A Provenance Study of Soapstone Artifacts in Western Newfoundland
Type de publication:Conference Paper
Résumé (en anglais):
The Middle Dorset Palaeoeskimos occupied the island of Newfoundland from approximately 1,800 to 1,200 years B.P. As a maritime-adapted, seasonally mobile, hunter-gatherer group, the Middle Dorset used a variety of stone implements to sustain their settlement and subsistence needs. Soapstone was an important component of their economy as it was used for the manufacture of basic functional items such as cooking pots and lamps. Soapstone from prolific Middle Dorset archaeological sites and possible quarry locations in western Newfoundland are investigated here in an attempt to correlate archaeological artifact samples with outcrop locations. Petrographic and geochemical analytical techniques are used to distinguish soapstone samples from archaeological sites and potential quarry locations. This information is used to investigate the distribution of soapstone in western Newfoundland, as well as mobility patterns during the Middle Dorset period. This paper will report on preliminary findings and current developments in this research.