Our Lands Speak is a prolific series of books documenting the fascinating findings of This Land Archaeology Inc. excavations since 2006, led by founder, author, and Ontario’s senior-most archaeologist, Bill Finlayson.
The writing of The Archaeology, History, and Architecture of the Philip Eckardt Log House: The Oldest House in the City of Markham, Ontario, Canada, was a joint effort by Bill Finlayson and the recently retired architectural planner from the City of Markham, George Duncan. This collaboration has provided a deeper appreciation of the occupation of the log house, its occupants, the alterations to it over the past two hundred plus years, and its ultimate conservation.
Welcome back to our continuing blog series on Crawford Lake. In an earlier post I noted that, while I was a graduate student based at Erindale College, U. of T., I was asked by Professor Roger Byrne to help locate an archaeological site he predicted would be found...
Our excavations at the Brown site were quite different from those at the Milton site. We began our excavations at the top of a bank, hoping to unearth a palisade surrounding the settlement. We did locate a row of post moulds which may in fact represent part of the palisades surrounding the village. Of much greater significance though, we discovered a midden (garbage dump) just over the hill along the northern edge of the site. This midden had been covered by more than half a metre of soil eroded from the farm field above. As a result, it had never been disturbed . . . and we recovered some highly sought-after items.
Let’s look back at other investigations I embarked on during my time as a graduate student in Anthropology at the University of Toronto. In 1969 Professor Mohr hired me to carry out an archaeological survey to find sites suitable for an archaeological field school he was to teach. The excavations were designed to introduce second-year Anthropology students to the basics of archaeological field work. As it turned out it also provided me with a broader knowledge of field methods, due to Professor Mohr’s extensive experience in archaeology in California, the America Southwest, South Korea, and Japan.
There is a growing trend for those who are writing about Ontario archaeology to increasingly rely on the secondary literature as the main source of information about the topic they are addressing. One of the negative aspects of this is that incorrect data are repeated over and over, there being no apparent understanding that certain data presented as fact are actually false. It is a challenge to comprehend how and why such errors are made. Regardless, it’s something that needs addressing. Let’s dig deeper…