Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Canadian Archaeology Association Conference: Public Archaeology Day

In addition to the open house event hosted by Sustainable Archaeology and the Museum of Ontario Archaeology as part of the 2014 CAA conference held here in London, we also had the opportunity at the end of the conference to participate in a Public Archaeology day. Sponsored by the CAA conference, the public day featured free public lectures by Chris Ellis of Western University, Dana Poulton and Christine Dodd of D.R. Poulton and Associates Inc., and Ron Williamson of Archaeological Services Inc., as well as displays by local archaeologists and archaeological firms, the Museum of Ontario Archaeology, the DH Maker Bus, the Ontario Archaeological Society, and others. Sustainable Archaeology's table featured the ever popular Oculus Rift with the virtual recreation of the Lawson site, as well as a number of 3D printed objects.

Events such as the public day provide SA with an opportunity to interface with the public, to share what we are doing, and what we hope to accomplish. The Oculus Rift and the 3D prints offered sufficient "wow-factor" to draw people to the table, but conversations quickly evolved past the "wow" to very interesting discussions regarding how digital technologies can help make archaeological artifacts and data accessible beyond archaeologists, and beyond the facility itself. While SA is not intended to be a public facility in that we are not physically open to the public as a museum would be, our database will be publicly accessible once complete, and events such as the public day can help us to understand what the public would be interested in learning about, and interacting with.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Canadian Archaeological Association Conference Open House

On May 15th Sustainable Archaeology: Western, along with our neighbours at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology, welcomed attendees of the 2014 Canadian Archaeological Association conference for an evening open house.

Tours of the repository and laboratories were conducted by Dr. Neal Ferris, Dr. Rhonda Bathurst, and Kira Westby, with Dr. Andrew Nelson exhibiting examples of scanning projects at the micro-CT station in the Ancient Images Laboratory.
Checking out the micro-CT

Repository tour with Dr. Rhonda Bathurst

It was exciting for us to engage with fellow archaeologists from across the country on issues related to collections management, database development, and integrating digital technologies, to hear their feedback on the facility, and to hear their questions. Garnering particular interest amongst some of the attendees was SA's use of barcoding technologies and inventory management tools, as well as our 3D scanning and 3D printing equipment. And of course the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, showcasing the re-creation of the Lawson site, is always a big hit, both for those trying it out, and for the crowd watching!

Thank you again to everyone who attended, it was a great evening! We hope to hear from many of you again soon!