An analysis of the unifacial tool assemblage from the Richardson Island site, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia




Storey, Jennifer

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One of the primary research interests at many late Pleistocene/early Holocene sites has been the transition from bifacial technology to a focus on microblade technology. Relationships between sites in Asia, Alaska, British Columbia, Haida Gwaii and elsewhere are frequently discussed with reference to the presence or absence of these technologies. As the focus has largely been on bifaces and microblades, other technologies have received considerably less attention. However, many of these more expedient technologies comprise the majority of assemblages found at any given site and reflect a substantial portion of technological practice and behavior. At the Richardson Island site, in southeastern Haida Gwaii, the stone tool assemblage is largely composed of unifacially manufactured tools that remain somewhat prevalent throughout the record of site activity. In this thesis, I begin my analysis with an exploration of the amount of standardization present in the unifacial tool types using cluster analysis. Following cluster analysis, the artifacts are discussed within the context of a behavioral model, taking the tools through a life history approach from raw material procurement to discard. Finally, this thesis focuses on technological change and continuity, tracing unifacial technologies through the detailed record of site activity at Richardson Island.



archaeology, Northwest Coast, Haida Gwaii, stone tools