Hunter-Gatherer Impact on Subarctic Vegetation: Amerindian and Palaeoeskimo Occupations of Port au Choix, Northwestern Newfoundland

M.A.P. Renouf, Trevor Bell and Joyce Macpherson

Abstract

This paper presents data from two ponds at Port au Choix, in northwestern New-foundland, each associated with one or more archaeological sites. Disruptions in vegetation in the ponds and surrounding areas are linked to contemporaneous human activities nearby and comparisons are made between Amerindian and Palaeoeskimo impact patterns. Whereas Amerindian occupations had a major impact on the Field Pond basin, only those Palaeoeskimo activities that took place at or in Bass Pond had an impact on its limnology. This difference is linked to site location preferences, the availability of woodland, and distance of human settlement from the pond. This study contributes to our understanding of the dynamic relationship between hunter-gatherers and their environment.

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