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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Fall 2017

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-


This thesis used a Design Theory approach to analyze lithic artifacts from the Čḯxwicən village site, particularly to understand the distinctions between utilitarian and prestige values in the production of lithic tools and their intended role within the society. The Northwest Coast has a variety of resources available; how groups utilized these resources for functional and social purposes is important in understanding behavior choices. The Čḯxwicən village site was a large permanent settlement originally inhabited by the ancestors of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe between 2,000 years BP to the historical contact period. The site was rediscovered near Port Angeles, where excavations exposed a number of house structures and associated exterior activity areas.

This thesis addresses the tools associated with one of the house structures and several exterior areas. The qualities of the materials is important in understanding their value in a society: whether the material has a utilitarian or social value. Design Theory is a suitable method for analyzing artifacts and the materials they are manufactured from to determine these different values. This thesis aims to analyze the lithic artifacts from Block A4 to distinguish between their functional, esteem, and prestige values.

My research analyzed 1,515 stone artifacts recovered from Block A4 from the 39,505 total artifacts from Quadrant A. I identified three specific tool industries at Čḯxwicən village: the production of quartz crystal tools, cortex spall tools, and incised stones. A number of other materials and tools were present at the site, using a combination of reduction manufacturing techniques. Most artifacts had a single material dominating their manufacture, however outliers and variabilities made the design choices of the manufacturers clearer.

The results indicated that the majority of artifacts recovered were utilitarian in nature and manufactured expediently. Only a small number of tools required much extensive investment time. Debitage and cortex spall tools dominated the assemblage. Tools intended to manufacture other objects, such as gravers and abraders, were also present and important for creating incised stones and fishhook shanks, as well as modifying organic materials such as bone and shell. A small number of adzes and edged tools from unique materials were identified: these can be considered investment tools or objects. From the analysis, I determined that a new classification of artifact is need: Investment Tools. These objects have the qualities of a prestige good, being of rare material or requiring significant time investment, as well as fulfilling utilitarian needs, that the combination of material and function are too advantageous not to be functional.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Tse-whit-zen Village Site (Wash.); Clallam Indians--Washington (State)--Port Angeles--Antiquities; Clallam Indians--Washington (State)--Port Angeles--History; Clallam Indians--Washington (State)--Port Angeles--Social life and customs; Excavations (Archaeology)--Washington (State)--Port Angeles; Stone implement--Washington (State) Port Angeles; Indians of North America--Implements; Port Angeles (Wash.)--Antiquities

Geographic Coverage

Washington (State)




masters theses




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