“. . . The sacredness of his work and his humble, yet passionate, approach to it is undeniable, and nowhere more so than in this landmark study, The Draper Site, an Ontario Woodland Tradition Frontier Coalescent Village in Southern Ontario, Canada: Looking Back, Moving Forward. It is incredibly refreshing to work with someone like Bill who cares so deeply about uncovering more truths of the past by examining and re-examining complex archaeological findings in order to serve our diverse cultures and history. His willingness to reconsider his own discoveries and analysis and thoughtfully collaborate with others in his field for the greater good of this work defines the qualities of a true professional and maverick of our time. . .”

Sheri Andrunyk, Publisher, I C Publishing, Ontario, Canada

“Between 1975 and 1978, one of the most significant Iroquoian sites in the North America was excavated north of Toronto under the direction of William D. Finlayson. . . It was the largest Iroquoian site to be fully excavated. It was also the first time computer-assisted recording was used to map and manage the information on more than 170,000 analyzable artifacts, plus data points for the thousands of features, from a site 4.25 hectares in extent—truly a monumental undertaking. . . For the first time, we could see how an Iroquoian community grew and changed over time. . . An initial report on this massive project was published in the National Museums of Canada Mercury Series in 1985. In itself, this was an amazing accomplishment. . . Now, some thirty-five years later Finlayson has published a new volume summarizing the Draper site more completely and placing it within the context of other Iroquoian and Algonquian sites in southwest Ontario. Taken together, the Draper project—Finlayson’s two outstanding reports as well as the dozens of specialized studies, theses, and dissertations this project has enabled—remains one of the most valuable archaeological records of northern Iroquoian people yet produced. . .”

James W. Bradley, Ph.D., Director Emeritus,
Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology in Andover, MA


“. . . It is a pleasure to read this fourth volume of Our Lands Speak series, The Archaeology, History, and Architecture of The Philip Eckardt Log House, the product of a collaboration between William D. Finlayson of This Land Archaeology Inc. and George Duncan, our local architectural historian. The thoroughness of the research that went into the writing of this book opens another window into the very early history of the City of Markham. . . George Duncan has captured the complex history of the Eckardt family, some of it based on verifiable facts and some of it rooted in family folklore, and he’s put this wealth of information into a compelling narrative of a vanished past. . . Two centuries or more of this early farmstead’s history are brought to life with William Finlayson’s detailed account of the extensive archaeological investigations that were carried out in the vicinity of the Eckardt Log House in 2012. Rarely do we see such a thorough analysis of an historic farmstead that combines the history of a family, a building, and its archaeological context in one document. . . Well done, William Finlayson and George Duncan.”

Lorne R. Smith, Official Historian, City of Markham


“. . . It is about time that the Anishinaabeg are part of this narrative and are being incorporated into the story of Ontario. This is good and wonderful progress, and as a Storyteller and Knowledge Keeper for my people, it tells me that archaeologists are finally listening. I believe that archaeologists, working within their scientific frameworks, are able to find out certain things. However, they are not able to know the whole story with science alone. For example, archaeologists can’t be entirely sure about who the ancient ones were in terms of their ethnicity/culture. . . It really is interesting to me that finally somebody is doing this kind of work. I admire Dr. Finlayson for publishing this volume and for being able to think like this: that he has listened to my work, that he has talked to me, and that he is able to pick up on something that is probably quite foreign to him. That he has not dismissed the Anishinaabeg in his work and that our history is taken into account. This is all I can ask for, so that in the end we may come to a different conclusion about the history of Ontario. Our stories may vary slightly, but there should not be huge discrepancies in coming to understand the truths of the past. Our stories should be able to match the science and vice versa. It’s an exciting approach, to me. You’ve got to take in the oral story, you’ve got to take in the nuances of the culture, and you also have to listen to the language. . .”

Gidigaa Migizi, Knowledge Keeper Michi Saagiig Nation

“. . . It has been said that there are qualities in wholes that are not apparent in the parts. Nothing could be truer with respect to archaeology. The people of the past, like us, lived in communities but ventured beyond these to acquire food, socialize, trade, fight, and, frankly, for any number of other reasons. If we are to pay witness to these behaviours, we must examine the archaeological record from a variety of scales. The present volume offers us an opportunity to look beyond the Draper site palisades to other sites in the immediate area, to those of the Duffin Creek drainage and beyond. The added benefit in this is that a considerable amount of information that was heretofore more or less inaccessible in the so-called grey literature of unpublished reports and manuscripts, is made readily available to present and future researchers. There is much work yet to be done, both with respect to classifying and interpreting the data recovered from the excavation of the Pickering Airport Lands and comprehending how it all fits within the wider landscape of the people of the past of these lands we now call Ontario. The present volume takes a tremendous step forward in this direction and should further serve to inspire others to make similar contributions. . .”

Joyce M. Wright, Ph.D.



“. . . Since 2005, Bill, as founder of This Land Archaeology Inc., has now carried out Stage 4 assessments of more than 60 Euro-Canadian homesteads and farmsteads. Along the way he has become an expert in 19th century material culture and a leading figure in historical archaeology in Ontario. As a print and digital publication, The Archaeology of Patterson Village volume is accessible to both academics working in this field and, equally important, the public. . . The research value of the Patterson village site is the rare opportunity it affords to look at the larger picture. For the academic audience, the material presented in the Patterson Village book is invaluable for addressing issues of village layout; organization of domestic, industrial, and institutional (post office, church, and school) space; the relationship between the capitalist entrepreneur and the workers; expressions of identity through material culture; worker health and hygiene; and day-to-day life in a village devoted to industrial output. The public audience will undoubtedly find the volume of immense interest simply because it is an important part of Ontario’s history that has not been presented before in an archaeological and historical context. Colour plates of some of the 300,000 artifacts recovered, together with historical images, all of which are contextualized individually within features and buildings found during excavation, add to the allure of the book as something distinct from a local history volume. . .”

John Triggs, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Chair,
Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies
Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario