The Geologic Sources of Stone Tool Raw Materials and the Reconstruction of Territories and Interactions between Groups in Eastern Canada
Adrian L. Burke
Professor of archaeology, Département d’anthropologie, Université de Montréal
Archaeologists regularly find stone tools and flakes on their sites that are made of materials that are not immediately available around the site. Where do these materials come from and how did they get to the site? In this presentation I will explain how archaeologists use geologic information, as well as analytical techniques such as petrography and geochemistry, to accurately identify the geographic and geologic origin of a rock used to make a stone tool. Examples will be presented from my research over the past 25 years in Eastern Canada and northeastern United States. These rocks can tell us much about the territory that a group of hunter-fisher-gatherers might have exploited during a yearly round for example. They can also tell us a lot about how a community exchanged raw materials and tools with their neighbours which in turn allows us to reconstruct past social networks in northeastern North America.
Adrian L. Burke is professor of archaeology at Université de Montréal. He specializes in the pre-contact archaeology of northeastern North America. His research focuses primarily on lithic technology and more specifically on the raw materials used to make stone tools. He has spent the 25 years studying the quarries where people extracted the rocks to make stone tools and how these materials were exchanged among Indigenous groups in the past. His most recent fieldwork has been on l’île Saint-Bernard (Châteauguay) where he directed a fieldschool on a site with occupations dating from the Archaic period to the 19th century. He has worked over the past five years on the training in the field of Indigenous archaeologists