The Far Northeast: 3000 BP to Contact (2)

Vendredi, mai 17, 2019 - 9:00am - 4:30pm
De Tourny
  • Kenneth Holyoke, Doctoral Student, University of Toronto
  • Gabriel Hrynick, Assistant Professor, University of New Brunswick
Session Description (300 word max): 

Northern New England and the Atlantic Provinces of Canada (loosely defined here as the Far Northeast) have seen recent archaeological syntheses of the Palaeoindian and Archaic periods, but not yet such a consideration of the last ca. 3000 years. In the Eastern Woodlands broadly, unified taxonomic notions of “Woodland” have drawn increasing scrutiny as attributes such as horticulture, village formation, mortuary ceremonialism, and various technologies now appear to have developed less synchronously than once thought, and archaeologists have increasingly illuminated sub-regional and diachronic variability. The Far Northeast deserves particular attention because it has long occupied a unique—if at times, marginal—position in Woodland discourse, starkly signaled by taxonomic dissimilarity; but how different is the Ceramic/Maritime Woodland period, Recent Indian period, or Woodland period in the Far Northeast in terms of archaeological history than elsewhere in the Northeast? And how much sub-regional and diachronic variability was there in the most recent period of prehistory in the Far Northeast? This session includes both topical and regional papers that consider questions of culture change in the Far Northeast, especially studies that are situated within these broader concerns.

09:10 AM: Pre-Contact Ceramic Finds from the Churchill River Valley, Labrador
Format de présentation :
Auteur-e(s) :
  • Corey Hutchings - Independent
  • Fred  Schwarz

Until recently the Newfoundland and Labrador Precontact period was marked as unique in the Atlantic region with its near absence of pre-contact ceramics. This lack of ceramics has had far reaching implications throughout the province’s cultural history leading to discontinuity in names between similar culture groups inside and outside the province.  Despite a number of ceramic fragments recovered from sites including Kamarsuk, Red Bay and a sizable collection of decorated ceramics from the Gould Site from the Island portion of the province a lack of a ceramic period was still generally accepted. Of the many insights gained from excavations associated with the construction of a hydroelectric dam for the Lower Churchill Falls project is a new understanding of the place of pre-contact ceramics in the province’s past. Of 46 excavated sites, nine returned some number of sherds, doubling the total number of sites province-wide with pre-contact ceramics. Among these, Tshiashkunish 2 was the largest pre-contact site recovered in the course of the project. From this site, Locus D produced over 1000 fragments of Aboriginal pottery.  Most of these pieces were found in a central pit and hardly seem to have been fired at all. This feature and the underfired fragments suggest that people were making this pottery locally in the Churchill Valley. These discoveries in the Churchill Valley along with other recent finds in Labrador not only invalidate the lack of a ceramic period but hint at a greater continuity between Labrador and the Maritime Provinces than previously thought.    

09:40 AM: Whitworth, la terre de roches
Format de présentation :
Auteur-e(s) :
  • Marie-Eve Morissette

Le territoire dont dispose actuellement la Première Nation Malécite de Viger, est un petit lot de 0,9 hectares à Cacouna et la réserve de Whitworth, de 169 hectares. Ce territoire représente un très petit pourcentage de la superficie de leur territoire ancestrale et n’a pas permis une installation permanente de la nation. Cette nation vit toujours en diaspora ce qui lui confère tout un lot de défis touchant notamment l’utilisation et l’occupation de son territoire. Ainsi, les Malécites de Viger, qui se nomment eux-mêmes « Wolastoqey », s’intéressent grandement à la documentation du « Wolastokuk», leur territoire ancestral, et travaille présentement sur une vaste étude de potentiel archéologique de celui-ci. Dans le but de réaliser des travaux d’aménagement et de mise en valeur de leur territoire sur leur réserve de Whitworth, un inventaire archéologique y a été réalisé à l’automne 2018, à la demande de la nation. L’inventaire visait à confirmer ou infirmer le potentiel tout en contribuant à combler le vide dans la documentation concernant la présence et les schèmes d’établissements des Wolastoqey avant, pendant et après la colonisation euro-canadienne ainsi que sur l’occupation de la réserve à la période historique. L’intervention à Whitworth a permis d’accéder à de nouvelles informations et trois sondages positifs ont mené à la déclaration d’un nouveau site. De plus, la documentation de cet espace permet d’affirmer une présence sur un territoire significatif pour les Wolastoqey.

10:30 AM: The impact of colonization on natural resources on the Ndakinna the ancestral territory of W8banakiak/L’impact de la colonisation sur les ressources naturelles et culturelles sur le Ndakinna, le territoire ancestral W8banakiak
Format de présentation :
Auteur-e(s) :
  • Geneviève Treyvaud - GCNWA et INRS-ETE

L’arrivée des Européens au 16e siècle, les guerres territoriales du 17e et 18e siècles, la colonisation et la privatisation rapide du territoire w8banaki ont créé un impact sur l’acquisition des ressources naturelles comme le frêne, les coquillages et l’esturgeon et la pérennité des savoirs traditionnels. Cette communication présente l’avancée de la recherche archéologique sur le Ndakinna en prenant l’exemple de trois sites archéologiques : Lachapelle, Fort Abénakis (mission d’Odanak) et Durham. Le mobilier archéologique issu des campagnes de fouilles témoigne de l’impact de la colonisation et de l’aménagement du territoire.

11:00 AM: Longterm Patterns in Maritime Woodland Shellfishing Practices In Passamaquoddy Bay.
Format de présentation :
Auteur-e(s) :
  • Katherine Patton - University of Toronto
  • Susan Blair - University of New Brunswick

In this paper, we present preliminary results of a multi-site study of invertebrate remains collected from archaeological shell midden sites in Passamaquoddy Bay, homeland of the Peskotomuhkati. Using data from published and unpublished sources, we explore diversity in shellfishing practices through space (site location) and time (from the Early Maritime Woodland through the post-European-contact period). Looking at shellfishing practices through a household lens, we consider what variability in shellfish taxa and abundance might reveal about the timing and duration of settlement in particular locations on the landscape.

11:30 AM: The Changing Role of Ceramics During the Woodland Period in the Far Northeast: Evidence from Some Large Ceramic Assemblages in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia
Format de présentation :
Auteur-e(s) :
  • Cora Woolsey - University of New Brunswick

Ceramics have changed throughout the Woodland Period as the priorities and allegiances of potters have changed. Region-wide pottery styles—stretching from as far north and east as Labrador and Nova Scotia to as far west and south as the American Bottom—affirm that ideas, and potentially people, travelled vast distances and maintained connections cross-culturally. These styles have been the subject of much research and sequence-building, but the reasons for changes through time have remained relatively unexplored. Because ceramics are closely tied with the domestic sphere and with subsistence activities, they are sensitive to changes in the broader social realm, making them an excellent source of information about group dynamics and women in particular. The aim of this paper is to synthesize ceramic data from several large sites in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to 1) characterize the changes that occurred through time and 2) explain these changes as part of larger social dynamics. One important source of information about social dynamics comes from the distribution of ceramics through time, with very few ceramics surviving from the Early Woodland, then large numbers from the Middle Woodland, and an apparent decline in numbers during the Late Woodland. Another important source of information comes from changing manufacturing processes, indicating changing priorities through time. Looked at from this perspective, ceramics only became important to subsistence during the Middle Woodland Period, and probably shifted to a sacred role during the Late Woodland.

01:40 PM: “… and we showered with a thousand praises the woman who had been the fire's guardian…”: Ancestral Wabanaki Gender and Placemaking in the Woodland Period
Format de présentation :
Auteur-e(s) :
  • Gabriel Hrynick - University of New Brunswick
  • Matthew Betts - Canadian Museum of History

In many hunter gatherer societies, gender is an essential way in which the social and spiritual world is structured. Wabanaki language, ethnohistory, oral tradition, and archaeology all attest to gender as a crucial yet malleable way that ancestral Wabanaki made their place within and interacted with the world around them. Close scrutiny of gender in the Woodland period, we argue, helps to illuminate how relationships were made among people, nature, and the cosmos. Changing and reifying these relationships offered ways for people to adapt to social and environmental change. In this paper, we consider Woodland period gender at scales ranging from single artifacts to local landscapes to track the ways that that ancestral Wabanaki made their homes and histories in the Atlantic Northeast. 

02:10 PM: The struggle was real: on the end of the Archaic in the eastern Subarctic of North America
Format de présentation :
Auteur-e(s) :
  • Donald Holly - Eastern Illinois University
  • Christopher Wolff - SUNY Albany
  • Stephen Hull - Provincial Archaeology Office, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

The transition between the end of the Archaic and the so called Intermediate Indian Period in the Eastern Subarctic of North America was marked by significant changes in just about all dimensions of life—technology, raw material use, exchange networks, social organization, architecture, burial customs, settlement patterns, and subsistence strategies—for First Nations peoples. These changes, coinciding with an apparent reduction of site numbers and contraction in site distribution, suggest that this transition was less a strategic reorganization and more of what might better be understood as a demographic collapse and cultural crisis.

03:00 PM: Beyond the horizon to the Caribou House: the Late Prehistoric Period in interior Nitassinan.
Format de présentation :
Auteur-e(s) :
  • Stephen Loring - Arctic Studies Center, Smithsonian Institution
  • Anthony  Jenkinson - Tshikapisk Foundation, Sheshatshiu, Labrador

Caribou have always figured significantly (and intimately) in the lives of Innu. For almost twenty years now the Smithsonian’s Arctic Studies Center has partnered with Tshikapisk (an Innu experiential education initiative) to explore Innu history and culture in and about Kamestastin (Lake Mistastin, a meteorite-impact lake in the interior of northern Labrador).  The Tshikapisk collaborative has documented over 260 Innu sites spanning the full range of occupations from the time of the disappearance of glacial ice, about 7000 years ago, to the present day.  This presentation discusses the archaeological evidence for the last thousand years of Innu tenure in Nitassinan and it’s implications for  models of caribou subsistence strategies, group mobility and reverence for the Animal Masters.