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Magnetic Gradient Survey of a Hunter-Gatherer Plank House Village at the Dionisio Point Site, Northwest Coast of North America

Author(s): Patrick Dolan ; Colin Grier ; Markussen Christine ; Katie Simon

Year: 2016

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Summary

We present the results of magnetometry survey of four houses at the Dionisio Point site, a 1,500 year-old settlement in the Gulf Islands of southwestern British Columbia, Canada. Intensive excavations have uncovered much of one of five substantial houses. It is the remains of a shed-roof plank house, the winter residence of a large multi-family corporate group. We suggest that the rest were contemporaneous households organized in a similar fashion and that Dionisio likely constituted an example of the large, permanent, winter villages that are known on the coast archaeologically and ethnographically. We draw upon the results of the magnetometry survey to further evaluate this possibility. The survey reveals strong anthropogenic magnetic anomalies at Dionisio Point. Their distribution corresponds to the expectations of a behavioral model of shed-roof house organization. The spatial distribution of anomalies supports the thesis that the Dionisio Point settlement was a residential community comprised of large multi-family shed-roof households. Over the course of its roughly two-century occupation, this village was composed of five large dwellings built on common architectural principles, supporting previous inferences concerning the social and economic centrality of the domestic group in local community organization.


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Magnetic Gradient Survey of a Hunter-Gatherer Plank House Village at the Dionisio Point Site, Northwest Coast of North America. Patrick Dolan, Colin Grier, Markussen Christine, Katie Simon. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404973)


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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