M.A. Theses: Dave Johnstone, 1992

The Function(s) of a Shellmidden Site From the Southern Strait of Georgia

Shellmiddens have long been regarded as a single site type that is individually heterogeneous but collectively homogeneous. Recent research regarding the role a site played in the spatial and economic organization of prehistoric coastal peoples has begun to illustrate the diversity of function within this class of site.

At Long Harbour, each depositional unit is independently analyzed and compared against a functional model derived from ethnographic and archaeological sources. The results indicate that the site did not maintain a single function over the course of its use. If this is true of other shell middens in the region, then the concept of a shell midden as a single site type warrants reexamination.