A Glossary of Manitoba Prehistoric Archaeology
| A Glossary of Manitoba Prehistoric Archaeology
aberrant. non-typical; deviation from the class to which an artifact or phenomenon belongs.
aboriginal. indigenous; pertaining to the original occupants of a given region.
abrader. see grinding stone.
absolute dating. see dating, absolute
acculturation. the process by which a culture absorbs the traits or customs of another culture with which it is in direct contact.
activity area (or activity sphere). that portion of an archaeological site which can be equated with a single activity such as flint knapping, butchering, or cooking.
A.D. abbreviation of the Latin anno Domini meaning in the year of our Lord. When used as a prefix or suffix to a date, it indicates the number of years elapsed since the supposed date of the birth of Christ.
adaptation. the sum total of biological and behavioural adjustments which an organism makes to its environment.
adze. an axe-like implement in which the blade is hafted such that the cutting edge lies perpendicular to the handle after the fashion of a hoe. Used primarily for woodworking. trihedral adze. an adze with a triangular cross-section.
aeolian (U.S. eolian). sand, clay, silt, or mixed deposits that have been carried by the wind. Loess and sand dunes are typical aeolian deposits.
aerial photography. vertical and oblique photographic imagery of the earth's surface taken from any point of advantage. The use of specialized films can render visible features which could not otherwise be detected. Topographic relief can be emphasized by photographing in the morning or early evening when shadows are most pronounced. Post human activity may be indicated by the patterning of different soil types or by the mosaic of vegetational types which they support. Cereals are particularly important in this regard, and study of such crop marks can reveal the presence of buried foundations and roads. Thus, aerial photography may be used not only as a technique for the discovery of new sites, but as a means of appreciating the context or setting of a previously-known site.
agate. a banded or mottled chalcedony.
Agate Basin. a physiographic feature in Wyoming, also known as Moss Agate Arroyo which has given its name to the lanceolate projectile points recovered there, to the archaeological site from which they were recovered (occasionally including the nearby Brewster Site), to the complex of associated artifacts and the culture of the makers of the artifacts. In outline form, the points are neither notched nor stemmed and range in length from 5 to l5 cm. Flaking is horizontal and it is this trait that serves to distinguish them from the Angostura morphological characteristics. Basal and/or lateral grinding may be present and maximum width tends to occur toward the distal end. Agate Basin sites occur throughout the North American plains and adjacent areas. A small number of Agate Basin sites have been excavated in Manitoba but many of the characteristic points occur in surface collections. The complex occurs within the late Palaeo-Indian (or Plano) Period and is believed to represent the material culture of nomadic bison hunting peoples.
aggradation. an accumulation of sediment resulting in the building up of a land surface. An example would be part of a river bank upon which sediments are regularly deposited during the spring flood.
agriculture. a subsistence mode which involves the use of machinery or domesticated animals in the cultivation of plants.
A-horizon. the uppermost, often dark-coloured natural level in a soil profile characterized by roots, humus, and a lack of clay, iron, carbonates and soluble salts which have leached to lower levels.
Alberta. a Plano projectile point style of the northwestern plains. Specimens are as much as 20 cm in length, parallel-sided with blunt tips, and stemmed. They have fairly frequently been recovered from sites which also contained Scottsbluff points and for this reason have been attributed by some to the Cody Complex or to the Horner Phase. In a very general way, they are vaguely similar to Scottsbluff points but tend to be larger, and have relatively longer stems. Alberta points are most common in Alberta and Saskatchewan, but a few have been recovered in surface collections in southwestern Manitoba.
Algonkian (or Algonquian). a grouping of related languages whose speakers were originally distributed from Newfoundland to California and from the northern Prairie Provinces of Canada to the American southeast. The term derives from the Algonkin (or Algonquin) people who resided in the Ottawa and St. Lawrence River valleys. Algonkina languages and dialects in Manitoba include Cree, Ojibwa(y) or Chippewa(y), and Saulteaux.
alidade. a surveying instrument consisting of a sighting device and a scaled rule. Often used in conjunction with a plane table, the relative position of objects is determined by triangulation.
alluvial fan. a fan- or wedge-shaped accumulation of silt, sand, gravel and boulders deposited by rapidly-flowing streams when they reach flatter terrain.
alluvium. a generally fine-grained mixture of sand, silt and mud deposited by flowing water.
alternate flaking. see flaking, alternate.
Altithermal. a climatic/geological period postulated by Ernst Antevs (l955) for the warmer, drier period which he contended characterized western North America between 7000 and 4000 years ago. The term Atlantic Climatic Episode is now more commonly used for this mid-post glacial interval.
ancestor. forebear; one from whom another is descended.
Anderson Corner-notched. a projectile point style defined by MacNeish (l958) on the basis of his investigations in southeastern Manitoba and attributed to the Anderson, Nutimik and Larter foci. As originally defined, these points are relatively long (30 to 68 mm) and narrow with straight bases and expanding stems. This designation is less commonly used than previously.
Anderson Focus. the earlier (500 B.C. to A.D. 500) of the Middle or Initial Woodland cultural-historical periods in MacNeish's (l958) southeastern Manitoba chronology. It was later designated the Anderson Phase by Mayer-Oakes (l967). Hlady (l970) finally advocated the grouping of the Anderson with the other Middle Woodland focus (Nutimik) due to a general absence of distinguishing artifactual traits, and further proposed that this new entity be designated the Laurel Phase. The suggestion met with universal acceptance and the earlier term is no longer used.
andesite. a fine-grained grey to green igneous rock composed primarily of minerals of the feldspar group -- in particular andesine, amphibole and pyroxene.
Angostura. a Plano projectile point style (previously termed "Long") named by R.P. Wheeler (in Wormington l957) after the Angostura Basin in South Dakota. Angostura points, sometimes termed "Lusk" points, are long and narrow, lanceolate in outline form, rhomboidal in cross section, and have concave or straight bases (Agogino, et al. l964). They are very similar to Agate Basin points in terms of morphology, age and geographic distribution, but may be distinguished by parallel oblique flaking (Pettipas l977) as opposed to the horizontal flaking which characterizes Agate Basin specimens.
anneal. to temper or harden by exposure to heat. Some lithic materials may produce more regular planes of fracture subsequent to controlled annealing and some metals may be rendered less brittle.
anthropology. the study of human cultural and biological adaptations in time and space. In North America, anthropology consists of four subfields: archaeology, cultural anthropology, linguistics and physical anthropology.
anvil. a block of stone or metal upon which other materials are shaped or worked through striking.
arbitrary levels. an archaeological excavation technique in which the thickness of the layers removed is chosen for convenience. This method is generally used when a site does not possess natural stratigraphy and cannot, therefore, be excavated stratum by stratum.
archaeo-astronomy (or astro-archaeology). the systematic study of astronomical knowledge and lore of prehistoric peoples.
archaeological record. the sum of all evidence concerning past events and peoples.
archaeological site. any location which shows evidence of the prior presence or influence of human beings.
archaeology. the science and/or methods concerned with the recovery, description, analysis and explanation of the physical remains of past human cultures. In North America, some archaeologists view their task as the cultural anthropology of the past while others restrict themselves to the culture history or the chronicling of events of a particular area. Archaeology may deal with either prehistory or history -- that period since the introduction of written records.
archaic. ancient; pertaining to a much earlier time period.
Archaic. a term variously used to denote a stage of cultural development or a specific period in prehistory characterized by a particular way of life (i.e. Primary Forest Efficiency) and/or the nature of the tool-kit employed. In Manitoba, the term is most commonly used in reference to a period (ca. 5000 B.C. to the time of Christ) in the prehistory of the forested portion of the province subsequent to the Palaeo-Indian and prior to the Woodland. It is roughly contemporaneous with the Middle Prehistoric or Meso-Indian Period or Stage -- the second of the two three-staged schemes of plains prehistory. By definition, Archaic assemblages do not include ceramics -- the latter constituting the major technological marker of the Woodland Period. By the end of the Archaic Period, the atlatl has largely replaced the spear as a hunting implement, but the bow has not yet been introduced; human groups remain mobile, but only seasonally so, operating within more restricted geographic areas; and plant foods have come to play a more important role in subsistance.
archives. l. a collection of primary historical documents such as journals, diaries, maps and personal and business correspondence. 2. the institutional repository within which such collections are housed. Archival information and the findings of historic archaeology often complement one another, providing more information on a historic site or time period than could either method of inquiry alone.
Arctic Small Tool tradition (ASTt). a grouping of archaeological complexes distributed across the North American Arctic from Alaska to Greenland which date between roughly 3000 B.C. to A.D. l000. The tradition is so named due to the extremely small, finely worked tools which these people manufactured. Notable examples include burins, micro blades and side-blades. Manitoba occurrences of this tradition include the Pre-Dorset and Dorset "cultures" which some have reason to believe are ancestral to Inuit culture. Sites containing these materials are restricted to the northeastern quarter of the province.
arrow. a dart-like projectile propelled by a bow. Feathers (fletchings) may be attached to stabilize the arrow in flight, and a stone, bone or metal tip (arrowhead) may be fitted to improve its capacity for penetration.
arrowhead. the pointed tip of an arrow. If the means of propulsion cannot with certainty be identified as a bow, the term projectile point is more properly used.
arrowshaft straightener. see shaft straightener.
articulated. jointed, as in the case of bones; to be in their normal positions relative to one another when found in the course of excavation. The term may also be used of broken artifacts, the fragments (or sherds) of which lie in their original relative positions.
artifact. any object manufactured, used, moved or otherwise modified by human beings, including all waste materials and by-products of these processes. Occasionally, the term is used in the more restricted sense of a completed object as opposed to the associated detritus.
Arvilla Complex. a late Woodland complex known almost exclusively from mound excavations along the Red River in the Dakotas and Minnesota and in the central portion of the latter state. As defined by Johnson (l973) it is characterized by flexed primary and bundled secondary interment below linear or circular mounds. Grave goods include both utilitarian and ornamental objects. Among the latter are numbered beads, pendants and gorgets>.
a.s.l. abbreviation for "above (mean) sea level"; the standard reference of elevation used in N.T.S. (National Topographic Series) maps; the vertical height of an object as measured from the mean elevation of high and low tides.
aspect. in the Midwestern Taxonomic Method devised by McKern (l939), an aspect referred to a number of foci which could be grouped on the basis of at least one shared trait, such as a pottery style. The term is less frequently used than previously.
Aspen Parkland. a vegetational zone which lies between the grasslands and the northern coniferous or Boreal Forest. It comprises a mosaic of grassland interspersed with groves of white birch, white spruce, balsam poplar and most commonly, trembling aspen.
assemblage. the totality of the kinds and styles of artifacts and features which are associated with one another and with a single occupation; all evidence of human activity within a single component. A minority of writers use this term in reference to the material remains of a culture or associated with a phase.
association (also "Law of Association"). the joint occurrence of artifacts in a sealed natural or cultural unit such as stratum, tomb, grave or cache. It is often assumed that such artifacts were deposited at the same time by people of the same culture.
astragalus. talus; a bone of the ankle.
Athapap Culture. an archaeological culture defined by Hlady (l967) on the basis of investigations at a number of sites on Lake Athapapuskow near Flin Flon. The complex included Athapap Lanceolate, Evans Lanceolate and Baker's Narrows Corner-notched projectile points, biface blades, scrapers, drills and gravers. Hlady estimated the age of the culture at 2500 to 5000 years.
Athapap Lanceolate. see Athapap Culture.
Athapaskan or Athabascan. a grouping (or family) of Native American languages within the NaDene Phylum. Athapaskan speakers were originally distributed from the arctic to the American southwest and as far west coastal California. The principal Athapaskans in Maitoba at contact were the Chipewyan who occupied the extreme north of the province.
Atlantic. a warm dry climatic episode in central North America also known as the xerothermic, the hypsithermal, the Climatic Optimum, the Long Drought and most commonly (but incorrectly) the Altithermal. This episode dated at 6540 to 3ll0 B.C. (Wendland l978), witnessed the spread of grasslands at the expense of forest in southern Manitoba, and probably an influx of grassland adapted fauna (such as bison) and the late Plano hunters who preyed upon them.
atlatl. the Aztec word most commonly used by archaeologists to refer to the spear thrower or throwing board. It consists of a board, approximately 70 cm in length with a longitudinal groove to receive the dart or spear and a hook at one end which makes contact with the butt end of the projectile. The atlatl is held by the end opposite the hook, and a small polished stone may be attached immediately behind the grip to lend balance. By serving essentially as an extension of the thrower's arm, a projectile can be propelled 60 per cent further than would otherwise be possible. An experienced user can maintain a practical degree of accuracy at distances on the order of 80 m.
attribute. a property or quality of any archaeological object such as the length of a projectile point, the hardness of a potsherd or the colour of a bottle fragment. Theoretically an artifact possesses an infinite number of attributes, but an archaeologist will limit himself to those he believes to be diagnostic -- those which will provide him with the information he is seeking.
Avonlea. a term applied to a projectile point style and the phase with which it is associated in early Late Prehistoric plains prehistory. As defined by Kehoe (l973), the Avonlea point is small and well-made with V- or U-shaped side-notches above a generally concave base and small ears. In some cases, Avonlea points may be easily confused with some of the other small side-notched points of this period. Other Avonlea Phase artifacts include lithic scrapers, bifaces, choppers and ceramic vessels. Avonlea is represented at a number of sites in southwestern Manitoba where these people pursued a way of life focusing on the communal hunting of bison. The occupation of the province by Avonlea people is estimated to have occurred between approximately A.D. 400 and 700. See Reeves (l983) for the most recent statement on Avonlea.
awl. a pointed hand tool, frequently of bone, used for punching holes in leather.
axe. a heavy chopping tool of stone or metal which may be handheld (a handaxe) or hafted. In the latter instance, the head is attached such that the cutting edge parallels the handle.
babiche. lacings, thread, thongs or netting made of sinew, gut or hide.
backdirt. see backfill.
backed. being intentionally dulled along one edge. A blade may be backed in order to allow it to be held opposite the cutting edge.
backfill. to refill an excavational unit at the end of the investigations; the dirt used to accomplish this. The latter is also known as backdirt.
Baker's Narrows Corner-notched. see Athapap Culture.
baleen. whalebone. The term is more commonly used to refer to the bony substance within the mouth of the whale which is used to strain food. it is widely used by Eskimos for making tools and ornaments.
bale seal. a small, labelled metal plate that was attached by wire to a bale. Because it had to be cut to reopen the bale, thefts during shipment were reduced.
balk. see baulk.
band. in Service's (l97l) scheme, the least complex of the four levels of socio-economic integration. These kin-related societies are small, consisting of 30 to l 00 people who tend to camp and travel together. There are no full-time "chiefs" and no real conception of ownership of either objects or territory. Division of labour is almost entirely determined by sex, and as most bands subsist by hunting and gathering, women gather plants and perhaps snare small animals near camp, while the men range further from home in search of game. The kinds of activities pursued, and sometimes the location of the camp may shift in accordance with the seasons as different foods become available in different locations and as game animals adjust their feeding patterns. In the majority of cases, members of band societies acquire spouses from outside of their own band (local exogamy). Married couples take up residence with the husband's band (virilocality) and their children are raised there (patrilocality) as a consequence.
bannerstone. a (usually) polished stone implement which may take a variety of forms. One of the most common is winged with a central hole. These may have served some ceremonial function or may simply be elaborate atlatl weights.
barb. a small point which faces the opposite direction to the main point on an object such as a fish hook or arrow tip.
basal grinding. see grinding, basal.
basal notching. see notching, basal.
basalt. a fine-grained black, brown, grey or green rock consisting of feldspar, olivine, hornblende and augite. Often used for the manufacture of groundstone tools and ornaments.
basal thinning. the removal of flakes from the base of a projectile point or blade in a lengthwise fashion in order to facilitate hafting.
basket. a container manufactured by the weaving, coiling or twining of vegetal materials such as cane or straw.
bastion. a projecting structure built onto a palisade for purpose of defence; any fortified place.
baulk. unexcavated strip left standing between excavation units such that soil profiles remain in place for study and reference.
B.C. abbreviation for Before Christ. When used as a suffix to a date, it indicates the number of years prior to the supposed date of the birth of Christ that an event occurred.
B.C.E. abbreviation for Before Common Era. When used as a suffix to a date, it indicates the number of years prior to the supposed date of the birth of Christ that an event occurred. B.C.E. is thus equivalent to B.C., but is used primarily by non-Christians, or by Christians who wish to avoid the ethnocentrism implicit in the use of B.C. in connection with the non-Christian societies.
bead. a small disc-shaped, spherical or tubular artifact of bone, shell or glass which has been perforated such that it may be strung on a necklace.
beamer. a tool fashioned of wood or the longbone of a large animal. It consists of a sharpened edge which runs nearly along the full length of the tool. The ends serve as handles by means of which it is drawn towards the user. It is used in the treatment of hides.
bedrock. the solid layer of rock which underlies soil, gravel and other loose formations nearer the earth's surface.
Beringia. the landmass which existed in the Bering Strait between Alaska and Siberia during the last (Wisconsinan) Ice Age. At the height of the Wisconsin, sufficient water was "locked up" in the glaciers to cause a marked reduction in ocean levels. Thus, land was exposed in many coastal regions, and a "land bridge," over l500 km wide was formed between Asia and North America. For a century, Beringia has been widely accepted as the most probable route of entry for early man into the New World. The land bridge likely flooded a number of times in accordance with climatic changes and fluctuations in sea level, but was finally submerged l0,000 years ago.
Besant. a valley in southern Saskatchewan which has given its name to a projectile point style and the Late Prehistoric Period phase, horizon or culture within which it occurs. The side-notched points generally have convex edges, sharp shoulders and straight bases. The latter are often thinned and ground and maximum width tends to occur at the shoulder or base. Length ranges from approximately l5 to 80 mm. The remainder of the artifact complex consists of drills, perforators, gravers, scrapers, spokeshaves, mauls and abraders. Besant peoples pursued a way of life focusing the communal hunting of bison by means of (bison) jumps and (bison) pounds throughout most of the northern plains. Their diet was supplemented by fishing, fowling and the collection of shellfish. Many other aspects of the Besant Phase are controversial. Chief among these are whether or not Besant peoples made pottery and the nature of the relationship between Besant and the burial mounds of the Sonota Complex along the Missouri River in northern South Dakota. Although Besant is here classed as Late Prehistoric, the bow (one of the defining traits of this period) was not in use in the earlier portions of this phase. See Reeves (l983) for the most recent statement on Besant.
bevelled surface. one that meets two others at angles other than right angles.
B-horizon. that natural level within a soil profile which directly underlies the surficial A-horizon and which contains the clay, iron oxides and carbonates which have leached down from it.
biface. a stone tool which has had flakes removed from both faces. No particular function is implied by this term as projectile points, knives and drills may all be bifacially worked.
biology. the science concerned with the structure, function, distribution, adaptation and evolution of all living organisms including both plants and animals.
bipolar. a technique used in stone tool manufacture in which the core is rested on an anvil while being struck with the hammer. The waves of force are therefore not only directed downward from the hammer, but also reflected back upward from the anvil. Hence the flake may appear to have been struck at both ends.
bird arrow. an arrow which has been purposefully blunted so that it will not damage the hides or animals or become imbedded in a tree and thus be lost.
birdstone. a polished stone object which resembles a bird in profile. Probably functioned as an atlatl handle or weight (see bannerstone).
bison corral. see bison pound.
bison "jump". a site at which bison have been killed by being stampeded over a cliff. This ancient communal hunting technique was occasionally used in conjunction with a (bison) pound.
Bison occidentalis. a large, now extinct variety of bison that roamed the North American grasslands during the Holocene.
bison pound. a physiographic feature or a specially constructed enclosure into which bison were driven to be slaughtered.
bit. the cutting edge of an adze, axe, chisel, etc.
Bitterroot. an archaeological phase or culture represented at a number of sites in the Columbia Plateau region in eastern Oregon and in southern and eastern Idaho which Swanson (l962) equates with the northern Shoshone. Projectile points of this complex are side-notched and essentially indistinguishable from those from plains environments to the east (termed Logan Creek or Simonsen), and from those of the Mummy Cave Complex of the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains from Alberta to Wyoming. Associated artifacts include conical and wedge-shaped cores, choppers, oval, trinagular and side-notched end scrapers, stemmed and corner-notched bifaces, perforators, manos, whetstones, bone awls and beads of stone and seeds. Fauna include deer, antelope, bison and sheep. Radiocarbon dates range from 5200 to 3650 B.C.
Blackduck. the name of a lake in Minnesota which has lent its name to a distinctive Late Woodland ware as well as to the focus, phase, tradition, culture or horizon within which it occurs. The pots are round-based with constricted necks and flattened and thickened lips. Decoration occurs on the neck and rim, on the lip, and occasionally on the inner rim. The most common decorative elements are horizontal and oblique cord-wrapped stick impressions and exterior punctates. Method of manufacture was either by the paddle-and-anvil technique, or involved formation inside of a fabric container. As a consequence the undecorated portions of the vessels are either cord-impressed or fabric-impressed. Associated artifacts and features may include small triangular and side-notched projectile points, a variety of stone and bone hide-scraping tools, ovate knives, stone drills, smoking pipes, bone awls, needles, harpoons and spatulas, bear and beaver tooth ornaments and tools, small copper tools and ornaments and mound burials. Blackduck peoples were widely distributed from the shores of Lake Superior to the Manitoba/Saskatchewan border, and from central Manitoba in the north to central Minnesota in the south. The locations of these sites and the nature of the material remains within them indicate that these people exploited a variety of forest resources, possibly including wild rice as well as the resources of the grasslands -- most notably bison. See Anfinson (l979) for a recent, general discussion.
blade. l. the cutting edge of a tool. 2. a cutting tool. 3. that portion of a projectile point or knife which extends beyond the haft element. 4. a long, parallel-sided (prismatic, lamellar) flake core. These may be used as is, or used as the basis for the production of other tools. This highly sophisticated technique makes the most economical use of lithic resources.
blank. an incompletely manufactured stone tool which has the general outline of the intended final form. The rough fashioning of blanks at a quarry would obviate the necessity of transporting greater amounts of unmodified stone to camp or fashioning all stone tools at the source of the stone.
blowout. a geological term used to refer to the large bowl-shaped depressions created by wind (aeolian) erosion in arid and semi-arid environments. As the top soil and occasionally some of the underlying strata are removed in this process, artifacts may be exposed.
bodkin. l. an awl used for making holes in fabric. 2. a blunted, large-eyed needle.
body sherd. technically, a fragment of the body of a larger artifact. Most commonly, it refers to a fragment of a ceramic vessel which did not constitute part of the lip, rim, neck, shoulder or base.
bone. the hard tissue, composed of both organic and inorganic materials, which makes up the skeletons of adult vertebrates. Because of their density, bones may survive in the archaeological record long after the decomposition of the soft tissue.
bone bed. a concentrated layer of articulated and disarticulated animal bones usually taken as an indication of a butchering and/or kill site. Typically found in association are weapons and butchering implements.
bone grease. the sweet marrow which is extracted by the smashing and boiling of bones. The grease floats and may be skimmed from the surface for immediate consumption, for storage or for use in pemmican.
Borden Designation. the standard archaeological site designation system in Canada. The label consists of four letters (alternating upper and lower case) followed by a number, e.g. EaKv-l. The alphabetic prefix refers a block of l0 minutes by l0 minutes within a grid system which covers all of Canada south of 62 N latitude. The numerical suffix indicates that this is the first site within this block to be designated.
boreal. of or pertaining to the north, its climate, flora, fauna, environment, resources and peoples; commonly used in reference to the northern forests.
Boreal. a central North American climatic episode dating 7350 to 6540 B.C. This interval marks part of the warming trend between the Late Glacial climatic pattern and the warm dry Altithermal or Atlantic Climatic Episode which was to follow. During this time, the ice sheets retreated and vegetation zones moved towards their modern locations (Wendland l978).
Boreal Archaic. an archaeological tradition associated with the mixed coniferous-deciduous forests of the American Northeast. As defined by Byers (l959), it was characterized by stemmed and side-notched projectile points, thumbnail and keeled scrapers, expanding and side-notched-based drills or perforators, shouldered knives and a proliferation of ground and polished implements: spears, adzes, gouges, plummets, rods, tubes, bannerstones, semilunar knives and birdstones. It was believed that Boreal Archaic peoples employed a diversified economy involving fishing, hunting, shellfish collection and plant harvesting. This construct is no longer commonly used.
Boreal Forest. the technically correct term for the primarily coniferous forest which extends in a continuous arc from Alaska to Labrador and subsumes the Aspen Parkland -- the transition between the coniferous forest and the grasslands to the south. The white and black spruces are the most common elements throughout, with tamarack, balsam fir, jackpine, alpine fir and lodgepole pine achieving more restricted distributions. Trembling aspen and balsam poplar are the most important deciduous species (Rowe l972). The Boreal Forest is roughly equivalent to the taiga of ecologists.
boss. a small mound-shaped node or protuberance. When used as a decorative element on pottery, they may be produced either by the impressing of a deep punctate on the opposite surface, or by the application and smoothing of small amounts of clay.
botany. the science concerned with the study, classification, structure, ecology and economic importance of plants.
boulder mosaic. see petroform.
bow. a weapon consisting of a staff of elastic material such as wood, which is bent by a shorter piece of twine attached to each end. The tension thus imparted to the string is utilized to propel an arrow. In Manitoba, the bow came to be used during the Woodland or Late Prehistoric Period. composite bow. a bow the shaft of which is made of at least two different elements such as horn or sinew in addition to wood. compound bow. a bow fashioned by fastening several pieces of wood together for increased power. sinew-backed bow. a bow with sinew wrappings for added strength.
bow drill. a form of fire drill in which the stick is rotated with increased speed by virtue of the back-and-forth movement of a bow the string of which is looped around it.
B.P. abbreviation for Before Present. When used as a suffix to a date, it indicates the number of years prior to A.D. 1950 that an event occurred.
bracer. see wristguard.
brachycephalic. round-headed; having a cephalic index of 80 or more.
breccia. a composite rock composed of angular fragments of more ancient rocks bound together by a natural cement.
brushed. a method of modifying the surface of ceramic vessels by smoothing the still wet clay with a grass brush. This produces a heavily scored or striated appearance.
buffalo chip. a piece of dried bison dung used as fuel by Native Americans.
buffalo jump. see bison "jump".
buffalo pound. see bison pound.
bulb of percussion. a bulb or boss-like feature on the ventral face of a flake immediately below the striking platform.
bulbar scar. a minute surface irregularity which is occasionally present on the bulb of percussion of a man-made flake.
bull boat. a simple tub- or bowl-shaped boat made by stretching a bison hide over a willow frame bound with thongs. Used by various North American Native peoples, particularly by residents of the plains.
bundle burial. see burial, bundle.
burial. l. the covering-over of an object with earth. 2. the ceremonial entombment of a dead body beneath the ground or in a chamber. 3. the feature thus created consisting of the individual(s) and the context. bundle burial. the (re-)burial of bundled-up disarticulated, defleshed remains. extended burial. placement of the individual with arms at the sides and legs extended. flexed burial. placement of the individuals with arms and legs bent up against the body. intrusive burial. the excavation of a grave into a burial pit or mound constructed at an earlier period. Two individuals may thus appear to be in association although they are not contemporaneous. multiple burial. collective internment; the placement of two or more bodies within the same grave. platform burial. see scaffold burial. primary burial. placement of the dead in a grave with the flesh at least partially intact such that after further decomposition, the bones remain articulated. scaffold burial. placement of the dead on a scaffold above the ground where it may be defleshed by scavengers. The remains may be interred at a later date. seated burial. entombment of the deceased in a sitting position. secondary burial. the final interment of an individual subsequent to an earlier burial in which the flesh decomposed. Secondary burials are therefore not articulated (or frequently improperly articulated) and some bones may have been lost. supine burial. placement of the dead on the back with face and palms upward.
burial mound. a raised mass of earth or debris within or below which deceased individuals are placed. In Manitoba mounds are associated with Woodland peoples.
burin. a generally small flake tool which bears a short, chisel-like cutting edge. They are believed to have been used for engraving or scoring bone, antler or ivory prior to splitting.
C-l4. abbreviation for "carbon l4"; a radioactive form (or isotope) of carbon used in radiocarbon dating. The numerical suffix indicates that the atom contains l4 particles within its nucleus as opposed to the l2 within the more common, stable (non-radioactive) isotope.
C-l4 dating. see radiocarbon dating.
cache. an excavated pit, or mound of stones used to store and/or hide food or tools.
cairn. a mound of stones serving as a monument or marker.
calumet. a peace pipe, usually elaborately decorated and often composed of both wood and stone elements.
Campbell strandline. one of the major and certainly the most prominent of the now-extinct beaches created by glacial Lake Agassiz comprising shorelines and wave-cut escarpments. It was created between 7500 and 8000 B.C. when the lake occupied the Manitoba Lowlands.
cannibalism. the consumption of human flesh by other humans for reasons of dire need or for ritual purposes. In the archaeological record, the forceful enlargening of the foramen magnum at the base of the skull (presumably for removal of the brains) and the smashing of long bones (for the extraction of bone grease) are often viewed as evidence of cannibalism. In at least some cases, however, it is possible that while the individual was thus prepared for consumption, they were only symbolically devoured.
canoe. a long, narrow open boat lacking sails and rudder. It is pointed at both ends and propelled by paddles.
carbon l4 dating. see radiocarbon dating.
Caribou Lake Complex. a Palaeo-Indian artifact complex of the forested region of eastern Manitoba consisting of lanceolate projectile points, trihedral adzes, and large, asymmetrical bifaces. With an estimated time-depth of 6000 to 4000 B.C., this complex is believed to represent the earliest inhabitants of this part of the province who came to rely on the resources of the forests as a result of Altithermal xerothermy (Steinbring and Buchner l980).
caries. tooth decay. The condition of the teeth of a skeleton is often an important clue to the diet and health of the individual.
carpal. a bone of the human wrist, or one of the corresponding bones of the forelegs of other animals.
castellation. a projecting or raised section on the rim of a pot.
catlinite. a soft, red, easily worked stone of the Upper Missouri region which was commonly ground and polished into tobacco pipes. Also known as "pipestone".
celt. an ungrooved axe of metal or polished stone.
cephalic index. a measure of the roundness of the skull calculated by dividing the maximum width of the brain case (usually just above the ears) by the maximum length (between the eyes to the back of the skull) and multiplying the resulting fraction by l00. See also dolichocephalic, mesocephalic and brachycephalic.
ceramic. of or pertaining to pottery; a hard material made by drying and baking clay or some similar substance.
chalcedony. a waxy, microcrystalline form of quartz with crystals arranged in parallel strands. Chalcedony was commonly used for tool-making and could be either chipped or ground.
channel flake. see flake, channel.
charcoal. carbon formed by heating organic matter in the absence of air; one of the preferred substances for radiocarbon dating.
chemistry. the science concerned with the structure, properties, reactions and commercial application of substances.
chernozem. a rich, black organic soil well-suited to the growing of grasses, which is found in cool or temperate semiarid environments.
chert. a generally impure and commonly coarse form of quartz. Chert is usually brown, grey or black and opaque although some specimens may be translucent along a thin edge.
chiefdom. in Service's (l97l) scheme, the third of the four levels of socio-economic integration which stands between the simpler, more kinship-based bands and tribes, and the more governmentally-structured state level societies which some equate with "civilization". As a consequence, chiefdoms share characteristics of both; an individual's family ties remain important, but individuals are ranked within the "family group" and families themselves are ranked relative to one another so that the society can no longer be considered egalitarian. At the top of the hierarchy is the chief, often believed to be a direct descendent of the mythical ancestor of the entire society. Everyone's status is measured in terms of how closely they stand in a kin relation to the chief. He gains his authority from his position as the focal point for the redistribution of goods from a generally horticultural subsistence base although he is not empowered to use coercive force to impose his will. This relatively high degree of organization and productivity allows a high population density and the establishment of major centres. Chiefdoms witness the beginnings of full-time craft specialization, permanent religious practitioners and the establishment of political office. Native North America witnessed several chiefdoms prior to the disruption associated with European contact in Central America. in the American southeast, along parts of the Northwest Coast, and arguably, in the American northeast, particularly Ohio and Illinois.
chinking. a mortar, usually composed chiefly of clay, used to plaster over gaps in walls or to bind bricks or stones.
chipping station. a restricted area of "floor" within an archaeological site which yields stone flakes to the virtual exclusion of other kinds of artifacts. Such features are frequently interpreted as places used for the chipping of stone.
chitho. a disc-shaped biface.
chopper. an axe-like tool, generally fashioned from a cobble or large pebble, and usually worked only on one face.
C-horizon. the bottommost natural level within a soil profile consisting of weathered bedrock, oxidized soil material and a general absence of roots. This layer is little affected by soil-forming processes.
chronology. l. a listing of events in their proper order. 2. the sequence itself. 3. the methodology of placing events in order of occurrence.
clay. extremely fine (less than 0.0l mm in diameter) particles produced by the weathering of certain rocks. Its primary constituent is hydrated aluminum silicate, but numerous impurities, such as quartz, mica, calcium carbonate, alkalies, iron compounds, humus, and sand may also be present. Clay is plastic when moist, but hardens when dried and is used in the manufacture of ceramics.
Clearwater Lake. a lake approximately l7 km north of The Pas, Manitoba which has given its name to a distinctive Late Woodland pottery type as well as to the complex and phase within which it occurs. The pots are round-based with constricted necks and generally outflaring rims. Exterior surfaces are fabric-impressed and exterior decoration is usually restricted to a single row of punctates which produce interior bosses. Lips are generally flattened and decorated in a great variety of ways. Associated tools include side-notched and triangular projectile points, scrapers, bifaces, gravers, celts, net sinkers, slate grinding stones, split bone awls, long bone flakers, bone spatulas, bird bone tubes, bone beads, shaft straighteners and red ochre (Meyer l978). Believed by many to be the handiwork of the prehistoric and protohistoric Cree, the Clearwater Lake Complex is widely distributed throughout the Boreal Forest of central Saskatchewan, Manitoba and northwestern Ontario
. cleaver. a heavy chopping tool, often with a D-shaped outline and a short cutting edge.
Clovis. a town in New Mexico which has lent its name to a distinctive type of Palaeo-Indian or Early Prehistoric Period projectile point as well as to the complex (also known as the Llano Complex) and culture within which it occurs. The highly distinctive projectile points are concave-based and highly variable in size, ranging from approximately 3 to l2 cm in length. One or both faces may be fluted with the channel flake extending one-half or less of the length of the point. Most Clovis sites are either surface finds of isolated projectile points or kill sites and hence the full nature of he complex is not known. Associated artifacts include a variety of scraping tools, blades, hammerstones, chopping tools and foreshafts and defleshers of bone (Frison l978). Clovis points are distributed from the arctic to Mexico, and from California as far east as Nova Scotia. Radiocarbon dated sites range in age from 8500 to approximately l0,000 B.C. Where perishable materials are preserved and an association can be demonstrated, faunal remains are nearly invariably those of the mammoth. Clovis points are rare in Manitoba due to the fact that most of the province was glaciated or beneath the waters of glacial Lake Agassiz during the Clovis period. The small area in southwestern Manitoba which would have been available for occupation at that time probably did not support the kind of vegetation upon which mammoths depended for food (Pettipas l975).
cobble. a medium-sized stone (larger than a pebble but smaller than a fieldstone) which has been rounded and occasionally polished by erosion.
Cochrane Re-advance. a surging of the Wisconsinan ice sheet which occurred roughly 8000 years ago and which is associated with a rise in the level of glacial Lake Agassiz.
Cody. a town in Wyoming which has lent its name to a distinctive style of Palaeo-Indian knife as well as a complex consisting of at least two forms of Plano projectile points (Eden and Scottsbluff) and possibly a third (Alberta). The knives are either single-shouldered or parallel-sided with a transverse blade. Associated artifacts include a variety of side- and end-scrapers, drills, knives, spokeshaves, gravers, perforators and denticulates. Cody Complex sites are more or less restricted to grassland environments and where preservation is good, they contain the remains of now-extinct forms of bison. In Manitoba, Cody artifacts occur above the Manitoba escarpment in the extreme southwestern corner of the province. Elsewhere, they have been radiocarbon dated between 5900 B.C. and 7900 B.C. (if Alberta is included) or 7l00 B.C. if it is not.
cognate word. words in different languages which are similar in terms of meaning and structure by virtue of descent from a common ancestral language.
coil fracture. a potsherd, the shape of which reveals that it was a section of one of the coils used to manufacture the vessel. see coiling.
coiling. a method of ceramic vessel manufacture which involves the stacking of rings of clay. The coils are later smoothed-over by hand or paddled to complete the finish and to bind the coils to one another.
Co-Influence Sphere. an area within which human groups interact due to trade, conflict, migration, the nature of local resources and the manner in which various groups exploited them. As the basis for a research design, the Co-Influence Sphere Model emphasizes interaction as opposed to unilineal chronology, and relies upon cultural comparisons beyond the immediate research area as a basis upon which to draw conclusions (Syms l980).
cold hammering. fashioning metal without the use of heat sufficient to melt it. In prehistoric Manitoba this was restricted to copper and recent evidence indicates that temperatures of up to l000 C were often applied to render the substance less brittle.
collagen. a protein which occurs in bone and may be used for radiocarbon dating.
collapsed stratigraphy. see stratigraphy, collapsed.
collateral flaking. see flaking, collateral.
collection. l. the total array of artifacts from a single site or area. 2. the total array of artifacts in the possession of an individual or institution.
colluvium. a mixture of rock fragments and debris occurring at the foot of a slope.
combed. treated or modified by the application of a toothed instrument of wood, bone, metal, etc. A comb may be used to smooth and/or decorate pottery or to arrange and disentangle hair.
combination (side- end-) scraper. see scraper, combination (side- end-).
complex. a grouping of related and/or associated traits features and artifacts which comprise a complete process, activity or cultural unit. Thus the Laurel Complex consists of the sum total of all evidence in the archaeological record which pertains to Laurel peoples; whereas the Laurel burial complex would only include Laurel burial mounds, grave goods, burial style, etc.
component. the archaeological evidence pertaining to a single group of people (more specifically a single focus) at an archaeological site. A site containing only one occupation is a single component site, while one which was reoccupied is termed a multicomponent site.
composite bow. see bow, composite.
compound bow. see bow, compound.
concave. incurvate, as the interior surface of a sphere.
conchoidal. literally, "conch-like"; shaped like the exterior surface of a clam shell. The term is used to describe the fracturing properties of certain kinds of stone. In fine-grained materials such as flint, a fractured surface will exhibit roughly circular ridges radiating outwards from the point of impact.
conoidal. literally, "cone-like". The term is most commonly used to describe the shape of ceramic vessels with pointed bases and straight profiles to the shoulder.
contact. see European contact.
contagious magic. see magic, contagious.
context. the immediate environment of an artifact including its association with other artifacts and features as well as its position within the site stratigraphy.
convex. bulging outwards; excurvate as in the case of the exterior surface of a sphere.
coprolite. fossilized, desiccated< or otherwise preserved dung or human faeces. Study of coprolites can yield information on the diet, environment and habits of early peoples.
cord-impressed, cord-marked, cord-roughened. the impressing, marking or roughening of the surface of a ceramic vessel while the clay is still wet as a means of decorating or shaping the pot. The cord of either vegetal or animal fibre may be used as is or wrapped around a stick or paddle (see paddle-and-anvil technique). In Manitoba, these techniques are most common within the Late Woodland Period.
core. 1. the stone from which flakes have been removed; the nucleus. A "prepared" core is one which has been specially modified in such a way as to control the shape of subsequent flakes. The core itself may be modified into a tool (core tool). core, conical. a cone-shaped core with the flat surface serving as the striking platform. core, polyhedral. a generally sphere-shaped core with many faces. core, wedge-shaped. a core in which flakes are removed from two faces, thus rendering it a wedge-shaped appearance. 2. a generally thin,cylindrical sample of soil or tree growth-rings.
corner-notching. see notching, corner.
cortex. the weathered, outer surface or rind of unmodified stone; patina.
coup. among many plains Indian groups, some act of valour such as touching an enemy in battle, by which prestige was conferred upon an individual. counting coup. the announcing of one's coups publicly.
cremation. destruction of the bodily remains of the deceased by burning. This mode of postmortem treatment may be favoured for many reasons; to prevent the return of the dead, to protect the deceased from scavengers, or to prevent the transformation of the dead into a harmful entity. Treatment of the ashes is highly variable from one group to another. Cremation seems to have been particularly popular with Palaeo-Indians and this is one of the reasons that skeletal remains dating to this period are so rare.
crop mark. differential vegetational growth as a result of buried features. Some species of plants are particularly sensitive to various subsurface conditions. For example cereals will not achieve normal height and will ripen sooner over wall foundations, while over ditches, or trenches they will grow taller and remain green longer. Study of these differences, particularly with the aid of aerial photography, can reveal such features in remarkable detail.
cross dating. a relative dating technique which attributes similar ages to two strata, components or sites on the basis of the recovery of similar artifacts from each; the use of an artifact whose age is known elsewhere, to date a new site.
cultigen. an initially wild plant which has undergone sufficient genetic changes due to nurturing (or conscious selection), so as to be entirely dependent upon man for its survival; a domesticated plant.
cultivar. a wild plant that is nurtured by humans. Cultivars may thus be found thriving outside of their normal habitats due to irrigation, fertilization or weeding.
cultural anthropology. that branch of anthropology that concerns itself with homanity's non-biological adaptations. Occasionally it is used synonymously (but incorrectly) with social anthropology.
cultural dynamics. the study of population movements and stability or cultural change and continuity. Cultural dynamics thus includes such phenomena as migration, diffusion, readaptation, population increases and expansions, etc. and attempts to identify the reasons for their occurrence.
cultural resource management. a philosophy which views archaeological resources as heritage resources rather than strictly scientific data. For that reason it concerns itself with the identification, inventory, protection and interpretation of archaeological remains for the general public in addition to serving scholarly interests.
culture. l. the artifacts, behaviours and beliefs possessed by a particular people. 2. our non-biological, non-"instinctual" means of adaptation; the shared pattern of ideas, beliefs and knowledge which form the basis for social interaction and which are learned by each generation. 3. the term is frequently (and incorrectly) used as a synonym for "society".
culture area. a geographic region within which the occupants are more similar to one another (particularly in terms of material culture) than to those beyond its limits. These rather frequently correspond to natural, environmental areas, thus reflecting a shared mode of adaptation to a similar environment. In practice, a culture area is defined on the basis of its centre. The peripheries often share more traits with neighbouring culture areas.
culture hero(ine). in mythology, an animal, person or god(ess) who may be seen as the protector of a people, and/or as being the originator of their culture and circumstance. In Native North American folklore, he/she is frequently also a trickster.
culture history. the placement of the material remains of the culture(s) of a region into proper chronological order and the subsequent study of their development.
culture processes. the underlying factors which bring about change in a culture. Processual archaeology attempt to identify such causes, and tests hypotheses thus generated against other archaeological data.
cucurbit. the plant family which includes pumpkins, squash, gourds and cucumbers and which occurs in tropical and subtropical regions. Some members of this family were domesticated by Native North Americans.
dart. a (usually) large, arrow-like projectile propelled by either an atlatl or a blowgun.
data. information; the known facts; a series of measurements or observations.
dating. the process of determining the antiquity of an object or event. absolute dating. the determination of the age of an object relative to the present (eg. l000 years ago or 43 B.C.). relative dating. the determination of the age of an object relative to others of unknown age (eg. B is older than A but younger than C). Relative dating can thus be used to establish a chronology or sequence whereas absolute dating is required to anchor the events firmly in time.
datum point. usually an arbitrarily-defined spot on or near an archaeological site which is used as a point of reference for the mapping of the site and for the plotting of the distribution of the artifacts which are recovered from it.
daub. un-tempered clay smeared over some rigid structure such as the woven frame (wattle) of a hut in order to keep out draughts. Daub is rarely preserved unless accidentally fired.
debitage. debris; waste products or by products manufacturing process. Lithic debitage would thus include unused flakes, exhausted cores and broken artifacts.
decortification flake. see flake, decortification.
deflation. the removal of surficial deposits of soil, sand or fine gravel by wind action. Blowouts are formed as a result of deflation.
deflesher. a chisel-shaped, often toothed implement of bone, stone or metal used to remove the fat and flesh from the inner surface of a freshly skinned hide.
degradation. the wearing away or weathering of a surface by erosion.
delta. a triangular-shaped body of land formed of alluvium at the mouth of a river.
demography. the study of population statistics (population size, number of births and deaths, causes of death, diseases, age distribution, etc.), particularly as a means of making statements of living conditions.
dendrochronology. an absolute dating technique employing counts of tree rings. First a tree species from the region is chosen which attains considerable age and most reliably adds one and only one growth ring per year. The oldest living specimen of this species is cut and sampled. A simple count of the rings indicates the number of years elapsed since the initiation of growth until the year of cutting. Next, progressively older wood samples are sought out which hopefully overlap in age with one another and with the modern tree. Such samples may be found as beams in old buildings or simply as fossilized logs in the forest. As the thickness of each ring depends on the amount of rainfall in that particular year, and as the amount of rainfall is essentially random from one year to the next, it is possible to match the outer rings of an old tree with the inner rings of a younger one on the basis of ring thickness. At present, the master tree ring chart (dendrochronograph) for parts of the American Southwest extends back more than 7000 years. Once the master chart has been established for a given region, the process of dating simply involves the matching of the ring sequence of the sample with the corresponding series of ring widths on the chart. If the outer ring of the sample is intact, the number of years elapsed from the cutting of that tree is represented by the number of rings from that point to the modern end of the chart. As rainfall can vary dramatically from one area to the next, the dendrochronograph is only applicable to samples from the area from which it derived. Dendrochronology has recently been used to improve the accuracy of radiocarbon dating
. dentalium. a genus of mollusc the shells of which widely traded throughout Native North America.
dentate. a form of pottery decoration produced by impressing a toothed object of (usually) bone, wood or stone into the wet clay thus creating rows of small, square depressions. In Manitoba, dentates occur most frequently on vessels of the Laurel Ware.
denticulate. l. having a toothed edge. 2. a toothed stone tool which could have served as a saw.
detritus. see debitage.
Devils Lake-Sourisford Burial Complex. a Late Prehistoric Period complex known from burial mounds in southwestern Manitoba, southeastern Saskatchewan and central North Dakota. Some of the distinctive artifacts recovered from these sites include small, smoothed mortuary vessels, artifacts made of conch shell from the Gulf of Mexico, and tubular smoking pipes. The raw materials used and the style of their artwork indicates that these people participated in a far-flung trade network and were heavily influenced by Mississippian cultures to the south. Although direct evidence is lacking, it is probable that these people made their living as nomadic bison hunters (Syms l979).
diagnostic. significant; distinctive or characteristic; of or pertaining to any artifact, feature or attribute which can provide useful information.
diffusion. the spread of cultural traits from one culture to another. direct diffusion. the spread of cultural traits by means of multiple hand-to-hand transmissions of adjacent groups rather than a migration of the original trait bearers. stimulus diffusion. the spread of the general idea of a culture trait which may subsequently manifest itself in the creation of the physical object or development of the custom by the recipient group.
dip net. a fish net attached to a (usually) circular frame and often equipped with a handle.
direct diffusion. see diffusion, direct.
distal. l. the end of a bone furthest from the mid-line of the body when the individual assumes a normal standing posture. 2. the end of an artifact furthest from the user or observer; the end of a lithic artifact opposite the striking platform.
dolichocephalic. long-headed; having a cephalic index of less than 75.
dome (-shaped) scraper. see scraper, dome (-shaped).
dorsal. l. the convex (excurvate) face of an artifact. 2. that face of an artifact which was furthest from the centre of the core from which it was manufactured. 3. of or pertaining to the back or spinal part of the body.
Dorset. a Middle Prehistoric Period archaeological culture or tradition, the remains of which have been found in the eastern Canadian arctic and on the Atlantic coast as far south as Nova Scotia. In many ways, the Dorset seems to represent an elaboration of earlier Pre-Dorset adaptations to the arctic environment. Particularly distinctive Dorset artifacts include antler, bone or ivory harpoon heads, three-dimensional ivory and bone carvings of humans and animals, and the increase in the use of grinding as opposed to chipping as a means of manufacturing projectile points and knives. These people pursued a seasonal round which involved the taking of sea mammals in the spring, fishing and caribou hunting inland during the latter part of the summer and fall, and a winter occupation on the sea ice subsisting largely on seals. Dorset culture appears to have disappeared rather suddenly and mysteriously about l000 years ago with the expansion of the Thule people from Alaska.
dragged stamp. a kind of pottery decoration found on some Laurel vessels produced by dragging a toothed (dentating) instrument across the wet clay, often in a zigzag fashion. The dragged stamp method is also known as push-pull.
drawknife. a woodworking tool consisting of a blade with perpendicularly-oriented handles at either end. This implement is also sometimes known as a spokeshave.
drift. material carried by glaciers.
drift copper. pieces of native copper which have been transported from their natural place of origin by glaciers. Drift copper may be found on the ground surface and undoubtedly was used by prehistoric peoples for the manufacturing of ornaments and tools.
drill. a stone bit attached to a shaft and used to perforate dense materials.
Duck Bay. a bay on the west shore of Lake Winnipegosis, Manitoba, which has lent its name to a distinctive ceramic ware. Vessels are globular in shape with sharply angled necks and shoulders. Surfaces are fabric-impressed or roughened and decoration consists of rows of punctates (Duck Bay Punctate type) or varying combinations of interior notches, punctates and cord-wrapped stick impressions on and near the lip (Duck Bay Decorated Lip type). This Late Woodland ware appears most frequently in the Manitoba Lowlands (Snortlund-Coles l979).
Duncan. a stemmed projectile point style of the Middle Prehistoric Period in the Northern Plains. Duncan points are included within the McKean Complex (Wheeler l954).
eared. as used in the description of projectile points the ear-shaped or "tab-like" projections at the basal corners produced by the combination of a concave base and deep, wide side-notches.
Early Prehistoric Period. the most ancient of the periods of human occupation in North America and closely equivalent in meaning to Palaeo-Indian.
Early Side-notched Point Tradition. a grouping of early Middle Prehistoric Period complexes characterized by side-notched projectile point styles (generally the first side-notched styles in the region) which have been given a number of different names: Mummy Cave, Bitterroot, Salmon River, Logan Creek, Simonsen, etc. These are by-and-large restricted to the Northern Plains and neighbouring regions and coincide with the Altithermal or Atlantic Climatic Episode. A number of radiocarbon dates in excess of 8000 years clearly indicate that the authors of this tradition were contemporary with the Palaeo-Indians. Where preservation is good, these materials tend to be associated with the remains of now-extinct species of bison.
Early Woodland. see Woodland.
earthenware. a type of pottery made from common clay and fired at a temperature of less than l000 C. The resulting vessel is soft and porous and requires a glaze to render it waterproof.
earthwork. a fortification, burial mound or other construction fashioned by the excavation and/or heaping of earth.
Eastern Triangular. a Late Woodland projectile point style. The point is isosceles-triangular in outline, approximately 24 mm in length and l5 mm wide. In form it is very similar to (and therefore readily confused with) the many other triangular point styles of the Late Prehistoric Period across North America.
ecofact. an object or substance found in a site which is of natural origin but which nonetheless provides information pertinent to archaeology. Examples might include fauna, flora, pollen and soil.
ecological niche. the function or position of an organism in a community of organisms.
ecology. the science dealing with the relationship between a living organism and its environment.
economy. l. the full range of human activities dealing with the acquisition, distribution and consumption of subsistence-related commodities. 2. the way in which these resources are managed.
Eden. a town in Wyoming which has lent its name to a Plano projectile point style of the northwestern plains. Eden points are 8 to l2 cm in length and approximately l.5 cm wide. They are collaterally and horizontally flaked and thus display a diamond-shaped cross-section. Most have stems that are only slightly narrower than the blade -- in fact in some cases it is produced solely by lateral grinding. Because they are sometimes found in association with Alberta and Scottsbluff points, they are included in the Cody Complex.
effigy. a (generally crude) likeness of a person or animal.
effigy bowl. a (generally ceramic) vessel crafted in the shape of a person or animal.
effigy mound. an earthwork constructed in the shape of an animal or bird. Those of the upper Mississippi are the most well-known in North America. Of probable Hopewell affiliation, these may only be a metre or two in height but may be over l00 m. in length. Occasionally, human burials have been found within them.
effigy vessel. a (generally ceramic) container fashioned in the likeness of a human or animal.
eluviation. the process by which fine particles of soil are moved downward through the soil profile by rain water thus leaving the coarser particles nearer the surface.
enculturation. the process by which the young learn their own culture.
end moraine. see moraine, terminal.
endogamy. the restriction of choice of spouses to members of one's own group.
end-scraper. see scraper, end-.
engraver. see graver.
environment. the sum of the external conditions and influences which surround an object or organism -- particularly the ecological and social settings in which people work and live.
eolian. see aeolian.
erosion. the wearing away of soil, rock and other deposits by natural forces such as wind, flowing water or ice; weathering.
erratic. a rock which from its shape or composition is entirely foreign to the place where it is found, having been transported by glacial activity.
esker. a sand or gravel ridge formed by water flowing beneath a glacier.
Eskimo. l. the Native inhabitants of Alaska, northern Canada and Greenland. Traditionally, the Eskimo lived in small bands and followed a seasonal round of activity. These people are known for their remarkable technological and behavioural adaptations to one of the world's most trying environments. 2. the language of these people.
ethno-archaeology. the approach to archaeology which makes use of observations of the "archaeological" remains of living non-literate peoples in an attempt to gain understanding of the nature of the material evidence associated with specific activities. This contrasts with the study of prehistoric activity areas and the derivation of plausible inferences to define them.
ethnocentrism. the judging of other cultures by the standards of one's own culture. This common human tendency almost inevitably leads to the conclusion that other cultures are inferior to one's own.
ethnography. the by-and-large descriptive, non-interpretive, non-comparable study of another culture.
ethnohistory. the study of the development of a culture by means of archaeological, anthropological and documentary evidence.
ethnology. the scientific, interpretive, comparataive study of other cultures.
European contact. 1. in Canada, the contact between Europeans and the Natives of a given region. 2. the time at which this first occurred.
Evans Lanceolate. see Athapap Culture.
exogamy. the restriction of choice of spouses to people outside of one's own group.
extended burial. see burial, extended.
extended family. the nuclear family (husband, wife, children) together with other relatives. Included among the latter are either the wife's married daughters, their husbands and children, or the unmarried children and wives and children of married sons. In general usage, the term may simply imply a group of relatives beyond the nuclear family.
Extended McKean-Oxbow Complex. the term applied to the hypothesized complex consisting of a blending of the McKean and Oxbow cultures and its persistence until the tenth century A.D.
fabric-impressed. a term used to describe the surface finish of many of the Late Woodland pottery types of Manitoba. Under ideal conditions, it is possible to see the individual woven strands of the fabric which was wrapped around the paddle (see paddle-and-anvil method) or which comprised the mould within which the pot was formed.
fauna. the animal life of a certain place and/or time as opposed to plant life (flora).
faunal analysis. in archaeology, the scientific study of animal remains. As different species are adapted to different environments, the kinds of animal bone found in an archaeological site can reveal information about local conditions. For example, the dominance of bison in the faunal record might indicate proximity to grasslands at the time that the site was occupied. Because many species bear young only in a certain season, and since an expert can accurately determine an animal's age at the time of death, faunal analysis can also yield information of the time of year in which a site was occupied. The presence of seasonally migratory species may lend additional support to such conclusions. Finally, because most faunal material in sites are the remains of feasts, analysis can reveal information on the diet of the site's occupants and allow estimates of the number of people who may have resided there.
faunal remains. the (usually) hard tissues of birds, fish and animals which survive in the archaeological record.
feature. something distinctive encountered on the ground surface or during the course of excavations which is not artifactual in the usual sense. Its significance may lie not in the object or objects which constitute the feature, but rather in the relationship of the objects to each other. Thus while a cobble, fleck of ash or fragment of burned bone would mean little if found in isolation, a concentraton of bone and ash surrounded by a circle of cobbles would suggest a cooking area, and this patterning would constitute the feature. Other examples of features could include post moulds, storage pits, a garbage dump, a cache of tools, a flint knapping area, a collapsed dwelling or a burial.
feldspar. a group of rock-forming minerals all of which consist of aluminum silicates and which may contain potassium, sodium, calcium or barium. Feldspars are the chief elements of igneous rock.
fill. sand, earth or other material which is contained within a feature or overlying a site.
findspot. the location in which an artifact is found.
fire-broken rock. stone which has been fractured by exposure to heat. Generally, a fire fracture is difficult to distinguish from other forms of breakage such as that due to freezing. For that reason other evidence (such as scorching) is required to identify the cause of fracturing.
fired. hardened (as in ceramics) by exposure to intense heat.
fire drill. a fire-making device consisting of a wooden shaft, the tip of which is twirled against another piece of wood until the friction creates a spark.
fire spall. a flake detached by exposure to intense heat.
fishing camp. a site used primarily for the acquisition of fish and possibly the taking of other squatic species.
flake. a thin chip of stone detached from either a larger flake or a core by the application of pressure or a blow (Percussion). see flaking, pressure; flaking, percussion. Characteristically, manufactured flakes have a bulb of percussion, a bulbar scar and compression rings radiating outward from the point of impact on the ventral face, and the remnant of the striking platform. channel flake. a long, thin flake detached in such a way as to produce a "groove" on the finished artifact. Such artifacts are said to be fluted. decortification flake. a flake which serves to remove part of the weathered outer surface (cortex) of a core. lamellar flake. a flake with parallel edges; see prismatic flake. prismatic flake. a parallel-sided flake, either triangular or quadrilateral in cross-section, produced from a specially prepared core. Prismatic flakes are also known as blades (sense 4). waste flake. one which is produced as a by-product of the manufacture of something else; a discarded unused flake.
flaker. an implement of bone, antler, stone or other material, used to remove flakes from a core or preform.
flake scraper. see scraper, flake.
flaking. knapping; chipping; the act of removing flakes from a core or preform. alternate flaking. the process of removing flakes from alternate faces along the edge of a tool, thus producing a wavy or sinuous edge. collateral flaking. a kind of flaking produced by removal of flakes from the face of a blade which begin at either edge and terminate at the midline. This kind of flaking commonly produces a diamond-shaped cross-section. horizontal flaking. a kind of flaking in which the flake scars are at right angles to the long axis of the blade. oblique flaking. a kind of flaking in which the flake scars are at an angle to the long axis of the blade. parallel flaking. a kind of flaking in which the flake scars are parallel to one another. percussion flaking. the removal of flakes by striking. pressure flaking. the removal of flakes by the application of pressure. retouch flaking. a form of secondary flaking, always accomplished by pressure, which is used to sharpen or straighten an edge. ripple flaking. a fine form of parallel flaking which gives a surface the appearance of ripples. secondary flaking. a fine form of flaking intended to remove surface irregularities, or to sharpen or straighten an edge. transverse flaking. a kind of flaking in which the flake scars run across the full width of the blade.
flesher. see deflesher.
flexed burial. see burial, flexed.
flint. l. a hard but brittle microcrystalline form of quartz found in sedimentary limestone or in chalk deposits. True flint occurs only in the Old World. 2. any kind of stone which can be flaked.
flint knapping. the flaking of stone for the purpose of manufacturing tools regardless of whether the stone is in fact flint.
flora. the plant life of a certain place and/or time.
floral remains. pollen, seeds, wood charcoal and other plant parts which may be preserved in the archaeological record. Analysis of these can provide information on past environments and subsistence patterns.
fluorine dating. a relative dating technique which uses the amount of fluorine present in bones or teeth as an indication of their age. Living bone has a known and more-or-less constant fluorine content with some minor regional fluctuations due to differences in drinking water. After death, bone begins to absorb fluorine from ground water in the soil in which it is buried. The process continues until a theoretical maximum is reached. Comparison of the fluorine content of two bones, therefore, will allow the archaeologist to determine which is older, or if the two are of approximately the same age. Because the rate of fluorine uptake varies from place to place, all of the samples to be dated must come from the same site or at least from similar situations. The most famous application of fluorine dating was its contribution to exposing the Piltdown hoax in England. It was found that the human skull was much more recent than the bones of the extinct animals among which it had been planted. In Manitoba, fluorine analysis has been used primarily as a means of verifying series of radiocarbon dates or as a means of helping estimations of age when radiocarbon dating is not possible.
fluted. grooved; chanelled. In North American archaeology, the term is most commonly used in reference to the most distinctive trait of Clovis and Folsom projectile points -- bifacial fluting created by the detachment of channel flakes.
fluvium. any river-deposited sediment.
focus. in the Midwestern Taxonomic Method devised by McKern (l939) a focus was defined as a group of components with very similar traits. (plural foci).
Folsom. a town in New Mexico which has given its name to a distinctive fluted projectile point and to the Palaeo-Indian Complex or culture of which it is a part. The Folsom site is of particular significance to the history of American archaeology because it was here that the discoveries were made (l926-28) that conclusively demonstrated the contemporaneity of man with now-extinct species of animals in the New World. The projectile points of the Folsom Complex are among the finest examples of the flint knapper's art found anywhere in the world. Ranging in length from 2 to 7.5 cm, Folsom points are either lanceolate or paralle-sided in outline, and are deeply concave at the base which may give the basal edges an "eared" appearance. Occasionally a small "nipple" or projection may be present at the centre of the base. This is a remnant of the striking platform created to enable the removal of the channel flakes which often extend the full length of each face. Associated artifacts include a variety of scraping tools, gravers, knives, grinding stones, hammerstones and gaming pieces. Where preservation is good the predominant faunal association is bison, thus marking a change from the earlier Clovis peoples' focus upon the mammoth. Folsom points occur over a fairly broad area, but excavated sites cluster between Montana and Texas. Folsom points are nearly as rare in Manitoba as Clovis and for much the same reason; Lake Agassiz covered much of the province and the southwestern corner of the province which was available for occupation did not support the kind of vegetation suitable for the animals which Clovis and Folsom peoples hunted. Folsom radiocarbon dates range from approximately 8000 to 9000 B.C.
foramen magnum. the large opening at the base of the skull through which the spinal cord passes.
foreshaft. in a compound dart or spear, a shaft to which is attached the projectile point and which in turn fastens to the main or backshaft. The latter falls away after the foreshaft penetrates the prey and thus may be retrieved.
forge. l. a place used for working metal by heating and hammering; a furnace or hearth used for heating metal. 2. to shape metal by heating and hammering.
fossil. a remnant or impression of plant or animal life which is preserved. In strictest terms, fossilization refers only to the loss of fats and gelatine from bone and not necessarily the subsequent replacement of these by minerals (mineralization). In its most general (and most incorrect) usage, a fossil may be anything dug from the ground.
friable. easily crumbled, as in the case of rock or pottery.
frost action. the process by which objects buried in the ground are moved about by the freezing and expansion of water.
gaff. l. a barbed fishing spear. 2. a shaft with a hook attached intended to aid the landing of large fish.
galena. a lead ore, crystals and fragments of which were widely traded and used for ornamental purposes in Native North America.
gaming piece. an artifact often of stone, bone, or pottery which served as a token or counter in a game of chance or skill.
gardener. a horticulturalist; one who relies only upon manpower for the nurture and harvesting of crops.
geochronology. l. the study of the physical changes in the earth and the ordering of these events into proper sequence. 2. the use of such a chronology to date archaeological materials.
geology. the science concerned with the origin, history and structure of the earth.
geomorphology. the branch of geology concerned with the origin, development and structure of the earth's topography or surface.
gill net. a kind of net suspended vertically in the water which snares fish by the gills as they attempt to swim through it.
glacial Lake Agassiz. see Lake Agassiz.
glaciation. the expansion of the polar ice caps and the covering of portions of the earth with large masses of ice and snow. At least four major periods of glaciation are recognized within the Pleistocene epoch: the Nebraskan, the Kansan, the Illinoian and most recently, the Wisconsinan.
gleysol. a soil type which develops under boggy conditions. It is characterized by a greyish coloration, mottled appearance and a reduced concentration of iron and other elements.
globular. shaped like a globe or sphere. When used in reference to pottery, it implies a generally rounded vessel shape.
glottochronology. a technique in linguistics used to date the amount of time elapsed since speakers of a once-common langauge separated from one another. If a group of people becomes divided into two due to a migration or by some other means, their modes of speech will change differentially and after one or two thousand years they will be incapable of understanding each other. Since the rate of change in basic vocabulary is known and fairly constant (about l8% every thousand years) a comparison of the vocabularies of related languages can allow the calculation of the time of divergence.
glyph. a character, symbol or picture carved in stone, metal or some other substance.
gorge. a small tool, often of bone, pointed at either end and equipped with a hole near its centre for attachment to a line. It is baited and imbeds itself crosswise in the throat of fish or small game when the line is pulled.
gorget. a plaque-like or crescent-shaped object of stone, wood, shell, etc., often elaborately decorated, and perforated for suspension around the neck.
gouge. a chisel- or celt-like implement with a broad groove ground into one face thus giving the bit a U-shape. These are often interpreted as woodworking tools.
granite. a coarse-grained, light-coloured igneous rock composed of quartz, feldspar and biotite or hornblende.
grassland. an environment, such as prairie, upon which grasses dominate, either naturally or due to human intervention.
Grass River. the name of a tributary of the Nelson which lent its name to a Late Woodland pottery type and the phase within which it was believed to occur. Known only from a handful of sites, Grass River vessels were globular in shape and were impressed with a ribbed-fabric covered paddle. Decoration usually consisted of a single row of circular punctates around the rim. Virtually no other diagnostic artifacts were found in association with the ceramics (Hlady l97l). There is now a consensus that the Grass River ceramics are in fact Selkirk (Focus) Ware and as a consequence the Grass River Phase concept has fallen into disuse.
grave. a place where the dead are buried.
grave escort. (retainer). an individual who is killed and placed in the grave with a person of higher status so that he may accompany the latter to the afterlife and serve him.
grave goods. objects (tools, weapons, ornaments, etc.) placed in the grave with the deceased so that he may use them in the afterlife or simply as an expression of affection for the individual.
gravel. a mixture of sand, pebbles, and small cobbles which range in diameter from 2 to 200 mm.
graver. a small, sharp-pointed tool used for engraving or incising bone, antler, ivory, wood, etc.
grid. a network of lines which divides an area into smaller sections. In archaeoalogy, a site is usually gridded into squares before excavations begin. Each square (or unit) is numbered, often on the basis of its distance and direction from the site datum. A single individual is usually reponsible for the excavation of each square.
grinding. the shaping of an object or the dulling of an edge by means of abrasion with another object or substance. basal grinding. the smoothing of the proximal end of a tool (especially a projectile point) so that it will not cut through its bindings after hafting. lateral grinding. intentional smoothing of the blade edges of a tool (especially a projectile point) so that it will not cut through its bindings after being hafted.
grinding stone. abrader; shaft smoother; whetstone; any coarse-grained stone used to sharpen, dull, shape or polish other tools by abrasion.
grit tempered pottery. pottery to which small particles of sand or stone have been added to the clay. Temper lends strength to the vessel and helps prevent it from breaking when fired.
grooved maul. see maul, grooved.
gunflint. a segment of a stone blade (sense 4) which, when struck against steel, produces the spark which ignites the firearm's powder.
gyttja. a kind of deposit consisting largely of only partially decomposed organic matter.
habitation site. an archaeological site which served as a residence. Evidence pointing toward this function might include remains of dwelling structures and cooking areas.
haft. the handle of a knife, the shaft of a spear, etc.; to equip with a haft.
hafting. the process of equipping a blade (sense 2) with a handle; the handle itself together with the bindings.
hammerstone. a rounded cobble, sometimes equipped with a groove to facilitate hafting. Signs of use may include pecking facets or battering at the working end.
Hanna. a corner-notched. expanding-stemmed, concave-based projectile point style of the Middle Prehistoric Period in the Northern Plains. Hanna points are included within the McKean Complex (Wheeler l954).
hardness. the quality of being resistent to scratching or deformation. Hardness is considered to be a diagnostic attribute of pottery and is measured by means of the Moh Scale. Aboriginal pottery in Manitoba ranges from 2 to approximately 3.5 on this scale of l0.
harpoon. a spear with a (frequently) barbed, detachable head. Upon striking the prey, the main shaft falls away and the harpoon head, with a line attached, remains in the animal.
hasp. a fastening device.
hearth. a fireplace; an open area within which a fire has been deliberately kindled for cooking, light or warmth. Such a feature may be defined on the basis of ash, charcoal, blackened earth, an encircling ring of cobbles, fire-broken rock, burned bones or a baked clay floor.
Hell Gap. the name of a valley in eastern Wyoming which has given its name to a Plano projectile point style as well as to the complex of which it is a part. In some respects, the Hell Gap projectile point is similar to the Agate Basin type and the close relationship between the two complexes has often been commented upon. The former style, however, exhibits a base which is constricted to such a degree as to render the point a stemmed appearance. Lateral grinding is heavy along the "stem". The length of these specimens ranges from 5 to l6 cm. Flaking may be parallel or more irregular. Other items of the complex include a variety of side- and end-scrapers, a number of knife styles including a single-shouldered variety, burins, spokeshaves, gravers, perforators and denticulates. Hell Gap sites are most common in the Northern Plains and adjacent regions. Where preservation is good, the fauna found in association is predominantly bison of now-extinct species. At one site, it was suggested that natural features such as parabolic sand dunes were used to help in the entrapment of a number of animals at once. Radiocarbon dates range from 8300 to 7600 B.C. (Frison l978). A few Hell Gap points have been found in Manitoba but unfortunately, all are surface finds.
hematite. a red to black oxide of iron having variable hardness and commonly used as a point by Native North Americans. Hematite is also known as red ochre, particularly in its softer forms or after having been mixed with grease for use as paint.
hinge feature. a kind of cleavage produced by a flake which does not run its full length. The point of termination is abrupt, and the flake is rounded on its ventral face and sharp on its dorsal face at the distal end.
historic archaeology. the archaeology of a people for whom there are written records. In North America therefore historic archaeology is the archaeology of people after European contact. In Manitoba, historical archaeologists study such things as early forts, fur trading posts, the residences of early settlers or Indian encampments which yield European trade goods.
Holocene. the most recent epoch of the Quaternary; that period of time since the end of the Pleistocene or "Ice Age" (l0,000 or l2,000 years ago) until the present. According to some, the Holocene is not a separate epoch at all -- it is simply a brief warm spell within the Pleistocene. The Holocene is also known as the Recent Epoch.
Homo sapiens. the biological class to which all living human beings belong as well as their immediate ancestors including the "Cro-Magnons". Some include the Neanderthals within this species also.
Hopewell. a Middle Woodland Period culture (or cult) which occupied (or "influenced") much of eastern North America. Closely related to Adena, this Ohio/Illinois-centred "complex" consisted of log tombs within burial mounds, grit-tempered utilitarian pottery, effigy vessels for inclusion with the dead, elaborate ceramic figurines, stone platform pipes which often incorporated human and animal likenesses, sheet copper ornaments, earspools, finely made ceremonial knives of obsidian and effigy mounds -- the latter in the shape of panthers, bears, birds, turtles, and other animals. Hopewell artifacts which are believed to have been ceremonial in function are very similar over vast areas while utilitarian objects vary regionally. This has led some to believe that Hopewell is simply a religion, cult or belief system shared by a number of groups with different languages and subsistence modes. The sheer ambitiousness in some of the Hopewell earthworks and the fineness of their artworks have suggested to some the ranked society, division of labour, and occupational specialization usually associated with farming societies. Direct evidence, however, is not overly convincing. It seems more probable that Hopewell people made their living by hunting, fishing and gathering a wide variety of resources within a rich environment
. horizon. l. in pedology, a horizontal layer within a soil profile which is chemically, physically and/or biologically distinct from other layers (see for example A-horizon, B-horizon, C-horizon). 2. in reference to a specific site, a certain cultural level; for example, the Agate Basin horizon of the Hell Gap site. 3. an artifact class or style, an art style or other distinguishing cultural trait(s) which occurs over a broad area in a relatively brief period of time. The presence of such objects or styles (horizon "markers") are thus useful as a means of dating a site.
horizontal flaking. see flaking, horizontal.
Horner. an archaeological site near the town of Cody in northwestern Wyoming which produced Eden and Scottsbluff projectile points and Cody knives. The site, radiocarbon dated between 7500 and 6500 B.C., is of significance because it appears to represent the communal hunting and kill of approximately 200 bison. As used by Irwin (l97l), the term also refers to a phase which he dates between 7500 and 6500 B.C. and within which he includes the Cody Complex as well as Alberta points.
horticulture. a subsistence method which involves only manpower and a few rudimentary tools in the nurture and harvesting of crops; gardening as opposed to agriculture.
humus. a dark brown or black soil material consisting of partially decomposed animal and vegetal matter.
hunting magic. see magic.
hydrophyte. a damp-loving plant which grows only under water or in very moist soil.
hypothesis. a proposition or explanation which is advanced, without assumption of its truth, as a basis for further investigation, validation or rejection.
Ice Age. see Pleistocene.
ice-creeper. an Eskimo invention consisting of a spiked piece of ivory or bone which is attached to the soles of mukluks to facilitate movement over the ice.
igloo. an often dome-shaped Eskimo structure built by the piling of blocks of snow and intended as a shelter for either people or animals.
igneous. formed from molten lava which has hardened on or below the surface of the earth.
imitative magic. see magic.
incipient. beginning; in an initial stage; not fully developed or completed.
incising. producing lines or patterns by cutting into or engraving a surface. As a means of pottery decoration, incising refers to the freehand etching of narrow deep lines on the vessel surface with a sharp instrument prior to firing.
indigenous. native to, originating in or occurring naturally in a given place; aboriginal.
industry. all of the artifacts of a single material (bone, stone, ceramic, etc.), made by members of a culture (cf. Culture, sense 3).
inhumation. the placement of the dead in an excavated pit beneath ground surface (cf. burial sense 2).
iniskim. a fossil ammonite whose natural appearance resembles a bison.
Initial Woodland. see Woodland.
in situ. a Latin phrase meaning literally "in place". In archaeology, it refers to an artifact or other object found in its original position.
interglacial. a warm interlude between two glacial periods.
interstadial. a brief, warm period within a glacial period.
intrusive. an artifact or feature found within a feature, component or stratum of which it was not originally a part.
intrusive burial. see burial, intrusive.
intrusive object. an object that is believed to have entered the body of a person and to be the cause of illness and/or death. Such diagnoses are common among many pre-industrial cultures worldwide. The cure often consists of the removal of the object by a shaman or sorcerer. Sometimes this is accomplished by (apparently) sucking the object through a bone tube (sucking tube) and then displaying the object as proof of the cure.
Inuit. l. an Eskimo word meaning literally "The People". 2. the name by which the North American (and Greenland) Eskimo refer to themselves. 3. the language of these people, more properly termed "Inuktitut".
inuksuk. the Eskimo word for the likeness of a human made by piling stones. These are often erected in a long V-shaped formation bordering a drive lane. Caribou, mistaking the inuksiuk (plural) for people, can then be stampeded towards the narrow end of the V where a corral and/or hunters await them.
Iroquoian. a family of languages whose speakers originally occupied much of the St. Lawrence River valley and isolated portions of the east-central United States. The major languages within this family include Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Mohawk, Oneida, Wyandot (Huron), Cherokee and Tuscarora.
isolated find. the recovery; usually from the surface, of a single artifact with no other artifacts in association.
isostasy. or isostatic rebound. the rising of a land surface following the removal of the enormous weight of glacial ice. This phenomenon is of particular importance in Manitoba archaeology as the south-to-north tilting of the landscape due to the retreat of the Wisconsinan ice sheet influenced the shoreline of glacial Lake Agassiz and thus the areas which were available for human occupation.
jade. a general term which may refer to either true jade (nephrite) or jadeite. Most prehistoric jade objects in Canada originate in British Columbia but some artifacts particularly adzes were traded into Alberta.
jasper. a non-translucent microcrystalline quartz which occurs in a wide variety of colours and which was used for ornaments and chipped stone artifacts in prehistoric North America.
juvenile ceramics. generally small and crudely made pottery vessels believed to be the product of a child learning the potter's art.
Kame Hills Complex.Woodland/protohistoric complex centred in the Southern Indian Lake region in northern Manitoba. Included in the artifact inventory are side- and corner-notched projectile points, triangular points, a variety of scraper and biface forms, whetstones, adzes, gravers and grooved hammerstones. The bone industry consisted of points, awls and beads and a harpoon head made of antler. It is the ceramics, however, which are the most distinctive and which provided the impetus to define the complex. Large and small pots and plates were fashioned from clay as were bowls, cups and smoking pipes. Although the majority of the pots were of the Clearwater Lake Punctate type, variation in vessel shape and in the combination of decorative elements used, served to distinguish the Southern Indian Lake pots from those from neighbouring areas. Dickson (l980) estimates the complex to date from A.D. 850 to l750.
kaolin. a fine white clay consisting of decayed feldspar used to make porcelain; also known as china clay.
kayak. a double-pointed, decked, skin-covered canoe found among some Eskimo groups. In some varieties, a waterproof coat covers the cockpit and fastens tightly around the neck and wrists of the traveller, thus rendering the vehicle and clothing contiguous and the kayak virtually unsinkable. A skilled individual can travel in heavy water and breakers in such a craft.
keeled scraper. see scraper, keeled.
Keewatin Lanceolate. a projectile point style defined by Harp (l96l) on the basis of his investigations along the Thelon River in the Northwest Territories. As the name implies, these specimens are unnotched and in terms of most particulars, including size, shape, thickness, type of flaking and presence and extent of basal and lateral grinding, they are essentially identical to Agate Basin points. Wright (l972) considers Keewatin Lanceolate points and the complex within which they occur to represent an occupation by Plano peoples who were ancestral to the authors of his Shield Archaic Tradition.
kettle hole. a depression in the ground formed by the melting of a buried block of ice. The debris which formerly covered the ice is thus allowed to settle to the bottom of the kettle.
"killed" artifact. an artifact which has been purposely broken so as to release its spirit. Killed artifacts may be found as grave goods and the implication is that this was accomplished so that the spirit of the artifacts could accompany the spirit of the deceased to the afterlife.
kill site. an archaeological site which was used primarily for the slaughter and (usually at least the preliminary) butchering of game. As one would expect, the artifacts commonly found at such sites include projectile points and large knives. Faunal remains are often extremely numerous and an analysis of these may provide details on the method used to butcher the animals.
kinnikinnick. a smoking mixture of the North American Indians consisting of the bark and leaves of certain plants occasionally mixed with tobacco. Some of the plants used produced a mild narcotic effect.
knapping. the production or shaping of stone artifacts by means of pressure and/or percussion flaking.
Knife River Flint. brown chalcedony; a dark, brown translucent siliceous stone found in the Knife River area of North and South Dakota and particularly favoured for its flaking properties.
lacustrine. of, pertaining to, or deposited in lakes.
Lake Agassiz. the multi-staged sea-like lake formed by the meltwater of the Wisconsinan ice sheet which dominated the southern half of Manitoba between approximately l0,000 and 5800 B.C. At various times, this massive body of water occupied parts of Saskatchewan, Ontario, North Dakota, Minnesota and even South Dakota. During its lifespan, the southern shore shifted generally to the north in accordance with the erratic but inevitable northward retreat of the glacier. In its wake, it left many strandlines and deltas including the 6500 km2 Assiniboine delta in the Carberry area as evidence of an earlier period of stable water levels. Lakes Winnipeg, Winnipegosis, Manitoba and the many smaller lakes of the Pre-Cambrian Shield of eastern Manitoba are but remnants of this once immense lake.
Lakeshore. a preceramic focus or culture defined by Vickers (l950). This concept is no longer used and the materials which Vickers retrieved are now generally attributed to the McKean Complex.
lamellar. see flake, lamellar.
laminated. composed of or built up by layers.
lanceolate. leaf-shaped; tapered at one or both ends. In archaeological usage, the term usually refers to long, slender, unnotched chipped stone projectile points.
land bridge. any tract of land which connects two continents thus allowing foot travel between them. see Beringia.
Larter. an archaeological site on the Red River north of Winnipeg which has lent its name to the distinctive barbed projectile point style for which it is known as well as to the focus or phase within which these occur. This late Archaic or late Middle Prehistoric Period complex consists of corner-notched projectile points named Larter Tanged, unnotched projectile points, or blanks, a variety of scrapers and knives, drills, gravers, chisels, grooved hammerstones and sinew stones. Larter peoples appear to have followed a seasonal round of activities centred upon the communal hunting of bison, although their diet was supplemented by a variety of other animals as well as fish and shellfish. According to at least one expert (Reeves l983) Larter derives from the earlier McKean Complex. see also Larter Sub-Phase, Pelican Lake, Tunaxa.
Larter Sub-Phase. the Larter "Phase" when viewed simply as the southern Manitoba variation of a more widespread and generalized complex (Pelican Lake) which was distributed over most of the northern grasslands during the late Middle Prehistoric Period (Reeves l983).
Late Glacial Climatic Episode. the climatic pattern characteristic of the end of the glacial period (roughly ll,000 to 8l00 B.C.). During this time, the Manitoba landscape was dominated by Wisconsinan ice and later by Lake Agassiz. Temperatures to the south of these features tended to average a few degrees Celsius cooler than the present, and vegetational zones accordingly lay far to the south of their modern positions (Wendland l970).
Late Prehistoric Period. the last and most recent of the three "stages" in central North American prehistory. This term is most commonly used for the plains, but is roughly equivalent in terms of its dating to the Woodland Period of the eastern forests (ca. 200 B.C. to the Historic Period). In many ways, the basic lifestyles remained largely unchanged from those of the earlier Middle Prehistoric (or Archaic) Period. Nonetheless, a number of technological and behavioural innovations are present in the archaeological record which allow archaeologists to identify sites of this period with relative ease. These include the manufacturing of pottery, the use of the bow and arrow, the construction of burial mounds and an intensification of the use of bison corrals and (bison) "jumps" as a communal hunting technique.
lateral grinding. see grinding, lateral.
Late Woodland. see Woodland.
Laurel. a (now-abandoned) town in northern Minnesota near the Ontario border which has given its name to a distinctive Middle Woodland ceramic ware as well as the complex with which it is associated. Laurel vessels are grit-tempered and manufactured by means of coiling. Vessel shape is conoidal with slightly constricting necks terminating in unthickened lips. Surface finish is smooth except where decorated. Decorative elements include bosses, dentates, punctates and incisions and these are applied and/or combined in various ways so as to produce pseudo-scallop shell, dragged stamp and various other patterns. The Laurel lithic industry consists of a variety of scrapers, and bifaces, pieces esquillees, netskinkers, hammerstones, anvils, smoking pipes, tools for decorating pottery, mortars, pestles, manos, abraders and pendants. The bone, antler, tooth, claw and shell industries are extremely well represented, and served as media for the production of numerous classes of tools and a variety of personal adornments. Native copper was also utilized for beads, pendants, chisels, fishhooks and knives. Subsistence was based on a wide range of resources including large and small mammals, wildfowl, shellfish, turtles and fish. Plants were also heavily utilized and it is possibly at this time that wild rice first entered the diets of prehistoric Manitobans. One of the most spectacular aspects of the Laurel culture was the construction of burial mounds. The largest of these was originally 36 m in maximum diameter and l4 m high. Within these mounds were placed the deceased together with meagre grave goods. The condition of some of the skeletons was suggestive of (ritual?) cannibalism. Laurel sites are distributed in a broad arc from east-central Saskatchewan through central Manitoba to northern Minnesota and northwestern Ontario, and eastwards around the shores of Lake Superior to northern Michigan. Radiocarbon dating shows them to date between approximately 200 B.C. and A.D. l000.
Laurel Triangular. a projectile point style defined by Buchner (l982) which he considered to be diagnostic of the Laurel Phase. These specimens are isosceles-triangular in outline and range in length from 23 to 33 mm. Bases are slightly convex to rounded and virtually all exhibit basal thinning. They are distinguishable from more recent triangular forms (such as Eastern Triangular) on the basis of the former's larger size alone.
leaching. the removal of water soluble minerals in soil or rock by rainwater. Leaching also accounts for the gradual disappearance of bone from archaeological sites, particularly when the soil is acidic.
lean-to. a simple shelter consisting of a covered frame leant against the wall of another structure or against some other vertical face.
leister. a fish spear with three or more points, usually of bone or antler. Each point has a barb on the inner side.
lens. in archaeology, a biconvex (lenticular) discolouration in a soil profile.
lenticular. shaped like the cross-section of a lens; biconvex.
lichenometry. the measuremet and study of rates of lichen growth. Lichenometry offers a means of calculating the minimum age of any rock painting or petroglyph which is overgrown with lichen or a petroform if the cobbles from which it is made were overturned during the construction phase. The latter condition is necessary as lichen grows only on the upper, exposed face of boulders and thus inversion will kill the old lichen and allow new patches to begin growing. If the rate of lichen growth in any given region can be determined (usually by long term observation) then a simple calculation will yield the age of the "new" lichen patch and thus the age of the petroform. Similarly, rock paintings and glyphs can theoretically be dated by the amount of lichen on top of them, or by the extent of "new" patches assuming that the rock surface was cleared of "old" lichen before use. Unfortunately lichenometry is not yet sufficiently refined for widespread use by archaeologists.
lifeway. the way of life associated with a culture; the technological and behavioural means of adaptation.
Lindenmeier. an archaeological site in north central Colorado which yielded much material of the Folsom Complex. Henry Irwin (l97l) defined Lindenmeier as a phase consisting of two sequent subphases, the Folsom and the Midland which followed it. He considered the Lindenmeier Phase to date from 9000 to 8500 B.C.
linear mound. a long, low, linear earthen embankment which may include a right angle. Rounded expansions often occur at the ends of the mounds and at turning points. These are much less common than their oval and circular counterparts and tend to occur most frequently in southwestern Manitoba and adjacent portions of North Dakota. The largest of these was 800 m in length, over l0 m in width and approximately l m in height. The function of these structures is something of a mystery. They do not appear to have been used for burying the dead, and although they are occasionally called "entrenchments", they are not usually in easily defensible locations, and would not be particularly effective for that purpose. It is possible that they fulfilled some ceremonial but as yet unknown purpose.
linguistics., the science which concerns itself with the origin, development, history, relationships and structure of languages. Judicious use of linguistic data can reveal much of direct relevance to archaeology. The degree of similarity between two related languages is a gauge of the amount of contact between the two groups or the amount of time elapsed since they separated. Glottochronology can put an absolute date on the "split", and occasionally archaeoalogy can trace the route of the emmigrant group. Comparison of terms in modern related languages can yield insights into the nature of the common "mother" language from which they all developed. These may include the kind of technological items the speakers of the now-extinct language used and even the geographic region they originally occupied.
lithic. of or pertaining to stone.
lithic reduction sequence. the entire process of manufacturing stone tools by flaking from the removal of the decortification flakes to the sharpening or retouching of the final product.
living floor. the level within an archaeological site upon which a group of people lived. In the absence of specially prepared ground surfaces, living floors may only be defined on the basis of the depths of artifacts pertaining to that component and the degree of compaction of the floor due to people walking on it. Often, overlying soil will appear to peel off the floor due to the different densities involved. Exposure of entire living floors allows the graphic representation of the various activity areas of a site at a specific point in time.
Llano Complex. that complex defined by the association of Clovis projectile points and mammoth remains.
loam. a fertile topsoil consisting chiefly of sand, clay and silt and partially decomposed organic matter.
Lockport Stemmed. a poorly defined projectile point style associated with Middle Woodland ceramics at a site in southern Manitoba (MacNeish l958). These crudely fashioned specimens are approximately 45 mm in length and 20 mm in width and show a tendency toward asymmetry. The stems are short and straight and the shoulders poorly defined. This taxon is not generally used by Manitoba archaeologists as so few of these specimens have been recovered.
loess. a light-coloured, unstratified deposit consisting of fine-grained sands, clays or silts which is for the most part laid down by the wind under cold, dry conditions.
Logan Creek. an archaeological site in northeastern Nebraska which has lent its name to a widespread Middle Prehistoric Period complex whose time-depth brackets the warm, dry Altithermal. One of the hallmarks of the complex is the side-notched projectile point which in many areas is the first style to appear after the demise of the Plano lanceolate forms. The former range from approximately l7 to 50 mm in length, have triangular blades, straight or concave bases and are frequently basally ground. Perhaps one of the most diagnostic traits of this complex is the practice of manufacturing side-notched end-scrapers, presumably from fragments of broken projectile points. Other items in the Logan Creek inventory include drills, grinding stones, hammerstones, bone awls, beads, needles, shaft straighteners, and fishhooks, and serrated mussel shells. Sites are widely distributed in the eastern grasslands, particularly near the forest edge, in major river valleys, in outliers of the eastern forests or near perennial sources of water. Presumably this reflects the generalized drought conditions which central North America was experiencing at the time. Faunal remains, found in association with Logan Creek materials tend to be more varied than those of their Palaeo-Indian predecessors, although bison seem to have remained the mainstay of these peoples' diets. Radiocarbon dating indicates an age for this culture of 6500 B.C. to 4000 or possibly even 3000 B.C.
lookout. see game watch site.
lug. a protuberance or projecting part on the rim of a pot intended to assist in holding and lifting the vessel.
Lusk. see Angostura.
magic. the supposed art which attempts to influence people or the course of events by supernatural means. The latter may include the use of incantations ("prayers" or songs), graphic representations, or symbols, and the manipulation of objects. Magical beliefs are difficult to infer from the archaeological record, although such items as sucking tubes and medicine bags and other ethnographically known items are occasionally recovered. Some interpret certain examples of rock art, particularly depictions of large game animals, as forms of hunting magic. Painting or engraving the likeness of a prey species on rock may have served to placate the spirit who controlled that species. Alternately, if the animal was represented with arrows in it, the intent may have been to bring about an event by imitataing it (imitative magic).
magnetism, remnant. the magnetism acquired by substances containing magnetic compounds after being heated beyond the Curie Point (670 C) and then being allowed to cool. The heating brings about the loss of whatever magnetism the substance may have contained. As it cools, however, the metallic particles align themselves in accordance with the orientation of the magnetic field of the earth. (see magnetometer).
magnetometer. a device capable of detecting fluctuations in the strength of the earth's magnetic field at pin point locations. As these variations (or "anomalies") are in part the product of various subsurface features, a magnetometric survey can assist the archaeologist in locating and determining the size and nature of an archaeological site prior to excavation.
maize. (Indian) corn, zea mays. Maize is one of the oldest and certainly one of the most important of the Native American domesticated plants.
mammoth. any of the now-extinct Pleistocene elephants of the genus Mammuthus (or Elaphus). These grassland-adapted animals, the preferred prey species of the Clovis people, became extinct in the ninth millenium B.C.
Manitoba Focus. the former name for the Blackduck Phase.
Manitoba Lowlands. a physiographic and vegetational zone occupying that portion of the glacial Lake Agassiz basin which consists of the interlake and the Red River Valley. This flat, generally poorly-drained land consists of some of the lowest lying terrain in the southern half of the province (approximately 2l0 to 250 m a.s.l.). Vegetation consists chiefly of black spruce and tamarack with intermittent meadows and swamps, although white spruce, trembling aspen, balsam popular, balsam fir and white birch may occur in some of the better-drained situations.
Manitoba Point. a projectile point style defined by Pettipas (l972) on the basis of a small number of surface recoveries from the Swan River area of west central Manitoba. These specimens are lanceolate in overall outline and exhibit highly convex blade margins. perhaps the most distinctive feature of these points is the set of two or three incipient notches at the basal, lateral edges. Since the time of the original definition, similar points have been recovered as far west as Alberta and as far south as Wyoming. These are usually surface finds, but are often from the same location as Agate Basin points. An excavated example of the type from Wyoming was radiocarbon dated at 6l00 B.C.
Manitoba ware. the former name for Blackduck ware.
mano. a hand-held stone used as the upper stone (pestle) in milling.
manuport. an object, usually a cobble, which has been moved from one place to another by humans. Manuports need exhibit no other evidence of cultural modification to warrant classification as artifacts.
mastodon. any of the now-extinct Pliocene and Pleistocene elephant-like creatures of the genus Mammut (or Mastodon). These browsers (unlike the grazing mammoths) subsisted on twigs and leaves and for that reason their remains are found in what would have been forested regions.
material culture. those tangible aspects of a culture (such as artifacts, features, architecture, etc.) as opposed to non-material traits (beliefs, attitudes, etc.).
matrilineal. pertaining to the tracing of descent or the transmission of wealth or authority primarily through females.
matrilocal. pertaining to the custom of a newlywed couple's taking up residence in the home, village or territory of the bride's family.
matrix. the rock or soil material in which fossils or artifacts are found or embedded.
maul. a heavy stone implement with blunted or rounded edges used for pounding and/or crushing. The maul may be grooved to facilitate holding or hafting, and may be classified according to the extent to which the groove travels the circumference of the tool (for example, three-quarter grooved maul, full-grooved maul, etc.).
McKean. an archaeological site in northeastern Wyoming which has given its name to a distinctive late Middle Prehistoric Period projectile point style and the complex with which it is found in association. The McKean Lanceolate point is narrow, generally leaf-shaped with a deeply concave, occasionally notched base. Length ranges from 25 to approximately 60 mm. Duncan and Hanna projectile points are included within the complex and appear to be somewhat more recent than the more classic lanceolate variety. Other artifacts in the McKean inventory include a variety of scraper styles including those made on tabular fragments of stone, oval blanks or bifaces, crude choppers, polyhedral cores, bone scrapers and beamers and gaming pieces fashioned from coyote teeth. Radiocarbon dates on McKean materials from Wyoming may predate 3000 B.C. although those from Manitoba range from as early as l780 B.C. to as recent as 880 B.C. Thus it would appear that the complex originates outside the province and that although there is considerable overlap, McKean is generally more recent than Oxbow, but older than Larter (Pelican Lake). Bison is the most common faunal element found in association with the complex although it is clear that these people supplemented their diet with a number of other animals, birds and fish. McKean sites are fairly common over much of the northern plains and in Manitoba, excavated sites and surface finds are distributed across most of the southern half of the province.
medicine society. a secret society of Native groups of the central Canadian forests and northern plains. Meetings were held from time to time in specially constructed secret lodges. The ceremonies, conducted by individuals imbued with magical power, centred upon the initiation of new members, healing, and the renewal of the group's contact with the supernatural.
medicine wheel. a circular arrangement of stones with one or more spokes either enclosed by the circle or radiating from it, and occasionally cairns centrally and/or peripherally located. These features, scattered across the northern plains from Wyoming to Manitoba probably served some ceremonial function(s).
b>memekwesiwak. in Cree methology, small beings who dwell in the rocks. Some attribute prehistoric rock paintings to these creatures.
mesic. pertaining to or flourishing in conditions of medium dampness.
mesocephalic. pertaining to a head of medium width in relation to its length; having a cephalic index between 75 and 79.9.
Meso-Indian. see Middle Prehistoric Period.
mesophyte. a plant which thrives under conditions of average moisture.
metallurgy. l. the art and/or science of the extraction of metals from their ores and the working of metals including the use of such techniques as the application of heat. 2. the science concerned with the study of metals.
metamorphic. of or pertaining to a rock which has been modified from its original structure by exposure to heat and pressure.
metate. the lower, stationary stone used in conjunction with the mano for grinding grain.
microblade. a minute parallel-sided blade (sense 4) generally produced by pressure flaking from a specially prepared core.
microlith. small tools which may be any of a variety of shapes, and which have been produced from microblades. Too small to have been used without hafting, some were set edge-to-edge in a groove in a bone or wood shaft and so served as cutting tools, while others would have been functional as barbs
. midden. a heap or stratum of refuse generally located near a habitation site
. Middle Prehistoric Period. the second of the three "stages" in central North American prehistory. The term is most commonly used of the plains sequence, but is roughly equivalent in terms of its dating to the Archaic Period of the eastern forests. Included within this period in Manitoba are the Logan Creek, Oxbow, McKean and Pelican Lake (or Larter) cultures. Some would include part of the Besant Phase within the Middle Period also as the bow, the introduction of which is frequently used to mark the onset of the Late or Woodland Period, appears during the Besant times.
Middle Woodland. see Woodland.
midewiwin. also known as the Mid, or Grand Medicine Society. see medicine society.
Midland. a town in west Texas which has given its name to a Palaeo-Indian projectile point style, to the complex found in association with it, and to the (sub?-) phase within which it occurs. Originally, Midland points were called "unfluted Folsoms" because of similarities in outline shape, manufacturing technology, and a tendency to occur in association with Folsom points. It is now clear, however, that many of these are much too thin to have been intended for fluting and most consider Midland to be a distinct type. Other artifacts in the complex include a variety of side- and end-scrapers, and knives, spokeshaves, gravers, perforators and denticulates. Midland sites are more or less restricted to the southern plains and are approximately the same age as Folsom. Irwin (l97l) considers Midland to be the second (after Folsom) of the two subphases of the Lindenmeier Phase. He dates the Midland Subphase at 8750 to 8500 B.C.
Midwestern Taxonomic Method. the system devised by W.C. McKern (l939) for classifying archaeological data. It was he who first explicitly defined the focus, aspect, phase, pattern and base and how these concepts relate to one another. Not all of these terms remain in use, and those which have survived are used in different ways from that proposed by McKern. This scheme is also (incorrectly) known as the Midwestern Taxonomic System and the McKern Taxonomic System.
migration. l. the regular movement of animals back and forth between their summer and winter ranges. 2. the movement of a large group of people to a new, permanent residence. milling stone. a general term for any stationary, lower stone of a grinding mill. In contrast to a metate, however, the mano was used in a rotary, rather than a back and forth motion.
Milnesand. a town in eastern New Mexico which has given its name to a Plano projectile point style. The Milnesand point is superficially simlar to the Plainview style, but lacks the deeply concave base of the latter, and has more extensive lateral grinding. The generally lanceolate form tapers gently to a straight or slightly concave or convex base which is thinned by the removal of numerous minute flakes. The faces generally exhibit transverse horizontal flaking and length ranges from 4 to 7.5 cm. Although generally viewed as a southern plains style, similar forms have been found as far to the northeast as Iowa. At the type site the points were found in association with scrapers and badly decomposed bison bone.
mineralization. the process of the replacement of organic material (as in the case of the fats and gelatin in bone) by minerals. The end product is an inorganic object (which may therefore survive for immense periods of time in the archaeological record) in the shape of the original.
Mississippian. the general name given to the cultural climax of the eastern United States between A.D. 600 and l600. The core traits include small triangular arrowheads, shell-tempered pottery, and flat-topped earthen pyramids. Some of the latter achieved impressive size; the largest at Cahokia in Missouri stands 30 m high, measures 2l5m by 330m and covers l6 acres. Thatched temples were constructed on top of the mounds which together with other encircled a plaza. Beyond these lay a palisaded earthen embankment and beyond that, a moat. These mound clusters likely served as administrative-ceremonial centres for wide areas. Most people lived in "rural" areas, practised maize, bean and squash horticulture, and by their efforts supported the divine rule, the artisans and the governing elite. Sites are located in major valleys of the Mississippi and its tributaries where flooding would regularly refertilize the farmlands. Mississippian craftsmanship in ceramics, stone, copper and shell was superb and in some cases, art styles bespeak influence from or contact with the high cultures of Mexico. Among the most spectacular aspects of the Mississippian are the artifacts and depictions surrounding the Southern Cult which seems to have concerned itself almost exclusively with death and human sacrifice.
Mistikwas. see Selkirk
mixed site. a (generally) multi-component site in which the artifacts from the various occupations cannot be distinguished on stratigraphic grounds. Although they may be rich in terms of artifact yield, they may provide little information of significance to the archaeologist due to lack of provenience data.
mode. l. a way of doing or being. 2. in ceramic analysis, a combination of decorative elements which commonly occur together.
Moh Scale. a method for describing the hardness of solids on a l0-point scale ranging from the hardness of talc (0) to that of diamond (l0).
moraine. a bank or ridge of earth, clay, sand, gravel and boulders transported and deposited by a glacier. terminal moraine (end moraine). a ridge formed as above but which marks the maximum extent of the glacial advance.
morphology. the form, structure or shape of an object or organism.
mortar. a (generally) bowl-shaped vessel of some hard material in which objects are crushed, ground and/or mixed with a pestle
Mortlach Sub-Phase. one of the eight regional subphases which comprises the late Middle Prehistoric Period Pelican Lake Phase. Mortlach (named after a town 80 km west of Regina) occupies most of the grasslands of southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, but makes only a limited incursion into southwestern Manitoba. Here, the Larter Sub-Phase (or Phase) is the dominant representative of this larger classification (Reeves l983).
mortuary vessel. a vessel specifically manufactured for inclusion with the dead.
motif. a recurring feature or shape within a design or pattern.
mound. see burial mound
mound builders. any of the prehistoric cultures of eastern North America that erected mounds (see Hopewell, Mississippian).
Muller. a non-stationary grinding stone such as a mano or prestle.
multi-component site. an archaeological site which contains the remains of more than one culture. If two or more complexes occur in a stratified site, there is a possibility that the artifacts of each component may be distinguished thus providing an excellent opportunity for the study of cultural change over time. If on the other hand, a number of components co-occur in a mixed site, the information to be gathered is little more than that from a surface collection.
multiple burial. see burial, multiple.
Mummy Cave. an archaeological site in northwestern Wyoming which has lent its name to an early Middle Prehistoric Period complex of the northern plains. On the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, the Mummy Cave Complex is heralded by the first appearance of side-notched projectile points after the demise of the late Plano lanceolate styles. As is the case in the contemporary Logan Creek complex to the east, the inventory includes side-notched end-scrapers and on this basis, plus other technological similarities, a close cultural relationship has often been suggested. Some sites yield evidence of the communal hunting of bison, while at others (including the type site), bison remains are conspicuously absent. Such discrepancies may be due to differences in the seasons during which these sites were occupied. Radiocarbon dating indicates a timespan from approximately 5800 B.C. to 3400 B.C.
Munsell Scale. a standardized system using coloured chips for accurately describing a colour in terms of its hue, value and chroma.
NaDene. a widespread linguistic phylum which includes the Haida, Tlingit and Athapaskan families. Of these, only the latter is represented in Manitoba by speakers of the Chipewyan language who occupy the northwestern portion of the province.
Napikwan. a cultural tradition of the northern plains which in Manitoba consists of the Besant and Blackduck Phases (Reeves l970).
natal group. the (residence) group to which one belongs upon birth as opposed to that which one joins by virtue of marriage.
Neo-Atlantic. a central North American climatic episode dating from A.D. 690 to A.D. ll00 which is believed to have been somewhat cooler and moister than the present (Wendland l978).
Neo-Boreal. a central North American climatic episode, known to some as the "Little Ice Age", which dates approximately A.D. l550 to l850. Average temperatures were l C cooler throughout this period than the present.
Neo-Indian. see Late Prehistoric Period.
net-impressed. a surface finish of ceramics produced by impressing the wet clay with a net. Depending upon how this is accomplished, the vessel's surface may be the precise imprint of the mesh or a much more irregular, roughened pattern.
netsinker. a notched or grooved cobble attached to a net in order to sink one edge.
non-literate. of or pertaining to peoples who lack a written language.
Northern Transition Zone. the northern part of the Boreal Forest which marks the shift from the dense coniferous forest in the south and the open tundra to the north. Black spruce is the most common tree species although white spruce dominates on sand ridges and floodplains. Swamp and muskeg is common throughout. As one proceeds north, trees become less numerous and more stunted and permafrost becomes more widespread.
notching. a V or U-shaped indentation. basal notching. in projectile points, a deep often shallow indentation into the base; narrower and often more pronounced than a basal concavity. ceramic notching. the creation of notches, presumably as a decorative element, into the clay of a vessel prior to firing. In Manitoba, the notching frequently occurs on the lip interior. corner-notching. in projectile points, an identation at the junction of the base and blade edge. side-notching. in projectile points, an indentation in the lateral blade edge.
N.T.S. abbreviation for "National Topographic Series" maps published by the Canadian Department of Energy, Mines and Resources. The most commonly used in archaeology are the l:50,000 series because of their detail and areal coverage. This scale is equivalent to 2 cm = l km.
nuclear family. a family unit consisting of a married couple and their offspring. A grandparent or a spouse of one of the children may be included.
Nutimik Concave. a projectile point style identified by Richard MacNeish (l958) on the basis of his excavations in southeastern Manitoba in the early l950s. These are described as being long (70 to 80 mm) triangular points with slightly convex blade edges, concave bases, irregular oblique flaking and occasionally a slight amount of lateral grinding. MacNeish suspected that the Nutimik Concave style may have evolved from earlier Plano forms and attributed the former to his Whiteshell Focus which he dated at 3000 to l500 B.C. The type and focus terms have falled into disuse by archaeologists.
Nutimik Focus. the later (A.D. 500 to l000) of the Middle or Initial Woodland cultural-historical periods in MacNeish's (l958) southeastern Manitoba chronology. It was later designated the Nutimik Phase by Mayer-Oakes (l967). Hlady (l970) finally advocated the grouping of Nutimik with the other Middle Woodland focus (Anderson) due to the general absence of distinguishing artifactual traits and further proposed that this new entity be designated the Laurel Phase. The suggestion met with universal acceptance and the earlier term is no longer used.
oblique. diagonal; slanting; lying at an angle.
oblique flaking. see flaking, oblique
obsidian. a black, reddish, greenish or brownish volcanic glass which has cooled so quickly from its molten state that no crystals have formed. Due to its excellent flaking properties and the incredibly sharp edge it produces, obsidian was a highly prized lithic resource throughout the world in prehistoric times, and as a consequence was traded widely outside of the areas of its natural occurrence.
occupation site. see habitation site
ochre. a general term for any of the clays or earths containing ferric oxide, silica and alumina. Ranging in colour from yellow through red to brown, ochre was widely used as a prigment for decorative and ceremonial purposes throughout much of prehistory
Old Copper. a late Archaic complex or culture, centred in the western Great Lakes region characterized by well-made copper artifacts. These include socketed, "rat-tail", lanceolate, conical and stemmed projectile points, large crescentic shaped objects, woodworking and hideworking tools, fishing equipment, and occasionally, ornamental objects. Associated artifacts include concave-based side-notched projectile points with square basal edges termed either Raddatz or Osceola, scrapers, drills, "burned" hornstone blades (sense 2), "turkey-tail" blades, bannerstones, triangular cache blades, ground axes, shell beads, bone awls, antler points, notched swan bones, elk antler axes, shell gorgets and antler shaft wrenches. Much of our information on this complex comes from cemeteries and as a consequence, the mortuary pattern is quite well-known. Both primary and secondary (bundle) single and multiple, flexed and extended interments are reported and these may occur in either oval or rectangular pits. Ochre, copper, lithic or faunal grave goods may accompany the deceased and the graves may have been ceremonially burned over. The grave escort or "retainer" phenomenon is also known for this culture. Old Copper peoples appear to have employed a diversified economy eccompassing the collection of nuts, acorns and perhaps wild rice in the fall, fishing in the spring, summer and early fall, the taking of wildfowl in the spring and fall, the trapping of small fur-bearing mammals throughout the year and the hunting of moose and deer. Old Copper artifacts have been found over much of southern Manitoba although they seem to be most common in the forests of the southeastern quarter of the province. The association of finished artifacts, "ingots" of unmodified copper, and waste fragments from tool manufacture suggests that these people imported copper for tool production, rather than receiving finished tools from outside the province. Radiocarbon dates on copper sites argue for a considerable time-depth and a substantial antiquity although most would agree that the period from 3000 B.C. to l000 B.C. marks the peak of Old Copper usage in its "heartland". Radiocarbon dates from eastern Manioba fall between 2000 and l700 B.C. although it seems clear that Old Copper implements were made and used for a much longer period than this.
olivella. a genus of small marine snails native to the Pacific coast of North America and elsewhere which were used prehistorically as ornaments and as a medium of exchange.
Osceola. an Old Copper archaeological site near Potosi, Wisconsin after which a side-notched projectile point was named. Those from the type site range in length from 3 to l3 cm, have roughly parallel blade edges, exhibit squared-off bases which are slightly concave. Broken points were reworked into smaller points or drills. In most respects, the Osceola type is very similar to the Raddatz style with which it is generally contemporaneous.
osteology. the scientific study of the development, structure and function of bones
outwash. rubble (sand, gravel etc.) deposited by water drived from melting glaciers.
Oxbow. a town in southeastern Saskatchewan which has lent its name to a Middle Prehistoric Period projectile point style and the complex with which it is found in association. Oxbow points tend to be short and squat with bold side-notching and a basal concavity which lends them an eared appearance. The bases and notches may be ground. Other items in the inventory include "un-notched points" or preforms, a variety of scrapers, knives and bifaces, drills, perforators, choppers, hammerstones, anvils, antler awls, bone beamers and flaking tools and drilled clam shells. Although representations of a variety of floral and faunal species may be found in Oxbow components, bison appear to have been central to the economy of these people. Oxbow sites are found across the grassland regions of the Canadian Prairie Provinces and into the forests to the north. Most radiocarbon dates cluster between 3300 and l000 B.C. although some would argue that it persists much longer (see Extended McKean-Oxbow Complex). It would seem that the oldest sites are those from the grasslands with dates becoming progressively more recent to the north. This has led some archaeologists to believe that over time, Oxbow populations became increasingly dependent upon the resources of the forests for subsistence. The origin of the Oxbow Complex is controversial and eastern as well as western origins have been suggested.
Pacific. a central North American climatic episode dating from A.D. ll00 to approximately l550 which is believed to have been characterized by an increased frequency of droughts in the grasslands and adjacent regions.
paddle-and-anvil. a pottery manufacturing method. An object or the potter's hand (the "anvil") is held inside of the roughly formed vessel while the exterior surface is paddled, thus shaping the pot. Addiitionally, the paddling serves to obliterate seams in instances where the pot was formed by coiling The paddle may be wrapped with a cord or covered with a fabric to prevent it from sticking to the wet clay. This commonly produces a roughened surface.
paint stone. a nodule or fragment of ochre.
palaeo- (or U.S. paleo-). a prefix meaning "old".
palaeoecology. the scientific study of the ecology of a given region in ancient times.
palaeoenvironment. the environment of a given region in ancient times.
Palaeo-Indian. a general term referring to either the earliest inhabitants of North America, or the most ancient of the three stages or periods in North American prehistory. The Palaeo-Indian Period includes the Clovis (or Llano) Complex, the Folsom Complex and (usually) the Plano complexes. The peoples of these cultures are defined as hunters of big game animals, some of which are now extinct.
palaeontology. the scientific study of the origin and development of organisms through fossils.
palaeosol. a soil formed under earlier environmental conditions which subsequently becomes buried by cultural or environmental processes.
palaeopathology. the study of the illnesses and injuries of past human populations.
palaeoserology. the study and classification of the blood groups of past human populations.
palisade. a strong, high fence or wall made of logs or stakes and intended for defensive purposes.
palynology. the study of living and fossil pollen grains. Pollen is often well-preserved in the archaeological record and the identification of species and tabulation of their relative frequencies can aid in the reconstruction of past environments
parallel flaking. see flaking, parallel.
Parkdale Eared. a projectile point style defined by R.S. MacNeish (l958) on the basis of his archaeological investigations in southeastern Manitoba. this type is no loner generally used, most archaeologists preferring the term "Oxbow" for such specimens.
paste. the mixture of water, clay and temper from which pottery is made.
patina. the discoloured skin or rind of a stone resulting from exposure to air, sunlight and soil chemicals.
patrilineal. pertaining to the tracing of descent or the transmission of wealth or authority primarily through males.
patrilocal. pertaining to the pattern in which children are raised as part of their father's (as opposed to their mother's) band. Patrilocality is often a result of virilocality among band societies.
pattern. in the Midwestern Taxonomic Method devised by McKern (l939) a pattern referred to a grouping of regional phases with a shared mode of adaptation and a generally similar technology. For example the Woodland cultures of the northeast or the Middle Prehistoric Period bison hunting cultures of the northern plains would constitute two distinct patterns.
pebble. a rounded stone, smaller in size than a cobble.
pecking. a method of shaping stone artifacts by hammering them, thus wearing away the surface. Pecking facets are readily discernible on mauls, axes and celts unless they have been erased by subsequent polishing.
pedology. the study of the formation characteristics and weathering of soil. As various kinds of soil form under different conditions, an analysis of the soil at an archaeological site can yield clues as to the kinds of conditions which prevailed when the site was occupied.
Pelican Lake. a body of waterlying 75 km west of Regina, Saskatchewan which has lent its name to a distinctive late Middle Prehistoric Period projectile point style, to the complex of which it is a part, and the phase within which it occurs. Pelican Lake points vary in shape somewhat throughout their distributional range but all are characterized by corner-notching. Bases may be concave, straight or convex. The lateral edges may be concave, but are more commonly convex. Associated artifacts include un-notched projectile points, a variety of scrapers and bifaces (some of the latter modified for hafting), drills, perforators and gravers. Pelican Lake sites are distributed across the grasslands of the Canadian Prairie Provinces and into the surrounding forests. Sites occur as far south as northeastern Colorado. Particularly in the northern areas, Pelican Lake peoples appear to have employed communal hunting techniques such as bison jumps and bison pounds and likely a seasonal round of movement following the herds. The burial pattern is slowly becoming better known. It is characterized by the painting of the deceased with red ochre and their placement, together with some grave goods beneath a cairn. Radiocarbon dates suggest a total time range of approxmately l200 B.C. to A.D. 400. The dates from Manitoba tend to fall within the earlier half of this range. Reeves (l983) has placed Pelican Lake within the Tunaxa cultural tradition following the McKean and Hanna Phases and ultimately giving rise to Avonlea. Additionally, he divided Pelican Lake into eight regional subphases. Of these, only two occur in Manitoba; the Mortlach Sub-Phase is restricted to southwestern Manitoba while the Larter Sub-Phase centres on the Red River Valley.
Pelican Lake Focus. a now-obsolete term originally applied to a ceramic complex in southwestern Manitoba. The Pelican Lake Focus is unrelated to the preceramic Pelican Lake Phase.
pemmican. dehydrated buffalo meat mixed with fat and occasionally berries.
pendant. a personal ornament which has been perforated or grooved to allow it to hang from a chain or thong.
percussion flaking. see flaking, percussion perforator. see awl periglacial. of or pertaining to the zone around the margins of a glacier. Typically, such regions are characterized by permafrost, and cold-adapted flora and fauna
periphery. an outlying region; the outermost boundary. For example, Manitoba lies at the periphery of the North American Grasslands.
permafrost. permanently frozen ground.
pestle. a club-shaped or cylindrical object used to crush and grind various materials in a mortar.
petroform. a geometrical or animal figure formed in outline by the placement of boulders or cobbles. These are particularly common in southeastern Manitoba where they are believed to be the work of Laurel (and perhaps later) peoples.
petroglyph. a figure inscribed onto a rock surface by grinding, pecking or incising. Although petroglyph sites are fairly common in northwestern Ontario, none are known in Manitoba.
petrograph. a general term for any image produced on stone. Petrograph thus includes both pictographs (rock paintings) and petroglyphs (rock engravings).
petrology. the science dealing with the origin, composition and structure of rocks.
pH. abbreviation for "potential of hydrogen". In practical terms, pH measurements provide a scale for the determination of acidity. Pure water has a pH of 7.0; lower readings indicate increasing acidity, while higher pH (to a maximum of l4.0) is associated with minimum acidity.
phase. an archaeological complex which is sufficiently distinctive so as to be distinguishable from adjacent contemporary complexes, and from those which precede and succeed it. A phase may be viewed as a complex which is bounded in time as well as space.
phosphate test. a chemical test performed on sediments from archaeological sites. The decomposition of organic material leaves a phosphate residue which is not readily removed by leaching. Thus determination of phosphate levels across a site can reveal which parts of a site were most heavily used. When used in conjunction with archaeological data, it can additional suggest what kinds of activities were pursued in different parts of the site.
phylum. a major taxonomic division. In linguistics a phylum is composed of a number of families, which in turn comprise various languages, each of which may have numerous regional dialects. In biology, phyla are even more all-encompassing. In descending order of inclusiveness the scheme is as follows: kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species, variety (or sub-species).
physical anthropology. the branch of anthropology which concerns itself with the origins, evolution, structure and variation of human populations.
physiography. l. physical geography; the study of the earth's crust. 2. the earth's surface; terrain.
pick. an adze-like implement which is hafted and used for breaking hard ground or rocks.
pictograph. a painting on rock. Unlike petroglyphs, rock paintings are numerous in Manitoba, particularly in the eastern and northern parts of the province.
piece esquillee. literally "stepped piece"; a stone artifact, often wedge-shaped, with evidence of bipolar battering and reduction. These may have served as wedges for the splitting of bone or antler, or they may simply be exhausted cores. In the later instance, the crushing at one end may be the result of the necessity of resting the core on an anvil due to its diminutive size. (plural pieces esquillees).
pipestone. see catlinite.
plains. extensive tracts of level or nearly level land. In North America, the plains extend from the southern Canadian prairie Provinces to Texas, and from the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in the west to the Mississippi River.
Plains Side-notched. one of the small side-notched projectile point styles of the northern plains during the Late Prehistoric Period. These specimens, which were probably used as arrowheads, range in length from approximately l0 to 34 mm and bear small, deep, narrow rectangular side-notches above frequently squared-off bases. Bases are generally straight or occasionally concave and at least as wide as the blade (sense 3). Basal grinding is often present (Kehoe l973).
Plains Traingular. a Late Prehistoric Period/protohistoric projectile point style defined by MacNeish (l954) on the basis of his investigations in southwestern Manitoba. These range in length from l4 to 32 mm and in width from ll to 2l mm. Maximum length may be equal to or greater than the maximum breadth. The blade edges and the bases are straight or convex. This and similar styles are fairly common over much of North America in this general time period.
Plains Village Pattern. a Late Prehistoric Period cultural pattern comprised of a number of complexes along the eastern margins of the North American grasslands. Common to all were permanent settlements often protected by ditches and palisades. These horticulturalists grew maize, beans and squash with the aid of the bison scapula hoe in creek and river bottomlands, and supplemented their diets with hunting and fishing and the collection of plants. The artifactual inventory of these people included pottery and a greater variety of tools of bone, horn, shell and stone than that of their predecessors. The proliferation of underground storage pits is suggestive of a food surplus stemming from a highly efficient exploitation of their environment. The earthlodge villages of the Middle Missouri are part of this pattern and have been attributed to the ancestors of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara peoples.
Plainview. a town in north-central Texas which has given its name to a Palaeo-Indian projectile point style, the complex of artifacts with which these are associated and the phase within which these occur. The lanceolate points have parallel or convex edges and concave bases and are irregularly flaked although parallel flaking occasionally characterizes the tips. Basal and lateral edges are almost inevitably ground and length ranges from 45 to 77 cm. Associated artifacts include a variety of side- and end-scrapers, perforators and blades (sense 4). The position of Plainview in the Early Prehistoric Period chronology is a matter of some debate. Some place it between Clovis and Folsom (at roughly 9000 B.C.) while others would consider it to be an early member of the Plano complexes which follow Folsom.
plane table. a surveying instrument consisting of a drafting board mounted horizontally upon a tripod. Generally used with a sighting instrument such as an alidade, the plane table allows direct plotting of objects onto a map.
Plano. a general term which refers to the late Early Prehistoric (or Palaeo-Indian) complexes of the North American plains. Plano thus embraces the numerous non-fluted projectile point styles such as Agate Basin, Alberta, Angostura, Eden, Hell Gap, Manitoba, Midland, Milnesand and Scottsbluff as well as their associated complexes. Most would consider Plainview to be a part of this series also. Plano peoples were nomadic big game hunters who made use of the bison jump, but they also exploited a range of other animals of modern species. Perhaps one of the most important differences between the subsistence patterns of Plano peoples and the earlier Llano (Clovis) and Folsom peoples is the occasional recovery of milling stones which may suggest a heightened reliance upon plant foods.
platform burial. see burial, scaffold.
Pleistocene. the geological epoch most commonly known as the Ice Age. In actual fact, the Pleistocene witnessed four major periods of glaciation the last of which -- the Wisconsin -- is by far the best known. It was during this period of unstable climate and rapidly changing environment that biologically modern man emerged, tools were first made, and human populations entered the New World. The end of the Pleistocene, defined as the date at which the last vestiges of glacial ice disappeared, is well-dated at l0,000 to l2,000 years ago. Its beginning, however, is more problematical and current estimates range from l.3 to 3.5 million years ago.
plow zone. the mixed surface layer of soil resulting from cultivation. Although no longer in situ, cultural material from a plow zone can yield some insights into the original shape and extent of an archaeological Site.p plumb bob. a weight which when suspended from a (plumb) line is used to establish the verticality of walls or to set up a piece of surveying equipment directly over a datum point.
plumb line. the line from which a plumb bob is suspended.
plummet. a weight which may be used as a plumb bob, netsinker or for any similar purpose.
pluvial. l. of or pertaining to rain. 2. one of the extended rainy periods which characterized unglaciated areas (such as much of Africe) during times of glaciation
podzol. a greyish, generally acidic soil which is heavily leached in its upper layers. Such soils are characteristic of coniferous forests.
pollen. the fine powdery fertilizing "dust" produced by seed-bearing plants. Pollen grains are highly resistant to agents of decay and thus are often preserved in the archaeological record. The relative frequency of the pollen grains of different plant species can provide clues to the nature of the vegetation which characterized a region in earlier times.
pollen profile. see profile, pollen
pontil mark. a "scar" left on the base of a bottle by the rod (the pontil) that was used to hold it while the upper portion was being shaped.
porphyry. any igneous rock characterized by large cyrstals embedded in a finer matrix.
post glacial. of or pertaining to a period after the end of glaciation, particularly the period following the Pleistocene (ie. the Holocene)
post hole. the pit in which an upright stake or pole is placed. In the archaeological record, these are recognizable as holes filled with rotted wood, or in cases where the post has later been removed, as circular patches of differentially-coloured soil (cf. post mould).
post mould. a circular patch of earth or clay which was packed or tamped in the hole around a post when it was erected (cf. post hole).
pothunter. a person who illegally excavates for and/or collects artifacts solely for their intrinsic value without regard for their provenience or scientific worth.
potsherd. a fragment of broken pottery.
pottery. vessels, containers or other articles made of fired clay Pottery is a particularly important object of study for the archaeologist because when it occurs on an archaeological site, it is generally the most numerous class of artifact. Additionally, because it is such a plastic medium, it may be shaped and decorated in an infinite number of ways. Consequently, pottery is a much more sensitive indicator of change over time or cultural differences between artisans than are more rigid media such as stone. Finally, pottery does not deteriorate with time. Although the pots which the archaeologist finds are almost inevitably broken, the fragments (or sherds) will not decompose for thousands of years, even if they are under water. In Manitoba, as elsewhere the appearance of pottery in assemblages is used as a marker of the Woodland Period. Locally, this commences in the first few centuries B.C. and continues until the Historic period when metal containers replaced more traditional forms. Within this period, three wares are recognized: Laurel Ware which is the earliest, and the Blackduck (or Manitoba) and Selkirk (or Winnipeg River) Fabric-impressed Wares. Each are distinguished by different methods of manufacture, shape, surface finish and decoration.
prairie. in North America, that portion of the northern and eastern plains occupied by tall grasses. Trees are absent or sparse except along watercourses.
Prairie Side-notched. one of the small side-notched projectile point styles of the northern plains during the Late Prehistoric Period. These specimens range in length from ll to 4l mm and bear large, wide, rounded but shallow side-notches above squared or rounded bases. Bases are generally straight but may be slightly concave or convex. Generally, the basal width is less than the maximum width of the blade (sense 3). Basal grinding is sometimes present (Kehoe l973).
preadaptation. the possession of a biological or cultural trait which confers an advantage to certain individuals under changed environmental circumstances.
Pre-Boreal. a central North American climatic episode dating from 8080 to 7350 B.C. which although cooler than present marks the end of the Wisconsin glacial period and the beginning of the warming trend which culminates at approximately 5000 B.C. (Wendland l978).
Pre-Cambrian. of or pertaining to the earliest of the geological eras during which time the earth was formed. It was during this time that the Canadian (or Pre-Cambrian) Shield (or Peneplain) which occupies much of central Canada was created. A potassium-argon date from near Bissett, Manitoba, indicates that this 2,000,000 km2 mass of granite solidifed from molten lava approximately 3.5 billion years ago.
preceramic. of or pertaining to that period of time prior to the introduction or invention of ceramics in a given region.
pre-Columbian. of or pertaining to that period of time prior to Columbus' first voyage. For the New World this correlates with prehistory.
Pre-Dorset. a Middle Prehistoric Period archaeological complex or culture the remains of which have been found in the eastern Canadian arctic and Greenland. Such typical Arctic Small Tool tradition artifacts as burins, side- and end-blades and microblades) are found in this complex as are a variety of scraper forms, drills and knives. With some stylistic and technological modifications, these classes persist into the more recent Dorset Complex. Additionally, some sites contain large tools such as gouges and adzes which bear witness to the importance of the woodworking industry. Judging from the distribution of sites and the classes of artifacts found within them, it seems possible that these people employed a seasonal round of activity which focused upon the taking of sea mammals, caribou hunting and fishing alternating with inland caribou hunting. While on the coast, Pre-Dorset populations lived in circular or square skin-covered houses which in the archaeological record are documented by the arrangements of boulders used to hold down the edges of the tents. These immigrants from the western arctic occupied northern Manitoba from approximately l500 to 500 B.C. Some archaeologists identify this culture as the ancestors of the modern Inuit.
preform. see blank.
prehistory. 1. the study of the cultures and events which occurred in any given region prior to the time for written records are available. As a consequence history begins at different times in different places. As native North Americans did not use alphabetic writing in pre-contact times, prehistory here ends with European contact. 2. that period of time before European contact.
pressure flaking. see flaking, pressure.
primary burial. see burial, primary.
Primary Forest Efficiency. a subsistence strategy which involves the selective harvesting of nuts, berries and other vegetables and possibly fish and shellfish as these become seasonally available and supplementing these with the continuous year-round hunting of land and water animals (Caldwell l958). Such a means of exploiting the natural environment is particularly efficient in terms of the amount of energy expended and the nutritional value and diversity of the food collected. The diversity of the resource base also allows people who pursue such a strategy greater security in the event that one particular resource becomes depleted. Primary Forest Efficiency often results in a seasonal round of activity which is more restricted in its geographical extent than that of a culture which relies more heavily on a single, migratory big game species such as bison. It also allows people to become more intimately familiar with the resources available within their own territory. Primary Forest Efficiency is often used as a major defining characteristic of the Archaic Period in eastern North America. Thus the regional diversity and the proliferation of complexes in this region at this time is ultimately explicable in terms of the increasing regionalism which resulted from restricted wandering after the close of the Palaeo-Indian Period.
prismatic flake. see flake, prismatic.
Proboscidea. the order to which modern elephants as well as the now-extinct mammoth and mastodon belong.
profile. a side or vertical view. pollen profile. a graphic representation of the changes in the relatiave frequencies of various species of pollen over time. soil profile. the exposed wall of a trench or pit which shows the stratigraphy.
projectile point. the detachable tip of an arrow, spear, harpoon or dart. In various times and places, projectile points have been made of metal, bone, wood or stone. The latter are the most common in the archaeological record largely because they are non-perishable. Stone points may be unifacial or bifacial and may be manufactured by flaking or grinding. The proximal end may be modified to facilitate hafting. Included here are such attributes as basal thinning and side- and corner-notching. Lanceolate projectile points are by definition unnotched, but may bear basal and/or lateral grinding so as to prevent the sharp blade (sense l) edges from cutting through the bindings. Because of the variety of forms which these weapons may take, the care that was often taken in producing them, and because of the frequently rigid adherence to a particular style by members of a culture, projectile points are particularly useful time markers for the archaeologist. This is particularly true for the Paleo-Indian (Early Prehistoric) and Archaic (Middle Prehistoric) Periods as peoples of these times did not possess the ceramics upon which the archaeologist relies so heavily to determine age and cultural affiliation.
proto-Algonkian. l. the theoretical single language from which all modern Algonkian languages (such as Micmac, Delaware, Ottawa, Shawnee, Cree, Ojibwa, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Arapaho, etc.) derived. 2. a speaker of this language.
protohistoric. of or pertaining to the time immediately preceding the advent of written documents in a given region. In practice, this is the period of time from the arrival of Europeans to North America, until the time they produced written records of the area in question. Thus a protohistoric site might contain European artifacts which had been acquired through trade long before actual direct contact had been made.
proton magnetometer. see magnetometer.
provenience. the place of origin of an artifact and its spatial relationship with other artifacts and features; context.
proximal. l. the end of a bone nearest the midline of the body when the individual assumes a normal standing posture. 2. the end of an artifact nearest the user or observer. 3. the end of a lithic artifact which was originally a part of the striking platform of the core.
pseudo-scallop shell. a pottery decoration made by pressing the edge of a notched stick, bone or stone into the wet clay before the pot is fired. The impression resembles the edge of a scallop shell.
punch. an intermediary flaking tool one end of which is placed on the core while a sharp blow is applied to the other. This not only allows the flint knapper to apply force with pinpoint accuracy, but also permits fine control of the angle from which the force originates.
punctate. a decoration on pottery produced by pressing the end of a stick or similar object into the wet clay before the vessel is fired. The raised or mounded feature formed on the opposite side of the vessel wall is a boss.
push-pull. see dragged stamp.
quarry. an archaeological site from which copper, stone or clay were acquired by either surface collection or mining.
quartz. a very hard (7 on the Moh Scale), common mineral composed of silicon dioxide in a hexagonal crystalline form. Present in most rocks (particularly granite and sandstone), this colourless, glasslike stone exhibits conchoidal fracturing properties thus lending itself to flaking. vein quartz. quartz which occurs naturally as a vein with a matrix of some other mineral.
quartzite. a mineral formed from sandstones which have been subjected to considerable heat and pressure. This metamorphic rock may be coarse- or fine-grained, depending on the nature of the parent material and may be virtually any colour.
Quaternary. the most recent of the geological eras or periods which incorporates both the Pleistocene and Holocene (Recent) Epochs.
quern. a stone used for grinding corn or grain.
quiver. a container for arrows or darts.
Raddatz./a an archaeological site in central Wisconsin which has given its name to an Archaic side-notched projectile point style. The Raddatz Side-notched type ranges in length from 38 to 64 mm and characteristically bears U-shaped side-notches close to the base which are set at right angles to the long axis of the blade (sense 2). The lateral edges of the bases are squared-off while the bases themselves are usually straight and bear evidence of grinding. Only a small minority are either slightly concave or convex. The blade (sense 3) edges were originally nearly parallel to one another although they may converge more rapidly to the tip as a result of the reworking of broken specimens. In many respects, Raddatz points are similar to Osceola although the latter tend to be larger and more finely made. The type site was multi-component, but the Raddatz points occurred in Levels 5 through l2. These levels also contained stemmed projectile points, symmetrical biface knives, scrapers, a drill, a grinding stone, hammerstones, bone awls, a chisel fashioned from a beaver tooth, turtle shell bowl fragments, shell spoon fragments, antler flaking tools, an antler anvil and a barbed antler projectile point. Radiocarbon dates from the type site indicated that this assemblage dated between approximately 4500 and l800 B.C. In Manitoba, projectile points similar to those termed Raddatz have been found in the southeastern part of the province.
radiocarbon dating. the absolute dating technique which more than any other revolutionized archaeology. Cosmic radiation from the sun constantly bombards the earth's upper atmosphere producing a radioactive form (isotope) of carbon (C-l4) from non-radioactive nitrogen (N-l4). C-l4 mixes with the earth's atmosphere and oceans and behaves in precisely the same manner as does the non-radioactive (stable) form C-l2. Because all living organisms absorb carbon through water or by breathing, the ratio of C-l4 to C-l2 within them is the same as that in the atmosphere, and this ratio has remained more-or-less constant over time. When an organism dies, however, it ceases to be part of the carbon cycle and thus no new C-l4 is absorbed. Like all radioactive substances, C-l4 is unstable, which is to say that over time it will break down (or decay) into a more stable form -- in this case C-l2. The rate of this decay is known and is also constant. Consequently, by measuring the ratio of C-l4 to C-l2 in a piece of wood, bone or other organic matter from an archaeological site, one can determine the length of time since the sample last absorbed new C-l4. Recently, dendrochronology has been used to check the accuracy of radiocarbon dating, with actual material from the tree rings being used as samples.
Recent. (see Holocene).
refugium. a geographical area which remains unaltered or changes much more slightly than surrounding regions in response to a change in climate. A refugium therefore constitutes a haven for plants and animals which were once more widely distributed (plural refugia).
relative dating. see dating relative.
remnant magnetism. see magnetism, remnant.
resistivity survey. a pre-excavation method for determining the size, shape and occasionally the nature of an archaeological site. It works on the principle that different deposits offer differential resistance to an alternating current passing through them, largely in response to the amount of water contained within them. Thus a damp, buried ditch will provide less resistance while a wall or foundation ill offer more. Mapping electrical resistance across a site can greatly aid the archaeologist in deciding where to dig.
reticule. a frame with a grid used as an aid in mapping. Those used in Manitoaba consist of a square wooden frame with a network of strings set at regular intervals. These may be placed over a feature thus allowing more accurate sketch maps to be made. Locally, reticules have found their greatest utility in the recording of petroforms.
retouch. see flaking, retouch.
reworking. modification of an object so that it may be used again. The reworking of stone artifacts after breakage was particularly common in times and places where suitable lithic resources were scarce. A projectile point which had been broken at the time could easily be resharpened and some were probably reworked several times in this fashion, becoming shorter relative to their widths each time. Drills and side-notched end-scrapers with bases similar to those of the projectile points with which they are associated are often considered to be examples of reworking.
rhyolite. a fine-grained igneous rock of the same composition as granite (quartz, feldspar and mica), but capable of being worked by flaking into tools. Characteristically, rhyolite has a glossy appearance and small inclusions of quartz and feldspar within the finer matrix.
rimsherd. a fragment of pottery which originally formed part of the rim of a vessel.
riparian. of or pertaining to the bank of a river.
ripple flaking. see flaking, ripple.
rock art. a general term for figures or designs painting or engraved on rock or formed through the placement of boulders. Rock art thus includes petroforms, petroflyphs, petrographs and pictographs.
rocker stamping. a pottery design produced by rocking a straight or notched edge from one end to the other, while moving the tool sideways across the surface of the wet clay. The result is a zigzag pattern of curved lines.
Rock Lake Focus. an early ceramic focus defined by Vickers (l949) on the basis of his investigations in southern Mantoba. The majority of this material is now considered to be part of the Laurel Complex.
rock painting. the more common term for pictograph.
Salmon River Side-notched. one of the projectile point styles of the Bitterroot Phase of Idaho.
salvage archaeology. archaeology conducted primarily because a site or area is in imminent danger of destruction by natural forces or by construction or development. The British equivalent to this term -- rescue archaeology -- is self-explanatory.
sand. a loose material composed of minute (0.2 to 2 mm in diameter) particles of weathered rock, especially quartz.
Sandia. a mountain range in New Mexico which has given its name to a local cave and to the oldest of the three archaeolaogical components within it. Beneath a Folsom occupation, Frank Hibben (l94l) found another component which bore scrapers, prismatic flakes, two hearths, two bone artifacts which may have been used as projectile points, and a number of stone projectile points of a hitherto unknown type. These were of two forms; Sandia I points were characterized by convex bases, while Type II had concave bases and were occasionally fluted. Both were generally crudely flaked and were single-shouldered. Associated fauna included horse, camel, mastodon, mammoth and a now-extinct species of bison. Both the stratigraphy and the faunal association argue for an age greater than Folsom and possibly older than Clovis but unfortunately it is currently impossible to place Sandia in time with any degree of confidence. Sandia are probably the rarest of the Palaeo-Indian styles and because of their frequent crudeness of manufacture, among the most commonly misidentified. Points which have been called Sandia have been reported in widely scattered localities from the Canadian Prairie Provinces to Texas, and from California as far east as Alabama.
sandstone. a general name for any of the common sedimentary rocks composed of sand grains cemented together with clay, iron oxide or calcium carbonate.
Sandy Lake Ware. a cord-imipressed or smoothed-over Late Woodland ceramic ware of southeastern Manitoba, northern Minnesota and northwestern Ontario. These globular vessels are small when intended for use in mortuary contexts, while utilitarian vessels may approach l5l in volume. Decoration consists of notching at the lip or punctates where it is present at all (Anfinson l979). In many respects, Sandy Lake Ware is similar to the Cemetery Point Corded type defined by MacNeish in southeastern Manitoba.
scaffold burial. see burial, scaffold.
Scandic. a central North American climatic Episode dating from A.D. 270 to A.D. 690 which represents the warming trend which culminated in the Neo-Atlantic Climatic Episode (Wendland l978).
scapula hoe. a hoe fashioned from a scapula (shoulder blade). In Manitoba the bone is usually that of a bison or deer.
scar, bulbar. see bulbar scar.
schist. any of a group of metamorphic rocks which may be split into plates or needle-shaped grains. Constituent elements may include mica, chlorite, talc or iron.
Scottsbluff. a town in western Nebraska which has given its name to a nearby archaeological site and to the distinctive stemmed Plano projectile points which were recovered from it. The latter may be of two styles designated Types I and II. The Scottsbluff Type I projectile points are parallel-sided or slightly triangular in outline and have poorly-defined shoulders above wide stems. Flaking is either transverse parallel or more irregular and length ranges from 5 to l0 cm. In many respects, these are similar to the Eden points with which they are sometimes associated save that the Scottsbluffs tend to be wider relative to their length. Scottsbluff Type II points are similar to the Type I specimens, but have more triangular blades and more pronounced shoulders. The associated artifacts and fauna and the distribution of the points are those of the Cody Complex.
scraper. an artifact used to remove the fat from the underside of a hide or to smoothe wood. Unless otherwise specified, these are generally understood to be made of stone. combination (side- end-) scraper. one which is sharpened on at least one side and one end. dome (-shaped) scraper. a scraper which is roughly circular as seen from above, dome-shaped in cross-section and sharpened around most or all of its circumference. end-scraper. one which is worked at one or both ends. The "end" may be defined as the shorter of the edges in a rectangular specimen or the end which initially formed part of the striking platform or the edge opposite it. flake scraper. technically any scraper fashioned from a flake, but in general usage a scraper made on a thin flake; a raclette. keeled scraper. a scraper with an intact dorsal ridge. scraper plane. a large, often oval scraper with a flat ventral face and dome-shaped dorsal face which is often sharpened on one side. side-scraper. a scraper which is sharpened on one or both sides only. The "side" may be defined as one of the longer edges, or one of the edges adjacent to the striking platform. tabular scraper. a scraper fashioned from a flake with flat, often parallel dorsal and ventral faces. thumb(nail) scraper. a small, often domed scraper shaped like a thumbnail.
screen. a wire mesh mounted on a frame which is used to sift the soil from an archaeological excavation. The screen may be used manually or shaken by means of a small motor and serves to catch the specimens which are too small for the excavator to collect practically. The size of the mesh depends at least partially on the fineness of the deposits on the site. In Manitoba, sizes from l/l6" to l/4" are the most common. Experiments have shown that different mesh sizes produce dramatically different results in the relative frequencies of objects of different sizes.
seasonal round. l. the sequence of places or different ecological zones which a group of people exploit throughout the course of the year. see Primary Forest Efficiency. 2. the cycle of activities pursued throughout the year.
secondary burial. see burial, secondary.
secondary flaking. see flaking, secondary.
sedimentary. of or pertaining to stone which has been formed from loose deposits which have been subsequently compacted by the weight of overlying deposits or water.
Selkirk. a town just north of Winnipeg which has lent its name to a distinctive ceramic ware (also called Mistikwas) as well as the phase within which it occurs. This Late Woodland-protohistoric culture is of particular interest to archaeologists as Selkirk, more so than any other prehistoric complex, can be equated with a specific ethnic/linguistic group -- in this case the Cree. One of its most distinctive traits is the pottery, fashioned either by the paddle-and-anvil technique utilizing a fabric wrapped paddle, or formed inside a fabric or basket mould. Like Blackduck, vessel shape is globular with slightly constricted necks and outflaring rims. Rims may be undecorated, encircled by a single row of punctates or impressed with a cord-wrapped stick. Other items in the inventory include a variety of small, triangular side-notched projectile points, scrapers and bifaces, pitted hammerstones, full-grooved mauls and tubular steatite smoking pipes. The bone-tooth-antler-shell industry was well developed or at least is well preserved in the archaeological record. Included in this category are shell paint dishes, antler end-scraper handles, beaver tooth gouges and in bone: defleshers, harpoon heads, hoes, awls, and needles. Site locations, the tools produced and the floral and faunal associations bespeak a highly diversified economy involving the hunting of various game species (deer, moose, caribou, bear), the hunting and/or trapping of smaller, often riverine mammals such as beaver, the taking of migratory fowl, a hevy reliance upon fish, the collection of shellfish, and the exploitation of plants, central among which may have been wild rice. The way of life of these people was essentially that described by the early explorers and traders in the province -- one which underwent rapid Change in the face of European encroachment.
Selkirk Chert. a white to cream-coloured medium to fine-grained limestone chert which occurs naturally along the banks of the Red River. Most nodules are dense, grey, and often mottled in appearance while those of poorer quality are chalk-like. Due to its conchoidal fracturing properties, Selkirk Chert was a popular material for the manufacture of stone tools throughout most of the province's prehistory (Leonoff l970).
Selkirk Focus. the original term for the Selkirk or Mistikwas phase.
Selkirk Side-notched. the projectile point style associated with the Selkirk culture. These range in length from l.9 to 3.0 cm and have convex bases and wide side-notches near the base.
Selkirk Ware. the more common term for Winnipeg Fabric-impressed Ware -- the pottery style associated with the Selkirk Culture.
seriation. determination of the chronology or sequence of styles or assemblages by any of a number of different means. It is often assumed that a style, such as a pottery decoration, will be rare in relation to other styles when it is first used, will subsequently increase in popularity (and frequency), and will finally become increasingly rare once again. Thus, a number of assemblages can be placed in varying orders until the relative frequencies of different styles all fall into a smooth sequence. Once the proper sequence is established, it can be used as a relative dating technique to place other assemblages into the overall chronology. Stratigraphy is another more direct method of seriating assemblages. If various combinations of assemblages occur at a number of multi-component sites, all of the assemblages may be placed in proper sequence relative to one another.
serrated. having a notched, toothed or saw-like edge.
settlement pattern. l. the spatial relationship of artifact classes within a single site. Such studies serve to indicate the activity areas at a site and may allow inferences of social and political organization to be made. For example, such elements as the presence of more exotic trade goods, or a greater diversity of faunal remains associated with a larger house structure might indicate that its occupants were more affluent and perhaps more influential than their "poorer" neighbours. 2. the spatial relationship of a number of sites of the same culture and the environmental setting within which each occur. The investigation of such patterns can provide useful information on the relationship between subsistence, technology and ecology.
shaft smoother. a coarse-grained object (usually stone) with a groove for an arrow or spear shaft. The shafts are smoothed by abrasion after the fashion of sanding. Shaft smoothers may come in pairs which fit together around the shaft.
shaft straightener. a naturally or artificially perforated tool of bone or stone. The wooden shaft, while still in a "green" state, is inserted into the hole and the implement is then used as a lever to bend the shaft straight.
shaft wrench. see shaft straightener.
shale. a dark, fine-grained sedimentary rock formed of clay with cleavage planes parallel to the bedding.
shaman. the Siberian term for medicine man. By extension, the term is now used for an individual in any society who derives power directly from the supernatural and uses it for healing or for interpreting unusual phenomena. Only rarely do shamans use their power to harmful ends.
sherd. (or shard). a fragment of any brittle substance, especially pottery.
Shield Archaic. an archaeological tradition associated with the Pre-Cambrian Shield-Boreal Forest of the eastern half of Canada throughout the Archiac Period. According to the chief proponent of this construct, J.V. Wright (l972), Shield Archaic populations developed from an earlier northern Plano (Agate Basin, Keewatin Lanceolate) base in the Keewatin District. The recession of glacial ice allowed plants and animals to invade the Shield which in turn provided the impetus for early Shield Archaic peoples to expand throughout the area. Ongoing climatic change, however, together with the expansion of Pre-Dorset peoples which it favoured, forced the earlier residents from Keewatin at approximately l000 B.C. Once adopted to life in the Boreal Forest, Shield Archaic peoples' lifeways remained essentially unchanged for thousands of years with little if any influence from cultures in adjacent environmental zones. Continuities in lifeways, artifact styles and the geographic area occupied, lead Wright to suggest that Shield Archiac people spoke a language ancestral to modern Algonkian. Artifacts recovered from Shield Archaic sites include a variety of notched and lanceolate projectile points, various scraper and biface forms, uniface blades (sense 2), wedges, flake knives, hammerstones, preforms, ground slate objects, drills, abraders, manos, metates, paintstones, spokeshaves, anvils, ground clets, points and knives, backed blades (sense 2), flaked adzes, and copper fishhooks, barbs and gaffs. For Wright (l972), the relative frequencies of the major artifact classes, projectile points (l6.3%), biface blades (25.8%) and scrapers (4l.6%) are diagnostic of Shield Archaic sites. The Shield Archaic is poorly dated. Wright suggests a date on the order of 5000 B.C. for the beginnings of the tradition and accepts a radiocarbon date of A.D. 727 from a site on the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence as representative of a late survival of the Shield Archaic. Unfortunately, bone preservation is extremely poor throughout the Shield and thus radiocarbon dates are few and the reconstruction of subsistence patterns is a highly inferential matter.
Shouldered. having a lateral extension or protrusion. This term may be used to describe knives, projectile points or ceramic pots.
shovel test. a small scale, generally informal test excavation to ascertain the nature of the deposits, to determine the presence or absence of an archaeological site, or to delimit the boundaries of a known site.
side-blade. a sharp, bifacial tool set into the side of a harpoon.
side notching. see notching, side.
side-scraper. see scraper, side-.
silent trade (or dumb barter). a system by which two groups exchange goods without making direct contact with one another. One group leaves its goods at an appointed place and departs. The second group then arrives, leaves its exchange goods and departs. The firs group returns and if satisfied with the offer, takes the exchange goods; if not, they reclaim their own goods. Finally, the second group returns and goes home with whichever set of goods remains.
silt. a fine, loose sediment deposited by water and composed of particles between 0.02 and 0.002 mm in diameter.
Simonsen. an archaeological site in northwestern Iowa which produced artifacts of the Early Side-notched Point Tradition and more specifically of the Logan Creek Complex. In fact, some designate these assemblages as the Simonsen (rather than Logan Creek) Complex. The excavators believed that the site was used as a bison (occidentalis) drive. Radiocarbon dating showed the site to have been occupied at 6480 B.C.
sinew. tendon; the tough tissue which attaches a muscle to a bone.
sinew-backed bow. see bow, sinew-backed.
sinew stone. a soft, abrasive stone against which a length of sinew is drawn back and forth. This thins the sinew and makes it more uniform. Over time, deep grooves are worn into the stone from repeated use.
single component site. an archaeological site which contains the remains of only one culture.
Siouan. a language family which, among others includes Crow, Hidatsa, Mandan, Assiniboine and Dakota.
Sister's Hill. a single component Hell Gap site in north central Wyoming which produced radiocarbon dates of 7700 and 7650 B.C. The Sister's Hill Phase as the term is used by Irwin (l97l) includes the Agate Basin and Hell Gap complexes as sequent subphases in the interval between 8500 and 7500 B.C.
site. see archaeological site.
slate. a fine-grained metamorphic rock formed of mudstone or shale and generally dark in colour. Slate may be sculpted or ground to produce a sharp edge.
slip. a creamy or watery mixture of untempered clay and water which is applied to the surface of a pot before it is fired. This serves to smooth the vessel surface and renders it moe waterproof by clogging the pores of the earthenware. A slip may also change the colour of the pot to virtually any desired shade.
slump. the collasping of a cliff or the walls of an excavation.
smudge. a small fire which produces smoke and drives away insects.
snow knife. a large flat-bladed knife often fashioned from bone which is used by the eskimo to cut the blocks of snow for igloos.
soapstone. see steatite.
soil. the loose layer at the earth's surface which is composed of weathered rock particles, water, humus and air and which is capable of supporting rooted plants. see pedology.
soil profile. see profile, soil.
Sonota Complex. a Late Prehistoric Period complex originally defined on the basis of village and burial mound sites on the Missouri River in North and South Dakota. These bison-hunting people made extensive use of Knife River Flint to manufacture various tools including an atlatl point which is in many respects similar to the Besant type. One rather curious trait of this complex is the occurrence of bison longbones driven vertically into the ground. The same phenomenon has also been noted at Besant sites and it has been suggested that they were used as anvils in flint knapping. Sonota people buried the bundled bones of their dead in mounds. The presence of whole and partial skeletons of bison in these mounds attests to the symbolic as well as practical significance attached to this animal. Authorities are divided in their interpretation of the relationship between Besant and Sonota. Some view them as separate complexes while others would group them all as Besant (Reeves l983; Syms l977).
Southern Cult (also Buzzard Cult, Death Cult). the name attached to the ceremonial artifacts and art style shared by Mississippian sites. Wood, copper, clay, stone and shell were used to fashion figurines, headdresses, earspools, celts, plaques, axes, masks, effigy rattles, maces, and effigy pipes. Depicted through these media are birds of prey, vultures, skulls, spiders, dancers with snakes, winged warriors holding human heads, the hand-eye symbol, the sun symbol and the weeping eye motif. Included too are depictions of priest-like figures holding daggers to the throats of their victims and various other scenes suggestive of human sacrifice. Fairly clearly of Mexican inspiration, the ceremonial artifacts are more like one another over a broader area than are the more mundane tool and weapon styles. For this reason, they are seen as representative of rituals and beliefs which are shared by a large number of peoples irrespective of the differences in the other aspects of their lives.
spall. a flake which has been produced naturally (such as by exposure to heat) or by human design.
spear. a weapon consisting of a long shaft and a sharp point which may be thrown (as a javeline) or thrusted.
spear thrower. see atlatl.
spirit helper. a personal guardian or protective spirit who was often acquired by questing and privation and who usually communicated through dreams or visitations.
spokeshave. a scraper with a pronounced concave working edge used for scraping arrow or spear shafts or bows, etc.
stade or (stadial). the period of greatest cold and maximum advance of an ice sheet during a time of glaciation (plural stadia or stadials).
stadial rod. a graduated staff used in conjunction with a transit or theodolite in surveying. The distance from the instrument to the rod may be calculated in the same units with which the rod is calibrated (meters or feet).
stage. a distinct "level" or period of development of an organism or a culture.
statistics. l. the science which concerns itself with the collection, classification and use of quantitative data and with the application of probability theory to estimate aspects of a population from a sample. 2. the numerical data themselves.
steatite. a soft gray-green or brown talc which was worked into smoking pipes and bowls by grinding and polishing; also known as "soapstone".
sterile. in archaeology, lacking in any evidence of human activity.
stimulus diffusion. see diffusion, stimulus.
stockade. an enclosure or a strong, high barrier made of stakes or timbers.
stone boiling. a method of cooking. Hot stones or clay balls are dropped into a basket, or other container or into a pit which contains water and the food to be cooked. The stones are replaced as they cool. This technique was used in instances in which the container could not be directly exposed to an open flame.
stoneware. a kind of pottery made of a clay high in vitreous minerals and fired at such a high temperature (l200 c) that it fuses into an extremely dense, non-porous substance. Stoneware is very hard and impervious to acids and scratching.
strandline. shoreline; an active beach or one which marks the edge of a now-extinct body of water.
stratified random sampling. a sampling method in which the area or site to be tested is first divided into a number of smaller sections (strata) and then each of these is sampled randomly. Excavation is such a time-consuming business that archaeologists rarely have the time or funds to excavate an entire site. The problem becomes completely insurmountable when the region to be investigated comprises a township, valley or county. For that reason, archaeologists must concern themselves with methods of taking a sample, the object of which is to achieve a body of data which is representative of all that the site or region contains. To avoid human bias, an archaeologist might take a sample randomly, but too often, truly randomized units cluster together leaving some areas untested while "oversampling" others. Stratified random sampling ensures that the entire length and breadth of a site or all of the ecological zones within an area are tested while at the same time retaining an acceptable degree of randomness for most purposes.
stratigraphy. having the property of being arranged in a series of layers, after the fashion of a layer cake. According to the Law of Superposition, when one deposit overlies another, the higher must have been laid down more recently. As a consequence, any artifacts found in the upper layer must be younger than those from the lower layer. Different kinds of deposits accumulate in response to different environmental factors. Wind-blown (aeolian) sediments are different from those laid down by flowing water (alluvium) and soils which form under coniferous forests vary from those which form under deciduous or grassland conditions. Consequently a soil profile may consist of a series of layers (strata) which are visibly distinct from one another in terms of their composition, colour, texture and particle sizes. If the layers bear artifacts, the archaeologist con be confident that those from a single stratum "belong together" and are of approximately the same age. Furthermore he can be assured that they are younger than those from the lower level, but older than those from the overlying stratum. Stratified multi-component sites are therefore invaluable tools for establishing a cultural chronology of a region. A study of the strata themselves (pedology) may indicate the sequence of environmental conditions which characterized the area over time and suggest the various modes of adaptation and subsistence which the local cultures employed. Unfortunately, most multi-component sites in Manitoba are mixed due to frost action, rodent tunnelling or root growth. collapsed stratigraphy. a profile in which one stratum has eroded out thus causing the upper strata to slump down upon a lower stratum.
stratum. a level or layer, particularly when part of a series of layers. (plural strata).
strike-a-light. an object of stone, iron or steel which is struck against a stone to produce a spark for igniting gunpowder or tinder.
striking platform. that portion of a core (sense l) which is struck in order to remove a flake.
Sturgeon Triangular. a projectile point style identified by Richard MacNeish (l958) on the basis of his excavations in southeastern Manttoba in the early l950s. These points are 36 to 70 mm in length, and have straight or slightly convex bases and parallel or slightly convex sides. Many of these lanceolate specimens are crudely fashioned; in fact, MacNeish suspected that some of them were not projectile points at all, but rather quarry blanks. They were found in association with artifacts of the Whiteshell and Larter Foci. The type name and one of the foci with which it was associated (Whiteshell) are no longer used by Manitoba archaeologists.
subarctic. l. of or pertaining to regions south of the Arctic Circle; these regions themselves. 2. of or pertaining to the coniferous (Boreal) forest zone which lies south of the tundra and north of the grasslands and deciduous forests; this zone itself.
Sub-Atlantic. a central North American climatic episode dating from 8l0 B.C. to A.D. 270 which was cooler and moister than the present (Wendland l978).
Sub-Boreal. a central North American climatic episode dating from 3ll0 to 8l0 B.C. which marks the transition from the hot, dry Atlantic to the cool, moist Sub-Atlantic episode (Wendland l978).
subsistence. livelihood; the means by which an individual or group maintains life.
sucking tube. a hollow cylinder, often made from a cut section of longbone, through which a shaman or other healer magically withdraws an intrusive object from a patient. The belief that illness is a result of some foreign object within a person is fairly widespread. Sometimes the shaman will hide a small object within his mouth beforehand so that after his treatment he may produce it as proof of the cure.
supine burial. see burial, supine.
Sundance. a renewal and purification ceremony fairly common among North American plains Indians. Generally, a man would pledge to give a Sundance if he or a relative was guilty of some misconduct or if the hunters had been unable to locate buffalo. The ceremony often lasted four days and nights and was marked by much singing, dancing, self tortune and mutilation as well as more purely social activities such as courting, gambling and playing of games.
surface collection. the recovery of artifacts from the ground surface; the artifacts themselves. These are generally of limited interpretive value as their original spatial relationships (see context, in situ, provenience) have been disturbed. Nonetheless it may be sufficient to determine the age and cultural affiliation of the original site. If done systematically, it can also indicate the size of the site and the location of specific activity areas.
survey. l. the investigation of an area to locate archaeological sites and to acquire a preliminary understanding of its prehistory. This latter aim is most commonly achieved by means of surface collecting and the excavation of test pits. 2. to systematically map and grid an archaeological site. Surveying instruments such as the transit and the theodolite are generally used.
Swan River Chert. a multi-coloured (white, grey, pink, yellow, orange) chert with a glossy, waxy or dull lustre with concoidal fracturing properties composed largely of quartz with chalcedony as a cementing agent. Swan River Chert is quite common in the western half of the province and was a popular material for the production of stone tools throughout its prehistory (Leonoff l970).
tabular scraper. see scraper, tabular.
taconite. a fine-grained sedimentary rock which occurs naturally in the Lake Superior region and which is a suitable material for the manufacture of stone tools.
taiga. the environmental zone dominated by coniferous tree species which lies immediately south of the tundra in the Old and New Worlds. In North America, this equates with the Boreal Forest.
Taltheilei. a Late Prehistoric Period tradition as well as a complex within that tradition. Named after Taltheilei Narrows at the northeast end of Great Slave Lake, and the characteristic used of a grey shale for artifacts, the Taltheilei shale tradition is thought by many to represent the prehistoric and protohistoric Athapaskans in the District of Keewatin. These nomadic caribou hunters used stemmed and side-notched spear and arrow points in pursuit of game, although bone and antler projectile points came to be used more frequently in more recent times. Other items in the inventory include adzes, wedges, gravers, whetstones, scrapers, "chitos", flake knives, copper knives and awls, bone gorges and perforators and birch bark rolls. The associated faunal remains suggest that these people supplemented their diet with bear, fish, beaver and birds. Radiocarbon dating indicates that the Taltheilei Shale Tradition dates as early as 200 B.C. while the most recent components of the tradition contain European trade goods. In Manitoba, Taltheilei sites are restricted to the northwestern corner of the province (Noble l97l).
taphonomy. the study of the means by which organic materials become part of the archaeological (or fossil) record. A study of an object with an eye to determining hoe it has been preserved or why it has decomposed in the way it has can tell us something of the conditions prevalent at the time it was deposited.
tang. a long, narrow, pointed projection at the base of a tool or weapon to facilitate hafting.
tarsal. of, pertaining to or constituting the bones of the human ankle and heel, or one of the corresponding bones of the hind leg of other animals.
taxon. a unit or group within a system of classification. (plural taxa).
taxonomy. the classification of objects or organisms on the basis of their similarities.
technology. l. the knowledge and methods necessary to produce useable or consumable artifacts or products of similar materials by similar methods (eg. Palaeo-Indian bone technology).
temper. solid particles such as sand, grit, crushed shell, plant fibre or crushed pottery (grog) which is mixed with the wet clay before the vessel is fired. Temper adds strength to pottery and makes it less likely to crack when drying or while being baked.
Temple Mound Culture. a less frequently used term for the Mississippian.
tent ring. the circle of stones used to hold down the edges of a tent and which remains behind in a slightly disturbed form after the tent is removed.
terminal moraine. see moraine, terminal.
Terminal Woodland. see Woodland.
terrace. the former banks of a river or shores of a body of water exposed due to a drop in water level. When terraces occur as a series of steps, the highest is taken to be the oldest as it would have been the first to be exposed.
test pit. a unit excavated to determine the presence or absence of an archaeological site, or the nature of the deposits.
textile. a fabric produced from the weaving of fibres of animal or vegetal origin.
theodolite. a surveying (sense 2) instrument capable of measuring vertical and horizontal angles and consisting of a tripod-mounted telescope.
threshing. separating grain from the husks and straw by beating or rubbing.
throwing board. see atlatl.
Thule. the Latin name which ancient geographers gave to the most northerly land in the inhabited world. More recently, the term has been applied to an archaeological culture which blanketed the North American arctic shortly after A.D. l000. The artifactual inventory of these coastally adapted people included rectangular winter houses, soapstone lamps and cooking vessels, trace buckles and swivels for dog harnesses, the ulu, bone and antler arrow and harpoon heads and carved ivory bird figurines. Judging from the time slope indicated by numerous radiocarbon dates, Thule culture emerged in Alaska and spread rapidly across the arctic as far as Greenland. Their relationship, if any, with the earlier Dorset peoples is unknown but there is general agreement that the Thule is directly ancestral to the modern Inuit.
thumb(nail) scraper. see scraper, thumb(nail).
thunderbird. in mythology, large bird that produced thunder by flapping its wings. Belief in the thunderbird was formerly widespread among native North Americans and in Asia.
Thunderbird Nest. the general term for a pile of boulders with a central depression. The function that these served is essentially unknown and in fact they may have been constructed for a number of different purposes. In the popular imagination they are places where young men went to receive a vision and/or a spirit helper. see also vision quest.
till. the unstratified deposits of a glacier, usually consisting of sand, gravel, clay, silt and boulders.
time-depth. the life span of a culture (sense l), language or family of languages. Thus a culture which is recognized in the archaeological record as beginning in 500 B.C. and terminating at A.D. 500 would have a time-depth of l000 years.
time slope. a series of dates which become progressively older in a given direction through space, thus pointing to the place of origin of the dated complex or trait.
tinkler (or tinkling cone). the (usually) metallic cones or cylinders which were used as ornaments on clothing. Brass sewing thimbles were sometimes used for this purpose. The artifact received its name from the sound produced by the many cones striking one another with each movement of the wearer or dancer.
tipi. the conical tent of hide over a wooden frame used by plains Indians.
tipi ring. l. the circular arrangement of stones used to hold down the edges of a tipi in those areas where wood for stakes was unavailable. When camp was broken and the tipis disassembled, the stones would simply be rolled off and left behind thus maintaining the roughly circular arrangements. 2. a circular arrangement of tipis within a camp.
toggle. a device consisting of a rod or peg, pointed at one or both ends with a line attached near its centre. The toggling principle may be applied to buttons, or more familiar to archaeologists, the harpoon. The toggling harpoon is characterized by a detachable tip with a line fastened to a hole near its centre. When the point enters an animal, the shaft falls away and tension on the line causes the point to turn sideways thus firmly embedding itself.
tool-kit. as used by archaeologists, the full range of artifacts of a single complex.
topography. the study or description of the surface configuration of a region; the surface configuration itself.
tradition. a style, technology or lifeway which persists for a long period of time within a given region.
trait. a distinguishing or diagnostic attribute or aspect.
transhumant. of or pertaining to the seasonal movements of livestock from one grazing or browsing range to another.
transit. a surveying (sense 2) instrument capable of measuring vertical and horizontal angles and consisting of a tripod-mounted telescope. The transit is similar to the theodolite in many respects, but differs in that it has a longer telescope, exposed vernier scales and an integral compass.
transverse flaking. see flaking transverse.
travois. two long, parallel poles which serve as frame to which baggage or supplies may be attached while in transit. One end of the poles is fastened on either side of a draft animal while the opposite ends drag behind. There is some evidence to suggest that the dog-drawn travois was a Middle Prehistoric Period innovation.
triangulation. a method of surveying (sense 2) in which an area is sub-divided into triangles of which two angles and the length of one side are known. The lengths of the other two sides are calculated using trigonometric functions.
tribe. in popular usage, any non-literate society. For anthropologists, however, the term usually takes on a more specific meaning. Like a band, a tribe is a fairly small, non-literate society, but it makes use of institutions (clubs, age grades, secret societies) to hold it together in addition to kinship networks. Many tribal societies subsist through horticulture or the raising of livestock rather than hunting and gathering.
trihedral adze. see adze, trihedral.
trim bit. a piece that is trimmed or pared off during manufacture.
trowel. a small hand tool consisting of a metal blade (sense l) attached to a handle. The mason's trowel, having a flat blade (as opposed to the scoop-shaped blade of the gardening trowel), is the preferred tool for archaeological excavation in Manitoba.
truncate. to shorten or blunt by cutting off an end or through breakage.
tuckahoe. a green (when wet) or black (when dry), underground fungus which is generally found as large, moist nodules while ploughing a field. These are commonly and erroneously identified as (petrified) pemmican.
tumulus. a mound of earth or loose stones covering a burial (sense 3).
Tunaxa. a cultural tradition of the northern plains which includes the McKean, Hanna, Pelican Lake and Avonlea Phases (Reeves l983).
tundra. the vast treeless regions of North America, Europe and Asia which lies between the polar ice cap and the northern edge of the coniferous forests. The subsoil here is permanently frozen, but the surface soil may support mosses and lichens.
Two Creeks Interval. the interstadial within the Wisconsin glaciation which preceded the Valders Re-advance. This period of somewhat milder climate persisted from l2,800 to ll,500 years ago.
type site. an archaeological site which has produced the artifacts which are considered to be typical of a particular complex. Very often, the site at which a complex was first discovered or defined is considered the type site. Thus, the Oxbow Dam Site is the type site for the Oxbow Complex and the Scottsbluff Bison Quarry is the type site for Scottsbluff.
typology. the classification of artifacts into groups (types) on the basis of method of manufacture, form, decoration, etc.
ulu. a half-moon shaped Eskimo woman's knife. Typically, it is made of ground slate, and is fitted with a wooden handle.
umiak. a large, open, flat-bottomed boat consisting of walrus hide over a spruce frame and used primarily by Eskimo women.
uniface. a (usually) lithic artifact which has been worked or retouched on one face only.
unit. one of the squares excavated on an archaeological site; a pit.
use-wear. see wear pattern.
U.T.M. abbreviation for Universal Transverse Mercator; a rectangular grid system found on all standard military maps which has been advocated for use in site designation and location by some archaeologists.
Valders. a re-advance of Wisconsin ice in the Lake Superior and Michigan basins at approximately ll,800 B.P.
Valley. a county in Nebraska which has lent its name to a Plains Woodland pottery style and the complex and phase (originally focus) with which it is associated. Valley vessels are characteristically conoidal with vertical or oblique cord roughened exteriors and straight rims. Decoration is restricted to oblique and horizontal cord-wrapped stick impressions near the lip, exterior bosses and less frequently, incised lines. Sites are most comon in Nebraska and Kansas, but Valley sherds have been found as far north as southwestern Manitoba (Syms l977).
vein quartz. see quartz, vein.
ventral. l. the flat or concave face of an artifact. 2. that face of an artifact which was nearest to the centre of the core from which it was manufactured. 3. of or pertaining to the front of the body; towards the belly.
virolocal. pertaining to the pattern in which a newlywed couple takes up residence in the home, village or territory of the husband's family. Virilocality generally results in patrilocality.
Vision Pit. a subterranean pit in which a youth would wait while on a vision quest. Some Thunderbird Nests may have served essentially the same function.
vision quest. among some native North American peoples, a puberty rite in which young boys would seek visions and/or a spirit helper. Physical hardships such as lack of water, food or sleep and inadequate clothing in the winter were commonly part of the experience.
vitreous. of, pertaining to, or resembling glass.
wanaman. the Cree name for red ochre.
ware. the largest and most general classification into which pottery can be grouped. Wares are usually defined on the basis of such attributes as surface finish (eg. smooth, corded, etc.), composition of the paste (e.g. shell-tempered, grit tempered, etc.) and vessel form (globular, conoidal etc.). A ware generally includes a number of types (often defined on the basis of decorative elements) and these in turn may include a number of varieties (based upon the manner in which the decorative elements are arranged).
waste flake. see flake, waste.
wear pattern. the distinctive way a tool is worn or abraded through use. Examination of wear patterns can often and more reliably identify the function a tool served, than can consideration of size and shape alone.
weir. a barrier constructed across a stream or on a tidal flat to trap fish.
Wentworth Scale. a particle size scale ranging from "boulder" (greater than 256 mm) to "clay" (less than 0.0039 mm) with intermediate ranges to allow the definition of cobbles, pebbles, sand and silt. Sieves with appropraite mesh sizes are available so that the proportions of these various particles can be readily calculated.
whetstone. a sharpening stone.
Whiteshell Focus. the most ancient (3000 to l500 B.C.) of the cultural-historical periods in MacNeish's (l958) southeastern Manitoba chronology. The only diagnostic projectile points of this focus, however, were those of the McKean Complex. Recent re-excavation of the type site failed to produce any material to support the existence of a Whiteshell focus. This term is no longer used by Manitoba archaeologists.
Whiteshell Side-notched. a projectile point style defined by MacNeish (l958) on the basis of his investigations in southeastern Manitoba and attributed to the Nutimik and Manitoba Foci (Laurel and Blackduck respectively). As originally defined, these specimens are rather long (42 to 58 mm) and bear narrow but deep side notches above a convex or less commonly a straight base. Maximum width occurs just above or immediately below the notches.
wickiup. a beehive-shaped hut of grass or brush most commonly found in the Amercan Southwest.
wigwam. a dwelling structure consisting of bark, matting or hide over a frame of arched poles.
windbreak. a rude screen or fence intended to provide shelter from the wind.
Winnipeg Ovoid. a projectile point styel defined by R.S. MacNeish (l958) on the basis of his investigations in southeastern Manitoba. These crudely chipped specimens are teardrop shaped and range in length from 35 to 78 mm. As maximum thickness ranges from 5 to 60 mm, it is more than likely that many of these are not projectile points at all, but rather quarry blanks. MacNeish attributed the Winnipeg Ovoid style to the Whiteshell and Larter Foci.
Winnipeg Fabric-impressed Ware. the ceramic ware more commonly known to archaeologists as Selkirk Ware. see Selkirk.
winnowing. separating grain from chaff by means of a wind or air current.
winter count. among native peoples of the North American plains, a pictorial history painted on buffalo hide.
Wisconsinan. the last period of glaciation of the North American Pleistocene. The Wisconsinan began approximately 70,000 years ago and ended with the commencement of the Holocene some l0,000 or l2,000 years ago.
Woodland Period. the most recent of the three "stages" in the prehistory of the eastern forests of North America. In accordance with the trend which began with the earlier Archaic Period, the Woodland witnesses increased regionalism and the proliferation of local cultures. As this period is often defined by the appearance of pottery in local assemblages, and because these cultures adopted pottery at different times, no single date marks the beginning of the Woodland Period. In the American Southeast, pottery has been found which dates as early as 2400 B.C., while some northern peoples never adopted it. It southern Manitoba, a date of 200 B.C. or thereabouts is often applied to the Archaic/Woodland boundary. A number of other innovations are often associated with the Woodland: the use of the bow and arrow (as opposed to the atlatl), the construction of effigy and burial mounds, possibly the birch bark canoe (as opposed to dugouts) and in some areas, horticulture. The Woodland Period has been subdivided in a number of different ways. In the technical literature, the terms Early, Middle and Late Woodland are frequently used. In Canada, the Initial Woodland equates with the Early and Middle periods, while "Terminal" is used instead of "Late". By definition, a Terminal Woodland Culture (eg. Blackduck, Selkirk, Mistikwas, Mississippian) is one that can be traced to the Historic period and identified with a known culture. Presumably this is not possible with the earlier Initial Woodland (eg. Laurel, Hopewell) cultures.
wristguard. bracer; wristlet, a rectangular plate of bone or stone which is bound to the inside of an archer's wrist to protect him from the recoil of the bowstring.
xeric. of, pertaining to, or growing in dry conditions.
xerothermy. aridity; dry heat.
xerophyte. a dry-loving plant such as cactus.
X-ray fluorescence. the bombardment of a sample for chemical analysis with X-rays. The light which the sample emits indicates which chemicals are present and the relative proportions in which they occur.
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