Clam Gardens

For many years, archaeologists were unaware of the ancient clam terraces at Waiatt Bay, on Quadra Island. Author Judith Williams knew no differently until she was advised of their existence by a Klahoose elder named Elizabeth Harry (Keekus). By liaising with other observers of clam gardens in the Broughton Archipelago and conducting her own survey of Waiatt Bay and Gorge Harbour on Cortes Island, Williams has amassed evidence that the rock structures seen only at the lowest tides were used by native peoples for the purpose of cultivating butter clams.

Her research does much to challenge the notion of pre–contact West Coast indigenous peoples and hunters–gatherers alone. The clam gardens whose existence she reveals here might also be unique in the world.

Clam Gardens: Aboriginal Mariculture on Canada's West Coast is Number 15 in the Transmontanus series of books edited by Terry Glavin.

About the Author

Judith Williams is Assistant Professor Emeritus in the University of British Columbia's Fine Arts Department. Since 1989, she has travelled extensively up and down BC's West Coast on board her two boats, Tetacus and Adriatic Sea, chronicling her voyages of discovery in a series of books. She has summered in the Desolation Sound area since 1972.

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