Ronald Williamson, PhD

Chief Archaeologist & Managing Partner

Ronald F. Williamson, PhD, Senior Archaeologist & Founder, Manager of the Special Project Division.

Dr. Williamson is an archaeologist with 50 years of field and administrative experience. He holds an Honours BA from the University of Western Ontario and MA and PhD from McGill University, all in Anthropology. In 1980, he founded ASI and has since directed over a thousand archaeological assessment, excavation, and planning projects throughout the Northeast.

In 1987, he directed an international team of scholars in the exhumation and analysis of twenty-eight American soldiers who died near Old Fort Erie during the War of 1812. This project resulted in the publication of both a scholarly volume and a more popular account of the investigation. He has also directed excavations at the complex 80 acre Peace Bridge site in Fort Erie resulting in the publication of a scholarly technical volume and a more popular account entitled Legacy of Stone: Ancient Life on the Niagara Frontier, written by Dr. Williamson and Dr. Robert MacDonald and published by eastendbooks. The volume was awarded the Ontario Archaeological Society Peggy Armstrong Public Archaeology award in 1998. He is the author of numerous other books including Government on Fire: The History and Archaeology of Upper Canada’s First Parliament Buildings, which he co-authored with Frank Dieterman. In 2003, he and Susan Pfeiffer of the University of Toronto co-edited Bones of the Ancestors: The Archaeology and Osteobiography of the Moatfield Ossuary, which was published by the Canadian Museum of Civilisation. He also edited (with Michael Bisson) a book honouring the lifelong work of Canada’s preeminent prehistorian, Bruce G. Trigger, entitled The Archaeology of Bruce Trigger: Theoretical Empiricism published by McGill-Queens Press in 2006. In 2008, he edited a volume entitled Toronto: An Illustrated History of Its First 12,000 Years, published by Lorimer Press and most recently co-authored a volume entitled The Mantle Site: An Archaeological History of a Sixteenth Century Huron-Wendat Community (with Jennifer Birch), and published by AltaMira Press (Series: Issues in Eastern Woodlands Archaeology, edited by Thomas Emerson and Timothy Pauketat). He has also recently completed chapters entitled “What Will Be Has Always Been: The Past and Present of the Northern Iroquoians” for the Oxford Handbook on North American Archaeology and “Northern North America” for The New Cambridge World Prehistory.

Dr. Williamson is also an Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto. He is also a former President of the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals, a national organization dedicated to furthering the cause of heritage resources conservation and excellence in heritage consultation. He has also been involved in several senior level policy development activities with the Province of Ontario, most recently with revisions to the Planning Act and Stage 1-4 guidelines for archaeologists and served as an advisor to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs on Indigenous Consultation. He served on the National Indigenous Heritage Committee of the Canadian Archaeological Association, for three years, and co-chaired the Ontario Provincial sub-committee with Sylvia Thompson of the Chiefs of Ontario. He currently sits on the Editorial Boards of the Canadian Journal of Archaeology and Ontario Archaeology.

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