Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2015

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Resource Management

Committee Chair

Steven Hackenberger

Second Committee Member

Patrick McCutcheon

Third Committee Member

James Chatters

Abstract

Resource intensification, or the logistical approach to the mass capture and extension of food resources through storage, is first evident for marine resources of the Northwest Coast during the Locarno Beach Phase (LBP) (ca. 3,500 BP to ca. 2,400 BP). Plant resource intensification is evident by 4,000 BP within the interior of the Pacific Northwest, but until recently there has been little evidence to support early intensification of plant use in the Puget Sound during the LBP. Test excavations conducted as part of a damage assessment of the Bray Site indicated that the site may contain the earliest known evidence for intensive plant processing in the lower Puget Sound (ca. 3,000 BP). This finding is supported by analyses of materials previously recovered from the Bray Site by an amateur archaeologist in the 1990's. Analyses are conducted for five assemblage dimensions: pit features, fire-modified rock (FMR), macrobotanical, lithic tools, and lithic debitage. The Bray Site results are compared to evidence for plant resource intensification from sites in the Willamette Valley of western Oregon and the Calispell Valley of northeastern Washington. These comparisons show that Bray Site assemblage dimensions fall within the range of variation observed for other sites with evidence for plant intensification. Thus, the Bray Site does indeed contain the earliest documented evidence of plant resource intensification in the Puget Sound (ca. 3,000 BP).

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