The erosion of ancient shorelines on coasts and inland lakes and rivers due to sea level rise and more frequent and severe flooding caused by climatic change has been characterized as a global crises in archaeology. The National Capital Region is no exception, with many of its shorelines sites undergoing severe damage because of annual high water levels. In response to the catastrophic spring flood of 2017, the National Capital Commission launched the Assessment and Rescue of Archaeological Legacy (ARAL) project in 2018, a multi-year initiative designed to address the erosion of archaeological resources in the region. Following a summary of the region’s rich archaeological heritage, the results of ARAL’s first year of work are presented, along with suggested measures to mitigate the impacts of erosion on these resources.Ian obtained a Master’s degree in Anthropology, University of Toronto, with specialization in Arctic Archaeology, in 1974. Over the years he has worked for several universities, the Nunavik Inuit cultural institute and as a consultant. In 2009 he was hired as the archaeologist of the National Capital Commission. His main role in this position is to ensure that the Commission’s decisions and recommendations with regards to development projects on federal lands in the Capital Region are in compliance with Government of Canada policies and regulations for the protection of archaeological resources. He is also responsible for managing NCC outreach activities in archaeology, including annual public digs and the Protocol for the Co-management of Archaeological Resources between NCC, the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan and the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg.
Thursday February 20,
2020 at 7:30 p.m.
Archaeological Inquires and the Orcadian Neolithic or How Orcadian Archaeologists changed Archaeology
Dr. Christopher Kerns, Golder Associates
At a third of the total area of the City of Ottawa, the Orkney Islands, off the north east coast of Scotland, are unique in their preservation of Neolithic archaeology, and home to the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site. The Neolithic of Orkney has regularly been investigated by archaeologists for over 150 years. This talk not only aims to situate the Neolithic of Orkney within the broader regional monumental manifestations of the Neolithic such as Stonehenge in England and the Brú na Bóinne Complex in Ireland, but it also aims to examine how investigations the Orcadian Neolithic influenced broader archaeological interpretations of the past and the practice of doing archaeology. This presentation draws on recent research by the speaker including oral history interviews with Orcadian archaeologists while also drawing on the numerous publications of recent archaeological projects in Orkney and beyond.
Dr. Kerns is originally from Colorado. While attending the University of Colorado as an undergraduate he undertook a double major in Anthropology and History graduating Cum Laude. After finishing his undergraduate he went on to complete two Master’s degrees, one from the University of Manchester in Neolithic Archaeology and the other from the University of Bristol in Landscape Archaeology. He recently passed his Doctoral defense at the University of Southampton. His doctoral research focused on the histories of archaeological inquiry into the Orcadian Neolithic since World War II. Beyond his doctoral research, he has 15 years experience in commercial archaeology in the USA and Canada. He has also directed excavations at an Iron Age cave site in the Mendip Hills south of Bristol, England and has participated in several excavations of Neolithic sites in England and Scotland including at Stonehenge and the Ness of Brodgar. Dr. Kerns’s research interests go beyond disciplinary histories and include the transition to agricultural lifeways, prehistoric land-use patterns, mapping soil preservation characteristics, and the application of new technologies to archaeological investigations. He currently works for Golder Associates as a field technician and has recently joined the OAS Ottawa Executive Board.
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