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Homes of the Past: The Archaeology of an Iroquoian Longhouse

Homes of the Past: The Archaeology of an Iroquoian Longhouse

Ontario Iroquoians are made up of three groups: the Huron, the Petun and the Neutral. The Iroquoian peoples lived in the southern part of Ontario, and had a culture similar to the Iroquois of New York state. French Explorers and Missionaries (such as the Jesuits), spent many years living with the


Agriculturalists: People who rely upon crops they have planted and tended to themselves, rather than relying on gathering alone. Apartment: The named used by archeologists to describe the living space that belonged to one family. Each longhouse is made up of several apartments. Artifacts: Anything

Explore the Site

Besides post moulds, there are two main features made by Iroquoian peoples and found by archaeologists inside longhouses. These are fire pits or hearths, and storage pits. Below is an example of a floor plan of an Ontario Iroquoian longhouse. In this plan, the post moulds, hearths and storage pits

You are EJJ, a Red Knot!

Red Knots are a robin sized shorebird that have recently become an endangered species due to big declines in their populations . ROM Ornithologists have been helping to protect and better understand the problems this bird is facing. Come and see some of the work we've been doing. During the

My name is Pete (PT1) Sanderling

My name is Pete Sanderling. Can you guess why? The coloured flag was put on my leg by a scientist to learn more about how I live.  You might call me a frequent flyer because I travel so much. I spend my winters as far south as South America and my summers in Canada's arctic. 

Timmy (TM1), the Ruddy Turnstone

I am a shorebird known as a Ruddy Turnstone. Like many shorebirds species our numbers are starting to show a serious decline. ROM researchers are studying turnstones and other shorebirds so we can learn more about the problems they are facing and protect them. I have been given the name Timmy,

Layer Profile- Munsell Site (A Fictional Historic Excavation)

The Munsell site is a fictional historic site created by the ROM, and located in Toronto. Let's assume the original Munsell home is still standing. Historic research from primary sources, (records written when the Munsell family were still living on the site) show that the house was built in

Layer One- Sod and topsoil layer

Pharmaceutical or medicine bottles were common in the 19th and 20th centuries until it was no longer legal to sell "medicines" without a licence. People, especially women due to the large number of "medicines" devoted to relieving "female problems," were becoming

Layer Three- Mixed occupation and fill layer

Here is what was found in layer 3-  a piece of flow blue, transferware ceramic, which dates from around the mid 1830s.  Transferware was less expensive than imported, hand painted Chinese porcelain, and the affordability of flow blue items were attractive for many Victorian middle class families.

Layer Four- Fill from the top part of the privy, thrown into level off the hole

Here is what was found in layer 4- a crown cap closures on soda pop bottles, which dates from after 1892 in the US.  This means that the date for Canada would be slightly later, because it would take some time for the technology to travel north to Canada. Although not as popular now as they were