Ontario Archaeological Society―Huronia
and Sunday, 17 and 18
August 2013, were the “Public Archaeology Days,” sponsored and hosted by the
Huronia Chapter of the OAS. Nature smiled on us with two gorgeous days of sun
and soft breezes (no thunder storms as we endured last year), and the turnout
was spectacular, at least 25 people on each day, with
ages ranging from youngsters to
oldsters, each and every one being avid to get going and make great
dig was held at the Allen tract, in the Simcoe County Forests of the Tay
lying between Midland and Penetanguishene. The
task ahead of us was to continue sifting the soil of a midden which had been
disturbed by pot-hunters, which we had spent two days on last year, to find
what they had missed, and to bring the disturbed level down to untouched soil.
The dig is under the licence and aegis of Dr. Alicia Hawkins of
(Sudbury campus); also attending both
days were Drs. Bonnie Glencross and Gary Warrick,
both of Wilfrid Laurier University in
Kitchener-Waterloo.; we were also graced with the
inspired and inspirational presence of
several happy youngsters ― imagine their utter delight:
an open invitation to get dirty.
our hard work and dedication were rewarded: many beads (both glass and shell),
some copper material, several chert
sherds, and the ever present burned corn, fish and mammal bones. There were
some anomalies: some .22 shell casings (presumably not Ouendat or the books
will have to be rewritten) and a broken axe head (whether it is trade period or
not will have to be determined by much wiser minds, but it sure raised the
blood pressures of several
of us). The beads were distinctive and
varied, ranging from round shell or bone beads to a large, indigo coloured
“football” bead, to varicoloured striped glass, tiny round red glass, long
white and blue glass beads, and even a double football, fused, and incised, bead
of dark indigo colour, very distinctive and a neat find. Gary Warrick took a
walk in the creekbed, upstream from our dig, and came back with a huge collar
of a pot, about the size of the open palm of one’s hand.
He reported more such sherds, too, but
left them in situ.
Dr. Hawkins has given a preliminary date
to this site, from the beads being found there,
of somewhere around 1610-30; it is, of
course, a contact site, with the presence of French trade material being very
evident. It is the intention of the chapter to continue the investigations next
year, and it is fervently hoped that both Laurentian and Wifrid Laurier
Universities will conduct field schools on this site and nearby sites in the
years to come. All are invited to attend next year,
and are encouraged to join the Ontario
Archaeological Society. See you then.
Davis, August 2013.
For more photos & Videos of this event please visit the PA 2013 album on our Facebook page.