M.A. Theses: Margaret Winifred Chapman, 1976

Archaeological Investigations at the O'Connor Site Port Hardy, British Columbia

Salvage excavations at the O'Connor Site (EeSu 5) on the north end of Vancouver Island, directed by the author in 1971 and 1973, have provided additional archaeological information for the central Northwest Coast.

A major portion of this thesis is given to the description and analysis of the cultural data obtained from those excavations and the subsequent laboratory work. Indications are that the site was occupied for a long and continuous period and two distinct cultural components are identified. The earliest, Port Hardy I, is represented by a poorly developed chipped stone industry with no microblade technology. It is suggested that this component is associated with an early coastal hunting and fishing population.

At 2500 - 3050 B.C. the appearance of shell-bearing deposits marks the beginning of the Port Hardy II component which is evidenced by a predominantly bone tool industry. This later and more intense occupation shows a marked increase in reliance on maritime and riverine resources and represents the beginning of a long and intensive exploitation of shellfish. No terminal occupation date is set, however this is no evidence of persistence into historic times.

Particular intra-site relationships and problems are discussed, and comparisons with other Central coast archaeological assemblages are made. The O'Connor Site is placed within the generally established scheme of cultural development for the area and suggestions as to future research in the area are put forward.