Submerged NC Webinar Series

collage of shipwrecks

This webinar series presented by Monitor National Marine Sanctuary in collaboration with the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology highlights research conducted for over 45 years to honor and protect the hallmarks of North Carolina's underwater cultural heritage – shipwrecks. Join us each month as scientists and educators present a look into the unique underwater museum and memorials to generations of mariners who lived, worked, died, and fought off our shores.

Where the Water is Shallow, and the Current is Strong: Stone Fish Weirs of the Eastern Woodlands

Left to right: swannanoa river with marine debris, a fish trap in a river, dr david crandford standing in a hole he dug

August 17, 2021 at 7am Hawaii /10 am Pacific / 12pm Central / 1pm Eastern

Though often overlooked, stone fish weirs are relatively common archaeological features in many swift-flowing rivers and streams above the fall-line across the eastern Unites States. Often seen as "V" or "W"-shaped stone alignments, these highly efficient fishing structures were used extensively throughout the pre-colonial and historic periods, some potentially dating back millennia and represent an important part of our cultural landscape.

For a variety of reasons, stone fish weirs have received only intermittent attention from the archaeological community and are rarely the focus of systematic surveys. New improvements in the quality and accessibility of satellite-based imagery, like Google Earth, have made the identification and recording of fish weir sites possible on a regional scale.

Join Dr. David Crandford, Assistant State Archaeologist for the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology, to learn about the many different types of fish weirs that can be found world-wide and how their shapes help determine where they are located. Learn about archaeological approaches to studying fish weir sites and hear about some of the initial findings and insights of the North Carolina Fish Weir Archaeological Project that has documented more than 800 potential fish weirs.