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Contribution to Book
Formation Processes of a Lower Columbia River Plankhouse Site
Household Archaeology on the Northwest Coast (2006)
  • Cameron M. Smith, Portland State University
Chapter 11 in Household Archaeology on the Northwest Coast. 
I have three goals in this paper. The first is to determine which of a range of possible site-formation processes generated and conditioned the Meier assemblage of material correlates that inform us of the social organization of production, the focus of my work in the Wapato Valley Archaeology Project (Smith 1996, 2004, 2005). The second goal is to identify (a) the scales of, and (b) the directions that production-related artifacts were moved by, the identified formation processes. I address these goals by evaluating the likelihood that 15 specific site-formation processes conditioned the assemblage, and by identifying how and on what scales they moved artifacts. Throughout my examination of these issues, I evaluate the use of 10 m-long analytical units to divide the Meier plankhouse interior assemblage into assemblages reflecting the activities of the elite, commoners of higher status, and commoners of lower status. My third goal is to construct a model of the essential flow of artifacts through the Meier plankhouse, based on facts that are demonstrated in the site-formation process evaluation. Such a model will be of considerable use in future analyses of Lower Columbia plankhouse remains, and may be of use in other archaeological contexts. I conclude the paper with a number of research implications derived from this model.
  • Excavations (Archaeology) -- Northwest Coast of North America,
  • Social archaeology -- Northwest Coast of North America
Publication Date
Elizabeth A. Sobel; D. Ann Trieu Gahr; and Kenneth M. Ames
International Monographs in Prehistory
Archaeological Series
Citation Information
Cameron M. Smith. "Formation Processes of a Lower Columbia River Plankhouse Site" Ann ArborHousehold Archaeology on the Northwest Coast (2006)
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