Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format



Master of Arts




Timmins, Peter A.


Intrasite trends in superposition and spatial arrangements of longhouses, features and palisades, in conjunction with seriation of ceramic vessels, are used to explore the developmental history of the Dorchester Village site, a complex Late Woodland Middle Ontario Iroquoian archaeological village site, as a case study of intrasite seriation. Vessel attributes were coded and subject to correspondence analysis to seek plausible temporal sequences. The Brainerd Robinson coefficient of similarity was used to identify plausible temporal phase groups of longhouses by comparison of vessels attributed to specific houses. Multiple ceramic attributes were explored, and the attribute of upper rim motif generated the most internally consistent results possible. Upper rim motif was deemed to be the most temporally sensitive attribute within this study and was used to support the identification of a developmental history for the Dorchester Village site. This research demonstrates the effectiveness of intrasite seriation within a Woodland village case.

Summary for Lay Audience

Archaeologists often compare sites and the objects found on them with other sites and the objects recovered from them on a regional basis. This study seeks to explore patterning within a single, large, complex archaeological village to identify patterns of residential structure construction, occupation and demolition/abandonment that cannot be accessed using other methods (such as radiocarbon dating). This study is undertaken as a case study that assesses the plausibility of seeking temporal trends within one site, and an exploration of the site itself by identifying trends within motifs and techniques used on ceramic vessels and using them to identify change (or a lack thereof) over time. Historically, within the field of archaeology, much research has been undertaken and the results only partially published, leaving a gap in available data; once a site is excavated, it is gone; this study makes settlement patterns from the Dorchester site available as a step towards addressing this problem. It was found that meaningful trends could be identified within one site, and a plausible pattern of use of the Dorchester site was identified.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.