First Advisor

Kenneth Ames

Term of Graduation

Spring 1998

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Anthropology






Chinookan Indians -- Implements -- Oregon -- Columbia County, Bone implements -- Oregon -- Columbia County -- Analysis, Distributional archaeology -- Oregon -- Columbia County, Meier Site (Or.)



Physical Description

1 online resource (viii, 536 pages)


The purpose of this study was to develop a method of assessing and measuring the amount of curation behavior present in a bone and antler tool assemblage. Using lithic analysis as a guide, curation is defined by the amount of energy invested in the tool manufacturing process along with the overall complexity of each artifact. The Meier site (35C05), a Chinookan plankhouse site near Portland, Oregon was used to test the hypothesis that people will use an expedient (low energy investment) technology when there is an abundance of raw material available, low group mobility, and low material transportation constraints.

Since the Meier site occupants were sedentary huntergatherers with an adequate supply of raw material for tool manufacture and low transportation constraints, expediency was expected. Each artifact was described, measured, and typed. Based upon the modification descriptions, energy ranks were developed and assigned to each artifact. Discussions of curation and expediency were based upon those measures.

An overall site energy assessment, based on the density of recovered artifacts per unit, reveled a stronger presence of curation. K-means and average linkage cluster analysis demonstrated a pattern among artifact types, energy types, and house features. This pattern was further investigated to examine the intricacies of energy investment and ranked social structures of Northwest Coast societies which are evident within household space. Linear regression analysis for artifact and energy types revealed that only two densities {adornment and expedient energy level 6) were a function of location, although that relationship was weak at the 0.05 significance level. ANOVA (difference in means) demonstrated a statistically significant mean difference in the same two categories within the house.

While the energy scale allows bone and antler to be examined at the same level as lithics, these results cast doubt upon the ability of lithic theory to predict bone and antler technology. The hypothesis of expedient production and low energy investment in the bone and antler artifact assemblage was not supported. Any relationship between social structure and artifact distribution also cannot be substantiated.


In Copyright. URI:

This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).


If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.

Persistent Identifier

Included in

Anthropology Commons