Ways of Working, Thinking, Changing and Growing

Saturday, May 6, 2023 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Kluskap B
01:00 PM: Material turn, post-humanisme et new materiality, un nouveau paradigme ?
Presentation format: In-Person
  • Étienne Corbeil - Université Laval

Le développement de la pensée archéologique anglo-américaine est souvent décrit, d’une manière quelque peu caricaturale, comme une suite de paradigmes commençant avec l’archéologie historico-culturelle au début du XXe siècle, suivie par le processualisme dans les années 1960 et le post-processualisme dans les années 1980. Alors en ce premier quart du XXIe siècle, où en sommes-nous ? À une époque remplie de nouveaux questionnements sur le genre, l’identité et le rapport à la nature, quel mouvement de pensée peut prétendre à une hégémonie idéologique suffisante pour se proclamer comme le nouveau paradigme archéologique ? De nouvelles philosophies et manières de pensée sont apparu dans les 20 dernières années : l'archéologie symétrique, le post-humanisme, l'entanglement, le néo-matérialisme etc. Ces manières de conceptualisées l’archéologie sont différentes, mais on une proposition en commune, un abandon de l’anthropocentrique et un intérêt renouvelé pour les choses. Pour déterminer la prévalence de ce mouvement, nous avons entrepris une analyse de contenu de tous les articles publiés dans l’American Antiquities, le Cambridge Archaeological Journal et le Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory. Cette analyse a permis de voir si oui ou non l'archéologie connaissait son material turn.

01:20 PM: Ancient caribou DNA from archaeological bones: Exploring 17th-century Inuit hunting practices and seaborne mobility in the northeast Gulf of Saint Lawrence
Presentation format: Online - pre-recorded
  • Brad Loewen - Département d’anthropologie, Université de Montréal
  • Grace Hua  Zhang - Ancient DNA Laboratory, Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University
  • William  Fitzhugh - Arctic Studies Center, Smithsonian Institution
  • Martin-Hugues St-Laurent - Département de biologie, chimie et géographie, Université du Québec à Rimouski
  • Saraí Barreiro Argüelles - Département d’anthropologie, Université de Montréal
  • Anja Herzog - Arctic Studies Center, Smithsonian Institution
  • Luke Jackman - Ancient DNA Laboratory, Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University
  • Dongya Yang - Ancient DNA Laboratory, Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University

Archaeology of 17th-century Inuit habitat on the Québec Lower North Shore shows a combination of Inuit and Basque material culture at coastal locations suited for hunting seal. Previous work has theorised Basque-Inuit relations as “joint ventures” within a context of enhanced Inuit seaborne mobility, afforded by access to Basque sailboats. Inuit sites show winter occupation and a high reliance on caribou – not seal – for subsistence. DNA study of caribou bones asked whether Inuit hunted these animals on the Québec-Labrador mainland, or if their hunt extended to Newfoundland as part of their seaborne mobility. It was enabled by previously defined distinctive mtDNA haplogroups for Newfoundland caribou (Wilkerson et al. 2018). We used a short D-loop fragment of about 400bp to assign haplogroups to ancient DNA samples. Successful analysis of 45 of 47 bone samples found an MNI of 15 animals, of which 12 likely came from the Québec-Labrador mainland (40 samples) and 3 from Newfoundland (3 samples), while 2 samples remain unassigned. Only 2 samples failed to generate DNA. These results show the potential of using ancient caribou DNA to illuminate 17th-century Inuit hunting practices, seaborne mobility, and the historical ecology of Rangifer tarandus.

01:40 PM: Initial Exploration of RCAF B-24 Liberator Plane Wreck in Gander Lake, Newfoundland & Labrador
Presentation format: In-Person
  • Neil Burgess - Shipwreck Preservation Society of Newfoundland & Labrador Inc.
  • Tony Merkle - Shipwreck Preservation Society of Newfoundland & Labrador Inc.
  • Kirk Regular - Fisheries & Marine Institute, Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Rick Stanley - Ocean Quest Adventures
  • Jill Heinerth - Royal Canadian Geographical Society Explorer-in-Residence
  • Maxwel Hohn - Salish Sky
  • Adam Templeton - Fisheries & Marine Institute, Memorial University of Newfoundland

On 4 September 1943, the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) B-24 Liberator bomber 589 “D” from No. 10 Bomber Reconnaissance (BR) Squadron took off from Gander airport and crashed into Gander Lake. All four RCAF airmen on board were killed in the crash. In 2022, members of the Shipwreck Preservation Society of Newfoundland & Labrador Inc. (SPSNL) set out to determine the current location of the bomber wreck in Gander Lake and to conduct initial diving surveys of the wreck site. The bomber wreck was successfully located by multibeam echosounder surveys in June 2022. The wreck site was 38 – 46 m deep in the lake. A remotely operated vehicle was used to collect underwater video of the wreck site. In September 2022, a team of recreational, technical and scientific divers from SPSNL, Ocean Quest Adventures and the Great Island Expedition conducted photo and video surveys of the bomber wreck. We confirmed the wreck was an RCAF Liberator bomber that was extensively damaged. Additional video surveys were done in October. We will present our findings, discuss the challenges in surveying this aircraft wreck and outline our future plans for this site.

02:00 PM: Insects and Sepultures: New Insights into Funerary Questions
Presentation format: In-Person
  • Clotilde Roger - Université Laval
  • Allison Bain - Université Laval
  • Jean-Bernard Huchet - Université de Bordeaux

Funerary archaeoentomology is the study of insects extracted from sepultures. Inspired by the methodological principles of forensic entomology, this approach offers a better understanding of the individual and the circumstances surrounding his death (hygienic conditions, exposure prior inhumation, seasonality of death, etc.). Funerary archaeoentomology has been explored on different archaeological contexts in Europe, the United States, North Africa, except for Canadian contexts, up until recently.


As part of a master research at Laval University, Quebec, three 19th century cemeteries have been observed under the principles of funerary archaeoentomology. The objectives of this research were (1) to test the validity of this approach considering subarctic contexts, (2) to offer a better understanding on 19th century sepultures and (3) to propose a new line of study regarding archaeothanatological questions in subarctic contexts.


In the first place, this communication aims to present the approach and the research results to exemplify what funerary archaeoentomology can offer. Secondly, on field and practical questions will be discussed to equip professional archaeologists when they work on funerary contexts (sampling strategy, questions that can be addressed, where to analyse these samples, etc).

02:20 PM: Geoarchaeological and Archaeobotanical Analyses of 18th and 19th century Abenaki Pit Features from the Fort Odanak Site (CaFe-7), Québec, Canada
Presentation format: In-Person
  • Sarah Robert (presenter) - Department of Historical Sciences and Centre de Recherche Cultures–Arts–Sociétés (CELAT), Pavillon De Koninck, Université Laval, Quebec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada.
  • Prof. Allison Bain - Department of Historical Sciences and Centre de Recherche Cultures–Arts–Sociétés (CELAT), Pavillon De Koninck, Université Laval, Quebec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada.
  • Prof. Najat Bhiry - Department of Geography and Centre D’études Nordiques, Université Laval, Quebec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada.

Built in the early 18th century on the banks of the Saint-François River (Quebec, QC, Canada), the fortified Jesuit mission of Saint-François-de-Sales was an important Abenaki centre during the colonial period. Between 2010 and 2021, archaeological excavations conducted by the Waban-Aki Nation led to the discovery of the mission’s remains at the Fort Odanak site (CaFe-7) in the historical centre of Odanak (Quebec, QC, Canada), and revealed numerous pit features likely used for storage or refuse disposal. As part of a doctoral research conducted in collaboration with the Grand Council of the Waban-Aki Nation and the Abenaki Museum of Odanak, geoarchaeological and archaeobotanical investigations were undertaken on six pit features discovered at the site. Our results provide new information on site formation and occupation over time, and clarify the function and use of the pits studied. They show that the use of traditional pit features persisted until the late 19th century at Odanak, and confirm that maize horticulture was practiced at the site during the 18th and 19th centuries. Together, the methods employed provide a complementary perspective on the daily life of the mission's inhabitants and constitute an innovative approach to the study of Indigenous villages in Quebec.

02:40 PM: Strontium Isotopes and the Geographic Origins of Camelids in the Virú Valley
Presentation format: In-Person
  • Nicole Hultquist
  • Paul Szpak - Trent University
  • Jean-Francois Millaire - Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières

This study presents the strontium isotopic composition of camelid tooth enamel from Huaca Santa Clara, Huaca Gallinazo, and Huancaco in the Virú Valley. These sites were occupied during the Early Intermediate Period (EIP) with Huaca Santa Clara and Huancaco being associated with a ritual sacrifice during the late Middle Horizon (MH). Most camelids had strontium isotopic compositions that fell within the predicted isotopic range for the Virú Valley. Isotopic compositions of the serially sampled teeth suggest most camelids did not move between regions with different strontium isotope baselines during enamel formation. At Huaca Santa Clara, sacrificed camelids (MH) had local strontium isotope ratios. Butchered individuals (EIP) had strontium isotope ratios reflecting primarily local origins, with some evidence of individuals from the highlands. At Huaca Gallinazo (EIP), all of the camelids appeared to be local to the lower Virú Valley. At Huancaco, butchered (EIP) and sacrificed (MH) camelids were local to the Virú Valley but may have included more individuals from the middle and upper valley regions relative to the other two sites. These data suggest that camelid husbandry was present on the north coast during the EIP and this practice may have become more widespread during the late Middle Horizon. 

03:00 PM: A Tale of Two Turkeys: DNA-based and Isotopic Geographic Provenancing of Turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) from the 18th century wreck of Le Machault
Presentation format: In-Person
  • Luke Jackman - Ancient DNA Laboratory, Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
  • Tom Vaughan - School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  • Thomas Royle - Ancient DNA Laboratory, Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
  • Eric Guiry - School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  • Charles Dagneau - Underwater Archaeology Team, Archaeology and History Branch, Parks Canada Agency, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Camilla Speller - AdαPT Laboratory, Department of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Dongya Yang - Ancient DNA Laboratory, Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada

In response to the defeat of France by Britain at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759, the frigate Le Machault and a fleet of merchant vessels was dispatched from France in 1760, to resupply the beleaguered colony of New France. Ultimately, Le Machault was scuttled during the Battle of Restigouche. The ship’s destruction represented the failure of this final attempt to resupply New France. Excavations of the wreck of Le Machault by Parks Canada’s Underwater Research Unit recovered a large number of structural items, artifacts, and ecofacts. The faunal remains recovered from the site included fragments of turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) bone. In this study, we used stable isotope and ancient DNA analysis on two turkey bones to determine whether they represent domesticated individuals or are derived from wild populations and to explore their potential origins. The results of our study not only provide insights in the provisioning of the French Navy during the Seven Years War, but, given the northern location of the site withing the turkey’s range, could contribute to broader understandings of the species biogeography.

03:20 PM: Maritime Archaeological Survey of The Holland Cove Site in Lower Prospect, Nova Scotia
Presentation format: In-Person
  • JONATHAN KYTE - Stantec Consulting Ltd.

It has generally been believed the lack of evidence for the presence of early coastal Pre-Contact Period archaeological sites in Nova Scotia is due to relative sea level rise which has caused sites to become submerged. This has left a gap in our understanding of coastal adaptation and occupation along the coast of Nova Scotia during the Archaic and early Woodland Periods. In June of 2022 a rhyolite stemmed projectile point was located in six metres of seawater in Lower Prospect, Nova Scotia. The area was believed to have elevated potential for the presence of submerged cultural resources based on desktop baseline research which included pre-contact usage and GIS analysis using bathymetric LiDAR data.

This paper provides an outline of methodologies employed to carry out a marine survey of this nature, use of opensource GIS, bathymetric LiDAR digital elevation modeling, sea level rise curve analysis, photogrammetry, and global navigation satellite system technology. The survey was an exercise in gaining a better understanding of where submerged pre-contact sites may be located, the adaptation of GIS and other technologies to maritime archaeology and providing insight into how relative sea level rise curves can be used in site location and dating analysis.