Grant Aylesworth recognizes that many people think archaeology involves khaki-clad researchers digging up museum-bound artifacts in exotic locales.
That happens, but in Canada a growing number of professional archaeologists such as Mr. Aylesworth are actually consulting for natural resource companies on their Canadian projects. Recent Supreme Court of Canada rulings underscore the need for energy and other resource companies to ensure their projects will not interfere with aboriginal title or treaty rights. Studying a project site for its archaeological or cultural significance is now part of the regular permitting process. Read more.
We know people have lived in the New World Arctic for about 5,000 years. Archaeological evidence clearly shows that a variety of cultures survived the harsh climate in Alaska, Canada and Greenland for thousands of years. Despite this, there are several unanswered questions about these people: Where did they come from? Did they come in several waves? When did they arrive? Who are their descendants? And who can call themselves the indigenous peoples of the Arctic?
We can now answer some of these questions, thanks to a comprehensive DNA study of current and former inhabitants of Greenland, Arctic Canada, Alaska, the Aleutian Islands and Siberia, conducted by an international team headed by the Centre for GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen.
The results have just been published in the leading scientific journal Science. Read more.
Aboriginal groups are concerned that Gatineau is paving over a significant piece of history after a recent archaeological dig was filled in as part of a waterfront improvement project.
The dig on Rue Jacques-Cartier, close to the intersection of the Gatineau and Ottawa rivers, found evidence of native encampments about 3,000 to 3,500 years ago. It ended July 10, according to the Ville de Gatineau.
On Thursday morning, all evidence of an archaeological site was gone. The area was a construction site, covered in dirt. Read more.
Canada has released underwater images of the world’s most northernly shipwreck – a three-masted merchant ship that went down 161 years ago after becoming trapped in Arctic ice.
The Canadian Armed Forces and Parks Canada produced the footage over six days, lowering a remotely operated HD camera through a hole in the sea ice, to capture images of a barnacle-encrusted hull and anchor from the ocean floor.
“It’s rare to have such a detailed view of a shipwreck from 1853,” Jonathan Moore, a senior underwater archaeologist for Parks Canada, said in a statement. “We anticipate more discoveries and insights as we pore over the collected information.” Read more.
The accomplishments of ancient Mesopotamian society are being celebrated in a new Toronto exhibit, but the showcase is also shining a light on a contemporary crisis: the looting and destruction of artifacts, architecture and archeological sites in Syria.
The Royal Ontario Museum is unveiling Mesopotamia: Inventing Our World this weekend, the sole Canadian venue of the show’s international tour.
The exhibition explores more than 3,000 years of the ancient society’s story through more than 180 priceless artifacts drawn from the vast collection of the British Museum and bolstered by items from the ROM and museums in Chicago, Philadelphia and Detroit. Read more.
MONTREAL - Archeologist Bernard Hébert peered down at a vast open pit in Griffintown, where colleague Martin Royer, wearing construction boots and a hard hat, was examining the remains of a circular wall.
“He’s measuring the thickness of the walls. He’s looking at how the bricks were laid with mortar. And how the whole thing was held together, what foundations the bricks were resting on,” explained Hébert, a consultant with the Quebec Culture and Communications department.
Workers excavating for a condo tower at Ann and Ottawa Sts. last month uncovered the remains of a huge gas-holder used to store the fuel that lit Montreal’s streets back in the gaslight era. Read more.
Some 1,000 years ago, the Vikings set off on a voyage to Notre Dame Bay in modern-day Newfoundland, Canada, new evidence suggests.
The journey would have taken the Vikings, also called the Norse, from L’Anse aux Meadows on the northern tip of the same island to a densely populated part of Newfoundland and may have led to the first contact between Europeans and the indigenous people of the New World.
"This area of Notre Dame Bay was as good a candidate as any for that first contact between the Old World and the New World, and that’s kind of an exciting thing," said Kevin Smith, deputy director and chief curator of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology at Brown University. Read more.
Pockets of water trapped in rocks from a Canadian mine are over a billion years old, and the water could contain life forms that can survive independently from the sun, scientists said this week.
The ancient water was collected from boreholes at Timmins Mine beneath Ontario, Canada, at a depth of about 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers).
"When these rocks formed, this part of Canada was the ocean floor," said study co-author Barbara Sherwood Lollar, an Earth scientist at Canada’s University of Toronto.
"When we go down [into the mine] with students, we like to say imagine you’re walking on the seafloor 2.6 billion years ago."
Working with U.K. colleagues Chris Ballentine and Greg Holland, Sherwood Lollar and her team found that the water was rich in dissolved gases such as hydrogen and methane, which could provide energy for microbes like those found around hydrothermal vents in the deep ocean. Read more.