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Assemblage variation associated with Southwestern Interior Plateau microblade technology Ludowicz, Deanna


This thesis examines the relationship between prehistoric technological organization and settlement variability associated with the prepared core and microblade technology of the southwestern Interior Plateau, British Columbia. The study addresses methodological issues concerning the interpretation of settlement function from lithic assemblages and has substantive implications for the prehistory of the study area. The extant literature regarding northwestern North American microblade traditions is also reviewed. Intraregional variation is examined between lithic assemblages from Hat Creek valley and Lochnore-Nesikep locality. Previously constructed historical sequences suggeste that these assemblages are representatives of the Early Period of the Nesikep Tradition and may date between 7,000 and 2,900 B.P. Microblades and microcores of the Plateau Microblade tradition have been interpreted as diagnostic of the Early Period. Initially, patterns of settlement variation are inferred from a review of local environment factors, local aboriginal settlement and subsistence practices, and a general model of hunter-gatherer settlement strategies. The extant literature concerning archaeological depositional patterns resulting from technological organization is also reviewed. A lithic artifact classification that is assumed to correlate with technological roles is devised and tool deposition patterns associated with settlement are suggested. Microblade attributes that represent reduction variability are also described. Technological variability is examined first between assemblages representative of upland (Hat Creek"valley) and riverine (Lochnore-Nesikep locality) ecological zones through discriminant analyses. The analyses successfully sort assemblages into their respective zones and technological strategies can be interpreted as correlating with environmental location. Technological variability is also examined among assemblages as a means of interpreting settlement function. Q-mode cluster analysis is utilized to group together similar assemblages. Three groupings are devised, and these can be interpreted in terms of residential and non-residential activities. Further patterns of assemblage variation are defined from metric multidimensional scaling analysis. In conclusion, the technological organization responsible for the deposition of these assemblages is interpreted to have involved spatial separation of microcore and microblade production and use. The study also interprets the settlement strategy associated with this technology to have been logistically oriented.

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