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Migration as an instrument of cultural change is an undeniable feature of the archaeological record. Yet reliable methods of identifying migration are not always accessible. In Athapaskan Migrations, authors R. G. Matson and Martin P. R. Magne use a variety of methods to identify and describe the arrival of the Athapaskan-speaking Chilcotin Indians in...
Migration as an instrument of cultural change is an undeniable feature of the archaeological record. Yet reliable methods of identifying migration are not always accessible. In Athapaskan Migrations, authors R. G. Matson and Martin P. R. Magne use a variety of methods to identify and describe the arrival of the Athapaskan-speaking Chilcotin Indians in west central British Columbia. By contrasting two similar geographic areas—using the parallel direct historical approach—the authors define this aspect of Athapaskan culture. They present a sophisticated model of Northern Athapaskan migrations based on extensive archaeological, ethnographic, and dendrochronological research. A synthesis of 25 years of work, Athapaskan Migrations includes detailed accounts of field research in which the authors emphasize ethnic group identification, settlement patterns, lithic analysis, dendrochronology, and radiocarbon dating. Their theoretical approach will provide a blueprint for others wishing to establish the ethnic identity of archaeological materials. Chapter topics include basic methodology and project history; settlement patterns and investigation of both the Plateau Pithouse and British Columbia Athapaskan Traditions; regional surveys and settlement patterns; excavated Plateau Pithouse Tradition and Athapaskan sites and their dating; ethnic identification of recovered material; the Chilcotin migration in the context of the greater Pacific Athapaskan, Navajo, and Apache migrations; and summaries and results of the excavations. The text is abundantly illustrated with more than 70 figures and includes access to convenient online appendixes. This substantial work will be of special importance to archaeologists, anthropologists, linguists, and scholars in Athapaskan studies and Canadian First Nation studies.
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