Slaves, chiefs and labour on the northern Northwest Coast

Kenneth M. Ames
2001 World archaeology  
Northwest Coast societies, at the beginning of the Modern period, were stratified. The coast's elite wielded power over a class of slaves whose labour produced at least some of the wealth upon which high status depended. While it is possible to trace the development of an elite on the northern Northwest Coast back 3000 calendar years. if not more, documenting the presence of slavery has proven far more intractable. Underst311ding the evolution of slavery is dependent on our understanding of the
more » ... nderstanding of the archaeology of elite formation, labour, warfare and gender. Three key lines of evidence for slavery are burial practices. evidence of warfare and raiding and evidence about changing labour demands. Slavery plausibly developed during either of two periods: c 1500-500 B(' or c. AD 500-1000. The data at present do not allow us to eliminate either. Each has interesting implications for our understanding of the evolution of stratification.
doi:10.1080/00438240120047591 fatcat:eyz22sunebg3tane3cwf73lff4