M.A. Theses: Elisabeth Gwyn Langemann, 1987

Zooarchaeology of the Lillooet Region, British Columbia

Faunal material from five house pit sites in the Lillooet region of the British Columbia Interior Plateau was analyzed in order to obtain a regional picture of subsistence activities during the Late Prehistoric period. The house pits were in two localities and have been dated to four cultural phases. During the analysis careful attention was paid to the potential biases introduced into the faunal sample by the selection and butchering of the species, by their taphonomic history, by analysis and quantitative techniques, and by excavation methodology.

Ethnographically the Lillooet practiced a logistically organised hunting and collecting economy using a diverse range of plant and animal resources. The sharp local relief meant that several environmental and resource zones were available near the sites. The analysis of the archaeological material suggests a similar subsistence economy. Salmon and deer were common in all samples, but a large variety of other artiodactyl, rodent, carnivore, bird and shellfish species were also represented. Their abundance varied between the sites, but no consistent differences in taxonomic abundances or butchery patterns were observed between the various cultural phases or between the localities sampled. Rather, the variation observed seemed to reflect a diversified opportunistic strategy similar to that observed ethnographically.