Navigate / search

Who is Wilfrid Jury? (Part 3)

Archaeological Sites with Wilfrid Jury

Southwold Earthworks


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.

Wilf took the lessons he learned from Wintemberg at Southwold as a foundation to complete his own excavations at other local sites. By 1935 Wilf began teaching archaeology as part of the University of Western Ontario summer schools and in class seminars on history. As part of his courses, he took students to participate in excavations of his sites, including the Lawson site beginning in July 1938.

More information on Southwold:


Clearville Site

Amos and Wilf at the Clearville Site 1939 (Municipality of Chatham-Kent, Ontario, Canada)
Amos and Wilf at the Clearville Site
1939 (Municipality of Chatham-Kent, Ontario, Canada)

Clearville is the first site Wilf undertook on his own with support from the university in 1939. Clearville made significant contributions to archaeological knowledge, since Wilf demonstrated the village had three successive occupations, an important precedent he would utilize on all of his later projects. Wilfrid also learned that utilizing specialists from inter-disciplinary studies at the university allowed him to gain more in depth analysis of items such as fish bones, skeletal remains, and soils found onsite, something that Wilf employed in later excavations and what archaeology continues to do in the present. Wilf further engaged the media to ensure frequent coverage of the site and the objects unearthed.




Wilf at Burley site (c 1947-1950 Port Franks, Lambton County, Ontario, Canada)
Wilf at Burley site
(c 1947-1950
Port Franks, Lambton County, Ontario, Canada)

Lambton County Sites

As a child Wilf left with Amos on long hunting and fishing excursions to the Kettle Point area and this is where they began surface collecting artifacts they happened to come across. Kettle Point is unique since it contains massive quantities of high quality chert is a small area. Later in Wilf’s life, while at the University of Western Ontario, he undertook detailed investigations at a series of camps and flint workshops in the dunes around Port Franks from 1946 to 1948.

Read more about the archaeology at Kettle Point area in this 1985 edition of the KEWA report of the Ontario Archaeology Society:



Fairfield Mission at Moraviantown

Wilf completed major excavations at Fairfield between 1942 and 1947. This was the first site Wilf excavated that had archival data associated with it. By combining historic maps, journals, and archaeological evidence, Wilf was able to provide a comprehensive view of what the site would have looked like during occupation and what took place there. The site had been established in 1792 by Pennsylvania based Moravian missionaries and was the first Protestant mission in Upper Canada. Their village had a definite street plan, lined with cabins, surrounding a central church and school. Wilf concluded that at times, up to 200 people lived there and they brought a new higher quality of life to the pioneer settlements already here.

Learn more about Wilfrid Jury:


Leave a comment


email* (not published)


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.