M.A. Theses: David Bruce Crowe-Swords, 1974

The Carruthers Site: A Late Prehistoric Site in the Lower Fraser Valley

This thesis is an archaeological study of a prehistoric campsite, the Carruthers site, which lies in Katzie territory near Pitt Meadows, British Columbia. Excavations in 1973 under my direction have provided new data of a late portion of lower Fraser River prehistory.

The investigations had three related objectives: (1) excavation and analysis of archaeological materials from a little known locality; (2) testing for a discernible overlap between ethnographic and archaeological data; (3) detection of cultural similarities with material from the interior of British Columbia. An evaluation of previous ethnographic and archaeological data was also undertaken as part of the overall study.

The main part of the thesis consists of description and analysis of the artifacts recovered. Analysis of the tools indicates that the site was used primarily as a base for hunting and gathering activities, and secondarily, for fishing. A comparison of the artifact assemblage with assemblages from other coast and interior sites suggests a date of A.D. 400-800 for the occupation of the Carruthers site.

Ethnographic information indicates that the Katzie Indians depended quite heavily on the Indian potato which abounds in the site's locality. Ground slate knives, the most frequent artifact type at the site, have been used in preparation of this foodstuff. Arguments for the use of this knife are presented.

In comparing the Carruthers site material with that from the B.C. Interior, little was gained in regard to insights into the problems of coastal-interior cultural relationships. There are some similarities, but these are done in the intervening region in order to provide a decisive picture of prehistoric cultural relationships.