M.A. Theses: David Rodenhurst Hall

Tsini Tsini, a technological analysis of a biface production centre in the Talchako River Valley, British Columbia


This thesis consists of an anaIysis of the Iithic assemblage recovered during the 1994 and 1995 excavations of the Tsini Tsini site (FcSm 11) in the Talchako River Valley of British Columbia. The goals of this thesis are: 1) to ide&@ the nature of the reduction strategies employed at the site, 2) to identiQ the manner in which the inhabitants of the site organized their technology, and 3) to ascertain if any substantive differences existed between the three excavation areas of the site in terms of the reduction strategies employed. An analysis of this nature is important due to the relative iack of data concerning early lithic technoIogy in the Bella Coola region as well as the relative Iack of data concerning the manner in which the early inhabitants of this region organized their technology. The analyses combined the results of an analysis utilizing a techno-morphological typology with the results of three forms of debitage analyses including a mass analysis, a flake completeness analysis, and a cornplete flake analysis. The results of these analyses where then interpreted utilizing concepts derived fiom the study of technological organization. The analysis revealed that: 1) the technology of the inhabitants of the Tsini Tsini site appears to have been organized around the production of bifaces with the assemblage recovered ffom the site appearing to be indicative of only a narrow range of early-to-midstage biface production with other forms of tooIs being manufactured expediently out of biface production detritus, 2) the inhabitants of the site appeared to have practised a material dependant differential utilization of raw materials with exotic materials being utilized more conservatively, 3) no substantive differences between the three excavation areas of the site in terms of the biface reduction strategies empioyed or the stages of production represented. 4) differences behveen the upper and lower terraces were apparent in terrns of the distribution of fonned tools, recognizable artifacts, and the distribution of particular reduction strategies, and 5) the assemblage consisted of a main, undated, early assemblage and a small, late-dated assemblage (ca. 500 BP) associated with an Athapaskan presence within the upper Bella Coola Valley.