Archaeology; Northwest Coast; Faunal Analysis; Inter- and Intra- Site Variability, Midden Heterogeneity; Midden Terminology; Monumentality; Constructed Landscapes; Prince Rupert Harbour
My project examines the intra site heterogeneity of faunal assemblages found within shell bearing Tsimshian village sites (“middens”) located in the Prince Rupert Harbour (PRH). This research will examine the affects of small scale versus large scale excavation methods (bulk sampling, column sampling, and auger sampling) by comparing the number of identified specimens (NISP) per liter (L) sampled. These faunal assemblages are dominantly made up of fish species with salmon and herring alternating in rank of abundance. This research will also closely examine the affects of sample location within the sites. My preliminary research suggests that samples taken from back midden, side midden, and plank house floor locations will have differing abundances of faunal material suggesting that these sites are not homogeneous entities. This difference in faunal representation between sampled areas may also suggest differential patterning in the depositional history of cultural material (e.g. differences between refuse (midden) and purposeful shell terrace construction). Evidence of purposeful shell terrace construction has led me to examine themes of monumentality and constructed landscapes. I hope that this research will exemplifies the necessity of rigorous sampling methodology to properly understand intra site heterogeneity when examining PRH faunal assemblages, be useful for future Rights and Title cases, and include a discussion of terminology examining archaeologists use of the term midden and it’s problematic connotations within my study region.
B.A. Anthropology, University of British Columbia, 2016
Major: Anthropology, Minor: Archaeology
M.A. Supervisor: Dr. Andrew Martindale
Martindale A., Johnson RA., Brown TJ., Gajewski K., Chaput M., Vermeersch P., Crann C. 2017. Building a Global 14C Database. Society for American Archaeology. Vancouver, BC.
Johnson, RA. 2018. Faunal heterogeneity in the middens of Prince Rupert Harbour. Northwest Anthropology Conference. Boise, ID.