PERSPECTIVISM, MORTUARY SYMBOLISM, AND HUMAN-SHARK RELATIONSHIPS ON THE MARITIME PENINSULA

Matthew W. Betts, Susan E. Blair, and David W. Black

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Shark teeth are commonly found in mortuary and ritual contexts throughout the Northeast. On the Maritime Peninsula, shark teeth have been identified in mortuary assemblages spanning the Late Archaic through to the Late Woodland periods (ca. 5000 B.P. to 950 B.P.). Beyond the Maritime Peninsula, shark teeth have been recovered from Woodland period contexts ranging from Chesapeake Bay to the Ohio River. Amerindian perspectivism, or cosmological deixis, provides a framework for understanding the relationship between humans and animals in hunter-gatherer societies. To explore this relationship, we examine engagements between sharks and humans over a period of 5,000 years, within a socioeconomic perspective. We postulate that shark teeth in mortuary contexts were complex, entangled objects that were both mnemonics and instruments. All at the same time, shark teeth were (1) an emblem of a real creature with spectacular predatory abilities, (2) an icon of transformational and spiritual power, (3) a symbol of a society’s maritime way of life, and (4) a tool—a conduit through which a person could gain access to supernatural abilities. When shark teeth were exchanged, all of these properties may have been transferred, suggesting that reinforcing relationships between societies conducting the exchange was as important as gaining access to the supernatural powers of the teeth.

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Matthew W. Betts Ⅲ Archaeology and History Division, Canadian Museum of Civilization, 100 Laurier St. Gatineau, Quebec, Canada, K1A OM8 (Matthew.Betts@Civilization.ca). David W. Black Ⅲ Department of Anthropology, University of New Brunswick, P.O. Box 4400, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada E3B 5A3 (dwblack@unb.ca) Susan E. Blair Ⅲ Department of Anthropology, University of New Brunswick, P.O. Box 4400, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada E3B 5A3 (sblair@unb.ca) American Antiquity 77(4), 2012, pp. 621–645 Copyright ©2012 by the Society for American Archaeology
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nimal remains and effigies are frequently found in prehistoric mortuary contexts in northeastern North America, spanning the Late Archaic (5000–3800 B.P.) through the Late Woodland (1500–500 B.P.) periods. The meaning of these animal remains has received little archaeological scrutiny. Where they have been specifically addressed, the analysis has tended to

Les dents de requin sont couramment trouvées dans des contextes funéraires et rituels partout dans la région du Nord-est. Sur la péninsule maritime, les dents de requin ont été identifiées parmi des assemblages funéraires datant de l’Archaïque récent au Sylvicole tardif (ca. 4500 BP à 950 BP). Ailleurs que sur la péninsule maritime, les dents de requins ont été récupérées sur des sites du Sylvicole à partir de la baie de Chesapeake jusqu’à la rivière Ohio. Le perspectivisme amérindien ou, la deixis cosmologique, fournit un cadre d’analyse pour la compréhension de la relation entre les humains et les animaux dans les sociétés chasseurs-cueilleurs. Nous avons à cet effet emprunté une perspective socio-économique pour examiner les modalités d’interaction entre les requins et les humains sur une période de 3000 ans. Nous postulons que les dents de requin trouvées en contexte funéraire sont des objets complexes et enchevêtrés qui constituent à la fois des mnémoniques et des instruments, qui revêtent plusieurs sens et qui servent à plusieurs fins : (1) emblème d’un animal réel, d’un prédateur hors du commun doté d’habiletés spectaculaires ; (2) icône du pouvoir spirituel et du pouvoir transformationnel ; (3) symbole d’une société adaptée à un mode de vie maritime ; et, (4) outil redoutable – un canal à travers lequel une personne peut accéder aux habiletés surnaturelles. Il semble que toutes ces propriétés auraient été transférées à chaque instance de troc ou d’échange de dents de requin. Ceci suggère qu’il était tout aussi important de renforcer les liens économiques entre les sociétés que d’accéder aux pouvoirs surnaturels des dents.

be structural in nature (e.g., Greber and Ruhl 2000; Holt 1996; see also Kelly 1993, in Holt 1996), an approach that has been critiqued for focusing on anomaly and metaphor and rejecting history and context (Wilkie and Inglis 2007:18–27). Recently, however, significant advancements in the conceptualization of huntergatherer cosmologies have provided a new means

to address complex human-animal relationships as expressed in ritual contexts. When humans adorn their bodies with animal parts, they are overtly signalling their relationships with animals and, more generally, the natural world. This paper seeks to develop a means to reconstruct these relationships from the archaeological record, and, additionally, to understand what relationships are being transferred when ritually charged animal products are transported or exchanged over long distances. To understand the nature of ancient human-animal connections that are expressed in mortuary ritual, we adopt an approach that is grounded in defining the broad economic, technological, and ideological contexts of real interactions between humans and animals, within a deeply historical perspective. Using this method, we believe it is possible to build an understanding of the complex and layered meanings associated with mortuary and ritual-related animal remains. A suite of teeth and toothed elements (mandibles, maxillae, premaxillae) are known to occur in Late Archaic and Woodland ceremonial contexts in the Atlantic provinces and states (e.g., Bourque 1995; Burns 1971; Byers 1979; Ford 1976; Kraft 1976; Snow 2009; Stewart 1982; Tuck 1994; Turnbull 1976; Yesner 1994). In many contexts, the abundance of these objects may be a consequence of preservation issues, because enamel preserves better than bone. However, in sites with good organic preservation, teeth, mandibles, and skull parts are most often found in mortuary and ceremonial contexts (e.g., Byers 1979; Jelsma 2006; Stewart 1982; Tuck 1994). Outside the Atlantic Provinces and New England states, teeth and toothed elements are also prominent among animal remains included in Woodland period burial assemblages (e.g., Carr and Case 2005:359; Dancey 2005:114; Ritchie 1944:149, 165, 1965:218–254). In this study we consider the archaeological occurrence and distribution of shark teeth in the Northeast. Occurring both as extant (unfossilized) and fossilized remains, shark teeth have been discovered in ceremonial contexts ranging from Nova Scotia to Illinois and from Newfoundland to Maryland. While the importance of shark teeth for identifying the extent of exchange networks and mortuary complexes such as Adena and Hopewell

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is well documented (e.g., Ritchie 1965:218 –254; Stewart 1994:85; Wright 1994:65, 1999:679), the significance of the shark and the motivations for placing their teeth in ritual and mortuary contexts is poorly understood. Our research explores ancient relationships between humans and sharks through a suite of ritual and mortuary assemblages spanning the Late Archaic to Late Woodland periods on the Maritime Peninsula, an area encompassing Maine and the Canadian Maritime Provinces (Figure 1). We apply the concept of cosmological deixis, or perspectivism (Viveiros de Castro 1998), to the study of mortuary symbolism among ancient hunting and gathering groups. Specifically, in this study, we (1) document the distribution of shark teeth in ritual deposits on the Maritime Peninsula and throughout the Northeast; (2) explore the nature of physical engagements between ancient people and sharks and investigate how these interactions may have changed through time; (3) employ these engagements as a framework within which to explore the spiritual relationships between sharks and people in the past; and (4) consider what aspects of these relationships may have been co-opted through mechanisms of material and ideological exchange. Theoretical and Methodological Considerations

[Vol. 77, No. 4, 2012

An intimate human-animal relationship is one of the most prominent tenets of hunter-gatherer ideology (Bird-David 1990; Brightman 1993). Douglas (1990:36; see also Douglas 1966; Tambiah 1969) proposed that animals are “signified” in human societies by a process of anthropomorphization—affording animals characteristics similar to humans themselves, especially regarding their relationships to the environment and to each other. As Douglas (1990:35) points out, this concept was first articulated in Radcliffe-Brown’s (1952:130) theory of totemism. He argued that humans imagine natural phenomenon as “a system ... essentially similar to the relations that they have built up in their social structure between one human being and another.” Soon after, Levi-Strauss (1962:222) suggested that traditional conceptualizations of animals were essentially a projected “mirror”

2002).g. For example. such an “animals are good to think” (LeviStrauss 1963:89) form of analysis has been critiqued because it tends to view animals entirely as symbols of the human condition.com Society for American Archaeology . Busatta 2008. but was unable to access the underlying meanings behind this structure (Holt 1996:104). mestic contexts in Mississippian and Late Woodland deposits in the American Bottom. As Holt recognized. this approach leads to a semiotic/structuralist analysis that views animal symbolism through the lenses of anomaly (how symbolic animals are intrinsically “different” from non-symbolic animals) and metaphor (how animal behaviors or traits reflect human behaviors and social systems).. Often. people are signifying something about themselves (e. these concepts suggest that by signifying animals in ritual contexts. AND HUMAN-SHARK RELATIONSHIPS 623 NL Port au Choix NL QC QC AugusƟne Mound PEI ME Delivered by http://saa.metapress. the use of the structural approach by archaeologists may compel unwarranted use of metaphor and analogy to make sense out of symbolic animal remains. She used this patterning to develop a “native taxonomy” for the period. Mullin 2002). utilized versus non-utilized species) that are amenable to structural analyses. with sites referred to in the text. Holt (1996) compared species representation in mortuary contexts to those from do- Figure 1.. MORTUARY SYMBOLISM. .g.American Antiquity access (392-89-746) IP Address: 204.51 Wednesday.] PERSPECTIVISM. partially because she was unwilling to use ethnographic analogy to assist in the development of the necessary metaphors (Holt 1996:91–94). Holt identified groups of “mystified” animals as those that were repeatedly expressed in zoomorphic art but rarely found in domestic faunal assemblages. Fowler 2004. Indeed. in an explicitly structuralist analysis.Betts et al. ceremonial versus domestic contexts. Put simply. October 31.14. The Maritime Peninsula (shaded dark gray) and adjacent areas. 2012 2:10:13 PM ON Pointe-du-Buisson 4 Cow Point NB NS Sherbrooke Lake Liverpool Port Joli LeVesconte Mound Point Peninsula NY Jack's Reef MA CT PA NJ Sandy Hill RI VT NH Indian Island Turner Farm Moshier Island Minister's Island Taylor Hill Seaver Farm/TiƟcut Ritual/mortuary context with fossil shark teeth Ritual/mortuary context with extant shark teeth Extant tooth in possible ritual/mortuary context Extant tooth in archaeological context Site menƟond in text MD West River Kilometers 0 100 200 300 400 of the human world (see Mullin 1999. Zooarchaeologists have been attracted to the latter in particular because archaeological recordkeeping generally emphasizes dichotomous contexts of animal disposition (e. while denying their real “empirically existing relations with humans” (Wilkie and Inglis 2007:18).19.

hair. which is not to say that they share the same spiritual or physical powers or capabilities (i.51 Wednesday. this potential is not always achieved. As such. However. Animals more commonly [Vol. given that all souls are generically similar. Because all souls are inherently similar. Deixis.American Antiquity access (392-89-746) IP Address: 204. animals may be good to think (Levi-Strauss 1963). 2004a) concept of Amerindian perspectivism (cosmological deixis) provides a novel point of departure for thinking about aboriginal relationships with animals (and even natural objects and artifacts). each being animated by a soul is conceived as a unique subject with its own distinct point of view. this means that all spiritual beings are internally identical (they are all persons with a soul). scales. the fundamental difference between humans. Evidence for this may be found in the fact that cosmological deixis rarely applies to all animals. As Viveiros de Castro (1998:471) has documented. and are only differentiated by their physical or “manifest form” (Viveiros de Castro 1998:471). 77. claws. garments. To hunter-gatherers. as Viveiros de Castro (1998:478) describes..com Society for American Archaeology . October 31. or perspectivism. and needs (Viveiros de Castro 2004b:6). in a manner consistent with its physical form. An animal’s physical form forces an exclusive relationship with the world. However. potency and ability is a matter of “degree and context rather than an absolute” (Viveiros de Castro 2004a:470. While many hunter-gatherer societies consider that every natural phenomenon has the potential for a soul. Many aboriginal worldviews presuppose that all animals. as will be discussed below. can be thought of as a reference or index that depends on context (Hornborg 2006:317). nor is each soul considered equally powerful. see also Conneller 2004:43).” We use this specific interpretation as a framework for exploring ideological relationships between hunter-gatherers and animals. many of these societies perceive the natural world and its beings as sharing “spiritual unity but a corporeal diversity. which avoids the problems of structuralism. While Amerindian perspectivism is based on ethnographic observations of a broad suite of contemporary hunting and gathering populations throughout North and South America (Viveiros de Castro 1998:471). but not because they always reflect the human condition.Viveiros de Castro’s (1998. As a result. fingernails. in humans they may be skin. animals. cosmological deictics” (Viveiros de Castro 1998:478). and teeth. they have similar goals. and seeks its fulfillment in it. acting. it should not be viewed as a universal ideological tenet applicable to all hunter-gather groups (past and present). and living (Hornborg 2006:317). However. As posited by BirdDavid (1999:573 –574). Here indigenous understandings of spirituality are brought about by the relationship between people and the other beings in their environment (Bird-David 1999:573). and even inanimate objects. Viveiros de Castro’s concept of deixis implies that the context of an animal’s interaction with the environment is paramount—thus. feelings. have the potential for a spirit or soul. rather.metapress. cosmological deixis.19. 2012 2:10:13 PM . human perceptions of animals are not imposed. 4. a concept derived from semiotics. and inanimate objects is their material form. each soul perceives the world. or body (Viveiros de Castro 1999:478.” In effect. different from all other animals and humans (Viveiros de Castro 1998:478). No. As the name implies. there is considerable ethnographic evidence to suggest that a form of perspectivism did characterise human-animal relationships on the Maritime Peninsula. or mnemonics to an exclusive way of perceiving. but rather discovered in the course of observation and interaction in particular environments. In fact. we instead view per- 624 AMERICAN ANTIQUITY spectivism as one of many possible “interpretations” of ethnographic reality—what Viveiros de Castro (2004b: 20) would term a “transduction. 476).e. an eagle inhabiting the shores of Lake Superior will have a different perspective than an eagle living on the coasts of Newfoundland.14. and tools. bodies are viewed as a type of costume composed of multiple components (Conneller 2004:43. some souls or spirits are more potent than others). Following Conneller (2004a:44). is a system for thinking about animals and other natural phenomena. animals and their parts are deictic. 2012 Delivered by http://saa. Viveiros de Castro 1998:471): in animals these may be fur. In such a worldview. It should be noted here that human and animal spirits are only considered identical in the sense that they are “each endowed with the same set of cognitive and volitional capacities” (Viveiros de Castro 2004b:4). specific animals reference unique ways of perceiving and interacting with the world—they are “indexical categories.

allows us to develop an understanding of 625 Delivered by http://saa. after Anderson 2000:116–117). a concept known as sentient ecology.to how animals interact with humans and to the interests humans pursue when they chase or eat or tame animals” to “control the imagination of the researcher” (Douglas 1990:24. the environment. and perceptions as humans (Conneller 2004:43). Reconstructing the socioeconomic environment of engagements with animals will permit an understanding of the societal importance of the activities that led to humananimal contacts. typically apex predators and key prey species. the only way for humans to conceptualize how animals might perceive the world is through observation and interaction.14. Betts et al. harvesting. 2012 2:10:13 PM . In a response to critiques of the structural approach to human-animal relationships.51 Wednesday. that share similar body shapes and ways of moving with humans. human groups. Martin 1978:36–37. Reed (1988) suggests that human conceptualizations of animals are in essence “natural. Furthermore. involves reconstructing the types of recurring human activities that may have brought people into contact with creatures. such a method can be augmented to include a historical perspective that documents a sequence of sentiments for and engagements with animals..” or the social and economic context of the observation and interaction with animals. as well as the nature and behavior of the animals themselves. as well as reconstructing the nature of the landscapes. Hornborg 2006:19). who argues that humans conceptualize a shared environment created by mutual interaction with animals in a substantive space.encountered by humans... called “historical-processualism” by Pauketat (2001). Conceptually.g. because animal bodies are different from human bodies. these perspectives suggest that humans acquire their perceptions of animals through routine engagements with these animals in substantive spaces. October 31. stalking. are frequently considered to be conspecifics (e.19. and processing prey creates a detailed and unique appreciation for a prey animal’s means of acting in the world (and. In fact. and often have critical mythological and ideological linkages to humans (Viveiros de Castro 1998:471). indeed. certain animals. for the products they provide). and resources. monitoring. Tracking. competing with and hunting top-tier predators may result in a sympathetic understanding of their singular perspectives. archaeologists may begin to understand how ancient humans perceived the unique perspectives of certain creatures and thus why they were considered to be so special. such as bears. This approach. As discussed by Wilkie and Inglis (2007:20. also Löfgren 1985). 117–118). landscapes. We adopt a similar method in our analysis of shark remains from mortuary contexts in the Northeast.American Antiquity access (392-89-746) IP Address: 204. or the “temporality of the landscape” by Ingold (1993. and action in. Essentially. Douglas (1990) has proposed a similar method.] PERSPECTIVISM. She advocates paying “minute attention.metapress.” This sentiment is shared by Ingold (2000:10. reconstructing the types of human behaviors (and the social and economic environment) that may have brought people into contact with these important creatures. Recent research has documented the critical relationship between detailed knowledge of animal behaviors and the traditional mythology surrounding such important creatures (e. The core of the historical-processual approach—a careful reconstruction of the sequence of historical and proximate human practices—is critical because this allows us to examine the progression of meaningful social and economic engagements that culminated in the rituals whose material traces are observed in the archaeological record. Accepting that real relationships with animals are critical to hunter-gatherer’s perceptions of those animals leads us to a practical method for linking real-world animal behaviors and biology to ancient human conceptualizations of animals. having evolved as a refinement of our perception of. Likewise. is also critical. As suggested by Douglas (1990:24). avoiding.com Society for American Archaeology . MORTUARY SYMBOLISM.. 2000). That is. By defining the recurring types of real engagements between people and these animals. AND HUMAN-SHARK RELATIONSHIPS 35). are usually credited with special abilities and powers. predators who exploit the same prey and environmental niches as hunter-gatherers may sometimes even be considered conspecifics—closely related animals who share similar motivations. actions. Similarly. Placing this universe of human activities within a historical framework allows us to trace lineages of practice that led to the incorporation of animal parts in ritual contexts. “the interests of humans.g. The preceding discussion suggests a practical way to link Viveiros de Castro’s concept of perspectivism to animal remains from mortuary and ritual contexts. animals and resources themselves.

usually facilitated by transforming into an animal (e. adornment. 2012 2:10:13 PM what sorts of animal-environment interactions were meaningful to hunter-gatherers on the Maritime Peninsula. We attempt to historically contextualize our analysis. and inanimate objects) possessed buoin. 77. Abenaki.14. essentially. Following the concept of Amerindian perspectivism. buoin—roughly translated as “spiritual power”— is the driving force behind all life. In this case. and Penobscot.g. and/or transform into these spirit animals was obtained through the use of a bone or representation of the animal itself (Johnson 1943:70–72). a term that applies if we define a shaman as an individual who possesses the knowledge and spiritual power to act as an intermediary between humans and the supernatural realm (after VanPool 2009:180. which were considered “spiritual guardians” or “spirit helpers.American Antiquity access (392-89-746) IP Address: 204. Here we consult explorers’ and missionaries’ accounts of early historic Wabanaki. Rand 1894:357). Wabanaki buoin have sometimes been called shamans (Hoffman 1955:428. buoin had unique and intimate relationships with these animals. our historical framework necessitates critical consideration of the ethnographic and ethnohistorical accounts of traditional spirituality on the Maritime Peninsula. This often involved journeys to different worlds. they were seeking to gain a new perspective. As described by Hoffman (1955:429). ethnographic records may provide insights into human relationships with animals and their body parts that are likely to be rooted in Archaic and Woodland period interactions with these animals. Central to Wabanaki cosmology was the concept of buoin (also known as medeolin in the Wolastoqiyik– Peskotomuhkatiyik language). As described above. No. To return to the concept of Amerindian perspectivism. 4. Peskotomuhkatiyik. others seem to have been employed exclusively to assist in hunting (e. Ethnohistorical Evidence for Wabanaki Perspectivism and Shamanism 626 AMERICAN ANTIQUITY While we recognize that reliance on the ethnographic and ethnohistoric records may be problematic (Trigger 1978). were often concealed in a pouch or “medicine bundle” and were a direct conduit to the animal and its spiritual power (Hoffman 1955:440–442). human bodies. Some were powerful conduits through which a transformation could occur.Delivered by http://saa. including the Mi’kmaq. or tool. we speculate about why the unique perspective of these animals was so important that their teeth were worn on. two manifestations of the same being. if we adopt the theoretical position that all actions develop because of specific historical contingencies (e. Pauketat 2001). Wolastoqiyik. Each nti’emel had a specific task. 2012 . the animal could then be directed to perform benevolent or malevolent tasks. When the Wabanaki used an animal body part as a costume.19.. Buoin could also take control of an animal remotely. this record must embed clues to antecedent behaviors of the Archaic and Woodland periods. While all sub- jects (animals. cf. people.com Society for American Archaeology . control. Johnson 1943. grave good. Hoffman 1955:429). they harnessed its point of view and its unique way of interacting with the world. Furthermore. October 31. or placed with.51 Wednesday. a new means of acting in and perceiving the world (Hornborg 2006:318). To the Wabanaki. the traditional name for the indigenous inhabitants of the Maritime Peninsula. From this vantage. the ethnohistoric record that describes traditional behavior can provide potent evidence of the unique history of human interactions with the natural and cultural landscape.metapress.. when buoin sought to control or transform into animals.g.” So close was the relationship between a human and their spirit animal that they were believed to be. Lockerby 2004). the ability to communicate with. 2008) recent application of Viveiros de Castro’s concept of Amerindian perspectivism to the subject of Mi’kmaq spirituality provides a useful vantage from which to consider traditional relationships between ancient animals and humans on the Maritime Peninsula. by tracking the relationship of sharks to humans from the Late Archaic to Early Historic periods..g. literally the personification of this spiritual force. These powerful beings were themselves also called buoin. Hornborg’s (2006. These bones. called nti’emel by the Mi’kmaq. For the Wabanaki. [Vol. some had access to greater quantities than others. or through which spiritual power could be accessed (Hagar 1896:172). Hornborg 2006). Buoin could harness the spiritual power necessary to access knowledge and realms of existence denied to normal beings.

). Early Woodland (3100–2000 B.). Blair 2004a..” Le Clercq callously burned the bag and its contents.animal bodies and their products become “an assemblage composed of. Wabanaki shared the same environments and foods as animals. 452). animal parts used in clothing. Middle Woodland (2200–1300 B. bones and/or representations of wolverines.51 Wednesday. this does not imply that these beliefs were not under constant transformation and renegotiation as Wabanki interacted with contemporary creatures and landscapes. Alternatively.14.. Shark Remains in Mortuary and Ceremonial Contexts on the Maritime Peninsula 627 In the following section. We . and moose. As a mnemonic.19. Of course. whose behaviors and life histories they understood intimately.). Their perspectivism was based on real-world engagements with animals. as Hornborg (2006:32) states: “Mi’kmaq tales. Amalgamating previously developed chronologies specific to the Maritime Peninsula (Black 2002.). a hunter was able to replicate its techniques for capturing prey.).” Thus. the bond between these animal objects and hunting success was critical (Hoffman 1955:449. and/or the type of perspective shared between the human and animal.). and acknowledging overlap with other regional chronologies in the Northeast (e.American Antiquity access (392-89-746) IP Address: 204. which he directly attributed to the loss of his medicine bundle.] PERSPECTIVISM. we define these periods as: Late Archaic (5000–3600 B. and/or to gain the perspective or talents necessary for successful hunting.. Bourque 1994. birds. For the Wabanaki. At the same time.P. Petersen and Sanger 1991). In short.g. thereafter. animal parts were complex entities with entangled meanings.. these ethnohistorically described beliefs must be viewed as part of a cosmological tradition rooted in prehistoric Wabanaki belief systems. Burks 2005). As an instrument. From this perspective. This strongly suggests that Wabanaki engagements with animals were critical to the development of their particular cosmological deixis. a missionary who lived among the Mi’kmaq during the seventeenth century. prey.P.. Believing it was “the property of the Devil. they do not make allegorical comments on human society. Wabanaki gained an appreciation for the varying perspectives of predators. all of whom were considered persons (Hornborg 2006:32). costumes.com Society for American Archaeology . To switch perspective becomes a way of knowing the worldviews of other beings. and other beings in the natural world. animal parts were both a metonym for the animal and a tool to gain its spiritual power and perspective (Hornborg 2006:325). jewellery. and Protohistoric (550–350 B. are replete with detailed observations of animal behavior and biology (Hornborg 2006:19). the spiritual alliance between the human and the animal. these beliefs might be viewed as an ancient spiritual convention. it was used to channel spiritual power and abilities from animal to human. Through this detailed observation.P.. As both a mnemonic device and an instrument. we utilize a simplified chrono-cultural schema for presenting information on the temporal distribution and cultural associations of shark-related mortuary and ceremonial evidence on the Maritime Peninsula specifically and the greater Northeast generally.metapress. Le Clercq obtained the medicine bundle of a Mi’kmaw man that contained. MORTUARY SYMBOLISM. bears. beavers.P.. Mi’kmaq oral histories. 2008). October 31. the animal part could symbolize the animal itself. maintained in the ethnohistorical “present. or tools are “not fantasies but instruments” (Viveiros de Castro 1998:482). Our schema incorporates temporal overlap specifically to allow for the possibility of phenomena ascribed to different cultural traditions/complexes occurring concurrently. among other objects. AND HUMAN-SHARK RELATIONSHIPS Delivered by http://saa. especially those involving supernatural or spiritual matters. Wabanaki spirituality did not make distinctions between culture and nature. A revealing example of this relationship was documented by Le Clercq (1910:215–223). By gaining the perspective of a predator. Late Woodland (1500–500 B.P. It is clear that Wabanaki spirituality incorporated a complex ethnoecology based on detailed observations of the environment in which they lived (Hornborg 2006.” but fundamentally based in human-animal engagements that took place many centuries (or millennia) in the past. 2012 2:10:13 PM mals’ lives. ways of perceiving and acting in the world” (Conneller 2004:44). In Wabanaki cosmology.P.deal with ‘real’ landscapes and ‘real’ ani- Betts et al. Terminal Archaic (4000–2700 B. the Mi’kmaw man reported meager success in hunting. to access the perspective of prey provided a critical advantage for a successful hunt.

note polish and blunted cusps).51 Wednesday. (f) great white shark tooth from Gorman Farm (BjCj-1). 2001:62–64. No. allometry reveals that the length of the individual shark was 3. of which two were associated with shark teeth. we note that an abrupt shift in the archaeological record on the Maritime Peninsula. Furthermore. The site includes at least 56 mortuary features (Sanger 1973. The earliest evidence of shark remains in an archaeological context on the Maritime Peninsula comes from the Late Archaic (Moorehead Phase) Cow Point cemetery (BlDn-2). 77. (e) great white shark tooth from Port Joli (AlDf-24.g.. 2004b.19. (a-d. Bourque 1994:27–29. we adopt an approach that views specific shared traits between Late Archaic mortuary customs and those in later periods as representing significant ideological continuity.628 AMERICAN ANTIQUITY [Vol.P. note modifications to occlusal margin). 3800 B. New Brunswick (Figure 2). near Grand Lake. Loring 1985:103–106. Extant and fossilized shark teeth from archaeological contexts on the Maritime Peninsula: (a) ochre-stained mako shark teeth from Cow Point (BlDn-2.0 m . ca.8–4. However. Sanger 2006:241–244). 2012 Delivered by http://saa. In Locus 31.American Antiquity access (392-89-746) IP Address: 204. Table 2) was recovered. following previous researchers (Blair 2004a. (b) ochre-stained great white shark tooth from Cow Point (BlDn-2). and the efficacy of diffusion. note worn cusp). note polish on lingual surface of (d). 4. Sanger 1991:82). (c.metapress. 2010:38.g. October 31. d) great white shark teeth from Ministers Island (BgDs-10. f) archaeology collection. Canadian Museum of Civilization. (e) reburied on site at request of local band. Figure 2. migration. only the enamel portion of the shark teeth has survived.14. has been interpreted as evidence for cultural discontinuity.com Society for American Archaeology . Bone preservation at the site was poor. Nova Scotia Museum. 2012 2:10:13 PM recognize that this schema is not consistent with all local and regional terminologies and chronologies and we employ it as a heuristic device for the present study only. (g) Archaeology Collection. 1991). (g) megalodon fossil shark tooth from Sherbrooke Lake (BeDd-1. Table 1.. representing the decline of Late Archaic (Moorehead Phase) groups and their replacement by Terminal Archaic (Susquehanna Tradition) peoples who migrated from a southern homeland (e. Magennis and Barbian 1996:98. This is a complex issue (e. Robinson 1996:38–41).. a single ochre-covered tooth from a great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias. and population replacement models cannot be reviewed comprehensively here. Robinson 1996:41.

squid. narrow. unknown Family Species Lamnidae Carcharocles megalodon Carcharodon carcharias Isurus oxyrinchus Shortfin Mako seals.14. Taxonomy and Characteristics of Shark Species Referred to in the Text. nearshore waters in summer. near or at surface. offshore islands short. and smooth-edged. with reflex at tip temperate waters of coastal shelf.metapress. broad. small bays and harbours. sea turtles. seals. triangular. small. near shore and littoral in summer. Common Name Megalodon Great White porpoise.com Society for American Archaeology . seabirds extinct. but prefer pelagic waters 629 .American Antiquity access (392-89-746) IP Address: 204. narrow. 2012 2:10:13 PM Betts et al. unknown very large. triangular.] Table 1. offshore islands temperate waters of coastal shelf. large boney fish. October 31. tuna. near or at surface. small bays and harbours. swordfish.51 Wednesday. MORTUARY SYMBOLISM. curved. squid PERSPECTIVISM. smoothedged. serrated large. with basal cusplets short. large boney fish long. offshore in winter migratory. serrated Prey Tooth Shape Habitat extinct.19. smoothedged. dolphin.Delivered by http://saa. AND HUMAN-SHARK RELATIONSHIPS Alopiidae Alopias volpinus Thresher small bony fish. crustaceans temperate coastal waters. without reflex at tip Lamna nasus Porbeagle small to medium sized boney fish. broad.

d).P (Sanger 1991:75). ␦13C = –25. analysis indicates that at least six individuals were interred in four distinct features (Burns 1971:2). have disintegrated. The single cusp on each of these teeth has been worn away. ␦13C = –25. buccal. At the Ministers Island site (BgDs-10). Randall 1973:170).0‰) B. No.0‰) B.19. in Locus 47. both teeth are highly polished on their buccal and lingual margins (Figure 2c. An evaluation of the shark tooth prior to reburial revealed that the dentin of the tooth had been modified with side notches. two interments are represented. As with the Ministers Island specimens. based on patterns of dental attrition and the presence of deciduous dentition. which include rolled copper beads and chipped and ground celts. six ochre-stained lower teeth from a shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) were recovered. As described by Turnbull (1976:59). 2012 Delivered by http://saa. leaving only remnants of the notches. although the base was subsequently broken.com Society for American Archaeology . Cione and Bonomo 2003:225). the shark tooth was recovered in direct association with fragments of a human cranial vault and human teeth. 1997:184. 4. aged 12–17 years (Burns 1971:3). indicating the mandible was present at deposition (Burns 1971:6). and occlusal surfaces. suggesting post-mortem modification—perhaps a form of use-polish from being worn as pendants or transported in a pouch. on Passamaquoddy Bay. perhaps intended to signify shark teeth (see discussion below). 2009. Two of these features. 2012 2:10:13 PM .6 m in length (calculated from formulae in Helfman et al. 2. The teeth from the younger individual are deciduous and may represent a case of curation. d).0‰) at the extreme recent end of the period in which these cultural influences are present on the Maritime Peninsula.(Steven Cumbaa. Lot 2 contained human skeletal material from two individuals. These similarities link the Ministers Island mortuary features to other Early Woodland (Adena/Middlesex) ritual sites on the Maritime Peninsula with connections to a greater Northeast ritual complex. resulting in the recovery only of human teeth and a few small fragments of bone. One of the bayonets (specimen 137) bears incised decoration composed of “right obliques in triangles” (Sanger 1973:61). At Port Joli. through which holes or lashing grooves would usually be made. the associated artifacts. and 3630 ± 135 (SI –988. strongly suggesting the two teeth are from the same individual. However. are similar to artifacts from the Augustine Mound. and a form of use polish is evident around the labial. Betts (2008. A single radiocarbon assay on preserved grass matting produced an age estimate (1930 ± 100 B.g. 2010) documented a modified great white shark tooth from midden deposits in Area A at the AlDf24 site.51 Wednesday. personal communication 1999).. Nova Scotia. Locus 47 also contained two abrading stones.metapress. The human teeth recovered from Lot 1 are likely from one individual.. Lot 1 and Lot 2. The tooth (Figure 2e) was discovered in association with a formal rock-outlined mortuary feature including an adult human mandible and a fragment of worked antler. Similar modifications of shark teeth in prehistoric South American contexts have been interpreted as modifications for suspension (e.American Antiquity access (392-89-746) IP Address: 204. New Brunswick. The association of the shark teeth with human crania suggests that they were worn around the neck (whether as part of a medicine bundle or pendant is uncertain). and the single cusp has been worn away. 77. Their use as pendants can- 630 AMERICAN ANTIQUITY not be confirmed as the dentin portions of the teeth. However. October 31. based on dental wear patterns (Janet Young.P. While bone preservation was poor in these contexts. Allometric regression on the enamel height of [Vol. several mortuary features were excavated that included shark teeth (Sanger 1987).73 mm. which corresponds with a great white shark ca. significant wear and polish occurred on the occlusal and buccal margins of the Port Joli tooth. Thus. Beta –21263. based on dental wear patterns.P. again from a large shark (Figure 2a).14. Both shark teeth have enamel heights of 2. While the feature was not fully exposed and all remains were reburied. ␦13C = –25. This tooth (Figure 2b) was associated with six celts and nine “slate” (argillite) bayonets. a deciduous molar from this individual was also associated with a developing and erupting crown (found beneath it in direct association). Nearby. Radiocarbon assays on wood charcoal indicate the cemetery was in use between 3980 ± 74 (AA22172. personal communication 2011). analysis of detailed photographs of the mandible indicate the individual was likely aged 35–45 years. one aged >25 years and the other 8–10 years (Burns 1971:5). In both instances. each contained a single great white shark tooth (Figure 2c.

The large quantity of teeth might suggest access to an entire individual. Interestingly. Timber Island Brook (AlDf-14. with the root portions of the fossils missing. At the Moshier Island shell midden site in Casco Bay.P. 631 Inspection of the photographs of the latter 34 teeth by Betts indicates that they can only be from a shortfin mako shark (Table 1). The remaining 34 shark teeth were probably from either a thresher (Alopias volpinus ) or a sharp-nosed mackerel [shortfin mako] shark (Isurus oxyrinchus). the remains of 14 individuals . although the two recovered shark teeth have no provenience information and were not described by the excavator (Erskine 1986:26) as being part of the burial assemblages. was recovered from the Indian Island site. These teeth are unique because all were deliberately broken. a ground slate point or bayonet (since stolen from the museum). Wood charcoal from nearby deposits at the same stratigraphic level as the tooth returned an age estimate of 1430 ± 40 B. At Liverpool. Snow (2009:7) records that a radiocarbon assay from wood charcoal recovered from the hearth yielded a normalized age estimate of 1650 ± 115 B. A very large megalodon tooth was recovered by a collector at Sherbrooke Lake in Lunenburg County. This suggests that they were locally inaccessible to prehistoric peoples on the Maritime Peninsula. Smith and Wintemberg 1929). October 31. discovered under a rock that formed part of a hearth feature. a possible medicine bundle. it is difficult to assign an unquestionable mortuary or ritual association to any of these contexts. Port Joli. As Snow (2009:7) describes it: The bundle consisted of a wrapping of birchbark that contained 35 shark teeth.19. Maine (Snow 2009). Erskine 1959. and Bocabec (BgDr-25.14. Nova Scotia. although again the excavator (Erskine 1986:64–65) provides no direct information on the association of the shark teeth to the mortuary features. ␦13C = –23. and Ministers Island teeth and the Bocabec specimen shows signs that these areas were “intentionally blunted through abrasion” (Suttie 2011:4). disturbance.5‰). Shark teeth do not occur in any of the fossil-bearing formations on the Maritime Peninsula. although it is important to note that the Quarry Island context contained scattered human remains and Gorman Farm contained bifaces and chipped and ground implements consistent with Early Woodland (Middlesex) ceremonial deposits. and a large side-notched chert point. the nearest land-based source of shark fossils on the Atlantic Seaboard (Steven Cumbaa.metapress. Figure 2g). Similarly. (Beta –256564. Further south.American Antiquity access (392-89-746) IP Address: 204. AND HUMAN-SHARK RELATIONSHIPS Delivered by http://saa. Suttie 2011). Davis 1987. Davis 1973). (SI-790). The fossil was intentionally retouched around the occlusal margin. Isolated great white shark teeth have been recovered from other shell midden deposits in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. MORTUARY SYMBOLISM. While no datable remains were recovered. although we note that this number is less than half the total number of erupted teeth in an adult shortfin mako shark. the Bocabec. 1986). Rojo 1990).com Society for American Archaeology . Bear River also contained two human interments. Erskine 1986). The associated artifact assemblage includes pecked and ground celts. instead.] PERSPECTIVISM. 1986). Reid (BdCx-5. although they are sometimes recovered offshore by fishermen using scallop drags. including Bear River (BdDk-1.P. the artifact styles indicate a Middle to Late Archaic (possibly Moorehead Phase) age. 2012 2:10:13 PM abraders consistent with an Early Woodland (Meadowood) cache (McEachen 1996:74). a collector discovered five fossil megalodon/great white shark teeth in direct association with two stone gouges. Cellars Cove (BdCx-1.51 Wednesday. the deciduous dentition of a human child and a small amount of red ochre (hematite). large bifaces. Because of preservation. and Gorman Farm shark teeth exhibit wear on the occlusal and labial margins consistent with the Cow Point.the tooth indicates it belonged to a shark greater than 2. perhaps to simulate the serrations found on unfossilized great white shark teeth. Hosking (BeCs-5).3 m long. Gorman Farm (BjCj-1. One of the shark teeth was that of a man eater or white shark (Carcharodon carcharias). personal communication 2010). Timber Island. and Betts et al. Erskine 1962. their source may be the Calvert formation in Chesapeake Bay. Nova Scotia (BeDd-S1. 6 rolled copper beads. Erskine 1986. Maine. the Reid site contained multiple secondary human interments (possibly cremations). and excavation issues. Quarry Island (BjCo-1. Several fossil megalodon (Carcharodon megalodon) shark teeth have also been recovered from ritual or cache-type deposits in Nova Scotia.

potentially indicating that the deciduous teeth were intentionally curated and not from the interment of a juvenile individual. other mortuary features in close association have provided normalized age estimates between 4290 ± 110 B. Maryland. blocked-end tubular pipes (made from Indiana limestone. also contained fossil shark teeth (Ford 1976). wood charcoal) and 3690 ± 90 B.P.P.com Society for American Archaeology . Excavations at the Sandy Hill site. Newfoundland. Massachusetts (Taylor 1970). “dug for the sole purpose of redepositing the cremated remains with some sort of burial ceremony” (Ford 1976:65). shell beads. It is necessary here to note that mortuary sites with shark teeth also occur in Atlantic regions both north and south of the Maritime Peninsula. and lithics were recovered (Hamilton 1985:78. Artifacts found in association with the burial include a hone or abrader. While this context has not been directly dated.14. gorgets. a Protohistoric burial (#15) was associated with numerous artifacts and a single unmodified great white shark tooth (Robinson 1967). There are two normalized radiocarbon assays from the feature: 970 ± 70 B.51 Wednesday.). Two large fossil megalodon shark teeth and one fossil great white or mako shark (genus Isurus or Cosmopolitodus) tooth were discovered in association with poorly preserved human remains and artifacts. Yesner 1994:157). gannet wings (Morus sp. wood charcoal) (Tuck 1994:163). Associated with these contexts were numerous artifacts including gorgets. while the other was coated in red ochre. merganser (Mergus sp. The spectacular array of artifacts recovered from the site includes large stemmed and leaf-shaped bifaces. (I –4682. duck (Anatidae) and loon (Gavia sp. Two of the fossil teeth are described as burned. The Early Woodland West River mortuary site. The skeleton of an adult female (Interment 9) was associated with 36 teeth from a shark in the Lamna genus (porbeagle or salmon shark). and steatite). 4. shark teeth (taxon unreported). October 31.g. (GX-7061. Two Late Woodland/Protohistoric burial contexts in Massachusetts also revealed shark teeth. located just across Chesapeake Bay from Sandy Hill. 632 AMERICAN ANTIQUITY At the Taylor Hill site in Wellfleet.P. Smith and Wintemberg 1929:26). Massachusetts. Taylor has suggested that one of these shark teeth may have been used as an arrow point. Ohio fireclay. on the Choptank River. though no other human remains of this age were found. revealed a large Early Woodland cemetery adjacent to a Late Woodland ossuary. included a great diversity of animal remains associated with the burial contexts (Jelsma 2006. were found in direct contact with human teeth. and copper beads.19. human bone collagen) (Petersen and Sanger 1991:166). Massachusetts. quartz crystals. a gull bill (Larus sp.) effigy pendants.P. At the Titicut site in Bridgewater. an interpretation sometimes made of shark teeth in nonceremonial contexts (e. a single mako shark tooth was found in a Late Woodland burial of an adult male (Torrey and Bullen 1946). four triangular chert projectile points with concave bases. The deposit is described as including a cremation pit and a reburial pit.American Antiquity access (392-89-746) IP Address: 204. The shark tooth was directly associated with several deciduous human teeth. However. indicating that these contexts at Port au Choix are roughly contemporaneous with the Late Archaic cemetery at Cow Point inNew Brunswick. a small celt. copper beads. Tuck 1994). The teeth.were encountered in a single feature of Late Woodland age. Mya arenaria shell) and 970 ± 145 B. as well as bear (Ursus sp. three stemmed projectile points. an early historic European clay pipe. and a small triangular chert projectile point with a concave base. While complete descriptions of the associated artifacts have not been published. 77. including a pouch containing iron residue and a flint for making fire. interpreted as the mass interment of an extended family unit (Hamilton 1985:78). large [Vol. associated with many artifacts. and eight bone/antler awls (Robinson 1967: Figure 6).). (I –3788..metapress. 2012 2:10:13 PM . celts. 2012 Delivered by http://saa. Four great white shark teeth were recovered from an early Middle Woodland cemetery at the inland Seaver Farm site in Bridgewater. this function seems improbable. No. and a stone resembling a claw or tooth (Tuck 1994:137). The Maritime Archaic cemetery at Port au Choix. all arguably related to pan-regional Early Woodland (Adena) exchange and ceremonialism (Ford 1976). given the mortuary and/or ceremonial association of the majority of shark teeth in the study area. Burial 15 included the fragmented skeletal remains of a male aged 35–40 years. (Beta6408. of which only the enamel has survived.).). blocked-end tubular pipes made from Indiana limestone and Ohio fire clay. again suggesting the shark teeth were placed or worn around the head.

and have been reported in coastal waters as far north as Newfoundland. (M-148A) and 2130 ±100 B. including nets. Interactions between Humans and Sharks in the Late Archaic and Woodland Periods Betts et al. and are known to pursue their prey into shallow water. often during the hunting of sea mammals and large fish. from which the fossil shark teeth found in Nova Scotia were also likely acquired (Steven Cumbaa.g. These engagements were the nexuses where this symbolism was engendered—where humans observed and interacted with sharks and came to understand their unique perspectives. the other two had been intentionally broken and burned (Ford 1976:73). MORTUARY SYMBOLISM.Delivered by http://saa.metapress. which Ford (1976) linked to pan-regional Early Woodland (Adena) ceremonialism. Carcharinidae) exhibit similar behaviors and prey on similar species as Lamnid sharks (such as the blue shark. Among these artifacts were four fossil megalodon shark teeth found at the base of the “reburial pit. they are more commonly initiated by lamnid sharks than by any other sharks in North Atlantic waters (Scott and Scott 1988:16). Makos and white sharks are known for their speed. personal communication 2010). Mollomo 1998). Makos occur with greater frequency than do great white sharks.com Society for American Archaeology . they are relatively rare in waters off the Maritime Peninsula (Scott and Scott 1988:22–29). (M-418B) (Boyce and Frye 1986. 2004. both large makos and great whites have been observed attacking swordfish that were harpooned by fishers. Scott and Scott 1988:12–37). rod and line.American Antiquity access (392-89-746) IP Address: 204. The shark remains found in mortuary contexts on the Maritime Peninsula belong to three closely related species (one extinct) in the family Lamnidae. 2005. to prehistoric humans. porpoise and swordfish in Atlantic Canada (Campana et al. Normalized radiocarbon age estimates on wood charcoal from the reburial pit range between 1630 ± 200 B. Both species are known to breach the ocean’s surface in spectacular leaps. and propensity to steal on-line fish and damage gear (Scott and Scott 1988:16). and large sharks have been caught in various types of fishing gear. In the Gulf of Maine. abraders. Archaeological evidence from sites such as Turner Farm indicates that Late Archaic people 633 .g. especially compared to other species known to frequent North Atlantic waters (e. account of this sort of shark behavior is famously depicted in Hemingway’s (1952) The Old Man and the Sea. While many sharks fin (exposing their dorsal fin above the water’s surface). such as herring. Although human attacks are rare. Lamnid sharks are generally quite large.. and various other objects. the majority of great white shark encounters in the Gulf of Maine occur during swordfish hunting excursions (Mollomo 1998:208). and mackerel (Scott and Scott 1988:15). and weirs. An excellent. we can only begin to deconstruct this relationship by focusing on the real-life repeated engagements between humans and sharks. Why this specific family of large sharks was prioritized in ritual and mortuary contexts is difficult to ascertain.” Two of the fossils were unmodified. Smaller. Both of these sites are within 25 miles (40 km) of the Calvert formation (Ford 1976:73). but the feeding habits of the two species are similar. 2012 2:10:13 PM lanceolate and stemmed bifaces. Prionance glauca). as do all identifiable shark remains discussed in this paper (Table 2). Biologists believe that attacks occur because large sharks mistake swimming humans and small watercraft for marine mammals or large fish.19. are known to frequent the coasts of the Maritime Peninsula (Scott and Scott 1988). Crane and Griffin 1958). AND HUMAN-SHARK RELATIONSHIPS The association of shark remains with so many mortuary and ceremonial assemblages on the Maritime Peninsula during the Late Archaic through to the Late Woodland periods suggests a deeply rooted symbolic relationship between humans and sharks. meaning they were both more visible and more frequently encountered and observed by ancient humans. October 31. jigs. spanning seven families. aggressive behavior. cod. human and shark encounters most often occur during fishing forays. but probably relates to their size and population density.P.P. these species are so large that finning is a particularly conspicuous aspect of their behavior. Larger sharks are known to feed on harbor seals. Great white and mako sharks are warm season visitors at these latitudes. As discussed above. younger sharks feed on large boney fish. The notion of cosmological deixis provides a means to explain what sharks meant. if fictional.51 Wednesday. in fact. as an indexical category.14. Today.. This is noteworthy because 19 species of shark.] PERSPECTIVISM. While other species of large sharks in other families (e.

metapress. thus. and who know sharks as aggressive and dangerous competitors (e. In the Late Archaic period. and estimations for the timing of the introduction of birchbark canoes range from the Late Archaic/Terminal Archaic to the Middle-Late Woodland transition (Black 2004. 2005).. Johnson 1942.19. including swordfish and cod (e. fishers may have had unique and extended contact with sharks as they competed for (and. who observe sharks finning. such as cod. Bourque 1995. an active boat-based inshore fishery is believed to have dominated coastal subsistence activities (Spiess and Black 2004. 2004... 77. Interactions were probably similar to those experienced by modern fishers in Atlantic waters. Evidence for sea mammal hunting in the Late Archaic is not well represented (Spiess 1992. Sanger (2009a. Spiess 2003. Bourque 2001:57–64. On balance. 2012 2:10:13 PM . or beached carcasses. bone and slate bayonets. Black 2003. 2012 Delivered by http://saa. a strategy that appears to have increased substantially in the Late Woodland period (Bourque 1995:221. Evidence of fishing with the aid of weirs extends from the Late Archaic through Woodland period (e. 4. If sealing was limited in the Late Archaic. Dincauze and Decima 2002. Regardless. Black 1993. bycatch. Given their low densities. Snow 1980:198). Swordfish and cod are believed to have been taken on open nearshore waters from canoes. Blair 2010.com Society for American Archaeology . Spiess and Lewis 2001. it would have been on these open-water excursions that Late Archaic hunters encountered sharks. Spiess and Lewis 2001). Regardless of the boating technology employed. No.. it seems unlikely that lamnid sharks were taken in significant quantities either as prey. During this period. Spiess and Lewis 2001). 156). the presence of gouges in many Late Archaic deposits has often been taken as evidence of the use of dugout canoes during this period (Bourque 1995:91. and the paucity of shark teeth in Late Archaic domestic contexts. it is important to point out some subtle potential differences in the nature of encounters between humans and sharks during these two periods. seal hunting. Spiess and Lewis 2001: 149. and wood-working tools (e. plummets. dories usually survive the attacks of large sharks (Mollomo 1998:208–209). breaching and hunting prey. Spiess and Lewis 2001). However. Spiess and Mosher 2006). In particular. 2004. Spiess and Lewis 2001:148). 2009b) proposes that birchbark canoes may also have been used during the Late Archaic (and may have been more suited to seagoing forays). or killing of a live shark. particularly 634 AMERICAN ANTIQUITY for grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) and harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) increased dramatically during the Woodland period.g. similar to modern times (Campana et al. Whatever the procurement differences between the Late Archaic and Woodland periods. in many Woodland period shell-bearing sites (Betts 2008. Sanger 2009b..g. Black 1993. given that a single shark can have hundreds of erupted teeth. rather than sea mammal hunting.actively hunted fish species that are known prey of makos and great white sharks. Spiess and Black 2004). may have been a significant source of shark teeth. perhaps.g. as evidenced by faunal remains. 1994). this change in transportation technology must have affected the nature of direct human contacts with sharks. a deep appreciation of their unique perspective.51 Wednesday. it is likely that human hunters in both periods were encountering sharks in their ocean habitat as the two species competed for similar marine resources. although seals do occur in limited frequencies in shell midden contexts. open-water swordfish hunting in the Woodland period is not well-supported by available faunal or artifactual evidence (e. the majority of shark encounters probably occurred during fishing activities. October 31. Spiess and Lewis 2001). Unlike the preceding Archaic period. 2004.. Although details of the transition from dugout boats to birchbark boats are unknown. Spiess and Black 2004.g. However. the rare encounter of a beached carcass. Although evidence indicates that even a sturdy wooden dory is vulnerable to a severe shark bite. fought over) swordfish. Petersen et al. Ethnohistoric evidence indicates that these hunts often took place at offshore islands or islets using boating technology (e. Mollomo 1998:208–211). the available evidence suggests that the majority of seals were taken at rookeries and haulouts (e. Denys 1908:349). and dugout canoes would likely be similarly resis- [Vol.g.American Antiquity access (392-89-746) IP Address: 204. Spiess and Lewis 2001). However.g. Inshore hook-and-line fishing from canoes is well evidenced by the remains of demersal fish.g.. an exploitation strategy not archaeologically evident in Woodland period times. 2009.14. These encounters would have resulted in an intimate knowledge of shark behaviors and.

given their weight and manoeuvrability.American Antiquity access (392-89-746) IP Address: 204. We may consider related burial objects within this framework. humans were both signifying their spiritual connection to sharks and attempting to adopt their habitus—with the aim of gaining some of the shark’s abilities. and often follow boats. as marine hunter-gatherers sought to gain the unique predatory abilities of sharks. which is why the Indians have such a terror of them.] PERSPECTIVISM. 1991. as beings that shared the same perspective on the marine environment. Byers 1979. as sharks and humans fought over prey. Signifying Sharks in the Late Archaic and Woodland Periods A historical perspective presupposes that the ethnographic record embeds clues to ancient belief systems. among the fastest and most powerful fish in the ocean. deadly. for Wabanaki buoin/medeolin. ethnohistorical accounts of Mi’kmaw sea voyages emphasize this vulnerability.14. they may have been attempting to adopt the shark’s habitus specifically to perceive and act in the world as a shark does (e. however. Mollomo 1998:212). or hunting prey.g. A birchbark vessel. finning. when the ancestors of the Wabanaki adorned themselves with shark teeth. Viveiros de Castro (1998:478) indicates that animal behaviors constitute a series of “effects or ways of being that constituted a habitus. marine hunter/fisher. In fact. The triangle or zig-zag motif on Late Archaic bayonets. even today (e.. AND HUMAN-SHARK RELATIONSHIPS Sanger (2009a.tant. ancient human encounters with sharks may have taken three primary forms: (1) observation.g. This may have created a close spiritual connection between sharks and humans. 29). in fact. and (3) confrontation. would be more vulnerable to shark attacks. as sharks and humans actively sought the same prey at the same time.” If the ethnographic record is applicable. but much more efficiently. beings with similar motivations and perspectives as humans. as humans found deceased sharks washed up on shore.. MORTUARY SYMBOLISM. would have been a more adequate vessel for conducting inshore harpooning and jigging forays (Sanger 2009b:26. Betts et al. N. bone daggers. attacking them with violence. and practically. so that they sink to the bottom. both symbolically. What was it about shark behavior that made this desirable? On the Maritime Peninsula. as well as detailed information about their unique anatomies. (2) competition. a shark nti’emel (animal part) was both a mnemonic to a deictic category (the shark) and an instrument through which the buoin could access the spiritual power and/or acquire knowledge and abilities to facilitate hunting. they rend them open with their teeth. Hornborg 2006:43). Repeated observations of sharks by huntergatherers would have resulted in a detailed knowledge of shark behavior. or as sharks attacked humans and their vessels. but may have been a significant source of shark teeth in the archaeological record. A fourth type of encounter likely occurred far less frequently.metapress.S.51 Wednesday. of sharks breaching. Such encounters are rare. From the vantage of cosmological deixis. By using shark teeth as nti’emel (objects of power) in medicine bundles or as pendants.com Society for American Archaeology . Great white and mako sharks.g. probably a mako shark]. the propensity of sharks to imperil vessels as well as hunters/fishers might have been tied up in human-shark spirituality from a very early period. Bark canoes cannot resist them. as these fish are very dangerous. Their teeth are made like gardeners’ knives for cutting and boring. October 31. As discussed previously. and unique sensory organs unlike other fish. and foreshafts (e. sharks may have been appreciated as the embodiment of the effortless. 2009b) has recently addressed the issue of the use of dugout boating technology and argues that the presence of gouges and woodworking paraphernalia alone provides slim evidence for the preferential use of dugout canoes during the Late Archaic period. he posits that birchbark canoes. sharks would be considered conspecifics. Rowe 1940. Exploiting the same prey and ecological niches as humans. As de Paul (1886:29) states: Another time that I started [from Tracadie. may have been perceived as beings of almost supernatural predatory skill.19. 2012 2:10:13 PM . Sanger 1973. 2009b) have been suggested to represent stylized rows of shark teeth (Keenlyside 635 Delivered by http://saa.. with multiple rows of serrated teeth. They are extremely voracious. or like razors slightly bent [Table 1. If such is the case.] on a mission to this same Cape [Breton] the Indians who conducted me in a canoe perceived three monstrous fish called maraches and they were frightened.

the shark tooth may have signified both this transformative quality and its importance in the spiritual life of maritime peoples. Shamanistic paraphernalia has long been associated with Early Woodland mortuary ceremonialism in the Northeast (see e. that humans engaged with sharks. as some of the world’s fastest swimmers and as apex marine predators.and/or age-centric attribution for shark symbolism might be sug- [Vol. bone daggers were used to administer the “coup de grace” to a harpooned swordfish or other aquatic creature.14. we may also explore the significance of bone daggers and slate bayonets found in Moorehead Phase ritual deposits. which may be stylized non-utilitarian versions of bone daggers (Sanger 1991:77. Brown 1997. the sea. or stylized versions of functional counterparts (e. The link between shamanism and Late Archaic cemeteries in the Northeast has not been studied in detail. 636 AMERICAN ANTIQUITY sharks represent a unique way of perceiving the marine world that was also shared by their human conspecifics—that of an apex marine predator.51 Wednesday. Ethnohistorically.. this symbolic relationship would have been extremely significant. As an indexical category (Viveiros de Castro 1998:478). 4. and it is clear that the bones of “animal familiars” (nti’emel) were conduits through which this transformation took place (Johnson 1943:70–72). And it was in these watershed moments. then they may have held powerful ideological connotations. the air). pursuing animals with the highest caloric returns. The form of these slate tools—which mimics the shape of a swordfish rostrum (e.com Society for American Archaeology . economic. October 31. Thus. and dietary strategies were forged into an integrated way of life. 238)— provides a further entanglement with maritime foraging and its social. Keenlyside 1999:63). As a cosmological deictic and a conspecific. in fact. where the shaman can shift between realms of existence (the land. And yet. 79. but given its prevalence among later groups.g.1999:64). For maritime hunter-gatherers. Guenther 1999:426–427). However. while sharks maintain this perspective as a natural condition. and socioecological relationships with the marine environment. used at the ultimate climax of the marine hunting foray. as Sanger (2009b:11) suggests. and environmental correlates. when an entire socioeconomic system was being put to the test. 2012 2:10:13 PM . That said. a gender. while providing a material conduit through which such transformations could take place. transformation into other beings or between realms of existence was central to a Wabanaki buoin’s (shaman’s) power. sharks may have represented a fulcrum around which humans could both think about and signal their complex technological. marine hunting weapons. it is the shark’s propensity to breach and fin that may have been even more meaningful to shamanistic peoples. Lamnid sharks. The exquisitely crafted and decorated slate bayonets found in Moorehead Phase cemeteries.. and accepting that sharks and humans were seen as conspecifics. it is achieved only by humans adopting complex cultural and behavioral accoutrements. or change directly into other animals or animal-human hybrids. logistical. at the greatest risk of failure and personal catastrophe. procurement. this common hunter-gatherer ideological system likely had its roots in the Late Archaic.g. may also have been imbued with a similar meaning. 77. Carr and Case 2005:91). Given that primary interactions with sharks likely took place while on open-water fishing and hunting excursions. If. would naturally have become attractive targets for a shaman’s animal transformation.metapress. open-water hunts involved people with state-of-the-art transportation and procurement technologies.g. 2009b:11). these tools embodied the critical moment of the maritime hunt and therefore the marine way of life itself.American Antiquity access (392-89-746) IP Address: 204.. If these artifacts are. A core tenet of shamanistic ritual is the concept of transformation (e. Late Archaic hunters may have been making a direct link between the bayonet/dagger and the shark tooth. Breaching and finning sharks are the quintessence of a transformative animal: a liminal organism that can leave its marine realm and penetrate the surface— in this case with spectacular and often terrifying results.g. In short. No. Given that these objects were each species’ primary means of dispatching prey. Bourque 1995:7. From this perspective. Sanger 1973:51.. openwater hunts represented critical cultural moments: the crucible in which technological. even deeper meaning may be revealed by a consideration of the broad social and cultural context of human-shark interactions. if not earlier. Put another way. 2012 Delivered by http://saa. during the Late Archaic and Woodland periods.19. employing the most complex and intricate hunting strategies they could devise. economic.

Transportation and Exchange of Shark Teeth in the Northeast Betts et al. the limited human skeletal evidence available indicates that shark remains may crosscut age and sex boundaries. Lockerby 2004. it seems likely. in these massive stone simulacra. if extant versions were available? Except for size. 311). especially great whites—as cosmological deictics—were transferred to. Brose 1994.metapress. Lawrence River trade route defined by Wright (1994:65–66). This further supports the concept that the marine way of life—a profound identification with the sea—was critical to the identity of many ancestral Wabanaki and their predecessors.14. The Early Woodland period represents a time when there is considerable evidence of the grafting of “external” customs and material culture on to local traditions in the Maritime Peninsula. and therefore might have a prioritized relationship to sharks. who had access to Calvert formation fossils since Archaic times (Clermont and Chapdelaine 1982:112. may have provided some sense of security when interacting with these frightening creatures. While the skeletal evidence is far from conclusive. Reinforcing the link between megalodon and great white sharks.g. Further up the St. our review of the literature revealed no credible report of shark remains in a non-coastal Adena-related site. men. and women with shark teeth reinforces their potential meaning as emblems representing an entire society. where a large megalodon fossil tooth from the Chesapeake Bay Calvert formation was discovered in an Early Woodland (Meadowood Phase) cache assemblage found near Sherbrooke Lake. We infer that the attributes of living sharks. October 31. near the source of the fossils. rather than a gendered or aged subset of that society. Lawrence drainage. While the stratigraphic association of these teeth is problematic (Clermont and Chapdelaine 1982:110)..] PERSPECTIVISM. which resulted in a large number of local hybrid entities throughout the Northeast. However.American Antiquity access (392-89-746) IP Address: 204. It should be noted that this appears to involve a series of pan-regional cultural phenomena. 2012 2:10:13 PM . as evidenced by fossil megalodon shark teeth from the Calvert Formation in a Late Archaic assemblage from Liverpool. see also Wright 1994:66). The importance of this perception of sharks is suggested by Mi’kmaw oral traditions.gested. which are highly susceptible to attack from a large shark. a perforated extant great white 637 Delivered by http://saa. near Rice Lake Ontario. this specimen was retouched around the occlusal margin. Specifically. Hoffman 1955:269–271. and perhaps intensified. which emphasize their terrifying attributes (de Paul 1886. and prehistoric hunters and fishers undoubtedly witnessed attacks on watercraft. megalodon teeth are strikingly similar to those of the great white shark (Table 1. given the evidence presented above. In this light. the association of children. the appearance of fossil shark teeth in Early Woodland ceremonial assemblages in Chesapeake Bay. large lamnid sharks are beings of explosive power and terror.g. Martjin 1986). that they were associated with Meadowood Phase ceremonial material recovered at Point-du-Buisson 4 and the nearby Meadowood Phase cemetery at Pointe-du-Buisson 5 (Clermont 1978). is particularly noteworthy. and perhaps even direct predation on humans. Griffin 1967). with the presumed switch from dugout canoes to birchbark canoes (Blair 2010:41–43). Two fossil great white shark teeth that were found in Early Woodland deposits in the Pointe-du-Buisson 4 site near Montreal may have come from trade with Atlantic Canadian groups. The first evidence of interior-coastal trade of shark teeth appears to be down the St. Finally. MORTUARY SYMBOLISM. Indeed. What might have been the motivations for transporting/exchanging these fossil teeth.com Society for American Archaeology .19. AND HUMAN-SHARK RELATIONSHIPS The earliest direct evidence for exchange in shark teeth appears to be along the Atlantic Seaboard during the Late Archaic period. possibly to simulate the serrations on an extant great white shark tooth.. ethnohistoric sources suggest that adult males might have been primary participants in fishing and hunting excursions (e. adopting the shark’s perspective through the medium of a tooth. While shark teeth from sources in Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico are sometimes cited as components of interior Adena-related assemblages (e. The next direct evidence for the transportation of shark teeth occurs again in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia (Figure 1). It is possible that this perception of sharks may have intensified through time. competition for prey.51 Wednesday. Figure 2). or perhaps exercising the ability to control the animal through the abilities of a buoin.

) One female aged > 21 years Jelmsa (2006) Tuck (1994) Indian Island Maine 35 One individual aged 2-10 years (sex unknown) Effigy pendants and stones Sea gull bill Gannet wing bones Quartz crystals Birch bark (part of bundle) Rolled copper beads Red ochre Snow (2009) [Vol. No.3700 B. broken) 36 Porbeagle or Salmon shark (Lamna sp.14.P. Worked antler Betts (2010) McEachen (1996) AMERICAN ANTIQUITY Sherbrooke Lake Megalodon Middle-Late Archaic Ca.P.Delivered by http://saa. Summary of Mortuary/Ritual Contexts in the Atlantic Provinces and New England (and adjacent states) Where Shark Teeth Have Been Recovered (“N/A” denotes sex and age of human remains are undetermined due to poor preservation). 4000 B. 1650 B.P. N/A Ground celts Argillite bayonets Red ochre Abrasive stones N/A Age of Deposit Age and Sex of Associated Human Remains Associated Diagnostic Artifacts Source Sanger (1973) Site Name Province or State Number of Shark Teeth Cow Point Locus 31 Shortfin mako Great white Great white Ca.com Society for American Archaeology .metapress.3650 B. Unreported contextual data Nova Scotia 1 (fossilized) One individual aged 12-17 years (sex unknown) One individual aged > 25 years (sex unknown). 77.19.P. 1950 BP Rolled copper beads Chipped and ground celts Rolled copper beads Chipped and ground celts Cow Point Locus 47 Ministers Island Lot 1 Ministers Island Lot 2 New Brunswick New Brunswick New Brunswick 1 Port Joli Megalodon Early Woodland Nova Scotia 1 Great white Ca. 4000 B. 1450 B. 2012 2:10:13 PM 638 Table 2.P. Shark Species Great white Ca.P.P.P. one individual aged 8-10 years (sex unknown) One individual aged 35-45 years (sex unknown) Possible non-mortuary ritual context Liverpool Nova Scotia Chipped and ground celts “Cache” bifaces Abrasive stones Fully channelled (?) gouge Side-notched projectile points Port au Choix Interment 9 1 great white.3650 B. Newfoundland 5 (fossilized. 1950 BP New Brunswick 1 6 Sanger (1973) Burns (1971) Burns (1971) 1 Ca. 2012 . October 31. 4300 B. Ca.American Antiquity access (392-89-746) IP Address: 204. 34 shortfin mako Ca.51 Wednesday. 4.

14. 950 B. AND HUMAN-SHARK RELATIONSHIPS West River Maryland 4 (two broken and burned) Megalodon Ca. 2012 2:10:13 PM Betts et al.Delivered by http://saa.] Moshier Island Great white Shortfin mako Late Woodland/ Protohistoric Protohistoric Middle Woodland Maine Unreported Unreported Ca.P.com Society for American Archaeology .51 Wednesday.American Antiquity access (392-89-746) IP Address: 204.P. 1 great white or shortfin mako Early Woodland N/A Ford (1976) PERSPECTIVISM. 2150 B.P.1650 B. Hamilton (1985) Yesner (1994) Taylor (1970) Torrey and Bullen (1946) Robinson (1967) Seaver Farm Massachusetts 4 Multiple individuals of various ages and sexes (specifics not reported) N/A Shell beads Copper beads Lithics (unreported type) “Cache” bifaces Taylor Hill Massachusetts 1 Titicut Internment 15 Great white Massachusetts 1 One individual aged 2-10 years (sex unknown).19. one male aged > 21 years One male aged 35-40 years Sandy Hill Maryland 3 (fossilized) 2 megalodon. N/A Abrading stone Ground celt Triangular projectile point Iron residue Flint strike-a-light European clay pipe Triangular projectile points Stemmed projectile points Bone awls Red ochre “Cache” bifaces Blocked-end tubular pipes Gorgets Ground celts Copper beads “Cache” bifaces Blocked-end tubular pipes Gorgets Abrading stones Ford (1976) 639 . October 31. MORTUARY SYMBOLISM.metapress.

presumably for suspension as pendants. accessing the perspectives of exotic creatures and their unique spiritual and physical powers may have been critical. What if the social and ideological contexts of the exchange. access to a new animal’s perspective.American Antiquity access (392-89-746) IP Address: 204. as well as related sites (Hopewell Interaction Sphere/Point Peninsula complex) in interior New York state.51 Wednesday.metapress. Carr and Case (2005:206) specifically include shark teeth as part of a greater assemblage of paraphernalia related to public shamanistic ritual in the Hopewell culture. see also Bourque 1994. 4.. Discussion and Conclusions 640 AMERICAN ANTIQUITY or more important. in particular. and megalodon teeth (Murphy 1975:27). a shark’s way of living in the sea is analogous to the way coastal hunter-gatherers in the Northeast made their living from the sea. shark teeth may have signified both a relationship to a group of people with a unique—and other—way of living. the shark tooth may have represented a potent emblem of a relationship with peoples in other societies.. Many of the creatures represented in Hopewell ritual contexts exemplify traits significant to a shaman’s transformational journey (Brown 1997. mako.14. and Ritchie (1965:254) uses perforated shark teeth as a defining trait of the Point Peninsula complex (part of the Hopewell Interaction Sphere) in New York. exchanging shark teeth may have reinforced the cultural importance of the behaviors—marine hunting/fishing—that brought people into interaction with sharks. Carr and Case 2005:358–363.19. what is really transferred is the ability to access a new way of living and acting in the environment—that is.165. but do not take into account the innate symbolic value of animal remains. Kraft 1976).” For the receiver. flying. What were the motivations for Hopewell peoples and those that interacted with them to draw in animal relics from sources as far away as the Rocky Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean (e.P. 349)? Explanations that emphasize economic motivations (the exchange of shark teeth for other valuable commodities such as toolstone. though Wright (1994:65–66) notes several other potential sources. who coastal peoples were. Ritchie 1965). (DIC-107) based on assays on human bone collagen (Kenyon 1986:88. shark teeth may have signalled.g.P. 2012 Delivered by http://saa. in the process forming [Vol. Carr and Case 2005:608). Sharing all of these qualities. appear to have been traded out of the Chesapeake area in large numbers during these times (Ritchie 1965:252) and have been found in caches containing dozens of fossil great white.shark tooth was placed with an infant interment in the Middle Woodland (Point Peninsula complex) LeVesconte Mound. This suggests a potent rationale for their inclusion as sacred objects in ritual and mortuary contexts from the Late Archaic through the Late Woodland. fossilized and extant shark teeth became relatively widespread in Middle Woodland (Hopewell culture) sites throughout the Midwest (e. Fossil shark teeth. “any exchange is an exchange of perspectives. Between ca. Carr and Case 2005:608.P. the shark was an obvious exotic creature to appropriate for inclusion in ceremonial contexts that emphasized these sorts of capabilities. both to themselves and to others. Ritchie 1965:218. Loring (1985. and a means to access their point of view through the transformative power of the tooth.P. 77. and 1500 B. ground-water or water-air interfaces. Wright 1994:65). on both sides.com Society for American Archaeology . dangerous animals known to prey on humans. To the receiver. For a Hopewell shaman. (DIC-732) and 1830 ± 50 B. a period spanning at least three millennia. DeBoer 1997:Figure 9. and running. Many of the extant teeth found in these sites were perforated (e. To the giver.g. and religious paraphernalia) are obvious. Given its near contemporaneity with the Ministers Island shark teeth. and liminal creatures that span groundair. Holt 1996. No. 234). 2000 B.. October 31. As a conspecific. were as important. it is possible that the Rice Lake shark tooth may have been acquired directly from the Atlantic provinces/states. such as Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The context is dated to between 1720 ± 55 B.g. Dragoo 1976) has discussed the Early Woodland mortuary contexts along the North Atlantic Coast as representing a set of religious symbols and behaviors incorporated into what was essentially a Late Archaic mortuary system. than the economic benefits? As discussed by Viveiros de Castro (2004a:473) in the context of cosmological deixis. These include animals adept at swimming. in a phenomenological way. 2012 2:10:13 PM . In effect. At the same time. such as Point Peninsula and Jack’s Reef (Ritchie 1944:69. tobacco.

and oral histories to become a persistent tenet. Lawrence trade route.American Antiquity access (392-89-746) IP Address: 204. comrade. the embodiment of a maritime way of life. 641 Delivered by http://saa. memory. this tradition may have had roots so ancient that it transcended action. Sanger 1988.. while still occurring as fundamental mortuary and ritual accoutrements on the Maritime Peninsula. Karen Ryan.] PERSPECTIVISM. MORTUARY SYMBOLISM. Christopher Watts reviewed an early version of the paper and his suggestions had a significant influence on many aspects of our approach. Lucy Johanis kindly translated the English abstract into French. AND HUMAN-SHARK RELATIONSHIPS In conclusion.g. one with a pedigree spanning at least a thousand years. Spiess and Lewis 2001. with fossil and extant shark teeth flowing from the Atlantic seaboard into Hopewell centers (Carr and Case 2005:608.. unlike the Maritime Provinces. Shark remains may provide some support for ideological continuity from the Late Archaic through the Early Woodland periods. It intensified in the Middle Woodland period. and. in many respects similar to the relationship signalled by the shark remains at the site (e. perhaps originally via the St. thus. Keenlyside 1999:64). and trans-regional religious practices. no shark teeth or fossils have been found in Early Woodland contexts in Maine. An example may be found in the killer whale (Orcinus orca) stone effigies at the Archaic Port au Choix cemetery in Newfoundland. Stephen Powell and Brent Sut- .distinct local religious entities. it is not surprising that this icon of a marine way of life is absent from Susquehanna ritual and mortuary assemblages.g.metapress.. This is to say. Our analysis indicates that shark teeth in mortuary and ceremonial contexts signalled complex and entangled meanings. Late Archaic and Woodland cemeteries and ritual deposits were locations where relationships between animals and humans were overt. 2012 2:10:13 PM Acknowledgments. The killer whale effigies at Port au Choix are likely a regional expression of a conspecific relationship between predators on a shared landscape (Tuck 1994:92). Fieldwork for Betts was undertaken in collaboration with Acadia First Nation. Stephen Augustine. While recurring interactions with sharks helped to perpetuate the human-shark spiritual relationship from the Late Archaic through the Late Woodland periods. killer whales exhibit many of the behavioral characteristics of sharks. Moreover. their continued support is greatly appreciated. Spiess and Mosher 2006). On the Maritime Peninsula. and were probably brought into contact with humans in similar ways. were explicitly signalled and exploited in these contexts. By the Early Woodland period.g. and monster.19. the shared perspectives and lives of humans and sharks. it may be noteworthy that. and the transformative power that could be gained from this relationship. Bourque 1995. we believe shark teeth reveal how a deeply embedded spiritual relationship. Such analyses may expose the deep histories of animal interactions that were embedded in local. and David Morrison provided valuable comments on the manuscript and the concepts therein. was integrated into local expressions of widespread religious movements and subsequently transplanted throughout the Northeast. Betts et al. October 31. So pervasive had this ideological tenet become that it was woven into introduced Early Woodland period mortuary customs (Adena. regional. From this perspective. perhaps capable of resisting changing technologies and economies that otherwise might have modified the nature of human-shark interactions. We believe our theoretical and methodological approach can be applied to other animal remains and effigies from ritual contexts in the Northeast and elsewhere.com Society for American Archaeology . competitor. It seems this coastal trait eventually penetrated into the centers of the great Woodland socioeconomic and ceremonial networks. they were. it is interesting that no extant or fossil shark teeth have ever been discovered in Terminal Archaic (Susquehanna Tradition and contemporaneous manifestations) archaeological contexts in Maine or the Maritime Provinces. The research for this paper was supported by funds from the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the University of New Brunswick. Sanger 2006). where the Susquehanna Tradition appears significantly better developed and apparently more pervasively integrated (e. As apex marine predators. Jean-Luc Pilon. an emblem and instrument of shamanistic transformation.14. The Susquehanna Tradition has often been interpreted as having a more interior-adapted subsistence orientation (e. Murphy 1975). all at the same time. Black 2000.51 Wednesday. Meadowood) that spread across much of the northeastern Atlantic Seaboard from the Canadian Maritimes to Maryland. the importance of sharks in later periods must also be viewed from the perspective of peoples maintaining an ancient ideological tradition. Middlesex. and a relic from a real living creature that was—in equal measure—icon.

Manuscript on file. 2008 The E’se’get Archaeology Project. Burks. In Woodland Period Systematics in the Middle Ohio Valley. 1993 What Images Return: A Study of the Stratigraphy and Seasonality of A Shell Midden in the Insular Quoddy Region of New Brunswick. New Brunswick Archaeological Services. 1994 Evidence for Prehistoric Exchange on the Maritime Peninsula. Brown. New Brunswick. Archaeological Studies. New Brunswick. Troy Case 2005 Gathering Hopewell: Society. 2004 Living Close to the Ledge: Prehistoric Human Ecology of the Bliss Islands. Permit # A2009NS27 Port Joli. Betts. Ericson. Baugh and Jonathon E. 2009. Peabody Foundation for Archaeology 9. Canadian Journal of Archaeology 24:89–106. 2010 The E’se’get Archaeology Project. and Relational Epistemology.A. pp.14. Campana. Environment. Los Angeles. Bedford Institute of Oceanography.com Society for American Archaeology . Culture. 2012 2:10:13 PM . Blair. and Heritage. and Ritual Interaction. 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