The saddle island cemetery: a study of whalers at a sixteenth-century basque whaling station in Red Bay, Labrador

White, Lori M. (2015) The saddle island cemetery: a study of whalers at a sixteenth-century basque whaling station in Red Bay, Labrador. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

[img] [English] PDF - Accepted Version
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.

Download (11MB)


This thesis is a study of burial patterning and osteological data for 63 grave features located in the sixteenth-century cemetery on Saddle Island, Red Bay, Labrador. Over 130 individuals were buried on Saddle Island during the Basque whaling enterprise that would see thousands of men pursue whales to collect train oil for European markets for more than 50 years along the south coast of Labrador. These remains were excavated in the early 1980s and have been largely unstudied until this time. This thesis examines the human skeletal remains, archaeological contexts, and burial artefacts to help reconstruct past biological, cultural, and historical conditions. The study of the human remains and mortuary behavior from Saddle Island provides personal stories of life and death of a sixteenth-century whaler and offers us a rare and unique opportunity to understand the men who sailed annually from the Basque Country to hunt whales to light the streets of Europe.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 8481
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 148-163).
Keywords: Red Bay, Basque Whaling, Basque Whaler, Archaeology, 16th-Century Whaling, Burial, Saddle Island, Cemetery, Whaling, Labrador, Terranova, Butus, Human Remains, Osteology
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Archaeology
Date: May 2015
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Red Bay (N.L.)
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Cemeteries--Newfoundland and Labrador--Red Bay--History--16th century; Human remains (Archaeology)--Newfoundland and Labrador--Red Bay; Basques--Newfoundland and Labrador--Red Bay; Excavations (Archaeology)--Newfoundland and Labrador--Red Bay; Whaling--Newfoundland and Labrador--Red Bay--History--16th century; Red Bay (N.L.)--Antiquities

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over the past year

View more statistics