Archaeology - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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Archaeology of Internment at the Morrissey WWI Camp

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-07-19
Abstract: 

To date, very little is known archaeologically about First World War-era internment camps, especially in Canada, where this history was actively erased through the destruction of the Federal Internment records in the 1950s. Archaeologists can play a fundamental role in contributing knowledge where oral and documentary evidence is lacking. This can be undertaken through a triangulation of data sets commonly used by conflict archaeologists. This thesis focuses on one of Canada’s twenty-four WWI internment camps: the Morrissey Internment Camp. Through GPR survey and excavation, archival records retrieval, and oral histories, a critical theoretical lens was applied to the stories of the internees—immigrants from the multinational Austro-Hungarian, German, and Ottoman Empires—and their guards at the Morrissey Internment Camp. The material record adds a new line of evidence, contributing to a more nuanced perspective that aids in reducing the gaps in this dark facet of Canadian history.

Document type: 
Thesis
Supervisor(s): 
Ross Jamieson
Department: 
Environment: Department of Archaeology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Vacuum truck excavation as a new and effective technique in urban archaeology; an in-depth assessment and comparison against traditional methodology

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-07-18
Abstract: 

Archaeological investigations were undertaken at multiple locations throughout Indianapolis as part of a large, high-profile cultural resource management project. One section of this project focused on the remains of an early twentieth-century neighborhood, currently an urban park. As part of the archaeological investigations conducted within the park, archaeologists experimented with the use of a vacuum truck, which uses compressed air to excavate sediments. Excavation with the vacuum truck was found to be faster and less expensive when compared to traditional hand excavation methods. Artifact recovery was consistent with traditional methods, though resulted in slightly less artifact damage. The vacuum truck was able to excavate deeper within a smaller surface area than possible with hand methods, allowing archaeologists to see beneath dense deposits of urban fill. It is recommended that this excavation method be utilized in urban archaeological settings.

Document type: 
Thesis
Supervisor(s): 
Jonathan Driver
Department: 
Environment: Department of Archaeology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Assessing the impact of high versus low velocity thoracic trauma: A study of experimental rib fracturing using juvenile pigs (Sus scrofa)

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-04-16
Abstract: 

The purpose of this study was to provide experimental data to inform how juvenile porcine torsos behave under conditions of high versus low velocity impact to further understand the effects of compressive trauma on the juvenile torso. The primary goal was to analyze the relationship between rib fracture patterns and the impact direction and velocity to understand how fracture patterns can inform the mechanism of injury. A juvenile porcine model was used to examine the effects of experimental impact to the torso at two different loading rates: static (0.01 m/s), and dynamic (0.4 m/s). The torsos were tested in two distinct impact directions: anteroposterior and lateral. A total sample of 24 juvenile pigs aged approximately 1 to 2 weeks and weighing between 1.3–2.1 kilograms were used. The sample was separated into four groups (SAP – static anteroposterior, SL – static lateral, DAP – dynamic anteroposterior, DL – dynamic lateral), each with six specimens, to assess for differing impact velocities and directions. The experimental variables that were examined were: 1) if the fracture was complete or incomplete, or if only plastic deformation occurred; 2) the side of the fracture; 3) the location of the fracture on the rib; and 4) the location of tension failure. The total number of ribs that were examined was 725 ribs. The results show that there is a relationship between the four experimental groups, and impact velocity and direction. The SAP group produced more incomplete fractures, fractures that occurred mostly on the right side, and at the anterior region, and failed in tension more often on the cutaneal side; the SL group had a small frequency of fractures that did not allow for definitive conclusions to be made; the DAP group produced more complete fractures, fractures that occurred mostly on the right side, and at the posterior neck, and failed in tension more often on the visceral side; the DL group produced mostly complete fractures, at the anterolateral and anterior region, and failed in tension on the visceral side. There were variation among the experimental groups, and some specimens showed no fractures. This study shows that fracture pattern analyses can be potentially used to differentiate the four experimental groups. The current study enhances the knowledge the forensic community has on the effects of compressive trauma to the juvenile torso.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Hugo Cardoso
Department: 
Environment: Department of Archaeology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

River through the dry prairie: Heritage resource management and the archaeology of the southeastern Qu'Appelle River Valley in Saskatchewan

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-04-08
Abstract: 

I have worked in the Heritage Resource Management Industry since 2013 on various projects in western Canada. In this thesis, I present a range of data recovered from one of these projects in the Qu’Appelle River Valley of south-central Saskatchewan. Here I integrate excavation results from three sites and position these results within their geological and environmental context, the archaeological culture history for the study area, as well as documented First Nations history in the region. I expand the archaeological context for the study through examination of other sites in the vicinity, the dominant majority having been documented during other heritage impact assessment projects. My first objective for the thesis was to provide a synthesis of prehistory in the region as best as these data would allow. In this respect, I have been largely limited to the Late Prehistoric Period where Avonlea and Old Women’s phase peoples were inhabiting the Qu’Appelle landscape. A second objective has been to assess the usefulness of the unpublished gray area literature as it might facilitate and support the production of a synthesis. This literature is limited in a variety of ways, but it provides some insight that otherwise would not be present.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
David Burley
Department: 
Environment: Department of Archaeology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Territory, tenure, and territoriality among the ancestral Coast Salish of SW British Columbia and NW Washington State

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-09-26
Abstract: 

Archaeological studies of territory, tenure, and territoriality seek to understand how past claims and access to land and resources were expressed across landscapes and through time. The foci of such studies include the spatial and temporal patterning of settlements, dwellings, conspicuous burials, monumental constructions, rock art, defensive features, and resources. In line with this research, this dissertation integrates ethnohistoric and archaeological data in three case studies that investigate the roles of house forms, the distribution of local and nonlocal obsidian, and the positioning of defensive networks in communicating territorial and tenurial interests among the ancestral Coast Salish of southwestern British Columbia and northwestern Washington state.To understand how territorial and tenurial claims were expressed among the ancestral Coast Salish, the three studies consider the significance of the ethnohistoric Coast Salish social structure defined by bilateral kinship, group exogamy, and wide-ranging social networks in the communication of group interests. The first study supports the extant hypothesis of a regional move into large multifamily houses circa 2300 cal. BP. I hypothesize that this move was, in part, a consequence of regional population increases and its attendant territoriality and was facilitated by the structured flexibility of Coast Salish society and a pre-existing modular architecture that both reflected and reinforced the social structure. The distributions of local and nonlocal obsidian across the Salish Sea region are used in the second study to investigate the potential directionality and reach of ancestral social networks. I argue that these networks, developed from the practice of group exogamy, enabled the expression of tenurial claims as part of ongoing practices associated with gaining, maintaining, and legitimizing access to distant resources. Finally, the interrelationship of social networks and defensive networks among the ancestral Northern Coast Salish-Tla’amin are examined. I propose that these linked networks maximized defensibility at settlement and allied settlement scales in a form of defensive territoriality that served to communicate territorial and tenurial interests during periods of conflict.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Dana Lepofsky
Department: 
Environment: Department of Archaeology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

The present status of the curation crisis and deaccessioning in the United States

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-01-21
Abstract: 

Archaeological collections in the United States were deemed to be in crisis in the 1970s. Federal curation guidelines were issued in 1990 with 36 CFR Part 79, followed by a call for national standards by the Society for American Archaeology. It is not clear if these were successful because the current status of collections is generally unknown. Given this, I surveyed curation practices at 11 major US archaeological repositories, impediments to their implementation of modern curation standards, and their deaccessioning policies. Although many of the individual standards were being met, around one-third of the collections do not meet all the standards. Methods used to meet standards varied across institutions, and the major contributor to collections was heritage resource management. Funding and space were the most often reported impediments. Every institution reported deaccessioning, but not all had policies. Ultimately, collections have improved since the 1970s, but further progress is needed.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Mark Collard
Department: 
Environment: Department of Archaeology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Building representation: The development of Barkerville Historic Town & Park’s Chinese narrative

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-11-13
Abstract: 

This thesis examines the long-term effects of multiculturalism on the representation of minority groups in museum interpretations in Canada. This is explored through a case study of Barkerville Historic Town & Park, focusing on the museum’s inclusion of the Chinese narrative through time. It traces the changing interpretations of the Chinese in Barkerville, and explores the social, academic, and political forces that act on museums and museum representation. Overall, the presentation of the Chinese experience at Barkerville developed substantially over the past 60 years. This development has relied on many factors, including, research available to advance the Chinese interpretation program; resources available to complete Chinese exhibits; interests in including minority narratives.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
John Welch
Department: 
Environment: Department of Archaeology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

In pursuit of the quarry: Exploring lithic exchange on the Interior Plateau of British Columbia

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-10-26
Abstract: 

This thesis represents an exploratory provenance study to map the spatial distribution of lithics from the Arrowstone Hills lithic source, located near Cache Creek BC, across the Southern Interior Plateau. Using X-Ray Fluorescence analysis, an elemental signature for this source was generated, against which lithic artifacts from archaeological sites located across the Plateau were compared. The Arrowstone Hills source was also compared to five other lithic sources on the Plateau and Northwest Coast. It was determined that the Arrowstone Hills source is part of a geological complex that includes at least three other nearby lithic sources possessing a similar elemental signature, named here the Kamloops Fine-Grained Volcanic complex. Furthermore, it was determined that lithics from this complex are ubiquitous across the Plateau, and were likely moved through exchange networks. Cultural factors such as kin relationships, resource rights, and territorial sovereignty likely influenced how these networks operated at different times throughout the past.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Rudy Reimer
George Nicholas
Department: 
Environment: Department of Archaeology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Adapting to environmental change: an ethnoarchaeological approach to traditional farming knowledge in northern Ethiopia

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-09-04
Abstract: 

Ethnoarchaeological research on traditional farmer knowledge in Eastern Tigrai, Ethiopia reveals adaptations that farmers employ in the face of environmental change, most notably from climate, soil erosion, increasing demographic pressures, and the practice of fire ecology. Within an historical ecology framework, information from farmer consultants is integrated with an analysis of the archaeological and palaeoenvironmental literature to elucidate potential human-environment interactions in the development of the first complex societies in the Horn of Africa during the Pre-Aksumite and Aksumite (1600 BCE- CE 700) periods. The drought and famine of 1984/5 had a significant impact on both the environmental and agricultural systems, and farmers stopped cultivating many crop varieties after this period. A cycle of accumulating cultivated varieties and practices, and then environmental and societal events shifting the systems potentially for decades, perhaps was experienced by farming communities during the development of the Pre-Aksumite and Aksumite civilizations.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Catherine D'Andrea
Department: 
Environment: Department of Archaeology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Monumental architecture and landscape history of the Tongan Classical Chiefdom

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-04-03
Abstract: 

Beginning ca. AD 950, increasing populations and the rise of socio-political hierarchies in Tonga, West Polynesia, resulted in the development of a dynastic, geographically integrated, paramount chiefdom. The principal island of Tongatapu was the epicentre of this polity. Ranked chiefs affirmed power and rights to land through monumental construction and a dispersed settlement pattern that fully occupied inherited estates. In this dissertation, I characterize monumental architecture on Tongatapu, particularly the form and distribution of earthen mounds. Aerial LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) survey in 2011 revealed the totality of monumental and community-level construction on Tongatapu. Thousands of mounds and other earthen features, the product of some 1,000 years of funerary behaviour, chiefly competition, and conflict, are highly structured in their arrangement on the landscape. Using a combination of automated and manual identification approaches, combined with field checks, I have mapped and characterized the mounds and other features of Tongatapu. The distribution of mounds and other monumental features reflects key elements of Tongan culture and socio-political organization, namely, the segmentary, clan-based spatial organization associated with ramage-based societies, as well as the senior-junior ranking that made Tonga one of the most socially stratified cultures in Oceania. The LiDAR imagery also reveals evidence of the first royal “capital” of the political dynasty that would rule Tonga for nearly a millennium. Massive earthen platforms at this site suggest strategic use of power by an emergent elite at a time of apparent population increase and resumed oceanic voyaging from West Polynesia after a 1,700-year hiatus.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
David Burley
Department: 
Environment: Department of Archaeology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.