«By James R. Keron Graduate Program in Anthropology Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Faculty of ...»
With the advent of the Uren substage, the Iroquoian cultural pattern seems to be in place (Kapches 1995) and one of the aspects of that cultural pattern is endemic warfare with neighbouring groups. Trigger (1987) reports that the warfare up until late historic times was more of a blood feud than full scale warfare. Small groups of warriors would raid other groups, kill a few people and capture a few others to be brought back to the village where torture or adoption awaited them. The raiding would frequently take the form of ambushing small groups of people who could be easily overwhelmed as they went about performing normal subsistence activity. During historic times the Neutral were at war with the Assistaronon (Trigger 1987) who were an Algonkian speaking group living in the southwestern corner of southern Ontario, Michigan and western Ohio. The key question is how far back in time this ongoing raiding pattern can be traced.
Normally, archaeological indicators of Iroquoian pattern warfare are taken as the presence of cut and burned human bone in refuse as well as complex palisades and earthworks around villages built in defendable situations. The Lawson site where human bone clearly reflective of torture has been recovered (Pearce: personal communication) would certainly qualify in this respect during late prehistoric Neutral times. Fox (1980b) through comparative data on projectile point styles demonstrated that Kettle Point chert projectile points that are derived from Neutral contexts are arriving on Western Basin sites whereas the same is not true in reverse. Warrick (2000) in a recent synthesis of the Iroquoian occupation of southern Ontario extends the warfare pattern with the central Algonkians back into the 15th and 16th centuries based on village patterns and the presence of osteological data suggestive of Iroquoian torture practices. Moving the warfare pattern back further in time becomes problematic but even at the Uren site (Wright 1986) there is a complex set of multiple rows of palisades and the suggestion that some human bone may have been derived from torture.
The introduction of the notched triangular projectile point during Uren times is suggestive as well. It seems to be generally accepted, archaeologically at least, that this was to facilitate hafting. However, it should be noted that the notches were not necessary during EOI times nor were they ever adopted by the Five Nations Iroquois in New York State. Ellis (1997) has noted in a study of ethnographically reported peoples that there were frequently at least two styles of stone projectile points with one specifically associated with warfare. Barbed forms, difficult to remove by human targets, are reserved more for warfare. Is it a coincidence that the notched triangular points are introduced about the same time as warfare intensifies? While stemmed points, in addition to triangular points, are found as a minority type on Glen Meyer villages and may or may not have served a similar function, the relative number of notched points increases with the advent of the MOI. Also suggestive of the side-notched projectile point association with warfare is the demonstration that it may have been an innovation that commences on or near the western Iroquoian frontier with the Western Basin peoples and then diffused eastward (Keron 2000).
Further strengthening this idea is the observation 13 in the Chapter 6 Morphological Variation section that there is a jump in production of bifaces right after the transition to the MOI. The more complex social patterns, such as occurred with the advent of the Uren substage, are also coincident with a heightened warfare pattern elsewhere as in the American southwest (Hass 1990); so it is reasonable that warfare started to intensify at the time of the Uren substage and not earlier or later. The other interesting trend with the local Iroquoian population is the abandonment of the Ausable river drainage during or immediately after the Uren substage (Fox personal communication 1986). Pearce (1984) suggests that the Middleport sequence on Oxbow Creek was the result of the fusion into a single community of three antecedent Glen Meyer communities one of which is the Ausable community. Historically, Ontario Iroquoian groups did tend to band togther in the face of external threats (Trigger 1987).
Indeed, Keener (1995) even goes as far as suggesting that endemic warfare was the cultural factor that lead to the increasing socio-cultural integration within the Ontario Iroquoian groups. While this explanation must remain tentative with the evidence available today, it is, at this point in time, the most reasonable explanation for the severe curtailment of access to Kettle Point chert during the MOI. As the Neutral groups gained the upper hand through time and gradually pushed the Western Basin people to the southwest, access to Kettle Point chert then became much safer allowing increased exploitation. By the time of the occupation of the Lawson site there seems to be an almost obsessive use of Kettle Point chert.
In summary, while the failure of the time depth hypothesis of a down-the-line pattern of exchange is best characterized by a curtailment in access to Kettle Point chert, the real reason is that even if that had not happened it appears that there was a significant shift in acquisition pattern from EOI to MOI times where a pattern of direct access is replaced by a down-the-line exchange system.
Hypothesis 7: The Exchange Medium Was Cores It was originally proposed that the material being exchanged was in the form of raw cores based on the observation that cores of all chert types occurred on all sites.
This result is still observed with the broadened sample size in this study but the data should be capable of determining if that was the only media exchanged. The hypothesis and the associated test implications are listed in Appendix E, Box 7.
It is reasonable to suppose that finished artefacts such as finished arrows could be part of the exchange network. One minor indication that more than just cores could be exchanged is the reduction state of the three chert sources. Onondaga is arriving in a more reduced state than Kettle Point chert. This evidence is far from conclusive.
Providing better evidence is the fact that the percentage of high quality cherts in the formal artefacts is higher than the percentage of the same cherts in the debitage. This seems indicative of manufacture of the formal artefacts elsewhere so a reasonable assumption, but one that is by no means certain, is that more than just raw cores were
being exchanged. This idea requires more testing.
Hypothesis 8: Villages Versus Cabins This hypothesis asserts the expectation that there should be differences in the lithic reduction between villages and cabin sites. Appendix E, Box 8 maps the observations against the implications of this hypothesis.
This hypothesis is well supported with the data exactly matching expectations.
Villages have a higher percentage of Kettle Point chert and Onondaga chert while cabin sites have a higher percentage of local till chert. Furthermore, there are differences in the lithic reduction between the two types of sites. Part of this difference reflects the embedded acquisition of local till chert and the associated initial reduction sequence that produces more decortication flakes and shatter. However, there are other differences as well, clearly indicating different activities. In all probability, local till chert cobbles could have been acquired during subsistence activities in corn fields or as byproducts of procuring other resources. Given the documented tendency (Tooker 1991; Trigger 1987) for women to handle these tasks, the embedded lithic acquisition happening here has a gender component to it (Gero 1991) although Robert Pearce (personal communication
2003) notes that all forms of tools and thus potentially both sexes are present on cabin sites so attributing collection of local till chert to women may be problematic. While local till chert was initially acquired at the cabin site, the high quality cherts occur there as well but in reduced percentages. Given the higher percentage of these cherts in the villages, a reasonable explanation is that the high quality chert was first brought to the village and then transported in reduced quantities to the associated cabin sites. Robert Pearce (personal communication 2003) notes that at the Lawson site finished artefacts made from distance chert sources such as Flint Ridge chalcedony from Ohio and Bayport chert from Michigan are found again suggesting that the villages would be the most frequent destination of artefacts made from imported chert sources.
Additionally Fox (1979:81) notes, as support for the acquisition of local till chert, the description by the Huron of the origin of chert in a fight between two brothers, Iouskeha and Tawiscaron, when Tawiscaron was wounded and fled leaving a trail of blood drops that became chert. There is a similarity between the scatter of pebble cherts in secondary deposits and the scatter of blood drops from the fleeing Tawiscaron. It is not known if the Neutral understanding of the origin as chert was identical but a similar understanding of the distribution of secondary deposits of chert is fairly certain.
Hypothesis 9: Embedded Procurement of Local Chert.
In some ways this hypothesis might be stating the obvious since it would be difficult to imagine someone setting out on an excursion to acquire, or trade for, local till chert. However, it does deserve testing. Appendix E, Box 9 maps the results of the observations to the implication of the hypothesis.
If embedded procurement is the method of acquisition, then a more expedient use of the chert is to be expected (Andrefsky 1994; Morrow and Jeffries 1989). This result is indeed the case as the observations indicate. Informal artefacts are more prone to be fashioned from local till chert whereas Onondaga and Kettle Point are more often cycled into formal artefacts. Additional support for this hypothesis is the fact that there is higher use of local till chert in the locations where embedded procurement is expected to occur: specifically, the agricultural cabin sites.
Chapter 8: Conclusions and Questions This thesis has demonstrated a changing pattern of chert acquisition through time that starts with a pattern of direct procurement during Glen Meyer times and evolves rather rapidly at the EOI to MOI transition into one of down-the-line exchange with lineage control of the trade routes. The following summary will proceed by a brief description of each acquisition pattern and then proceed to a set of questions as to some of the meanings of the changes and the patterns.
As has been shown, the pattern of chert acquisition during the EOI is best explained by direct procurement through embedded procurement where the acquisition occurs not by a specially planned trip to obtain chert but through procurement embedded in other subsistence activities (Binford 1979). The nature of the distance decay is best explained by direct procurement where the only factor influencing acquisition is distance.
In addition, the fact that there does not seem to be any differential treatment of any of the chert sources indicates that the procurement was embedded in the execution of other subsistence activities. Williamson=s (1985) description of the broader Glen Meyer settlement pattern within the Caradoc cluster indicates the existence of permanent villages as well as specialized sites where resource acquisition such as deer hunting or nut gathering occurred. The people used the village site as a base camp and the special function sites as a field camp in the sense used by Binford (1980) in his description of site usage by a collector form of organization. Such a pattern is also evident at the Calvert site where Timmins (1997) infers that the site was used as a permanent base camp at one period and as a centre for deer hunting during another occupation.
The implications of direct embedded procurement here provide another aspect to this picture. First, they indicate greater mobility or at least a wider ranging movement of Glen Meyer people than might have been assumed by archaeological focus on specific site clusters. Clearly, people are getting to Kettle Point and the north shore of Lake Erie on a regular basis in their seasonal round. This conclusion is further emphasized by the fact that the Glen Meyer people had the best access of any Iroquoian people in the area to high quality chert. Exactly what they were doing along the lake shores on a regular basis is not a question that can be answered with the data here, but fishing seems a reasonable possibility. Certainly the Glen Meyer occupation of the Reid site (Wright 1978) along Lake Erie was used for fishing. There is a heavy exploitation of fish resources during the Middle Woodland period (Prowse 2003) and the continued use of fish during the Late Woodland period in the area (Fox 1976: 169-172, 175). This focus on a broader range of resources and the need to exploit these from a broader range of localities is evident in the Caradoc Sand Plain (Williamson 1985). Also Spence (1994) notes some mobility in the mortuary programme within the Norfolk Sand Plain where primary burials at or around the inland villages were removed for secondary burial along the lake shore. It could well be that well defined and enforced territorialism does not emerge until the MOI with the greater emphasis on corn agriculture and that during the EOI the social movement and consequently interaction was more akin to earlier time periods than the later. Whether this free-ranging applies to all Glen Meyer people or just within the study area can not be addressed by the data presented here. While potentially intriguing, interaction between the Glen Meyer occupants of the study area and those of the Norfolk Sand Plain or Catfish Creek (Poulton 1985b) must await further research.
The other implication that this situation raises is the issue of group territoriality.