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In addition to Bill Finlayson's impressive and invaluable longevity as the senior-most archeologist in Ontario, one of his many noteworthy accomplishments was being voted a Specially-Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada for his innovations in Ontario Archaeology. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University.
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Bill has had a truly fascinating career. Early on, he undertook the total excavation of the Draper site, an ancestral Huron-Wendat village in Pickering which remains the most significant Huron-Wendat site excavated in southern Ontario. In 1976, he left the Department of Anthropology at The University of Western Ontario to revitalize Wilfrid Jury's Museum of Indian Archaeology and Pioneer Life. In 1985, he was appointed Lawson Professor of Canadian Archaeology, the first archaeologist to hold an endowed chair in Canadian archaeology. This allowed Bill to devote time to his field research in the Crawford Lake area near Milton, Ontario.
The next phase in Bill's career began in 2001 when he took early retirement, providing him with an excellent opportunity to establish his own archaeological consulting firm. This Land Archaeology Inc. provides services to land developers in the Greater Toronto Area and beyond. Since 2006, he has undertaken the salvage excavation of more than 60 19th century homesteads/farmsteads.
The Draper Site, an Ontario Woodland Tradition Frontier Coalescent Village in Southern Ontario, Canada: Looking Back, Moving Forward
Our Lands Speak Occasional Papers in Archaeology No. 2 Landmark Study
~ Author William D. Finlayson, Ph.D., F.R.S.C.
The Draper site, excavated in 1975 and 1978, remains the largest and most significant Iroquoian site subject to salvage excavation in southern Ontario. In this innovative study, Dr. William D. Finlayson reviews more than 40 publications, theses, articles, and unpublished reports as a prelude to the reconsideration of some of the key aspects of the site. This includes presentation of a new sequence of expansions of the village, new perspectives on the use of defensive strategies in the planning of the village, and the presence of menstrual houses. Draper is used to define a specialized type of coalescent village, the Frontier Coalescent Village. This study provides new insights into the coalescence of at least five smaller villages, some from Duffin Creek and some from further afield at Draper, and the special mechanisms which made this possible and sustainable.
On a broader scale, the Draper site is situated among the almost 50 Iroquoian sites currently known on the Duffin Creek. A major conclusion of this study is that this drainage was occupied by one or more communities of Iroquoians who were not Huron-Wendat, but rather a community of Iroquoians ultimately contemporary with the Huron-Wendat confederacy which occupied Huronia in the 17th century. The use of Michi Saagiig oral histories provides new evidence in support of the migration theory for the occupation of south-central Ontario by Iroquoians in the latter part of the first millennium A.D. Comparisons are drawn to the Iroquoian occupation of the Crawford Lake area where there was also a long occupation by Iroquoians, at least one community of which were also not Huron-Wendat. The study also elaborates on the Ontario Woodland Tradition as an organizational concept to replace the Ontario Iroquois Tradition.
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Our Lands Speak Occasional Papers in Ontario Archaeology is a superior quality publication series issued on subjects in and affecting Ontario archaeology. Our goal is to create additional space to disseminate information about Ontario's rich archaeological history, including both historic and prehistoric archaeological investigations, as well as important First Nations perspectives. Another objective of this series is to make use of current advances in publication technologies. The print versions of the Occasional Papers include high quality colour illustrations, which few North American journals or monograph series currently offer. Some are also available in digital formats.
Price: $69.95, plus tax and shipping.
Highly illustrated, 417 pages.