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TheČḯxwicən Project of Northwest Washington State, U.S.A.: Opportunity Lost, opportunity Found
Anthropology Faculty and Staff Publications
  • Virginia L. Butler
  • Kristine M. Bovy
  • Sarah K. Campbell, Western Washington University
  • Michael A. Etnier, Western Washington University
  • Sarah L. Sterling
Document Type
Publication Date
  • Northwest coast archaeology,
  • Colonialism,
  • Human ecodynamics,
  • Coastal foragers,
  • Resilience

Čḯxwicən (pronounced ch-WHEET-son) is a 2700 year-old ancestral village of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe (LEKT), located on the northwest coast of Washington State, U.S.A. The Čḯxwicən project has scientific values that broadly contribute to research in human ecodynamics and maritime foragers, given the scale of the project, excavation methods, and enormous quantities of faunal materials recovered. The village holds great significance to the LEKT as their traditional village, which includes a sacred burial ground. The project began under challenging circumstances, when the village was inadvertently encountered during a construction project, incurring huge political, social and financial costs. Commitment by the LEKT and Čḯxwicən scholars and other partners turned an “opportunity lost” into an “opportunity found.” This paper provides background to this remarkable site and project goals that guided the Čḯxwicən research project. The Special Issue papers showcase project results, including reflections by tribal members. Overall, the project shows the potential for archaeology and heritage to support reconciliation between tribes and archaeologists and broader society.

Subjects - Topical (LCSH)
Excavations (Archaeology)--Washington (State)--Port Angeles; Coastal archaeology--Northwest Coast of North America; Sacred space--Washington (State)--Tse-whit-zen Village Site
Geographic Coverage
Tse-whit-zen Village Site (Wash.); Lower Elwha Tribal Community
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Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
Citation Information
Virginia L. Butler, Kristine M. Bovy, Sarah K. Campbell, Michael A. Etnier, et al.. "TheČḯxwicən Project of Northwest Washington State, U.S.A.: Opportunity Lost, opportunity Found" Vol. 23 (2019) p. 1095 - 1103
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