What ladies and gentlemen ate for dinner: the analysis of faunal materials recovered from a seventeenth-century high-status English household, Ferryland, Newfoundland

Tourigny, Eric (2009) What ladies and gentlemen ate for dinner: the analysis of faunal materials recovered from a seventeenth-century high-status English household, Ferryland, Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This thesis presents an analysis of the faunal remains recovered from various deposits associated with a complex of buildings known as the Mansion House from the seventeenth-century fishing settlement of Ferryland, Newfoundland. These buildings were built sometime between 1623 and 1625 by English settlers to serve as the residence of their colonial sponsor George Calvert (later the first Lord Baltimore). The complex included a two-storey main residence built of stone, an enclosed cobblestone courtyard and two auxiliary stone structures, one of which contained an 8 by 8 foot cellar. Calvert only resided in Ferryland for a little more than a year before leaving the colony. The Mansion House eventually came to serve as the residence of Newfoundland Governor Sir David Kirke and his family in 1638. Kirke built another house for himself sometime in the 1640s. The size, quality and location of the Mansion House meant that it would have been highly valued property even after the departure of the Governor and archaeological evidence suggests a high-status occupation during the second half of the seventeenth century. The discovery of the Mansion House, its well defined context and connection to high status individuals provides the opportunity to explore food consumption patterns of a high-status household of the early colonization period in seventeenth-century North America. The goal of this thesis is to describe the diet and foodways of the Mansion House's former inhabitants. The results are then compared to faunal analyses of other assemblages in Ferryland. -- An abundance of faunal remains were recovered from the Mansion House in a fairly well preserved state relative to the low numbers and the poor condition of faunal remains normally recovered in Ferryland. This is believed to be a direct result of the limestone used in the construction of the stone buildings having an effect on the pH levels of the soil and allowing for better preservation. Information on the local natural environment and historical foodways of the English in the seventeenth century is used to guide the interpretations of the faunal remains. Results show that the residents of the Mansion House during the second half of the seventeenth century enjoyed meals primarily based on the consumption of mammals (both wild and domestic) and fish with a regular inclusion of birds. The Mansion House inhabitants appear to have consumed more beef than residents in other areas of the site as well as certain species of birds. These and various other differences found between the Mansion House assemblage and the other areas of the site are related to differential preservation conditions and to the limitations imposed onto the residents of the community by the seasonal cod fishery and the important role it played in the everyday lives of Ferryland residents.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9409
Item ID: 9409
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 192-208)
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Archaeology
Date: 2009
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Avalon Peninsula--Ferryland
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Coastal settlements--Newfoundland and Labrador--Ferryland--History--17th century; Diet--Newfoundland and Labrador--Ferryland--History--17th century; English--Food--Newfoundland and Labrador--Ferryland--History--17th century; Excavations (Archaeology)--Newfoundland and Labrador--Ferryland; Food habits--Newfoundland and Labrador--Ferryland--History--17th century; Ferryland (N.L.)--Antiquities

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