Evolutionary household archaeology: Inter-generational cultural transmission at housepit 54, Bridge River site, British Columbia

Anna Marie Prentiss, Matthew J. Walsh, Thomas A. Foor, Ashley Hampton, Ethan Ryan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Anthropologists have recognized that households may have diverse histories resulting in patterns of unstable membership, a wide array of tactics for production of food and goods, and diverse rules governing the reproduction of cultural traditions and the transmission of rights and resources. Yet archaeologists rarely have the opportunity to test alternative hypotheses about the histories of specific houses and house groups. In this paper, we offer a test of multiple hypotheses regarding the nature of household groups at Housepit 54, Bridge River, British Columbia. Phylogenetic analysis permits us to assess cultural transmission patterns and examine the relationships between household history and socio-economic variables. We conclude that Housepit 54 represents a long-lived house group or “House” that benefited from a well-developed system of inter-generational cultural inheritance. We argue that such groups may have been typical of the Mid-Fraser villages pre-dating 1000 years ago. This in turn allows us to suggest that this pattern was not the result of historically recent borrowing of such concepts from Northwest Coast groups.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number105260
    JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
    Volume124
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Dec 2020

    Keywords

    • Bridge river site
    • Evolutionary archaeology
    • Household archaeology
    • Indigenous history

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