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Ontario Archaeology – OA094, 2014

The Archaeological History of the Wendat to A.D. 1651: An Overview
Volume:  OA94
Year:  2014
Author:  Ronald F. Williamson
Page Range:  3- 64
Abstract:  The foundations for modern scholarship concerning Wendat history and archaeology were laid in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by researchers, such as Andrew Hunter and Arthur Jones, investigating hundreds of sites and ossuaries that had been reported to provincial authorities. The focus of their work and of the work of many of those who followed was the search for places that could be related to villages and missions mentioned in early documentary accounts. Avocational, academic, and government agency archaeologists working in the mid-twentieth century had only these early archaeological studies to inform their investigations of Wendat sites. During the past 30 year, however, a revolution in archaeological data collection has occurred. SOme of these data are published and thus accessible to current researchers, but much of it remains unpublished and some of it has not even been reported on. This paper is an overview of most of this work, especially of those sites where substantial excavations have occurred. It is intended to provide a guide for those who wish to use these studies to delve deeper into various aspects of the history of historic-period or ancestral Wendat communities.

The Bioarchaeology of Cannibalism at the Charity Site
Volume:  OA94
Year:  2014
Author:  Michael W. Spence and Lawrence Jackson
Page Range:  65- 80
Abstract:  The remnants of the Huron (Wendat) nation, fleeing Iroquoian war parties, took refuge on Christian Island over the winter of 1649- 50. Suffering from starvation and disease, some were forced to cannibalize the remains of deceased family members. Although this tragic situation was described by the Jesuits, archaeological excavations on Christian Island by David Boyle in 1897 and the University of Toronto in the 1970’s, found no skeletal evidence for the practice of cannibalism among the burials that they encountered. However, the 1991 excavation of the Charity site, on an inland lake, revealed several deposits of human bone, representing five individuals, associated with one of the longhouses. The skeletal elements show evidence of dismemberment, defleshing, percussion breakage, and burning, Both the skeletal and the contextual data support the Jesuits’ report of cannibalism, including their statement that it was frequently practiced by those close to the deceased.

The Gosling Site (AiHb-189): A Small, Parkhill Phase, Paleo-Indian Site in Guelph, Ontario
Volume:  OA94
Year:  2014
Author:  Christopher Ellis and Dana R. Poulaton
Page Range:  81- 111
Abstract:  A description and analysis of the information recovered during the 1996 CRM fieldwork at the Early Paleo-Indian (fluted point-related) Gosling site is presented, The site, located in the City of Guelph, Wellington County, Ontario, is a single-component one assignable to the Parkhill Phase based on the recovery of a Barnes-type fluted point. The assemblage from the site is the largest recovered from an Ontario Parkhill Phase site that is located away from the strandline of pro-glacial Lake Algonquin/Ardtrea. Yet, the assemblage is a very small, diffuse lithic scatter comprising only 24 artifacts recovered over an area of 373 sq. M. The majority of the assemblage is from a controlled surface collection, because the site was not recognized as a Paleo-Indian component until, during stripping of the ploughzone in an attempt to find features, the fluted point was recovered. Nonetheless, Gosling is of some significance because it expands our currently highly biased knowledge of the Parkhill Phase in terms of site locational preferences, tool inventories, and lithic raw material source selections. In addition, as an object lesson, the site highlights a number of characteristics of Paleo-Indian sites, knows primarily to specialists in that field, that need to become better known in the CRM community. These characteristics should assist in recognizing such sites in the future in cases where diagnostic fluted points are not recovered.

From Grey to Pring:  Introduction
Volume:  OA94
Author:  Ron Williamson
Page Range:  112-113

Preliminary Excavations at Sainte Marie II
Volume:  OA94
Year:  2014
Author:  Peter J. Carruthers
Page Range:  112- 141
Abstract:  Saint Marie II, situated on Christian Island, was the scene of the last chapter in the story of French and Wendat occupation in historic Wendake in southcentral Ontario. This paper reports on the first systematic excavations undertaken at the site. Abandoned in 1651, it was not until the mid-nineteenth century that the fort was relocated and documented, leading to the installation of a plaque in 1923 by the federal government. The excavations were undertaken in the summer of 1965 by Wilfrid Jury and Peter Carruthers and were sponsored by the Ontario Historic Sites and Monuments Board. The objective of the project was to determine the feasibility of carrying out more extensive excavations with a view to future reconstruction and interpretation of the site. The work was among the first designed in Ontario in meaningful consultation with a First Nation. Beausoleil First Nation permitted the excavations provided they were carried out, in part, by band members, they were confined to a single test trench inside the walls of the compound, and that the recovered artifact assemblage remained on the island in the possession of the First Nation. The remains of at least one structure were encountered, along with a refuse deposit and evidence of an altered landscape. A comprehensive rante of both European and Aboriginal artifacts were recovered including a 1640 French coin, similar to one recovered from Sainte Marie I. As this assemblage was eventually destroyed by fire, this paper represents the only record of their former presence on this site. (Abstract by Ronald Williamson)