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The Evolution of Cooperative Labor within a Long-lived Housepit at the Bridge River site in British Columbia

Author(s): Ashley Hampton ; Anna Marie Prentiss ; Thomas A. Foor

Year: 2017

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At the Bridge River site, British Columbia, evidence for intra-household cooperation appears to center within a time of village growth during late Bridge River 2 (ca.1500-1300 cal. BP) before collapsing into familial-based competitive behavior during Bridge River 3 (ca. 1300-1100 cal. BP). This shift from cooperation to competition occurs in tandem with a rise in inequality as the community experienced a Malthusian ceiling. Building on previous multivariate statistical approaches, further analysis of the association of household-based cooperative labor and variation in activity areas is performed. This analysis focuses on teasing out shifting patterns of cooperation over time along with subtle changes in gendered work that such patterns may belie.

Excavations at Housepit 54 have uncovered a series of 17 anthropogenic floors. By examining this household floor-sequence, we can interrogate the underlying factors that function to reinforce or negate cooperative social interaction. Keeping in mind that such "micro-interactions" are also reflective of individualized embodiments of socially understood distinctions (sex, age, kinship) a more thorough understanding of past social lives is revealed. Through such analysis we provide more nuanced interpretations of cooperative labor patterns within the Mid-Fraser region and highlight the potential of quantitative and qualitative methodologies in household archaeology.

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The Evolution of Cooperative Labor within a Long-lived Housepit at the Bridge River site in British Columbia. Ashley Hampton, Anna Marie Prentiss, Thomas A. Foor. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430834)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -142.471; min lat: 42.033 ; max long: -47.725; max lat: 74.402 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14745

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