July at ASI!

Presenting a monthly roundup of all the stories, photos and projects that got us excited this month.

July has found us trying to escape the heat, answering questions through the Ask An Archaeologist hashtag, and learning about ancient bread!


Ask An Archaeologist is a new concept that grew out of the heritage community in the UK. The idea was simple, on July 18th people were encouraged to post their questions about archaeology to Twitter using the #AskAnArchaeologist hashtag. Then, archaeologists from all over the world jumped to answer those questions and share their experiences. The result was both fun, and a great way to share knowledge!

You loved this story as much as we did! Turns out bread was part of the “Paleo-Diet” after all. Archaeologists have uncovered charred remains of a flatbread baked about 14,500 years ago in a stone fireplace at a site in northeastern Jordan, well before the development of agriculture. This moves the introduction of bread in the human diet about 5000 years earlier!

In honour of World Emoji Day on July 17th, we shared this proto-emoji smiling back from a maker’s mark on a 19th century Euro-Canadian ceramic artifact. The ROM really got into the swing of things for the day, offering up an artifact from their collection to match any emoji tweeted at them! It was a really fun way to get a behind the scenes peek into their collections. The Toronto Star has a great summary here.

Ihe #ASIHeritageChallenge is going strong, with almost 1000 heritage marker selfies taken by our staff! In honour of Friday the 13th, we shared a spooky selfie taken at the famously haunted  Olde Angel Inn in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Field archaeology featured employee Jose Gutierrez uncovers an animal burial

We have a new Featured Employee on our blog! Jose Gutierrez is a field technician on our Toronto historical crew, and has a passion for Peruvian archaeology. Check out his blog post to learn about the exciting things a career in archaeology can offer!

Our CH Instagram celebrated the great things you can find at the Ontario archives, and got us all excited about The Ex! These vintage photos show a woman getting cosy with an elephant at the CNE.

On our archaeology instagram account this pot lid for bear grease was one of our most popular posts! Bear grease used to be a common treatment for baldness.

And finally, our favourite field photo of the month is this shot taken by our field director Alanna Martini, showing a lovely moulded spout and a beautiful spot to dig!