The Aschkibokahn Site (FbMb-1) of west-central Manitoba : the role of the Northern Marsh in the subsistence of Late Woodland Peoples

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Snortland-Coles, Jan Signe
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This thesis seeks to 1) describe the excavated artifacts and features of the Aschkibokahn Site (FbMb-l); 2) examine the period and seasons of occupation of the site, and 3) present a hypothetical reconstruction of the subsistence activities of the inhabitants, including evaluation of the resource potential of the northern marsh habitat and the extent to which its resources were exploited at this site. Ceramic and lithic artifacts were divided into morphological types, but bone tools, historic artifacts, and features were grouped into functional categories and briefly described. Radiocarbon dating of charcoal samples recovered from hearths, a projectile point chronology, and comparison of Aschkibokahn ceramics with wares from the stratified Smith Site were used to investigate the period of site occupation. The seasons of occupation and subsistence activities of the occupants were examined through comparison of a list of plant and animal foods,which were potentially seasonally available in four local habitats, with the faunal and floral remains preserved in the archaeological record. Two ceramic wares, Blackduck and Duck Bay; primarily three projectile point types, Prairie Side-Notched, Plains Side-Notched and Plains Triangular; and a variety of drills, knives, and scrapers were recovered. Bone artifacts consisted mainly of tools associated with fishing or leather working, while historic artifacts were scarce and generally of recent origin. A majority of features were hearths which produced carbon samples dating to the fifth and eleventh centuries. Analysis of the animal remains showed a reliance on moose, Spring spawning fish, and migratory birds for food. Few plant remains were found. The site appears to have been occupied in the Spring, Fall, and possibly Summer during the Late Woodland Period. The occupants relied upon the open water and marsh habitats for food and harvested spawning fish and nesting birds during the Spring, and possib]y moose, migratory birds, beaver, and whitefish in the Fall. Harvested fish were cleaned and then smoked and dried over the hearths, while moose were skinned, butchered, and their bones processed for grease...