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Ontario Archaeology – OA061, 1996

Editorial:  Research on Intrasite and Regional Spatial Distributions
Volume:  OA61
Year:  1996
Page Range:  1 – 4
Abstract:  No Abstract

The Bolton Site (AfHj-89): A Crowfield Phase Early Paleo-Indian Site in Southwestern Ontario
Volume:  OA61
Year:  1996
Page Range:  5 -40
Abstract:  This paper provides a description and analysis of the information recovered during the 1990 excavations at the Early Paleo-Indian (fluted point-related) Bolton site (AfHj-89) in southwestern Ontario. Bolton was excavated as part of a larger project designed to explore the nature and theoretical significance of small sites to our understanding of Paleo-Indian cultural systems. The site has yielded the distinctive Crowfield style fluted points and preforms and, hence, is assignable to the Crowfield Phase. This phase is the presumed terminal, Early Paleo-Indian manifestation in the eastern Great Lakes area and is one of the poorest known of all suggested Great Lakes area Paleo-Indian developments. Although several other components were represented at the site, detailed analyses of the spatial distribution of ploughzone piece-plotted artifact types and of different lithic raw materials allowed the isolation of the Paleo-Indian tool and waste flake assemblage. The recovered site sample is dominated by fluted bifaces and denticulated/retouched flakes and is interpreted as a small hunting camp or a task group activity area. Despite the fact that Crowfield bifaces are best known from a ceremonial feature at the Crowfield site. the clearly non-ceremonial nature of the Bolton site lends credence to the view that Crowfield points are utilitarian tools and not some special ceremonial artifact. The site also demonstrates some of the interpretative advantages of small sites, particularly with respect to spatial patterning and delineating tool kits. (this article includes comments by Timmins and a reply by Deller and Ellis)

The Little Shaver Site: Exploring Site Structure and Excavation Methodology on an Unploughed Site in the Region of Hamilton-Wentworth, Ontario
Volume:  OA61
Year:  1996
Page Range:  45 – 81
Abstract:  The Little Shaver site is a small, unploughed prehistoric camp located in a woodlot near Ancaster, Ontario. Excavations conducted in 1991 yielded substantive data on a small multi-component (Middle Archaic/Early Woodland) site and insights into excavation methodology. The tool assemblage is characterized by a dominance of bifaces and biface production debris, and absence of formal scrapers, suggesting a short-term hunting camp function. Highly controlled excavations were conducted to compare piece plotting with shovel excavation. It was determined that piece plotting, while considerably more expensive than shovel excavation, yields higher quality spatial information. Current models of hunter-gatherer site formation were applied to the Little Shaver spatial data. In the northern area of the site, a five by six metre structure is inferred based on artifact distributions. These data can also be interpreted, albeit less convincingly, as the remains of an exterior hearth. In the southern area of the site one or two exterior hearths are inferred. The analysis highlights the need to maximize the information potential of small undisturbed sites and refine models of hunter-gatherer site formation.

The Modelling of Ontario Iroquoian Archaeological Site Patterns: Distance to Nearest Source of Water and Size of Site
Volume:  OA61
Year:  1996
Page Range:  82 – 99
Abstract:  Statistical models are developed to describe the distance of an Iroquoian archaeological site to its nearest source of water and to describe the size of an Iroquoian archaeological site. Models of this type provide the opportunity to factor in any number of locational, environmental and cultural variables, such as type of water, soil drainage, and cultural time period. These models are taken from the literature of actuarial science, medicine and reliability theory in engineering. It is shown that the distribution of the distances of Iroquoian sites in southern Ontario to the nearest source of water follows an exponentially decreasing pattern away from the water. The factors which influence average distance to water in this distribution are water type and soil drainage. All other environmental and cultural variables are non-significant in this model for the data under study. The distribution of the size of Iroquoian sites is also exponential in shape, although it follows a slightly different statistical distribution and is affected by other variables.