L'Anse aux Meadows (EjAv-01) : an archaeological and ethnohistorical investigation of bird use during the recent Indian period in Newfoundland and Labrador

Kristensen, Todd J. (2010) L'Anse aux Meadows (EjAv-01) : an archaeological and ethnohistorical investigation of bird use during the recent Indian period in Newfoundland and Labrador. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This thesis explores Native American bird hunting and consumption in Newfoundland and Labrador from 2000 years ago to the nineteenth century. Ethnohistorical records of Beothuk and Innu bird use inform an archaeological interpretation of the Recent Indian period at L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site. This investigation of hunter-gatherer bird exploitation supplements research of Late Holocene mammal hunting in order to provide a broadened perspective of pre-contact ecology in the North Atlantic. -- Birds were attractive resources to many northern hunter-gatherers because of the predictability and availability of various bird species throughout the year. At the time of European contact, many Newfoundland Beothuk harvested seabirds while the Labrador Innu relied on ptarmigan and grouse. Based on ethnohistorical records, birds played prominent roles in the ecological systems of both Native peoples and an array of tools were utilized to capture and process them. -- A synopsis of the province's archaeological record reveals that birds commonly appear in faunal assemblages from Newfoundland Recent Indian and Beothuk coastal sites while hunting blinds are the most visible refuse of bird use in Labrador. Geographic and temporal trends of avian exploitation are discussed with reference to ethnographic and archaeological examples of northern hunter-gatherers. -- Archaeological research at L'Anse aux Meadows provides a case study of Recent Indian bird use in northern Newfoundland. Explanations are offered for the co-occurrence of a faunal record dominated by bird bone and a high relative frequency of large bifaces and scrapers. I argue that at L'Anse aux Meadows birds were hunted and tools were prepared for future activities in the seasonal round.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/8837
Item ID: 8837
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 134-169).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Archaeology
Date: 2010
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Great Northern Peninsula--L'Anse aux Meadows
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Beothuks--Newfoundland and Labrador--L'Anse aux Meadows--Antiquities; Bird remains (Archaeology)--Newfoundland and Labrador--L'Anse aux Meadows; Indians of North America--Hunting--Newfoundland and Labrador--L'Anse aux Meadows; Indians of North America--Newfoundland and Labrador--L'Anse aux Meadows--Antiquities

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