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"Partners in the Past: U of T and OAS Digs" Exhibit Opening

The opening reception for the exhibit "Partners in the Past: U of T and OAS Digs" took place on October 18, 2000, in Sidney Smith Hall, University of Toronto. Ontario Archaeological Society (OAS) members, and faculty, students and alumni from U of T enjoyed refreshments kindly provided by Jo Holden of the OAS and viewed the exhibit which includes 13 sites that were excavated by U of T with the assistance of the OAS in the 1950s. The highlight of the evening was a talk given by Helen Devereux, long-time member of the OAS and former faculty member of the Department of Anthropology, U of T. Helen's talk captured the theme of the exhibit perfectly and told of the strong links between these two institutions in the 1950s.

The Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto, is proud to assist the OAS in the celebration of its 50th year through the creation of this exhibit that highlights the early digs which involved the cooperation of both institutions. In his 1970 article, 'The Ontario Archaeological Society: Two Decades of Development', Dr. J. N. Emerson of the University of Toronto stated that: "In the first decade of the society, the university very much depended upon the trained members of the OAS to help them run, direct, and supervise their large student digs...I am very grateful for the help of the OAS during those years. It could not have been done without such help."

In the first decade of the society, members assisted Dr. Emerson in excavations at such sites as Ault Park, Aurora, Bennett, Benson, Black Creek, Bosomworth, Downsview, Graham Rogers, MacMurchy, Parsons, Seed-Barker, Thompson and Warminster. The artifacts and archival records from these excavations reside at the University of Toronto and form the basis for this exhibit. The sites exhibited range in time from Middle Archaic to Late Iroquoian and in geography from Hamilton to Cornwall (W-E) and Lake Ontario to Huronia (S-N).

"Partners in the Past: U of T and OAS Digs" will be open until the summer of 2001. Viewing is by appointment only and arrangements can be made by contacting Pat Reed at 416-978-6293 or by e-mail at


-Pat Reed, Curator of "Partners in the Past: U of T and OAS Digs"