M.A. Theses: Iain McKechnie, 2005

Five Thousand Years of Fishing at a Shell Midden in the Broken Group Island, Barkley Sound, B.C.

This thesis critically examines the archaeological history of fishing at a five thousand year-old shell midden on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island. To do this, I use fish bones identified from Ts'ishaa (DfSi 16 and 17), a large ethnographically identified Nuu-chah-nulth village, to describe the taxonomic composition of marine fish recovered from spatially and temporally distinct areas of the site. After evaluating the depositional and taphonomic history of the assemblage, I examine evidence of fishing at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. I identify periods of change and continuity in the use of abundant and ubiquitous fish taxa throughout the site and conclude that similarities between contemporaneous deposits demonstrate the existence of community-wide fishing practices. I then characterize changes observed in the archaeological record by linking them to community-level changes in the use of the site at different points in time.