Resources Basket ID Game
Burke Collection Database


Wet site/Dry site finds:

Because of acidic soil, basketry material normally doesn't survive long in Northwest archaeological sites. But in very wet (oxygen-excluding) or very dry (water-excluding) conditions, basketry items may be well preserved for thousands of years. The Conway wet site basketry fragments have been treated with polyethylene glycol, which blackens the original material but keeps it from deteriorating. The Fort Rock dry site sandals also have been stabilized. By looking at these ancient basketry materials, we can study how weaving techniques have changed over time. Some techniques have remained unchanged for thousands of years, while others seem to have disappeared.

click on a thumbnail image for a larger photo


Basketry Hat(?);

Skagit River Delta, Washington 595-745 years old;

No. 1983-13/5



Net Weight with Line; Skagit River Delta, Washington

595-745 years old;

No. 45SK59b/611






Pair of Sagebrush Sandals Fort Rock area, Oregon

7,000-10,000 years old

Gift of Dr. Harold Bergen, No. 1989-57/33-17





Basketry Matting; Skagit River Delta, Washington

595-745 years old;

No. 45SK59b/53


This ancient rain hat shows how Puget Sound people dealt
with the climate of western Washington. The pointed peak,
flaring shape, and cedar bark material helped shed water.
An inner cap was woven right in.

Archaeologists excavated this hat in 1976 from Wapato
Creek in Tacoma, along with remnants of a fish weir
and fiber netting.

400-1,000 years old; Tacoma, Washington;



The Burke Museum asked Chinook/Puyallup weaver
Karen Reed-Peterwhose grandmother had lived at Wapato
Creekto re-create the ancient hat. The old
hat was so well preserved that Reed-Peter could deduce
how the inner cap was woven in.

The double-hat style continues to be made, although later
hats are less pointed.

Made by Karen Reed-Peter, 2000; Chinook/Puyallup; No.
2000-124/1; Purchased with funds donated by Lawrence


All material ©Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, 2001