Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Michael S. Nassaney

Second Advisor

Dr. Frederick Smith

Third Advisor

Dr. Lynn L.M. Evans

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The study of labor organization through the examination of craft production in complex societies has been a topic of intense scholarly interest (Blackman et al. 1993; Costin and Hagstrom 1995; Shafer and Hester 1991). A number of scholars have hypothesized that goods produced in mass quantities by particular specialists can be recognized by their high degree of standardization or homogeneity (Blackman et al. 1993:61; Schiffer and Skibo 1997). As such, this study employs the theoretical framework that in an archaeological context it is possible to differentiate centralized production from noncentralized production by identifying any standardization or variation within the manufacturing techniques used and formal style of the final forms created. This study investigates the way labor was organized in the context of Native American and French populations in the western Great Lakes fur trade at Fort St. Joseph. Specifically, this study examines the degree of standardization or variation in the technological metalworking practices and morphological variation associated with one form of material culture - the tinkling cone.