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Cooperation, Labor, Sharing, and Inequality in a Long-Lived Household, Bridge River Site, British Columbia

Author(s): Anna Prentiss ; Thomas Foor ; Kristen Barnett ; Matthew Walsh

Year: 2016

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Archaeological research at the Bridge River site, British Columbia, demonstrates that during the Bridge River 3 period (ca. 1300-1000 cal. B.P.) material wealth-based inequality developed on an inter-household basis during what appears to have been a Malthusian ceiling where populations were briefly very high and resource access weakened. While there is significant knowledge of village-wide socio-economic, demographic and political change at the site little work has been done to gain an understanding of these processes from the standpoint of intra-household relationships. Excavations conducted in 2013 and 2014 at the deeply stratified Housepit 54 provide an opportunity to examine social change across a series of anthropogenic floors occupied in approximately 20 year intervals ca. 1200-1400 cal. B.P. We develop a multivariate statistical approach to testing models associating degree of household cooperation in labor to variability in sharing of goods and the emergence of social inequality. We expect to offer reflections on the nature of social inequality in the Mid-Fraser region along with thoughts on alternative quantitative approaches to household archaeology.

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Cooperation, Labor, Sharing, and Inequality in a Long-Lived Household, Bridge River Site, British Columbia. Anna Prentiss, Thomas Foor, Kristen Barnett, Matthew Walsh. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403398)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -169.717; min lat: 42.553 ; max long: -122.607; max lat: 71.301 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America