Similkameen Valley prehistory: cultural interaction across the interior plateau of British Columbia and Washington State
Archaeological and anthropological studies of the Interior Plateau concur that the Fraser and Columbia Plateaux are generally distinct regions of cultural development within the broader scope of plateau culture. A review of the cultural historical sequences indicate obvious exchange of cultural traits between the Fraser and Columbia regions over the last 9,000 years. However, few studies have examined the process of interaction and the transmission of cultural traits across the Interior Plateau. Located between the Fraser and Columbia Plateaux, the Similkameen Valley forms a natural corridor between the two plateau regions. The Similkameen Valley is an excellent location to identify and characterize cultural interaction across the Interior Plateau. A comparison of five different landuse models against the ethnohistoric record of the Similkameen Valley indicates that the pattern of interaction falls within the Diffuse Cultural/Ecological Transition Model. This conclusion is compared to the archaeological data from the Similkameen Valley, as a means of establishing the temporal continuity of this pattern. Analysis of projectile point types and the distribution of lithic raw materials indicates prehistoric Similkameen Valley populations were predominantly influenced by, and interacted with, Columbia· Plateau populations. This contradicts the ethnohistoric record, and discredits the role of the Similkameen Valley as a natural corridor between the Fraser and Columbia Plateaux. This analysis suggests that the degree and intensity of interaction across the Interior Plateau is a direct reflection of population mobility and subsistence economy.
Bibliography: p. 135-148.
Vivian, B. C. (1992). Similkameen Valley prehistory: cultural interaction across the interior plateau of British Columbia and Washington State (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from https://prism.ucalgary.ca. doi:10.11575/PRISM/18554