Association of Professional Archaeologists

Association of Professional Archaeologists (Ontario) 

~  Radiocarbon Date Awards  ~


Those of you who have been perusing the newly updated Newsletter archives on the website may have seen talk of the lottery and its lucky recipients in the past.  The Executive has been working to revive this assistance to its members, and the added benefit for all will be the sharing of the dating results and the significance of those dates to the sites from which the samples are recovered.
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Radiocarbon Date Merit Award

APA Ontario is pleased to announce the revival of this special contest for members. The prize is the cost of one sample per recipient dated at A.E. Lalonde AMS Facility, one of APA’s sponsors. Open to APA members holding the PIF on a recent/current project, or all APA members conducting research on a project with no active PIF. Current projects or past projects -- you decide which samples are likely to provide valuable information to yourself and your colleagues.


next deadline to apply: TBD 


To enter, simply provide us with the following information in an email to members@apaontario.ca:

  • Your information (name, contact, etc.)
  • PIF number for the project where the sample was collected
  • Site type
  • Sample context
  • Material to be dated

Also provide a brief note indicating:

  • How this date will contribute to the archaeological record in Ontario
  • Brief history of site investigations
  • How this award will contribute to your work as a professional archaeologist

The primary condition of the award is acknowledgement of the APA when the date is used in publication, and submission of a short note for the APA website and newsletter. This newsletter/ website report can be a brief summary of the project, site, context and sample with a comment on the date returned (how the date relates to expectations and how it contributes to the understanding of the site).


A small committee will evaluate entries for members to receive a complimentary AMS C14 analysis from A.E. Lalonde AMS Facility.


** May 2021 ** David Gadzala is the recipient of one of this year's complimentary AMS C14 analysis for the following research:

Site Type: Frederick House Lake dugout canoe site (no borden number registered)

> Sample Context: dugout canoe recovered from muddy bottom of Frederick House Lake, curated in the Timmins Museum since its recovery post-1910

> Material: wood fragment, possibly pine

[more info to come about the context of this sample and its interpretive potential]


** May 2021 ** Matt Severn is the second recipient of this year's complimentary AMS C14 analysis for the following research:

Site Type: Diagnostic artifacts recovered suggest occupations spanning the Early to Late Woodland period. However, the site is primarily identified as a Younge Phase occupation from the Western Basin Tradition. The site is known as AgHn-12. 

> Sample Context: Feature 3; Layer 2 38-63 cm. Eastern feature cluster.

> Material: long bone fragments, likely deer

[more info to come about the context of this sample and its interpretive potential]


** April 2020 ** Josh Garrett, a Trent University graduate student, is this year's APA member recipient of this complimentary AMS C14 analysis.  

Site Type: Early Woodland summer/fall task site known as the Dawson Creek Site (BaGn-16)

> Sample Context: Feature 28a, Level: 0-10cm

> Material: 0.25g of Ash (species) charcoal

The Dawson Creek site is an early summer to late fall task site. Its primary occupation dates to the Early Woodland period, associated with Vinette 1 ceramics, Meadowood and Middlesex components, and evidence of acorn processing. There is evidence of Late Archaic and Middle Woodland components as well. Feature 28 appears to be a re-used feature. The lowest levels date to the Late Archaic, while the upper levels are associated with Vinette 1 ceramics. This radiocarbon date will contribute to the archaeological record by documenting one of few, if not the only, re-used features at the Late Archaic and Early Woodland interface.

The Dawson Creek site was originally excavated by Dr. Lawrence Jackson, who has subsequently published on the site on numerous occasions. Ceramic, lithic, faunal, and archaeobotanical analyses have demonstrated that the Dawson Creek site was primarily used in summer and fall and was likely a task site where acorns were processed for consumption—acorns requiring the removal of tannins in order to be edible. The site is being explored again in a holistic fashion, tying in settlement and subsistence patterns during the Early Woodland period associated with environmental changes in the Rice Lake area, which subsequently impacted material culture developments.

This award will contribute to my professional development by providing me with essential information about the Dawson Creek site. The interpretations derived from the C14 dating of Feature 28a at Dawson Creek will help illuminate patterns seen in the archaeological remains from the Early Woodland period in the Rice Lake region.


** January 2019 ** APA member Daniel Smith is this year's recipient of one complimentary AMS C14 analysis. Daniel is currently enrolled in a Master's Degree at Trent University.

> Project PIF: The Scott Site (BcGk-1) was excavated Pre-PIF implementation in 1966

> Site Type: The Scott Site (BcGk-1) is primarily identified as an Early Woodland fishing camp/burial site with material stretching to the Late Woodland period 

> Sample Context: The exact unit and depth of the artifact will need to be determined as it was not identified in the original artifact identification process in the late 1960's and placed with other bone fragments

> Material: Long-bone fragment, potentially Deer

          This date will assist the archaeological record in Ontario by providing an absolute date to multiple occupation site containing artifacts from the woodland period at large as a potential meeting place, it also assists in the understanding of pottery decorations and the tools associated with this decoration. Providing a absolute date with an uncommon tool involved with the understanding of ceramic development and decoration within Ontario.  This date will also be added to a developing radiocarbon database for Ontario archaeology which is associated with my current research. 

Brief history of site investigations: The site was excavated in 1966 by the Department of Anthropology at Trent University as a small fishing camp on an island at the confluence of the Trent and Crowe rivers. During the excavation 6 complete and 18 incomplete burials were excavated along with artifacts including Woodland ceramics, bone tools, lithic tools and several worked copper tools. The majority of the site’s materials were never formally identified past the filming of “Five-Foot Square”, a film produced by the Department of Anthropology outlining archaeological excavation at the Scott Site. The artifact assemblage is currently being analyzed by 3 Graduate students at Trent university where the collection is located, one of which identified the dentate stamping tool. 

          This award will assist my work as a professional archaeologist by strengthening the database which I am currently developing at Trent university allowing for a better Radiocarbon data availability within Ontario.


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Radiocarbon Date Lottery

To enter, members simply provide us with the following information in an email to members@apaontario.ca:

  • Your information (name, contact, etc.)
  • PIF number for the project where the sample was collected
  • Site type
  • Sample context
  • Material to be dated

Additional/optional information may be included with the lottery submission:

  • How this date will contribute to the archaeological record in Ontario
  • Brief history of site investigations
  • How this award will contribute to your work as a professional archaeologist

The primary condition of the award is acknowledgement of the APA when the date is used in publication, and submission of a short note for the APA website and newsletter. This newsletter/ website report can be a brief summary of the project, site, context and sample with a comment on the date returned (how the date relates to expectations and how it contributes to the understanding of the site).


next deadline to apply:  Tuesday November 30, 2021 at 11:59pmEST


** October 2017 ** APA member Darci Clayton is this year's fortunate winner of the draw for one complimentary AMS C14 analysis.  Darci is currently enrolled in a Master's Degree at Trent University.

Darci's thesis research involves statistically analyzing the variability of morphological styles and raw material used to manufacture projectile points in south-central Ontario between the Late Archaic and Late Woodland time periods. This analysis will provide useful information about possible trade networks involving the groups in south-central Ontario, and other influences on projectile point variability. 

Radiocarbon dates directly associated with projectile points from this region are very rare, but any available dates will be very informative for my research. Very few analyses have been completed on projectile points from this region, and conclusions based on south-western Ontario assemblages are often projected on south-central Ontario sites. The comparatively different environment and cultural groups of south-central Ontario suggest that it may be incorrect in projecting these assumptions on to these assemblages. Darci's research aims at illuminating this gap in knowledge.

> the Sample: a wood charcoal sample from a feature that was directly associated with a Meadowood Projectile point

> the Site: Dawson Creek Site (BaGn-16)

> the Context: Wood Charcoal sample from Feature 15;

sample taken from 10-20cm depth

> Site does not have a PIF number as it was excavated in 1981


More detail about Darci's thesis research has been published in APA Newsletter 2017:2.

Results of the AMS C14 analysis for this Dawson Creek Site sample will be published in an upcoming APA newsletter and on this webpage. 


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