Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




G. Gaherty




The major emphasis of this thesis is the statistical analysis of the biological affinity of Ontario Iroquois populations within the context of the Ontario Iroquois Tradition. The statistical comparison is based on a study of the dental morphology of the permanent crowns of three ossuary populations. A total of 64 dental morphological traits are considered. The three dental samples studied include two protohistoric Neutral ossuary populations and a protohistoric Huron ossuary population.

The results of the statistical analysis indicate a greater degree of biological affinity between the two protohistoric Neutral ossuary populations than between the Neutral ossuary populations and protohistoric Huron ossuary population. The dental morphological evidence parallels the present model of the Ontario Iroquois Tradition which is based on archaeological, ethnohistoric and linguistic studies. This model indicates a cultural divergence between the four entario Iroquois groupings - the Neutral, Huron, Erie and Petun - which occurred circa 1400 A.D.

Up until this point, dental studies of the Ontario Iroquois have been limited in number. This thesis indicates the potential of dental morphological analysis for making a major contribution to our current understanding of the Ontario Iroquois. In addition, it hopefully provides a preliminary step towards a uniform framework within which future Ontario Iroquois studies can be carried out.

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