Staff Detail

David Robertson

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David has been on staff at ASI since 1988 and is Director of the firm’s Planning Division, which includes Stage 4 salvage excavation of Indigenous and Euro-Canadian sites, among other activities. As the Manager of the Planning Division, he is responsible for the successful completion of green field and brown field archaeological resource assessment projects undertaken under the Planning Act process.

David also acts as the primary Project Archaeologist for most of ASI’s work in complex urban settings. In this regard he specializes in the analysis of land use histories in terms of their effects on archaeological potential and landscape integrity, and in the development and implementation of on-site excavation strategies to identify, evaluate and, where necessary, fully excavate complex urban residential, industrial and institutional archaeological resources. He also has considerable experience in integrating archaeological resource considerations within broader built heritage and cultural landscape studies.

David has worked as Project Manager, Project Archaeologist, Senior Researcher or Technical Advisor for numerous large scale planning projects, including seven municipal Archaeological Management Plans and other large-scale public agency cultural heritage inventory and planning studies, as well as for dozens of comprehensive and large scale Indigenous and post-contact archaeological site excavations across Ontario. He has also served as field director on well over 500 Stage 1, 2, 3, and 4 archaeological assessments throughout the province.

Between 1999 and 2003, David was a member of the Editorial Board of Ontario Archaeology, the scholarly journal of the Ontario Archaeological Society, the premier archaeological organization in the province. He is also a member of Council for Northeast Historical Archaeology (CNEHA).

David has published extensively, on both Ontario historical and precontact archaeology. Some of his recent publications include the chapter co-authored with Eva MacDonald and David Spittal “A Forty Year Fascination with Fort York” which was part of the 2014 volume The Archaeology of the War of 1812. His expertise in the Toronto waterfront was featured in the chapter he co-authored with Andrew Stewart titled “The Garrison Creek Mouth and the Queen’s Wharf: Digging up 200 Years of Shoreline Development”, which was part of the 2008 volume; HTO: Toronto’s Water from Lake Iroquois to Lost Rivers to Low Flow Toilets.

His continued interest in precontact archaeology can be seen in two of the articles he published in Ontario Archaeology. In 2005 he published the articleGlimpsed through the Smoke: a Survey of Two-dimensional Figurative Imagery on Woodland Period Smoking Pipes from Southern Ontario.” In 2004 he authored a paper on a fourteenth century site in the Scarborough area, “A Place to Prepare for the Final Journey: The Archaeology of the Hutchinson Site.”

He received a BA in Anthropology and a MA in Medieval Studies from the University of Toronto.

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