PEOPLE OF THE LONGHOUSE
Rudy prepares Jen and Jacob for their first mission of Wild Archaeology’s Second Season: The team is heading to Southern Ontario to excavate a 16th century palisaded Iroquois village at the Lawson site, the longest continuously investigated archaeological site in North America. While Jen and Jacob dig, Dr. Rudy explores the Sustainable Archaeology Lab and their high resolution micro-CT scanner. Later the team travels to the Kayanase longhouse for dancing lessons and to learn more about the Six Nations of the Grand River.
Sustainable Archaeology: 3D Scanning
Rudy, Jen and Jacob join Hilary Kiazyk at the Sustainable Archaeology Lab in London, Ontario, to learn about 3D printing and make replicas of the artifacts they found at the Lawson site. With many applications for archaeology, 3D printing makes material culture available for teaching and collections,while the original artifacts are safely stored or repatriated back to First Nations communities.
VR: Sustainable Archaeology
Join Hilary Kiazyk in the Sustainable Archaeology lab for a guided tour and close up view of 3D scanning in action.
The Lawson Site
The Lawson Site at the Ontario Museum of Archaeology includes an excavation site as well as a reconstructed palisade, longhouse and garden.
This five- acre village was once home to over 2000 people and occupied year-round. Archaeologists believe it was once a centre of trade and interaction with other indigenous peoples based on artifacts found here: marine shells from the Atlantic seaboard, copper from Lake Superior, as well as artifacts from Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Illinois.
“We’re standing in a longhouse, you can see it’s all bark and pole structure, all of this from an archaeological point of view — doesn’t exist. Everything below ground is what we can document — all organic materials have long since disappeared.”
– Dr. Neal Ferris
Analyzing Pottery Shards
The shaping of pottery often produced bits of debris and residual clay, invaluable for piecing together techniques and tools used in the past. Pottery was used for a variety of purposes, from transporting water to preparing and cooking corn soups.
The knowledge required for making ceramic pots was passed from mother to daughter, on through generations. Women selected and mixed the clay by hand, using an anvil-like flat stone to shape the walls of the pot, applying decorative elements while the clay was still malleable.
“It demonstrates the fact this is a real community, where the village is raising the children to take the place of the older ones as they age.”
– Jacob Pratt
Kayanase: Restoring Mother Earth
The past comes to life as Rudy, Jen and Jacob make their way to Kayanase to explore a fully reconstructed 17th century Haudenosaunee longhouse. Recently rebuilt by the people of Six Nations, the Kayanase longhouse is a place of memory and learning for current and future generations. Kayanase is also a native plant and seed business specializing in ecological restoration – combining science and traditional knowledge to restore Mother Earth.
Lacrosse: The Creator’s Game
An ancient sport played by indigenous nations for thousands of years, lacrosse was a way to give thanks to the Creator, train young warriors for battle, and settle disputes between feuding nations. A modern version of the sport is still played competitively across Turtle Island. After checking out the North American Indigenous Games at Six Nations, Jacob shows Jen the basics: how to hold a stick, how to shoot, and how to pass.
Six Nations Elder Bertha Skye invites Wild Archaeology into her home to learn more about Haudenosaunee culture and her late husband Herbert Skye’s role as Cayuga Chief and Faith keeper. Teaching Rudy about wampum, war pipes, and other sacred items, she reminds us that spirits still reside in anything once living, and the importance of passing along these teachings to future generations.