Sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) and Human Ecodynamics at Tse-whit-zen and the Salish Sea

Author(s): Reno Nims; Virginia L. Butler

Year: 2017


Zooarchaeological evidence from Tse-whit-zen indicates that juvenile sablefish, or black cod (Anoplopoma fimbria), played an important role in the village’s economy for ~2,200 years, but sablefish is scarcely mentioned in previous Northwest Coast archaeological research. The near-total absence of this species from other coastal sites in the Salish Sea cannot be explained by post-depositional destruction, screen size, sample size, or differences in zooarchaeological identification criteria. Thus, the pattern of uneven sablefish representation is likely related to social and ecological factors, which we explore in this presentation. We make synchronic and diachronic comparisons of sablefish abundance and body-size in two well-studied contexts, including two plankhouses, to investigate the ways that sablefish fit into the economy and social life of Tse-whit-zen. We also suggest that wider patterns of sablefish representation in the Salish Sea reflect changes in the biogeography of sablefish over time.

Cite this Record

Sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) and Human Ecodynamics at Tse-whit-zen and the Salish Sea. Reno Nims, Virginia L. Butler. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430203)

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16007