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Gateway to Aboriginal Heritage Native material culture in Canada
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Archaeological Specimens

The archaeological collections of the Canadian Museum of Civilization (CMC) include objects recovered through archaeological research, particularly excavation. Most relate to the Aboriginal history of Canada, from the last Ice Age over twenty thousand years ago, up to and beyond the arrival of Europeans four hundred years ago. To a lesser extent, the collections also include items pertaining to the European colonization of Canada. Containing 2.75 million specimens, CMC's collections are the largest anywhere dedicated to Canadian archaeology. The collections are organized by site within larger geographic areas (Maritimes, Quebec, Ontario, etc.). Collections of comparative faunal material (used in the identification of animal bone from archaeological sites) and lithic samples (used to identify quarry sources) also form part of the museums holdings.

The study and interpretation of these collections by staff archaeologists is made through laboratory and data analyses. Results are disseminated through academic and general interest publications as well as exhibitions, contributing significantly to our knowledge of the history of Aboriginal cultures in Canada.

The Gateway project provides you with a close-up view of archaeological collections from various regions and cultural traditions in Canada.