Thesis Defences

Degree of Master of Arts

Tyrel Kobes

River Through the Dry Prairie: Heritage Resource Management and the Archaeology of the Southeastern Qu’Appelle River Valley in Saskatchewan

Monday, 8 April 2019; 2:30pm

WMC 2533 (West Mall)


I have worked in the Heritage Resource Management Industry since 2013 on various projects in western Canada. In this thesis, I present a range of data recovered from one of these projects in the southeastern Qu’Appelle River Valley of Saskatchewan. Here I integrate excavation results from three sites and position these results within their geological and environmental context, the archaeological culture history for the study area, as well as documented First Nations history in the region. I expand the archaeological context for the study through examination of other sites in the vicinity, the dominant majority having been documented during other heritage impact assessment projects. My first objective for the thesis was to provide a synthesis of prehistory in the region as best as these data would allow. In this respect, I have been largely limited to the late prehistoric period where Avonlea and Old Women’s phase peoples were inhabiting the Qu’Appelle landscape. A second objective has been to assess the usefulness of the unpublished gray area literature as it might facilitate and support the production of a synthesis. This literature is limited in a variety of ways, but it provides some insight that otherwise would not be present.

Keywords:  Saskatchewan; Qu’Appelle River; Plains Archaeology; Heritage Resource Impact Assessment; Avonlea Phase; Old Women’s Phase.

Degree of Master of Arts

Harman Nahal

Assessing the Impact of High versus Low Velocity Thoracic Trauma: A Study of Experimental Rib Fracturing using Juvenile Pigs (Sus scrofa)

Tuesday, 16 April 2019, 10:00 am

SWH 9084 – Material Culture Lab


The purpose of this study is to provide experimental data to inform how juvenile porcine torsos behave under conditions of high versus low velocity impact to further understand the effects of compressive trauma on the juvenile torso. A juvenile porcine model was used to examine the effects of experimental impact to the torso at two different loading rates: static (0.01 m/s), and dynamic (0.4 m/s). The torsos were tested in two distinct start positions: anteroposterior and lateral. A total sample of 24 juvenile pigs aged approximately one to two weeks and weighing between 1.3–2.1 kilograms were used. The sample was separated into four sub-sample groups (SAP – static anteroposterior, SL – static lateral, DAP – dynamic anteroposterior, DL – dynamic lateral), each with six specimens, to assess for differing impact velocities and impact directions.

The results show that there is a relationship between the four experimental groups, and impact direction and impact velocity. The four experimental groups showed statistically significant differences when differentiating between the experimental variables: 1) if the fracture was complete or incomplete, or if only plastic deformation occurred; 2) the side of the fracture; 3) the location of the fracture on the rib; and 4) the location of tension failure. The results show that the SAP group produced incomplete fractures, fractures on the right side, at the anterior region, and failed on the cutaneal side; the SL group had a small frequency of fractures that did not allow for definitive conclusions to be made; the DAP group produced complete fractures, fractures on the right side, at the posterior neck, and failed on the visceral side; the DL group produced complete fractures, at the anterolateral and anterior region, and failed on the visceral side. There were variation among the experimental groups, and some specimens showed no fractures.

This study reinforces that the juvenile thoracic structure is able to absorb energy from the applied load, which results in more incomplete fracturing and plastic deformation rather than complete fractures to occur. The current study enhances the knowledge the forensic community has on the effects of compressive trauma to the juvenile torso.

Keywords:   juvenile; thoracic trauma; rib fractures; impact velocity; static and dynamic loads; biomechanics