A late Maritime woodland Peskotomuhkati fishery from the mainland Quoddy region, southwestern New Brunswick, Canada

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University of New Brunswick


The nature of precontact Indigenous fisheries and their significance to subsistence economies, seasonal mobility, and diachronic cultural change remain underdeveloped in the archaeology of the Maritime Peninsula, northeastern North America. This thesis presents an analysis of a precontact fishery from BgDs-15, a small shell-bearing site located on the northern mainland of Passamaquoddy Bay, southwestern New Brunswick, Canada. Several hundred bones recovered during the 2004 field excavations and over 3,000 fish remains from midden column and bulk feature samples were examined. Most of these fish bones are attributable to Atlantic tomcod (Microgadus tomcod Walbaum, 1792) and unidentified, tomcod-sized gadids, with some herring (Clupeidae) present. Multiple lines of complementary evidence, including taxonomic composition, relative abundances, skeletal element frequency, seasonality, and the ethnohistoric record were examined to produce a high-resolution analysis of the BgDs-15 fishery and provide insight into ancestral Peskotomuhkati settlement-subsistence strategies during the Late Maritime Woodland period (ca. 1350–550 BP).