Faunal remains include any materials derived from animals. Most commonly, faunal assemblages are dominated by bones, teeth, and shell. For the early indigenous inhabitants of Ontario, animals were a highly versatile and indispensable resource, providing not only food, but also raw materials for the production of items such as tools and clothing. Because of this, faunal artifacts range from unworked remains, to worked bone tools and ornamental items such as bone and shell beads. Both worked and unworked faunal material is extremely valuable to archaeologists as unworked material can help determine diet and the season during which the site was occupied, while worked items can provide insight into the culture and technology of the site's occupants.

Faunal Remains (Sealey Site-AgHa-4)

Faunal Remains (Sealey Site-AgHa-4)

Worked bone (Slack-Caswell AfHa-1)

Worked bone (Slack-Caswell AfHa-1)

Worked bone (Guyatt AgGw-4)

Worked bone (Guyatt AgGw-4)

Case Collection, catalogue #4, provenience unknown

Antler Arrow Straightener (Sealey Site-AgHa-4)

Worked bone artifacts from the Gunby Site

Worked bone artifacts from the Gunby Site

Case collection, #40, 40, 1 (top to bottom)

Small Bone Awls (Parsons Site-AkGv-8)

Burnt and calcined bone fragments (Slack-Caswell AfHa-1)

Burnt and calcined bone fragments (Slack-Caswell AfHa-1)

Mammal, Fish, Bird, Turtle, and Shell Fragments

Mammal, Fish, Bird, Turtle, and Shell Fragments  (Guyatt Site AgGw-4)

Case Collection; no catalogue number; provenience unknown

Humerus Bone Awl (Reference Collection, Sustainable Archaeology McMaster)

Faunal remains (Mannen Site AhHb-6)

Faunal remains (Mannen Site AhHb-6)

Antler and bone tools (Mannen Site AhHb-6)

Antler and bone tools (Mannen Site AhHb-6)



Faunal remains (Sealey Site)

Faunal remains (Sealey Site AgHa-4)

Read about faunal

Rocky Ridge (BbHj-16)

Site Name: Rocky Ridge Township: Kincardine Borden Number: BbHj-16 County: Bruce Date Excavated: 1969-70 Excavated By: Peter Ramsden About the Site: In 1969 and 1970, Peter Ramsden and students from the University of Toronto undertook a test excavation at the Rocky Ridge Site (BbHj-16). This excavation is only one part of a long history of […]

Cleveland: AhHb-7

Site Name: Cleveland County: Brant Borden Number: AhHb-7 Township: Brantford Date Excavated: 1971 Excavated By: William C. Noble About the Site: The Cleveland Site (AhHb-7) was excavated in 1971 by William C. Noble, after amateur archaeologist Douglas Mannen did small excavations and surface collections. The four-acre site is located northeast of Brantford (Fairchild Creek, Brant […]

McMaster Legacy Collection Project

A big part of our work at SA: McMaster is processing the legacy collections associated with decades of archaeological work by faculty and students in the McMaster anthropology department. We are tracking our progress and site information here, and also have a series of posts planned that detail what is involved in working with legacy collections.    While […]

Catalogues and Context – the Gunby Site (AiGx-5)

As we mentioned in our post on the Hicks Site, we will occasionally be reaching out to ask for assistance in identifying or clarifying site provenience. Today’s post is slightly different. We know when and where the Gunby Site was excavated but do not have associated records to accompany the 27 boxes of material from […]

Artifact Imaging: Z-Stacking a Scraper

Part of our work at SA McMaster is to explore artifact material and manufacture technique using our Zeiss AxioZoom high resolution microscope. Occasionally we will be posting photographs to highlight a range of artifacts and the imaging techniques we use to capture them in detail. First up, we have a scraper from the Sealey Site. […]

Day of Archaeology 2015

To our delight, Sustainable Archaeology McMaster recently participated in our first Day of Archaeology. Our post covers a bit of everything, outlining the purpose of the initiative as well as some of our ongoing projects and what our daily tasks consist of. We would like to give a big thanks to the organizers of this […]

Mystery Box #1: the Hicks Site

As we mentioned in our first post, the Sustainable Archaeology McMaster team spends a lot of time trying to sort out the provenience and excavation details of the collections in our care. To try and help solve these mysteries, we’ll be posting about some of the more bemusing cases from time to time, asking readers […]

Brodie Site (AfHi-19)

Site Name: Brodie Site County: Middlesex Borden Number: AfHi-19 Township: Delaware Date Excavated: 1973-1977 Excavated By: Brian Deller, D. Kelly, S. Couper, A. MacDonald, S. Pratt, Pamela McTaggart About the Site:Also known as the Browdie, Brody, or Delaware site, this site is located on the Thames River flood plain near Delaware, Ontario. The material from […]

Ludlow-Vanderlip Site (AgHa-8)

Site Name: Ludlow-Vanderlip Site County: Brant Borden Number: AgHa-8 Township: Brantford Date Excavated: 1971-1972 Excavated By: Ian Kenyon, William Fox About the Site:Located just over 1km south of the Sealey site, Ludlow-Vanderlip is a small hamlet site, on a plateau south of Big Creek.  At SA McMaster:One box of material including faunal and ceramic assemblages […]

Parsons Site (AkGv-8)

Site Name: Parsons Site County: York County Borden Number: AkGv-8 Township: Vaughan Date Excavated: 1954 Excavated By: J. Norman Emerson About the Site: First excavated in 1952 by J.N. Emerson, Parsons is a Late Iroquoian village site, thought to be the result of an amalgamation of two or more earlier communities. Considered to be one […]

G. Gee collection, no catalogue number, provenience unknown

Sealey Site (AgHa-4)

Site Name: Sealey Site County: Brant County Borden Number: AgHa-4 Township: Brantford Date Excavated: 1930s-1960s (looted) Excavated By: Unknown About the Site: The Sealey village was the site of severe, consistent looting from as early as the 1800s. It was revisited by archaeologists in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, including Bill Fox, to survey […]

The Archaeology of Archaeology

If there’s one thing archaeologists are good at, it’s gleaning as much knowledge as possible from the tiniest scraps of information. Today, archaeologists make a point of festooning their collections with all of this hard won data so that future generations won’t have to – er – dig for it quite as vigorously as they […]