Gaadu Din

From ArchaeoWiki

Revision as of 01:55, 28 April 2015 by Ehobbit (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
Loading map...
Culture(s) Pleistocene/Holocene
Temporal Period(s) Paleoindian Period

Summary Details

Location: Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada (Approx. 52° 41' 22" N, 131° 47' 19" W)
Period: Paleoindian Period
Date Range:


Gaadu Din caves are a series of very enigmatic archaeological cave sites on Haida Gwaii. Here, bear remains and corresponding toolkits strongly suggest bear hunting and even evidence the bear hunting strategies that Hallowell discusses in his ethnography (Hallowell, 1926).

Gaadu Din 1

At Gaadu Din 1, humans likely used the cave for bear hunting (Fedje et al., 2011). The toolkit consists of two knapped spear points and two expedient tools dated to between 12,600BP and 11,500BP. One bone point was directly dated to 11,800BP. These spear points in the cave may have been introduced into the cave inside wounded bears, as the remains of bears are found together with these tools. Charcoal found with these remains matches the Hallowell technique described earlier whereby bears were smoked out of their winter dens and then killed. In this scenario, the enraged bear would throw itself on the ends of long spears. Fedje et al., 2011 also speculate that the bear might have also been killed then butchered inside the cave as the cave is quite small, allowing for the removal of the bear remains through the narrow entrance; this was possibly a reason why the tools were found within the deeper sections of the cave (Fedje et al., 2011). No bones appear to have cut marks, and there is an overall absence of any evidence that would suggest human interaction with the faunal remains other than the presence of the stone tools. It is a rather enigmatic situation.

Gaadu Din 2

Gaadu Din 2 cave was found near Gaadu Din 1 and also evidences denning bears. This cave has a very flat floor and dry interior, and would have made excellent protection for humans near its entrance (Mackie 2010). Of note, the excavators discovered the remains of a campfire that had been used at least four times, immediately in front of the cave entrance, around which flintknapping took place. This portion of the site was dated to between 10,700BP and 12,500BP (Fedje et al., 2011). As such, the site is interpreted as a hunting camp or refuge. The formal tool assemblage from this cave is small, only one large and complete biface, two point tips, and one bifacial knife. Figure 5 shows these tools, including the enigmatic large bifacial point. This toolkit is consistent with the winter bear hunting strategy and denning bears.

Current Investigations

Formation and Occupational History

Material Culture

General Notes

Site Map

Loading map...


Personal tools