Investigating Restricted Knowledge in Lithic Craft Traditions Among the Pre-Contact Coast Salish
Rorabaugh, Adam Nathaniel
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Using cultural transmission (CT) models, I predicted a shift towards more restricted household learning in a wide range of technologies, not simply the prestige items typically associated with the emergence of peer-elite exchange networks during the Marpole period (2400-1000 BP). According to CT models, restricted access to technical knowledge should result in decreased stylistic and fine-scale metric variation through time in craft traditions. The presence of such a reduction in variation in formal stone tool technologies over time serves as evidence of a shift in learning practices having occurred in concert with the emergence of hereditary inequality.High resolution analyses of formed lithic tools from previously excavated archaeologicalcollections was conducted to examine fine scale stylistic and metric variation in assemblages in sites throughout the Salish Sea. In addition, I also examined the impacts of additional factors on variation often not considered in CT research such as material quality, tool curation, and time averaging effects which did not appear to be factors significantly patterning this sample. The timing of the introduction of new technologies such as hafted ground stone tools and the bow and arrow, and their potential impacts on learning and variation were also assessed, and the gradual adoption of that technology did not appear to have a major impact on stylistic or metric variation.Stylistic variation in hafted chipped and ground stone tools was found to increasinglydepart from the expectations of neutral cultural variation through time. The number of new styles introduced was also found to crash during the Marpole period. Combined with spatial heterogeneity in assemblage richness and evenness, it appears that lithic craft knowledge became increasingly restricted through time and space. However, metric variation did not exhibit any strong chronological trends. Tool blade elements had significantly higher variation in metric attributes than haft elements. Haft metric variation was consistently low through time when considering the poor material quality of used toolstone. Overall these data suggest that the learning of these technologies may have been restricted by gender and kin lines, and became increasingly influenced by prestige over the past 5,000 years.