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Reading the earth : multivariate analysis of feature functions at Xá:ytem (the Hatzic Rock Site, DgRn 23), British Columbia Ormerod, Patricia Laura

Abstract

This paper summarizes the results of a multivariate analysis to determine the functions of features, dating between ca. 7000 BP and 4500 BP, at Xá:ytem (the Hatzic Rock site, DgRn 23) in the lower Fraser River valley, British Columbia. From postulated feature functions, site use and subsistence activities are compared with the culture history for the region. As at other Old Cordilleran sites, Xá:ytem ca. 7000 BP likely served as a field camp where foragers gathered and consumed local resources in late summer and autumn. Around 5000 years ago, Charles culture people visited the site to gather, process, and possibly store local resources during summer and autumn. There is limited data suggesting that around 4500 BP, use of the site changed from processing local resources only to processing resources gathered in other ecological niches as well. Structures, storage, and lithic evidence all suggest that Xá:ytem ca. 4500 BP is different from St. Mungo phase sites of the Fraser River delta and exhibits a river valley adaptation of Charles culture. However, as at other Charles culture sites, Xá:ytem was not occupied year round, but may have been visited in spring, summer and autumn.

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