Day of Archaeology 2016

Take a time trip beginning with the early formal archaeology and its avocational or ‘collector’ foundations and parallels in the Province, through the classic works of the 1950s and the heyday 1960s and 1970s, down through the development of legislation, great syntheses and compilations. Shortly thereafter, we mark the process of standardisation in the practice […]

The Legacy of Looting: The Darker Heritage of Archaeology Collections in Ontario

“…they actually had cemetery digging bees – just like you’d have a barn-raising bee. People would crowd in and just have a picnic lunch and dig through these graves, which is, I mean what can you say? There’s really no way of describing the wrongness of that. But that’s what happened…”  – Bill Fox “…how […]

Artifacts on Air

The collections held by Sustainable Archaeology McMaster mean many things to many different people. A group of artifacts can tell a story about a way of life and affords insight into how people have lived and changed in the region over thousands of years. In the past (and unfortunately still sometimes today), descendant communities and […]

Sustainable Education: New Visions for Teaching in the Field

The McMaster archaeological field school, directed by Dr. Scott Martin, has created a lot of buzz here at Sustainable Archaeology, and it has got us thinking about current approaches to teaching and learning in the field and how they relate to our goals for collections management and research in Ontario. A couple weeks ago, the […]

“Arch. in the Workplace”: Collections & Community

Access and engagement are pivotal values for Sustainable Archaeology, and we routinely take part in events that provide the opportunity for community engagement, such as Doors Open and Day of Archaeology 2015. This month, we were asked to put together two displays for the 20th exhibit of Art in the Workplace (AWP). This programme has […]

The Value of Legacies: Revisiting Collections at Sustainable Archaeology McMaster

There is no doubt that McMaster’s Department of Anthropology and Sustainable Archaeology have benefited from legacy collections. In our last post, we detailed our methods for processing these assemblages to ensure their preservation and facilitate their use by researchers today. As the McMaster Legacy Collection Project progresses, the value of these materials and their reuse […]

McMaster Legacy Collection Project

A big part of our work at SA: McMaster is processing the legacy collections associated with decades of archaeological work by faculty and students in the McMaster anthropology department. We are tracking our progress and site information here, and also have a series of posts planned that detail what is involved in working with legacy collections.    While […]

Catalogues and Context – the Gunby Site (AiGx-5)

As we mentioned in our post on the Hicks Site, we will occasionally be reaching out to ask for assistance in identifying or clarifying site provenience. Today’s post is slightly different. We know when and where the Gunby Site was excavated but do not have associated records to accompany the 27 boxes of material from […]

Artifact Imaging: Z-Stacking a Scraper

Part of our work at SA McMaster is to explore artifact material and manufacture technique using our Zeiss AxioZoom high resolution microscope. Occasionally we will be posting photographs to highlight a range of artifacts and the imaging techniques we use to capture them in detail. First up, we have a scraper from the Sealey Site. […]

Day of Archaeology 2015

To our delight, Sustainable Archaeology McMaster recently participated in our first Day of Archaeology. Our post covers a bit of everything, outlining the purpose of the initiative as well as some of our ongoing projects and what our daily tasks consist of. We would like to give a big thanks to the organizers of this […]

Mystery Box #1: the Hicks Site

As we mentioned in our first post, the Sustainable Archaeology McMaster team spends a lot of time trying to sort out the provenience and excavation details of the collections in our care. To try and help solve these mysteries, we’ll be posting about some of the more bemusing cases from time to time, asking readers […]

The Archaeology of Archaeology

If there’s one thing archaeologists are good at, it’s gleaning as much knowledge as possible from the tiniest scraps of information. Today, archaeologists make a point of festooning their collections with all of this hard won data so that future generations won’t have to – er – dig for it quite as vigorously as they […]