Portland State University. Dept of Anthropology
Virginia L. Butler
Date of Award
Master of Arts (M.A.) in Anthropology
1 online resource (vii, 148 p.) : ill. (some col.), col. maps
Indians of North America -- Ethnozoology -- Oregon -- Willamette River Valley, Indians of North America -- Food -- Oregon -- Willamette River Valley -- History
My research examines the prehistoric subsistence of native peoples of the Willamette Valley, Oregon through an analysis of the regional zooarchaeological records, and then modeling regional diet breadth. Through this analysis, I challenge commonly held stereotypes that the indigenous people of the Willamette Valley were strictly root eaters, and the basis for this claim, that salmon were not part of Native subsistence. The results of my research indicate that given the incomplete nature of the ethnohistoric record, very little can be said about expected cultural behaviors, such as salmon consumption, that appear to be absent in the Willamette Valley. In addition, since the faunal assemblage is so small in the Willamette Valley, zooarchaeological data are simply inadequate for studying the relationship between prehistoric peoples and their animal resources. Finally, optimal foraging modeling suggests that salmon is one of the higher ranked resources available to the Native People of the Willamette Valley.
Elder, J. Tait, "Exploring Prehistoric Salmon Subsistence in the Willamette Valley using Zooarchaeological Records and Optimal Foraging Theory" (2010). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 22.