As is tradition at MOA, we turn our focus inward to introduce staff profiles. Meet Angela and Andrew, our newest team members. Both have come to the museum on a contract from now until the end of March 2017 and will be focused on enhancing both our volunteer and membership programs. Read more
Long before the creation of this blog, and before the digital Palisade E-Post, the museum sent out paper newsletters. First published in February 1979, each Palisade Post issue is a snapshot of what was happening in Ontario archaeology during this time, and is the basis of our Look Back series.
Underwater Archaeology in Ontario: An Overview
April 1982 Vol 4. No. 2 Author: Scarlett Janusas (ed note: Ms. Janusas was an intern at the museum at the time).
Underwater archaeologists share a common goal with treasure hunters and salvagers: each wants to bring to the surface that which the sea and other bodies of water have claimed. In all other respects, the similarities between these groups disappear.
Treasure hunters, as the label implies, occupy themselves with the removal of items for which monetary gains may be made. Occasionally, they may complete maps denoting positions of artifacts and other items of worth, but these maps at best, are just sketches employed for relocating the site for the sole purpose of continuing the pillage. Salvagers are even less concerned with recording and mapping. Their purpose is to haul up items which can later be sold for scrap metal. There is a time and profit incentive for both the treasure hunter and the salvager. Greater profits can be realized by spending less actual time on the site. Read more
Editor’s note: We’ll be sharing the Field School Experiences over the next weeks from students in the program. This week, meet Jeff Hardy.
Editor: Gordon Nicotine-Sands, our 2016 Harvest Festival Pow-Wow Emcee, provides some information below on the origins of a pow-wow and its significance to First Nations peoples and some information on each of the dances that you’ll witness. You can find event details at the bottom of the post Key points to know . Read more
Editor: We’re releasing the news of our new Executive Director: meet Dr. Rhonda Bathurst.
The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Dr. Rhonda Bathurst has been appointed as the new Executive Director of the Museum of Ontario Archaeology. Her position will commence on September 26, 2016.
Rhonda received her PhD in Anthropology from McMaster University in 2005, and has worked in archaeology around the world, including Belize, Iceland, California, the Pacific Northwest Coast and here at home in Ontario. With seven years of experience managing Sustainable Archaeology: Western, just next door, Rhonda is already well acquainted with the Museum, its core values and its staff. Read more
We asked our Curator, Nicole Aszalos, to comment on this Guardian Article and share her Museum Curator’s secrets.
The Secrets of the Museum Curators from The Guardian is a well written article, with some of England’s top flight curators sharing thoughts on their careers. Although the article is not an in-depth discussion of the curatorial field, it does provide some effective and honest career insights for the aspiring curator. In the short article the curators also try to solve some misconceptions commonly associated with the profession.
Often when I say I am a curator, responses run along the lines of ‘Oh that’s interesting.. .What is that?” Now when we compound that on the fact that I am a curator at an archaeology museum, it can make for some interesting conversations due to the uniqueness of the position. The most common misconception about a curator’s role is that the majority of your time is spent doing exhibit design and selecting objects to make a gallery look pretty. Realistically, that is maybe 25 percent of the job. Curators are the keepers of the museum’s collection. This means we research, catalogue, preserve, conserve, and house museum objects for current and future generations. We maintain the gallery AND collection space and coordinate interns and volunteers. In actuality, it is a lot more behind the scenes than many people realise (editor’s note: imagine an iceberg. What the public gets to see in a museum is only the tip, above the water). Read more
The Lawson Site Un-Field School Was a Success!
By Dr. Neal Ferris, Lawson Chair of Canadian Archaeology, Western University.
It has been a few weeks since the end of our first “Un Field School” here at the Lawson site, with students and instructors since moving on. But, for me, I finally have a moment now to reflect on the field school and what we discovered during those three weeks. Below is an update and brief summary of what we managed to achieve.
This Lawson field school had several aims: First, it needed to be instructive and a good learning experience for the Western anthropology students who took the course. Second, it had to serve the needs of the Museum’s Lawson Site Management Plan and provide insight on how we can best manage this site long term. Third, it had to be a successful experience for the volunteers and visitors who joined us. Our goal was to make archaeology accessible to non-archaeologists and to underscore to the class the bigger context within which we do archaeology today. Finally, I was hoping to learn just a little bit more about the Lawson site. Not just to care for it as the Lawson Chair, but also to have a better sense of the importance of this place. It has been both an ancient home and village and is one of the oldest continuously excavated sites in Canada. Really, when you think of it, the entire history of Canadian archaeology has happened on this site! Read more
Four Years at MOA, by Joan Kanigan
It is with a combined sense of anticipation and regret that I prepare my final blog for the Museum of Ontario Archaeology. I am proud of what the museum has been able to accomplish over the past four years and my decision to leave was difficult. As I write this blog, our Summer Camp program is completely full, the roof and HVAC systems are being replaced, and we are in the process of adding movable shelving in the collection storage room. So much has changed over the past four years that I wanted to take this opportunity to review and celebrate what has been accomplished as the museum prepares to develop exciting new exhibits, increase community partnerships, and improve the management of the Lawson Site. Read more
Have you ever wondered what tools archaeologists use and why they are important? Ontario Doug is helping answer those questions by sharing the contents of the professional archaeologist’s tool kit.
The most iconic tool in an archaeologist’s field kit is the trowel. Trowels allow archaeologists to carefully clear thin layers of soil, making it easier to reveal features in the ground. At the Lawson Site, a common feature archaeologists find are post moulds, which look like dark circular stains in the ground. An archaeologist needs to have a good eye to catch the changes in soil colour when excavating. Read more