M.A. Theses: Heather Kendall, 2014

A Rocky Road: Chert Characterization at ST 109, Keatley Creek Site, British Columbia

Globally, chert is the most common rock material found in archaeological contexts. Its prevalence on the Earth’s surface in Quaternary deposits and relative abundance in archaeological contexts indicate that it was an important resource material for ancient populations and, as such, can provide information about toolstone exploitation in prehistory. The results of this research suggest a local origin for the chert artefacts recovered from ST 109 at the Keatley Creek site (EeRl-7) in the mid-Fraser region of south-central British Columbia, but also to a remote origin for the toolstone deposits found within the study area. Elemental characterization suggests that although the chert deposits in the study area are geographically separate, they are likely derived from a larger parent chert source, redeposited in the mid-Fraser region by glacial activity prior to human occupation of the area. This thesis also demonstrates through the application of the Keatley Creek Lithic Typology that the visible properties of colour and texture are not a reliable means for discerning the provenance of chert artefacts.