The distribution and characteristics of Laurel ceramics from northern Manitoba : a comparative study
This thesis presents a synthesis of information regarding Laurel ceramics recovered in northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The major goal of the project was to present the information within a holistic context of the entire Laurel ceramic framework. To accomplish this goal, the known Laurel ceramic assemblages from the northern Manitoba study area and from Saskatchewan were compared with selected assemblages from southeastern Manitoba, northwestern Ontario and northern Minnesota. Modification of existing typological systems allowed for the classification of the northern Manitoba ceramic sample. However, it was found these Minnesota derived systems decrease in applicability away from the northern Minnesota/Rainy River region. The need for modified systems that take into account the regionalism of Laurel and reflect the distinctive assemblages within Manitoba was evident during the classification process. The site distribution and recovery densities do not suggest independent development of Laurel in Saskatchewan or northern Manitoba. The available evidence is interpreted as representing seasonal excursions into these areas. Suggestion for the addition of a new composite to encompass these regions is rejected. Similarities between idiosyncratic vessels in the study area assemblage and vessels from southeastern Manitoba and northwestern Ontario suggest a direct correlation of specific groups or potters. Distinctive vessels found within the study region also suggest the presence of a specific potter at several sites. The results of the ceramic analysis imply a long discontinuous representation of Laurel in northern Manitoba beginning in approximately the second century A.D. and ending in the very latest stages of the Laurel existence around A.D. 1200. It is suggested that Laurel was present in Saskatchewan slightly later than in the study area. Occupation of both northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan is restricted during the earliest and latest stages and appears to be concentrated during the middle periods of the Laurel developmental sequence.