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Tools and change: The shift from atlatl to bow on the British Columbia plateau

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
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This thesis presents analyses focused on determining the function of projectile points from the Plateau Cultural area of British Columbia, including use of Shott’s (1997) method designed to classify projectile points as either atlatl darts or arrows. A total of 1065 projectile points recovered from archaeological contexts throughout the Plateau, spanning the Middle through Late Prehistoric periods, were examined. While Nesikep, Lochnore and Lehman style points were classified primarily as dart points and the Kamloops horizon points predominantly as arrow points, Shuswap and Plateau horizon groups were identified as containing points from both systems. This suggests that the two technologies coexisted for many hundreds of years and that the bow and arrow was in use on the Plateau much earlier than previously believed. A discussion of the implications of this and possible factors that influenced and affected people’s decision to choose one projectile system over the other is included.
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