Contact in the 16th Century
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Contact in the 16th Century : Networks Among Fishers, Foragers and Farmers

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From Labrador to Lake Ontario, the Gulf of Saint Lawrence to French Acadia, and Huronia-Wendaki to Tadoussac, and from one chapter to the next, this scholarly collection of archaeological findings focuses on 16th century European goods found in Native contexts and within greater networks, forming a conceptual interplay of place and mobility. The four initial chapters are set around the Gulf of Saint Lawrence where Euro-Native contact was direct and the historical record is strongest. Contact networks radiated northward into Inuit settings where European iron nails, roofing tile fragments and ceramics are found. Glass beads are scarce on Inuit sites as well as on Basque sites on the Gulf's north shore, but they are numerous in French Acadia. Ceramics on northern Basque sites are mostly from Spain. An historical review discusses the partnership between Spanish Basques and Saint Lawrence Iroquoians c.1540-1580. The four chapters set in the Saint Lawrence valley show Tadoussac as a fork in inland networks. Saint Lawrence Iroquoians obtained glass beads around Tadoussac before 1580. Algonquin from Lac Saint-Jean began trading at Tadoussac after that.
They plied a northern route that linked to Huronia-Wendaki via the Ottawa Valley and the Frontenac Uplands. Finally, four chapters set around Lake Ontario focus on contact between this region and the Saint Lawrence valley. Huron-Wendat sites around the Kawartha Lakes show an influx of Saint Lawrence trade in the 16th century, followed by an immigration wave about 1580. Huron-Wendat sites near Toronto show an unabated inflow of Native materials from the Saint Lawrence valley; however, neutral sites west of Lake Ontario show Native and European materials arriving from the south. A review of glass bead evidence presented by various authors shows trends that cut across chapters and bring new impetus to the study of beads to discover 16th-century networks among French and Basque fishers, Inuit and Algonquian foragers and Iroquoian farmers. With contributions from Sarai Barreiro, Meghan Burchell, Claude Chapdelaine, Martin S. Cooper, Amanda Crompton, Vincent Delmas, Sergio Escribano-Ruiz, William Fox, Sarah Grant, Francois Guindon, Erik Langevin, Brad Loewen, Jean-Francois Moreau, Jean-Luc Pilon, Michel Plourde, Peter Ramsden, Lisa Rankin and Ronald F. Williamson.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 412 pages
  • 171 x 241 x 15.24mm | 606g
  • Ottawa, Canada
  • English
  • 1 Tables, color; 100 Figures; 24 Tables, black and white
  • 0776623605
  • 9780776623603
  • 1,694,917

Review quote

A superb collection [...]. This is a beautifully produced volume with excellent color plates of the artifacts, color maps, and no production problems that I found. It is highly recommended for the specialist. -- Marvin T. Smith, Professor of Anthropology (retired) Vol. 28, p. 92-93 Ce rassemblement des connaissances de premiere main, acquises par ce groupe select d'archeologues specialistes de la periode etudiee, constitue un immense pas en avant. -- Marcel Moussette XLVI, No. 1
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About Brad Loewen

Brad Loewen's work on contact societies began with the Metis bison hunters of the western Plains and led to an exhibit at the Canadian Museum of History. Aspects of Metis society, such as resource accumulation, gender, language and material culture, are conceptually related to many Contact societies that were structured around the extractive industries of the early historical period. In his subsequent work on Basque fisheries and navigation, begun while he was at the Underwater Archaeology Service of Parks Canada, Loewen saw the sailing craft called a chalupa as an influential contact technology - this small boat was the Volkswagen of the sixteenth century, whose transfer to Native societies enabled contact networks to radiate over large areas. Since joining the Anthropology department at Universite de Montreal, Loewen has studied land and underwater sites in Quebec, and has brought maritime and contact themes into a common framework. His recent work on the Basque fisheries in Labrador and Chaleur Bay explores harp seal affordances as a catalyst for contact between Native and European maritime societies. Claude Chapdelaine began his work on the Saint Lawrence Iroquoians at the early sixteenth-century Mandeville site, near his hometown of Sorel. His extensive work has been at the centre of debates on cultural variability among Iroquoian corn growers, and has also contributed to Saint Lawrence Iroquoian maritime adaptations and their puzzling disappearance at a time when European contact was increasing. His excavations at the late sixteenth-century Royarnois site at Cap-Tourmente and most recently at the Saint-Anicet cluster consolidated cultural timelines and exposed the need for a broader consultation on indicators of contact throughout the Northeast, with special reference to the Saint Lawrence corridor. Extremely active as a researcher with numerous books and articles in his name, at the Universite de Montreal, Chapdelaine also led projects on Moche sites in Peru, the important Paleoindian site of Cliche-Rancourt near Lac-Megantic in Quebec, and continues to collaborate with the many students he has trained over the years.
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