Archaeology - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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Exploring 10,000 years of human history on Ebey’s Prairie, Whidbey Island, Washington

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

Northwest Coast prairies contain a suite of resources not available in other ecosystems, making them a unique and sought after environment for animals and people. Archaeological research in Northwest Coast prairies is in its infancy but it is clear that an integrated approach, drawing on a number of disciplines, is needed to decipher human use of prairies in the past. I investigate the archaeological, archaeobotanical, and ethnographic record of Ebey’s Prairie, located on central Whidbey Island in Washington State. My findings indicate that people used Ebey’s Prairie throughout prehistory for a variety of activities over a broad time scale (~10,000 to 150 BP). Direct evidence of Camassia—one of the most important native plant foods in the Northwest, is one indication that indigenous people tended and maintained edible and useful plant resources on Ebey’s Prairie for hundreds and perhaps thousands of years.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of Archaeology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Similkameen archaeology (1993-2004)

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

This thesis provides the first synthesis of Similkameen First Nations prehistory. It is based upon archaeological overview, inventory and impact assessment projects (1993?2004). Three main topics are investigated; 1) construction of a cultural chronology encompassing 200 to 10,000 years of valley prehistory, 2) a critical examination of the Plateau Microblade tradition (PMt) , and 3) a discussion of the problem of determining and/or assigning ethnicity to the archaeological record, specifically with regard to protohistoric and pre?contact Similkameen?Athapaskan and Salish?speaking populations.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of Archaeology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (Ph.D.)

Ontario Iroquois tradition longhouses

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1982
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Theses (Dept. of Archaeology) / Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Counting sheep: Fauna, contact, and colonialism at Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico, A. D. 1300-1900

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

This dissertation examines faunal assemblages from the old, ceremonial core of Zuni Pueblo, spanning the period ca. A.D. 1300- 1900, to explore changes in subsistence patterns associated with the introduction of Old World domesticates. Temporal analyses of several major characteristics, including taxonomic frequency distributions, herd management strategies, butchery, and body-part representations indicate patterns consistent with the adoption and incorporation of new foods and technologies, along with a persistence of Zuni traditional practices. Sheep, a major protein and secondary product source in the Iberian subsistence system, became important at Zuni Pueblo as early as Mission times. Although the diet at Zuni appears to be predominantly Spanish (with sheep being most common), aboriginal elements such as the hunting of deer and pronghorn are maintained. This is consistent with ethnographic data on the importance of wild animals in Zuni religious life. The analysis of sheep and goat kill-off patterns indicates that animals were mainly slaughtered at a young age, which correlates well with an emphasis on obtaining meat from flocks, but also with wool production. It is argued that this pattern might reflect the deposition of animals slaughtered for communal ritual activities in later historic times and not the general economic orientation at Zuni Pueblo. Butchery and body-part distributions indicate that animals were brought to and slaughtered in this area of the site and that the Middle Village more likely reflects a household, unspecialized, traditional butchery practice, with the Spanish influence being mostly reflected in the adoption of metal tools. In conclusion, it is suggested that the Zuni incorporated European additions and modified previous domestic subsistence strategies, while still maintaining and perpetuating aspects of their traditional practices. The changes that took place at Zuni Pueblo after the Spanish entrada reflect the adoption of new dietary practices, but also an adjustment to strategies that emphasize local economic and ritual customs.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of Archaeology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (Ph.D.)

An analysis of the Levallois reduction strategy using a design theory framework

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

The Levallois reduction strategy was selected from among a number of different lithic strategies available in the Middle Palaeolithic and was employed over a wide geographic area of the Old World for well over 200,000 years. This research attempts to examine the potential advantages of this reduction strategy that led to this long history of use. This requires the development of a model of Middle Palaeolithic lifeways from which can be identified those factors that would have influenced and constrained the design of Middle Palaeolithic stone technology and tool kits. From an understanding of these constraints on stone tool production and use, several hypotheses are developed which would explain the advantages that Levallois reduction would present and under what conditions we would expect it to be employed. These hypotheses are then tested through the analysis of both the morphology of the products of different reduction strategies and of tool blank selection patterns at four Middle Palaeolithic sites in SW and SE France. This analysis indicates that Levallois reduction would present notable advantages under conditions of restricted access to raw material, which may be due to circumstances of increased group mobility or distance from raw material sources. Some functional advantages may also rest in the morphology of certain Levallois products and in the products of similar reduction approaches. It is also apparent that classic Levallois reduction cannot be defined in isolation from other single-surface core strategies, and that much of the advantage of classic Levallois reduction is inherent in all such strategies.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of Archaeology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (Ph.D.)

The distribution and use of cattle products in Northern Highland Ethiopia

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

This study is an ethnoarchaeological investigation of the distribution and use of cattle and animal products in the northern highlands of Ethiopia. Ethnoarchaeological methods are utilized to explore many aspects of the role of cattle in highland Ethiopian society at four villages in the Tigrayan administrative region of Gulo-Makeda, in an attempt to provide models to aid the interpretation of the archaeological record in that area. Structured interviews are used to address questions of the ways in which cattle are acquired, exchanged and used in daily agricultural life, the occasion and frequency with which meat is consumed, the manner of slaughter and discard practices. The examination of spatial patterning and site-formation processes associated with the use of cattle is addressed by the observation of two butchering events, as well as a survey of discarded animal bone throughout the village of Mena Beyti.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of Archaeology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

The relationship between the Later Stone Age and Iron Age cultures of Central Tanzania

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

Many archaeologists, anthropologists, linguists and historians have postulated that the spread of Lron Age (IA) Bantu speaking cultures south of the Sahara was associated with the displacement or absorption of Later Stone Age (LSA) autochthonous populations. The 1A Bantu speaking cultures are suggested to have practiced agropastoralism and metal-working while LSA groups were hunter-gatherers. Recently however some scholars have raised questions about the general applicability of the displacement/absorption models to explain cultural developments in sub-Saharan Africa. It is on this basis that archaeological investigation was launched in the Pahi division of Kondoa district in central Tanzania where interaction between LSA and IA cultures took place. The Pahi research had three main goals, namely to establish the Pahi LSA and IA cultural sequences, to investigate social and economic interaction between the LSA and IA and to ascertain the role of LSA people in the later development of settled societies in central Tanzania. The research involved extensive systematic land walkover and shovel test pits (STPs) survey followed by intensive trench excavation of recovered sites. The sequence of archaeological remains from the Pahi STP survey strongly supported those of trench excavations. Results from both STPs and trench excavations indicated that lower Pahi stratigraphic sequences consisted of exclusively LSA cultural materials while upper levels consisted of both LSA and IA artifacts. The Pahi LSA cultures dated to 2500 +40 BP and probably survived until 1030 + 40 BP when IA cultures became incorporated into the LSA. Despite the early adoption of IA (from IA agropastoralists) by the local LSA populations, lithic production continued to be practiced along with iron-working until recent times when the former was abandoned. The widespread and continuous distribution of lithic and iron-working remains over the Pahi landscape and the entire upper Pahi stratigraphical sequence suggests that LSA peoples were not replaced by IA agropastoralists after the adoption of IA cultures circa 1030 ? 40 BP. Instead, they incorporated IA cultural elements into their LSA culture. These findings call into question earlier assumptions, generally applied to sub-Saharan Africa, that LSA peoples were replaced or absorbed by IA agropastoralists.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of Archaeology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (Ph.D.)

The control of social space in Mennonite housebarns of Manitoba, 1874-1940

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

Mennonite migrants coming to southern Manitoba from south Russia in the 1870s and afterwards brought with them a unique settlement pattern and architectural heritage that included open prairie street villages and the construction of housebarns. Mennonite households were treated in this study as a form of ethnic architecture encompassing social and economic concepts of individual and public values. The structural and habitation histories of twenty-six dwellings were documented and analyzed. Oral interviews with former inhabitants were conducted to provide historical, social and personal context. This research was informed by Pierre Bourdieu's theory of practice and the concept of habitus. a set of durable dispositions carried by an individual throughout their lifetime. Habitus is structured by daily practice, including the activities and relationships found in household settings. Mennonite households in this study were examined to determine the degree to which they were products and producers of habitus, and how this changed over time. Dwellings were also examined as products of status display strategies, and exteriors and orientations of houses were compared to previous studies of Mennonite architecture. Mennonite habitus was structured according to strict age and gender categories that were physically symbolized in furnishings, decoration, and activity areas found in Mennonite dwellings. Over time, as many villages dissolved and an ethic of individualism was incorporated into Mennonite society, these categories weakened. It was determined that variations of the Flurkuechenhaus design concept used by Mennonites were related to financial and social status differences within an orthopraxic village setting. When villages dissolved due to the relatively open nature of land acquisition in Manitoba, Mennonite homes reflected and inculcated the increasing independence and individuality of the household economic unit. In the villages that remained. extant housebarns were modified in both interior and exterior design to accommodate changing ' concepts of family, economy, and status. Over time these structures were transformed to accommodate both ethnic Mennonite and mainstream Canadian stylistic elements and spatial use.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of Archaeology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (Ph.D.)

Forgotten waters: A zooarchaeological analysis of the Cove Cliff site (DhRr 18), Indian Arm, British Columbia

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

The Gulf of Georgia is among the most comprehensively studied regions on the Northwest Coast. However, few archaeological studies focus on Late Phase sites (1 200 B.P.-250 B.P.) especially those in inlets; examinations of intra-site activity areas are also rare. I analyse the archaeofauna from Late Phase deposits inside and outside a small structure at the Cove Cliff site, Indian Arm, British Columbia. Those results are compared to published results from two other inlet sites and a site on the Fraser River Delta to explore how the inlet environment was utilised. I also test for intra-site spatial patterns that may signify activity areas. My findings suggest people took full advantage of their local environment but also had socio-economic relations with distant groups to procure certain resources. The spatial analyses identify three activity areas. These results begin to address some gaps in our understanding of Late Phase Gulf of Georgia prehistory.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of Archaeology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Heiltsuk stone fish traps: Products of my ancestors' labour

Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

This thesis presents the results of systematic research on Heiltsuk stone fish traps, which are poorly understood in academia. My research objective is unique in that I de-emphasize empirical data such as length, width, and height in favour of the view that these stone fish trap are products of my ancestors’ labour. My main goal was to work with the Heiltsuk political and cultural entities and 12 Heiltsuk oral historians to employ an Internalist archaeology investigation of a selective fishery system that began in antiquity. I linked oral history to ethnographic narratives about this ancient fishing technology. Using a novel method of videography, I captured 42 trap sites on video in order to become familiar with their locations, variations and their correlations of salmon to streams and rivers where a stone fish trap is found. I returned in August 2005 to map nine of them, especially the ones familiar to Heiltsuk oral historians.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of Archaeology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)