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Women's Work, Tools, and Expertise: Hide Tanning and the Archaeological Record

  • Author / Creator
    Reilly, Aileen
  • Hide tanning is a technological innovation that spans tens of thousands of years. Without it, humans would not have been able to expand into harsh and unforgiving environments. Despite the importance and time depth of this act, hide tanning remains an often-overlooked aspect of the archaeological record. Some of this neglect can be attributed to the fact that the products of hide tanning rarely preserve in archaeological settings. What is more commonly encountered are the tools used to facilitate the transformation of an animal skin into a fully usable hide. However, the tools are but a small portion of the knowledge system that comprises this task, and at times even these tools are the subjects of confusion (as is the case with tabular bifaces). By drawing upon multiple lines of evidence, including the high fidelity record of the Promontory Caves, hide requirements for tipi rings, use wear analyses, and the expert knowledge of community members, it is possible to acquire a much greater understanding of how the act of working hides shaped the lives of women; and how they in turn, shaped the archaeological record.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2015-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3M32NG2B
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Anthropology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Ives, John (Anthropology)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Palmer, Andie (Anthropology)
    • Main Johnson, Leslie (Anthropology)
    • Gruhn, Ruth (Anthropology)