M.A. Theses: Ryan Dickie, 2015


Identifying Microblade Function at EeRb-140 and EeRb-144, Kamloops, British Columbia


The microblade industry of the Pacific Northwest represents a discrete artifact category that is often cited as temporal and/or cultural markers, yet their precise function is poorly understood. The research presented here explored microblade function through use-wear analyses of assemblages collected from two Middle Period-aged sites (7,500-4,000 years BP) on the Kamloops Indian Reserve, EeRb-140 and EeRb-144. These two sites, related closely in terms of space and time, offer a good opportunity to explore some of the assumptions about microblade and their potential functions. Microblades are considered important indicators of Middle Period components. When encountered they are often presumed to reflect either elements of composite hunting weapons or implements utilized for a suite of specialized activities. However the results of the use-wear analysis indicate that, at least at EeRb-140 and EeRb-144, microblades served many purposes. The functional inferences observed in the Kamloops microblade assemblages indicate a degree of multifunctionality consistent with previous functional studies. 

Keywords:         microblades; use-wear analysis; Interior Plateau; Middle Period; experimental archaeology