When I was a kid, I was obsessed with three things: history, being outdoors, and playing in the dirt. So, you can imagine my delight when I got to join an archaeological dig when I was seven. It was a summer camp at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology, in London, Ontario, and I loved every second of it.
Since then, I’ve taken every opportunity to surround myself with archaeology. During high school I completed a co-op at that same museum, excavating and processing finds. In my undergraduate, I completed a mortuary archaeology field school in Poland. During my gap years, I excavated in Peru and Israel, and during my doctoral research, I excavated in Canada and France. I’ve also conducted research in Canada and Europe as part of SSHRC funded projects. It’s been a great adventure so far, and I’m excited to see what’s next.
A few years ago, while volunteering with Scouts Canada, I set up a mock dig for Beaver Scouts (5-7 year olds). In this “dig” they worked in grids and dug up spoons, bones from dinners, small toys, and more. As I was standing back, letting them explore and “excavate”, it dawned on me: my first exposure to archaeology was staged. I was stunned, thinking my whole world was built on a lie. Just as this was starting to hit me, a Beaver Scout came running over to me with a pork rib shouting, “I found a dinosaur!” In his eyes, I saw the same excitement I felt when I made my first discovery at seven years old, and the lie didn’t matter, because that passion was very real.