This work was supported by Portland State University, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, National Endowment for the Humanities Grant RZ-50601-06, the Jean and Ray Auel Foundation, and the Research Institute for Humans and Nature (Japan).
Journal of Anthropological Archaeology
Northwest Coast of North America -- Antiquities, Indians of North America -- Dwellings -- Northwest Coast of North America, Indian architecture -- Northwest Coast of North America -- Economic aspects
Household archaeology focuses on what households do. Building and repairing houses is a household task that receives less explicit attention than do other tasks. Through the lens of political economy, we examine how three southern Northwest Coast households organized and orchestrated a complex labor task: building and maintaining their houses, by developing estimates of labor and raw material costs. We then use this analysis to show how house building and maintenance bears on issues of collective action, monumentality, anthropogenic landscapes, the development of concepts of property on the Northwest Coast, and of household continuity across episodes of cultural change. The political economies of Northwest Coast households have been central to theory building about the evolution and nature of sociocultural complexity among complex hunter-gatherer-fisher societies, but archaeological attention has emphasized subsistence. Our analysis does not supplant such models, but rather compliments them.
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Published as: Ames, K. M., & Shepard, E. E. (2019). Building wooden houses: The political economy of plankhouse construction on the southern Northwest Coast of North America. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 53, 202-221.
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