Journal of World Prehistory

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 327–405

Resource Intensification and Resource Depression in the Pacific Northwest of North America: A Zooarchaeological Review


DOI: 10.1007/s10963-004-5622-3

Cite this article as:
Butler, V.L. & Campbell, S.K. J World Prehist (2004) 18: 327. doi:10.1007/s10963-004-5622-3


In the Pacific Northwest of North America, researchers routinely suggest changes in human use of animals explain hunter-gatherer organizational changes and development of cultural complexity. For example, most models developed to explain developing cultural complexity invoke salmon in some fashion. Yet until recently, fish remains were not carefully studied and more generally, zooarchaeological evidence has not been systematically used to test models of culture change. This study reviews the 10,000-year-old faunal record in the Pacific Northwest to test predictions drawn from models of resource intensification, resource depression and hunter-gatherer organizational strategies. The records from two subareas, the South-Central Northwest Coast (Puget Sound/Gulf of Georgia) and the Northern Columbia Plateau, are examined in detail, representing 63 archaeological sites. While minor changes in animal use are evident, the overall record is characterized by stability rather than change.


zooarchaeologyPacific Northwestresource depressionintensificationcultural complexity

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyPortland State UniversityPortland
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyWestern Washington UniversityBellingham
  3. 3.Portland State UniversityPortland