Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Drs Christine White

2nd Supervisor

Fred Longstaffe

Joint Supervisor


The deliberate interment of bears, deer, and dogs on Ontario Iroquoian Tradition sites (900-1650 AD) suggests these animals had social and ideological meaning. This thesis uses stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis from bone collagen of faunal remains from both special and refuse contexts on eight sites in Southern Ontario to investigate the possible relationship between an animal’s burial context, diet, and value. Results indicate that most animals consumed a diet typical for their species regardless of context, suggesting the ideological value of specially deposited animals was augmented through human-animal interactions other than dietary manipulation. Bears from the Dorchester site and dogs from the Praying Mantis site did, however, consume unique diets, suggesting diet contributed to the ideological value of these individuals.