Tsimshian households and trade: the view from Casey Point

Author(s): Morley Eldridge

Year: 2017


Large-scale excavations at GbTo-13 and GbTo-54 near Casey Point, Prince Rupert Harbour, revealed house remains whose differential contents of exotic features, goods, and wealth or status-signalling artifacts strongly suggest that one household ranked above others. All labrets and all mountain goat horn cores were associated with a single house. Even the households lacking these prestige goods have more wealth items than at almost any regional assemblage. The extraordinary amount of bracelets argues for a specialized production centre.

The faunal remains are markedly different from all previously described assemblages in the area. The amount of mountain goat was far greater than for any assemblage in the culture area or indeed likely on the continent. Grizzly bear and sea lion remains are also extraordinarily high. Trade with the Haida is indicated from amber. Trade, or perhaps direct acquisition with the interior, is indicated by interior mammals including fisher, lynx, caribou, and mule deer.

The material at the site argues for it being high-ranking in regional context, despite the significant difficulties in day-to-day life from its exposed location and landslide foundation. The strategic value of the location may have outweighed these difficulties.

Cite this Record

Tsimshian households and trade: the view from Casey Point. Morley Eldridge. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430218)


class Household Trade

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 13266