The Museum of Ontario Archaeology is a unique Canadian museum devoted to the study, display, and interpretation of the human occupation of Southwestern Ontario over the past 13,000 years. The Museum is located beside the Lawson Site, which was occupied in the 16th century A.D.
Our mission: Through stewardship, research, and education, the Museum continually strives to advance our understanding of Ontario’s archaeological heritage. We bring the human past to life, make it relevant to understanding the present, and inspire an appreciation of, and respect for, Ontario’s cultural diversity.
The Museum of Ontario Archaeology grew out of a collection of artifacts started by Wilfrid Jury and his father Amos Jury (1861-1964). Wilfrid and Amos acquired Native Artifacts collected by farmers in Lobo township. Their displays became popular at fairs, such as the Western Fair, and at temporary exhibits. In 1933, when plans for the Lawson Memorial Library were made, Ray Lawson (a prominent businessman and owner of the Lawson Site) requested that space be provided for the Museum of Indian Archaeology and Pioneer Life, and for it to be curated by the Jurys.
In 1973, plans were made to develop the Lawson Site and to create a permanent home for the Wilfrid Jury Collection of Indian Artifacts. To facilitate the revitalization, Dr. William D. Finlayson was appointed Executive Director. Finlayson envisioned a university-based archaeological research centre with a display gallery and public programs that would include the ongoing excavation of the site. A partial reconstruction of the Lawson Site would take shape beside the newly constructed Museum. By 1978, the museum’s name was changed to The Museum of Indian Archaeology (London).