Remnants of Prairie Lifeways at the Thompson Homestead: A Study of 20th Century Material Culture, Peterborough, 2008
– Steven C. Kasstan
A homestead investigated in west-central Alberta reveals insight of 20th Century lifeways. As with most historical archaeological studies, the nature of materials culture sheds light on past activities, primarily by evaluating manufacture method, former use, and relative age of artefacts. A varied artefact collection from the homestead included bottle glass, metal canisters, ceramics, plastic items and much leather footwear. Historical records indicate that the homestead was occupied from 1924 to 1966, roughly the length of a generation. Artifacts recovered from three nearby depressions have a similar antiquity, with these features being utilized after 1908, 1911, and 1950. In particular a study of the footwear was rather productive, mainly evidencing changes in fashion and technology. In addition, a green plastic container was recovered with "Charles Thompson" written on it. This was a rare find, as seldom can artifacts be directly associated with their users solely on the basis of archaeological material. With such knowledge, the former owner Charles Thompson was contacted. He generously shared stories of life at the homestead and confirmed the archaeological interpretations. Combining multiple lines of material and historical evidence effectively assessed the activities and antiquity of homestead use, and provided a degree of insight into 20th century lifeways.
Home and Away: Overcoming Isolation on a Small Saskatchewan Homestead, Peterborough, 2008
– Margaret KENNEDY
Canada's Dominion Lands Act and its stipulations regarding the dispersal of homesteads on individual quarter sections of land set in place a challenge that all homesteaders would have to mitigate: the need to establish contacts with neighbours, towns and institutions that lay a considerable distance from their front door. Even those settlers who arrived in western Canada under the aegis of a religious organization had to combat the physical distances inherent in the homestead system. Two seasons of excavation and analysis into small farmsteads in the Saskatoon region have provided some insight into how one family – and particularly one woman – found ways to interact with the wider commercial and social world from their isolated location.
The Use of Human Skeletal Remains in Graeco-Roman Palaeodietary Studies, Peterborough, 2008
– Cynthia Kwok
Historically, scholars of the Graeco-Roman world have relied on textual and archaeological evidence to study the dietary patterns. Human skeletal remains can provide a more direct approach towards the study of past diets, and have not been employed as frequently within Mediterranean palaeodietary studies. In Classical antiquity, certain foods were associated with specific cultural aspects such as socio-economic status, religious rituals and medical practices. This paper explores the use of skeletal remains within the Graeco-Roman sphere and will focus on research using stable isotope analysis and palaeopathology. This study shows that by taking an interdisciplinary approach, it is possible to generate a more detailed picture of diet and the cultural factors that revolve around the consumption of food in Classical antiquity.
Using Percussion Coring to Explore the Developmental Sequence of a Northwest Coast Shell Midden, Peterborough, 2008
– Bryn Letham
Percussion coring has been employed as a cost and time-effective alternative to excavating shell middens. It is useful for interpreting shell midden stratigraphy and collecting basal samples for dating. Furthermore, augering has been used to estimate and map basal surfaces below shell middens. This research discusses the results of systematic coring across a large midden with a long occupation history (7500-2500 BP) from the Dundas Islands Group, British Columba. Stratigraphy evident in each sample is used to map the basal subsurface of the site as well as stratigraphic transitions and paleosols extending across the site. This allows for an exploration of the developmental sequence of the site through its 5000-year occupation in the face of shifting shorelines due to sea level changes and possible migrations evident in Tsimshian oral histories.
A reassessment of stratigraphy and site formation processes at the Speigel/Killarney Bay-1 beach ridge site, Georgian Bay (Lake Huron), Ontario, Peterborough, 2008
– D. G. F. Long, and P. J. Julig
The KB1 Middle Woodland site is situated on a ca. 2000 year Algoma stage beach in Killarney. It was first investigated ca. 1870 by R. Bell of the Geological Survey of Canada. Archaeological excavations during the 1930s-50s by Emerson Greenman (University of Michigan) focused on excavation of the mounds whereas Laurentian University researchers in the 1980s-90s excavated in the beach habitation area. We investigate the ambiguity regarding the formation of the Killarney mounds. Historical records and archaeological opinions are divided on the question of whether deposits represent a natural beach enhanced by dune activity or, alternatively, are cultural in origin. We also address the association of the various ceramic and projectile point types with stratigraphic beds using archival documents, old photos, field notes and new observations on site stratigraphy.
Coastal Dune Activation, Stabilization and Cycling: The Taphonomy of Buried and Stratified Archaeological Sites in the Lake Michigan Basin, Peterborough, 2008
– William A. Lovis, Alan F. Arbogast, and William G. Monaghan
Our research is directed at understanding the processes that contribute to the formation and preservation of buried and stratified archaeological sites in coastal dunes, particularly as such formation and preservation relates to the periodic cycling of activation and stabilization episodes. We have systematically dated deposits of coastal eolian sand, and paleosols contained within them, via OSL and radiocarbon dating respectively, to reconstruct these relationships. Samples were drawn from many sites by deep coring and at others by hand where good vertical exposures occur. These dates were augmented with AMS ages derived from carbonized residues on curated ceramics of varying age. Preliminary analyses of these data suggest that geoarchaeological relationships in coastal dunes vary in space and time, with at least four coastal partitions present. In general, older sites are more likely to be preserved in the southeastern part of the lake basin, whereas they are absent northward. We discuss the related contributions of isostatic uplift, lake level fluctuation, and wind direction to this variability.
The View from Mt. Albion: Considering the Context of an Early Paleo-Indian Site in the Upper Red Hill Valley, City of Hamilton, Peterborough, 2008
– Dr. Robert I. MacDonald, and Dr. Ronald F. Williamson
The Mt. Albion West site (AhGw-131) is a Gainey phase, Early Palaeo-Indian period, occupation site discovered and salvaged in advance of highway construction in the City of Hamilton. Situated on the brow of the Niagara Escarpment, at the head of the Red Hill Creek re-entrant valley, the site enjoys a commanding view of the Red Hill Valley and the glacial Lake Iroquois Plain which surrounds Lake Ontario. At the time of occupation, lower water levels in the Ontario basin would have expanded this plain and the habitats it provided for various potential prey species. Situated at one of the few locations affording transit between the Iroquois Plain and the uplands to the south of the Niagara Escarpment, it seems likely that the Mt. Albion West site was selected in order to take advantage of certain environmental attributes. This paper reviews the archaeology of the Mt. Albion West site and considers its environmental context in order to shed further light on the broader concept of significant environmental nodes and the ways they may have influenced Palaeo-Indian land-use patterns.
The Geoarchaeology of the Peace Bridge Site, Fort Erie, Ontario, Peterborough, 2008
– R. I. MacDonald, S. M. Douglas, P. F. Karrow, and A. J. VandenBygaart
The Peace Bridge site (AfGr-9) is a very large multi-component site situated at the head of the Niagara River in the Town of Fort Erie, Ontario. On-going archaeological investigations have documented occupations from the Late Archaic period (circa 3,580 B.P.) through to the present. Archaeological deposits, sediments, and paleosols exposed through construction activities, bore holes, test pits, and archaeological excavations, reveal the evolution of this riparian landscape and its colonization by Aboriginal peoples. This paper reviews the geoarchaeological investigations of the site and outlines the implications of this work for reconstructing the paleoenvironment and interpreting Aboriginal land-use trends.
Sourcing Sacred Places: Traditions in Ochre Procurement on the Central Coast, Peterborough, 2008
– Brandi Lee MacDonald
Geochemical sourcing of archaeological materials has long been employed as a means toward understanding resource acquisition and patterns of trade and exchange. However, there are limited examples of how such data can be effectively re-integrated into broader conceptual approaches that explore tradition, history and landscape. By re-humanizing such empirically driven approaches, we create the capacity for more insightful interpretations of archaeological patterns. Neutron activation analyses of ochre from village sites on the central coast of British Columbia indicate long-term histories of selective ochre acquisition. This study is a unique example of how patterns of acquisition, as evidenced through geochemistry, can be conceptualized in terms of traditional knowledge and behaviour towards landscape and resources.
The Snowhill Site: A Buried Paleosol and Hi-Lo Locus on the Grand River, Peterborough, 2008
– Holly Martelle
In 2003, Timmins Martelle Heritage Consultants Inc. completed the excavation of three Hi-Lo sites along the Grand River near Brantford, Ontario. One of these, the Snowhill Site, was in close proximity to the Grand River and contained a buried paleosol with Late Paleoindian (circa 10,000 b.p.) Hi-Lo material. This paper discusses the results of archaeological excavations and limited geophysical investigations at the site. In addition, it considers some of the difficulties in detecting buried deposits using standard archaeological survey techniques. In this case, the most significant Hi-Lo locus was not detected during pedestrian survey nor was it indentified in subsequent testing.
Why Pots Matter – Considering Vessel Form and Function in Iroquoian Ceramic Analysis, Peterborough, 2008
– Holly Martelle
This paper discusses past impediments to the study of Iroquoian vessel form and function and stresses the continued importance of such research to our knowledge of Iroquoian peoples in general and to container systems, culinary practices and belief systems in particular. These are exciting times in Iroquoian ceramic analysis; the salvage of large village sites is making significant vessel collections available for study and new theoretical and methodological approaches (particularly materials science) are being employed. A renewed focus on vessel form and function is necessary in order to confirm or re-evaluate established site relationships based solely on rim sherd typologies that do not take vessel type per se into account.
Material Possibilities: Hunter-Gatherer Gateway Communities in Southern Ontario, Peterborough, 2008
– Scott Martin
Until recently, hunter-gatherers have been considered 'small-scale', backward and incapable of significant endogenous change. While these social evolutionary and normative perspectives on fisher-gatherer-hunters have been undergoing transformations from within archaeology and anthropology, reasons for social change have remained notably external, stemming from optimal uses of the environment or from contacts with outside communities. In this contribution, I suggest that enchainment, as a relational mechanism for (re)creating persons through materials, is a concept that can encourage us to rethink the dynamics of forager agency. I also offer that the edges of their communities were not as clear-cut as we may expect and series of localities acted as gateways for new lives. In order to give these ideas some archaeological credence, I review some southern Ontario sites from the AD 1-1000 period and show how evidence may be reconsidered to emphasise the active role local people played in the upkeep and alteration of their traditions.
Preserving Archaeological Materials from Newfoundland and Labrador: Expanding Upon Collaborations, Peterborough, 2008
– Cathy MATHIAS, Gayle McIntyre, and Douglas Nixon
For the past 20 years faculty at Memorial University's Archaeology Unit have relied on their conservator to help identify, document, process, conserve and restore the material culture which they excavate. The job of conservation has been broad and includes activities also related to community outreach, research, fund raising and the negotiations with provincial and federal bodies. This work could not have been successfully completed without the help of conservation students. The working relationship between supervisors and interns can be extremely productive with the end results benefiting both parties. Using current collaborations as a starting point, we are proposing to universities with archaeology departments to consider establishing a graduate level program in archaeological conservation.
Buckles as Evidence for Costume at a 17th-Century English Plantation Site, Ferryland, Newfoundland, Peterborough, 2008
– Cathy MATHIAS
Buckles as fasteners provide evidence for the costume to which they belong regardless of whether or not the costume itself remains. Within the archaeological burial environment, where fragile textiles of wool, silk, linen and cotton rarely survive, metal components of costume such as the buckle can be used to determine both the type of costume and its value. Costume-related buckles from the 17th-century English colonial site in Ferryland, Newfoundland are examined here. The primary question is what type of buckles are preserved and worn during the 17th-century occupation of Ferryland, Newfoundland? Also considered is the rate of transfer of style and costume to the colonies from their origins in London and other European centres. The notion that one's social position could be judged solely by their outward appearance was a driving force for 17th-century consumers. The level to which this was followed in one of England's plantations located on the island of Newfoundland will be explored.
Maya Migrants to Tollan Cholollan, Peterborough, 2008
– Geoffrey G. McCafferty, and Tanya Chiykowski
Recent reinterpretations of archaeological and ethnohistorical evidence indicate lowland to highland interaction during the Epiclassic period, with influences seen at such sites as Cacaxtla, Xochicalco, and Cholula. During the summer of 2007 the authors had the opportunity to work with recently excavated materials from a large rescue project at Cholula that included ceramic trade wares which further support these interpretations. This paper will present ceramic and lithic evidence to suggest exchange patterns from the Classic to Postclassic transition. Discussion will integrate Epiclassic Cholula into the dynamic changes that were taking place during this crucial period of Mesoamerican history.
New Approaches to Iroquoian Ceramics: An Introduction, Peterborough, 2008
– Kostalena Michelaki
The last time a conference was organized to consider the accomplishments and challenges of studying Iroquoian ceramics was in 1979. In the present paper I consider the goals our colleagues had set three decades ago and examine where Iroquoian ceramic studies have gone since then and how they relate today to the broader field of international ceramic studies. A shift away from a preoccupation with singularly chronological questions will be identified, along with a desire to address research questions that range from pottery function and diet, to the social and economic aspects of ceramic manufacture, as well as questions of identity and of the active role of pottery itself in shaping the human (Iroquoian) experience.
An Inland Oasis: Palaeo-Eskimo Seasonal Hunting Strategies in the Large Lakes District of Southern Baffin Island, Arctic Canada, Peterborough, 2008
– Brooke S. Milne, Robert W. Park, Douglas R. Stenton, and Megan Caldwell
Caribou are arguably the most important terrestrial resource exploited by human populations in the Canadian Arctic. In summer and early fall, large concentrations of these animals are found in the interior 'Large Lakes District' of southern Baffin Island. Archaeological reconnaissance by Stenton and Milne in this area has demonstrated that locations where caribou habitually cross major waterways were reoccupied over millennia.
Food For Thought: An Examination of Nutritional Aspects of Late Holocene Subsistence Changes in Southern Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Peterborough, 2008
– Rose A. Monachino, and Trevor J. Orchard
This poster considers nutritional characteristics of subsistence patterns that existed through the past 2,000 years in southern Haida Gwaii, on the northern coast of British Columbia. Recent archaeological work has identified a distinctive shift in subsistence practices from a more generalized economy with a slight focus on rockfish consumption to a more specialized economy focused on the consumption of salmon. Faunal assemblages representing these two distinct subsistence adaptations are considered in terms of their nutritional characteristics, namely the relative contributions of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and essential vitamins and minerals. This analysis provides new insight into the dietary implications of subsistence changes such as the intensification of salmon use widely described for the Northwest Coast.
Methods for Effective and Efficient Discovery and Evaluation of Buried Archaeological Deposits: the Minnesota Deep Test Protocol Project, Peterborough, 2008
– William G. Monaghan, Daniel R. Hayes, and Michael Kolb
A recent study, funded by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, compared the results and costs of various methods for discovering and evaluating buried archaeological sites. These methods included remote sensing (magnetometry, resistivity, and GPR), small-diameter, solid-earth coring (GeoProbe), and backhoe trenching. Each technique was applied independently by different research teams to six areas representing different types of depositional contexts across Minnesota. Results were reported without knowledge of the outcomes of the other methods. This presentation focuses on the project design and discusses results by comparing the strengths and weaknesses of these methods for buried sites discovery and evaluation.
Behavioural Ecology and Subsistence Emphasis in the Later Prehistory (1200 – 250 B.P.) of Barkley Sound, Western Vancouver Island, Peterborough, 2008
– Gregory G. Monks
Recent research on the Northwest Coast has shown that some groups, especially those located near the mouths of major rivers, exploited salmon heavily, and may have stored it, at a very early date while other groups, especially those on offshore island locations, may have adopted intensive salmon exploitation relatively recently. On what other resources did island groups rely prior to the adoption of increased reliance on salmon? What social and demographic correlates attended the use of these other resources? These questions are explored within a behavioural ecology framework using data from DfSj-23A and DfSj-23B, located on the northwestern shore of Barkley Sound, Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
Heating Things Up: North African Braziers, Past and Present, Peterborough, 2008
– Jennifer P. Moore
Comparison of pottery production in ancient and present-day Tunisia (North Africa) reveals that the technology for making pottery has hardly changed, while certain products, such as braziers (handmade portable heaters), have been made continuously for some two millennia. The present-day practices that govern the production and distribution of braziers, especially as compared to wheelmade ceramics, reveal an intricate series of social and economic conventions that segregate gender, space, marketing, and consumption. At the same time, interconnections mean that those complexities are nearly invisible in the material record, a caveat to bear in mind when studying the ancient economy.
The Westfield Village Estates Site: a Cabin Site in London, Ontario, Peterborough, 2008
– Jeffrey MUIR
The Westfield Village Estates Site (AfHh-377) was a proto-Neutral satellite site in London, Ontario. While no distinctive structural remains had been found, the material remains and subsurface features suggest its use as a field cabin. The nature of field cabins on Late Ontario Iroquoian sites is explored in the London area, using this site as an interesting example given the presence among the artifacts recovered of Parker Festooned pottery and ceramic effigy figures.
The Progression of Christianity on Mosaics in Roman Britain 200-400 AD, Peterborough, 2008
– Rebecca Neri
This poster will look at the potential geographic as well as symbolic appearance of Christianity within Romano-British villa mosaics. It will examine the reasoning behind placing Christian symbols alongside Graeco-Roman and Celtic imagery on these mosaics. It will also look at Christian symbols on other artifacts that appear in context with "pagan" mosaics. Many of the mosaics appear in the Dorset region and possible explanations as to why will be examined. Mosaics examined include Hinton St Mary, Frampton, Littlecote and Lullingstone.
Geographic Information System (GIS) Aided Survey Evaluation in the Northwest Coast Culture Area, Peterborough, 2008
– Michael O'Rourke
Survey methods and methods of evaluating surveys have historically seen primary application in the geographic contexts of the Middle East and American Southwest. The temperate rainforests, mountainous terrain and irregular coastline encountered throughout the Northwest Coast culture area act in concert to complicate surveys and survey evaluation efforts. The application of a GIS research framework in such a situation not only facilitates the centralized organization of archaeological data, but can also aid in compensating for problems of clarity in such complicated cultural and geographic contexts. Using data obtained from the British Columbia (BC) Remote Access to Archaeological Data (RAAD) online resource in concert with survey reports made available through the BC Ministry of Tourism, Sport and Arts (BCMSTA), I will demonstrate that the aforementioned difficulties in survey evaluation and planning can be at least partially ameliorated through the use of GIS analytical techniques.
Crow's Nest and Old Swan's Bill: Landmarks for Gateway Communities in the World of the Niitsitapi, Peterborough, 2008
– Gerald A. Oetelaar, and Joy D. Oetelaar
To the Niitsitapi, the Rocky Mountains are known as mistakis and represent the backbone of their world. Together with the major rivers, the mountains serve as a framework for the network of trails connecting important places on the landscape of the Niitsitapi. In fact, the major east-west trails lead directly to distinctive peaks such Chief, Crow's Nest Mountain, and Old Swan's Bill, each of which marks the location of important passes through the mountains. The mountain passes, in turn, served as avenues of trade and communication between the Niisitapi and the Ktunaxa, most of which appears to have occurred during the winter months. Specific Niitsitapi communities were associated with each one of these landmarks and were responsible for monitoring the nature of the exchanges across the divide. In this paper, we examine the changing roles of these gateway communities as a result of the fur trade.