A regional approach to the study of diet during the first century of the Hudson's Bay Company fur trade in Rupert's Land
Balcom, Rebecca J.
This thesis presents techniques for examining diet during the first century of the Hudson's Bay Company fur trade in Rupert's Land. The techniques that have been developed from the regional historical documents in order to study diet in this new environment are a food chronology, two food classification schemes, and a flow diagram which illustrates the flow of food through the Hudson's Bay Company subsistence system. These analytic techniques are then applied at the site-specific 1eve1 to the historical and archaeological data from New Severn (1685-1690). This research illustrates the usefulness of a regional approach. Due to the gaps in the historical record for this time period, particularly at the site-specific level, a broader understanding of diet at individual posts is possible by utilising documents pertaining to the entire Bayside region. Furthermore, this study illustrates the utility of combining historical and archaeological data bases in order to obtain a more detailed inventory of foods available for consumption. The archaeoloqical data base lacks information pertaining to imported foods and the historical data base lacks information pertaining to local resource utilisation. By integrating these two data bases in the manner suggested by the previously mentioned techniques, it is concluded that, barring calamity, the diet of the Hudson's Bay Company fur traders at New Severn was nutritionally adequate providing there was sufficient intake of the available foods.