Call for Paper and Poster Abstracts
(Extended to August 15)

The 2021 Annual Symposium of the Ontario Archaeological Society is being organized by the Ottawa Chapter.  This year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Ottawa Chapter and we hope to celebrate with a memorable symposium!

While there are lots of reasons to have hope, the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over and we cannot be certain of the prevailing circumstances next autumn so we have decided to host a virtual symposium.  As we saw last year, this offers both difficult challenges and great possibilities. We intend to take full advantage of the amazing possibilities!

In addition to a keynote presentation on the Archaeology of Barrack Hill (now Ottawa’s Parliament Hill) by Stephen Jarrett and the customary papers, posters, and workshops, the organizing committee is also planning a wealth of complementary activities that may include virtual guided tours of local sites and facilities, archaeological trivia and scavenger hunt events, and more.

We hope you will join us virtually next autumn and share in the Ottawa Valley spirit!

André Miller

President of the Ottawa Chapter of the OAS

2021 OAS Symposium Committee Chair

2021 Symposium Theme – Origins and Growth

Archaeological fieldwork in Ontario continues to take place at an unprecedented rate.  New data, new analytical techniques, new theoretical approaches and new analyses of legacy collections are all contributing to create new insights which help produce more holistic and realistic narratives of the past.

Archaeology and archaeological understanding can be a critical bridge to facilitate reconciliation with the Indigenous communities of this land.  Archaeology should be a collaboration with Indigenous communities. Meaningful consultation and engagement with descendant communities should be common practice.  It is also essential that non-Indigenous communities learn about this land’s past so that land acknowledgements are statements of undeniable truths which incorporate an awareness of the past and the paths that led to current realities.  Only then will we stand shoulder to shoulder with shared understanding and respect as our bond.

In suggesting the twin themes of Origins and Growth we hope to cause members to pause and evaluate the roads we have collectively travelled as an organization, as a profession, and as a discipline in our privileged access to the past, while simultaneously exploring the potential for growth in the future of the discipline. We envision the dual themes generating thought and discussion around their interplay and contribution to the discipline and Ontario archaeology.

Paper and Poster Abstracts

We invite you to submit abstracts, of no more than 200 words, for either paper or poster presentations.  To guide the writing of meaningful, precise and purposeful abstracts, please consult this document ( A Scrutiny of the Abstract by Kenneth Landes).

The sessions listed below have been proposed. However, papers outside of these session topics are welcome.  A separate poster session will be organized.

Techniques for Dating during Challenging Times: Time Constraints on Archaeological Events during Plateaus on the Radiocarbon Calibration Curve / Des techniques de datation en temps difficiles : les contraintes temporelles sur les évènements archéologiques lors des plateaux de la courbe de calibration radiocarbone

Organizer:  Carley Crann and Jennifer Birch


Carley Crann (University of Ottawa,

Jennifer Birch (University of Georgia,

Radiocarbon dating is relied upon for developing timeframes for past events where little or no historical record exists. While the technical aspects of radiocarbon dating are well understood, the interpretation of results can be complex and include incorporation of other archaeological and historical knowledge. Plateaus in the calibration curve, which cause low precision and multiple intercepts provide one example. Problematic periods in the calibration curve during the late Holocene include: 1700-1950 cal AD (“Seuss Effect”), 750-400 cal BC (Hallstatt Plateau), and 3300-2900 cal BC. Even small ‘wiggles,’ i.e. between 1300 and 1400 cal AD can impact accurately interpretations of dates. In Ontario, this has a significant impact on the perceived utility of radiocarbon dating during certain key periods, including Indigenous survivance during the colonial era, the onset of sedentary village life, and earlier Holocene dynamics, including those eras in which events or periods are purportedly well known.

Boreal Forest Archaeology: Projects and Innovations in Ontario and Adjacent Areas / L’archéologie de la forêt boréale : projets et innovations en Ontario et dans les régions avoisinantes

Organizer:  Jill Taylor-Hollings and Scott Hamilton


Jill Taylor-Hollings (Lakehead University,

Scott Hamilton (Lakehead University,

The Boreal Forest is an ecozone occurring across extensive areas of Canada, including most of Ontario. Recently, more archaeological endeavours have been occurring in this province given the related increase in Indigenous heritage projects, mining, forestry, road building, and hydroelectric initiatives. The Boreal Forest is a logistically challenging place to survey because of dense vegetation, minimal mapping information, limited roads, as well as complex archaeological preservation issues. However, it also provides new information from almost every investigation, making it an inspiring place to work.

This session provides opportunities for dialogues relating to Boreal Forest archaeology issues in Ontario and adjacent areas. We welcome presentations or posters about research or cultural resource management contexts and from particular sites or regional overviews. Involvement from Indigenous communities or individuals is also encouraged.

Archaeological Knowledge Production in the Age of Zoom / Produire des connaissances archéologiques à l’ère de Zoom

Organizer:  Christopher Kerns


Christopher Kerns (Timmins Martelle Heritage Consultants Inc.,

This session seeks papers that engage with how archaeological knowledge is produced, validated, and disseminated, in the past, present, and future. Knowledge is produced through the practice of archaeology, but in an era where digital mediums are increasingly an important way through which archaeological knowledge is disseminated, the established process for validating knowledge derived from practice may be inadequate. The ways in which knowledge is validated within the discipline are entwined with how authority is bestowed upon practitioners of archaeology. Challenges to the authority of archaeologists as well as to how authority is bestowed within the discipline are not new. Whether the challenges are associated with pseudo-archaeologies or through critiques of the presumed authority of archaeologists by indigenous groups, the discipline could be understood as increasingly struggling to remain relevant and to retain authority. In light of these observations, this session also seeks papers that provide insight into broader questions surrounding best practice and approaches to the production, validation, and dissemination of archaeological knowledge.

Oral Histories and Archaeology / Les histoires orales et l’archéologie

Organizer:  Christopher Kerns


Christopher Kerns (Timmins Martelle Heritage Consultants Inc.,

This session seeks papers from a variety of perspectives engaging with the incorporation of oral histories within archaeological narratives. The session takes a broad view of what might be considered oral history and not only considers those produced in collaboration with indigenous and descendant communities but also interviews with excavators and other archaeological stakeholders. The session welcomes papers that demonstrate the value of incorporating oral histories as well as those that provide insight into best practice, new approaches, and future challenges.

The National Capital Commission’s Assessment and Rescue of Archaeology Legacy (ARAL) Project / Le projet d’évaluation et de sauvetage de la Commission de la capitale nationale

Organizer:  Ian Badgley


Ian Badgley (National Capital Commission,

The National Capital Commission launched the Assessment and Rescue of Archaeological Legacy (ARAL) project in 2018, in response to the ongoing erosion of archaeological sites in the Capital region. First noted in the literature at the end of the 1800s and in numerous archaeological research reports on Leamy Lake Park between 1993 and 2003, the erosion of archaeological sites along the shorelines of the Ottawa River in the region accelerated considerably following the catastrophic spring flood of 2017. A long-term project, ARAL’s initial fieldwork focused on re-documenting 20 known archaeological sites along an 11-km stretch of the Ottawa River, recording 4 new sites in the process. The fieldwork undertaken in 2019 and 2020 concentrated on the intensive surface-collecting of artifacts, mainly at the 8 most seriously eroding pre-contact sites in Leamy Lake Park. These collections, totalling roughly 50,000 artifacts , were recorded as GPS waypoints and have been applied to the development of a GIS-based strategy for determining optimal locations for specific rescue excavations. The ARAL project’s results to date, its future directions and challenges are described in this session.

Origins of Loss: The Growth of Coastal Erosion along the Waterways in Central Canada / Aux origines de la perte: l’évolution de l’érosion côtière le long des voies navigables du centre du Canada

Organizer:  Pierre M. Desrosiers


Pierre M. Desrosiers (Canadian Museum of History,

The acceleration of coastal erosion is a complex phenomenon that is challenging for the preservation of cultural heritage in Canada. The issue is not only serious in Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic sea coasts but also inland along the waterways of Central Canada in Ontario and Quebec. This global problem needs to be addressed at all levels: the government, institutions, and local organizations. Therefore, in collaboration with partners, the Canadian Museum of History is exploring means to develop a pan-Canadian erosion program to address this issue. In this session we encourage you to share your data, concerns, methods, efforts to develop awareness, potential solutions, and strategies. This session is not only addressed to archaeologists, but also seeks contributions from anyone who wants to share with archaeologists their concerns on those questions such representative of indigenous communities or local organizations promoting the preservation of heritage. It is part of a strategy to develop a network of contacts across Ontario and Quebec.

2021 Partnership for Maritime Archaeology in Canada: Ontario Region Virtual Roundtable / Table ronde 2021 de la région de l’Ontario : partenariat pour une archéologie maritime au Canada 

(participation in this Roundtable is by invitation only / la participation dans cette table ronde est par invitation seulement)

Organizer:  Kimberly Monk and Lisa Sonnenburg


Kimberly Monk (Brock University,

Lisa Sonnenburg (Parks Canada,

This roundtable is one of a series of connection events being held across the country to address the need for a cohesive structure for maritime archaeology. The practice of maritime archaeology - inclusive of submerged, coastal, and terrestrial marine-related sites – is fragmented in Canada, affected by limitations in funding, training opportunities, commercial development, and government regulation. By providing a forum for professionals and other stakeholders to discuss key issues, and through the process of formalizing local networks, we are addressing both national initiatives and regional priorities. Furthermore, with opening the discussion to the public, we wish to encourage their cooperation, share our collective knowledge, and remain transparent in our aims and objectives.

Building on from our first (2020) OAS roundtable, this event will provide further opportunity for cooperation, dissemination, and discussion on key concerns relating to the practice of maritime archaeology in Ontario. The roundtable will be structured into three parts. The first session will provide a forum for updates and Q&A on regional activities relating to three of our key areas: consulting, indigenous, and sport divers. It will also summarize efforts with our national partners and regional leads in British Columbia, Quebec, and Newfoundland. Our second session will showcase 8 x 5-minute rapid talks by panelists, discussing current work, research, and related initiatives. The final session will provide a forum for group discussion, honing strategies for the working groups and establishing next steps.

Archaeology on Parliament Hill Roundtable / Table ronde sur l’archéologie de la colline parlementaire

(participation in this Roundtable is by invitation only / la participation dans cette table ronde est par invitation seulement)

Organizer: Ian Badgley


Ian Badgley (National Capital Commission,

A pre-contact stone knife was recovered during archaeological excavations carried out in 2019 for the Centre Block Rehabilitation project, on Parliament Hill. This archaeological discovery aroused keen interest on the part of Public Service and Procurement Canada, the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation and the Kitiigan Zibi Anishinabeg, fostering a new partnership between the Parliamentary Precinct Branch of the department and these two Anishinabe Algonquin communities. Among the initiatives flowing from this partnership are an Indigenous Archaeological Field School proposed by PSPC and to be operated by the two communities in the Capital region and expanded emphasis on telling the Anishinabe Algonquin story on interpretive panels surrounding the Centre Block construction work. The implications of these and other initiatives for the more direct and active Anishinabe Algonquin stewardship of archaeological resources in the region are discussed in this roundtable.

Send your Paper and Poster abstracts, in English and/or French by August 15 (deadline extended) to:

Jean-Luc Pilon


2021 Programme Chair

Ottawa Chapter, OAS

P.O. Box 4939, Station E

Ottawa, ON K1S 5J1

Contact us
Address: 1444 Queen Street East, Suite 102, Toronto, ON M4L 1E1

Phone: +1 (416) 406-5959

Join us 

The Ontario Archaeological Society is a registered charitable organization that promotes the ethical practice of archaeology. The general public, students and professional alike are encouraged to become members of the Society and to support its co-ordinating role in helping to record and preserve our non-renewable cultural heritage. Click here to view membership details.

 © The Ontario Archaeology Society
1444 Queen St. E., Suite 102, Toronto ON M4L 1E1 
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software