Prehistoric Mortuary Variability on Gabriola Island, British Columbia

Authors

A. Joanne Curtin
Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University

Keywords:

Archaeology, Pacific Northwest, Northwest Coast, Salish Sea, Georgia Strait, Gulf Islands, Mortuary practices, Mortuary variability, Human remains, Midden internment, Tree burial, Cremation, Cairn burial, Burial analysis

Synopsis

Archaeological sites on the Northwest Coast of North America have yielded evidence for a variety of mortuary practices, including midden internment, tree burial, cremation, cairn or mound burial and surface disposal in caves, grave houses, mortuary poles or canoes. The meaning of this variability is unclear, although social differention and chronological change have been suggested as possible explanations. This project examines the problem of mortuary variability in the Gulf of Georgia region of the Northwest coast through analysis of two burial samples from Gabriola Island, British Columbia, that exhibit wildly differing burial practices.

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Published

May 2, 2017