An isotopic reconstruction of diet and origins in an 18th-century mass burial site at the Fortress of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia

Ellerbrok, Brittany Ann (2014) An isotopic reconstruction of diet and origins in an 18th-century mass burial site at the Fortress of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The Fortress of Louisbourg, on the east coast of Cape Breton, played an important role in the 18th-century colonial history of North America. In 2006, a mass burial was discovered on nearby Rochefort Point. From the historical and archaeological evidence, it is believed the remains are of New England garrison members who died at the Fortress in the winter of 1745-46. To investigate this hypothesis, isotopic analysis was conducted on the individuals’ skeletal remains and on faunal remains from the Fortress. While the dietary reconstruction revealed a great deal of isotopic variability, most individuals subsisted on C₃ based foods. The ⁸⁷Sr/⁸⁶Sr analysis was inconclusive, however, the lack of marine diets and non-French δ¹⁸O values suggests the mass burial individuals were not Louisbourg residents. Furthermore, the δ¹⁸O values suggest possible origins in New England which lends further support to the hypothesis that the mass burial individuals were members of the 1745 New England garrison.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/6456
Item ID: 6456
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 263-290).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Archaeology
Date: May 2014
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site (N.S.)
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site (N.S.)--History—18th century; Excavations (Archaeology)--Nova Scotia--Louisbourg; Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site (N.S.)--Antiquities; New England--History, Military--18th century; Isotopes--Analysis

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