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Specialization, Standardization, and Opportunism: A Design Theory Perspective on the Production of Cultural Necessities at Tse-whit-zen Village

Author(s): Joseph Sparaga ; Sarah K. Campbell ; Laura Phillips

Year: 2017

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Summary

Lithic artifacts recovered from the Tse-whit-zen village, a large settlement on the coast of the Strait of Juan de Fuca inhabited for 2,800 years, assist in portraying the choices made by people for adapting to the surrounding environment through tool development. Analysis of the lithic assemblage is based on a design theory approach that addresses material selection and reductive manufacturing strategies to understand efficiency, expediency, and reliability in forming the end products. The assemblage is dominated by fabricating tools such as flakes, anvils, hammerstones, and abraders. Mobiliary art in the form of stones with incised designs occur in significant numbers, while tools specific to food procurement such as projectile points, net weights, and fishhook shanks constitute a very small percentage. In contrast, manufactured bone items are almost entirely specialized, standardized components for fishing gear. Cutting, engraving and incising tools were required to produce both the bone tools and the socially significant incised stones but high quality flaking material is not common in the area. Rather than importing exotic material, the artisans developed techniques for producing reliable, standardized cutting tools such as quartz crystal microtools and large spall flake tools from local materials that were less than optimal.


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Specialization, Standardization, and Opportunism: A Design Theory Perspective on the Production of Cultural Necessities at Tse-whit-zen Village. Joseph Sparaga, Sarah K. Campbell, Laura Phillips. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430210)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15661

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