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Evolution of a Late Prehistoric Winter Village on the Interior Plateau of British Columbia: Geophysical Investigations, Radiocarbon Dating, and Spatial Analysis of the Bridge River Site

  • Anna Marie Prentiss (a1), Guy Cross (a2), Thomas A. Foor (a1), Mathew Hogan (a3), Dirk Markle (a1) and David S. Clarke (a4)...

Abstract

A common issue for archaeologists who study intermediate-scale societies is defining scale and complexity of occupations across entire villages or towns. This can be a major problem since an understanding of site-wide inter-household occupation patterns can be crucial for accurate reconstruction of village demographics and socio-economic organization. In this paper we present new research at the Bridge River site, a large complex hunter-gatherer village in British Columbia, designed to develop a site-wide history of household occupation patterns. We accomplish this through broad-scale geophysical investigations, test excavations and an extensive program of radiocarbon dating. Results of the study suggest that the village grew rapidly between ca. 1800 and 1250 cal. B.P. expanding from 7 to at least 29 simultaneously occupied houses. Variability in household spacing and size indicate that social organization may have grown increasingly complex parallel with rising numbers of households.

Résumé

Una cuestión común para los arqueólogos que estudian las sociedades de escala intermedia es definir la escala y complejidad de las ocupaciones a través de pueblos y aldeas enteros. Esto puede ser un gran problema porque la comprensión de modelos de ocupación entre las casas y a través de todo el sitio puede ser esencial para una reconstrucción precisa de la demografía y la organización socioeconómica del pueblo. En este artículo presentamos investigaciones nuevas sobre el sitio Bridge River, una aldea grande de cazadores y recolectores en Columbia Británica. Es el propósito de este artículo proponer una historia de los modelos de ocupación de las casas en el sitio. Realizamos la producción de esta historia con varios medios incluyendo investigaciones geofísicas, excavaciones de prueba, y un programa extensivo de fechamiento por radiocarbon. Los resultados de las investigaciones sugieren que el pueblo creció rápidamente entre aproximadamente 1800 y 1250 años antes de presente y además que el número de casas ocupadas simultáneamente aumentó desde 7 hasta por lo menos 29 casas en aquel tiempo. La variabilidad en el espacio entre las casas y el tamaño de las casas puede indicar que la organización social se volvió más compleja al mismo tiempo que el número de casas aumentó.

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