Case Studies and Closer Looks

Thursday, May 4, 2023 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Kluskap D
01:00 PM: Where Do They Get these Wonderful Toys: The Representation of the Material Culture of Children at the Cochrane Ranche Site (EhPo-37)
Presentation format: In-Person
  • Sean Pickering - Bison Historical Services Ltd.

Over the past 50 years archaeological investigations at the Cochrane Ranche Site (EhPo-37), the oldest commercial ranch in Alberta, have focused on the early ranching history and Precontact Period occupations of the site. Recent excavations have explored Twentieth Century occupations that saw the use of the area change from commercial ranching and brickyard operations to a family run dairy and ranch. This transition in in the mid-Twentieth Century led to a more diverse group of people living at the site, including children. This is evidenced by the increase in artifacts used by children, specifically toys. This coincides with a general trend of increased marketing of consumer goods towards children in North America in the post WW2 period.  This increase in the material culture of children has implications for archaeological investigations in Canada as more mid-Twentieth Century sites become part of the archaeological record according to provincial and territorial regulations.

01:20 PM: What’s that doing there!?: 2022 Excavations at GfOx-59 and GfOx-61 in Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park.
Presentation format: In-Person
  • Taylor Graham - Bisonm Historical Services Ltd.

In the fall of 2022, on behalf of Alberta Parks, a Historical Resources Impact Mitigation of two archaeological sites (GfOx-59 and GfOx-61) was conducted on the Big Island of Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park in Lac La Biche Alberta.  These sites contained two different ceramic assemblages, with GfOx-59 producing Narrows Fabric Impressed Ware, first identified in the Buffalo Narrows region of Northwestern Saskatchewan, and the ceramic ware most common in the region.  While GfOx-61 produced Avery Horizontal Corded Ware, first identified in southeastern Manitoba, and never before observed in northeastern Alberta.  Both wares are discussed and their distributions across western Canada examined.  It is posited that with the newly confirmed presence of Avery Corded ware within northeastern Alberta, past ceramic sherd identifications may have combined the relatively similar morphology of body sherds due to a superficial or untrained inspection, and that some previously collected assemblages could potentially contain unrecognized Avery Horizontal Corded Ware.  If confirmed the presence of this ware across the region could then indicate a previously undiscovered cultural expression in the region, or a long distance trade and influence network stretching from southeastern Manitoba to northeastern Alberta.

01:40 PM: Finer Things: Smoking pipes and material culture at Fort Saint-Louis
Presentation format: In-Person
  • Vanessa Smith - Nova Scotia Museum

The European material culture from Fort Saint-Louis, an early 17th century French fur trading post in Port La Tour, Nova Scotia, offers thought-provoking insights into everyday life at the fort and hints at broad geographic trade connections and identity-making in the early contact landscape of the region. This paper will explore some preliminary thoughts on a selection of objects from the multi-year Nova Scotia Museum excavations at Fort Saint-Louis, with a particular focus on the various clay pipes recovered during this project. While the range of utilitarian and trade goods recovered at the site demonstrates the day-to-day work of the fort, other items begin to offer glimpses of more genteel life ways and suggest a desire to project an identity tied to these finer things. These artefacts shift our understanding of life at the trading post beyond basic existence and into a space of refinement and connectedness to European tastes and aspirations, enacted in New France.

02:00 PM: Refining the Dating of the Tillsonburg Iroquoian Village through Bayesian Analysis of AMS Radiocarbon Dates on Short-lived Samples
Presentation format: In-Person
  • Peter Timmins - Western University
  • James  Conolly - Trent University

The Tillsonburg Iroquoian village was excavated by three CRM companies between 2000 and 2018, revealing 16 house structures distributed over 18 hectares (44 acres). The houses are distributed in a dispersed clustered pattern with easterly, central, a southwesterly and northwesterly house clusters, none of which are palisaded. Following an initial analysis of the westerly section by Timmins (2009), a detailed analysis of ceramics and settlement patterns on the west and east sections was conducted by Rebecca Perry (2017, 2019) who established that there is some time depth to the Tillsonburg village, with the easterly house cluster dating relatively earlier than the westerly houses. To refine the chronology, a series of 11 AMS dates were processed on short lived samples (maize kernels and deer bone) from house features and subsequently subjected to Bayesian analysis. The results suggest that the village dates to between ca. AD 1379 and ca. AD 1415. This paper discusses the radiocarbon results and makes a series of inferences about the internal chronology of the village.

02:20 PM: Temporal changes in obsidian craft production at the Monumental Zone of Tenam Puente, Chiapas, Mexico
Presentation format: Online - pre-recorded
  • Elizabeth Paris - University of Calgary
  • Ashley Megan Williams - University of Calgary
  • Gabriel Lalo Jacinto - INAH-Chiapas

This paper presents an analysis of obsidian artifacts from the ancient Maya city of Tenam Puente. The site is located in the eastern Chiapas highlands, and was occupied from approximately AD 500 to 1100. We analyze a sample of 859 obsidian artifacts from the site’s monumental zone, which were excavated by the Proyecto Tenam Puente, directed by Mtro. Gabriel Laló Jacinto. The associated contexts include all three of the site’s ballcourts, as well as the royal palace courtyard, a religious plaza, a possible crafts barrio, and a small outlying residential area. These features include the final occupational phase of the site prior to its abandonment, but also include a variety of sub-structure and fill contexts from earlier periods. Comparisons between earlier and later portions of the Acropolis’ construction sequence allows us to identify changes in blade and biface production over time, as well as shifts in obsidian exchange networks as identified through x-ray fluorescence spectrometry. We also examine whether the construction of the site’s central marketplace between AD 667-763 had a measurable effect on obsidian production and exchange at the site’s monumental zone.