Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
This thesis deals with the Early Paleo-Indian (EPI) component at the McLeod site. It explores issues of regional paleoecology for southern Ontario, and relationships among tool and lithic assemblages with respect to site size and activities. These topics are examined on a regional scale, placing the McLeod site within an environmental and cultural context.
Data were compiled from 130 pollen sites in southern Ontario and adjacent areas, and critical percentages in the pollen profiles of Betula, Picea, Pinus, and non-arboreal pollen dated and evaluated by interpolation. Proposed vegetation colonization and succession patterns were confirmed using quadratic surface trend analysis, and evidence of old carbon in poorer-grade 14C samples validated the date evaluations. Fossil Coleoptera, oxygen isotope and faunal data were combined with these results to synthesize a vegetation chronology, and review paleoecological and subsistence implications for the EPI occupation in the southern Ontario post-glacial.
McLeod site lithic tools and debitage were analyzed using established typologies, with data from other EPI sites compiled and standardized for comparison. The root of variation in tool assemblages, reflecting site activity specialization or being a function of sample size, was studied in two ways. First, relationships among size, richness, evenness, and heterogeneity in tool kits were analyzed, determining that only site size and richness are weakly related. Second, a study comparing tool and lithic debitage assemblages concluded that they are closely related. Activity variation rather than sample size accounts for assemblage variation in both analyses.
These analyses identify McLeod as a small, Parkhill complex site within the EPI tradition in southern Ontario. It comprises two large clusters and three ephemeral scatters, yielding a very rich tool assemblage that indicates generalized site activities. It is likely a base camp, unique in its higher degree of richness for its small size. The site was located at the headwaters of a pro-glacial lake estuary, ca 1 km from the lake, set in spruce-parkland vegetation.
Muller, Joseph, "The McLeod Site: A Small Paleo-Indian Occupation in Southwestern Ontario" (1999). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 7053.
McMaster University Library