Settlement in Colonial Quebec: Implications from a Stable Isotope Study of Enamel Carbonate from Montréal and Québec City
Notre-Dame cemetery in Montréal (1691-1796) and St. Matthew’s cemetery in Quebec City (1771-1860) are major sources of information about colonization in Québec. We analyzed stable isotopes of enamel carbonate (d13C and d18O) of teeth formed between the ages of 2 and 8 years for 92 individuals to address questions regarding immigration provenance. Results show that in Montréal, individuals were mainly established colonists (52%), while 35% came from regions with higher d18O, and 13% from regions with lower 18O values. They confirm that this sample represents a later period after the foundation of Montréal when a larger in-born population appeared as birth rate increased. In contrast, results for St. Matthew’s cemetery, established shortly after the British Conquest, show significantly more immigrants (56% from 18O-enriched region; 9% from 18O-depleted region) than established colonists (35%). These isotopic results confirm that Notre-Dame and St. Matthew’s cemeteries correspond to two different migratory waves and historical contexts.
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Settlement in Colonial Quebec: Implications from a Stable Isotope Study of Enamel Carbonate from Montréal and Québec City. J. Vigeant, D. Caron, I. Ribon, R. Stevenson. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437408)