A Comparative Analysis of Two Early Fur Trade Period Sites on the Lower Columbia River of Oregon and Washington Thesis uri icon



  • Thesis (M.A., Anthropology) -- University of Idaho, 2016 | The Chinook of the Lower Columbia River are among the first Natives in the region to have direct contact with Euroamericans in the late 1700s. When maritime fur traders arrived on the Columbia River soon after, the Lower Chinook actively engaged in the trade, incorporating foreign traders and goods into the pre-existing inter-tribal trading system. Potentially hundreds of ships visited and three terrestrial fur trade companies operated posts on the Lower Columbia River during the early fur trade period (ca. 1790-1820) but descriptions of their activities and the goods they traded are largely lacking. Archaeological analysis can increase knowledge of little understood periods in history through identifying patterns in material culture and connecting them to socio-historical factors. The purpose of this thesis is to identify variations and similarities within the two earliest fur-trade associated assemblages on the Lower Columbia, one Native and one Euroamerican in context, to address questions regarding the earliest adoption of mass produced European and Chinese material culture among the Lower Columbia Chinook. This will be accomplished by comparative analysis of trade goods imported by Euroamerican traders during the early fur trade period as identified through examination historic records.

publication date

  • June 1, 2016