|Boylston Fishweir Site
We now believe there were numerous fishweirs in Back Bay beginning around 5,200 years ago (the end of the Middle Archaic) and regularly used and rebuilt, for the next 1,500 years (into the Late Archaic).
Tree-ring evidence shows that the wooden stakes used for the main support structure of the weirs were collected towards the end of Winter. This coupled with pollen analysis indicates the weirs were most likely used to harvest the herring and other small fish that arrived each spring in huge seasonal migrations.
The abandonment of the weirs apparently was due to the changing climate. They only extended approximately 3 feet (1 meter) above the mudflats of Back Bay. At the time of their use, the tide only went up about 3 feet during hightide. As time went on, the tides grew larger and at the time of the weir abandonment, the waters at high tide would have been so deep people would not have been able to easily walk out to the weirs to collect the fish. People still lived and collected seafood from the area for thousands of years after the weirs were constructed, just changed their methods of collection in Back Bay.
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