Tag Archives: Kelp Highway Hypothesis

Wild Archaeology — Heiltsuk Nuyems

First, I apologize for a lost week as I was attending a conference in New England. But I am ready to jump back in with a summary of Jenifer and Jacob’s adventures on Wild Archaeology as we explored the central coast of British Columbia.

The thrust of this episode focused on the Kelp Highway Hypothesis, which builds on the Pacific Coast Migration Model. This theory is based on the abundance of food contained within the kelp forests, including shellfish, marine mammals, seabirds and seaweed. By tracking these forests along the Pacific Rim, located along the coastal perimeters of Beringia (which we explored in Episodes 1 and 2), it would suggest a migratory route for populations in this region. Jenifer gets to explore with the sea otters that are indicative of a kelp forest.

Jacob goes diving again to explore the various kinds of kelp that populate a kelp forest and gets a first-hand look at the other creatures that populate this underwater ecosystem.

Then we moved inland to check out the remains of an old and remote Heiltsuk potlatch house once used by the communities that lived in this region at the time when potlatch was outlawed by the Canadian government. Like the one seen in this episode, these potlatch houses were located in an area that could be accessed quickly but still hidden deep within the coastal forests.

Finally, we visited Namu, an abandoned salmon cannery town that also housed one of the largest archaeological sites in existence. Microblades that carbon date back to 8250 BCE have been found in this region of coastal B.C. We also find some stone carvings deep in the inner tributaries in these territories.

A really picturesque episode exploring the B.C. coast. Can’t wait to see where we visit next week!

Wild Archaeology airs Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. ET on APTN.