Holocene Occupations of Northwestern Ontario: Implementing a Multi-analytical Approach for the Detection of Technological Variability and Subsistence Complexities
Master of Environmental Studies in Northern Environments and Culture
DisciplineEnvironmental Studies : Northern Environments & Cultures
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This thesis presents the results of a micro-analytical analysis, specifically use-wear and residue analyses, on unifacial lithic artifacts from the Electric Woodpecker II (DdJf-12) Early Holocene site, located approximately 25 kilometers east of Thunder Bay, Ontario. The Electric Woodpecker II assemblage consists of a multitude of debitage and artifacts including formal, informal, and expedient tool types with varied morphological attributes. The use of multiple analytical techniques has allowed for the investigation of organic or perishable technologies, the documentation of which is not otherwise possible at most Lakehead Complex sites. The primary goal of this thesis is to determine the function of selected unifacial artifacts from a morphologically diverse lithic assemblage at the Electric Woodpecker II site, and to characterize and identify the presence of organic residues. The podzolic soil conditions of the Thunder Bay region contribute to the poor preservation of organic remains, limiting the available material evidence in the analysis of lithic artifacts. The interpretations that are possible through macromorphic lithic and spatial analyses can be expanded significantly through the inclusion of micro-analytical techniques. This thesis demonstrates that implementing these techniques within the Thunder Bay region allows for increased documentation of both technological and subsistence complexities. Within this research, use-wear analysis was used to examine the functional uses of a selection of unifacially flaked lithics dating to the Early Holocene period. Use-wear analysis and combinations of residue analysis (microscopic, biochemical, and spectrographic analysis) were used to more fully characterize the proposed residue sources.