Peterborough Chapter - “What was on the menu in the Peterborough area thirteen hundred years ago?”

  • February 27, 2018
  • 7:00 PM
  • Trent U. DNA Building, Room 104

Speaker: Daniel Worby

Topic: Changing Diet Breadth and the Middle to Late Woodland Transition in South Central Ontario

This lecture presents the results from Daniel Worby’s Masters thesis research, which examines foraging strategies during the Middle Woodland Period’s Sandbanks Phase (A.D. 700–1000) on Boyd Island (Chimnis), Pigeon Lake, Ontario. His analysis of diet breadth and carcass transport patterns suggests that most animal resources were acquired from both aquatic and terrestrial habitats, at moderate distances from the site.

Incomplete carcasses of large game appear to have been transported away from the site, where they were subsequently processed for provisioning or consumption. Comparisons with other Sandbanks faunal assemblages and those dating to later periods indicate significant differences in terms of taxonomic composition, while continuing to emphasize the use of fish. This indicates that the Middle Woodland foragers adopted subsistence strategies focusing on the exploitation of local habitats in which productivity may have been enhanced through niche construction associated with the low-level food production activities.

Daniel Worby, a graduate student in the Anthropology program at Trent University, also received his BSc Honours degree in archaeology from Trent in 2014. Prior to that he worked as a software developer after receiving an associate’s degree in computer programming from Fanshawe College in 2006. His research interests revolve around zooarchaeology, bioarchaeology, foraging theory, cultural resource management, and pre-contact Ontario First Nations groups. Over the span of his academic career at Trent University, he has received numerous awards. Currently, Daniel holds an Applied Research License from the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport and is looking forward to continuing his career in archaeology in Ontario.

This presentation is part of the Peterborough Chapter’s Monthly Speakers Series., conducted with the support of the City of Peterborough and the Trent University Archaeological Centre. Members of the public are invited. There is no charge. Light refreshments will be served. For further information contact chapter secretary Dirk Verhulst, at
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