This book examines prehistoric culture change in the Gulf of Georgia region of the northwest coast of North America during
the Locarno Beach (3500-1100 BP) and Marpole (2000-1100 BP) periods. The Marpole culture has traditionally been seen to possess
all the traits associated with complex hunter-gatherers on the northwest coast (hereditary inequality, multi-family housing,
storage-based economies, resource ownership, wealth accumulation, etc.) while the Locarno Beach culture has not. This research
examined artifact and faunal assemblages as well as data for art and mortuary architecture from a total of 164 Gulf of Georgia
archaeological site components. Geographic location and ethnographic language distribution were also compared to the archaeological
data. Analysis was undertaken using Integrative Distance Analysis (IDA), a new statistical model developed in the course of
this research. Results indicated that Marpole culture was not a regional phenomenon, but much more spatially and temporally
discrete than previously thought. Artifactual assemblages identified as Marpole were restricted to the areas of the Fraser
River, northern Gulf Islands and portions of Vancouver Island.
In contrast, the ethnographic territory of the Straits
Salish showed no sign of Marpole culture, but rather a presence of Late Locarno Beach culture. The pattern found in artifacts
was replicated in the distribution of art and mortuary architecture variation suggesting the cultural differences between
Marpole and Late Locarno Beach cultures was real and not merely a statistical anomaly.