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Ontario Archaeology – OA089/090, 2010

Researching the Petun
Volume:  OA89-90
Year:  2010
Author:  Charles Garrad
Page Range:  3-57
Abstract:  More than a century of research has led to the present state of knowledge of the Petun occupation of the Petun Country, in the former Collingwood, Nottawasaga, and Mulmur townships. Many individuals, with different skills and interests, have contributed to the study of the Petun between ca. AD 1580 and 1650. This paper outlines the history of investigation of the Petun, describing the work of the more notable contributors.

Understanding Conflict through Burial: Neural Network Analysis of Death and Burial in the War of 1812
Volume:  OA89-90
Year:  2010
Author:  Stephanie Spars
Page Range:  58-68
Abstract:  This paper concerns methods and theories for analyzing and interpreting burials related to wars and other conflict situations. Spars (2000; 2005) developed a conflict burial model to facilitate the identification of material differences in burials that will, in turn, help in understanding burial circumstances (e.g., whether a death occurred during conflict on the battlefield, as a direct consequence of battlefield injuries or other trauma, from execution, or in circumstances unrelated to the conflict, and whether the subsequent burial was by a “friendly,” “neutral,” or “hostile” group). Data from burials in the War of 1812 mass grave site of Snake Hill, Fort Erie, Ontario (1814) are compared to those from the conventional cemetery at Prospect Hill, Newmarket, Ontario (1824–1879). The variables of the model include body positioning; cause of death; presence or absence of mutilation; burial container; and ritual markers, including clothing and grave goods. The quantitative methodology neural networks (self-organizing maps) provides a clear, accessible and repeatable means of exploring, classifying—and ultimately making predictions from—smaller, more complex datasets, such as those reflecting the many attributes of human activity preserved in archaeological contexts.

Technological Choices: Ceramic Manufacture and Use at the Antrex Site (AjGv-38)
Volume:  OA89-90
Year:  2010
Author:  Gregory Braun
Page Range:  69-96
Abstract:  This paper examines technological characteristics of the pottery recovered from Antrex (AjGv-38), a Middle Ontario Iroquoian village site located in present-day Mississauga, west of Toronto, which dates to the midthirteenth century AD. Four different vessel types were identified at the Antrex site, each with a distinct set of manufacturing characteristics and patterns of use alteration. They include: small and medium-sized pots that were used for boiling stews, porridges or soups by placing them on stone supports directly over a small, hot fire; large pots, used in conjunction with hot rocks or “boiling stones,” ideal for the extraction of fats and oils; and juvenile vessels, which were not used for food processing but appear to have been carefully curated. Overall, the choices made by Antrex site potters indicate a technologically sophisticated knowledge of ceramic manufacture. They also suggest that the practice of this technology was informed by both functional and social concerns.

The In-house Burials at the Late Ontario Iroquoian Draper Site (AlGt-2): A Multidirectional Approach to Interpretation
Volume:  OA89-90
Year:  2010
Author:  Crystal Forrest
Page Range:  97-119
Abstract:  Interments in longhouses have long represented an alternative to ossuary burial in the Ontario Iroquoian context, although they are less common in general. Beginning with Kapches (1976), researchers have made attempts to understand the impetus for in-house burials by making use of the ethnohistoric record. This article investigates the osteological and archaeological data pertaining to the in-house burials from the late fifteenth-century Draper site (AlGt-2) in the context of the ethnohistoric record from the early seventeenth century. In particular, the high proportion of infants interred at the Draper site, and in longhouses from other Iroquoian villages, is investigated by drawing on the writings of historic era missionaries and traders. While archaeologists have expressed concern regarding both the use of clearly biased ethnohistoric accounts and the utility of the direct historic approach to analogy, it is argued here that the construction of analogies through the use of ethnohistoric documents provides access to the cultural aspects of Iroquoian death and burial that are obscured by purely functional explanations. These include the importance of ideology and ceremonialism in the way in which death and burial are treated in Iroquoian communities.

Philleo Nash (1909-1987): The Toronto Years
Volume:  OA89-90
Year:  2010
Author:  Mima Kapches
Page Range:  120-125
Abstract:  no abstract