Zooarchaeology & Paleoethnobotany

Zooarchaeology and paleoethnobotany are disciplines involved in the recovery and identification of animal and plant remains, respectively, from archaeological deposits for the purpose of reconstructing diet and environment.

Animal burial feature at the Riddle Site.
Animal burial feature at the Riddle Site.

At ASI, we employ individuals with advanced degrees in both of these fields. We regularly reconstruct past environments and diets using sophisticated analytical techniques, occasionally employing outside analyses such as isotopic studies to understand the contribution of various resources to diets.

Our analyses have contributed to a further understanding of Ontario’s past from the identification of wild plants such as goosefoot that may have been managed on a site dating to almost three thousand years ago, to estimates of deer-hunting territories for ancestral Wendat villages on the north shore of Lake Ontario, to the use and location of processing areas for
wild plants, such as raspberry, on those villages, to the discovery of bedbugs in nineteenth-century hospital deposits.

See some of our reports or publications for chapters on these studies.

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