Sunday, October 05, 2014

For Passion or Profit

Members Meeting -  Wednesday October 8th 2014

 Huronia Museum, Midland - 7 PM

Presenter - John Raynor
Subject - For Passion or Profit - a paper presented at the Canadian Archaeological Association in May 2014

This paper will examine the role of the avocational archaeologist over time in Ontario with a particular focus on the archaeology of Huronia.
In a landscape where most of the archaeology in Ontario today is carried out by CRM companies under contract to the private sector and by a few universities that can still squeeze out the funds to do research and fieldwork, what is the role and motivation of the avocationalist?
In this paper we will examine the history of archaeology in Huronia and the rich record left behind by pioneers in a field well before there were any monetary rewards or many accolades to be had. Who were they, what did they do and perhaps more importantly, why did they do it?
We will also examine where we are today. When about 10% of the archaeological licences issued in Ontario are for avocational archaeologists, some with little formal academic training or credentials, where can their interest and enthusiasm be best used?  As the regulations governing archaeology tighten up and the bureaucracy stiffens, is it still an environment that can attract those driven by passion rather than profit to do what the love to do, or are the costs and liabilities becoming so high that they will either not enter the field or crawl back into the dirt pile and become the pot hunters of the past? 

Meetings are open to the public at no charge.