Archaeology Theses


Universities are increasingly putting graduate theses online and available to the public.  This page collates links to theses and dissertations of interest for Northwest Coast and Northwest Interior archaeology.    Right now they are in alphabetical order by author, but that may change.

Each link should go to a page where you can read the abstract and choose to download the thesis free of charge, unless otherwise noted (a few are direct downloads).  Some of the older SFU ones have no date and are marked n.d. for the ones where I didn’t bother downloading the PDF and the date wasn’t given on the landing page.  Many SFU theses also have no abstract.  Relatively speaking the SFU system is less good: the search is not full text, and many of the landing pages are weak; they also disallow printing and cutting-and-pasting though googling for ways around this is productive.  On the other hand, the SFU archive goes back much further: there are few theses before about 2000 available on either UVIC or UBC dSpace though retro-digitization projects are in place at both institutions.  Relevant theses are also online at places like University of Calgary and Toronto, but are limited to institutional subscribers.    However, the intention of this page is to only link to those theses which are publicly  available to anyone.  I am just beginning to list theses available through the Theses Canada Portal and not elsewhere.  Theses are in Anthropology or Archaeology unless otherwise noted.

Updated March 17th, 2010

Adams, Amanda  2003.  UBC M.A. thesis:  Visions cast on stone : a stylistic analysis of the petroglyphs of Gabriola Island, B.C.

Ames, Christopher 2009. McGill M.A. thesis:  From chipped to ground: the spatio-temporal systematics of 9,000 years of archaeological change in southwest British Columbia (direct download)

Angelbeck, William  2009.  UBC Ph.D. dissertation:  “They recognize no superior chief” : power, practice, anarchism and warfare in the Coast Salish past

Ball, Bruce.  n.d.  n.d.  SFU M.A. thesis: Regional sampling in a forested situation : archaeology and the northeast coal study

Barton, Andrew  1994.  SFU M.A. thesis: Fishing for ivory worms : a review of ethnographic and historically recorded Dentalium source locations

Beattie, Grant 1996.  UBC M.A. thesis:  Archaeological landscapes of the Lower Mainland, British Columbia: a settlement study using a Geographic Information System

Beckwith, Brenda  2004. Ph.D. dissertation:  (Biology):  The queen root of this clime : ethnoecological investigations of blue camas (Camassia leichtlinii (Baker) Wats., C. quamash (Pursh) Greene ; Liliaceae) and its landscapes on southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Bedard, Elisabet  1990.  SFU M.A. thesis: The historic and ethnographic background of Fort d’Epinette (HaRc 27) : considerations for the archaeological determination of ethnicity

Beram, Luisa Jane  1990.  SFU M.A. thesis: The Capital Regional District parks : a case study in archaeological resource management

Brelsford, Karen  2001.  UVIC M.Sc. thesis (Geography):  Dendroarchaeological and contextual investigations of remote log structures in Jasper, Banff, and Kootenay national parks, Canada (very large PDF)

Breffitt, John Robert.  1993.  SFU M.A. thesis.  The Skoglund’s Landing complex : a re-examination of the transitional complex of artifacts from Skoglund’s Landing, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia

Brown, Douglas 1996.  UBC M.A. thesis:  Disposing of the dead : a shell midden cemetery in British Columbia’s Gulf of Georgia region

Brown, Kimberley  2009.  UBC Ph.D. dissertation:  “To fish for themselves” : a study of accommodation and resistance in the Stó:lō fishery

Byun, Ashley  1998.  UVIC Ph.D. Dissertation (Biology):  Quaternary biogeography of western North America [microform] : insights from mtDNA phylogeography of endemic vertebrates from Haida Gwaii (direct download)

Caldwell, Megan  2008.  Manitoba M.A. thesis:  A view from the shore: interpreting fish trap use in Comox Harbour through zooarchaeological analysis of fish remains from the Q’umu?xs Village site (DkSf-19), Comox Harbour, British Columbia

Chapman, Margaret n.d. SFU M.A. thesis:   Archaeological investigations at the O’Connor Site, Port Hardy, British Columbia.

Charlton, Arthur  1977.  SFU M.A. thesis: The archaeology of the Belcarra Park site : a contribution to Strait of Georgia prehistory

Copp, Stanley n.d. SFU M.A. thesis:  Archaeological excavations at the McCall site, south Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Copp, Stanley  2006.  SFU  Ph.D. dissertation:  Similkameen archaeology (1993-2004)

Crellin, David  1994.  SFU M.A. thesis:   Is there a dog in the house : the cultural significance of prehistoric domesticated dogs in the mid Fraser River region of British Columbia

Crosby, Marcia  1994.  UBC M.A. thesis:  Indian art/Aboriginal title

Cross, Guy  1995.   UBC Ph.D. dissertation (Geophysics):  Re-evaluation of reflection seismology for archaeological investigation

Curtin, A. Joanne  1984.  SFU M.A. thesis:  Human skeletal remains from Namu (ELSx 1) : a descriptive analysis

Dahm, Inge  1994.  SFU M.A. thesis:  Cultural and social dimensions of the prehistoric Gulf Islands soapstone industry.

Darwent, John  1996.  SFU M.A. thesis:  The prehistoric use of nephrite on the British Columbia plateau

De Paoli, Maria  1999.  UBC M.A. thesis (Planning):  Beyond tokenism : aboriginal involvement in archaeological resource management in British Columbia

Devinney, Eileen 1997. UBC M.A. thesis:  Consultation, collaboration and community participation : the archaeological excavation of two prehistoric Inupiaq burials at Kotzebue, Alaska

Fafard, Melanie  1999 Alberta M.A. thesis: Dechyoo Njik (MIVm-4) and the traditional landuse patterns in the southwestern portion of the Old Crow Flats, Yukon Territory (direct download)

Fenn, Catherine  1993.  UBC M.A. thesis:  Life history of a collection: the Tahltan materials collected by James A. Teit

Fortney, Sharon  2009.  UBC Ph.D. dissertation:  Forging new partnerships : Coast Salish communities and museums

Franck, Ian 2000   SFU M.A. thesis:  An archaeological investigation of the Galene Lakes area in the Skagit Range of the North Cascade Mountains, Skagit Valley Park, British Columbia (direct download)

French, Diana  1995.   UBC Ph.D. dissertation:  Ideology, politics and power: the socio-historical implications of the archaeology of the D’Arcy Island leper colony, 1891-1924

Friele, Pierre 1991.  SFU MSc thesis: Holocene relative sea-level change : Vargas Island, British Columbia

Gowan, Evan James 2007.  M.Sc. thesis (Earth & Ocean Sciences):  Glacio-isostatic adjustment modelling of improved relative sea-level observations in southwestern British Columbia, Canada

Gray, Brendan  2009.  UVIC MA thesis: Sampling methods in Northwest Coast household archaeology: a simulation approach using faunal data from the Ozette site.

Hall, David 1998.  SFU M.A. thesis: Tsini Tsini: a technological analysis of a biface production centre in the Talchako River Valley, British Columbia (direct download)

Hannah, John  1996.  SFU M.A. thesis:  Seated human figure bowls : an investigation of a prehistoric stone carving tradition from the Northwest Coast

Hiwasaki, Lisa  1998.  UBC M.A. thesis:  Presenting unity, performing diversity: Sto:lo identity negotiations in venues of cultural representation

Holman, Leah  1996.  UBC M.A. thesis (Planning):  When it’s gone it’s gone : assessing the effectiveness of heritage conservation support

Huculak, Shauna  2005.  SFU M.A. thesis:  Middle period hunter-gatherers of the Thompson River drainage, British Columbia : a critical review

Imamoto, Shirley  1974.  UBC M.A. thesis: Analysis and interpretation of faunal remains from a complex site in the Fraser-Delta region of British Columbia : Glenrose Cannery, DgRr 6

Jackson, Dawn Skee  1996. UBC  M.A. thesis:  Tsaagwaa Yeigi in the spirit of the Hood Bay family : repatriation of a Tlingit burial chest

Karpiak, Monica  2003.  SFU M.A. thesis:  Modelling Nuu-chah-nulth land use : the cultural landscape of Clayoquot Sound

Keighley, Diane  2000.  UBC M.A. thesis:  “Almost lost but not forgotten” : contemporary social uses of Central Coast Salish spindle whorls

Kimball, Vaughn 2005.  WASU M.A. thesis: Variability in late prehistroic prey-use strategies of the Southeastern Columbia Plateau : a test using the Harder Site faunal assemblage

King, Shannon  2007.  SFU M.A. thesis: What’s the point? A morphological study of small bone points from Nuu-chah-nulth territory, Vancouver Island, B.C.

Klimko, Olga  1994.  SFU Ph.D. dissertation.  The archaeology of land based fur trade posts in western Canada : a history and critical analysis

Kusmer, Karla 1986.  SFU M.A. thesis: Microvertebrate taphonomy in archaeological sites : an examination of owl deposition and the taphonomy of small mammals from Sentinal Cave, Oregon

La Salle, Marina  2008.  UBC M.A. thesis:  Beyond lip service : an analysis of labrets and their social context on the Pacific Northwest Coast of British Columbia

Lindsay, Corene  2003.  SFU M.A. thesis:  Investigations into the ethnographic and prehistoric importance of freshwater molluscs on the Interior Plateau of British Columbia

Little, Tamara  1995.   UBC M.A. thesis:  Reaffirming cultural identity : a case of stó:lo pithouse reconstruction

Lundy, Doris 1974.  SFU M.A. thesis: The rock art of the Northwest Coast.

Lyons, Natasha 2002.  SFU M.A. thesis: Investigating ancient socioeconomy in Sto:lo territory : a palaeoethnobotanical analysis of the Scowlitz site, southwestern B.C (direct download).

Maas, Alexandra.  1994.  SFU M.A. thesis: The adoption and use of 19th century ceramics at Old Bella Bella, British Columbia

MacKay, Glen  2004.  UVIC MA thesis.  The Nii’ii hunting stand site : understanding technological practice as social practice in subarctic prehistory

Marshall, Amanda 2002. SFU M.A. thesis: Culturally modified trees of the Nechako Plateau: cambium utilization amongst traditional Carrier (Dakhel) peoples (direct download)

Marshall, Yvonne  1993.  SFU Ph.D. dissertation:  A political history of the Nuu-Chah-Nulth people : a case study of the Mowachaht and Muchalaht tribes

Martindale, Andrew  1998.  Toronto Ph.D. dissertation: The river of mist, cultural change in the Tsimshian past WARNING DIRECT DOWNLOAD

Mason, Andrew  1994.  UBC M.A. thesis:  The Hatzic Rock site (Fraser Valley)

Mathews, Darcy  2006.  UVIC M.A. thesis:  Burial cairn taxonomy and the mortuary landscape of Rocky Point, British Columbia.

McCuaig, Shirley 2000. SFU M.Sc. thesis (Geology): Glacial history of the Nass River region (direct download)

McKechnie, Iain  2005.  SFU M.A. thesis:  Five thousand years of fishing at a shell midden in the Broken Group islands, Barkley Sound, British Columbia

McLaren, Duncan 2009.  UVIC Ph.D. thesis: Sea level change and archaeological site locations on the Dundas Island Archipelago of north coastal British Columbia.

McLay, Eric  1999.  UBC M.A. thesis:  The diversity of northwest coast shell middens : late pre-contact settlement-subsistence patterns on Valdes Island, British Columbia

McMillan, Alan  2004.  SFU Ph.D. dissertation:  Since Kwatyat lived on Earth : an examination of Nuu-chah-nulth culture history

McMurdo, John.  n.d. SFU M.A. thesis:  The archaeology of Helen Point, Mayne Island.

Mitchell, Lesley Susan  1996.  SFU   M.A. thesis:  The archaeology of the dead at Boundary Bay, British Columbia : a history and critical analysis

Mohs, Gordon  1985.  SFU M.A. thesis:  Spiritual sites, ethnic significance and native spirituality : the heritage and heritage sites of the Sto:lo Indians of British Columbia

Monks, Greg  1977. UBC Ph.D. dissertation:  An examination of relationships between artifact classes and food resource remains at Deep Bay, DiSe 7

Morin, Jesse  2006.  UBC M.A. thesis:  Non-domestic architecture in prehistoric complex hunter-gatherer communities : an example from Keatley Creek, on the Canadian Plateau of British Columbia

Morrison, Sandra  1997.  UBC MA thesis:  Household archaeology at the Scowlitz site, Fraser Valley, B.C.

Morrow, Trelle  2009.  UBC M.A. (Interdisciplinary): Stoneware for body and soul : a social interpretation of the Chinese stoneware record in British Columbia 1858-1958

Muckle, Robert 1985.  SFU M.A. thesis. Archaeological considerations of bivalve shell taphonomy

Munson, Thomas  2006.  UVIC M.A. thesis (Environmental Studies):  Assessing impacts on Ktunaxa Nation cultural resources from ecological restoration timber thinning and prescribed burning in the Rocky Mountain Trench, southeastern British Columbia

Oetelaar, Gerald   1981.  SFU M.A. thesis. Deer remains in archaeology with special reference to the mandible of mature Rocky Mountain mule deer

Orchard, Trevor 2000 UVIC M.A. thesis: The role of selected fish species in Aleut paleodiet (direct download)

Oriente, Damon  2000.   M.Sc. thesis (Forestry):  A predictive model for archaeological potential for a locality in the Interior Plateau of British Columbia

Ormerod, Patricia  2002.   UBC M.A. thesis:  Reading the earth : multivariate analysis of feature functions at Xá:ytem (the Hatzic Rock Site, DgRn 23), British Columbia

Parslow, Carla   n.d. Manitoba M.A. thesis: Identifying past hunter-gatherer settlement patterns in the southern Yukon, a geographical information systems approach

Peacock, Sandra 1998. PhD. dissertation UVIC (Interdisciplinary): Putting down roots: the emergence of wild plant food production on the Canadian plateau (direct download)

Pegg, Brian  1999. SFU M.A. thesis: The taphonomic history of the vertebrate faunal assemblage from British Camp, San Juan Islands, Washington (direct download)

Perreault, Pamela  2002.  UBC M.Sc. thesis (Forestry): Culturally modified tree (CMT) management in Nlaka’pamux territory : shaping First Nations participation through consultation

Perry, Sara.  2006.  UVIC M.A. thesis:  Picturing prehistory within (and without) science: de-constructing archaeological portrayals of the peopling of new territories

Pokotylo, David  UBC Ph.D. 1978.  Lithic technology and settlement patterns in upper Hat Creek Valley, B.C.

Pomeroy, John  1980. SFU Ph.D. dissertation: Bella Bella : settlement and subsistence

Poulsen, Michelle  2000.  UBC M.A. thesis 2000.  Making choices : examining Musqueam agency at Stselax village during the post-contact period

Prager, Gabriella  n.d. SFU M.A. thesis:  Behavioral implication of cultural formation processes : an example from fur trade archaeology

Pratt, Heather  1992.  UBC M.A. thesis:  The Charles culture of the Gulf of Georgia : a re-evaluation of the culture and its three sub-phases

Prince, Paul 2000.  McMaster Ph.D. dissertation:  Settlement, trade and social ranking at Kitwanga, B.C. (Direct download)

Rahemtulla, Farid.  2006.  SFU Ph.D. dissertation:  Design of stone tool technology during the Early Period (CA. 10,000-5,000 B.P.) at Namu, central coast of British Columbia

Reimer, Rudy  SFU M.A. thesis: Extreme archaeology: the results of investigations at high elevation regions in the Northwest (direct download)

Sanders, Adrian  2009.  UVIC M.A. thesis:  Exploring the utility of computer technologies and human faculties in their spatial capacities to model the archaeological potential of lands: Holocene archaeology in northeast Graham Island, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada

Schaepe, David 1999.  SFU M.A. thesis:  Recycling archaeology [microform] : analysis of material from the 1973 excavation of an ancient house at the Maurer site (direct download)

Schaepe, David  2009.  UBC Ph.D. dissertation:  Pre-colonial Sto:lo-Coast Salish community organization : an archaeological study

Schultz, Elaine  2008.  UBC M.A. thesis:  A partnership of peoples : understanding collaboration at the Museum of Anthropology

Smith, Nicole  2004.  UVIC MA thesis: A geochemical approach to understanding raw material use and stone tool production at the Richardson Island Archaeological Site, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia.

Solomonian, Adam  2008.  UBC M.A. thesis:  Reclaiming the gaze : examining contemporary Nuxalk perspectives on Harlan I. Smith’s fieldwork photographs, 1920-1924

Spafford, James 1991.  SFU M.A. thesis:  Artifact distributions on housepit floors and social organization in housepits at Keatley Creek

Speller, Camilla 2005.  SFU M.A. thesis:  One fish, two fish, old fish, new fish: Investigating differential distribution of salmon resources in the Pacific Northwest through ancient DNA analysis

Spurgeon, Terry  2001.  SFU M.A. thesis:  Wapato (Sagitaria latifolia) In Katzie Traditional Territory, Pitt Meadows, British Columbia

Spurling, Brian 1986.  SFU Ph.D. dissertation.  Archaeological resource management in Western Canada : a policy science approach

Steffen, Martina 2006.  UVIC M.A.  thesis:  Early Holocene hearth features and burnt faunal assemblages at the Richardson Island Archaeological Site, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia

Storey, Jennifer  2009.  UVIC MA thesis: An analysis of the unifacial tool assemblage from the Richardson Island site, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia.

Thom, Brian  1995.  UBC M.A. thesis: The dead and the living : burial mounds & cairns and the development of social classes in the Gulf of Georgia region

Trost, Theresa  2005.  SFU M.A. thesis:  Forgotten waters: A zooarchaeological analysis of the Cove Cliff site (DhRr 18), Indian Arm, British Columbia

Vallieres, Claudine  2004.  SFU M.A. thesis: The Paleoindian Bison Assemblage from Charlie Lake Cave

Vanags, Anthony  2001.  UBC MA thesis:  An archaeological perspective on alpine/sub-alpine land use in the Clear Range and Pavilion Mountains, south-central British Columbia

von Krogh, George Henning.  n.d. SFU M.A. thesis.  Archaeological investigations at the flood and pipeline sites, near Hope, British Columbia.

Weiser, Andrea  2006.  SFU M.A. thesis:  Exploring 10,000 years of human history on Ebey’s Prairie, Whidbey Island, Washington

West, Robert  1995. UBC MA thesis: Saving and naming the garbage : Charles E. Borden and the making of B.C. prehistory, 1945-1960 (a historical overview of part of the career of a founding BC Archaeologist)

White, Cliff  2001.   UBC Ph.D. dissertation (Forestry): Aspen, elk, and fire in the Canadian Rocky Mountains

White, Elroy (Xanius)  2006.  SFU MA thesis:  Heiltsuk stone fish traps: Products of my ancestors’ labour

Wilkerson, Emily Anne   2010.  UBC M.A. thesis:  Delineation of site chronology and spatial components using macroscopic lithic analysis at DhRp-52 (Fraser Valley)

Willerton, Ila 2009.  UVIC MA thesis: Subsistence at Si•čǝ’nǝł: the Willows Beach site and the culture history of southeastern Vancouver Island.

Winter, Barbara J.  1996 SFU Ph.D. dissertation:  Out of sight, out of mind : the reposition of archaeological collections in Canada

Wollestonecroft, Michele 2000. SFU M.A. thesis: The fruit of their labour: a palaeoethnobotanical study of site EeRb 140, a multi-component open-air archaeological site on the British Columbia Plateau (direct download)

Wright, Kristine 2000.  SFU M.A. thesis: Mortuary patterning: a burial analysis from Northwest Coast archaeological excavations

16 responses to “Archaeology Theses

  1. Thanks for taking the time to compile this excellent reference collection. Brett


  2. davie simengwa

    well was very happy to read these theses from this web site they helped me alot in doing my literature review on my bachalor degree in arcaheology at catholic university of malawi


  3. Tanks QM – I’ve now got an excellent description of the early component at Namu to compare with our Little John material.
    Have a great field season – Norm Easton


  4. awesome page, I found great utility in many of these works! thanks


  5. Pingback: Profile: English Heritage | Northwest Coast Maritime Heritage

  6. Fantastic – thanks!


  7. Having spent a couple of years living on Gabriola Island, I read Amanda Adams’ MA thesis on the rock art of that Island (Visions Cast in Stone: A Stylistic Analysis of the Petroglyphs of Gabriola Island) with great interest. In general, I was disappointed with both the scope of the work and many of the conclusions. I do agree with her conclusion that many of the petroglyphs there, especially those in the vicinity of False Narrows, were likely made by the occupants of the False Narrows village site excavated by Burley (1989). This connection of “dirt” archaeology with rock art is a welcome addition to our understanding of Northwest Coast rock art.

    Regarding the shortcomings of the thesis, my main criticism is that all the rock art is not presented, and the reader cannot refer to the data to confirm or disprove her conclusions. I also feel that the thesis would have been much stronger if she has taken the time to include data from other Nanaimo area rock art sites, which I believe shed a great deal of light on the patterns of rock art on Gabriola. Adam’s proposal that the majority of Gabriola Island rock art was created by a limited number of specialists during a fairly short period of time might be harder to support when similarities with Vancouver Island sites is taken into account. Unfortunately, there also exists the problem of the attitudes of many Nanaimo Elders who evidently feel it improper to document the rock art images and publish these images in a scientific paper. This limitation however, could have been largely overcome by utilizing excellent data already published by Mary and Ted Bentley in their book Gabriola: Petroglyph Island, and the data from Vancouver Island published by Beth and Ray Hill in 1974.

    Regarding specific problems with the text, I will mention a few examples: Adams states that anthropomorphic figures are always rendered frontally, ignoring the two face profiles illustrated by her in figure A10, also that the nearby petroglyph on Protection Island is not similar to Gabriola Island petroglyphs (I believe there are some similar petroglyphs on Gabriola Island, but here we have the problem of her lack of illustrations), and ignores the clear stylistic similarities of a fish tailed zoomorph profile with historic grave markers from the lower Fraser River. She also, in my opinion, misses a very clear representation of “rattlesnake woman” (her figure A11b– original drawing by me incidentally), a figure with a toothed vagina which may well be related to myths documented by Teit and quoted in Images Stone BC. A very “modern” (i.e. ca. 200 BPE) looking carving located at DgRw 198 was also not documented (perhaps she was not even aware of it), which tends to support the hypothesis that the Gabriola Island petroglyphs continued to be made right up until the contact period. These specific points might have been caught and addressed if the thesis had included a thorough inventory of petroglyph images, enabling a more rigorous analysis of both style and content.

    I do not like to be so negative, but I have spent a number of years visiting these and other Coast Salish rock art sites with Beth Hill, Richard McClure and other archaeologists and as well have documented a great deal of Salish Rock art. It presents us with many tantalizing clues regarding its origins and meanings, but a deeper understanding of this scientific and cultural treasure will not yield up its secrets easily. A rigorous analysis of all the available data should be the first step.


  8. Wow! This is a great resource. I’m looking forwarding to reading through a number of these. Thank you!


  9. Thanks for these contents from Siberia!


  10. Has anyone ever produced a research paper on etched stones on the Northwest Coast?


    • Bill, good question. Other folks sometimes call them ‘incised pebbles’ . George MacDonald (1983:114) interprets incised stones as associated with fishing rituals and notes similarities between sandstone and siltstone. There’s undoubtedly much more out there but this is my momentary knowledge.

      MacDonald, George F.
      1983 Prehistoric Art from the Northern Northwest Coast. In Indian Art Traditions of the Northwest Coast, edited by Roy L. Carlson, pp. 99–121. Archaeology Press, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby.


  11. Twoeyes,
    Thanks for the citation I am working on a NRHP nomination for Tsewhitzen. The shear number of etched stones in Washington State from this site is enormous. Do you have any etched stone numbers for sites in Canada?


    • Hi Bill,
      I recall that Morley Eldridge encountered a number of incised stones on a Denman Island site, associated with production of bifaces i believe. I think his interpretation was ‘hunting magic’. It was an older site i think ~3000 BP.


    • Bill, I’d recommend getting in touch with Grant Keddie at the Royal BC Museum just across the strait in Victoria. All the best with that important task.


  12. Jesse,
    This interpretation is consistent with what Klallam Tribal members have told me. However some of the etched stones are covered in ochre and associated with burials.


  13. solomon kidane

    It is very nice to me and provided me a lot of information God bless you…


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