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May 20, 2009

Archaeologist for a day

The young fellow, pictured at right, is Scott Eckford, a member of the Toronto Region Conservation Authority's Restoration Services. He is holding a Indian arrowhead, or as archaeologists call them "points". It was the only really exciting artefact that 3 TRCA staffers and 6 volunteers, including me, found during a 5-hour archaeology research survey of a field on Jim Rainey's farm in north-west King Township. It was a learning experience for some of us. I learned a couple of things.
#1. Walking back and forth, bent over, across farm fields, for hours at a time is a back-breaking pastime.]
#2. You have to be very, very patient to be an archaeologist (45 man-hours produced one arrowhead). Plus there was lot of pre and post-activity involved by the TRCA folks.
Was it worth it? As a first-time experience it was very interesting; mainly because there was a lot of information exchanged. King Township has largely been overlooked, archaeologically, among Greater Toronto Area municipalities. The Royal Ontario Museum did numerous digs in King, decades ago, but the sites were never officially registered. And the fate and whereabouts of the ROM's artefacts, from those digs, is questionable. There's even a suggestion that they may even have been put out with the trash - inadvertently.
But the situation is changing. With ever increasing development pressures on King Township, organizations, like the TRCA, are trying to leap into the breach when it comes to the study of King's human history and prehistory. Can you dig it? Well. if local archaeology sounds like something you may be interested in, go to and click on the Claremont Archaeology Festival icon to find out about TRCA's first-ever archaeology festival on June 7. You and your family can just be observers or you can actually help in the excavation of the remains of an 1870s era blacksmith's homestead.
As for me, I heading to bed early tonight, to rest these weary bones.

1 comment:

brenda said...

Hi Barry, I met you last Wed. during the archeology search with Margie. It was interesting. Remember, I found a fossil, a fuse, and a shotgun shell. Oh, and old pliers. That was pretty good for a first day, but none of it was the right stuff!

I wanted to warn others of something. The day after the search I noticed my finger was infected, the next day I was put on antibiotics for cellulitis, the whole finger was very swollen and red.
The pain that night was awful. An abscess formed along the cuticle (is this too much information?).
Any way I have been suffering ever since with this and it's not over yet.
So my warning is, if you are digging around in farmer's fields, better have some way getting the dirt off your hands as soon as possible.

Enjoy your blog.
Brenda Cooney