Five thousand years of fishing at a shell midden in the broken group islands, Barkley Sound, British Columbia

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This thesis critically examines the archaeological history of fishing at a five thousand year-old shell midden on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island. To do this, I use fish bones identified from Ts'ishaa (DfSi 16 and 17), a large ethnographically identified Nuuchah- nulth village, to describe the taxonomic composition of marine fish recovered from spatially and temporally distinct areas of the site. After evaluating the depositional and taphonomic history of the assemblage, I examine evidence of fishing at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. I identify periods of change and continuity in the use of abundant and ubiquitous fish taxa throughout the site and conclude that similarities between contemporaneous deposits demonstrate the existence of community-wide fishing practices. I then characterize changes observed in the archaeological record by linking them to community-level changes in the use of the site at different points in time.

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Department of Archaeology - Simon Fraser University
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Thesis (M.A.)