The Division of Archaeology and History (DAH) is one of two divisions responsible for conducting research at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. The Archaeologists carry out a program of research concerned with the recovery, study and presentation of information and artifacts relating primarily to the pre-contact history of Canada. Their research is also concerned with the physical anthropology of the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Peoples of Canada. The division conducts field work or so-called digs for its purposes and staff prepare a range of technical and popular publications and videos of varying length. The division co-operates with Curatorial Branch staff in maintaining and updating the National Inventory of Sites in the Northwest Territories and Yukon, maintaining various field records in the archives and databases, cataloging artifacts, and certain other aspects of collections management.
The Historians are concerned with researching, preserving and presenting the social, economic and cultural history of Canada. Their goal is the collection of artifacts highlighting Canadian material of national interest representing every region in Canada and all socio-economic groups and time periods in the nation’s past. Along with collecting and conserving representative artifacts, the division also conducts historical research placing material culture in its general social context in order to reconstitute portions of Canada’s past.
The division will focus on providing:
- an overview of research procedures used in analysing, evaluating, interpreting and presenting archaeological and historical data, in some cases drawing information together to form the “big picture” and in other cases using this data to formulate specific hypotheses about the past
- an understanding of the importance of accurate research and documentation in the exhibit and interpretation of archaeological and historical artifacts
- examples of archival and field-work research methods, for use in programs and collections development
- a demonstration of the importance of the archaeologist or historian as a resource person working in collaboration with other divisions.
Specific Learning Outcomes
These objectives will be reached through assigned tasks and projects which may include the following skills or procedures.
The intern may:
- gain exposure to CMCC collections
- learn methods of collecting data
- participate in the analysis and synthesis of archaeological and historical research using artifact collections and documentary and other data
- co-jointly under the direction of DAH and collections management staff, tag and physically number archaeological material and undertake other aspects of collections management
- acquire experience in documentation techniques
- participate in archival research
- interpret data
- discover the role of the curator in collections development, for example, in the authentication of acquired artifacts.