Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Peter G. Ramsden
The following aspects of the ca. A.D. 1615 Neutral Iroquoian Christianson village site will be emphasized: 1. an examination of the ecological factors which may have influenced its placement; 2. the morphology of the site, focusing on interior longhouse planning ; and 3. analysis of the artifact assemblage. The artifact descriptions are primarily directed at those parts of the assemblage which could be attributed to ethnohistorically documented accounts of contacts the Neutral had with aboriginal groups and Europeans. While many of the connections are inferred archaeologically to have been based in the pre-European contact period, certain branches developed or, more possibly , were amplified after the Neutral became involved on a large scale in the fur trade some time around A.D. 1615. The desire of Europeans to deal directly with the Neutral about this time is interpreted as being the initiation of intensive participation of the Neutral in the fur trade.
Ceramic, lithic, shell, and European artifacts, perhaps certain faunal remains, and aspects of longhouse interments indicate the Christianson site belongs to the period when Europeans, perhaps Étienne Brûlé in 1615 , first entered Neutralia.
As such, the identification of the intensity of foreign manifestations are important in identifying the pervasiveness of the effect of Europeans on Neutral relationships. While there does appear to have been notable consequences of the Neutral involvement in the fur trade, such as the Neutral-Fire Nation wars and an increased trade in marine shell, the overall intensity is not as great for the entire network as may have been suspected from an ethnocentric point of view.
Fitzgerald, William Richard, "Lest the Beaver Run Loose: The Early 17th Century Christianson Site and Trends in Historic Neutral Archaeology" (1981). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 5477.
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