Archaeological Excavation

Introduction to Archaeology
Rain Forest Vegetation
Buried Streams
Shell Middens
Food Cache
Dog Burial
Warrior Cache
Petroglyphs and Pictographs

Tsimshian Society and Culture

Tsimshian Villages

Archaeological Excavation

Food Cache

Food cache pits were dug in the ground, lined with birchbark and covered with bark. Rocks were then placed on top of them, along with a layer of shells and dirt as camouflage. Families dug up their caches one at a time. Once emptied, the pits were filled with dirt and loose shell.

Fish - 
CD94-635-044 - S94-37750 Each family kept at least one hidden food cache on the edge of the village, or even within the house sites. Reserves of fish helped feed people during the winter, especially when it was difficult to find food. There might be hundreds of cache pits for a small village.

Tsimshian lands were particularly rich in food supplies, which made neighbouring groups envious, so caches protected the winter food supply from raids. The women made the caches and kept their location secret, even from each other, so that no member of the community captured by a rival group could reveal where the food supplies were.