“Feature” Employee: Jennifer Ley

Meet Jennifer Ley. She is a Staff Archaeologist for the Toronto Survey division and a lover of all things archaeology and animal-related (well, except for spiders, naturally).

How did you become an archaeologist?

Jenn after successfully traversing a sphagnum moss bog!
Jenn after successfully traversing a sphagnum moss bog!

I had always been interested in archaeology when I was younger… dare I say since I first watched Indiana Jones. However, my original plan going into University was to major in Sociology and eventually go to law school. Half way through first year, I knew Sociology was not for me. By second year I switched to Classics, with a focus on Classical Archaeology, and by third year, I had also picked up minors in Anthropology and Archaeology. Along the way, I was incredibly lucky to have some really great Archaeology professors who provided me with the info for ASI, and many other CRM firms in Ontario once I graduated.

Where did you go to school? 

McMaster… Go MAC Go!

If you weren’t an archaeologist, what would you be?

I may have gone to law school, but I would most likely be working with kids or animals in some way.

Who is your favourite historical figure and why?

Hadrian, Jane Austen, Jane Goodall

What is your favourite site memory? 

I have actually had the opportunity to be a part of a lot of really interesting sites with ASI. One of the most memorable was getting to work in Thunder Bay on a large Late Paleo-Indian site. Also, I’ve had the opportunity to work in my home town of Fort Erie. There is something really cool about working on the same site you used to watch your co-workers excavate 25 years ago! I would watch from across the street with my Grandma!

My least favourite thing about archaeology is… 

…ticks and spiders!

To pass the time on site, I… 

…like to play silly games like 21 Questions.

When I’m not working, I like to…

…watch movies, read, go to concerts and take my dogs to the park.

If I could go back in time and excavate any site in the world, I would choose… 

…Knossos. (Famous Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete.)