1444 Queen Street East, Suite 102, Toronto, ON M4L 1E1
+1 416-406-5959

Ontario Archaeology – OA074, 2002

A Stone Tool Cache from the Hudson Bay Lowlands
Volume:  OA74
Year:  2002
Page Range:  4 – 21
Abstract:  The 1,100 year old Ouissinaougouk cache, located in the Hudson Bay Lowlands, consists of 343 objects, most of which (88) are expedient tools (scrapers, notches, gravers, pièces esquilleés, retouched flakes) or flake blanks (249). They appear to have been left in a birch-bark container and either set aside for future use and not retrieved, lost in a spring flood or simply left behind when camp was moved. Blood residues show that some of the artifacts had been used to process a wide range of animals, including ungulates, bear, canids, hare and some kind of rodent (muskrat or beaver?), animals consistent with a cold season occupation. Transport scars (highly polished facets) indicate that the assemblage of items was carried over a considerable distance. The cache represents the anticipated requirement for lithic implements during the coming cold season when access to stone is severely curtailed by snow cover.

An Unusual Slate Gorget Fragment from Oxford County, Ontario
Volume:  OA74
Year:  2002
Page Range:  22 – 42
Abstract:  This paper reports on a fragment of a slate gorget from Oxford County, southwestern Ontario, that most likely dates to the Early to Middle Woodland (ca. 2,800 to 1,500 B.P.). Usually stone gorgets are undecorated or have simple incised geometric motifs but this fragment has representational images, on both faces, in the form of several line engravings of animals that most closely resemble wolves or dogs. The orientation of the representations also provides information on how gorgets might have been suspended. Marked differences in engraving style suggest use by more than one individual, indicating that some of these items were heirlooms. Gorgets with representational images occur on shell, cannel coal and stone, but their rarity and the depiction of animals that were particularly important in the ethnographically documented spiritual beliefs of Great Lakes area Native peoples reinforce the idea that gorgets were important in the sacred and social life of the makers.