Citizen politics, unlike party politics, does not seek to change government, but to improve it by watchfulness, oversight and advice
- Ursula Franklin

NOTICE of ARCHAEOLOGICAL FIELD WORK at the Washington-Huron Parkette, June 12-22, 2018

Who are we?
We are the University of Toronto’s urban archaeology field school. Urban archaeology is the study of urban people from the past. Using careful excavation and recoding methods we can study what people left behind—their buildings, rubbish and burials—and learn who they were, how they moved around the city and how they made their living. For ten days in June, we’ll be digging in the green space in the Washington-Huron Parkette to study the people who once lived here.

What might we find at this site?

We know from old maps and photographs that there were once buildings at this location. However, this area hasn’t been excavated before, so there may be some surprises. Over the last few years, we have excavated the Lime Ridge Monument behind Gerstein Science Information Centre, the Sir Daniel Wilson quadrangle at University College, and in King’s College Circle. Our finds include a British gun flint (early 1800s), Victorian pottery (late 1800s), wall foundations of past dwellings, and military artifacts from the First World War.

Who will you see digging?
You will see undergraduate students learning how to dig systematically, how to survey the land, and how to identify and catalogue artifacts. Once they have finished digging, they will use city records, maps and stratigraphy to help them understand the artifacts they have unearthed. The artifacts discovered will then be curated by the U of T Anthropology Department, and eventually made available to researchers from inside and outside U of T. If you would like to learn more about what we find please contact us (below) in July once our excavation season is complete.

How do I find out more?
If we are on-site, we are happy to talk to visitors about our project. We welcome groups (and kids!) to visit as well, but please contact us ahead of time if you would like to schedule a group visit.
See coverage of last year’s excavation here and video here.

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