T e a c h e r  C r e a t e d  L e s s o n

Now and Then: Pioneer Times and Today’s Canada

treenahein

Davenport Centre, Round Lake, Ontario

Interactive Quiz: Bare Bones in the Backwoods

Early settlers who brought domesticated animals from Europe did so to ensure a ready supply of food. Once settled in Canada they hunted wild mammals and birds, and fished in nearby waterways to expand their food supply. This interactive quiz comprises multiple-choice questions and images based on animal bones recovered by archaeologists at farm sites along the Little Bonnechere River. Studying these artifacts will help students interpret food habits and diets, seasonal patterns in raising livestock, hunting and fishing activities, and environment changes circa 1800 to 1950.

Suzanne Needs, Treena Hein, Rory MacKay, Betty Biesenthal
1800 - 1950
Ontario, CANADA
© 2007, Davenport Centre - Heritage Hall. All Rights Reserved.

Transcript

Bare Bones in the Backwoods

Interactive Quiz


Early settlers depended on animal protein for a significant part of their diet. Raising domesticated animals imported from Europe was important for survival because they provided a reliable source of meat, eggs and dairy. However, it also entailed responsibility for the feeding and welfare of the animals and preservation of the meat upon slaughter. When possible and worth the effort, settlers also hunted wild mammals and birds for meat, and fished in nearby lakes and creeks.

The animal bones in this quiz were recovered by archaeologists at farm sites along the Little Bonnechere River near the eastern edge of Algonquin Provincial Park in Eastern Ontario. They were then analyzed by a zooarchaeologist — a specialist in the study of animal bones from archaeological sites. The data were then used to interpret food habits and diets, seasonal patterns in raising livestock, hunting and fishing activities, and changes in the environment circa 1800 to 1950.

1: This is a bone of a bird species that was raised by settlers to provide a ready supply of eggs and meat. Which species?
a) goose
b) duck
c) turkey
d) chicken
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d) That’s correct!
a, b, c) Good try, but incorrect.
Although it’s hard to tell, this is a chicken bone. However bones of all these birds (goose, duck, turkey, chicken) are commonly found in historic archaeological excavations, which means settlers raised them all!

2: These jaw bones belong to and animal that was very important to settlers. Which animal?
a) beaver
b) raccoon
c) cat
d) pig
-----
c) That’s correct!
a, b, d) Good try, but incorrect.
These jaw bones, with their pointed teeth, belonged to a cat. Cats were very important to settlers – but not just as pets!

3: This partial hip bone is from a type of farm animal brought from Europe. Which animal?
a) horse
b) cow
c) moose
d) elk
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b) That’s correct!
a, c, d) Good guess, but this is a cow bone. Note that cows AND horses were brought from Europe (along with other domesticated animals) by the first settlers. In contrast, moose and elk are among the wild animals that are native to Canada.

4:This is a leg bone from a smaller farm animal. Which animal?
a) sheep
b) goat
c) dog
d) pig
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d) That’s correct!
a, b, c) Good try, but incorrect.
Although it’s very hard to tell, this is a pig bone. Settlers raised pigs and then slaughtered them for pork.

5: This is a bone of a wild animal that was eaten by settlers. Which animal?
a) cottontail rabbit
b) red squirrel
c) beaver
d) muskrat
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c) Good guess - that’s correct!
a, b, d) Good try, but incorrect.
Although it was impossible for you to have known, this is a beaver bone. Settlers generally trapped or shot beavers for their fur, or to prevent beaver dam and lodge construction. Not wanting to see anything go to waste, the settlers would then cook and eat the meat.

6: This pig bone comes from a part of the animal that we don’t usually eat – but settlers did. What part?
a) foot
b) braincase
c) jaw
d) pelvis
-----
a) That’s correct!
b, c, d) Good try, but incorrect.
This is a finger or toe bone of a pig. Pig feet were scalded and cleaned then scorched over an open flame to release the hoof. Once boiled in salty water, the chewy, tasty meat was eaten as a delicacy. The broth was cooled to produce gelatine.

7: This artifact probably belongs to which animal-related settlement activity?
a) fishing
b) horse riding
c) stock rearing
d) hunting
-----
d) That’s correct!
a, b, c) Good try, but incorrect.
This is a flatten pail. Pails were often used to carry feed and water to the barn, and to collect milk from cows and goats.

8: Look closely at the scale. Although this shell is one of the smallest of shot shells, it held enough gun powder to kill which of the following?
a) birds
b) farm animals
c) large wild mammals
d) small wild mammals
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a) That’s correct!
b, c, d) Good try, but incorrect.
This 16-gauge shot shell was ideal for birds. Munitions were produced in different types and sizes for different purposes. Birds were killed with shot or pellet guns, small game with small calibre bullets from rifles, and large game with large calibre bullets from rifles.

9: This cow bone, cut off below the knee joint (but showing no signs of knife carving in the kitchen or at the table) might have been used to prepare which dish?
a) stew
b) soup
c) all of above
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c) That’s correct!
a, b, d) Just as today, beef bones were often boiled to add flavour and nutrients to a soup or stew. The meat often fell off the bone during cooking.

10: What kind of implement was used to cut this bone?
a) saw
b) cleaver
c) knife
d) stone tool
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a, b) That’s correct!
c, d) Good try, but incorrect.
A saw or cleaver was used to make these clean cuts. A stone tool or knife cut would be less deep and not as tidy.

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