Scotland, Prehistory, chloroform and cave sites: A legacy of thought, Peterborough, 2008
– Kristján Ahronson
The idea that caves held significance in later prehistoric and early medieval landscapes has long been mooted, and, in the case of northern Britain, has been driven by the dedicated interests of key figures in the history of archaeology, such as Sir Daniel Wilson and Sir James Young Simpson. These two men were multi-faceted scholars of great significance. In his seminal 1851 publication Archæology and Prehistoric Annals of Scotland, Wilson coined 'Prehistory' and brought important ideas from Scandinavian scholarship to Britain and later to Canada. Simpson, in turn, is most widely known for his discovery and advocacy of how to successfully apply chloroform; however, he was also a leader for Scotland's archaeological community, bringing a wealth of wide-ranging knowledge and fresh perspectives to the field. Following on from Wilson and Simpson, a century and a half of research in Scotland identified cave sites as an aspect of early medieval settlement, and relates these places to the flowering of Gaelic monasticism. Nonetheless, there is a wider context for these sites and the fundamental similarities between early Christian communities across Britain and Ireland are at odds with this northern distribution. By considering the origins of our ideas for early medieval Britain, this paper targets the question of whether our perception of cave use may be skewed by the long history of Scottish interest in the topic. Given his prominence and long career at the University of Toronto, an unresolved question is to what extent Wilson's ideas affected his perception of cave sites in Canada.
Ceramic Variability and Social Identity: Applying Ideas about Technical Choices and Chaine Operatoire to Iroquoian Pottery, Peterborough, 2008
– Kathleen Sydoriak M. Allen
Ethnoarchaeological research has provided many insights into understanding the causes of ceramic variability in the archaeological record. Among these are those that focus on technical choices and manufacturing processes in relation to social boundaries. The ability to examine what was formerly termed function and style in a more unified way through a consideration of technological style provides new insight into the ways variability in ceramics relates to social and group identities and the process of marking social boundaries (whether intentional or not). Analysis of ceramics from two contemporary early historic Seneca village sites provides a database within which to apply results from several ethnoarchaeological studies. Patterns of technological variability as evidenced in vessel morphology, construction, and decorative techniques are analyzed for evidence of the use of material culture as an expression of social boundaries. While insights into Iroquoian ceramic variability and its causes are gained, problems in identifying appropriate interpretations remain and are discussed.
Beyond Linnaean Taxonomy and Towards Alternative Animal Classification in Zooarchaeology, Peterborough, 2008
– Adam Allentuck
Linnaean systematics is based on evolutionary histories, degrees of difference in reproductive biology and biomechanics among animals. The question of whether people in the past also divided their animal worlds along the same lines has not been critically evaluated in zooarchaeological research. Ingold asserts in The Perception of the Environment that meaningful taxonomy can only be attained once we understand how people negotiate their relationships with one another and with their environments. Though Ingold was referring to contemporary societies, this sentiment has not been adopted in zooarchaeological studies of human-animal interactions. Furthermore, the contextual-interpretive theoretical framework has been widely adopted among archaeologists working with traditional forms of material culture, but zooarchaeology continues to be practiced within the essentialist-positivist paradigm that upholds Linnaean taxonomy as immutable. In order to achieve meaningful interpretation of faunal assemblages, I propose that analysis should be founded on a contextually situated folk taxonomy that may or may not relate to our scientific notions of animal classification.
Potential for Deeply Buried Archaeological Sites in Ontario based on the Glacial History., Peterborough, 2008
– Peter J. Barnett
During the last deglaciation of Ontario, events occurred that resulted in transgression of lake levels and the possible deposition of lake sediments over pre-existing landscapes. These transgressions were the result of glacier re-advances, changes in the routing of glacier meltwater and isostatic rebound. Glacier re-advance could result in the direct burial of archaeology sites by till or blocking meltwater drainage passageways resulting in flooding of surfaces in front of the glacier that were previously exposed. The Arkona-Whittlesey, Kirkfield-Main Algonquin and the Nipissing Great Lakes transgressions are examples of these types of transgressions. Glacier re-advance to the Marks and Dog Lake moraines (Marquette advance) is an example where there is a possibility that a habitable pre-existing landscape was overridden and covered with till and areas immediately in front of the ice were rapidly flooded by ponding meltwater. The value of using a hillshaded digital elevation model (DEM) to find potential areas to explore for buried archaeology sites is examined.
Investigating health and mortality in the Hamilton Cemetery: The impact of progressive inclusion, Peterborough, 2008
– Heather Battles, Sarah Buchanen-Berrigan, Stacey Hallman, and Martyna Janjua
The issue of burial representativeness is central to any attempt to reconstruct patterns of life and death in the past. Building on the work of Cannon (1995), we examine the impact of progressive inclusion on efforts to study the impact of industrialization and urbanization through the demographic distribution of mortality. To address this issue, we used a sample of 400 gravestones yielding a total of 881 individuals in the Hamilton Cemetery in Hamilton, Ontario. The data were sorted according to birth cohorts and analyzed by age and sex.
Sod House Structure Architecture of the 19th Century Labrador Métis, Peterborough, 2008
– Matthew Beaudoin
The use of sods in house structure construction was common throughout the Labrador coast since the Labrador Inuit first entered the region. Since sod house structures are well suited for this environment, they were quickly adapted and used by a wide variety of different cultures and groups throughout Labrador. The use of sod structures by Inuit, seasonal fishers and permanent European settlers has littered the coast with sod house remains. This paper will discuss how the architecture of a recently excavated 19th century Labrador Métis sod house structure compares and contrasts to those of the other cultural groups in the region. Differences in the architectural features, house layout and methods of construction are apparent, and outlining these differences is the preliminary step in creating an archaeological definition of the Labrador Métis that could be used to help determine cultural affiliation of sod house structures on the Labrador Coast.
Rethinking the Archaeological Application of Iroquoian Kinship, Peterborough, 2008
– Jennifer Birch
Kinship is the primary idiom through which social and political relationships are constructed and maintained in Northern Iroquoian societies. As such, it has often been invoked in explanations for organizational changes observed archaeologically. However, if overly generalized models of Iroquoian kinship are employed to explain the archaeological record we risk masking the variable and contingent nature of social relationships as they existed in practice. In this paper I discuss the historical construction of Iroquoian kinship by anthropologists and how archaeologists have applied the resulting models. I discuss how the terms matrilineage and clan have been used to describe household and village organization and offer alternative suggestions for how kinship-based relationships might be more productively employed (and not employed) in archaeological interpretations of Iroquoian society.
The George Frederick Clarke Artifact Collection: Canoe and Portage Connections, Peterborough, 2008
– David W. Black
Dr. George Frederick Clarke (1883–1974), a dentist and author, and an avocational archaeologist and historian, wrote the first book-length work devoted largely to the pre-contact archaeology of New Brunswick, and was awarded an honorary PhD by the University of New Brunswick. In 2006, his collection of 2700 artifacts and associated notes and records were donated to UNB by the Clarke family. Dr. Clarke's archaeological activities coincided with a time when little professional archaeological work was being conducted in the province, and many of the sites he found and explored were submerged, subsequently, beneath the head-ponds of hydro-electric dams. Thus, his work is important for its potential contributions to constructing regional archaeological history and for its place in the history of Canadian archaeology. One potential contribution is the light the Clarke collection may shed on the portage route between the headwaters of the Tobique and Miramichi river systems, which spans the traditional territories of the Wolastoqiyik and the Mi'kmaq.
Here's Looking at You: Ancient Maya Mirrors, Part 2 (Iconographic and Epigraphic Instances of Iron Ore Mosaic Mirrors in Ancient Maya Art), Peterborough, 2008
– Marc G. Blainey, and Paul F. Healy
The most prominent occurrence of ancient Maya iron-ore mirrors beyond those excavated archaeologically arises in their depiction in artistic works. The images on painted polychrome ceramics demonstrate mirrors functioning as principal objects in the royal court. Within this elite context, the iconographic evidence demonstrates that the mirrors were meant to be gazed into, but exactly what this gazing indicates is a much more elusive consideration. A consistent patterning of depictions provides the basis for a typology of physical mirror styles. Furthermore, the contexts in which mirrors are represented relative to the associated human actors in the painted scenes suggests possible renderings of the emic function of these objects in ancient Maya religion and socio-political environments. Supplementing the iconographic evidence, the analysis of hieroglyphs associated with the luminescent qualities of mirrors will work towards an interpretive model of a reflective surface complex of ancient Maya cosmology.
Bulk procurement and transportation in the Saint John River valley, Peterborough, 2008
– Susan E. Blair
While archaeologists studying stone tool assemblages have devoted considerable attention to relationships among technology, raw material procurement and mobility, most of this attention has focused on the influence of mobility upon technology, and not on the influence of technology upon mobility. This particular focus has led to some oversimplifications in the modeling of hunter-gatherer socio-ecology and mobility, and an emphasis on pedestrian movements. In turn, this emphasis has significantly influenced our treatment of efficiency, reduction for transport, and technological organization. In this paper I discuss my recent research into technology and lithic reduction on the Maritime Peninsula, and examine some of the implications of bulk transportation with watercraft for analyses of hunter-gatherer mobility, lithic technology, and patterning in the archaeological record.
Internship Experience in Archaeological Collections Management: Improving the Status of McMaster's Research Collections, Peterborough, 2008
– Eliza Brandy, Matthew J. Seguin, and Meghan Burchell
In September of 2007 the Department of Anthropology at McMaster University initiated the 'Collections Management Plan'. After decades in storage the materials recovered by archaeological field research conducted in 1960's and 1970's have been re-excavated from their cardboard matrix. The necessity for this came from a need for more storage space for existing materials, but most importantly it came from a recognized responsibility to maintain the collections and their potential for furthering research into Ontario's archaeological history. The objective is to develop and maintain a comprehensive database of excavated sites which will enable us to provide researchers with access to materials and information pertaining to the collections. It has also provided an opportunity to engage current undergraduate students with the changing practices of Canadian Archaeology. We hope that this research will reach the broader archaeological community and present opportunities for learning more about the history of this extensive collection.
Performance Characteristics of Rock-Tempered Iroquoian Pottery, Peterborough, 2008
– Greg Braun
Traditional analyses of Iroquoian pottery have focused on decorative attributes, with little attention given to its manufacture. In recent years, some research has suggested that an examination of manufacturing characteristics can make valuable contributions to our knowledge of Ontario Iroquoian society. The main goal of this paper is to investigate several aspects of pottery production through replication and experimentation. Previous research has suggested that at some Iroquoian sites, potters were tempering their clay with various types of rock, some of which required more effort to process than did others. I therefore wish to investigate whether the choice to expend more effort in the acquisition of certain tempers was primarily informed by a desire for certain performance characteristics, such as heating efficiency or resistance to thermal shock. If these tempers do not provide any performance benefits, it may be that the decision to use certain rocks over others as temper was influenced by "non-functional" or social concerns.
Here for a Reason: The Dundas Islands as a Gateway Community, Peterborough, 2008
– Natalie Brewster
This paper examines the important role that the Dundas Islands played in the context of the northern coast of British Columbia. For hunter-fisher-gatherers living in this region salmon and eulachon represented both dietary staples and highly valued trade commodities. There is a volatile history of conflict on the northern coast that may be related to efforts to control the abundant Nass and Skeena River fisheries where these resources were procured. Furthermore, the settlement choices of the region's inhabitants reflect a similar endeavor. Though they are a marginal resource area, intensive settlements were maintained on the Dundas Islands. The strategic location of the islands along transportation routes to both rivers provided a means to both defend and control access to the fisheries.
Assessing Rock Art Erosion with Portable Laser Scanners, Peterborough, 2008
– Jack Brink
Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park (WOSPP), in southern Alberta, is home to a large collection of Aboriginal rock art images. Numerous erosional forces are destroying the images. However, recent research indicates that some forms of rock art weathering can be delayed through implementation of both passive and active conservation treatments. Implementing these treatments raised the issue of how to asses their effectiveness. Portable laser scanning offers promise, not just for detailed recording of rock art, but also for charting the progress of conservation experiments. This paper describes conservation methods at WOSPP and reports on two laser scanning episodes, spaced over 27 months. Comparison of the two scans suggests that erosion is taking place on short time intervals, and that greater weathering is occurring on the surface not treated with chemical consolidants. While all rock art will ultimately disappear, there is hope for extending the life of select images.
SIMS oxygen isotope analysis of human dental tissues from Fidler Mounds (EaLf-3), MB: mobility during Manitoba's Middle and Late Woodland period, Peterborough, 2008
– Rachel ten Bruggencate, Robert D. Hoppa, and Mostafa J. Fayek
Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) was used to obtain stable oxygen isotope data from the dental tissues of 12 individuals once interred at Fidler Mounds (EaLf-3), a cemetery mound site located in south-central Manitoba, 19 kilometers north of Winnipeg. Fidler Mounds was originally constructed c.1800BP and was utilized as a burial ground by precontact peoples in Manitoba for approximately 1000 years thereafter. The use of SIMS allowed the researcher to obtain several in situ _18O values from each individual's intact cementum, dentin and enamel. These values show that mobility patterns during Manitoba's middle and late Woodland period were extremely complex and varied. Additionally, intra-tissue _18O variability recorded through SIMS analysis indicates that traditional mass spectrometry may not be appropriate for assessing migration patterns within highly mobile populations.
Gender and Ethnicity in Postclassic Greater Nicoya, Peterborough, 2008
– Nicole Brunel
Cross-analysis of ceramic female figurines from Santa Isabel and other Mesoamerican artifacts for the purpose of comparison with ethnohistoric chronologies of ethnic migrations, settlements and interactions in Greater Nicoya. Along with ethnicity, emphasis is placed heavily on gender in Postclassic Greater Nicoya, also explored through observation of consistencies and contradictions between archaeological and ethnohistoric data. Major topics include, grand-mother and motherhood in the archaeological record, ideology, ethnic and gender symbolism in costume and bodily decoration, and gender complementarity.
Shellfish Harvesting Patterns at the Dundas Islands Group, Peterborough, 2008
– Miranda Brunton, and Meghan Burchell
This research uses a subset of data which contributes to a larger project focusing on shellfish analysis and harvesting strategies from the Dundas Islands Group in northern British Columbia. Relative ages of bivalves obtained from growth increment profiles of the Butter clam (Saxidomus gigantea) were identified in order to examine variability in site-level collection strategies. The results from two camps and two villages indicate intensive levels of shellfish collection at these locations. This suggests that that shellfish were an important dietary contribution, and may have played a critical role in sustaining the population at village sites.
Coffin Hardware and Children's Burials in Nineteenth Century Ontario, Peterborough, 2008
– Danielle Budhoo, and Aubrey Cannon
Evidence of the presence or absence and the form of coffin hardware on children's burials from the 19th century provides insight into the role and perception of children and into how death ritual may have differed in public and private environments. This study investigated coffin hardware handles from St. Thomas' Anglican Church cemetery in Belleville, Ontario. Its aim was to understand any relationship between age and the use of coffin handles during the 19th century. Comparison of coffin handle ornamentation and handle size indicated that children usually had smaller coffin handles, but were generally provided as much decoration as other age groups. Because coffin hardware is much less commonly found in children's burials in family cemeteries, its presence in public areas may indicate that even in death, it was necessary to keep up appearances.
Archaeological Survey in the Heart of the Pediada: The Galatas Survey Project, Crete, 2005-2007, Peterborough, 2008
– Matthew D. Buell
At the beginning of the MM IIIB period a new palace was founded on the Galatas Kephala in the central Pediada, on Crete. Among Minoan palaces Galatas is exceptional because it was abruptly constructed by Knossian architects in an area that had no previous palatial organization.
Archaeology of the Petit Nord; Learning from People along the Northeast Coast of Newfoundland, Peterborough, 2008
– Mélissa Burns
The main goal of the Archaeology of the Petit Nord project is to record the maritime cultural landscape of the French seasonal fishery in the Petit Nord region of Newfoundland, between 1504 and 1904. For my MA project I looked at a specific kind of feature –crosses and calvaires, which appeared in the Petit Nord landscape as early as 1680. Three monumental crosses are still standing in Carouge Bay, although these particular crosses were rebuilt by the French navy in the 1930s. During the summer of 2007, I conducted community archaeology at Dos-de-Cheval site (EfAx-09) to document those features. The French Shore Historical Society based in Conche was incredibly helpful throughout the project, and put me in touch with community members to interview regarding these features. This presentation will focus on the difficulties I faced as a young francophone woman trying to get information from older English residents of the Conche Peninsula about something they know but do not consider as part of their own culture.
Geochemical Investigations of Inuit Winter Dwellings In Northern Labrador, Peterborough, 2008
– Don Butler
The Inuit people of northern Labrador had a variety of effects on their landscape. However, there is an absence of archaeological research addressing their inadvertent influence on the soil's chemical record. Here, I contribute to this type of research by investigating the geochemical characteristics of soils from Inuit winter dwellings at Iglosiatik Island, Nachvak Fiord, and Komaktorvik Fiord, northern Labrador. My research at these locations distinguishes the geochemical composition of soils in association with household taskscapes, adding a geoarchaeological perspective to the Inuit use of space within winter dwellings. Spaces in these households had socially prescribed and proscribed functions, and the habitus enacted in these taskscapes modifies the soil's chemical record. As such, repetitive behaviour in spatially discrete locations can increase the concentration of inorganic elements or introduce foreign ones into the soilscape. These geochemical reflections of behaviour are useful for understanding social structures and identifying taskscapes that have no direct architectural or artefactual evidence. The geochemical characteristics of soils from lamp stands, cooking niches, storage niches, dwelling floors, sleeping platforms, entrance tunnels, and refuse disposal areas underwent comparison with off-site control samples to determine their degree of anthropogenic alteration. Elemental compositions of these soils were measured using x-ray fluorescence and inductively coupled plasma – mass spectroscopy, while reduction – oxidation potential, pH, and total dissolved solids were determined using electronic meters. Correspondence and principle components analysis identified the distinct geochemical signatures of these cultural spaces.
Fish Resource Use in Comox Harbour: Correlating Fish Traps and Fish Remains, Peterborough, 2008
– Megan Caldwell
This paper presents the results of recent sampling of shell midden deposits adjacent to Comox Harbour, British Columbia. Bucket auger and column sampling was undertaken to ascertain resource use patterns associated with the unique abundance of wooden stake fish traps located in Comox Harbour, proper, through the analyses of fish remains. These remains were identified and quantified with the intent of tracing changes in resource use that might be linked to the chronology of fish trap use, known from direct radiometric dates on fish trap components. This paper discusses the results of these analyses including spatial and temporal shifts in resource use, the relationship between fish traps and fish remains, and interpretation of fishing practices in Comox Harbour based on archaeological and ethnographic data.
Species Identification of Shellfish Material from Four Sites in the Dundas Islands, British Columbia: An Examination of Variation in Collection Practi, Peterborough, 2008
– Krystal L. Cameron, Meghan Burchell, and Trevor J. Orchard
This research examines shellfish obtained through bucket-auger sampling of four shell midden sites in the Dundas Island Group, located off the northern coast of British Columbia. Shell fragments >8mm were identified to species level. Samples were analyzed from each twenty centimeter interval from the augers, making it possible to observe variability in site level collection practices. The results from the analysis suggest a relationship between collection practices, species availability and local ecology. Interpretations regarding the availability of shellfish resources are explored, focusing on environmental and cultural factors.
Three Dimensional Architectural Modeling: Viewing Sites in the Round, Peterborough, 2008
– Jennifer L. Campbell
The creation of three dimensional models in archaeology was once the domain of a computer savvy few, but advances in technology and software availability has opened this growing field of data analysis to more researchers. In this paper I address the use of ArchiCAD, an architectural drafting suite, for modeling standing and ruined archaeological structures. This software functions similarly to Architectural AutoCAD but with a friendlier user interface, a seamless three dimensional rendering component, and a photo rectification add-on. This paper presents the use of this software for modeling caravanserais from Northern Pakistan and discusses the difficulties and successes encountered in its use. It also reflects on the sorts of research questions three dimensional models can address and strategies for data collection when architectural modeling is intended in analysis.
Routes, Crossroads, and Control Points: Defining Gateway Communities on the Northwest Coast, Peterborough, 2008
– Aubrey Cannon
Examination of three villages on the central and south coasts of British Columbia illustrates their potential role as gateway communities. Their locations at the interface between environmentally or culturally defined regions, on routes travelled for resource acquisition or cultural interchange, explain a prominence that exceeds the economic or environmental potential of their locales. The village of Namu, within traditional Heiltsuk territory on the cental coast, and the Coast Salish village of Xway xway, in what is now Stanley Park, are situated at crossroads linking travel routes north and south and between inner and outer coastal zones. While it is unlikely these villages exerted direct control over routes, their locations conceivably created and sustained social protocols for visiting and gifting while on route to further destinations. The central coast Wuikinuxv (Oweekeno) village of Cockmi, in contrast, is strategically located to control a key point of entry to Rivers Inlet.