Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Department or School/College


Committee Chair

Dr. Anna Marie Prentiss

Commitee Members

Dr. Randall Skelton Dr. Sarah J. Halvorson


Archaeology, Zooarchaeology, Fauna, Lithic, Hunter-Gatherers, GIS


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Archaeological Anthropology


Housepit 54 at the Bridge River pithouse village in south-central British Columbia provides a glimpse into the complex cultural practices that occurred in this area in the past. This village, which includes approximately 80 semi-subterranean structures, was occupied during four periods, approximately 1800- 1600 cal. B.P., 1600-1300 cal. B.P., 1300-1000 cal. B.P. and 500-100 cal. B.P, firmly placing the site within both a historic and a pre-Colonial context. The two pre-Colonial floors, IIb (1288-1058 cal B.P.) and IIa (1184-1050 cal B.P.), that represent the occupation of Housepit 54 directly prior to the pre-Colonial villages abandonment are the focus of this investigation. This focus is due to changes in resource abundance, in particular fish and mammal abundance, which differ between the IIb and IIa floors. This resource deprivation/instability could have cause socio-political and socioeconomic changes to occur between these two time periods and could potentially have contributed to the abandonment of the site. Two theoretical frameworks were utilized to guide this study: Dual-Processual theory and Household Archaeology. In particular, the dual-processual theoretical concepts of network and corporate socio-political strategies as well as the concepts of collectivist and communal social strategies were used to form hypotheses regarding the degree of cooperation and competition that was present within the household that lived in Housepit 54 during the IIb and IIa time periods. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was used to explore the spatial distributions of faunal and lithic artifacts as well as the social structure of Housepit 54 during these different occupational periods. Specifically, the GIS tools used in this study were the Spline tool and the Optimized Hot Spot Analysis tool. Using these methods, residential units and shared activity areas were discovered within Housepit 54. Ultimately, this study revealed that during the IIb time period separate, but likely cooperative residential units were present in Housepit 54 while during the IIa time period shared activity areas and space were more prevalent. Additionally, during the IIa time period, the time period with had greater food stress, evidence indicates that activities associated with food resources may have been strictly structured around shared space.



© Copyright 2017 Kathryn L. Bobolinski