Late prehistoric Indian subsistence in northeastern Newfoundland : faunal analysis of Little Passage Complex assemblages from the Beaches and Inspector Island sites

Cridland, Jennifer (1998) Late prehistoric Indian subsistence in northeastern Newfoundland : faunal analysis of Little Passage Complex assemblages from the Beaches and Inspector Island sites. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This thesis concerns the subsistence pattern of the Little Passage Recent Indian complex (ca. A.D. 1200 to A.D. 1500). Specifically, this study focused on the mode of subsistence on the northeast coast of Newfoundland as represented by the new faunal assemblages from the Beaches site (DeAk-1), Bonavista Bay and Inspector Island site (DiAq-2), Notre Dame Bay. Little is known about the economic activities of the Little Passage people. To date, only two other sites have provided direct evidence of these activities in the form of preserved animal material. As a result, the Little Passage subsistence pattern had only been inferred from this meagre faunal evidence and from less direct evidence of site location, knowledge of resource availability, associated tool forms, and analogy to related and better known cultures situated in similar environments. This thesis begins to address the present lack of direct subsistence information for the Little Passage complex in northeastern Newfoundland by presenting the largest faunal samples yet to be recovered. Inspector Island produced 807 identifiable bone fragments. The Beaches produced 239 identifiable bone fragments. -- The new faunal data supported the hypothesized generalized subsistence approach of the Little Passage people proposed in the current literature. The thesis material indicated that there was a focus on inner coastal marine resources, but not on any one marine species. As predicted, there were positive indications that this coastal focus occurred during a period from late winter to at least mid-summer. The new faunal data did not particularly further our understanding of Little Passage exploitation of the Newfoundland interior and their fall and winter subsistence activities. The hope is that faunal material will someday be recovered that will provide concrete evidence to reconstruct these aspects of the Little Passage subsistence cycle. -- Also, as it has been demonstrated that the people of the Little Passage complex were the immediate predecessors of the historic Beothuk, the thesis results reinforce current theories that the "traditional" Beothuk annual round would have been affected, first by the European migratory summer fishery, and then by permanent European settlement along the Newfoundland coast.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1103
Item ID: 1103
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 271-279.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Anthropology
Date: 1998
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador; Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Bonavista Bay; Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Notre Dame Bay
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Beothuks--Newfoundland and Labrador--Antiquities; Beaches Site (N.L.); Bonavista Bay (N.L.)--Antiquities; Inspector Island Site (N.L.); Notre Dame Bay (N.L.)--Antiquities

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