UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Carrier settlement and subsistence in the Chinlac/Cluculz Lake area of Central British Columbia Cranny, Michael William


This thesis examines Carrier settlement and subsistence patterns within a study area near the confluence of the Stuart and Nechako Rivers, and around Cluculz and Cobb lakes. The Carrier site at Chinlac, excavated by Charles Borden in 1950 and 1952, is important to this study and is re-examined in terms of hypothetical models which are developed to explain settlement and subsistence in the late prehistoric period, the protohistoric period, and the early historic period. In particular, a settlement system is proposed for the protohistoric period in which there are two major elements, or locations where settlement occurred, and these are at the confluence of the Stuart and Nechako Rivers and on the north shore of Cluculz lake near the outflow. In the former location, salmon were harvested, and in the latter, lake resources were harvested. The salmon procurement sites were occupied from July to November, and the lakeside locations were used for the rest of the year by the same group of people. A smaller population, different exploitive technology, and smaller archaeological sites are predicted for the late prehistoric and historic periods. The models proposed in this thesis are based on environmental, ethnographic, and historical research. In the case of the latter, the original fur traders' accounts from Fort St. James and Fort Fraser were consulted and the information used to determine changes in settlement and subsistence over time. In general, the study adhered to the direct historic approach tempered with a cultural ecological perspective. In order to verify the proposals made in the thesis, the materials and records of Borden's Chinlac excavation were re-examined, and an archaeological survey of the study area was conducted. The data tend to support the hypotheses put forward but not all could be fully tested. Artifacts from the Chinlac site confirmed that the site was occupied during the protohistoric period, and faunal remains, house type, and other indicators make a summer/ fall occupation of the site probable. Archaeological survey found 37 archaeological sites grouped in several areas. The relatively larger sites were located either at the confluence of the rivers (at and near Chinlac) or at the outflow of Cluculz Lake. Smaller sites were scattered along the north shore of the lake, along the river banks, and elsewhere. On the basis of this data, it is concluded that the two element ( binary) settlement system is appropriate for the protohistoric period.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.