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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An archaeological perspective on alpine/sub-alpine land use in the Clear Range and Pavilion Mountains, south-central British Columbia Vanags, Anthony


This study uses two independent surveys of the Alpine/Sub-alpine environmental zones of the Clear Range and Pavilion Mountain to explore the nature of the archaeological record in the higher elevations of the Southern Interior Plateau of British Columbia. The archaeological site information is derived from the original site records as well as a lithic analysis of associated assemblages. The archaeological material is examined in relation to ethnographic subsistence and settlement patterns, archaeological pattering in Upland Valleys (Upper Hat Creek Valley), and to other investigated Alpine/Sub-alpine areas such as the Cornwall Hills and Potato Mountain. Neither the Ethnographic nor Upland Valley Models provided a perfect fit for the archaeological information, but these two models did provide the foundation upon which the archaeological site classes could be derived. The results were clear in that the Alpine/Sub-alpine zones were an important part of the seasonal round for both hunting and plant food gathering/processing activities and were not just an extension of the Upland Valley zones. The diagnostic artifacts recovered from the Clear Range and Pavilion Mountain suggest that this area, and more specifically the Alpine/Sub-alpine environmental zones, have been used for hunting purposes for approximately 7000 years, though most of the dates are concentrated between 3500 and 200 BP. There are fewer dates for plant gathering and processing activities, but the radiocarbon dates suggest that plant processing started approximately 2000 BP. The majority of the archaeological sites for both the Clear Range and Pavilion Mountain are situated within the Montane Parkland environmental zone. Even so, the Alpine/Sub-alpine zones in the Clear Range and Pavilion Mountain were used differently. The Clear Range was used for both hunting and plant gathering/processing activities, while Pavilion Mountain and the Cornwall Hills were used primarily for hunting activities. Only on Potato Mountain were the majority of sites related to plant gathering/processing activities.

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