Article ID: CBB001422598

Use-Wear, Chaîne Opératoire and Labour Organisation among Pacific Northwest Coast Sedentary Foragers (2015)


The pre-Contact foraging communities of the north-west coast of North America have long been recognised as exhibiting many of the features we associate with agricultural societies, including sedentism and social inequality. Evidence from the pre-Contact plank house communities of Meier and Cathlapotle throws new light on the spatial organisation of these societies. Detailed analysis of stone tools allows the spatial division of labour to be determined within these large, multi-family households. This reveals that while some tasks were associated with particular social ranks, a hierarchical community can be identified in each plank house. Overall, the differences lie in the degree of engagement rather than the kind of activity, helping to characterise labour organisation among these unique, sedentary foragers. The results also provide insight into the potential of stone tool analysis for social reconstruction.

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Authors & Contributors
Aveni, Anthony F.
Marbach, André
Stuart, David C.
Denevan, William M.
Li, Shuxue
Monteferrante, Sandra
Archaeoastronomy: The Journal of Astronomy in Culture
Journal for the History of Astronomy
Kexue Jishu yu Bianzhengfa (Science, Technology, and Dialectics)
British Society for the History of Mathematics Bulletin
Columbia University Press
University of California Press
Cambridge University Press
Washington State University
Rutgers University Press
Native American civilization and culture
Mayan civilization
Toolsmiths; tool making
Time Periods
Precolumbian period (America)
20th century
15th century
16th century
Central America
Pacific Northwest (North America)
Rome (Italy)
United States

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