ASBC: Lithic Technologies of the Discovery Islands: Materials, Stone Tool Production, and Communities of Skilled Practitioners

Tuesday April 18th, 2017 at 7:30 PM until 9 PM

University of Victoria  (Cornett Building, B135)

Everyone welcome.

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ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA In association with the Anthropology Department of UVic

Cornett B135, UVic Campus, Victoria


Callum Abbott

“Lithic Technologies of the Discovery Islands: Materials, Stone Tool Production, and Communities of Skilled Practitioners.”

Abstract: I explore the findings of a diachronic analysis of three lithic assemblages from Quadra Island, British Columbia. From this, insights flow about the genealogy of technological practice of the people who inhabit the study area throughout its deep history as well as an emerging understanding of the reciprocal relationships between the makers of material culture and the things they make. This process of co-construction means they actively shape each other across time and space which has implications for communities of practice in the past as well as the present. Tracking the choices, movements, and gestures of the chaînes opératoires of stone tool production positions the (re)creation of embodied knowledge within the materially, environmentally, and socially-mediated world of learning and enskilment.

I use qualitative and quantitative methods to operationalize these theoretical foundations. These methodologies include: lithic artifact typologies, metric data analysis, X-Ray fluorescence, and thin section petrography. This constellation of method and theory weaves a narrative of technological change against a backdrop of technological continuity. Flexible (re)innovation of lithic technologies in tune with the rhythms of the landscape speaks to the sophisticated knowledge systems of the ancestral inhabitants of the study area and is part of what enabled many generations of people to thrive in this environment for millennia.

Bio: I am a graduate student in the Anthropology department at the University of Victoria specializing in coastal archaeology. The research presented here is a component of the Discovery Islands Landscape Archaeology (DILA) project. In addition to my academic focus, I am actively involved in several consulting archaeology projects in British Columbia. I currently work in the Nimpkish Valley of northern Vancouver Island (‘Namgis territory) as well as the central coast of BC (Heiltsuk territory). In the past, I have also worked as a consultant in the Interior of BC (where I grew up!). I enjoy the diversity of archaeology that takes place in this province and look forward to learning more about the fascinating histories of the people who have lived here since time immemorial.

The Archaeological Society meets the 3rd Tuesday of every month (Jan-May, Sept-Nov) at UVic’s Cornett building.

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