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Collection Storage Project

Non-archival boxes previously used.
Non-archival boxes previously used.

This summer, MOA’s curatorial team began its next big project to repack ethnographic artefacts and maps in our collection storage area. Thanks to a grant from the London Community Foundation, MOA was able to purchase archival quality storage materials which will allow us to preserve our remarkable collection for many more generations to come. While it sounds like an easy project, repacking artifacts isn’t as simple as taking things out of one box and putting them in another.  So how are we going about this?

MOA’s ethnographic and map collection consists of more than 3000 objects.  Due to the size of this project, the curatorial team used this opportunity to inventory the entire collection by going through each box one by one.  For every object found in a box, the curatorial team updated its catalogue record, location, condition report, and took digital pictures.  After a box was complete, all objects were re-wrapped in acid free tissue with a new object barcode placed on the tissue surrounding each object. Read more

Miggs Morris’s Return to the Drum honoured in Deline NWT

 Miggs Morris, acclaimed author, who has been part of the Museum of Ontario Archaeology for 15 years, had her book honoured at the UNESCO Biosphere Conference in Deline NWT the last week of July. At this conference Morris’s Return to the Drum was presented to keynote speaker David Suzuki and other delegates by Leonard Kenny, the Chief of Deline.

return to the drum cover

The Tudze, or Water Heart Conference, is named after a Dene legend about a living, breathing heart at the bottom of Great Bear Lake, on whose shores Deline is located. David Suzuki mentioned that he was “blown away” by the community’s connection to their natural environment and their commitment to its preservation.

Here, Miggs shares her experiences that led to her writing Return to the Drum (RTTD) Read more

Meet the Staff: Education Intern Nicoletta Michienzi

How long have I been with  MOA?  I started my internship  July 2015.

nikki

How did I begin? I am a Masters student at Western, and as part of our program we a
re required to do an internship. I decided that I would split my time over the summer between Eldon House, a historic home in downtown London, and the Museum of Ontario Archaeology. MOA really interested me because I was involved with archaeology during my undergrad, and in my masters program we learned about museum policies. Read more

Can you dig it? Ontario Doug on an archaeological adventure!

Ontario Doug
Ontario Doug

Hi everybody! Ontario Doug here with exciting news about a recent excavation I went on with MOA’s curator Nicole Aszalos. We visited the Davidson Site near Parkhill this past June, and they even let me help with the excavations. It’s great to learn about history up close and I was eager to get my hands dirty!
The Davidson site is inland from Lake Huron on the Ausable River, and we got to work with Dr. Chris Ellis, Ontario Archaeologist and Professor at the University of Western Ontario. Dr. Ellis and his crew were looking at an old First Nations Site dating between the Late Archaic and Early Woodland period in Ontario. Did you know Dr. Ellis’ specialty focuses on the Late Archaic time period of about 3000-4500 years ago? Read more

What’s this Point?

Identifying a Fluted Point Donated to MOA

Paleo point recently donated to MOA.
Paleo point recently donated to MOA.

 

A couple months ago, a beautiful Paleo Period projectile point was donated to MOA. MOA’s curatorial team conducted further research and would like to share why this point is so interesting to us.

Projectile points from the Paleo Period are hard to come by in comparison to points from the later Archaic and Woodland Periods. This is due, in part, to the living conditions and resources available to people during this time. During the Paleo period, people lived in small bands following a nomadic lifestyle which means they were continually moving from place to place, often following the migration of their food. Read more

Beadwork

Shell Beads

What did First Nations people wear for fashion? Or for ritual purposes? What did the decoration on their clothes and these objects look like? How were they made? These can be some of the questions one might ask when referring to the objects that First Nations made through beadwork. Read more

Ontario Doug – The Adventure Begins

There are many things Ontario Doug and Dr. Lucy Troweler want to explore while at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology.  In addition to the various exhibits and Lawson Village, there are a lot of different activities happening at the museum this summer.

Ontario Doug with Poetter
Checking out the pottery activity.

Dr. Lucy is really interested in what’s happening behind the scenes and has already started exploring the museum’s on-line collection to find out more about the museum’s artifacts and how they can be used to inspire an appreciation for Ontario’s cultural diversity. Dusty and Seabiscuit are really looking forward to checking out all the fun stuff our future archaeologists are doing at the museum during Summer Camp and Ontario Doug can’t wait to help out during the Youth Dig-It Camp in August. Read more

Emergency Treatment for Your Collectibles

Collections: Emergency Treatments for your Collectables

If we could prevent disasters, we would never have to worry about the safety and housing of our collection. In reality, disasters are unexpected and can cause irreversible damage to some of our most precious objects (take a look at the video of the sinkhole at the Corvette Museum). Some artifacts, fortunately, can be salvaged bythe work of experts. A local example was the 2004 flood in Peterborough, Ontario in which 1 meter of water seeped into the vault of the Peterborough Centennial Museum Association (PCMA), affecting many of the Roy Studio photographic materials. (You can read about the restoration initiative here.) Read more

Context in Archaeology

Context in Archaeology or “where did it come from?” is one of the most important questions archaeologists ask.  One of the primary philosophies in archaeology is reconstructing daily life of human history and prehistory through material remains. Although one artifact can outline the potential age of a site and its trade relations between communities, it cannot tell you the bigger picture of how the object is understood and what it means to the daily life of the people unless you look at its association with the environment and other material remains that surround it.

So how do we look at context in archaeology? The stratigraphy (the layering of soils and remains) of a site and the objects within each layer are examined in order to understand the meaning of the object and its association to the site. Soil develops layers over time; therefore objects found in one layer are considered to be related and date to a similar time of use, while objects found in another layer, either above or below, are deposited at an alternate time and indicate a different period of use. Read more