Archeology at Grand Ronde

As an archeology student at the University of Washington, I’ve learned a lot about how archeological research is usually done. Some old cities in the Middle East will be excavated so far down that you need a ladder to reach the bottom and the excavation will cover a lot of surface as well. Cave sites can be similar, where sections with good surface deposits will be dug, field season after field season adding to the excavated area. The artefacts and belongings are usually removed and placed in a climate-controlled collections room far away from the original site and the land is irrevocably disturbed.

Photo of students using the Total Station

Students using the total station. Image credit to Markee.

Needless to say, I’ve learned that that’s not the Grand Ronde way of doing archeology. We’ve been in the field for a few weeks now and we’ve talked a lot about minimising our impact on the land. We’ve learned about working with developers to work around belongings so that they aren’t damaged or need to be removed, as well as returning soil and items to the ground. Part of why Grand Ronde is able to do this kind of low-impact archaeology is because of the tools invested in, like ground-penetrating radar, which helps you understand what’s underneath the soil. Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) uses radio waves to “see” what’s in the ground, like some boats use sonar to map the ocean floor. Radio waves bounce back to the receiver when they hit something, allowing us to see potential walls, walkways, and objects underneath the soil. We also use pedestrian survey (walking along the ground), Total Station, and GPS mapping to understand what’s on the surface. We map belongings and features, like trees and mounds, with GPS and our GPR units with the Total Station. These maps can then be combined with historical photos to help us identify the areas where we’re most likely to find what we’re looking for.


The Value of My Degree

In addition to the many academic opportunities afforded to me through my academic journey, this field of study has also brought me lifelong friends!

My decision to major in anthropology as an undergraduate was a part of a larger vision; one that I had been holding onto since I was 13. In my dreams, being an anthropology student, or more specifically, an archaeologist meant that my life would be filled with meaningful connections and thrilling adventures. What I had not anticipated was the way my family and friends would react to my career choice.

In addition to the many other inquiries I have been presented throughout my educational career, the most commonly asked questions have to do with earning potential or general confusion as to what exactly this field looks like in practice.

Although these kinds of questions were once infuriating, having had the time to develop witty retorts and responses, I’ve grown to love such inquiries. You see, behind all of the misconceptions and Harrison-Ford related fantasies that cloud the true vision of my field, are very real and important skills. The truth of the matter is although my degree may not allow me to afford a super-yacht, I can say that learning to think like an anthropologist has made me a better person.Though this might sound like some kind of line out of a Hallmark card, I truly mean it when I say that my education has enabled me to be better; to work hard, to advocate for others, and to learn how to support those around me in a way that feels uplifting and empowering.

When I first arrived at the University of Washington, I got involved in undergraduate research, working as a part of an archaeology project within the Grand Ronde community. While conducting this research, I have had to become more aware of myself, and begin thinking more critically about my own privilege, but also how I can be a positive presence among those I am working with. This experience has forever changed my heart; I have grown into a person who is open-minded, compassionate, reflective and informed regarding the struggles faced by those living in my own community.

So, when asked about what I plan to do after graduation, how I intend on earning an income, or if I regret taking out loans in order to chase what I have been told is a “pipedream”, I answer honestly, explaining that I’m not quite sure yet. Despite this uncertainty, I can state with confidence that whatever I pursue, I will use my education and training as an anthropologist to be an uplifting force in my profession. After all, it is this training, which has taught me empathy for my neighbors and provided me with a strong sense of what we owe to one another, that has gifted me with my most marketable skills, and so as far as I’m concerned, my education has been absolutely priceless.



About Me: Bay Loovis

My dog, Bishop!

Hello! My name is Bay Loovis and this is my second year on the FMIA Field Project! I am a recent graduate of the University of Washington majoring in Archaeological Sciences and Indigenous Archaeology. As a Seattle resident since birth, I have become increasingly interested in the archaeology of the Northwest Coast, so this field school is a great place for me to learn! When I’m not thinking about archaeology, I like to play with makeup, hang out with my two dogs (Daisy and Bishop), and watch television of questionable quality (iZombie, anyone?). In the future, I hope to use the skills learned here to continue to build my career in archaeology.

Project Capstone: Re-writing Burien and White Center’s history with communicative narratives

 Re-writing Burien and White Center’s history with communicative narratives, and arming its people with resources to fight massive tenant evictions

After the amazing journey of having studied the differences between narrative community histories, and those official accounts, as well as looking at the wave of tenant evictions, these are the conclusions I’m taking with me, as well as the continuation of this project in collaboration with WCCDA and Future Wise:

  • We find ourselves in a smaller community on the outskirts of a larger metropolitan area that still harbors a predominantly old blue-collar, working class, white conservative population, which is similar to those earlier colonial settlers that started exploiting the land for timber.


  • This conservative community has clashed with the immigration waves from different corners of the world where the US started or collaborated on wars: According to some integration programs from WCCDA, even though POC and older white folks might get along when they live door to door, there is still a fear of being “erased” by those conservative folks: Leading to hate-motivated actions like the publishing of a list of “illegal and criminal immigrants” on a map that scared many people, where Hugo Garcia commented as well on several articles:
  • “After controversial flier, Burien neighbors fight back with ‘love letters’”


  • Negative stereotypes rooted in earlier late 1800’s days, still prevail, marking this area as “no the most desirable to live” and therefore, making prices low and habitable for these immigrant communities. However, I believe these stereotypes also give people in power the permission to remove them as gentrification advances.


  • These negative stereotypes could be used against targeted immigrant communities in times of Trump, following up to those hateful fliers depicting latinx people as “drug dealers, criminals etc”, and give more permission to “those in power” to displace people in larger numbers.


  • I believe that by collecting narrative accounts and putting all the different programs and resources that these associations do for the community in one single, attractive and easy to use website, people who are either moving in or afraid that they might be displaced, it will be beneficial!


Influence & Development of the Seattle Craftsman in the 20th Century

For my final project, I was most interested in discussing architecture, its impact, and importance in the environment surrounding it (which obviously, is extremely broad). I narrowed it down to Seattle and vernacular architecture, with the Craftsman-style bungalow. It is a house that all the locals see every day in passing, but we really don’t give enough attention to.

Taking four previous architectural history classes, I honestly hated discussing the history. One of the previous classes had us research a building in Seattle and its historical significance, but I was picking at straws and it was difficult to find enough reliable information. Researching from an historical archaeological perspective was much more interesting, because I surprisingly found so much I could discuss within in my paper. Thankfully, I even had notes on the specific architectural styles that I was discussing, from the classes that I did go to last year! And I still had my architecture textbooks, so it looks like they didn’t end up being a waste of money!

Anyway, my topic discusses the influence of previous styles of architecture and their accompanying ideology on the development of the Seattle bungalow, and how it contributed to suburban expansion. The Craftsman-style derives its roots from the Arts and Crafts movement in England, in which reformers found that industrial society was corrupt and they had these Romantic ideals of incorporating real craftsmanship and nature into their designs, whether it was architectural or furniture or textiles. They despised classical architecture and believed in a “no-frills” aesthetic, where artistic integrity should be included within the structure. Planners talked about having garden cities (which I personally, think is a good idea) that had maximum capacities to counter overpopulation in cities. In terms of architecture, houses were built with local materials instead of imported, and there was no geometric order to structures.

In America, the bungalow became most prominent in the west coast, starting in California. One of the more famous examples is the Gamble House, or if you’re not crazy and you’ve seen Back to the Future (if you haven’t seen it, you’re a slacker, McFly), Doc’s house. In Seattle, the bungalow became a capitalistic venture more so than an ideological one. Jud Yoho, a businessman advertised Craftsman homes without them being craftsman. They were the same style, but just mass-produced and much cheaper which appealed to buyers. They also included better appliances, and provided families with a sense of security and independence. Characteristic of Arts and Crafts houses, they had open plans, and so the dining room and living rooms had a flowing procession.

The more I researched into it, the more I became interested. I feel this is important to talk about because these homes have become characteristic not just of Seattle, but of the Pacific Northwest, and the rise in population growth from companies like Amazon could become a potential threat to pieces of history. The cost of living rises each year (my rent went up $100 in just a year—that’s 50 cups of coffee!) and unless you work at a tech company or some other decently-paying job (or you’re Jeff Bezos or Dr. Meredith Grey), rent does become a burden. It’s a problem that directly affects all of us.

The Life of Lucy Foster

My final project for my Historical Archaeology course is a personal narrative formed by historical records and an assemblage recovered from a site in Andover, MA. The site is called the Lucy Foster Homesite, also known as “Black Lucy’s Garden”, which was excavated in 1942 by Ripley and Adelaide Bullen (Martin, 107). The areas that were excavated were the cellar hole, dump, well, vegetable cellar, and lumbermen’s shack on Lucy Fosters acre (Martin, 107). Although these areas all contributed to Lucy’s daily life in someway the only portion of Lucy’s home that still existed was the cellar hole (Martin, 107). The assemblage recovered from this site include material culture that is linked to socializing, labor, and food resources. In the past there has been a lot of focus on the ceramics from this assemblage because it is quite large. They recovered 113 reconstructed ceramics from the Lucy Foster Homesite (Martin, 107). Most of which were serving dishes.

It may seem obvious that Lucy Foster was entertaining members of her community based on the significant amount of serving dishes in this assemblage. But the original response to this assemblage was, how did she acquire such a large collection living in poverty? Assuming she lived in poverty because she was black and received financial assistance from the parish. But I think we are missing a major part of her life by only focusing on how she came to have this collection. I believe it is more important to know what she was doing with her ceramics and why a large collection would be important to her. This brings me to my goal for this project. I want to highlight the racial bias that is layered into the interpretation of Lucy Foster and her life. In return I would also like to offer an interpretation that recognizes her ability to cope with adversity and survive. In order to do this I will need to write two personal narratives from both perspectives. It is my hope that seeing these perspectives side by side may encourage others to identify the layers of bias that are woven into historical records and research. By recognizing these biases we can develop more accurate interpretations of the past and create an opportunity for communities to heal from the pain created by these distorted perspectives.

Works Cited

Martin, Anthony. “Homeplace Is Also Workplace: Another Look at Lucy Foster in Andover, Massachusetts.” Historical Archaeology, vol. 52, no. 1, 2018, pp. 100–112.

Visualizing a Memory

This week in class we told a personal story using a two minute video. I chose to focus on a particular painting of mine that always makes me think of a childhood home and why those memories are bittersweet. This was a very difficult assignment for me because I am awful with technology! The video is simple but I hope it tells my story effectively. Enjoy:

The Story of My Family

This week we were instructed to make a digital story based on our family history. I chose to tell the story of how my family was formed. Specifically the way in which we met each other and how we grew to love each other. This story is important to me because my family is the most important part of my life. They are the people that have made me who I am and keep me grounded. This is the story of our beautifully diverse and wonderfully complicated family.

Why I am in this field

For my digital storytelling assignment, I chose to talk about me and my apa’urlaq (Yup’ik for grandfather).  He led an interesting and full life which had a huge impact on me and my education.  He was one of the first Alaskan Natives to graduate from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  Taught himself French, German, and was fluent in several Yup’ik dialects.  Unfortunately I did not learn much about my Native roots from him and by the time I wanted to learn, it was too late.  This has really driven me to pursue learning about cultural traditions and cultural preservation.

The Mangasers Come to America

As part of the first generation born in America in my family of Philippine immigrants, I have much to be thankful for. I can’t imagine how much more different my life would be if I had grown up in Manila, where my parents came from. My mom’s side, the Villenas, are from Manila, and my dad’s side, the Mangaser side, is from a small town called Tayug in a province called Pangasinan, which is three hours outside of Manila.

Born in 1964 to my grandpa Benjamin and grandma Flora, my dad, Victor Bravo Ferdinand Mangaser (long name, I know) is the youngest kid out of ten children. My mom, Luzviminda Villena, was born a year later, and is the oldest kid out of five from my grandpa Rudy and my grandma Mila.

The Mangasers lived in Pangasinan for a while before moving to P. Halili Street in Manila, coincidentally the same street as my mom’s family. I thought it was significant to mention the street where they came from, because they both still have family that live on the same street, in the same homes. My parents tell me that my mom didn’t like my dad at first, because my dad was apparently in a band so they played music all the time, and my mom didn’t like that. Same as usual, my dad also always teased her.

When they got married, one of my (many) uncles on the Mangaser side, Uncle Ben, had moved to New Jersey and petitioned all of the Mangasers to come to the United States in the 1980s. At around the same time, my dad had joined the United States Navy and my mom was in the process of gaining citizenship, which took around 10 years and two rejections, despite having a U.S. military spouse. I can’t imagine why it took so long, to be honest.

Eventually, I came to be in October of 1998, when my dad was stationed in California. From there, we made our way up to a small town north of Seattle called Lake Stevens. In 2004, my grandma Mila was able to come to the United States and gained citizenship three years later. You’d think that the rest of the Villena family came along too. Though my grandma petitioned the remaining Villenas living in Manila (long ago, I might add), their applications haven’t been accepted (yet?).

I am proud of where I come from as a Filipino-American. Granted, I’m definitely more Americanized as I can’t speak Tagalog or Ilocano (my dad’s native dialect), and growing up I used to be embarrassed to show common Filipino signs of respect, like adding po to the end of every sentence, or performing mano to elders. And growing up in America with parents who grew up in Asia, was (and still can be) difficult. Nonetheless, my family coming to America for a better life for their kids, my sister and I, has always meant a lot to me. It meant a lot of hard work, learning, and adjusting to a new way of life, something I couldn’t imagine doing in my late 20s.