Dating Iroquoia: Radiocarbon chronology building and relational histories of coalescence and conflict among Huron-Wendat ancestors in southern Ontario
Chronologies fundamentally underpin all other aspects of archaeological thought. When our time frames shift, so to do the chains of inference that underpin our models and narratives. This talk will detail the results to date of the Dating Iroquoia project. It will review some of the most significant implications of our revised radiocarbon chronology for understanding processes of Iroquoian cultural development, including the timing of coalescence and conflict, the onset of historical enmity between the Huron-Wendat and Haudenosaunee, and the processes through which European goods were transmitted, received, or rejected by Iroquoian communities in Ontario and New York State. The results of this project demonstrate not only the utility of AMS dating and Bayesian chronological modelling for refining archaeological chronologies, but also for centering Indigenous agency in relational histories of societal development and change in North American archaeology.
Jennifer Birch is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Georgia.
Her research interests are concerned with the development of organizational complexity and diversity, particularly among the Indigenous societies of eastern North America. She approaches these topics through multi-scalar research designs focused on reconstructing the archaeological histories of communities and regions.