Communities are central elements in human social life. They are central venues for the transmission of knowledge and socialization while at the same time, they bring kin and non-kin into regular and sustained face-to-face interaction. For small-scale societies, in the absence of regionally integrative institutions (e.g., polities), communities are a central arena for the reproduction of social life and, thus, are a key empirical focus for understanding local social organization and for conducting cross-cultural comparison. The organization of small-scale communities is in part determined by the scale, manner, and degree of embeddedness of domestic economies at the community level and are thus important empirical foci for understanding social organization in the past.
This study investigates the subsistence economy of a late Marpole phase (1500 to 1000 BP) village at the Dionisio Point site (DgRv-003) in southwestern British Columbia, Canada. This 1,500 year-old village was composed of five contemporaneously occupied post-and-beam plank-houses. Artifacts and fauna recovered from house refuse middens offer an opportunity to conduct an analysis of intra-village subsistence organization.
The village formed relatively rapidly, possibly by all five households. In spite of variation in house size, patterns of food production and consumption across houses is consistent substantial household subsistence autonomy. Smaller households did not provisioning the largest household nor were foodstuffs extensively shared between households. Neither village-level economic centralization, nor communalism, appear to have characterized household integration within this settlement.
These data are consistent with the argument that late Marpole phase villages were composed of households with considerable economic flexibility and that a significant source of inter-household economic support may have come from social networks linking households in different villages. Insofar as subsistence practices form the economic infrastructure of community organization, these data suggest that although late Marpole villages were often comprised of clustered dwellings, important economic relations linked households across the entire region.
|Advisor:||Grier, Colin F.|
|Commitee:||Andrefsky, William, Duff, Andrew I.|
|School:||Washington State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Washington|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Community organization, Gulf of georgia, Household archaeology, Marpole phase, Northwestern north america, Subsistence|
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