Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Other Degree Name/Area of Focus


Department or School/College

Department of Anthropology

Committee Chair

Anna Prentiss

Commitee Members

John Douglas, Casey Charles


British Columbia, Diet Breadth Model, Lithic transport, Bridge River, Salish


University of Montana


As has been the case for thousands of years a single kind of stone material, referred to by different researchers as arrowstone, basalt, vitreous trachydacite, and/or dacite, provided the majority (often more than 75%) of many lithic assemblages in the Mid- Fraser region of south-western British Columbia. Most explanations for this have largely been insufficient for explaining the differential transport of lithic materials; no one has addressed why, in a lithic rich environment where a variety of jaspers, chalcedonies, and pisolites can be found in relative close proximity to many winter villages, Mid-Fraser foragers would target resources located much further away. This thesis addresses and explains lithic material transport in the Mid-Fraser by pairing the logic of diet breadth model with the lithic assemblage recovered during the 2008 excavations at the Bridge River site. My sample consists of those tools, cores, and debitage (detritus from stone tool production and maintenance) recovered from housepits 20, 24, and 54. The lithic assemblages recovered from these houses provide a glimpse into lithic transport over the Bridge River 2 and 3 time periods, which span nearly four hundred years (~1500-1100 cal. B.P.) of human occupation. This research will provide an alternative framework for considering variability in lithic assemblages other than through the filter of socio-economic explanation typical of previous work. This research will also provide feedback for how suitable human behavioral ecology models are for conceptualizing lithic procurement practices without knowing exact source locations. Finally it will contribute to the larger, ongoing discussion concerning the evolution of complexity by critically examining one of several lines of evidence—the acquisition lithic resources—that has been cited as a potential indicator for control over particular areas on the landscape.



© Copyright 2010 Michael Todd Wanzenried