Early Storage and Sedentism on the Pacific Northwest Coast: Ancient DNA Analysis of Salmon Remains from Namu, British Columbia Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Ancient DNA identification of salmon remains from the site of Namu on the central coast of British Columbia shows use of a variety of species and an emphasis on pink salmon over the course of the past 7,000 years. These results support arguments that Namu was a permanent village settlement dependent on a salmon storage economy throughout this time. This pattern of subsistence and settlement predates by several millennia the first substantial evidence for population expansion or social differentiation in the region. Periodic salmon shortages in the period after 2000 cal B.C., which are associated with local and regional disruptions in settlement and increased reliance on more marginal resources, appear to be the result of failures in the pink salmon fishery.

publication date

  • January 2006