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Demonstration Survey of Prehistoric Reef-Net Sites with Sidescan Sonar, near Becher Bay, British Columbia, Canada

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Abstract

Sidescan sonar was deployed in challenging shallow-water conditions to demonstrate the potential for recording anchor-stones left on the sea-bed from prehistoric fishing operations. In less than three hours the survey successfully mapped a reef-net site originally recorded in 1985 by diving archaeologists over many hours. In addition, 8 km of coastline were surveyed, resulting in the discovery and recording of one new underwater reef-net site. Our understanding of evolving subsistence practices of the Straits Salish, for whom reef-net fishing was a critical activity, may be enhanced by this survey method which provides cost-effective access to data not otherwise being recorded.

© 2011 The Authors

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