September at ASI

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

September found us opening up our office as part of Doors Open Burlington, which was a great experience! We had over a hundred people stop by and visit us in our new, expanded office.

Our office display included historical maps, an artifact and skull guessing game, an active lab, microscopic seeds to match to modern fruits, indigenous ceramics and “make your own” pinch pots, field equipment and stone tools! We had seventeen ASI staff members volunteer their time to share their knowledge about heritage and archaeology in Burlington, and it was so gratifying to see the level of enthusiasm the public shares for our work.

In Toronto, September is TIFF season! But did you know that the TIFF Bell Lightbox is also the former site of Toronto’s first General Hospital? ASI conducted excavations at the site from 2006-2010, follow this link to learn more about the site & the collection!

On September 27th, ASI’s founding partner Dr. Ron Williamson co-presented a paper with Louis Lesage entitled “Wendat and the St. Lawrence Valley: New Understandings of Travel, Trade and Homeland” at the Atlantiar Knekk Tepaw: A Basque-Mi’kmaw Cultural Exchange Symposium. The symposium is hosted by Cape Breton University and hosted over 70 international delegates, including world-class experts in their field. The goal of the symposium is to “bring together ancient cultures for knowledge sharing and celebration of perseverance.” Read Ron’s full abstract here!

On September 15th ASI’s own Dr. Katie Hull (pictured here in full Victorian garb!) hosted a hands-on archaeology exhibit at the Brooklin Harvest Festival in the Town of Whitby. Visitors to the exhibit learned about the heritage and archaeology in their own backyards!

While out doing fieldwork, our Cultural Heritage Division captured this beautiful photo of the Gore Paper Mill stone ruins in Dundas! Constructed in 1851, the Gore Paper Mill is a rare example of 19th century mill architecture.

We toasted our Cultural Heritage Specialist Joel Konrad on his last day of work this month! We wanted to extend to him a big thanks for all his hard work over the years, so Director Katie Hull threw him a special all-dessert pot luck. We captured the moment with this nice group shot of our Cultural Heritage Division all together. Best of luck for the future Joel!

This article really caught our imagination last month, and you loved it too! CBC reported on more than 160,000 undelivered letters from the 17th to 19th centuries, some still closed with unbroken wax seals, that are going to be shared online! The Prized Papers project is digitizing the entire collection of letters, which were on ships seized by the British during naval wars. From the article: “The mail, sent mostly between 1652 and 1815, is written in 19 different languages and contains songs, notebooks, packages and personal correspondence.”

We can’t wait to see what these letters can teach us about the lived experiences of past people. Follow the link to read more!

With global warming we are hearing more and more stories about artifacts that are coming out of thawing permafrost. Reported earlier this month, the mummified remains of two ice age animals, carbon-dated to more than 50,000 years old, were recovered from the permafrost by gold miners near Dawson City, Yukon. Both of these rare finds have been accepted by the Canadian Conservation Institute because of their scientific value.

Important puppy update! Our field tech Tia Hill’s puppy Grey continues to delight. Here she is helping out in the field again, already looking bigger!