Students analyze the importance of faunal artifacts (bones) and the tools and methods used to hunt, fish and process meats to understand the roles of domestic and wild species in the survival of early Canadian setters.

In this activity, students complete a multiple choice interactive quiz and, at the same time, answer corresponding critical thinking questions from the Bare Bones in the Backwoods Student Handout in their notebooks. For more information, students can also visit: http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Spirits/
Conduct a keywords search on bones.

Students analyze the importance of faunal artifacts (bones) and the tools and methods used to hunt, fish and process meats to understand the roles of domestic and wild species in the survival of early Canadian setters.

In this activity, students complete a multiple choice interactive quiz and, at the same time, answer corresponding critical thinking questions from the Bare Bones in the Backwoods Student Handout in their notebooks.

For more information, students can also visit: http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Spirits/
Conduct a keywords search on bones.


© 2007, Davenport Centre - Heritage Hall. All Rights Reserved.

Critical Thinking Questions
Each question below is to be completed after its corresponding multiple choice quiz question. That is, first answer question 1 in the interactive quiz and then answer question 1 on this sheet, and so on.

1 a) Besides the ability of domestic birds to eat kitchen scraps and other reasons given here, name three other characteristics that a bird must have to make it convenient for settlers to keep it for eggs. Hint: Think about the behaviour of these birds compared to wild birds.
b) Name another farm animal that also ate lots of kitchen scraps.

2 a) Cats were not eaten by settlers but were very important in terms of food and nutrition. Explain why.
b) What can the shape of cat teeth tell us about their diets? Describe human teeth and our diets in comparison.

3 a) Why would settlers bother to extract marrow from cracked bones?
b) Name three methods used by settlers to preserve the meat of domestic or wild animals after butchering.

4 a) Certain religions require people to periodically or completely abstain from eating certain foods such as meat. List one such food and th Read More

Critical Thinking Questions
Each question below is to be completed after its corresponding multiple choice quiz question. That is, first answer question 1 in the interactive quiz and then answer question 1 on this sheet, and so on.

1 a) Besides the ability of domestic birds to eat kitchen scraps and other reasons given here, name three other characteristics that a bird must have to make it convenient for settlers to keep it for eggs. Hint: Think about the behaviour of these birds compared to wild birds.
b) Name another farm animal that also ate lots of kitchen scraps.

2 a) Cats were not eaten by settlers but were very important in terms of food and nutrition. Explain why.
b) What can the shape of cat teeth tell us about their diets? Describe human teeth and our diets in comparison.

3 a) Why would settlers bother to extract marrow from cracked bones?
b) Name three methods used by settlers to preserve the meat of domestic or wild animals after butchering.

4 a) Certain religions require people to periodically or completely abstain from eating certain foods such as meat. List one such food and the associated religion(s).
b) Give three reasons why some settlers might have avoided certain foods. Hint: Consider wild meat, milk products or certain wild plants.

5 a) List three other wild animals that settlers hunted. Note that all of the animals eaten by settlers were herbivores or omnivores. People of European background usually don’t eat meat of carnivores because they think it tastes too strong. Native people in Canada however, did eat the meat of carnivores such as bear and wolverine. Some people still do today. Whether a person eats carnivores is a matter of personal and cultural preference.
b) Besides these small mammals, and large mammals such as moose, deer and elk, what other sources of wild animal protein would have been available to early settlers?
c) Give two reasons why settlers did not simply rely on resources from the wild year-round.

6 a) Give two reasons why settlers ate pig’s feet, and why most Canadians today generally don’t.
b) Name two other animal-based foods that are eaten by some people in the world but which Canadians avoid. Speculate as to why.

7 a) For each gender, name two different tasks typically associated with women and men on a settlement farm.
b) Are there any physical reasons for this division of labour? That is, were there farm tasks that men and women are biologically incapable of?
c) Name five tasks that children could do on the farm.

8 a) Do you think hunting was more or less important after several years on the frontier, compared to the time of first arrival for settlers? Why?
b) Besides hunting, list five other food-related dangers that settlers faced. Hint: Consider the hazards of working in close contact with animals, working outdoors, working with heavy objects, etc.

9 a) Give two reasons why settlers were not vegetarians (who didn’t eat meat) or vegans (who didn’t eat any animal-related products). Hint: Think about reasons people choose this lifestyle today.
b) Give two reasons why settlers had to worry about the quality of their diet.

10 a) Why might this bone have been cut?
b) Livestock were very important to settlers. List three threats to pioneer livestock. Hint: Many of these threats still exist today.


© 2007, Davenport Centre - Heritage Hall. All Rights Reserved.

1 a)
-cheap to feed
-lays eggs year-round or almost year-round (this only happens with domesticated birds)
-always lays eggs in a predictable place
-lays a lot of eggs
-can be killed and eaten once it gets too old to lay enough eggs
-doesn't fly away (some birds had their wings clipped, or pinioned, for this reason; archaeologists sometimes see evidence of this clipping in the wing bones)
-can cope with living in a confined space
b) pig

2 a) Cats kept mice and rat populations under control. These rodents were a very dangerous threat to the grains and root vegetables that settlers stored after the harvest. If the mice and rats ate the stored foods, the settlers wouldn’t have any to eat until the next harvest and faced starvation. Settlers also used dogs to control rodents and deter predators.
b) The cat's sharp teeth are clearly those of a carnivore and are excellent for sinking into fleeing prey and tearing flesh. Humans have both sharp canine teeth and grinding cheek teeth—we are evolutionary omnivores!

3 a) Settlers, who expended lots of calories working hard physically and sometime Read More

1 a)
-cheap to feed
-lays eggs year-round or almost year-round (this only happens with domesticated birds)
-always lays eggs in a predictable place
-lays a lot of eggs
-can be killed and eaten once it gets too old to lay enough eggs
-doesn't fly away (some birds had their wings clipped, or pinioned, for this reason; archaeologists sometimes see evidence of this clipping in the wing bones)
-can cope with living in a confined space
b) pig

2 a) Cats kept mice and rat populations under control. These rodents were a very dangerous threat to the grains and root vegetables that settlers stored after the harvest. If the mice and rats ate the stored foods, the settlers wouldn’t have any to eat until the next harvest and faced starvation. Settlers also used dogs to control rodents and deter predators.
b) The cat's sharp teeth are clearly those of a carnivore and are excellent for sinking into fleeing prey and tearing flesh. Humans have both sharp canine teeth and grinding cheek teeth—we are evolutionary omnivores!

3 a) Settlers, who expended lots of calories working hard physically and sometimes in very cold temperatures, knew that marrow is a nutritious and high-energy food containing fat, vitamins and minerals. Today we don’t generally work as hard and must control our fat intake. Settlers couldn’t afford to waste such a nutritious part of the animal because it cost a lot of time and effort to raise or hunt meat or spend money to buy meat. Many people then and now like the taste of marrow.
b) salting and brining (usually in large barrels), drying, smoking, keeping in cellar or root cellar, freezing, making sausages which would be frozen or smoked

4 a)
-Hindus consider cows sacred and do not eat them.
-No meat is allowed on Fridays in Roman Catholicism (but fish is acceptable).
-No pork is allowed in Judaism. People of the Jewish faith eat only animals with cloven hooves that chew their cud, and certain fish and bird species. The meat must be slaughtered under Kosher standards.
-No pork is allowed in Islam. Muslims eat only meat slaughtered under Islamic standards.
-Some Buddhists do not eat meat.
-Orthodox Brahmins (northern India) and followers of Jainism do not eat meat.
b)
-Wild meat may have contained parasites (it still may today).
-Lactose-intolerance to dairy products. Most settlers in Canada were from northern Europe, so their bodies could process dairy. Some however, like most humans on the planet, may have been lactose-intolerant. This means they can only process the lactose found in dairy during childhood. Once they are older, they suffer gas and stomach upsets whenever they eat significant amounts of dairy products.
-They may have had food allergies.
-They may have been unsure about the safety of wild plants.

5 a)
- wild birds such as Canada geese, ducks, ruffed grouse and passenger pigeons
- fish such as perch and smallmouth bass, probably caught by angling
b)
-The abundance of wild animals fluctuates seasonally. For examplle, birds are often most plentiful or accessible during their spring and fall migrations, fish during their spawning runs, and deer populations fluctuate as they migrate between habitats.
-Their location is not always predictable, so it costs time and effort to find them.
-Then, as now, hunting could be dangerous.

6 a)
-They were considered a delicacy.
-It was another way, like eating marrow, to avoid waste and consume all parts of the animal.
-They could be pickled and thus kept for a long time.
-Probably out of need, settlers didn’t have the same aversion to such foods as people have today.
b)
-ox or cow tongue (considered distasteful by some)
-frog’s legs or tripe (not part of British food heritage that is prevalent in many parts of Canada, considered strange by some) 
-monkeys (not part of British food heritage that is prevalent in many parts of Canada, illegal to eat in Canada, too similar to us)
-insect larvae (not part of British food heritage that is prevalent in many parts of Canada, considered too dirty in their eating habits or too strange)

7 a)
women: cooking, mending clothes, nursing, looking after babies and children, making butter, knitting socks and sweaters, housekeeping, food processing, gardening, making soap and candles; when necessary, women also helped with the farm chores and worked in the fields
men: ploughing, chopping wood, fishing and hunting, clearing land, pulling stumps, burning brush, piling stones, making maple syrup, slaughtering animals, building fences, harvesting wheat, rye and hay crops by sickle or scythe, planting and harvesting potatoes, threshing, trapping, working off the farm to earn money
b) Yes. Only women can breastfeed infants, so this task division was biologically determined. Some heavier tasks such as cutting trees might require great physical strength which most women do not possess. However, most division of labour is just a matter of cultural preference and habit. An example of the flexibility in division of labour is the fact that in lumber camps, the cook was a man simply because there were no women allowed in the camps. Many of today's chefs are men.
c) Many. Feeding animals, cooking, chopping wood, mending clothes, gathering eggs, working in the fields, helping with the harvest; tending cattle and seeking them out when they wander.

8 a) In later years, when the farm was more established, hunting probably became less important as there was enough livestock and crops to feed the family.
b)
-injuries from sharp or heavy farm or kitchen implements
-kicks from the sharp hooves of sheep, pigs, cows or horses
-animal-transmitted diseases such as anthrax
-food poisoning or parasitic infections from contaminated meat or water
-sun stroke or frostbite from outside farm work
-vitamin deficiency, especially in winter
-house fire from wood stove, lantern or candles; or barn fire from drought, lightning or lantern (settlers had no smoke alarms, sprinklers or running water)

9 a)
-It wasn’t a concept familiar to Europeans at that time, and their religion did not forbid meat (except for devout Catholics who do not eat meat on Fridays).
-Settlers didn’t have the health and ethical concerns that make people today decide to become vegetarians. All the meat was by definition organic, so very healthy. Also, the animals had a nice life – they were all free-range. -Any settler who was a vegetarian because he or she felt that killing animals for their meat was morally wrong or who was allergic to meat would have had a very difficult time finding alternate protein sources.
-The settlers' diet relied very heavily on meat (and to a lesser extent eggs, dairy and fish) for protein, and the settlers didn’t have access to our modern-day meat substitutes such as nuts or soy.
b)
-They ate rich, good quality food as an energy source for the hard physical labour, often outdoors.
-Their food source wasn’t very secure (no supermarket to go to), so they had to plan ahead and be careful to ensure sufficient quantity and quality year-round.
-Settlers would have been concerned about avoiding nutrient deficiencies such as Vitamin C deficiency, and tried for as much variety as possible.

10 a) After settlers (or perhaps a butcher) had slaughtered the animal, its carcass had to be divided into smaller units (often quarters) so it could be transported and/or stored more easily. Cuts made by saw or cleaver were usually made when the animal was first killed, whereas cuts with a knife usually indicate processing in the kitchen or damage from eating. Both butchers and cooks could have used cleaver-like instruments to divide the carcass into meal-size portions. The size of the portions would depend, of course, on the number of people eating and the kinds of dishes being prepared. For example, a large roast on a spit would involve fewer cuts than a bone that would have fit into a soup pot.
b)
-bacterial infections such as anthrax and bovine tuberculosis
-barn fires caused by drought, lightning or lanterns
-extremely high or low temperatures
-predators such as wolves, fox and bear


© 2007, Davenport Centre - Heritage Hall. All Rights Reserved.

This interactive quiz comprises multiple-choice questions and images based on animal bones recovered by archaeologists at far

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.

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


Learning Objectives

* demonstrate an understanding of our Canadian food heritage
* determine the contribution of cultural and regional foods in the development of our Canadian food heritage and culture
* demonstrate appropriate use of social science research methods in the investigation of food-related issues
* categorize the reasons why people eat the foods they eat (e.g., cultural, emotional, environmental, nutritional, religious, social);
* explain how families, peers, and the media influence an individual’s food choices and habits
* describe ways that individuals and family members can contribute to the provision of food (e.g., hunting, fishing, growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs, preparing meals)
* describe the effect of early childhood eating habits on current eating patterns and on nutritional well-being throughout life


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