UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Resource relationships along the Fraser River : a stable isotope analysis of archaeological foodways and paleoecological interactions Diaz, Alejandra Lydia


Interactions between humans, ecologies and resources within British Columbia have been sustained over millennia through the active management of terrestrial, marine, and riverine resources as well as through relationships existing between human and non-human environmental counterparts. Looking specifically at domestic dogs as a species so closely coupled with human action and yet still connected to the non-human environment, this dissertation examines how stable isotope analysis of dog remains and other fauna can inform us about pre-contact human-animal relationships. By examining prehistoric foodways within the Fraser River watershed, this study is the first to investigate carbon, nitrogen, and sulphur isotopic signatures of domesticated dogs and other fauna (n=244) from seven archaeological sites situated along the Fraser River as a means of determining dietary paleoecological variability that existed both spatially and temporally. In examining dietary variability and the resource relationships that shape the social and communal basis for it, I first investigate ecological communities along the Fraser River through stable isotope analysis of fauna before focusing on human-dog interactions through isotopic analysis of dogs. From a view of ecological communities as holistic in their inclusion and integrative of human and non-human counterparts, these isotopic investigations of fauna that occupied such varied niches, practiced different subsistence strategies, and played manifold roles in their resource relationships, offer an understanding of the past that brings coherence while accounting for variability in the archaeological record.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International