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Sci Adv. 2016 Dec 21;2(12):e1601282. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1601282. eCollection 2016 Dec.

Engineered feature used to enhance gardening at a 3800-year-old site on the Pacific Northwest Coast.

Author information

1
Katzie Development Limited Partnership, 10946 Katzie Road, Pitt Meadows, British Columbia V3Y 2G6, Canada.; School of Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6, Canada.
2
Ursus Heritage Consulting Ltd., 11500 Coldstream Creek Road, Coldstream, British Columbia V1B 1E3, Canada.; Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6, Canada.
3
Katzie Development Limited Partnership, 10946 Katzie Road, Pitt Meadows, British Columbia V3Y 2G6, Canada.

Abstract

Humans use a variety of deliberate means to modify biologically rich environs in pursuit of resource stability and predictability. Empirical evidence suggests that ancient hunter-gatherer populations engineered ecological niches to enhance the productivity and availability of economically significant resources. An archaeological excavation of a 3800-year-old wetland garden in British Columbia, Canada, provides the first direct evidence of an engineered feature designed to facilitate wild plant food production among mid-to-late Holocene era complex fisher-hunter-gatherers of the Northwest Coast. This finding provides an example of environmental, economic, and sociopolitical coevolutionary relationships that are triggered when humans manipulate niche environs.

KEYWORDS:

Hunter-Gatherers; Northwest Coast archaeology; pre-contact wild plant cultivation; wet-site archaeology

PMID:
28028536
PMCID:
PMC5176348
DOI:
10.1126/sciadv.1601282
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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