Cultural dynamics in the grassland-boreal-deciduous transitional zone of southeastern Manitoba : 1000 B.C. to A.D. 1000

Buchner, Anthony P. (1976) Cultural dynamics in the grassland-boreal-deciduous transitional zone of southeastern Manitoba : 1000 B.C. to A.D. 1000. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Artifactual material from the multi-component Bjorklund Site is described and discussed. It is determined that the Laurel Phase represents the movement into southeastern Manitoba of a new group of people as the Laurel assemblage is discontinuous with that of the resident late Archaic Larter or Pelican Lake Phase. The subsequent Late Woodland Manitoba or Blackduck and Selkirk Phases are seen as providing evidence of cultural continuity from the Middle Woodland Period to the Historic Period in southeastern Manitoba. -- The Larter or Pelican Lake Phase is compared to the neighbouring and roughly contemporaneous Lake Forest Archaic (incorporating Old Copper, Glacial Kame, Red Ochre and Laurentian) and the Shield Archaic tradition of the Boreal Forest region. It is concluded that the greatest degree of cultural interaction is evidenced in Archaic components of the Canadian Shield which may be traced to plains-adapted peoples of the Larter Phase and the woodland-adapted peoples of the Lake Forest region. It is further suggested that the Shield Archaic as presented by Wright (1972b) does not merit tradition status and is not a useful theoretical construct. -- The Laurel Culture as a member of a broader Lake Forest Middle Woodland configuration, is seen as an evolutionary development from a Lake Forest Archaic cultural base with the introduction of ceramics from an external source. The Lake Forest Archaic ancestry from Laurel is supported by the available radiocarbon dates, ceramic correspondences throughout the Lake Forest, adaptation to a similar environment, similar subsistence base and the high degree of correspondence in the artifactual trait lists of the two cultures. Much of the Laurel ceramic material beyond the borders of the Lake Forest zone is thus considered indicative of an expansion of Laurel peoples who either left the Lake Forest permanently or on a seasonal basis to exploit the resources of the neighbouring ecological zones. The displacement of Larter peoples by those of the Laurel Culture is considered to have been successful primarily because of the greater diversification and hence efficiency of environmental exploitation by the latter group. An additional and perhaps deciding factor may have been the onset of a major climatic episode during the period of Laurel cultural development. The Sub-Atlantic is associated with a southerly and westerly advance of the Boreal Forest. This would have resulted in a depresssion of the Parkland edge in southeastern Manitoba, thus causing the wintering grounds of the bison to lie west of their earlier location. Larter peoples, who depended almost exclusively upon bison for food would have found the area less favourable and this 'new' ecological niche was rapidly filled by people of eastern derivation with a diffuse economic base aptly suited to changing environmental situations and transitional ecological zones. -- The study concludes with a brief discussion of the relationship between Laurel and Blackduck populations and the problems involved in the ethnic identification of the prehistoric populations of southeastern Manitoba.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/3986
Item ID: 3986
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 257-267.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Anthropology
Date: 1976
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Manitoba
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Manitoba--Antiquities

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