Stable isotope evidence for Amerindian subsistence in Newfoundland, 2800 B.C. to A.D. 1829

Harris, Alison J. T. (2016) Stable isotope evidence for Amerindian subsistence in Newfoundland, 2800 B.C. to A.D. 1829. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Archaeological research has informed on the lifeways of Newfoundland’s past Amerindian populations, but their subsistence practices are still poorly understood, particular with respect to the roles played by marine and terrestrial resources. To investigate Amerindian diet, isotope ratios (δ¹³Ccoll, δ¹⁵Ncoll) were measured in 86 skeletons from the Maritime Archaic site of Port au Choix-3 (4500 – 4000 cal B.P.), and in 29 skeletons from 12 Recent Indian/Beothuk sites (AD 1000 – 1800). Whole dietary carbon was estimated by measuring carbon isotopes in the enamel of 12 Beothuk skeletons. The Maritime Archaic sample was characterized by the presence of at least two subsistence patterns: one marine-based, and the other mixed marine-terrestrial. These patterns may relate to geographic origin, or to biosocial categories. Recent Indian/Beothuk diet was revealed to be predominantly mixed marine-terrestrial in origin, but characterized by increasing amounts of terrestrial foods in the late historic period.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 13184
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 222-264).
Keywords: Stable Isotopes, Beothuk, Maritime Archaic, Newfoundland, Archaeology, Radiocarbon
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Archaeology
Date: November 2016
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Indians of North America -- Newfoundland and Labrador -- Food; Indians of North America -- Antiquities; Excavations (Archaeology) -- Newfoundland and Labrador

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