From ancient pots and botanical remains to industrial heritage and aviation sites: papers in recognition of Michael Deal’s distinguished career in archaeology

Jeudi, mai 16, 2019 - 9:00am - 4:00pm
  • Catherine Cottreau-Robins and Barry Gaulton
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Session Description (300 word max): 

Dr. Michael Deal has enjoyed a long and fruitful career in archaeology. His retirement in August 2018, after 33 years of dedicated teaching and university service at Memorial University of Newfoundland, provides a fitting opportunity to reflect upon and recognize his achievements. The papers in this session, presented by colleagues and former/current students, pay homage to the breadth and scope of Mike’s research interests. From the Archaic shoreline of the Annapolis River to the Mexican highlands and the airfields of Gander, Mike has studied the full range of prehistory in the Maritime Peninsula and beyond, influencing regularly the fields of pre-colonial archaeology, ethnoarchaeology, paleoethnobotany, industrial archaeology and aviation archaeology. Join us as we celebrate a remarkable contribution to Canadian archaeology.

09:10 AM: Dr. Michael Deal: Recollections of an Early Graduate Student
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Auteur-e(s) :
  • Helen Kristmanson - Government of Prince Edward Island

In 1988 Dr. Michael Deal initiated the Minas Basin Archaeological Project in Nova Scotia.  What began as a three year archaeological survey soon developed into a long-term research program  in the Minas Basin area.  During this time Mike provided hands on learning opportunities for many archaeology students, including me, his second Master of Arts candidate.  In this paper I trace Mike’s influence in my own career trajectory from pre-contact earthenware ceramics to the intersection of archaeology, Indigenous rights, policy, and the politics of recognition.

09:40 AM: Continuity and change in the rock art of the Canadian Maritimes.
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Auteur-e(s) :
  • Bryn Tapper - Memorial University of Newfoundland

The Algonquian rock art of the Canadian Maritimes comprises a rich corpus of petroglyphs that contributes to our current understandings of Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik cultural life in the past. Significantly, some of the petroglyphs document the Indigenous perspective of colonial contact, the impact of that contact and the adaptations made; critically, the petroglyphs also demonstrate the persistence of an enduring Indigenous cultural memory.

Building on a programme of survey and conservation initiatives undertaken during the 1970s-80s, a comparative analysis of the technical, iconographic and narrative content of the petroglyphs aligns the corpus with both the pre-and postcontact rock art traditions of neighbouring Algonquian-speaking peoples in the Northeast. Ongoing analysis using computational photography, principally Highlight Reflectance Transformation Imaging and photogrammetry, have revealed the existence of previously unrecorded imagery, provided details relating to petroglyph manufacture techniques, and aided the identification of superimposition sequences in some palimpsest panels.

10:30 AM: Crashes, Recoveries, and Aviators: The Evolution of Aviation Archaeology in Newfoundland and Labrador
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Auteur-e(s) :
  • Lisa Daly - Independent Researcher

While not the first to conduct aviation archaeology in Newfoundland and Labrador, Dr. Michael Deal focused on the topic over the past few years. This presentation proposes to examine the work he has conducted in Newfoundland and Labrador aviation history and archaeology. His work has influenced others to explore the province’s aviation and modern conflict archaeology, including developing new methodologies for recording and analysing terrestrial aviation crash sites, researching the infrastructure associated with aviation, and working with the public to preserve these sites. This presentation will briefly look at future work coming out of Memorial University, and additional research being done across Canada.

11:00 AM: “A profitable merchandise” : the archaeology of early industry at Avalon 1621-1629
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Auteur-e(s) :
  • Barry Gaulton - Memorial University of Newfoundland

Acknowledging Mike’s interest in the archaeology of small-scale industries in Atlantic Canada, this paper explores the evidence for early industry at the colony of Avalon in Ferryland, Newfoundland between 1621 and 1629. Established by Sir George Calvert, this English settlement’s economic lifeblood was grounded in the cod fishery; however, the first years also saw attempts at other industries including timber extraction, mineral exploration and assaying for precious metals, slate quarrying, salt making, and hemp and flax cultivation. At the same time, the growing colony required infrastructure for the small-scale production of dietary staples such as bread and beer. Structural hardware, tools, and fishing implements were also made on-site at the colony’s forge, operated by two blacksmiths. Some of these fledgling industries proved unfeasible or unnecessary beyond the first few years of settlement, whereas others continued until ca. 1640 when Ferryland’s new proprietor Sir David Kirke altered the colony’s operations.     

11:30 AM: Micro-Analytical Techniques and Shell Midden Archives of The Canadian North Atlantic Ocean
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Auteur-e(s) :
  • Meghan  Burchell - Memorial University
  • Ian Predham - Memorial University
  • Marisa Dusseault - Memorial University
  • Kristin Poduska - Memorial University

Coastal shell middens are rich archives of cultural and environmental records, and the re-analysis of existing collections has unlimited potential to address questions regarding long-term human interactions with the ocean. In recent years, micro-analytical techniques, including stable isotope analysis, have been widely applied in the North Atlantic to understand long-term climatic signals and seasonality of shellfish collection; however, the full potential of these methods has yet to be applied in archaeological practice in the Canadian North Atlantic.  We present the design for a multi-proxy approach to the re-analysis of existing shell midden collections, with an emphasis on Port Joli Harbour, Nova Scotia (2150-3560 cal B.P.)  By analyzing the organic and inorganic components of marine shell, the precision and resolution of seasonality interpretations, sea surface temperature reconstructions and radiocarbon dates can be improved while simultaneously investigating long-term histories of hunter-fisher-gatherer subsistence practices.

01:40 PM: In the wake of the Labrador Current: Maritime Archaic at the Beaches Site (DeAk-01), Bonavista Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Format de présentation :
Auteur-e(s) :
  • Anita Johnson-Henke

Dr. Deal’s interests are diverse, and he embraces new ideas in archaeological research. He is the first archaeology professor at Memorial University to supervise a project in the intertidal zone. Rising sea levels are responsible for the loss of ancient coastal sites world wide and the Beaches (DeAk-01) multicomponent site is suffering this fate. The site preserves evidence of six prehistoric cultures including the Maritime Archaic, who were the first inhabitants on the Island of Newfoundland. A gravel terrace marks the remains of the site and earlier excavations demonstrated that peat separated anthropogenic strata. One peat deposit capped an exclusively Maritime Archaic anthropogenic horizon one to two metres below the surface of the terrace. Four core samples were extracted, and fourteen test pits were dug in the intertidal zone to reconstruct the site when the Maritime Archaic were present, and to reassess the peat stratum that previous researchers discovered. An additional peat stratum was revealed 3.82 metres below sea level (BSL). This paper is a summary of our research at the Beaches site, in Bonavista Bay. 

02:10 PM: New Perspectives from the Boswell Site in Southwestern Nova Scotia: A Paper in Honor of Dr. Michael Deal
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Auteur-e(s) :
  • John Andrew Campbell - Memorial University of Newfoundland

As the Principal Investigator of the Boswell Archaeology Project, Dr. Michael Deal has led archaeological excavations at the Boswell Site (BfDf-08) on an intermittent basis from 2011 to 2018. The Boswell Site, located along the meandering shorelines of the Annapolis River in South Farmington, Nova Scotia, has focused on new perspectives of Ancestral Mi’kmaw lifeways during the Transitional Archaic Period – Mu Awsami Keji’kewe’k L’nuk (4,100-2,700 BP) and subsequent Woodland Period – Keji’kewe’k L’nuk (3,000-450 BP). Excavations led by Dr. Deal present unique perspectives about the stratigraphy of riverine sediments and alluvial soils, along with riparian recovery methods of eroded contexts. The analysis of diagnostic artifacts and ceramic remnants, in conjunction with paleoethnobotanical and radiocarbon dating analyses, has enhanced understandings of the Transitional Archaic and Woodland periods on the Maritime Peninsula. Recently developed chronologies of the Boswell Site as well as a regional synthesis of chronologically and culturally affiliated sites based on previous pXRF lithic identification analysis will be presented.

03:00 PM: Wela'lin Mike: The contributions of Michael Deal to the work of recognizing Mi'kmaw Rights and Title in Nova Scotia
Format de présentation :
Auteur-e(s) :
  • Heather MacLeod-Leslie - Kwilmu'kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiations Office

Michael Deal has made many notable contributions to the discourse and discipline of archaeology in Canada's Atlantic Provinces. In Nova Scotia, those contributions, diverse and many, make distinct and significant contributions to the Mi'kmaw Nation in Nova Scotia's work to have their rights and title recognized and to revive, promote and protect a healthy Mi'kmaw identity.  This paper will recognize some of those specific contributions that Michael Deal's work has made as a field archaeologist, a palaeoethnobotanical researcher and as a teacher.   As the Senior Archaeologist for the Kwilmu'kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiations Office of the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaq Chiefs, the author, a former graduate student of Deal's, enjoys a unique opportunity to appreciate and build on those contributions. This paper will highlight Deal's leadership as well as his continued scholarship and collegiality as an important figure for archaeologists and Mi'kmaq in the region.

03:30 PM: The palaeoethnobotany of Ferryland's Beothuk deposits
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Auteur-e(s) :
  • Emma Lewis-Sing - Memorial University of Newfoundland

For almost three decades, Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Archaeology Unit (now the Department of Archaeology) offered an ‘Introduction to Palaeoethnobotany’ undergraduate course taught by Dr. Michael Deal. Students were instructed in macrobotanical recovery and interpretation through hands-on flotation and microscopic identification of specimens from never-before analysed archaeological sediment samples. Excavations at the archaeological site of Ferryland (CgAf-02) in the 1990s and early 2000s provided numerous samples for this course, including those collected from hearth features associated with a 16th-century Beothuk occupation. This paper presents the reconciliation of 20+ years of palaeoethnobotanical data with recent analyses of sediments from these Beothuk contexts in an attempt to present a consolidated interpretation of the Beothuk deposits at Ferryland. Intermingled are reflections on my research as Mike Deal’s final MA student, and how getting to know him at the end of his career at MUN was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.