Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

Anthropology

Supervisor

Dr. Chris Ellis

Abstract

Few intact Middle Archaic sites have been investigated in Southwestern Ontario and attention has focused on large, multicomponent sites, which are difficult to interpret. This thesis focuses on recent work that has been conducted on an undisturbed, single-component Brewerton site in Mount Albert south of Lake Simcoe, where the lithic assemblage presents an unprecedented view of lifeways in the Middle Archaic (ca. 5000-4500 B.P.). Notable is the presence of high numbers of fragmented formal flaked stone tools - moreso than is consistent with solely tool production activities. The thesis evaluates the possibility that the artifacts were intentionally destroyed as part of previously undocumented ceremonial practices in the region. Refitting of the pieces and experimental breakage of reproduction bifaces each offer insights into strategies for the purposeful breakage of stone artifacts.


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