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Soapstone Pendants

gorget: stone used in pendants
Gorget Approximately 300-1000 years old

Creative Workshop: Soapstone Pendant Making

Soapstone pendant making is a creative workshop offered at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology to compliment the understanding and appreciation for First Nation gorgets.

Gorgets are typically made from hard slate stone and are drilled to make into a necklace and personal ornamentation. They were made during leisure time as the slate takes a large amount of time and skill to shape (with an abrader/flat rock) and hand drill. Some even featured symbols and other markings.

During this 30 minute workshop, we have modified the tools but kept the traditional method the same. Instead of slate, students are each given a piece of soapstone, a soft rock which is easy to mould. Similar to the traditional method of creating a hole in the gorget, students can hand drill their own hole through their gorget by using an arrowhead attached to a wooden stick. Read more

Underwater Archaeology

Underwater Archaeology is one of the many hands-on workshops offered at Museum of Ontario Archaeology. This program explains how archaeologists use context and critical thinking while excavating in order to understand the site and to put together stories that artifacts may reveal about the culture of the site.

Underwater archaeology is more difficult than archaeology on land as you have to know how to dive, breathe under water, maneuver through dark or muddy waters, communicate to your team, avoid sharks (this is very important!), and write and record your findings while under water. You air tanks even limit the time you can spend excavating.

Instructions: Read more

Who is Wilfrid Jury? (Part 4)

Wilfrid Jury’s Archaeological Work

St Ignace II

WIlfrid Jury at St Ignace II 1960
St Ignace II 1960

St Ignace II was one of several Jesuit Mission sites in Huron- Wendat territories during the mid 1600’s. In March of 1649, the Huron-Wendat village and Jesuit mission were attacked and captured by Five Nations Iroquois. Jesuit missionaries Brebeuf and Lalement from the nearby St.Louis mission were captured and taken back to St Ignace II and killed.  Wintemberg previously conducted excavations at St. Ignace II in 1937 and 1938 and continued actively on the site until his untimely death in 1941. Excavations halted both due to Wintembergs death and World War II. However the Jesuits appealed to Sherwood Fox, Present of the University of Western Ontario, to continue excavations on site. In 1946, with the assistance of President Fox and Wintembergs notes, Wilf resumed excavations which uncovered a structure he interpreted as a Jesuit church or chapel. Wilf also undertook partial reconstruction of the site, inolving a frame of the longhouse and segments of the palisade. For Wilf’s efforts, he received a blessing from Pope Pius XII in 1946.

Penetanguishine Read more

Behind the Scenes: Meet Kylie

My name is Kylie Kelly. I have been working as student assistant curator at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology since September 2013. I am fortunate that with my position I get to experience every aspect of the museum, from cataloguing artifacts, organizing exhibits, to assisting with the education programs. I am currently attending Western University for Classical and Medieval studies; I wish to pursue a career in Roman or Egyptian archaeology, specifically in museum and conservation, after I am done my undergrad. My passion for history is what initially drew me to work at the museum. I love everything old. Along with my love of history I am also of Native American descent, so working here has also given me a unique chance to see my own heritage and culture. Read more

Who is Wilfrid Jury? (Part 3)

Archaeological Sites with Wilfrid Jury

Southwold Earthworks

southwold

Prior to 1935, few prehistoric Iroquoian village sites in Southern Ontario had been documented or excavated. From July- September 1935, Wilf conducted the major excavation at Southwold Earthworks, as assistant to renowned archaeologist W. Wintemberg.  They employed a crew of hired men with little excavation experience to complete the manual labor. Despite this limitation they were highly successful and became the first archaeologists to excavate and completely expose a number of longhouses on an Iroquoian village site. They were also the first to systematically map a set of Iroquoian earthworks and palisades. Read more

Archaeology Around the World Camp

Archaeology Around the World camp – July 21st to July 25th (and August 25 to 29th) 2014.

Quill Writing

Archaeology around the world is a theme that’s all about encouraging a sense of adventure and exploration! Learn about unique archaeological sites around the world.

This week starts off with the ancient Romans and Greeks, when you’ll get to learn about the mythology and culture that became the basis of modern Western civilization. We’ll test your knowledge with trivia and make wonderful Gods/Goddesses themed crafts. We make olive wreaths and use sheets and blankets to throw a toga fashion show!

On Tuesday we explore China, the country with one of the oldest continuous civilizations in the world! You’ll get to learn about Chinese art, culture and symbolism and use that knowledge to make your own clay terra cotta warriors, paper lanterns and fly handmade kites in the park. Tuesday is also water day so we get to do a water balloon toss, play ‘drip drip drop’ and have a wild time in the sun splashing around! Read more

Who is Wilfrid Jury? (Part 2)

Wilfrid Jury’s adventures as a young man began in 1914, when he joined the navy. He first served as a recruiting officer in London, Ontario, then became a billeting officer in Montreal and Quebec City. Next he became special messenger to Commander Wyatt at Admiralty House in Halifax. On December 6th, 1917 tragedy struck Halifax Bay when the Belgian Steamer IMO and French Steamship MONT BLANC collided, which resulted in a massive explosion and over 1000 deaths. Within the chaos and confusion of the blast, the Navy sent word to Amos and Julia that their beloved son was missing and presumed dead. Fortunately, Wilf who was severely injured, washed ashore  and was taken in by a kind Darthmouth family who had nursed him back to health. In January of 1918, after being hospitalized for his injuries, Wilf returned to limited duties as an able seaman on the NIOBE, but, less than 6 months later, he contracted tuberculosis and was discharged from the Navy for Medical reasons. He was awarded the War Service Medal and the British War Medal for his service. Read more

Who is Wilfrid Jury? (Part 1)

wilf_house

wilf_mom

William Wilfrid Jury was born at home on the family farm in Lobo Township, located west of London, to Amos Jury (1861-1964) and Julia “Jewel” Adler (1862-1950). Wilf was raised in a well rounded family that had many talents and interests in art, and collecting Native artifacts and pioneer relics. These talents and interests would later influence Wilfrid to pursue his passion in history and archaeology.

As a young boy Wilfrid developed a need to experience more than what was offered in the textbooks. After completing grade seven, Wilf withdrew from school and spent the next few years helping his father on the farm, participating in extended hunting and fishing expeditions in the Port Franks area, and expanding the family’s archaeological collection. It was then that he learnt about the traditional First Nation way of life from Chief Alex Elijah and earned the nickname “Heap of Stones” by the Little Bear Clan for the artifact collection he amassed.  At the end of 1924, the family had only 75 catalogued artifacts, a number that multiplied exponentially in 1925 when Amos and Wilfrid started excavating local camp and village sites. Read more

LIGHTS! CAMERA! ACTION! Volunteer Actors Needed

Director Chair Museum of Ontario Archaeology Video Project

Does your child love to be in the spotlight?  Have you always dreamed of being an actor?

The Museum of Ontario Archaeology is currently shooting a series of videos about the museum and is looking for volunteer actors.  Videos will be used to promote the museum’s programs and will appear on social media platforms and the museum’s website (www.archaeologymuseum.ca).

 

YOUTH and CHILD ACTORS (Volunteer) Read more

Work study Profile: Katie McLean

KatieMc

Name: Katie McLean
How long have you worked at MOA?: Since the beginning of June 2014.
What is your job title and what do you do?: I am a historical interpreter, responsible for assisting with educational programs and developing new workshops/demonstrations for visitors.
What background/training have you completed for this current position? I am entering my fourth year at Western University (Huron), with a focus on Anthropology, French, and History. For the past two summers, I have worked at museums (one on the history of Lambton County, and another on the Basque whaling industry in Québec).
What inspired you to work at MOA? I have always had an interest in archaeology, and in the archaeology of Ontario in particular. I remember visiting MOA while I was in high school and really enjoying the ‘Archaeologist for a Day’ program. I believe it is very important that we understand and appreciate the heritage of this area, and MOA is the ideal place to do just that!
What is your favourite part of your job? My favourite part of my job is getting to work with school groups and seeing how MOA’s interactive activities and demonstrations can increase students’ interest in archaeology and in history. I also really enjoy working as part of a team to develop new historical demonstrations for visitors.
If there was one thing you could tell the world about MOA, what would it be? MOA offers numerous educational programs and day camps for students throughout the year. These provide the perfect opportunity for children to learn about archaeology through fun and interactive activities!