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Archaeologists to offer expertise on Vashon

This weekend islanders will have two opportunities to learn more about Vashon’s native people through the clues found by archaeologists during the past century.

At the first event, from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday in the Heritage Museum, people are invited to bring their artifacts for archaeologists to identify. The team of archaeologists will include Brandon Reynon from the Puyallup Tribe, Tom Minichillo from King County Roads and Laura Phillips and students from the Burke Museum at the University of Washington. Archaeologists will not authenticate or estimate the value of any artifacts.

The second event is the Archaeology of Vashon Island, which will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Land Trust Building.

Reynon will join Minichillo and Phillips to describe what has been learned from the excavations on Vashon over the last century. They will speak about the 1996 project at Jensen Point on the Burton Peninsula, which verified the importance of herring and shellfish in the diet of native people who lived in the area for thousands of years.

All of the speakers were involved in an excavation at Manzanita in 2010, and this is the first opportunity for them to share their findings with the residents of Vashon. After the presentations, there will be an opportunity for questions.

Those who attend the free events can also see artifacts at the museum in the current special exhibit, Vashon Island’s Native People: Navigating Seas of Change.

A variety of items are on display, including stone tools, 19th-century baskets, a paddle from 1883 and a herring rake found on the beach at Indian Point.

The museum will be open between 1 and 4 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday.

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