Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Public Archaeology Day Workshop

On a sunny but cold third of November 2013, the Huronia Chapter of the OAS held its Public Archaeology Symposium at the Huronia Museum, Midland, Ontario, from 10 am to 4 pm. It was a wonderful opportunity to experience university-level tuition in the various archaeological disciplines, led by professional archaeologists such as Alicia Hawkins (Laurentian University, Sudbury campus), Holly Martelle of Timmins-Martelle Heritage Consultants (London, Ontario), and last but not least Jamie Hunter (Huronia Museum, Midland). The chapter was also delighted to have the services of Rudy Fecteau, a master in the arcane mysteries of archaeobotanical investigation.
Some people were so eager (and so challenged by clock changing mathematics) that they turned up an hour early ― well, okay, one member, me. I know, spring forward, fall back.

Jamie Hunter of Huronia museum pointing out archaeological sites in Huronia.

Stations (tables) were set up catering to the various areas of archaeological specialty:cataloging and categorizing (Kristin Thor ― she makes logical thinking seem easy, and remember, I was the one who was clock-challenged); ceramics (Holly Martelle, entrancing, in every way, but I am referring to what she knows ― she talked about pottery discoveries on the nearby Ball site and made shattered bits of pots seem like the most exciting mystery story ever); historical archaeology (Jamie Hunter, the only man I know who refers to St. Jean de Brébeuf as “Booboo,” but Jamie has been around so long they probably knew each other, so all is forgiven); John Raynor (the spider in his web, awaiting any and all questions on the archaeology of Simcoe County, accompanied by his famed Map of the Sites in Simcoe); lithics (stone cold, man, stone cold); osteology (Alicia Hawkins ― she makes CSI look like a bunch of hobbyists); and of course archaeobotany (Rudy Fecteau ― who could charm a seed out of its pod or sweet talk a microscope to tell all); and washing the recently excavated finds (our own Huronia Chapter OAS member, Stephanie “Hockey Gurl.”

The real thrill for those of us who had excavated at the Allen Tract this last summer was that many of the things we were examining had been found there at good old BeGx-76. It was like coming home.

Recent finds from our public dig. 

Stephanie Duffy & Marg Raynor washing artifacts

Even CTV from Barrie arrived, getting in on the action. You know you are doingsomething right when 400-year-old archaeology features as news. 

Rumour had it that CTV actually came along for Marg Raynor’s soup and delectable edibles, which served as our midday break; let’s say one of the three sisters featured and sat very well on the digestion.

I hope this becomes an annual event. I have lots to learn: maybe a special station on

“Clocks, the setting and using of” might be considered in future. ― Peter Davis (November 2013)

No comments: