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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Non-domestic architecture in prehistoric complex hunter-gatherer communities : an example from Keatley Creek, on the Canadian Plateau of British Columbia Morin, Jesse


This thesis explores the variability in housepit use in the large prehistoric village on the Canadian Plateau of Keatley Creek. A comparative analysis of domestic housepits and potential ritual structures was undertaken to determine whether or not ST 106 was used as a winter domestic residence, or used for other purposes. Twenty-four methods of comparison were used to identify differences and similarities between the groups of domestic housepits and potential ritual structures. The results of this study indicate that these potential ritual structures cluster as a group distinct from the domestic housepits. The sample of potential ritual structures differs from the domestic housepits most notably by: distinctive spatial distribution at the site, association with feasting facilities, high fish element density, low debitage density, high proportions of bifacial thinning flakes, and high proportions of rare or unique artifacts. The late Kamloops horizon occupation of structure 106 displays all of these trends and clusters most closely with the Plateau horizon occupation of ST 9. Comparison of the material attributes recovered from ST 106 and the other potential ritual structures with material expectations of various non-domestic structures for the study region suggests that these structures were used as feasting or meeting-houses and not domestic residences. These potential ritual structures originate in the Classic Lillooet (2600-1100 B.P.) occupation of the site and were used up until the late Kamloops horizon.

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