(1985a, 1985b, etc.) has proposed a cultural chronology for
the Kootenay region based on numerous small-scale archaeological
projects and the results of major mitigation studies of hydroelectric
projects in Montana and Idaho. The earliest defined cultural complex, the Goatfell Complex,
dates from approximately 11000 BP to 7000 B.P. Lithic materials from the Goatfell Quarry, tourmalinite,
black metamorphosed siltstone and quartzites characterize
this complex. Diagnostic
tools are large stemmed and shouldered spear points, but lanceolate
forms are also present.
Other characteristics include extensive biface reduction,
with large expanding flakes with acute-angled, faceted striking
platforms, and well-controlled flaking patterns.
Fire broken rock and bone are sparse.
Sites of this period are rare and a detail study this
material is required.
Bristow Complex spans the time from ca. 7500 – 4000
B.P. and is based
primarily on surface collected data.
A distinctive characteristic of this complex is lithic
raw materials derived primarily from glacial outwash and river
gravels (quartzite, siliceous mudstone and siltstone, cherty
technology applied to these pebbles and cobbles resembles
that of the Goatfell Complex.
"Large bifacial cores were reduced to produce large
bifaces and large expanding flakes which were modified into
a variety of tools.Projectile points are a rather variable
lot, although notched forms apparently predominate.
Included are shallow or deep side- to broad side-/corner-notched
dart points resembling those typed as “Bitterroot”,
“Salmon River”, and “Oxbow” by Reeves
Inissimi Complex dates from ca. 3500 – 2000 B.P.
Defining characteristics include a high frequency of
Kootenay Argillite and a riverine oriented settlement pattern.
The tool assemblage is characterized by the reduction
in size of bifaces and flake tools as compared to earlier
periods. A distinctive
style dart point (“Inissimi Point”) is present
with an expanding stem, convex base, pronounced shoulders
and typically excurvate blade edges.
Other projectile points occur less frequently consisting
of deeply corner-notched, expanding stemmed, concave base
and contracting-stemmed dart points.
The time periods immediately preceding and follow the
Inissimi Complex are poorly represented in the archaeology
of the region and require further definition. Choquette refers
to these as Transitional.
Akinyinek Complex is dated from ca. 1000-550 B.P. and is known
from the Big Bend area of the Kootenai River in the United
points are small and well made with low set, shallow side
notches, strongly reminiscent of the Avonlea type of the Plains.
Small, well made, unnotched triangular to lanceolate
arrow points occur less frequently.
Red and golden dendritic cherts predominate in the
lithic assemblages in the south.
Akahonek Complex dates from ca. 1000 BP to historic contact.
Numerous small side-notched arrow points and a predominance
of Top of the World Chert characterize it.