Sunday, March 2, 2008


Wetlands--once called "swamps"--are potential archaeolocal treasure-troves. The mud can often preserve artifacts for a thousand years or more, like it's preserved the bodies of northern Europe's Iron-Age "Bog People", or the half-dozen, 1,000-year-old Indan canoes discovered recently in Florida. So, this last weekend, to begin the Cathlapotle Submerged Cultural Resources Survey, Todd Olson, Chuck Sullivan and I went to the "Middle Lands" of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge to start looking for dive sites. Can we dive here? Is the muck eight feet deep? Is the underwater visibility one foot or three inches? Is there any hope at all of finding something significant here? Well, I'm not too interested in good gambles. I'll spend a lot of years, having been introduced to this beautiful landscape, seeing what is and isn't there. Even if we find nothing, we can say, "There's nothing in this water body." As Mr. Spock has said; "No data are useless." Correct. If we find nothing, we can say, "There's nothing in the areas we dived in," and that's significant.

In the photo I'm checking out a mudflat...can we get SCUBA gear across these "Dead Marshes?" Does anyone know how to build a mud-sledge? What's under the sky-mirror? Well, no way know without SCUBA gear. That's next!

1 comment:

Charles Sullivan said...

Mmmm. Looks like some tasty mud pie fixins there.