Maritime Archaic Indians

Parks Canada provides the following introduction to its very informative website about Maritime Archaic Traditions:

“The Maritime Archaic Indians were the earliest known people to frequent the Port au Choix area. They were called this for two reasons: "Archaic" because these people were hunters and gatherers and did not farm, and "Maritime" because they relied on the sea and its products to sustain themselves.

The Maritime Archaic Indian tradition dates from 7500-3500 years before present (B.P.). These peoples lived throughout Atlantic Canada, Maine, and ranged into parts of Northern Labrador. Their ancestors, the Palaeoindians, arrived in Labrador around 9000 B.P. Archaeologists are able to distinguish this group of people by their use of marine resources, their beautifully crafted ground and polished slate knives, distinctive bone artifacts, and their ceremonial burials, which included using cemeteries and red ochre.”

In this section of our site on Adapted Primary Literature, we provide an adaptation of a paper published by two of the most prominent scholars of Maritime Archaic peoples. In the paper they propose an explanation for the puzzling distribution of known dwelling sites for these ancient maritime people. The scholars believe that there is a scattered distribution of living sites along the present coast of Newfoundland  because the coast has fluctuated dramatically over the last several thousand years as the ocean volume has increased and decreased and as the island of Newfoundland has risen and sank into the Earth’s mantle.

The paper has been skillfully adapted by Robert J. Anstey. To view the adaptation, click here.

Anstey, R.J., Norris, S.P., Renouf, M.A.P., & Bell, T. (2012). Science education via archaeology: Enriching high school curricula through adapted primary archaeology literature. Poster presented at the 45th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Archaeological Association, Montreal, Quebec.

To view the poster, click here.