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Ontario Archaeology – OA053, 1992

Pre-Contact Settlement Pattern in Southern Ontario: Simulation Model for Maize-Based Village Horticulture
Volume:  OA53
Year:  1992
Page Range:  3 – 25
Abstract:  Three explanations can be advanced for the patchiness of overall prehistoric horticultural settlement distribution in Southern Ontario: (1) the northward diffusion of horticulture was interrupted by European contact, and the patchiness results from the incompleteness of the diffusion process; (2) the distribution of villages was controlled by cultural influences such as tribalisation, warfare, and trade, so that the patchiness is a result of the heterogeneity of the cultural landscape; or (3) the patchiness is due to the heterogeneity of the physical landscape, especially climate and edaphic conditions. This paper develops and uses a simulation model of regional site location to examine the relative importance of frost-free days, drainage, soil texture, and relief for explaining the site distribution. At a regional scale, ten per cent frost-free days and soil texture are found to be the most useful variables in describing the observed settlement pattern. Thus the third hypothesis, that the patchiness was due to the heterogeneity of the physical environment, may be a sufficient explanation.

The Winona Rockshelter Burial
Volume:   OA53
Year:  1992
Author:  SPENCE, M. W. & W. A. FOX
Page Range:  27 – 44
Abstract:  The incomplete skeletons of an adult male, a young adult female, a child and an infant were found in a small rockshelter in the Niagara Escarpment near Winona, Ontario.  Although the site had been badly disturbed by unauthorised digging, the available archaeological and osteological evidence suggests that these represent the multiple secondary burial of members of a small, biologically homogeneous community. The only associated cultural material was a single chert flake. The accelerator radiocarbon date on bone of 1190 BP ± 60, calibrated to 830/859 AD, can be reconciled with dental evidence for considerable maize consumption by assigning the site to the Early Ontario Iroquois (Glen Meyer/Pickering) period. The Winona Rockshelter and other Early Ontario Iroquois sites indicate a good deal of variability in the subsistence and settlement systems, and consequently in the mortuary programmes, of these early horticultural societies.

The Stirrup Court Cemetery Coffin Hardware
Volume:  OA53
Year:  1992
Author:  WOODLEY, P. J.
Page Range:  45 – 64
Abstract:  This report presents the analysis of the coffin hardware from the 19th century Euro-Canadian Stirrup Court Cemetery. The results of this analysis and comparisons with other cemeteries has produced a chronology of coffin shape and coffin hardware for 19th century southern Ontario. Both rectangular coffins and coffin hardware had been introduced by mid-century, and hardware was increasingly used and varied by the late 1800s. The results of this chronology are combined with historical and skeletal data to determine the identity of the individuals buried at Stirrup Court. Relative cost can be estimated for coffins, but there is no simple correlation between social status and the quantity of coffin hardware.