Integrating Ethnohistory, Landscape Theory, and Isotopic Analysis to Investigate Late Postclassic Maya Identity, Peterborough, 2008
– Karyn C. Olsen, Christine D. White, Fred J. Longstaffe, and Stephen L. Whittington
Iximche is a Late Postclassic Cakchiquel Maya site found in southern Guatemala that was settled during a turbulent period in Highland Maya history and only several decades before the Spanish's arrival to the region. The construction and transformation of identity at Iximche was investigated using ethnohistoric sources and theoretical concepts derived from landscape archaeology. In addition, oxygen isotope compositions of tooth enamel from sacrificial victims recovered at Iximche's ceremonial centre were used to examine the geographic identities of these particular individuals. Significant aspects of the natural, built and imagined landscapes are used to interpret the isotopic data and provide new understanding of community and individual identity at the Late Postclassic period site.
Recent Prehistory of the Northern Shore of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence: Hints from the Mingan Archipelago nation park reserve (QC), Peterborough, 2008
– J. C. Ouellet
This communication presents the preliminary results of an ongoing research project which aims to shed light on the prehistory of the central portion of the North Shore of the Gulf of St Lawrence. The Mingan archipelago national park reserve contains 11 prehistoric sites and provides an interesting starting point for the study of the Recent Indian prehistory of the area (circa A.D. 1000 to contact period). The analysis of the Mingan archaeological assemblages not only provides hints as to local population use of the archipelago but also offers the possibility of identifying broader land-use patterns as it comprises the source of a regionally used lithic material: Mingan chert. Our analysis focuses primarily on lithic use and sourcing to identify links with other regions, but the main subject of this communication will be the presentation of the archipelago's assemblages and of its role in the prehistory of the Minganie region.
Where Do You Belong? Perceiving Prehistoric Natufian Social Interaction through GISc, Peterborough, 2008
– Carla A. Parslow
Forty years of research on the Natufian has led to further understanding of their technology and their place in time. Although technological patterns are similar, the documentation of material culture and features from various Natufian sites throughout the Levant reveals variability across time and space. I suggest this variability reflects not only the ecological setting in which the Natufian were located, but also social groups formed over time and space. Acceptance of new technology, techniques, and ideas depends on the frequency and intensity of interaction with other groups, both near and distant, throughout the region. The sharing of information acquires a spatial context through the construction of an interactive-agent model detailing three spheres of interaction. Both archaeological interpretive methods and geographical information science (GISc) are used to show that Natufian groups had the opportunity to interact with one another and that these interactions occurred in defined locations where potential paths cross.
Deconstructing Lamanai: The Impact of Deforestation and Agriculture on Archaeological Sites inBelize, Peterborough, 2008
– Clifford Patterson, and Elizabeth Graham
Since 1995, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has reported a steady increase in deforestation in Central America. In Belize, from 1995 to 2005 there was a 13.5% loss of forests while the population concurrently increased by over 62000. Belize statisticians have now predicted that the population will grow from about 294 000 today to about 499 000 by 2050, thus potentially straining the country's resources and fragile economy. Amidst this approaching environmental and economic crisis is an archaeological crisis as thousands of sites are affected annually. This paper will first describe the recent history and impact of deforestation and agricultural colonization around Lamanai, Belize. We then discuss ways in which archaeologists can approach the issue proactively by using satellite remote sensing to predict high risk areas, by communicating with local farmers, and by establishing a framework for communication with Belize archaeological authorities. Perhaps ways can be found to encourage local agriculturalists to consider more permanent and less archaeologically and environmentally destructive forms of agriculture.
Mousterian Tool Trends and Neanderthals: How the Industry Reveals an Absence of Neanderthal Creativity, Peterborough, 2008
– Laura Perry
This poster examines several aspects of the Mousterian tool industry, such as raw material transport, imposed form, assemblage richness, production, and how these characteristic reveal an absence in creativity as it is typically understood in modern Homo sapiens. The research presented is a component of an undergraduate honours thesis focused on Homo neanderthalensis and cognitive theories of creativity. The project relates current archaeological evidence, such as lithic technology, to theories of mind, particularly those outlined by anthropologists Thomas Wynn and Steven Mithen. The research, while relying on a multi-disciplinary approach, is primarily supported by the archaeological remains and general trends of Middle Palaeolithic Neanderthals.
Raw Material Selection and Preparation in SW Calabria, Italy – Student Internship Project, Peterborough, 2008
– Kelly Peterson, and Kostalena Michelaki
Ceramics from Southern Italy have long been analysed from a chrono-typological perspective but little is understood about the social behavior and significance behind the pot making process itself. We have collected petrographic data for Early/Middle and Late Neolithic ceramic materials from Umbro Neolithic (5800-2900 cal. BC) and Penitenzeria (5500-5000 cal. BC) in SW Calabria, Italy. Preliminary analysis of the petrographic data indicates at least two ceramic fabrics: one with foraminifera (Buff ware) and one without foraminifera (Stentinello and Impressed wares) suggesting a difference in raw materials selection and processing practices between the Buff and the Stentinello and Impressed wares. Grain-size analysis indicates a distinction between the Umbro and the Penitenzeria Stentinello pastes. This data will be integrated into further analyses as we consider the rest of the operational sequence.
Intensive Agriculture and Political Complexity in the Maya Lowlands, Peterborough, 2008
– Adam Pollock
Recent and on-going archaeological investigations in the Maya lowlands have challenged previously widely accepted ideas regarding the relationship between agricultural production and state-level political organization during the rise and fall of ancient Maya civilization. Rather than agricultural intensification growing from the direct involvement of an emerging elite in mobilizing and coordinating the ever more labour intensive activities of farmers, a growing body of evidence suggests a much more complex interplay between producers, consumers, and their environment. This paper discusses the implications of these ideas to understandings of the development and nature of ancient Maya polities.
Identifying Refuse: The Formation of Middens in Thule Inuit Contexts, Peterborough, 2008
– Tom Porawski
Semi-subterranean house structures are one of the best-known representations of Thule culture, and the majority of faunal assemblages that have been studied to date have been recovered from these dwellings rather than from middens (refuse dumps). Given that middens traditionally serve as the final repository for most food waste in prehistoric and historic cultures, these contexts can provide us with considerable insight into human discard behaviour. Interpretations based on assemblages recovered from middens must, however, consider not only human activities, but also a wide range of natural taphonomic factors. This paper uses faunal data collected from a site located near Hall Beach, Nunavut to examine the formation and preservation of Thule middens.
Lithic taxonomy, taphonomy and agency, Peterborough, 2008
– Rudy Reimer/Yumks
As archaeologists, we chose to pigeonhole lithic materials in a number of ways such as readily definable visual characteristics, their elemental composition to various forms of technological organization. While these approaches share a similar concern in how we answer our specific research questions, why is it rarely that these approaches are not considered holistically? Examination of these approaches when applied to lithic assemblages from the Squamish region of the Northwest Coast will illustrate that while these approaches may initially seem unfeasible it is possible to further our understanding of how, why and for what reasons people in this region chose to use certain lithic materials.
Stylistic, Technological, and Archaeometric Analysis of Iroquoian Ceramic Artifacts from Central New York, Peterborough, 2008
– Christina B. Rieth
Archaeological excavations by the New York State Museum's Cultural Resource Survey Program at the pre-Contact Bailey site in Onondaga County, New York produced a large ceramic assemblage consisting of vessel and pipe fragments. Analysis of these artifacts using only traditional typological analyses severely limits our understanding of how these vessels were used. Combined use of stylistic, technological, and archaeometric analyses of these artifacts contributes to our understanding of the chronology of the site and enhances our understanding of Native manufacturing techniques. In this paper, I discuss how the vessels were used, and discuss how the vessels were used within the larger realm of Iroquoian settlement and subsistence.
The Metal Industry in the Northern Levant during the Early Iron Age, Peterborough, 2008
– James Roames
During the 2006 and 2007 seasons at Tell Tayinat, Turkey, the remains of an Early Iron Age metal workshop were excavated, which consisted of three rooms with several discrete areas of ash, tuyere and crucible fragments, slag cakes, and iron and copper objects. During this period in the Eastern Mediterranean, iron began to be used for utilitarian objects (i.e. tools and weaponry), culminating at the end of this period with iron being used more frequently than copper for utilitarian objects, at least in the northern Levant. This research will show that during this formative period for iron production, copper and iron were being worked alongside each other on a small-scale workshop level in the northern Levant, perhaps by relatively unspecialized, but still technologically sophisticated, metalworkers with the freedom to work in both copper and iron.
Prospects and problems of deeply buried sites in the meltwater channels of the Northern Plains, Peterborough, 2008
– Elizabeth Robertson
Although the stability of many landforms on the Northern Plains precludes deep burial of archaeological occupations, the networks of meltwater channels left by the Late Wisconsinan glacial retreat from this region represent dynamic depositional environments favorable to the formation of deeply interred, stratified sites. This is demonstrated by research conducted on the meltwater channels flanking of the Cypress Hills of southwestern Alberta, where a series of manual auger tests revealed a pattern of intermittent deposition well-suited to the creation of deep, stratified sites. Moreover, this subsurface testing program demonstrated that manual augers are effective in detecting the presence of cultural material in such deposits, suggesting that the archaeological potential of meltwater channels can and should be explored using this simple and inexpensive technique.
Lithic Characterization Using Synchrotron Radiation: What Extremely Bright Light Reveals about Beaver River Sandstone, Peterborough, 2008
– Elizabeth C. Robertson, Robert Blyth, and Alan Korejbo
Cultural resource management projects associated with oil sands development in northeastern Alberta have identified large numbers of archaeological sites containing dense concentrations of lithics composed of a locally available material known as Beaver River Sandstone (BRS). Although BRS has been the subject of previous characterization studies, there continues to be uncertainty regarding the marked physical variability that it displays, both at potential source areas and in artifacts made from BRS. This uncertainty is partly due to questions regarding the extent to which heat treatment was used by precontact groups to physically alter the raw material. Using the exceptionally high-resolution analytical capability provided by the Canadian Light Source, Canada's national synchrotron facility, we are identifying new ways for pinpointing archaeologically exploited BRS source areas and for examining how this material is altered by heat treatment; these techniques are not only proving useful for the investigation of BRS, but offer great potential for characterization studies of a wide range of lithic materials.
Holocene Water Levels and Canoe Travel, Peterborough, 2008
– David Sanger, Ann Dieffenbacher-Krall, and Alice Kelley
Historic accounts of inland canoe travel in the Maritime Peninsula reflect water levels of the past 500 years. Before we assume that these water highways were available to Native peoples in earlier times it is necessary to assess the available evidence. Paleoecological research in northeastern North America demonstrates that water levels have been rising throughout the last few millennia from levels that were sometimes much lower in the mid-Holocene, although the history of lake levels has not been the same for each lake. In this paper we present an overview of lake levels generally, and then discuss some of the implications for canoe travel, as well as the evidence for such travel, as reflected in site locations and site survival.
Architecture, Identity and Ethnicity: Inferences from Naachtun, Guatemala, Peterborough, 2008
– Jeff Seibert
In this paper, I plan on examining architectural data recovered from investigations at Naachtun, Guatemala, in particular focussing on work conducted in the Group B complex at the site. I will compare the style of architecture encountered through excavations and surface examination in this group to other architectural remains from the site and the region as a whole. It is my contention that the architecture encountered represents an example of the Central Yucatan style of architecture, which is unexpected and atypical for a site that is located in the heart of the Central Peten architectural style zone. After discussing the architecture in this location, and the site as a whole, I plan on examining what this might mean for our understanding of ethnicity and ethnic relations in this region of the Maya area.
High Resolution Satellite Imagery Requires Accurate Global Positioning System (GPS) Technology: Landscape Survey Methods in Southern Yemen, Peterborough, 2008
– Matthew J. Senn, Michael Harrower, Dorota Brzinzska, and Joy McCorriston
Recent fieldwork in the highly dissected uplands of southern Yemen has made use of kinematic Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to conduct a large scale archaeological landscape survey. This method of survey, in conjunction with high resolution satellite imagery, is being used to reconstruct ancient social dynamics based on the distribution of surface features across Hadramawt province. The objective of this approach is to integrate the archaeological data with statistical image analysis and develop an automated process of remotely detecting stone monuments. This paper underscores the need for sub-meter GPS to accurately overlay survey data on Quickbird satellite imagery.
Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction and Paleoethnobotany at the Tuscany Site (Calgary, AB): Looking Back 8000 Years into the Past, Peterborough, 2008
– Evelyn SIEGFRIED
Intact macrobotanicals recovered through flotation analyses of sediments from archaeological sites can provide tantalizing evidence of the plant life existing in landscapes of the past. While the methodology can be relatively simple it can provide identifiable specimens for projections on diet and ecology. This paper will examine the charred macrobotanical evidence recovered from paleosols of the Tuscany archaeological site to reconstruct the paleoenvironment and explore the lifestyle that people may have employed to live within an ancient landscape near the eastern flanks of the Rocky Mountains.
Tipu Revisited: Confronting Challenges in Historical Maya Archaeology in Belize and the Implications for Heritage Management, Peterborough, 2008
– Rhan-Ju Song
This paper summarizes results of 2006 testing in the colonial centre of Tipu, central western Belize. Test pits and excavations were conducted in the courtyard of the Christian church in previously unexcavated areas. While no additional Historic period interments were located, discovery and excavation of a new structure in the Southwestern courtyard supports evidence of cultural continuity at Tipu, and is testament to the integrity of the surface site decades after its discovery. Based on Tipu data, the challenges in historical Maya archaeology in Belize will be discussed, as well as the benefits of collaborative, archaeologist- and landowner-managed, cultural stewardship.
Submerged Archaic Site Potential of Rice Lake, Ontario, Peterborough, 2008
– Lisa Sonnenburg, and Joe Boyce
Rice Lake, near Peterborough, Ontario, has been continuously occupied by humans throughout the Holocene (ca. last 12,000 yrs). Pollen records from Rice Lake record a mid-Holocene phase of lower lake levels at 6000 YBP that is linked to a regional mid-Holocene period of drier climates. The lowstand phase corresponds with the Archaic period of southern Ontario (9,000-3000 years BP), an era characterized by low archaeological visibility and highly disturbed sites. It has been proposed that the apparent paucity of such sites in the Great Lakes Region may be linked to the submergence of sites by rising water levels following the mid-Holocene lowstand. This research, which commenced in 2007, is employing multi-proxy geoarchaeological methods, including sediment coring, remote sensing and analysis of microdebitage to identify areas of high potential for submerged Prehistoric sites in Rice Lake. These data are being integrated within a predictive archaeological model that employs both landscape variables and spatial distribution of microdebitage to predict submerged site locations.
Prehistoric Pots and Their Parts: A Comprehensive Form and Function Study of Vessels from Northeastern North America, Peterborough, 2008
– Kora Stapelfeldt
Pottery is ubiquitous throughout the Woodland period (c. 500 B.C to A.D 1500) in northeastern North America. Mobile hunter-gatherer populations throughout this region used pottery technology despite its fragile nature. Though much great work has been completed on pottery design, form and function study remains woefully under-studied due to the small number of vessels available. Through a detailed analysis of near-complete vessels and sizeable rim sherds from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Western Newfoundland we can begin to see variety in pottery form throughout time as well as across the geographic area of study. By inferring form we can discuss function and gain a broader perspective as to how these pots were used. Though much work must still be completed, this research can serve as a starting point to uncover more about prehistoric pottery technology in hunter-gatherer populations
What lies beneath? A survey of the evidence in southern Ontario., Peterborough, 2008
– Andrew M. Stewart, Joseph R. Desloges, Christopher J. Ellis, Robert H. PIHL, and Michael Brand
The conventional notion that southern Ontario's Holocene landscape is relatively unchanged in 10,000 years, experiencing only minor post-glacial infilling/exposure, has discouraged archaeologists from looking for cultural deposits that are buried beneath the plough zone. Geoarchaeological results from southern Michigan suggest, however, that river floodplains and lake plains around the Great Lakes, among other depositional environments, have high potential for preserving former land surfaces, including paleosols, as well as associated cultural deposits, often with no surface expression. The archaeological record in major river valleys of southern Ontario including the Grand, Thames, Ausable and other rivers suggests that similar potential exists for lower reaches of rivers and the lake plain of Lake Huron below the Nipissing stage strandline. Assembling data on the location of these sites within the landscape and on their stratigraphy, however incomplete, is the first step towards creating a regional depositional model that will allow many more buried sites to be found in Ontario.
Exploring Human and Environmental Interactions on a Digital Landscape: The Archaeological Use of Cost-Surface Analysis, Peterborough, 2008
– Mike Stringer
Archaeologists strive to employ a holistic approach to investigating the characteristics of past societies in many geographical locations. The use of Cost-Surface Analysis is one such method utilized to heighten our understanding of the effects that different landscapes have on human populations. Within a GIS and on a digital landscape it accumulates the relative "costs" of traversing from one location to another. It has opened the door for investigating human and environmental interactions at local and regional scales in many areas of the world for many archaeological events. By applying this method to research on the origin and spread of agriculture throughout Europe we can visualize which areas are most constraining or accommodating for the movement of this subsistence system. This paper will comment on the usefulness of the technique past studying past cultures, recommend suggestions for improvement, and offer insight into other archaeological problems that can benefit from CSA.
Have Canoe Will Travel…But How?, Peterborough, 2008
– Brent D. Suttie
Over the last few years a number of pre-contact and early historic watercraft have come to light which originated in New Brunswick. While excellent research has presented overviews of individual watercraft, to date no work has been aimed at establishing the performance and physical characteristics of each vessel. The goal of the research presented here is to generate performance values and specifications for bark and dugout canoes derived from experimental modeling. The long-term goal of this study is to produce values for use in precontact mobility and resource transportation studies.
The Politics of Architectural Remodelling on Peru's North Coast, Peterborough, 2008
– Edward Swenson
Ritualized architectural remodelling, commonly glossed as "dedication and termination rites," has long captured the imagination of archaeologists working in pre-Columbian Latin America. This article presents evidence of architectural renovations as rituals of transformation in the Jequetepeque Valley of Peru during the Late Intermediate Period (AD 1150-1370). The residences of high status individuals residing in rural hillside settlements of the region were often ceremonially "pyramidized" or "huacafied" toward the end of their use history. I argue that the conversion of residential/administrative structures into "huaca shrines" provides an important source of information on the ideologies of social memory and related political strategies of local, provincial populations incorporated into the Chimu empire (around AD 1250-1470). This argument will be supported through a presentation of architectural data from the site of Cerro Serrano (JE-619) located in the northern end of the valley near the modern-day city of Chepen.
Ecological Change Associated with the Maritime Fur Trade in Southern Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia), Peterborough, 2008
– Paul Szpak, Trevor ORCHARD, and Darren Gröcke
Among the most well known trophic cascades involves the extirpation of sea otters on the Pacific Northwest Coast and resultant ecological changes, the most significant of these being a dramatic reduction in kelp forest habitat. This is largely the result of intensive sea otter hunting by both First Nations groups and European and North American traders. Stable isotope analysis (d13C and d15N) of faunal bone collagen was utilized to investigate the nature of these ecological changes in southern Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia) during the Late Pre-Contact through martime fur trade periods. The results of the isotopic analysis, combined with archaeological and ethnohistoric data, suggest extensive hunting and long-distance trading of sea otters following European contact and provide direct evidence of major ecological change in the region.