This is the first detailed analysis of a completely excavated northern Iroquoian community, a sixteenth-century ancestral Wendat village on the north shore of Lake Ontario. The site resulted from the coalescence of multiple small villages into one well-planned and well-integrated community. Jennifer Birch and Ronald F. Williamson frame the development of this community in the context of a historical sequence of site relocations. The social processes that led to its formation, the political and economic lives of its inhabitants, and their relationships to other populations in northeastern North America are explored using multiple scales of analysis. This book is key for those interested in the history and archaeology of eastern North America, the social, political, and economic organization of Iroquoian societies, the archaeology of communities, and processes of settlement aggregation.
About the Author
Jennifer Birch is an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Georgia.
Ronald F. Williamson is founder and managing partner of Archaeological Services Inc., a cultural resource management firm based in Toronto.
Table of Contents
List of Tables
List of Figures
Chapter 1.Understanding Northern Iroquoians
Chapter 2. The Historical Development of Ancestral Wendat Societies
Chapter 3. Situating the Mantle Site
Chapter 4. Community History
Chapter 5. The Necessities of Life
Chapter 6. Production, Consolidation, and Interregional Interaction
Chapter 7. Conclusions
About the Authors
What People are Saying About This
Birch and Williamson have synthesized an enormous quantity of data to produce a compelling narrative. They... have produced a work that enlarges our understanding of past Iroquoians and their world.
The Iroquoian nations of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries had been vastly different just a few generations earlier. They changed profoundly—before European contact. Only archaeology can find this earlier and deeper history. In The Mantle Site, Birch and Williamson reconstruct how Iroquoian people came together, invented, and put into practice new kinds of social communities, new political orders, new ways of making a living, and new customs. So much for the notion of timeless tradition and peoples with no history. The Mantle Site is far more than a splendid study of one village. [T]his history is not just an Iroquoian story, because how people create new ways of coming together as political communities has something to say to us all.