Hunter Gatherer Research

Urbanism in Northern Tsimshian archaeology

Hunter Gatherer Research (2017), 3, (1), 133–163.

Abstract

We consider the provocative idea of whether urbanism as a condition or process is visible in Northern Tsimshian archaeology. We define the condition of urbanism through four traits, each of which we associate with measurable variables. We explore changes in these across the study area in 100-year time bins over 6000 years. We also consider urbanism as a process that includes five kinds of relations. We consider these through six chronological stanzas visible in our metric data. While there is evidence of changes towards urbanism, we argue that urbanism as a condition is not evident in our data. We propose that urbanism involves a suite of causes and trajectories with multiple potential outcomes, not all of which achieve the threshold of cities.

Access Token
£25.00
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Ames, KM 2004. Supposing hunter-gatherer variability. American Antiquity. 69(2):364–374. Supposing hunter-gatherer variability American Antiquity 69 364 374 Google Scholar

Ames, KM 2005. The North Coast prehistory project excavations in Prince RupertHarbour, British Columbia: the artifacts. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports. The North Coast prehistory project excavations in Prince RupertHarbour, British Columbia: the artifacts Google Scholar

Ames, KM and Martindale, A 2014. Rope bridges and cables: a synthesis of PrinceRupert Harbour Archaeology. Canadian Journal of Archaeology 38(1):140–178. Google Scholar

Ames, KM and Maschner, HDG 1999. Peoples of the Northwest Coast: their archaeology and prehistory. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd. Peoples of the Northwest Coast: their archaeology and prehistory Google Scholar

Archer, D 1992. Results of the Prince Rupert radiocarbon dating project. Report on File, British Columbia Heritage Trust. Results of the Prince Rupert radiocarbon dating project Google Scholar

Arnold, J 1993. Labor and the rise of complex hunter-gatherers. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 12(1):75–119. Labor and the rise of complex hunter-gatherers Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 12 75 119 Google Scholar

Binford, LR 1980. Willow smoke and dog’s tails: hunter-gatherer settlement systems and archaeological site formation. American Antiquity 45(1):4–20. Willow smoke and dog’s tails: hunter-gatherer settlement systems and archaeological site formation American Antiquity 45 4 20 Google Scholar

Binford, LR 2001. Constructing frames of reference: an analytical method for archaeological theory building using hunter-gatherer and environmental data sets. Berkeley: University of California Press. Constructing frames of reference: an analytical method for archaeological theory building using hunter-gatherer and environmental data sets Google Scholar

Bronk Ramsey, C 2009. Bayesian analysis of radiocarbon dates. Radiocarbon 51(1):337–360. Bayesian analysis of radiocarbon dates Radiocarbon 51 337 360 Google Scholar

Chaput, MA, Kriesche, B, Betts, M, Martindale, A, Kulik, R, Schmidt, V and Gajewski, K 2015. Distribution of prehistoric North Americans: spatio-temporal distribution of prehistoric human populations in North America. PNAS 112(39):12127–12132. Distribution of prehistoric North Americans: spatio-temporal distribution of prehistoric human populations in North America PNAS 112 12127 12132 Google Scholar

Chase, AF and Chase, DZ 2016. Urbanism and Anthropogenic Landscapes. Annual Review of Anthropology, 45:361–376. Urbanism and Anthropogenic Landscapes Annual Review of Anthropology 45 361 376 Google Scholar

Contreras, DA and Meadows, J 2014. Summed radiocarbon calibrations as a populationproxy: a critical evaluation using a realistic simulation approach. Journal of Archaeological Science 52:591–608. Summed radiocarbon calibrations as a populationproxy: a critical evaluation using a realistic simulation approach Journal of Archaeological Science 52 591 608 Google Scholar

Cowgill, GL 2004. Origins and development of urbanism; archaeological perspectives. Annual Reviews in Anthropology 33:525–549. Origins and development of urbanism; archaeological perspectives Annual Reviews in Anthropology 33 525 549 Google Scholar

Cybulski, JS 2014a. Conflict on the northern Northwest Coast: 2,000 years plus of bioarchaeological evidence. In Knüsel, C & Smith, MJ (eds) The Routledge handbook of the bioarchaeology of human conflict. London and New York: Routledge Taylor and Francis Group:415–451. Conflict on the northern Northwest Coast: 2,000 years plus of bioarchaeological evidence The Routledge handbook of the bioarchaeology of human conflict 415 451 Google Scholar

Cybulski, JS 2014b. Updating the warrior cache: timing the evidence for warfare at Prince Rupert Harbour. In Allen, MW and Jones, TL (eds) Violence and Warfare among Hunter-Gatherers. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press:333–350. Updating the warrior cache: timing the evidence for warfare at Prince Rupert Harbour Violence and Warfare among Hunter-Gatherers 333 350 Google Scholar

Edinborough, K, Porčić, M, Martindale, A, Brown, TJ, Supernant, K and Ames, KM 2017. Radiocarbon test for demographic events in written and oral history. Proceedings of the National Academy 114(47):12436–12441. Radiocarbon test for demographic events in written and oral history Proceedings of the National Academy 114 12436 12441 Google Scholar

Fletcher, R 2009. Low-density, agrarian-based urbanism: a comparative view. Insights 2(4):2–19. Low-density, agrarian-based urbanism: a comparative view Insights 2 2 19 Google Scholar

Gintis, H 2007. The evolution of private property. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 64(1):1–16. The evolution of private property Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 64 1 16 Google Scholar

Håkansson, NT & Widgren, M (eds) 2016. Landesque capital: the historical ecology of enduring landscape modifications. New York: Routledge. Landesque capital: the historical ecology of enduring landscape modifications Google Scholar

Hoffmann, T, Lyons, N, Miller, D, Diaz, A, Homan, A, Huddlestan, S & Leon, R 2016. Engineered feature used to enhance gardening at a 3800-year-old site on the Pacific Northwest Coast. Science Advances 2:e1601282. Engineered feature used to enhance gardening at a 3800-year-old site on the Pacific Northwest Coast Science Advances 2 e1601282 Google Scholar

Jacobs J, 1969. The economy of cities. New York: Vintage. The economy of cities Google Scholar

Lepofsky, D, Smith, NF, Cardinal, N, Harper, J, Morris, M, Gitla (White, E), Bouchard, R, Kennedy, DID, Salomon, AK, Puckett, M, Rowell, K & McLay, E 2015. Ancient shellfish mariculture on the Northwest Coast of North America. American Antiquity 80(2):236–259. Ancient shellfish mariculture on the Northwest Coast of North America American Antiquity 80 236 259 Google Scholar

Letham, B, Martindale, A, McLaren, D, Brown, T, Ames, KM, Archer, DJW & Marsden, S 2015. Holocene settlement history of the Dundas Islands Archipelago, Northern British Columbia. BC Studies 187(3):51–84. Holocene settlement history of the Dundas Islands Archipelago, Northern British Columbia BC Studies 187 51 84 Google Scholar

Letham, B, Martindale, A, MacDonald, R, Guiry, E, Jones, J & Ames, KM 2016. Post-glacial relative sea level history of Prince Rupert Harbour, British Columbia, Canada. Quaternary Science Reviews 153:156–191. Post-glacial relative sea level history of Prince Rupert Harbour, British Columbia, Canada Quaternary Science Reviews 153 156 191 Google Scholar

Letham, B, Martindale, A, Supernant, K, Brown, TJ, Cybulski, JS and Ames, KM 2017. Assessing the Scale and Pace of Large Shell-Bearing Site Occupation in the Prince Rupert Harbour Area, British Columbia. The Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology. doi: 10.1080/15564894.2017.1387621. Assessing the Scale and Pace of Large Shell-Bearing Site Occupation in the Prince Rupert Harbour Area, British Columbia The Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology Google Scholar

Letham, B, Martindale, A, Waber, A and Ames, KM. In press. Archaeological Survey of Dynamic Coastal Landscapes and Paleoshorelines: Locating Early Holocene Sites in the Prince Rupert Harbour area, British Columbia, Canada. Journal of Field Archaeology. Archaeological Survey of Dynamic Coastal Landscapes and Paleoshorelines: Locating Early Holocene Sites in the Prince Rupert Harbour area, British Columbia, Canada Journal of Field Archaeology Google Scholar

MacDonald, GF 1969. Preliminary culture sequence from the Coast Tsimshian area, British Columbia. Northwest Anthropological Research Notes 3(2):240–254. Preliminary culture sequence from the Coast Tsimshian area, British Columbia Northwest Anthropological Research Notes 3 240 254 Google Scholar

MacDonald, GF & Inglis, R 1980. An overview of the North Coast prehistory project (1966–1980). BC Studies 48(3):37–63. An overview of the North Coast prehistory project (1966–1980) BC Studies 48 37 63 Google Scholar

Marsden, S 2000. Defending the mouth of the Skeena: perspectives on Tsimshian-Tlingit relations. Tin Ear Press: Prince Rupert. Defending the mouth of the Skeena: perspectives on Tsimshian-Tlingit relations Google Scholar

Marsden, S & Galois, R 1995. The Tsimshian, the Hudson’s Bay Company, and the geopolitics of the Northwest Coast fur trade, 1787–1840. Canadian Geographer 39(2):169–183. The Tsimshian, the Hudson’s Bay Company, and the geopolitics of the Northwest Coast fur trade, 1787–1840 Canadian Geographer 39 169 183 Google Scholar

Martindale, A 2003. A hunter-gatherer paramount chiefdom: Tsimshian developments through the contact period. In Matson, RG, Coupland, G & Mackie, Q (eds)Emerging from the mist: studies in Northwest Coast culture history. Vancouver: UBC Press:12–50. A hunter-gatherer paramount chiefdom: Tsimshian developments through the contact period Emerging from the mist: studies in Northwest Coast culture history 12 50 Google Scholar

Martindale, A 2013. Quantification of village patterns in Tsimshian. History. Paper presented to the 78th Annual Meetings, Society for American Archaeology, Honolulu, HI. Quantification of village patterns in Tsimshian Google Scholar

Martindale, A & Letham, B 2011. Causalities and models within the archaeological construction of political order on the northwest coast of North America. In Johansen, PG & Bauer, AM (eds) The Archaeology of Politics: the Materiality of Political Practice and Action in the Past. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press:323–353. Causalities and models within the archaeological construction of political order on the northwest coast of North America The Archaeology of Politics: the Materiality of Political Practice and Action in the Past 323 353 Google Scholar

Martindale, A & Marsden S 2003. Defining the middle period (3500 to 1500 BP) in Tsimshian history through a comparison of archaeological and oral records. BC Studies:13–50. Defining the middle period (3500 to 1500 BP) in Tsimshian history through a comparison of archaeological and oral records BC Studies 13 50 Google Scholar

Martindale, A, Letham, B, McLaren, D, Archer, DWJ, Burchell, M & Schöne, BR 2009. Mapping of subsurface shell midden components through percussion coring: examples from the Dundas Islands. Journal of Archaeological Science 36:1565–1575. Mapping of subsurface shell midden components through percussion coring: examples from the Dundas Islands Journal of Archaeological Science 36 1565 1575 Google Scholar

Martindale, A, Patton, K, Marsden, S, Ruggles, A, Supernant, K, Brown, T, Archer, DWJ, Letham, B, McLaren, D & Ames, KM 2017. The role of small villages in Tsimshian territory through the mid-late Holocene. Journal of Social Archaeology 17(3):285–325. The role of small villages in Tsimshian territory through the mid-late Holocene Journal of Social Archaeology 17 285 325 Google Scholar

Matson, RG, & Coupland, G 1995. The Prehistory of the Northwest Coast. Orlando: Academic Press. The Prehistory of the Northwest Coast Google Scholar

McLaren, D, Martindale, A, Fedje, DW & Mackie, Q 2011. Relict shorelines and shell middens of the Dundas Island Archipelago. Canadian Journal of Archaeology 35(1):86–116. Relict shorelines and shell middens of the Dundas Island Archipelago Canadian Journal of Archaeology 35 86 116 Google Scholar

Murtha, T 2017. Rethinking urban density: archaeology, low density urbanism and sustainability. In Dixon, J, Verdiani, G & Cornel, P (eds) Architecture, archaeology and contemporary planning: ‘issues of scale’ proceedings. London: Museum of London Archaeology:92–100. Rethinking urban density: archaeology, low density urbanism and sustainability Architecture, archaeology and contemporary planning: ‘issues of scale’ proceedings 92 100 Google Scholar

Patton, K 2011. Reconstructing houses: early village social organization in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Toronto. Google Scholar

Pauketat, TR 2007. Chiefdoms and other archaeological delusions. Plymouth: AltaMira Press. Chiefdoms and other archaeological delusions Google Scholar

Pluckhahn, TJ, Thompson, VD, & Cherkinsky, A 2015. The temporality of shell-bearing landscapes at Crystal River, Florida. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 37:19–36. The temporality of shell-bearing landscapes at Crystal River, Florida Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 37 19 36 Google Scholar

Sassaman, KE 2004. Complex hunter-gatherers in evolution and history: a North American perspective. Journal of Archaeological Research 12(3):227–280. Complex hunter-gatherers in evolution and history: a North American perspective Journal of Archaeological Research 12 227 280 Google Scholar

Schwadron, M 2010. Landscapes of maritime complexity: prehistoric shell work sites of theTen Thousand Islands, Florida. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Leicester. Google Scholar

Scott, DW 1992. Multivariate density estimation. New York: Wiley. Multivariate density estimation Google Scholar

Shennan, S, Downey, SS Timpson, A, Edinborough, K, Colledge, S, Kerig, T, Manning, K & Thomas, MG 2013. Regional population collapse followed initial agriculture booms in mid-Holocene Europe. Nature Communications doi:10.1038/ncomms3486. Regional population collapse followed initial agriculture booms in mid-Holocene Europe Nature Communications Google Scholar

Smith, ME 2016 How can archaeologists identify early cities? Definitions, types, and attributes. In Krausse, D, Fernández-Götz, M & Befilharz, D (eds) Individualization, urbanization and social differentiation: intellectual and cultural streams in Eurasia (800–400 BC), Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press:153–168. How can archaeologists identify early cities? Individualization, urbanization and social differentiation: intellectual and cultural streams in Eurasia (800–400 BC) 153 168 Google Scholar

Smith, ME, Ur, J & Feinman, GM 2014. Jane Jacobs’ ‘cities first’ model and archaeological reality. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 38(4):1525–1535. Jane Jacobs’ ‘cities first’ model and archaeological reality International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 38 1525 1535 Google Scholar

Smith, ML 2014. The archaeology of urban landscapes. Annual Review of Anthropology 43:307–323. The archaeology of urban landscapes Annual Review of Anthropology 43 307 323 Google Scholar

Stein, JK, Deom, JN & Philips, LS 2003. Big sites – short time: accumulation rates in archaeological sites. Journal of Archaeological Science 30:297–316. Big sites – short time: accumulation rates in archaeological sites Journal of Archaeological Science 30 297 316 Google Scholar

Supernant, K & Cookson, C 2014. Mapping social cohesion in Prince Rupert Harbour, BC: a social application of GIS to the archaeology of the Northwest Coast. Canadian Journal of Archaeology 38(1):179–210. Mapping social cohesion in Prince Rupert Harbour, BC: a social application of GIS to the archaeology of the Northwest Coast Canadian Journal of Archaeology 38 179 210 Google Scholar

Suttles, W 1990. Introduction. In Suttles, W (ed) Handbook of North American Indians, Vol. 7: The Northwest Coast, Washington: The Smithsonian Institution:1–15. Introduction Handbook of North American Indians, Vol. 7: The Northwest Coast 7 1 15 Google Scholar

Taylor, PJ 2012. Extraordinary cities: early ‘city-ness’ and the origins of agriculture and states. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 36(3):415–447. Extraordinary cities: early ‘city-ness’ and the origins of agriculture and states International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 36 415 447 Google Scholar

Taylor PJ 2015. Post-Childe, post-Wirth: response to Smith, Ur and Feinman. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 39(1):168–171. Post-Childe, post-Wirth: response to Smith, Ur and Feinman International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 39 168 171 Google Scholar

Thompson, VD, Marquardt, WH, Cherkinsky, A, Thompson, AR, Walker, K & Newsom, L 2016. From shell midden to shell mound: the geoarchaeology of Mound Key, an Anthropogenic Island in southwest Florida, USA. PLOS One 11(4):e0154611. From shell midden to shell mound: the geoarchaeology of Mound Key, an Anthropogenic Island in southwest Florida, USA PLOS One 11 e0154611 Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here