Archaeology Articles

Prehistoric Games of North American Indians Subarctic to Mesoamerica Barbara Voorhies featuring chapter by Ron Williamson and Martin Cooper
Ronald F. Williamson and Martin S. Cooper
Prehistoric Games of North American Indians Subarctic to Mesoamerica (The University of Utah Press) - Barbara Voorhies (Editor)
Prehistoric Games of North American Indians is a collection of studies on the ancient games of indigenous peoples of North America. The authors, all archaeologists, muster evidence from artifacts, archaeological features, ethnography, ethnohistory,...
International Journal of Historical Archaeology
Caitlin Coleman
International Journal of Historical Archaeology, Vol. 20 no. 4 (2016)
The Bishop’s Block site in downtown Toronto contained the foundations of four townhouses constructed between the 1830s and 1860s, which were occupied as private residences into the early twentieth century. From this site...
Eva MacDonald (ASI), David Spittal, and David Robertson (ASI)
Archaeology of the War of 1812 (Left Coast Press) - Michael Lucas (Editor) and Julie M Schabilitsky (Editor)
This is the first summary of archaeological contributions to our understanding of the War of 1812, published as the war commemorates its 200th anniversary. The contributors of original papers discuss recent excavations and...
Gary W. Crawford, Jessica L. Lytle, Ronald F. Williamson and Robert Wojtowicz
American Antiquity, Published online: 26 December 2018
A cache of charred, domesticated chenopod (Chenopodium berlandieri subsp. jonesianum) seeds is reported from the Early Woodland (930–915 cal BC) Tutela Heights site (AgHb-446) in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. This is the northernmost report...
Ronald F. Williamson
Canadian Journal of Archaeology, Volume 42, No 1 (2018)
This article is part of the Canadian Journal of Archaeology’s Special Edition celebrating the Canadian Archaeological Association’s 50th anniversary. Williamson takes a look back at the last fifty years of commercial archaeology in...
Ronald F. Williamson
Heritage Matters
Revealing the past: Ontario's archaeological heritage, October 2015
What is archaeology? This may seem like a straightforward question, but you would be surprised with the answers that Canadians give to this question. In the early 2000s, the University of British Columbia and Department of...
Heidy Schopf and Jennifer Foster
Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, Vol 19, Issue 10 (2014)
Special Issue: Urban post-industrial greenspace
The Leslie Street Spit is best known as an urban wilderness refuge but it has a fascinating, although obscure, social history. Archaeological methods are used here to uncover the material associations between the...
Robert I. MacDonald
Heritage Matters
Revealing the past: Ontario's archaeological heritage, October 2015
While buildings are among the most visible elements of heritage landscapes, they are frequently like the tip of the proverbial iceberg, associated with vast underground archaeological deposits capable of fleshing out cultural history narratives – of both pre-contact Indigenous and...
International Journal of Historical Archaeology
Katherine L. Hull
International Journal of Historical Archaeology, Vol. 20 no. 4 (2016)
Four unusual artifacts reflecting an unambiguous connection with a particular politician or political movement have recently been recovered from archaeological sites in Southern Ontario. These items reflect socio-political issues from the homelands of...
Eva MacDonald and Suzanne Needs-Howarth
In Northeast Historical Archaeology, Volume 42, Special Issue 1 (2013)
Foodways on the Menu: Understanding the Lives of Households and Communities through the Interpretation of Meals and Food-Related Practices.
The partial excavation of the homestead of Colonel John Butler in the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake has afforded the opportunity to explore the daily activities of one Loyalist family after the establishment of the...
Ronald F. Williamson and Robert I. MacDonald
Identity and Heritage: Contemporary Challenges in a Globalized World (Springer)
From the publisher: This book will suggest new agendas for identity and heritage studies by means of presenting contentious issues facing archaeology and heritage management in a globalized world. The book is not...
Ronald F. Williamson and Martin Cooper
Georgian Bay: Discovering A Unique North American Ecosystem
Discover the marvel that is Georgian Bay, its hidden history, its storied rock, culture, and the fragile nature that abounds here. The Bay has been home to Indigenous people for thousands of years....
International Journal of Historical Archaeology
Blake C. M. Williams
International Journal of Historical Archaeology, Vol. 20 no. 4 (2016)
In 2011, during a salvage excavation at the Fort York National Historic Site, Archaeological Services Inc. (ASI) recovered a pinfire shotgun shell cartridge. This unique small find tells a story of the ebb...
Ronald F. Williamson (Editor), Shaun J. Austin (Editor) and David A. Robertson (Editor)
Occasional Publication of ASI, Volume 2
The 1997-2000 archaeological investigations at the Peace Bridge site, carried out on behalf of both the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority and Public Work Departement of the Town of Fort Erie,...
Wesley Oldham
Council for Northeast Historical Archaeology Newsletter, March 2019
In July 2018, ASI undertook a Stage 4 salvage excavation of lands that were once part of the original Hospital Reserve in the Town of York, now Toronto. The hospital was an important...
Jennifer Birch and Ronald F. Williamson
The Archaeology of Villages in Eastern North America (University of Florida Press) - Jennifer Birch and Victor D. Thompson (Editors)
In this chapter, we employ the rich corpus of archaeological settlement data available for southern Ontario and New York State to examine the processes associated with village formation. This included the establishment of...
International Journal of Historical Archaeology
Eva MacDonald
International Journal of Historical Archaeology, Vol. 20 no. 4 (2016)
Why do the smallest artifacts found during the excavation of a site elicit the most visceral response from those who find them and study them? Is it because they are portable items that...
Susan Pfeiffer, Judith C. Sealy, Ronald F. Williamson, Suzanne Needs-Howarth, and Louis Lesage
American Antiquity, Vol. 81 no. 3 (2016)
Following the entry of Zea mays to northeast North America, Northern Iroquoian populations expanded their numbers and range. Isotopic values from bone collagen have shown fluctuations in reliance on this dietary staple. With...
David A. Robertson
Ontario Archaeology, No. 72, 2001
The Middle Woodland burnt stone mounds of Prince Edward County, Ontario, and Jefferson County, New York, form an unsual class of monuments that have defied satisfactory interpretation. They have been identified variously as...
Process and Meaning in Spatial Archaeology Multi-Scalar Perspectives on Iroquoian Ceramics: Aggregation and Interaction in Pre-Contact Ontario Jennifer Birch Robert B Wojtowicz Aleksandra Pradzynski Robert H Pihl
Jennifer Birch, Robert B. Wojtowicz, Aleksandra Pradzynski, and Robert H. Pihl
Process and Meaning in Spatial Archaeology Investigations into Pre-Columbian Iroquoian Space and Place (University Press of Colorado) - Eric E. Jones and John L. Creese (Editors)
The research in this volume represents a new wave of spatial research­—exploring beyond settlement patterning to the process and the meaning behind spatial arrangement of past communities and people—and describes new approaches being...
David Robertson and Thanos Webb
The Fife and Drum (July 2015)
Beginning in 2005, ASI began working with the developers in the Fort York Neighbourhood to record the vestiges of the harbour infrastructure in this portion of the waterfront, particularly the Queen’s Wharf and...
John P. Hart, Termeh Shafie, Jennifer Birch, Susan Dermarkar, Ronald F. Williamson
PLoS ONE 11(5): Open Access Article
Pottery is a mainstay of archaeological analysis worldwide. Often, high proportions of the pottery recovered from a given site are decorated in some manner. In northern Iroquoia, late pre-contact pottery and early contact...
Jennifer Birch and Ronald F. Williamson
Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, Volume 39 (2015)
After the transition to settled village life ca. AD 1300, the Northern Iroquoian peoples of northeastern North America relocated their settlements every few decades or less. Frequent village location meant that, after less...
Jennifer Birch and Ronald F. Williamson
From Prehistoric Villages to Cities: Settlement Aggregation and Community Transformation (Routledge Studies in Archaeology) Jennifer Birch, Ed.
During the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, the Northern Iroquioan societies of northeastern North America experienced a process of widespread settlement aggregation. In southern Ontario, Canada, dozens of small villages came together...
Ronald F. Williamson
Journal of American Archaeology No. 28 (2010)
Over the past 35 years, the practice of archaeology in the province of Ontario, Canada has witnessed a number of very important and dramatic changes that have resulted in a vigorous archaeological consulting...
The Journal of Archaeological Science
Susan Pfeiffer, Ronald F. Williamson, Jennifer Newton, Petrus le Roux, Crystal Forrest, Louis Lesage
The Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 33
Environmental isotopes can provide information about the composition of groups and the movement of people across landscapes. The archaeological record of Huron-Wendat communities in south-central Ontario is one of numerous drainage-based sequences of...
International Journal of Historical Archaeology
Andrea Carnevale, Denise McGuire and Johanna Kelly
International Journal of Historical Archaeology, Vol. 20 no. 4 (2016)
Exploring the biographies of small artifacts from archaeological contexts is an endeavour that can expose unrealized or forgotten historical and cultural meaning at local, regional, national, and international levels. The recovery of a...
Ronald F. Williamson, Eva M. MacDonald, Robert H. Pihl, Robert I. MacDonald, Deborah A. Steiss, and David A. Robertson
OAS Arch Notes, New Series Volume 7, Issue 5, September/October 2002
ASI was involved in the development of a management plan for Ruthven Park, the mid-nineteenth century historic estate of Colonel David Thompson, one of the chief proponents of the Grand River Navigation Company....
Robert Pihl, Stephen G. Monckton, David A. Robertson and Ronald F. Williamson
Current Northeast Paleoethnobotany II, New York State Museum Bulletin Series 512 - John P. Hart (Editor)
The agricultural “revolution” in southern Ontario, like many others in the archaeological record elsewhere, was by no means marked by a sudden transformation, as its full effects were not manifest until the end...
Susan Pfeiffer, Ronald F. Williamson, Judith C. Sealy, David G. Smith, Meradeth H. Snow
Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 42, February 2014
Bioarchaeological research must balance scholarly commitment to the generation of new knowledge, descendants’ interests in their collective past, and the now common practice of rapid re-interment of excavated human remains. This paper documents...
Travis W. Jones, Jennifer Birch, Ronald F. Williamson, Timothy J. Abel, Robert J. Speakman, and Louis Lesage
Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 20 (2018)
The research presented here evaluates the applicability of energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) for characterizing steatite. We present compositional data from an assemblage of 100 steatite beads and pipes deriving from 11 Northern Iroquoian...
Robert I. MacDonald and Ronald F. Williamson
Ontario Archaeology, No. 71, 1995
In 1990, ASI undertook salvage excavations at the Hubbert site, a mid- to late-fifteenth century Late Woodland period settlement located on the eastern margin of the Innisfil upland overlooking the broad valley of...
Ronald F. Williamson
Ontario Archaeology, No. 94, 2014
The foundations for modern scholarship concerning Wendat history and archaeology were laid in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by researchers, such as Andrew Hunter and Arthur Jones, investigating hundreds of sites...
David A. Robertson and Ronald F. Williamson
Canadian Journal of Archaeology, Volume 27, Issue 1, 2003
Located in southern Simcoe County, Ontario, the Dunsmore site is a two-hectare, mid- to late 15th-century Iroquoian settlement that had a complex history – one that may have included both seasonal tenancies and...
Ronald F. Williamson, Shaun J. Austin and Stephen Cox Thomas
OAS Arch Notes, New Series Volume 8, Issue 5, September/October 2003
The excavation and analysis of the Grandview site has shed important new light on the Iroquoian settlement of the north shore of Lake Ontario. Based on the results of the ceramic analysis, Grandview...
van der Merwe N.J.; Williamson R.F.; Pfeiffer S.; Thomas S.C.; Allegretto K.O.
Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, Volume 22, 2003
The Moatfield ossuary (AkGv-65) was discovered in North York, Ontario, in 1997. Archaeological Services Inc. was contracted to exhume and then re-bury the human remains. Located on the periphery of a Late Woodland...
Ronald F. Williamson
Heritage Matters
Special Edition: Perspectives on the War of 1812, February 2012
The discovery a decade ago of archaeological remnants of the first and second parliament buildings of Upper Canada in Toronto’s Old Town focused the attention of the city, province and nation on a...
Eric Guiry and Michael Buckley
Proceedings of the Royal Society Bulletin - Volume 285, Issue 1889 (2018)
Over the past 1000 years, rats (Rattus spp.) have become one of the most successful and prolific pests in human society. Despite their cosmopolitan distribution across six continents and ubiquity throughout the world’s...
Ronald F. Williamson and Susan Hughes
Ground Magazine
Ontario Association of Landscape Architects, Issue 28
In an article for Ground Magazine published quarterly by the Ontario Association for Landscape Architects, Williamson and Hughes discuss the practice of Cultural Resource Management in Ontario and delve into the province’s 13,000 years...