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Beyond the local fishing hole: A preliminary study of pan-regional fishing in southern Ontario (ca. 1000 CE to 1750 CE)
journal contributionposted on 2020-08-11, 09:49 authored by AL Hawkins, S Needs-Howarth, TJ Orchard, EJ Guiry
During the Late Woodland period in what is now the Canadian province of Ontario, Indigenous peoples met their nutritional needs through a combination of maize horticulture, gathering, hunting, and fishing. Recent research on stable isotopes in human tissue (Pfeiffer et al. 2016) suggests that the protein component in the diet of one of the groups of Iroquoian-speaking peoples in Ontario varies over time and came in part from high trophic level fish taxa. We present a pilot study that examines similar questions by means of zooarchaeological data from >100 previously analysed zooarchaeological assemblages using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Our findings indicate differences in the consumption of fish through time. In addition, we observe patterned variation across the landscape of southern Ontario. In areas close to Lake Ontario, the primary high tropic level fishes exploited were members of the family Salmonidae. By contrast, in the Lake Erie drainage, Sander spp., in the family Percidae, makes a greater contribution to zooarchaeological samples. These findings suggest that the Indigenous peoples exploiting these fish sources would have faced different challenges with respect to harvest technology and scheduling.
CitationAlicia L. Hawkins, Suzanne Needs-Howarth, Trevor J. Orchard, Eric J. Guiry, Beyond the local fishing hole: A preliminary study of pan-regional fishing in southern Ontario (ca. 1000 CE to 1750 CE), Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, Volume 24, 2019, Pages 856-868,
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