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The Ozette Indian Village Archeological Site is
the site of an archaeological dig at Ozette on
Peninsula near La Push, Washington, USA. The site was a village
occupied by the Makah people
until a mudslide inundated the site around 1700.
Around 1700, a mudslide
completely engulfed part of a Makah village near Lake
Ozette. Archaeological test pits were excavated at the Ozette
site in 1966 and 1967 by Richard Daugherty.
However, it was not until 1970 that it became apparent what was
buried there. After a storm in February 1970, tidal erosion exposed
hundreds of well preserved wooden artifacts. The excavation of the
Ozette site began shortly after. University students worked with
the Makah under the direction of archaeologists using pressurized
water to remove mud from six buried long houses. The excavation
went on for 11 years and produced over 55,000 artifacts, many of
which are on display in the Makah Cultural and Research Center.
The mudslide preserved several houses and their contents in a
collapsed state until the 1970s when they were excavated by Makahs
and archaeologists from Washington State
University. Over 55,000 artifacts were recovered, spanning a
period of occupation around 2,000 years,
representing many activities of the Makahs, from whale and seal
hunting to salmon and halibut fishing; from toys and games to bows
and arrows. Of the artifacts recovered, roughly 30,000 were made of
wood, extraordinary in that wood generally decays particularly
Hundreds of knives were recovered, with blade materials ranging
from mussel shell,
to sharpened beaver teeth, and
iron, presumed to have drifted from Asia on wrecked ships.
The oral history of the Makah mentions a "great slide" which
engulfed a portion of Ozette long ago.
Museum opened in 1979 and displays replicas of cedar long
houses as well as whaling, fishing, and sealing canoes.
- Kirk, Ruth (1986). Tradition and Change on the Northwest
Coast, University of Washington Press, ISBN 0295966289.
- Kirk, Ruth; Daugherty, Richard D. (2007). Archaeology in
Washington, University of Washington Press, ISBN