Thesis and Dissertation Abstracts

Eating Ethnicity: Examining 18th Century French Colonial identity through selective consumption of animal resources in the North American interior

by Rory J. Becker
Abstract of Masters Thesis
Department of Anthropology
Western Michigan University
2004

Cultural identities can be created and maintained through daily practice and food consumption is one such practice. People need food in order to survive, but the types of food they eat are largely determined by the interaction of culture and their environment. By approaching the topic of subsistence practices as being culturally constituted, the study of foodways provides an avenue to examine issues of cultural identity through selective consumption. Eating certain foods to the exclusion of others is one method for establishing social distance between peoples and is simultaneously a reflection of this relationship and the types of interactions that take place between the groups. This study explores the issue of cultural identity as expressed through selective consumption of animal resources at five French colonial sites in North America. The outpost known as Fort St. Joseph serves as an example of how one can utilize animal exploitation patterns to determine selective consumption and then the results of this analysis is compared to animal exploitation patterns at Fort Ouiatenon, French Cahokia, Fort de Chartres I, and Fort de Chartres III. Variation in these patterns suggests the different ways in which cultural identities were expressed at each site.


The Richter Site: A Lithic Analysis of a North Bay Site on Wisconsin's Door Peninsula

by Dustin J. Blodgett
Abstract of Masters Thesis 
Department of Anthropology 
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 
2004

This thesis is the investigation and examination of the lithic economy employed by the Middle Woodland occupants of the Richter Site. The Richter Site is a North Bay Phase site excavated in 1968 and 1973 on Washington Island off of Wisconsin's Door Peninsula. The focus of this study is to describe and understand the lithic technology employed by the people who occupied the Richter Site through the study of the lithic material procurement, stone tool use and discard patterns of its inhabitants.

Also, a comparison is made between the Richter Site lithic assemblage and those of other North Bay sites in order to determine how the site fits into the North Bay lithic assemblage framework. Finally, the lithic technology found at North Bay sites is contrasted against that of other Middle Woodland sites with the aim of determining if the North Bay lithic economy is congruent with that of other Middle Woodland cultures in Wisconsin or if the data suggest a different model of resource utilization.


The Kelly North Phase: Transitional Middle to Late Archaic Lithic Technology at Carcajou Point in SE Wisconsin

by Daniel McGuire Winkler
Abstract of Masters Thesis 
Department of Anthropology 
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 
2004

This study is an examination of the lithic economy of the transitional Middle to Late Archaic period in southeastern Wisconsin. Excavations at the Kelly North Tract at Carcajou Point in 2002 revealed materials associated with transitional Middle to Late Archaic occupations. These materials are provisionally placed into the proposed Kelly North Phase of the Archaic. Since intact Middle and Late Archaic period sites are rare in southeastern Wisconsin, the excavations at this site offer an opportunity to examine the lithic economy in place during this transitional period. This study will present what is currently known about both the Middle Archaic and Late Archaic periods in Wisconsin and adjacent regions of the Midwest, presenting the problems with dates and lithics from these periods. The lithic materials from the proposed Kelly North Phase will be compared to six intact Middle and Late Archaic sites in southeastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois to examine Archaic lithic economies on the Northern edge of the Prairie Peninsula. The materials will also be compared to two larger Middle and Late Archaic sites in west-central Illinois to examine the difference or similarities over a larger region in the Midwest. The proposed Kelly North Phase is a phase that appears to be Middle Archaic based on projectile point morphology, but has radiocarbon dates that are considered to be Late Archaic by most archaeologists. The presence of small, side notched, projectile points, some of which are well dated to the Middle Archaic in other areas of the Midwest, with Late Archaic dates suggests that the transition from the Middle Archaic to the Late Archaic took place later in Wisconsin than in other areas of the Prairie Peninsula.


The Crab Orchard Ceramic Tradition Surrounding the Confluence of the Wabash and Ohio Rivers

by Ian K. deNeeve
Abstract of Masters Thesis
University of Kentucky
May 2004

This study synthesizes research to formulate a picture of the Early (600 BC-150BC) and Middle Woodland (150 BC-AD 300) Crab Orchard settlement patterns in northwestern Kentucky , as a part of the lower Wabash-lower Ohio region. The spatial distribution of sites containing Crab Orchard ceramics is plotted through the presence of Crab Orchard ceramics, and then examined for the relationship between these sites and the physical environment, different site types, and time period of occupation. During the Middle Woodland subperiod the Crab Orchard population increased from a dispersed and sparsely Early Woodland settlement pattern to one consisting of small and large base camps concentrated on terrace and floodplain landforms associated with the Ohio River channel. A further observation is that in more rugged topographic settings, sites tend to be placed in edge environments, located within close distance to landforms that contain different resource bases. The Crab Orchard settlement pattern in northwestern Kentucky is then compared to the Crab Orchard settlement pattern in the larger lower Wabash- lower Ohio region, finding that they are similar. Finally, directions for future research in Crab Orchard archaeology are discussed.


Skeletal Biology and Paleopathology of Domestic Dogs from Prehistoric Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee

by Diane M. Warren
Abstract of Doctoral Dissertation
Department of Anthropology
Indiana University - Bloomington
January 2004

Deliberate burial of dogs was common in the American Midwest and Southeast during the Archaic period (8000-3000 BP). Fewer burials and more butchered remains are found in Woodland (3000-1000 BP) and Mississippian (1000-500 BP) contexts. This shift has been attributed to a changing role of dogs with increased human sedentism and intensification of agriculture. Previous studies of the impact of this cultural shift on dog activity, treatment, and health are limited. Also limited are investigations of the criteria used to select dogs for particular mortuary treatments.

In this study, paleopathology and skeletal biology were used to examine 455 dogs from 44 Archaic, Woodland, Mississippian, and protohistoric sites in Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee. Most of the dogs examined represent intentional burials, although a few, mostly from Illinois, are from contexts suggesting consumption.

Skeletal and dental fractures, vertebral marginal osteophytosis, antemortem tooth absence, periodontal abscess, sex, size, and age at death were evaluated for each dog. Variation among dogs from differing archaeological contexts, time periods, and geographic regions was quantified. The results suggest a cultural preference for male dogs, either in the living dog population, or for burial. Age distributions are similar among most groups, although there is evidence of a cultural preference against including young dogs in human burials, and for the consumption of young dogs. Significant size differences occur between sexes, and there is limited evidence of an increase in dog size after the Archaic period. Differences among groups in skeletal fractures are mainly limited to the vertebrae, and may be related to the use of dogs to carry packs or in hunting. Differential use by human groups of dogs as beasts of burden is supported by the distribution and frequency of vertebral marginal osteophytosis. Skeletal pathologies suggestive of mistreatment also occur. Pathologies exhibited by dogs buried in direct association with humans suggest these dogs engaged in different activities during life than did dogs who were not buried in direct association with humans. Patterns of variation in dental health among the dogs suggest local and temporal differences in diet and activity, both over time and across space.


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