The 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2013)

Withdrawn. Immigration and diet in Montreal during the 17th and 18th centuries; an isotopic analyses of archaeological populations


Anthropology, Université de Montreal

Saturday 9:15-9:30, Ballroom B Add to calendar

End of the 17th century, Montreal was the organizational center of the fur trade in New France and an expanding colony. Many persons were passing by or settling in, coming from Europe, other parts of the colony, inland territories and New England. Among other things, what they encountered once arrived in Montreal, was a shift in their diet.

During my master project, isotopic analyses were carried out on 90 teeth (58 premolars and 32 molars) and 45 bones, excavated from Notre-Dame’s cemetery, dating from 1691-1796, in order to obtain data on collagen (δ13C and δ15N) and apatite carbonate (δ13C and δ18O). The results on oxygen show that these individuals were mainly born in Montreal (N=30) or coming from a region with slightly lower δ18O (N=8), possibly inland territories or northern villages. Immigrants from regions with higher δ18O (N=20), France for example, would have travel during their adulthood: only 6 individuals showed a mobility pattern indicating mobility before the age of 16. The diet in Montreal was diverse; the combination of δ13C from collagen and from apatite carbonate in the linear model of Kellner and Schoeninger (2007) shows two patterns of consumption: people consuming a good part of C4 plants (with δ13Ccarbonate around -11‰ vs. VPDB) among their intake of C3 plants, C3 fed meat and fish, as well as people consuming few or none of C4 food (with δ13Ccarbonate around -13‰ vs. VPDB). Comparison with a sample from France provides new insight on the changes occurred in these migrants’ diet.

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