Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Soils from within and beneath several Huron middens were investigated. Five types of material were identified within these structures and were tentatively labeled charcoal, midden matrix, subsoil, grey ash and white ash. Chemical analyses of samples taken from these layers enabled a computer cluster analysis of these materials. If the clustering routine was halted when four groups had been identified it was found that the white ash and to some extent the subsoil samples were well defined, however, the grey ash and midden matrix samples were poorly defined suggesting a polygenetic origin for these materials. Charcoal samples were not clearly defined, as expected, since the chemical analyses utilized were not capable of detecting this almost inert material. When soil samples from beneath the middens were compared with soil samples taken from beyond the middens it was found that the samples from beneath the middens were enriched with exchangeable cations. In addition, alkaline constituents were sufficiently mobilized to alter pH values. The study ends with a number of archaeological considerations and some recommendations for future research.



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