Georgian Bay coastline, 2007


Amanda is working with the Ontario Heritage Trust, on an excavation at the Spadina Museum, in Toronto, ON.

July 13th, 2015

This was the week were I was no longer just teaching the kids involved in the archaeology camp how to dig but was now working on my own units and applying the techniques involved in completing the units. The morning began rather simply with a recap of what had occurred on the final days of the camp so everyone was on the same page as there was 6 people excluding the Project Director. The main issue that arose from the kids being involved prior to people with limited to expert level archaeological backgrounds was that there was a lot of uneven walls, some that even went as far as being undercut making the topsoil layer or lot one very uneasy. This later was corrected through the use of the plum-bob which allowed us to keep the walls straight to that of the original sizing of the units, recalling that the units were approximately one metre by one metre. The morning began beautifully warm and sunny, so the E-Z up was required with addition to the umbrella in order to recreate shade for any photos that needed to be taken and to spot any potential features. I was assigned unit G, which when I began was at approximately subsoil, with remains of patchy lot five. This particular unit had a decaying root approximately 6 cm in width that obstructed some of the south western wall and bulge. The main focus was to have everything nice and tidy as the afternoon would bring insanity. Including the walls the floor needed to be free from any loose dirt with the level that was currently displayed clear. While clearing both the walls and floors in unit G, I found mammalian bone, both large and small in size, nails, which included the two types found so far, machine and wire cut nails. I proceeded to also find window class and some small ceramic pieces. This was the main task for the morning.

In the afternoon is where the tables turned and we, volunteers and working archaeologists were joined by the archaeologists or conspirators from the Ministry. Noa, another excited volunteer and I, were excited to be able to watch people that had been involved in archaeology at a higher level and gain helpful techniques. Throughout the afternoon it remained sunny and warm making it a longer afternoon however with the additional help it made it significantly easier on the team I was working with. Noa and I were in charge of supervising three experienced archaeologists in units E, F and G. Unit E when the afternoon began was in lot three. This unit produced very little as it was very close to being subsoil. It provided us with mainly window glass of all different sizes, with the addition of some pieces of suspected bottle glass that held a greenish tint to the glass. Unit F was a little more rewarding as, although in lot five had quite a ways to go until subsoil. There were typical finds to the site including brick, slate and charcoal, but with a more interesting find of a pipe stem. This was not a new find to the site but no other had been found during this year’s excavations. There were more bone fragments ranging in size and thickness indicating that there were different types of animal bones found in this particular unit. Stone ware pottery and some blue transfer ceramics were also found which seem to be typical of the AkGu-27 site. Finally unit G, still in lot three had a few finds as well including window glass, more charcoal deposits and bottle/colored glass, again following that green coloration. The Ministry assistances aided us until approximately 3:45pm which left the team I was working with and I to clean up just before the day begun.

July 15th, 2013

Today has been a very busy day for the site starting even earlier than usual at a time of 8:15. I would put in charge of caring for units E, and F. The goal for today was that we would clean all the units to a sub soil level and look for features. The day held out for us and remained nice and sunny, making the only challenges to stay cool and improvise for shade when taking photos using the spare tarp we had on site. There was a few possible features in unit E, including a trench of sorts that ran south to north on the eastern side of the unit. Although this in actuality was just a darker patch, there continued to be rust like patches in the dirt that could not be explained as no metal was found in the area. This entire unit was completed carefully using a trowel. In the site we found lots of window glass and one nail from the north western corner. When it came time for F, there was little time left so was completed using a shovel with some tiding using the trowel. This unit did have a feature that was later confirmed, but was originally identified due to an irregular square-like shaping in the disturbed soil, which we titled lot 8. In F, a nice piece of a pipe stem was found, even having what looked like an infinite symbol on the base. Both units took until about 11am leaving an hour or so before we would break for lunch; this time was used for photographs. Photos were taking from west to East of the entire unit to start. This was done in order to record the level of subsoil and document the original find of the possible features found in the units from E to M. Upon finishing all the photos the team and I did some further analysis on some of the smaller possible features; I worked with Patryk in units H and J. All of the possible features turned out to be nothing in J but in H there was most definitely a feature similar to that of in F in shape. This feature size and depth was demonstrated in units M, K, H, and F. This brought the team to the conclusion that there might have been some sort of posts in the area at some point. They could have been for the laundry or possible posts for a small building. With that we broke for lunch.

After lunch we returned to the same units mostly working in unit H with Patryk still getting deeper until subsoil was found in lot 7. Found on the way to subsoil in unit H there was a large piece of bottle glass sticking out, which included a base upon closer analysis. However as it was part of the wall we could not remove it until all excavation was done. I was recording and sifting for Patryk as he was digging deeper into the feature in H. We documented these features by taking photographs, which were logged in a binder in order to detail what the photo was and it was recorded on paper as well by various team members. Elaine our “R” licenced archaeologist, which basically meant she was our second in command, was mapping where everything was in the each site. This included features and changes in soil. Around 2:30pm the team began to record the measurements for each unit on all walls. This was done using a leveler on a tight string going from the corner of Unit E to the corner of M when going west to east. A measurement was taking in E, at 0, 50 and 100cms, however after was taken at only 50cm and 100cm. I worked with Elaine to gather all the measurements for the north side which took until the end of the day approximately at four.