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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Campbell, Sarah K.

Second Advisor

Koetje, Todd A.

Third Advisor

Boxberger, Daniel L., 1950-


Mammal remains from the Cherry Point site (45WH1) are analyzed to provide information about the nature of prehistoric mammal use in coastal sites in the Gulf of Georgia region from the Locarno Beach period (3,500 to 2,000 BP) to European contact (250 BP). Expectations regarding the taxonomic structure of the 45WH1 mammalian assemblage in the context of regional patterns are developed and evaluated. Specific hypotheses relating to the transition from a generalized forager lifeway to a highly developed marine collector adaptation are tested. Thirty-four test cuts (2 x 2 meter excavation units), or approximately half of the cuts excavated at 45WH1, were included in the sample for this study. These cuts yielded 5,573 mammalian element specimens, with 1,336 identified to the family level. Ten mammalian families and 11 genera were identified in the sample materials. The sample has a low level of taxonomic diversity relative to regional sites in similar environmental settings. The materials were dominated by domestic dog, black-tailed deer, wapiti, and seal; with porpoise, river otter, beaver, raccoon, and American black bear making up minor constituents. Seal remains were overwhelmingly juvenile, supporting the hypothesis that seal pups were targeted by sealers. A significant increase in the proportion of mature seals in later deposits indicates that sealers at Cherry Point were more likely to target mature seals during the Marpole and later periods (2,000 to 250 BP) than during the Locarno Beach period. A lack of intact seal cranial elements lends support to Suttles' (1987) claim that seals were clubbed while fleeing from on-shore haul-out sites, rather than harpooned over open water. Porpoise remains were present in small amounts throughout the sample, including in the older deposits. This indicates that porpoises were a relatively minor dietary component, but were attainable through some means throughout prehistoric occupations at Cherry Point. Cervids were abundant throughout the sample with deer comprising most of the cervid material. It was expected that more evidence of the use of cervid long bones in tool production would be observed in post-Locarno Beach deposits. The data from this sample indicate no significant variation in ultimate carcass processing goals throughout occupations at Cherry Point. Dog remains in the sample were spatially associated, suggesting deliberate cultural interment. Two distinct breeds of dog were kept by inhabitants of the Central Northwest Coast according to several ethnographic accounts; a common village dog and a smaller breed kept for the production of wool. Susan Crockford (1997) developed osteometric categories for breed classification of dog remains in regional archaeological sites. Application of Crockford's model to dog remains from the Cherry Point site indicate that both osteometric types are present in the assemblage, with at least one wool dog specimen found in deposits which date to the Locarno Beach period.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Paleo-Indians--Washington (State)--Cherry Point--Antiquities; Paleo-Indians--Food--Washington (State)--Cherry Point--Case studies; Paleo-Indians--Domestic animals--Washington (State)--Cherry Point--Case studies; Animal remains (Archaeology); Human-animal relationships--Case studies; Dogs--Washington (State)--Cherry Pont--Case studies

Geographic Coverage

Cherry Point (Wash.)




masters theses




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