An analysis of Late Woodland ceramics from Peter Pond Lake, Saskatchewan
Young, Patrick S.
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Recent archaeological surveys on Peter Pond Lake have provided an opportunity to better elucidate the Late Woodland period of occupation in the upper Churchill River basin of northwestern Saskatchewan. Previous studies identified two pottery-bearing cultures in the region. This included the Kisis complex of the well-documented Selkirk composite, which is characterized by Winnipeg Fabric-impressed ware and dates from approximately A.D. 1300 through to the historic period. The second was a lesser-known archaeological entity represented by limited pottery recoveries from just two sites in the region. Early interpretations proposed this latter “Narrows” pottery represented an incursion of the plains adapted Old Women’s phase into the region, with a suggested age of approximately A.D. 1000 to 1300. Through a comprehensive analysis of pottery assemblages recently recovered from over twenty sites in the Peter Pond Lake region, this study was able to further validate the original description of the Kisis complex, but more significantly, propose a new pottery ware and complex for the enigmatic Narrows pottery assemblages. As a result, this pottery is now formally classified as Narrows Fabric-impressed ware and is considered characteristic of the Buffalo Lake complex. This complex is centered on Peter Pond Lake and appears to have an extensive presence in the region. Recently obtained radiocarbon dates indicate it is slightly younger than originally believed, and spanned from approximately A.D 1200 to 1500. Unlike previous interpretations, which suggest this pottery represents a plains influence in the region, the Buffalo Lake complex is considered a boreal forest manifestation, with origins that lie in the woodlands to the southeast. The pottery shares particular affinities with contemporaneous Sandy Lake ware that has a distribution extending from east-central Saskatchewan through to northwestern Ontario and Minnesota, with additional influences evident from Winnipeg Fabric-impressed ware found throughout northern Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
CommitteePurdue, Peter; Hanna, Margaret; Walker, Ernest G.
Narrows Fabric-impressed ware
Buffalo Lake complex
Peter Pond Lake