First Advisor

Kenneth Ames

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Anthropology






Chinookan Indians -- Oregon -- Columbia County -- Social conditions, Chinookan Indians -- Implements -- Oregon -- Columbia County, Stone implements -- Oregon -- Columbia County, Distributional archaeology -- Oregon -- Columbia County, Meier Site (Or.)



Physical Description

1 online resource (xiii, 290 p.)


The spatial distribution of chipped lithic artifacts excavated at site 35C05, a Chinookan plankhouse of the protohistoric period, was observed to test the hypothesis that a gradient of material culture -- reflecting social status -- should be evident within the plankhouse, ranging from the highest to the lowest social rank. Prior to the spatial analysis, use-wear analysis was used to evaluate the classificatory labels used to describe the assemblage by a previous researcher. The use-wear analysis largely confirmed the functional classification of chipped lithic artifacts used by the previous researcher. The spatial analyses revealed that while most tool types were rather evenly distributed throughout the plankhouse interior (taphonomic factors having been considered), cutting, graving and scraping tools (as well as some characteristics of these tools, such as raw material quality) were significantly unevenly distributed, correlating with the hypothesized gradient of social rank aligned with the long axis of the plankhouse. Further analyses strongly suggested that one or more labor specialists, using high frequencies of graving tools, were inhabitants of the elite portion of the plankhouse. Most domestic activities reflected by the stone tools of this assemblage were engaged in by plankhouse inhabitants of all social ranks. Knowing that this is the case, as well as that in some instances there is compelling evidence for status-determined labor specialization, aids in our understanding of the character of aboriginal social structure on the Pacific Northwest Coast.


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