Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Tamara Bray



The Saginaw Valley Region has been the focus of Michigan archaeology for many decades. The Late Woodland period of the Saginaw Valley has been characterized as an area that prehistoric people abandoned as a permanent resident, but exploited seasonally during times of scarcity. Furthermore, the valley's resources were exploited by a diverse group of prehistoric peoples, both native to Michigan and those Mississippian `intruders' (Halsey 1976; Holman and Brashler 1999; Norder et al. 2003; Stothers 1999). Though previous studies of the Frazer-Tyra site (20SA9) have included ceramic and lithic analysis (Andrews 1995; Halsey 1976) and a study of mortuary variability (Krakker 1997, 1983), an osteological report had not been generated for the human remains nor a significant inquiry into dietary trends for the population. The aim of this study is to situate the Frazer-Tyra population within the discussion of maize adoption and dietary shifts that are common to the Late Woodland period in Michigan's Prehistory. Using Carbon and Nitrogen isotopes, this study will explore maize adoption and patterns of consumption for this Late Woodland population.