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Alternative title

Osteometric and morphometric analysis of Coast Salish dog breeds from archaeological sites 45WH1, 45WH9, 45WH17, 45WH34

Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Summer 2022

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department or Program Affiliation


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Campbell, Sarah K.

Second Advisor

Koetje, Todd A.

Third Advisor

Monson, Tesla A.


The first domesticates, dogs (Canis lupus familiaris), have a complex, 15,000-year long relationship with humans. Dogs are adaptable mammals, filling a variety of roles such as, but not limited to, companions, hunting aids, guardians, draft animals, and food. Ethnohistoric accounts and archaeological data from the Pacific Northwest reveal a deep human-canine relationship for indigenous societies in this region, and one of best documented cases of indigenous dog breeds. Two breeds have been documented in the Coast Salish area, a Wool dog and Village dog in ethnographic accounts, and in the archaeological record (Crockford 1997). The presence of both breeds has been demonstrated through osteometric and morphological analysis of dog remains from four different archaeological sites (45WH1, 45WH9, 45WH17, and 45WH34) within Whatcom County. The goal of my proposed research is to further explore the social and economic roles of the two breeds within Coast Salish society as shown at these four sites that span 5,000 years of occupation. I propose to collect osteological and osteometric data to determine whether there are differences in health status, age, and sex of individuals, and physical function of the two breeds that relate to different social roles. I also plan to study juvenile dog remains, which have not been addressed in previous studies. Juvenile remains make up 40% or more of the site assemblages I will be researching.




Dogs, Wool dog, Village dog, Coast Salish, Coast Salish Dogs, Archaeology, Domestication, Zooarchaeology, Archaeozoology


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Mammal remains (Archaeology)--Washington (State)--Whatcom County; Dogs--Utilization--Washington (State)--Whatcom County; Coast Salish Indians--Washington (State)--Whatcom County--Social life and customs

Geographic Coverage

Whatcom County (Wash.)




masters theses




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