Archaeology

There are over 600 archaeological sites in Huronia, ranging from First Nations village sites to a single artifact such as an arrowhead.  Archaeological research has been underway in this area since the second half of the 19th century and many excavations have been made.

Archaeology is the study of past human societies,  primarily through the recovery and analysis of material  culture environmental data which they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes (the archaeological record).

Humans first came to live in the area of Huronia in 10,000 to 12,000 B.C.  In the past, it was believed that they came from the Pacific by means of the Bering Land Bridge, but recent thought suggests that these people were possibly trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic.

The Huronia Museum has some 750,000 artifacts in its collection with some 6,000 items on display.  In particular the displays shows the cultural and technological evolution during the period 1200-1650.

The archaeological displays are an excellent compliment to visitors who have experienced the Huron Village.

The time before contact with the French is referred to as Pre-contact, and after trade began with the French, as the Contact period.  Metal artifacts in particular signifies the change, although First Nations had some access to and traded copper items.

Displays include: stone tools, pottery, clay pipes, bone tools, beads, wampum, trade axes, metal hinges, nails. and other items.

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The Huronia Museum assists the Huronia Chapter of the Ontario Archaeological Society, which holds a monthly public meeting at the museum starting at 7:00 PM on the second Thursday of the month, with a talk about archaeology. These are often on the subjects of Huronia archaeology.

For more information on the Huronia Chapter of the Ontario Archaeological Society

3 thoughts on “Archaeology

  1. I had heard from a relative on the Metis Council in Owen Sound that an archaeological dig was going to be happening in the area this summer. I was hoping to find more information on this as I am a bioarchaeological anthropology student and I am looking for summer employment. Any assistance would be much appreciated.

  2. Dear Society,

    I’m trying to find a picture and some info of an artifact similar to one that my grandfather had found in his backyard. He lived on Birch St in Midland Ont, high above in a small neighbourhood overlooking the Midland Marina and a grain elevator. He had found a French button with a few French words, either a trading button or possibly a button from a missionary or a soldier. He handed in the button to a local church but always wanted to know more to tell his grandkids. His name was Gordan Ramsay (passed away in 1995). If you have any local knowledge of the area and a picture of the artifact that would really help tell the story of Grandfathers gardening find!

    Brad Mellor
    Calgary Alberta

    • Hi Brad;
      I was cruising the Huronia museum blog and came across you post. As I am not aware of a Birch St in Midland I have assumed that he lived on Birchwood that has the potential of the vista that you mention. Do know or can you find his street address. I am an archaeologist in the Midland area and would be quite interested to know what property the artifacts were found on. The artifact may well indicate the location of an archaeological site that is worth further investigation.
      As to securing a photograph of the artifact, did the museum find anything for you? If not, do you know what church your grandfather donated the artifact to and what indicators do you have that it may have ended up at the Huronia museum?
      If you can provide me with all little further info, I would be interested in following this up for you to see what I can find. You can email me at jraynor@rogers.com

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