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The Pentlatch Pebbles: Incised stones from an ancient K'omoks village site in Courtenay, British Columbia

Author(s): Robert Muir ; Jesse Morin ; Hilary Pennock ; Sarah Dougan ; Wedlidi Speck

Year: 2017

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Summary

Recent excavations at the K'omoks First Nation ancient village site at Pentlatch resulted in the discovery of 122 incised pebbles and small cobbles. Such artifacts are very rare in the Pacific Northwest, with only one other comparably large assemblage having been reported at Tse-whit-zen in Port Angeles, Washington. The incised stones from the Pentlatch site were found throughout the site area and from all stratigraphic contexts, spanning (at least) several hundreds of years of occupation; nonetheless the artifacts display remarkable consistency in design elements and motifs. The most common motif, described by us as 'parted hair and braids', bears striking resemblance to ethnographic imagery of young women participating in a traditional puberty ritual. This interpretation of the motif is explored and evaluated by drawing on traditional knowledge of K'omoks Nation community members and ethnographic literature from the Salish Sea region.


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The Pentlatch Pebbles: Incised stones from an ancient K'omoks village site in Courtenay, British Columbia. Robert Muir, Jesse Morin, Hilary Pennock, Sarah Dougan, Wedlidi Speck. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 428809)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14701

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