Revisiting Fort Yamhill

Inspired by the idea of agriculturally managed landscapes also known as Food Forests, this video explores the possibility of Fort Yamhill as a Food Forest. This concept of landscape is to decolonize and prioritize indigenous perspectives in how the land managed and used. Digital Story by Tiauna Cabillan

[“We Are the Champions” playing in the distance]

Road's End 1

Pictured above, from left to right: Yoli, Celena, Ale, and Mychaela. Photo by Tiauna Cabillan.

This past Fourth of July weekend, I spent my Sunday out at Road’s End with a few teammates (thanks to Ale for inviting us all, and for Celena, Michaela, and Yoli for coming along!). We journeyed to the coast in search of God’s Thumb (also known simply as The Thumb), a seaside hilltop that promised gorgeous views and a hike suited to all skill levels. After a brief trek up the road from the beach, past a litany of signs advertising beachfront rentals, we found ourselves at the trailhead. From then on we hiked upwards for a half-mile or so, enclosed by old-growth trees and ambitious shrubs. Thimbleberry, especially, seemed determined to crowd the trail at either side; anyone looking to experience the view from atop God’s Thumb will have to contend with thickets of it in order to get anywhere near the hilltop— as if the hill itself wasn’t enough of a challenge!

God's Thumb 1

(Just check out the slope on that thing.) Photo by Tiauna Cabillan.

In the end, the view was everything we were promised and more: in the north, the curve of another outcropping; to the east, the ocean; and to the south, a clean shot of the beach where we began.

God's Thumb 2

The view of Road’s End. Photo by Tiauna Cabillan.

In some ways, the footpath that led us to God’s Thumb resembled the slopes of Mount Hebo, a site our team visited earlier in the week, and the hills of the National Wildlife Refuge at Baskett Slough, which we visited in June. While Mount Hebo is home to some of the same vegetation we encountered on the trail—namely thimbleberry, salmonberry, and Sitka spruce—Baskett Slough was formerly a prairie where land management practices, particularly controlled burning, were key to maintaining the site’s ecology. Though God’s Thumb and the trail that led us to it hardly resemble the oak prairie landscape that once defined Baskett Slough, I wonder if the trail we hiked wasn’t previously (or perhaps currently) subject to Indigenous land management practices.

From what I’ve gathered, this portion of the coast was subsumed into the Coast Reservation established in 1856 (“Heritage and Culture”). By the late 1800’s, the coastal reservation had been greatly reduced after the U.S. government executed the Dawes Act, and the Road’s End region appears to have been excluded from what became the Siletz reservation (“Reservation Reduction”). Prior to any and all treaty negotiations, what is today Lincoln City was then part of the Siuslaw and Alsea tribes’ lands (“Aboriginal Lands”). Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to locate any information on Siuslaw or Alsea land management practices, or even much evidence that the Road’s End trail was extensively managed despite its seemingly abundant resources– not to say that that alone is proof that is wasn’t. In any case, I’m still interested in learning more about the landscape as it exists today and in the past. I’ll just have to keep searching!


“Heritage and Culture”. Oregon Coast. Web page, July 6, 2016.

Smith, Brady. “Aboriginal Lands”. Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians. Electronic Document, July 7, 2016.

“Reservation Reduction”. Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians. Electronic document, _area.pdf. July 7, 2016.

About Me – Tiauna Cabillan (long-time Cereal Fan, cried while watching Finding Dory)

I’m an anthropology and archaeological sciences major headed into my final year at the University of Washington. I’ve come a long way since I first watched librarian-turned-archaeologist Evey Carnahan and her encounters with supernatural shenanigans in The Mummy. For those familiar with Indiana Jones, it comes as no surprise that film couldn’t be further from reality. Regardless, it’s been a fantastic three years. Now I’m interested in working in the non-profit sector, finding ways to incorporate what I’ve learned about archaeology, ethics, and equality into my future career. These interests have led me to Professor Gonzalez’s Field Methods in Indigenous Archaeology course. I arrived at Grande Ronde earlier in June, not sure what to expect from my time at the field school but excited all the same. The first two weeks have been a blur of early-morning lectures, delicious meals (many thanks to the kitchen staff!), and milkshake breaks. We’ve recently started field survey, our foray into low-impact methods well under way, and we have a full month of field work (and many more milkshake breaks) ahead of us. I’m excited to get to work– see you in the field!

Life in the Little Things

When selecting the classes I would take for Spring Quarter, I never anticipated just how well all three would align in terms of content and issues being discussed. In retrospect, it seems all too predictable that I would have gravitated to a study of labor, given how the working world and its many complexities and complications became a recurring theme. But while my courses in geography and urbanization offered a look at contemporary issues, our work in historical archaeology has allowed me an opportunity to look at some of the underlying causes and earlier-emerging instances of labor injustice, as well as both the everyday and extraordinary responses to these conditions.

My initial investigation into the historical and material records left by the industrialization of the U.S. led me to a series of interesting finds, the first being The Bread and Roses Riot of 1912. Significant for its impacts on working conditions, including an increase in wages, the riot stood out to me for the fact that it was begun by women. In January of 1912, female immigrant workers from the Everett Mill responded to recent cuts to their hours and pay with an uproar. They eventually roused tens of thousands of workers, from several locations, all calling for “bread, and roses, too!” (for a more detailed recount, see Klein 2012). The knowledge of this event in turn led me to wonder about the circumstances leading up to the riot. What did the day-to-day lives of these women look like? How did they maneuver the changing urban landscape and increasing demands of the workforce?

At this point, it seems no surprise that women and other laborers, including children, developed a number of strategies for themselves and their families that hinged on social, economic, cultural, and spatial factors. This is something we’ve seen before in historical archaeology. Indeed, to uncover and make known such strategies is tied to one of the main goals of historical archaeology: to recover the excluded past. My attempt to do just that takes the form of a short story, and can be found here if you fancy a look at one of the many ways in which such topics can be explored.


Klein, Christopher
2012 The Strike That Shook American 100 Years Ago.
strike-that-shook-america-100-years-ago, accessed May 28, 2015.

Another Look at Laborers in Five Points, NY

To revisit our discussion on labor and identity in archaeology, and in light of my choice of the industrial era as the setting for my final project, I decided to take a look at The Five Points Site. Maintained by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), this exhibit was originally a collaboration between several individuals and organizations. Dr. Rebecca Yamin is given credit for the exhibit’s text. The exhibit itself is comprised of text and images tied together with hyperlinks. A typical entry, if you will, features items such as maps and photographs of cataloged artifacts accompanied by descriptions of the activities that took place at Five Points. Interestingly, the site provides a significant amount of detail about the excavation process; it also features a section dedicated to some of the ways that archaeology may be used to challenge existing narratives.

The style of this exhibit is much more closely aligned with McManamon’s (1994) ideas of how public archaeology should be presented. That is, the exhibit is intended to convey specific information, as well as a particular narrative, to an audience. However, this interaction does not constitute a dialogue. Largely absent from the exhibit are outside interpretations; for example, views of contemporary New York residents, or even descendants of the Five Points community are not included in the information presented by the exhibit. This may be, in part, attributed to the nature of the project itself. In a statement attached to a page featuring their contact information, the GSA acknowledges that the virtual exhibit is an extension of a physical exhibit in New York City, presumably intended to interest locals and tourists alike in the area’s history. Additionally, several organizations are credited for their support of the exhibit; whether or not these organizations have interest in engaging the public in a more open conversation as per Little’s (2007) suggestions may also play a role in the exhibit’s capacity to do so.


Little, Barbara J.
2007 Archaeology and Civic Engagement. In Archaeology as a Tool of Civic Engagement, edited by B. J. Little and P.A. Shackel, pp. 1-22. AltaMira Press, Lanham, MD.

McManamon, Francis P.
1994 Presenting Archaeology to the Public. In The Presented Past: Heritage, Museums, and Education, edited by P.G Stone and B.L Molyneaux, pp. 61-81, Routledge, London.

If you’d like to take a look at The Five Points Site yourself, follow this link!

Gather ‘Round and Grab a S’more

…and I’ll tell you a short tale about friends, family, and not so far off places.

Unfortunately, the file is too large to upload directly, and Google Drive has disabled the audio. So if you would like the full experience, I would recommend downloading a copy.

Following that note, I should add: the song playing in the background is the official instrumental version of “Dog Days are Over,” by Florence and the Machine.

Bottles, Embossing, and (Unidentified) Base Marks– Oh My!

In light of our more recent readings and discussions, wherein the topic of 19th century women and their use of pharmaceuticals arose, I felt it was appropriate to shine the spotlight on this particular item:

cataloged as 45K1765/M-54

cataloged as 45K1765/M-54

Pictured above is a medicinal bottle. The embossed label marks it as a prescription/druggist’s container, and reads: LANG DRUG CO. COLMAN BUILDING, 807 FIRST AVENUE- -SEATTLE WASH. According to the Society for Historical Archaeology, other samples of the same bottle type date to the mid-1880s.


Of particular interest are two embossed marks, one on the shoulder and the other on the base. The first consists of a stylized number “3”, followed by the numerals “vi”. This mark is an indicator of measurement belonging to a system known as the apothecaries’ system. In this case, the stylized “3” stands for ounces, and the “vi” stands for the number six, meaning this particular bottle contained six ounces, or the equivalent of forty-six teaspoons, of some sort of fluid remedy.

m in a diamond base mark

The second mark features the letter “M” situated within a diamond shape. Though other marks similar to this one (often a different letter located within the diamond) are recognizable as makers’ marks, this particular letter/shape configuration has yet to be attributed to any manufacturer, though one source dates it at around 1890. Though information about the Lang Drug Company is scarce, one source highlights the company’s move to 807 First Ave. in 1905; this later date might indicate that the bottle was reused since its manufacturing.

Given the bottle’s type and place of origin, it’s not unreasonable to expect that this artifact was once belonged in the medicine cabinet of a household in Seattle, perhaps near what is today Pike Place Market (with 807 First Ave. located roughly eight blocks southeast). Further analysis of the assemblage as a whole will provide a better picture of the deposition context, and will likely contradict such expectations. In any case, it’s far removed from the context of the lives of women in Five Points, New York, though it might raise similar questions as to the lives and livelihoods of those on the opposite coast.


1. For an in-depth guide to medicinal bottles, try the SHA:

2. For a shorthand of apothecaries’ style, see

3. A brief note about Lang Drug Company:

4. For more on letter-in-diamond and other maker’s marks:

It All Comes Down to Good Bones

"$1,400,000 Renovation of Denny Hall Set." Clipping courtesy of America's Historical Newspapers.

“$1,400,000 Renovation of Denny Hall Set.” Clipping courtesy of America’s Historical Newspapers.

Like many prospective freshmen, I was first introduced to Denny Hall during a tour of the University of Washington. My tour guide captioned it the oldest building on campus. Since then, I’ve come to know Denny Hall rather well, though I’m not sure I’ll ever make sense of its seemingly nonsensical layout. Recently, it seems I may have come across an explanation for the building’s current arrangement.

Designed by Charles W. Saunders, Denny Hall was originally constructed in1895, at which time it was designated the Administration Building. At the end of the 19th century, it was large enough to serve the university’s full student body as well as the faculty. It housed classrooms, a library, and a large amphitheater situated in the back of the building. However, decades down the line would see the UW student body increased significantly. Strapped for space and anticipating even more growth in the future, the UW looked to Denny Hall (so renamed in 1910) as an affordable opportunity. Plans for a renovation budget were approved in 1954, and again in 1974. Below are plans for the second floor dated 1894 and 1956 respectively. Notice that the auditorium has been converted into classrooms by 1956.

Denny Hall, second floor plan, 1894. Image courtesy of Campus Engineering records (0001-A-_3_).

Denny Hall, second floor plan, 1894. Image courtesy of Campus Engineering records (0001-A-_3_).

Denny Hall, second floor plan, 1956. Image courtesy of Campus Engineering records (001-A-_27_).

Denny Hall, second floor plan, 1956. Image courtesy of Campus Engineering records (001-A-_27_).

Though endeared to some for its enduring history, Denny’s primary appeal was its foundation. The interior could be reworked for less than it would have taken to build a comparably sturdy though considerably newer structure elsewhere; meanwhile the exterior would remain for the most part unchanged, the legacy of the UW’s earlier architectural and historical achievements.

Students posed on the steps of Denny Hall (then the Administration Building), 1904. Photo courtesy of UW Libraries Digital Collections.

Students posed on the steps of Denny Hall (then the Administration Building), 1904. Photo courtesy of UW Libraries Digital Collections.

Denny Hall has undergone numerous other changes since its establishment, including remodeling for the Anthropology Department. Even today it’s slated for renovation in the near future, at which time the Anthropology Department will be moved to Condon Hall. Even so, Denny Hall stands as a sort of palimpsest. Every so often its internal workings are metaphorically erased and rewritten. The only traces of past structures appear to be the twists, turns, and chronological disorder that characterize its halls and rooms. In this way, Denny encompasses remembrance and progress all in one—the adaptation of old materials to accommodate new needs.


Fig. 1. “$1,400,000 Renovation of Denny Hall Set.” (1954). The Seattle Times 35.

Fig. 2. Saunders, Charles W. Second Floor Plan. 1894, Architectural drawing. Available from: Campus Engineering Facilities Records,

Fig. 3. Baar, Granger & Thomas Baar. Second Floor Plan. 1956, Architectural drawing. Available from: Campus Engineering Facilities Records,

Fig. 4. 1904 Campus Day showing students on Denny Hall steps, University of Washington. 1904, Photograph image. Available from: University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections,

Anticipation and Agency in an Analysis of Grave Markers

Calvary Cemetery, St. Michael marker

While examining the aggregate class data from our trip to Calvary Cemetery, I feel that in some ways I found less than expected and yet more than hoped. Not that I knew exactly what I would find during my walk around the cemetery. Differences correlated with gender were of immediate interest to me, though in hindsight I feel that I may have been trying too hard to locate such differences where they might not have occurred or been meaningful. A larger sample per section and consequently a larger overall sample would have provided a better basis for determining if such differences occurred and were indeed significant. Nevertheless, I would not be deterred! I found that a few of the trends I extracted from the data may yet provide insights.

gravestone imagery chart

My first examination concerned the relative consistency of the use of religious imagery on women’s grave markers compared to the use of such imagery on men’s grave markers. Whereas men’s graves tended to feature religious motifs (including crucifixes, religious figures, angels, and bibles) from 1927-1970, women’s graves displayed such images in smaller but more consistently occurring amounts from 1883-2014. My second examination focused on the use of kinship terms as epitaphs; these results revealed a tendency for women’s epitaphs to feature kinship terms more than did men’s epitaphs. And yet, this was not the only point of interest I drew from the data. Despite that women’s graves, like men’s, featured non-kinship and even full-phrased epitaphs, many of these appeared to be religious titles such as “Mother” and “Sister.”

Overall, women’s graves tended to demonstrate strong associations with religion and religious institutions. By contrast, men’s graves begin to shift from religious representation to non-religious, sometimes occupational, representations toward the end of the 19th century. This at first stood out to me as a trend indicative of a tendency to highlight women’s religious affiliations at the expense of their other, possibly occupational, attributes.

However, as recent class discussions have advised: we cannot ignore the potential for agency. It is likely that those interred in Calvary Cemetery, women included, had a say in how they are presented, and remembered, in death. Thus, it is possible that women themselves chose to represent themselves and their religious affiliations in such a way. That is not to say that such a choice was made outside a larger sociocultural context, but it does speak to the potential for women’s active involvement in their own representation.

The Possibilites of Waste and Wasted Opportunities

Over the past few weeks, I find that, in some way or another, I have been continually brought back to the idea of the single story. While explaining the ways in which development is measured by authoritative agencies, my geography professor explained that, all too often, the effects and outcomes of a project intended to stimulate economic growth are expected to be properly represented by a single statistic; never mind the myriad of other factors inadequately addressed by this percentage. Though a point made in the context of a different discipline, this hearkens back to the admonition made in the earliest weeks of ARCHY 472: beware the single story.

Despite that (or perhaps because) both admonitions had come to me in succession, I still felt caution when analyzing the data sheet I had been given for the garbology lab. Faced with an assortment of the items that had made their way into someone else’s trash bin over the course of a week, I found myself hesitant to come to any conclusions. Was I giving too much weight to the prevalence of plastic packaging as a reflection of diet? Was I not placing enough emphasis on the reusable water bottle, a possible indicator of a busy schedule? I found myself asking so many questions that now I wonder if I truly devised any answers. Even after completing the assignment and condemning it to the finality of the turn-in box, I wondered: Have I told the right story?

Or, at the very least, have I avoided telling the wrong one? The difficulty for me lies in differentiating between what this refuse means to me, bundled up with all my biases, and what it meant to the depositor, and finding the balance between the significance attributed to it by each of us. (Funny that the one(s) who deposited this particular sample likely did so with the intent to divest themselves of it, whereas my goal was to get better acquainted with it.)

Perhaps I haven’t yet managed to extract the right story. But I can say that at least mine was a reasonable one—one of the many interpretations that could be made by any other individual confronting the same data. While archaeologists (and geographers, for that matter) can’t hope to represent the nuances of human experience in a single story or statistic, neither can they afford to let caution stall them indefinitely. If nothing else, that singular factor is a start. It can provide a point from which to further examine the refuse record, and further develop the narrative(s) inspired by it.