Time, Space and Ceramic Attributes: The Ontario Iroquoian Case

Society for American Archaeology (SAA) Conference 2019
Ronald F. Williamson and Peter Ramsden

Ontario Iroquoian chronology has been largely based on observed or inferred changes in the frequency of rim sherd types or attributes through time. Such observations include the increasing development of collars, decreasing complexity in collar motif, decreasing frequency of horizontals and changes to the location of their placement and decreasing neck decoration through time, to name a few. The frequencies of some of these attributes also vary from region to region, and between communities within regions, producing a complex three-dimensional picture. In recent years detailed site-wide ceramic data have been collected from hundreds of Iroquoian sites in south-central Ontario, including many aligned in sequences along drainages. Moreover, for the first time there are hundreds of radiocarbon dates to help in placing sites in chronological sequences. Considering these recent developments, this paper re-examines ceramic attribute frequencies to test the extent to which ceramic attributes may be chronologically sensitive locally, regionally, or more broadly across Ontario Iroquoia.