Otis 'Ursus' Crandell

Otis 'Ursus' Crandell
Previous Education

B.A. (Anthropology), Laurentian University, 1998


Dr. Lisa Rankin
Dr. Scott Neilsen


Landscape Archaeology, Land Usage Models, Resource Usage/Familiarity, Lithics Acquisition/Trade, Petrography, Geochemistry.

Research Statement 

My current research looks at the geographic extents of landscape usage and resource familiarity by communities of the Dorset culture in Labrador and adjacent areas.

From 2500 to 500 BP, Labrador (as well as a lot of the North American Arctic) was occupied by people of the Dorset culture who were familiar with and traversed vast areas, collecting resources and trading among communities within and near to the territories of each community. Although we know that these spatial territories were extensive, it is uncertain how big they were. One way of considering territories of familiarity and landscape usage is by tracing where raw materials for tools came from (which can also tell us about trade patterns and social networks). Because of their durability, lithic artefacts are often well preserved in the archaeological record and therefore present a good opportunity to study such material movement.

In my research, I use archaeological and geological analyses to compare artefacts from museum collections with geological samples to help determine the geographic extent, and the direct or indirect nature, of lithic raw material and tool acquisition by Dorset communities as well as the size of the areas likely utilised by individual groups.