Toward a social archaeology of food in later Newfoundland pre/history

Author(s): Donald Holly

Year: 2017


Archaeologists have long been interested in understanding and modelling subarctic hunter-gatherer subsistence strategies. Traditionally, much of this work has relied on the ethnographic record for analogy and sought to situate forager decision making processes in terms of the calculus of optimal foraging and adaptations to the natural environment. While useful, these approaches risk flattening pre/historic subsistence strategies to the point of timelessness and minimizing the social and cultural contexts in which food choices were also situated. Drawing on the later pre/historic archaeological record (AD 100-AD 1829) of the Beothuk Amerindians of the island of Newfoundland, this paper explores the ways in which subsistence strategies and food projected identity, reflected changing historical conditions and social relations, played into ritual and ceremonial practice, and embodied a cultural worldview.

Cite this Record

Toward a social archaeology of food in later Newfoundland pre/history. Donald Holly. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429212)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -178.41; min lat: 62.104 ; max long: 178.77; max lat: 83.52 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14356