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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24713

Title: Rewriting Marpole: The Path to Cultural Complexity in the Gulf of Georgia.
Authors: Clark, Terence Norman
Advisor: Coupland, Gary
Department: Anthropology
Keywords: Northwest Coast
Archaeology
Marpole
IDA
Issue Date: 6-Aug-2010
Abstract: This dissertation examines prehistoric culture change in the Gulf of Georgia region of the Northwest Coast of North America during the Locarno Beach (3500 – 1100 BP) and Marpole (2000 – 1100 BP) periods. The Marpole culture has traditionally been seen to possess all the traits associated with complex hunter-gatherers on the Northwest Coast (hereditary inequality, multi-family housing, storage-based economies, resource ownership, wealth accumulation, etc.) while the Locarno Beach culture has not. This research examined artifact and faunal assemblages as well as data for art and mortuary architecture from a total of 164 Gulf of Georgia archaeological site components. Geographic location and ethnographic language distribution were also compared to the archaeological data. Analysis was undertaken using Integrative Distance Analysis (IDA), a new statistical methodology developed in the course of this research. Results indicated that Marpole culture was not a regional phenomenon but rather was much more spatially and temporally discrete than previously known. Artifactual assemblages identified as Marpole were restricted to the areas of the Fraser River, northern Gulf Islands and portions of Vancouver Island, an area contiguous with both Mitchell’s (1971b) “Fraser River Fishermen” economic sub-area and the ethnographic territory of the Downriver and Island Halkomelem peoples. In contrast, the geographic area of Mitchell’s (1971b) “Straits Reef-net Fishermen”, the ethnographic territory of the Straits Salish, showed no sign of Marpole culture but rather a presence of Late Locarno Beach culture. The pattern found in artifacts was replicated in the distribution of art and mortuary architecture variation suggesting the cultural differences between Marpole and Late Locarno Beach cultures was real and not a statistical anomaly. The matching distribution of prehistoric cultural variability and the ethnographic pattern of language groups indicate a long standing and stable cultural dynamic within the Gulf of Georgia.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24713
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Anthropology - Doctoral theses

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