A Hunter-Gatherer-Fisher Urban Landscape in Prince Harbor, British, Columbia?


Urbanism is almost exclusively associated with agriculture, although hunter-gatherers sometimes have seasonal aggregations numbering in the thousands. This paper considers the evidence for an urban-like settlement on the northern Northwest Coast. By AD 1787, the villages of nine tribes of the Northern Tsimshian were concentrated a small area in Prince Rupert Harbour (PRH), British Columbia and had been so for centuries. Prior to ca. 1500 cal BP the Northern Tsimshian lived in villages of varying sizes scattered throughout their territory. At some point after that date, this settlement pattern was reorganized with residential sites in the region abandoned and those in the PRH expanded into a residential core. Available data suggests harbor village middens grew to accommodate the increased population, with some reaching 55,000 m2. There is also evidence that these villages were not independent, but rather formed a linked network for defense as part of an urbanized political alliance. What had been residential areas became a logistical hinterland for the PRH villages

Cite this Record

A Hunter-Gatherer-Fisher Urban Landscape in Prince Harbor, British, Columbia?. Kenneth Ames, Kisha Supernant, Andrew Martindale, Susan Marsden, Corey Cookson. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403615)


Spatial Coverage

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