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 of the thirteenth century. Moreover, that transition should be viewed as multi-linear with each community undergoing the transformation in their own social and natural environment.
The Homedale site represents a major transitional point in this evolution as one of the first base settlements to have been investigated in its entirety. The Grand River valley remains one of the most promising areas in the Great Lakes in which to investigate such questions, as seen by the contributions made by the University of Toronto research program in the 1990s headed by David Smith and Gary Crawford. The complete excavation of the Holmedale site, dating to ca. A.D. 1000, a millennium after the first appearance of maize in the Great Lakes region, offers an important opportunity to examine these and related issues. This article provides the context for the site and summarizes how its discovery and investigation has changed our understanding of this period.