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Interior Salish Organizational Principles: Recasting the Dynamics of Sociopolitical Change in Aggregated Village Archaeology on the Northern Plateau

Author(s): Lucille Harris

Year: 2017

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Summary

The Middle Fraser Canyon of south-central British Columbia is well-known for the large Late Prehistoric aggregated pithouse villages that line the terraces of the region’s major rivers and tributaries. These villages represent a dynamic period in the history of Northern Interior Salish societies. Our understanding of the cultural dynamics underlying the formation and breakup of these large villages has been limited by reliance on theories that are rooted in uniquely Western concepts of individuality and the naturalized state of self-determination. In short, the theories misunderstand the dynamics of culture change associated with the aggregated village period precisely because they draw on insights that are external and alien to the system they are invoked to explain. In this paper I introduce a model of Interior Salish Secwepemc sociopolitical dynamics proposed by cultural anthropologist Elizabeth Furniss and briefly discuss the application of that model to the archaeology of the aggregated villages. Finally, I demonstrate the ethnographically documented relationship between sociopolitical organization and settlement patterning. I propose that relationship be used as a means of further refining understanding of sociopolitical dynamics during the aggregated village period.


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Interior Salish Organizational Principles: Recasting the Dynamics of Sociopolitical Change in Aggregated Village Archaeology on the Northern Plateau. Lucille Harris. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430256)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -122.168; min lat: 42.131 ; max long: -113.028; max lat: 49.383 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14449

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