M.A. Theses: Kristine Elizabeth Wright

Mortuary Patterning: A Burial Analysis from Northwest Coast Archaeological Sites

Many burial sites have been the subject of archaeological excavations on the Northwest Coast. Few attempts have been made to compile these data in an effort to examine differential burial practices. Many of the burial excavations demonstrate that individuals were subject to differential burial treatment, but no patterns have been identified using a regional perspective. Were individuals accorded differential burial based on their age or gender? If so, how does such differential treatment vary through time and space on the Northwest Coast? How do the ethnographic and archaeological records compare in what they tell us about the treatment of the dead?

The thesis compiles burial data from Northwest Coast archaeological excavations to examine trends in differential burial treatment temporally and spatially. Demographic and burial context information from archaeologically excavated burials are gathered and compared by age and gender categories in addition to grave goods and burial positions to identify patterns of differential burial. Once trends are identified from a comparison of the burial material an attempt is made to characterize the nature of these patterns. This analysis provides a regional and temporal perspective on mortuary treatment on the Northwest Coast that has been, until now absent.