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The zooarchaeology of great house sites in the San Juan Basin of the American Southwest

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

This dissertation considers animal remains from great houses in the San Juan Basin of the American Southwest. The archaeofauna from an outlying great house, Albert Porter Pueblo in the central Mesa Verde region, occupied between Pueblo II and III (A.D. 1020-1280), indicates that turkey increased in importance over time compared to cottontails. Artiodactyls are not common in the assemblage, suggesting continuous hunting pressure on large game. Only subtle differences were noted between faunas from the great house when compared to residential units. Most notably, turkeys are more common in the great house during all time periods compared to surrounding residences. Ritual animals were located in all contexts, suggesting that everyone in the settlement had access to ceremonies. The mounds from Pueblo Bonito, a great house in Chaco Canyon dating to Pueblo II (A.D. 1050-1105) were recently re-excavated by reopening Neil Judd’s excavations from the 1920s. The fauna from the mounds is dominated by cottontails. The frequency of deer in the assemblage is similar to other Classic Bonito faunas from Chaco Canyon. The overall composition of the fauna is similar to other great houses and small sites within Chaco Canyon. Most of the artiodactyl remains are from young animals, a pattern that is consistent with intensive hunting. A regional overview of faunas dating from Basketmaker II to Pueblo III (A.D. 1-1300) indicates that cottontails increased over time, whereas artiodactyls decline. Turkey became important in the northern San Juan Basin during Pueblo III. A number of processes resulted in variations in animal usage over time. Highly prized artiodactyls were intensively hunted as human populations grew over time. Some taxa are associated with particular environments. For example, conditions in the northern San Juan Basin favour cottontails and turkeys, whereas in the drier southern portions, jackrabbits are more common. Economic and ritual usage of animals at great houses in the San Juan Basin was similar to that at contemporaneous settlements. No evidence was found to contradict the interpretation that farming communities in the San Juan Basin were organised by a peer-polity form of interaction during Pueblo II and III.

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

The socio-economic role of salt in Northern Highland Ethiopia

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

Salt is a known cross-cultural item of early trade with documented socio-political consequences. Written records on the Ethiopian salt industry go back at least 2,000 years. This dissertation is an ethnoarchaeological investigation of the socio-economic role of the salt trade in northern Ethiopia. Ethnoarchaeological methods are used to explore all aspects of the salt trade in an attempt to provide a basis to understand the role of salt as an economic item, in socio-cultural developments as well as aid the interpretation of the archaeological record. Conducted in the Tigrai and Afar regions of northern Ethiopia, this study identifies groups involved in the salt industry and confirms that the salt trade is vibrant. Aspects of the technology used to extract, transport, and process salt, remain unchanged from what was described by earlier visitors to Ethiopia. While some archaeological correlates of the salt trade such as ropes, skins and plant material may not preserve, stones used to sharpen axes, and metal axes used to extract and shape salt would likely preserve. The remains of pack animals used to transport salt may also preserve. Overall, the salt trade would leave a thin footprint in the archaeological record. Socially, the results of this study suggest that participation in the salt trade confers wealth, which may be used to gain and maintain social status today, a benefit that could have been the same in the past.

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

El hospital de la real caridad: a historical archaeology of institutional power at a late Spanish colonial period hospital in the Ecuadorian Andes

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

Hospitals have a 500-year history in the Americas but have received limited study. This is particularly true of Latin American hospitals operating during the Spanish Colonial Period. This work seeks to redress this problem by examining the Hospital de la Real Caridad, an 18th century hospital for Indigenous people, in the colonial city of Riobamba, Ecuador. Combining existing published sources, archival evidence, and archaeology, this work examines the Hospital de la Real Caridad’s role beyond medical provision: namely its social role. Erving Goffman’s study of the “total institution” provides the theoretical framework used to examine the social context in which the hospital operated. Total institutions isolated their inmates, strip them of their identity, and model new behaviour. Using documentary and archaeological evidence, the Hospital de la Real Caridad is shown to engage in this process. Through the use of surveillance, religious teaching, colonial medicine and majolicas, a glazed ceramic associated with the colonial elite, Indigenous people were isolated and modelled behaviour supporting the colonial system. Archaeological testing at the Hospital de la Real Caridad resulted in the recovery of large quantities of brick and carved stone; materials associated with elite structures which demarcated the hospital from the rest of colonial society. Separation of artifacts associated with Indigenous women from those used in preparing drugs confirms the trepidation felt towards female Indigenous medical practitioners by the state.. Majolica recovery rates consistent with mestizo assemblages in the Andes are interpreted to symbolically portray the ideal behaviour the institution sought to model for its patients. Indigenous people did not experience the institutional process universally when engaging with the medical system and were able to use it to their own advantage. A series of applications were made for release from tribute labour, owed to the Crown by Indigenous people, for medical reasons. Changes in the application process are interpreted as an attempt by the state to curb a abuse of medical release from tribute labour. Hospitals were fundamental components of the urban landscape, settings where changes in medical philosophy were implemented, and unique locations where colonial processes were experienced by Indigenous people.

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

Seeds of imperialism: a core/periphery study in the Eastern Roman Empire

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

This dissertation examines the archaeobotanical record within the working framework of World-Systems Theory to test core/periphery relations in the Eastern Mediterranean. The goals of this research are: determining if the archaeobotanical record supports Caesarea as a core port city in the Byzantine period; identifying the changing role of Caesarea through time; understanding the function of agricultural trade in the local economy; and if changes in agricultural practices can be indicated by weed species. The village of Khirbet Qana and the settlement of Humayma were used as examples of periphery sites that were occupied during the same periods as Caesarea. Analysis of quantification methods to examine taxon diversity, evidence of trade and intensity of agriculture were used as primary indicators of the socio-economic systems that existed at classical sites. Results yielded a low number of seeds per sample, limiting the validity of taxon diversity as a measure. Instead, ubiquity and density were deemed better indicators of the variety of taxa. The botanical assemblage indicates that Caesarea acted as a core in the Byzantine period with its large number of exotic or luxury species, its large variety of plant taxa and the evidence of agricultural trade represented by the waterlogged remains recovered from the harbour. The Islamic period saw a shift from core to semi-periphery as indicated by the smaller quantities of agricultural trade goods recovered and a decline in the variety of taxa recovered. In the Crusader period it was expected that Caesarea would show as a periphery site; however, the botanical remains recovered shared a similar pattern with the Byzantine period, though with slightly less taxonomic variety and density of remains per sample. This suggests that the Crusader period was representative of a semi-periphery and not a periphery as was expected. Likewise the site of Humayma was thought to be a periphery but the archaeobotanical assemblage supports a semi-periphery site. It was determined that more information is required to confirm a periphery status for Khirbet Qana.

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

Archaeology and local governments: the perspectives of First Nations and municipal councillors in the Fraser Valley, B.C.

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

Local governments are in a position to act as bridges between the publics they represent and the management of archaeological heritage. Since First Nations and municipal councillors in the Fraser Valley, British Columbia, make decisions on behalf of their communities, I focus this thesis on their perspectives of archaeology. Through surveying and interviewing local government representatives, seven key themes emerged: Relevance, Knowledge, Interest and Exposure, Value, Protection Issues, Management Responsibility, and Working Together. First Nations and municipal councillors’ perspectives reveal general areas of divergence on the relevance, protection, and management of archaeological heritage, and convergence on the values of archaeology and working together on heritage issues. Although local governments uniquely situate archaeology through distinct views, they can bridge this disconnect through dialogue on shared perspectives. I provide recommendations to encourage this process of communication between First Nations and municipal governments, and their publics, on the management of archaeological heritage.

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

FORDISC and the determination of ancestry from craniometric data

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

FORDISC is a computer program designed to determine ancestry from human skeletal remains. It is widely used, yet its accuracy has been challenged. In this study, 200 specimens from one of FORDISC's reference samples are used to investigate four issues that are central to debate: (1) the inclusion of the source population in the reference sample, (2) the influence of sex, (3) the impact of variable number, and (4) the effect of different anatomical regions. The results indicate that the source population must be present and the sex of the specimen known before FORDISC can provide an accurate determination of ancestry. Additionally, a determination will be successful only if more than 10 measurements pertaining to multiple anatomical regions are used. Even when these conditions are met, few determinations may be considered unambiguously correct. Overall, FORDISC performed below expectations and the results suggest that the program should be used cautiously.

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

Structure and regional diversity of the Meadowood Interaction Sphere

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

In northeastern North America, elaboration of mortuary ceremonialism and the widespread distribution of Onondaga chert bifaces during the Early Woodland period (3,000-2,400 BP) have been attributed to the development of the Meadowood Interaction Sphere. The mechanisms underlying the flow of goods and ideas, the structure of the network, and the incentives of the participating groups, however, remain poorly understood. This study aims at discriminating between ritual, economic, and socio-political interpretations of the Meadowood Interaction Sphere through a pan-regional survey of its manifestations. The ritual model defines Meadowood as a “Burial Cult” and ascribes the sharing of traits to the diffusion of religious ideas and cult items. According to the economic model, alliances between groups are based on economic reciprocity and serve to increase the stability of local subsistence systems. The socio-political model involves successful traders increasing their status through their ability to obtain prestige items. To evaluate these scenarios, this research examines Meadowood material manifestations, their contexts of use, the spatial distribution of sites and artefacts, as well as subsistence strategies and social organization. The role of Meadowood trade goods as prestige items is supported by their fine craftsmanship and their occurrence in both residential and mortuary/gathering contexts. Meadowood manifestations concentrate in resource-rich areas, where communities have the greatest potential to produce surpluses and develop socioeconomic inequalities. Moreover, this study demonstrates an increasing dependence on abundant and predictable resources. Also significant is the recognition of distinct regional networks, where Meadowood groups are strategically located to act as “middlemen” between Atlantic and Midwestern communities. Finally, the presence of burial precincts distinct from habitation sites, variability in mortuary treatments and grave good distributions, and evidence of funerary feasts reflect social inequalities, ownership, and competitive displays of success. The data presented in this study converge on socio-political forces being the major underlying factors for the establishment of Early Woodland interregional networks in northeastern North America. The development of socioeconomic inequalities and an attempt by individuals or corporate groups to enhance their status through privileged access to rare goods were central in maintaining the contacts that constitute the essence of the Meadowood Interaction Sphere.

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

Analysis and interpretation of the fauna from the Bluff Great House

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

This thesis describes the analysis and interpretation of the animal remains from the Bluff Great House, a Chacoan outlier in southeastern Utah. Faunal resources utilised at the Bluff Great House are generally analogous to those from other sites in the region. The temporal changes in the Bluff assemblage show a decrease in the percentage of artiodactyls and an increase in the percentage o f turkeys, a pattern which is paralleled at other sites from the same time period. This pattern may have been influenced by a form of resource depression and shaped by the domestication of the turkey. A comparison of regional assemblages revealed that the material from Great Houses and unit pueblos were similar. All pathological conditions present in the faunal material from Bluff were briefly reviewed and discussed. Some of the pathological specimens resemble pathologies from other Chacoan sites in the Northern San Juan region.

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

Ceramicists at the Convencion del 45 Neighbourhood : Contemporary Ecuadorian Artisans and Their Material Culture

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2003
Abstract: 

Ceramicists at the Convencion del45 neighbourhood have dealt with many economic and social changes over the course of the 20th century. At the beginning of the last century ceramicists continued the colonial practice of producing utilitarian vessels which met the needs of local and regional markets. Production was focused within the family and provided a dependable source of income. However, after World War II global changes, including mass production and globalization, had a profound affect on ceramicists as their products had to compete with imported plastic and metal items. As a result ceramicists made innovations in their design styles and found new avenues in which to sell their products. This thesis uses a holistic approach to interpret the material culture produced by one small artisanal community in Cuenca, Ecuador. Through an examination of documentary research, oral history interviews, archaeological excavation of a kiln, and material culture research from the Convencion del45 neighbourhood I illustrate that ceramicists have, and continue to be, active participants in their society. Rather than emphasize the negative affects of imported goods and mass production on ceramicists, I demonstrate that as agents, they are reflexive participants in their community and have etched a place for themselves and their particular brand of production; their material culture is used to complement their own testimony regarding the socio-economic changes that orbit their neighbourhood and nation.

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

Middle period hunter-gatherers of the Thompson River drainage, British Columbia : a critical review

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2004
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Theses (Dept. of Archaeology) / Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)