Hello, I’m Dane Ferry. I have been with the museum since February of 2015. I came to here of this position through Western University’s Work-Study program and thought it would be an enriching and educational employment experience. My previous employment in the service industry combined with over six years of volunteering with local non-profit organizations has prepared me well for my duties at the museum. The work environment here is unlike any other in which I have experienced, it is fun, lively and enthralling. Read more
Hello, I’m Arienne!
I have been an Education Assistant with the museum since January 2015. I am in charge of making your days of learning and exploring at MOA as great as possible. So far I am loving my role, I have learned so much about Ontario’s history – who knew so much went on right where we stand! Read more
Woodland Painting Workshop and Norval Morriseau
Woodland Style painting was invented by Norval Morrisseau (Copper Thunderbird), an Ojibway artist from the Sandy Point Reserve, near Beardmore, Ontario. He was born March 14, 1932 and died in Toronto, December 4, 2007. One of Canada’s most well known Aboriginal artists, he left behind thousands of paintings and a whole new art form that has influenced three generations of artists. Read more
My name is Kayley and I am a curatorial assistant here at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology. I got the position as part of the work-study program with Western University. I also split my work-study hours with Sustainable Archaeology. I have worked at the museum since September, and have worked with Nicole since she returned as our full-time curator! I love working at the museum because I have no prior experience in a museum setting, only in cultural resource management archaeology (CRM). CRM is very different from museum work because most of the artifacts that I have experience with aren’t nearly as pretty as those that are in the museum’s collection. Read more
Wonderful World Adventures Camp 2015
March Break – March 16-20, 2015 –
Take an adventure through the many wonders of the world. Explore the ancient, natural, modern, underwater, and medieval wonders through games, activities and crafts. Read on to learn some of the activities we have in store! Read more
This year’s Valentine’s Day blog is about the archaeology behind Mrs. Agatha Christie, a famous crime novelist with a strong and loving connection to archaeology.
Agatha Christie was born September 15, 1890 in the UK. In 1928, a visit to the excavation site of Ur (modern Iraq) sparked her interest in archaeology. She writes, ‘The lure of the past came up to grab me. To see a dagger slowly appearing, with its gold glint, through the sand was romantic. The carefulness of lifting pots and objects from the soil filled me with a longing to be an archaeologist myself.’ – A. Christie, An Autobiography (London, 1981), p. 389
It was during this time that she met archaeologist Max Mallowan, whom she married in 1930. Max Mallowan (1904-1978) was first an assistant to Sir Leonard Woolley at Ur and later a field director in Western Asia. He is known for conducting further excavations of the Nimrud ivories of the Assyrian kingdom 900-612 BC between 1949 and 1963 Read more
The Battle of the Thames took place on October 5th, 1813 as part of the conflict of the war of 1812.
The war of 1812 began for various reasons including numerous attempted invasions from Americans into Canada. The efforts from this war helped shape Canadian independence from the United States. First Nation participants and our founding fathers were able to fight off invading American troops and establish a sense of Canadian nationalism. Between 1812 and 1813, Chief Tecumseh brought together First Nation tribes from across both sides of the border to defend native lands.
I was inspired by MOA’s new exhibit on the Chippewa’s involvement in the war of 1812 so I traveled westward to the location of the Battle of the Thames just outside of Chatham Ontario. At the site, there is a plaque citing both the battle significance and the accomplishments of Chief Tecumseh. I was inspired to learn more about the Battle of the Thames and the circumstances leading up to it in the war. Read more
What are wampums?
Wampums are visual memory keepers that help record history and communicate ideas. Beaded patterns represent a person, nation, event, invitation, shared values and understandings/agreements between two or more parties. Traditional wampum belts were used as covenants and petitions for understanding. Words spoken during an agreement are made into wampum to be used for ceremony, teaching, and reminders of law and values.
Who do they belong to? Read more
In his 1914 archaeology report on Ontario Effigy Pipes in Stone, Col. Geo. E. Laidlaw writes about the unique Lizard Pipe specimens in Ontario, of which we have on display in our permanent exhibit with a unique provenance.
Lizard Pipes are ” nearly always a white or light-gray stone, [of] steatite and limestone.” Steatite pipes, being a stronger material, have held their carved features better than the softer limestone. Col. Laidlaw distinguishes two categories of effigy pipes:
“1st, Long slender stemmed pipes, with effigies, either human or lizard, clasping the front of the bowl, with head projecting above rim, and when the effigy is a lizard the tail extends along underside of stem. Sometimes only the human head is represented (in one case an animal) perched on edge of bowl.
2nd, Stemless bowls of an ovoid or vase type, with the effigies clasping, or crawling up the bowl on the opposite side of the stem hole. In this second division, so far as observed, the effigies are those of lizards, with one exception.” ** Read more
Glove: Fact or Fiction
To wear gloves or not to wear gloves? This is a question archaeologist and historians have been debating for decades. Traditionally gloves were used when handling all artifacts, but new evidence suggests that wearing gloves might actually do more harm than good.
Read the following statements and try to determine whether they are fact, or just a myth! Once you have your answer, scroll down to see if you are correct!
#1: People have oils in their skin that can be harmful to artifact(s) they handle.
#2: You don’t need to wear gloves when handling manuscripts, touching them is actually good!
#3: You need to wear gloves when handling all textiles and furniture, the wood and fabric will decay if you touch it. Read more