Northwest Coast Site Locations, Shell Midden Variability and Marine Resources: Prehistoric Settlement Patterns on Valdes Island, British Columbia
Type de publication:Conference Paper
Résumé (en anglais):
Regional settlement pattern studies offers new direction and perspective to investigate the dynamics between prehistoric cultural behavior and the environment on the Northwest Coast. Researchers currently have a paucity of both ethnographic and archaeological knowledge of past cultural decision-making processes responsible for locating sites, nor have a detailed, empirical understanding of the prehistoric settlement patterns of the region's complex hunter-gatherer cultures. Using data collected from the Valdes Island Archaeological Survey, I focus upon one island landscape to explore the nature of late prehistoric settlement-subsistence patterns within the Southern Gulf Islands, British Columbia. Site locations on Valdes Island indicate a late prehistoric economic orientation toward exploiting coastal resource patches, particularly productive intertidal zones and tidal passes, where populations aggregated to collect predictable, localized and abundant marine resources. This settlement pattern research has important implications for modelling late prehistoric economic organization and understanding the trajectory of social complexity in the Gulf of Georgia region.