tools by Native Americans on the Northwest Coast

Archaeological sites today

  • Guess what you can and cannot pick up off beaches in Washington State
  • Learn what you should do if you find an artifact or discover an archaeological site

For more information on the West Point archaeological site at Discovery Park, visit the Burke Museum’s award-winning Web exhibit,“The Archaeology of Seattle’s West Point,” online at http://www.washington.edu/burkemuseum/westpoint/.

Archaeology Day is a free event and is co-sponsored by the Burke Museum, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and the King County Wastewater Treatment Division. Visitors should check in at the Discovery Park Visitor Center—3801 West Government Way, Seattle, WA—for parking and directions to the event site. Free shuttles are provided from the Visitor Center to the main event site. Wear good outdoor shoes and come prepared for rain. For more information, call the Burke Museum’s Archaeology Division at 206-685-3849 or email archy@u.washington.edu.


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(206) 543-9762; FAX (206) 616-1274
burkepr@uw.edu