Hunters of the Whale is the story of an archaeological dig at Ozette, Washington, on the western tip of the Olympic...

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HUNTERS OF THE WHALE: An Adventure of Northwest Coast Archaeology

Hunters of the Whale is the story of an archaeological dig at Ozette, Washington, on the western tip of the Olympic Peninsula. The Makah Indians had lived there for at least 2,000 years -- living well, it seems, from the sea -- until 1930 when government rulings requiring Indian children to go to school resulted in the desertion of Ozette by those remaining families who had to move north to Neah Bay. Richard Daugherty, an archaeologist from Washington State University, found the area to be rich in midden (defined here in context) likely to reveal a great deal about Makah prehistory, and in 1966 he organized an excavation there. Thousands of artifacts were discovered and catalogued. In 1970 storm waters revealed part of the remains of a house, obviously buried for centuries under layers of mud and containing the household possessions of a family of whale hunters dating from the time before Columbus set sail for America. Ruth Kirk's recounting of the excavation not only conveys the excitement of such an important find, but allows the Ozette excavation to become a microcosmic story of archeology. The reader is caught up in what archeology is about -- its goals, methodologies, problems and satisfactions. Numerous photographs supplement the text, which is likely to send its readers scrambling for hiking boots and pickaxes.

Pub Date: April 10, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Morrow

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1974