Gary Coupland

Gary Coupland

Gary Coupland, Ph.D. (University of British Columbia, 1986)
Professor, St. George Campus

*Not currently accepting new graduate student supervisions

(416) 978-2442
Office: AP 540A (Main), AP 540 (Lab)

Research Keywords: Archaeology, complex hunter-gatherers

Research Region: Western North America, North West Coast

Research Bio

Dr. Coupland has been conducting archaeological research on the Northwest Coast of North America for almost two decades. His main theoretical area of interest is complex hunter-gatherers, for which the Northwest Coast is famous. He is particularly interested in the development of ranked societies in the region and the insights that may be gained into this development from the study of households and communities.

He is director of the Northwest Coast Housing Project on the northern coast of British Columbia, Canada, where he has conducted archaeological surveys and excavated house features and shell midden deposits from villages dated to within the last 5000 years. This research explores the rise of the corporate, multi-family household on the Northwest Coast, and through it, the evolution of social inequality, intensification of production, specialization, and exchange. He has published numerous articles and books on Northwest Coast archaeology (see below), and is currently working on a book on the evolution of households and villages on the Northwest Coast. The Northwest Coast Housing Project Laboratory, in the Sidney Smith Building, is in the process of analyzing artifacts, features and faunal samples from a number of village sites on the northern Northwest Coast. Some of the research is being conducted jointly with Dr. Kathlyn Stewart of the Canadian Museum of Civilization. The work has been funded primarily by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


2016   Coupland, Gary et al. A Wealth of Beads: Evidence for Material Wealth-Based Inequality in the Salish Sea Region, 4000-3500 Cal B.P. American Antiquity V. 81(2): 294-315.

2013   Coupland, Gary.  Household Archaeology of Complex Hunter-Gatherers on the North-west Coast of North America, In M. Medella, G. Kovacs, B. Berzsenyi, and I. Briz (eds.), Archaeology of Household, pp. 45-66, Oxford: Oxbow Books.

2013   Coupland, Gary.  HuuZii: Household Archaeology at a Nuu-chah-nulth Village Site in Barkley Sound, by Alan D. McMillan and Denis E. St. Claire, Archaeology Press, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C.  Canadian Journal of Archaeology 36: 340-345.

2010   Coupland, Gary, K. Stewart, and K. Patton.  Do You Never Get Tired of Salmon: Evidence for Extreme Salmon Specialization at Prince Rupert Harbour, British Columbia.  Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 29:189-207.

2009   Coupland, Gary, T. Clark, and A. Palmer.  Hierarchy, Communalism and the Spatial Order of Northwest Coast Houses: A Comparative Study.  American Antiquity 74:77-106.

2009   Stewart, Kathlyn, F. Stewart, and G. Coupland.  Boardwalk, Northern Northwest Coast, Canada: A New Face to an Old Site.  Canadian Journal of Archaeology 35:205-233.

2006   Coupland, Gary. A Chief’s House Speaks: Communicating Power on the Northwest Coast. In Household Archaeology on the Northwest Coast, edited by Elizabeth Sobel, Ann Trieu-Gahr, and Kenneth Ames, pp. 80-96, International Monographs in Prehistory, Ann Arbor.

2004  Coupland, Gary. Complex Hunter-Gatherers of the Southern California Coast: A View from One Thousand Miles North. In Foundations of Chumash Complexity, edited by J.E. Arnold, pp. 173-183. Perspectives in California Archaeology Vol. 7, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, University of California, Los Angeles

2003   Coupland, Gary. Preliminary Analysis of Socioeconomic Organization at the McNichol Creek Site, British Columbia. In Emerging from the Mist: Studies in Northwest Coast Culture History, edited by R.G. Matson, Gary Coupland, and Quentin Mackie, pp. 152-169, Vnacouver: UBC Press

Graduate Students

Ken Holyoke