Welcome to Sustainable Archaeology McMaster

trowelsSustainable Archaeology is a joint project between McMaster University and the University of Western Ontario (UWO), supported by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation. This 9.8 million-dollar initiative to physically and digitally consolidate Ontario archaeological collections facilitates current and future use by any and all interested researchers.

The McMaster facility focuses on materials analysis, including petrographic, biogeochemical, zooarchaeological and geoarchaeological studies. The focus of the UWO facility is on 3D digitization and virtual environments. Combined, the facilities provide cutting-edge laboratories and equipment, accessible research collections and a database of digital data and macroscopic and microscopic imagery of archaeological materials.

This collaborative venture provides a sustainable future for archaeological research in Ontario.

Located at McMaster Innovation Park, the Sustainable Archaeology McMaster focuses on the long-term storage and analysis of Ontario archeological collections, with the goal of providing collections access and research space for academic and commercial cultural resource management archaeologists.

The facility also welcomes collaboration with other researchers with an interest in studying the past, whether the focus is cultural, environmental, or biological.

Featured posts

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 […]


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Explore the Collection:

Explore the collection through archaeological sites. Allows users to view the range of artifacts uncovered at individual sites and to understand how assemblages vary between sites.
Explore the collection through the materials used to make artifacts. Learn about the strengths and weaknesses of certain materials and watch how materials and techniques have changed over time.