Establishing beneficial roles: integrating community members into archaeological practices in Atlantic Canada

McLean, Chase K.A. (2023) Establishing beneficial roles: integrating community members into archaeological practices in Atlantic Canada. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This master’s research seeks to understand how working with undocumented collections, private artifact collectors and avocational archaeologists benefits the field of archaeology. Governmental policies related to the act of private artifact collecting and avocational archaeology in Atlantic Canada are examined. By revisiting these policies and legislation, archaeologists and non-archaeologists can begin discussing what roles private collectors and avocational archaeologists have to play in professional archaeological methodology and interpretation. Case studies are presented from Canada, England, Taiwan, the United States of America and Wales to demonstrate the significant contribution to the global archaeological record from responsible private collectors, avocational archaeologists and community museums. The need for collaboration between professional archaeologists and non-archaeologists, is heavily emphasized based on the need to improve the discipline methodologically, theoretically and ethically. Fieldwork and museum work was completed in North West River, Labrador, to produce 3D models of Tshiashinnu artifacts and to demonstrate what role community museums have in collaborating with archaeologists. The results of this research demonstrate that the most effective 3D scanning or photogrammetry equipment that a non-archaeologist can use to produce 3D models are Android or iOS applications that are user-friendly affordable. Statistical data was collected from an online survey to gather information related to different stakeholder positions on the involvement of private collectors and avocational archaeologists in the documentation of cultural material and heritage sites. There were 14 multiple-choice questions and 171 participants who answered the survey questionnaire. Over 94% of survey respondents answered that they were in favour of collaborating with private artifact collectors. Based on survey results, this demonstrates that many more contemporary archaeologists are in favour of collaborating with private artifact compared to those who are opposed to it. By collaborating with non-archaeologists such as responsible private artifact collectors and institutions like private museums and using 3D scanning technologies, archaeologists can help digitize and document archaeological collections held in private collections or community museums. We can then make these collections more accessible and share them with wider audiences. This benefits archaeology as it becomes more inclusive to those who are not trained in archaeological methodology or theory.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 15945
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 80-98)
Keywords: collaboration, community archaeology, community museums, responsible, private collectors, survey
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Archaeology
Date: March 2023
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Community archaeology--Atlantic Provinces; Community museums--Atlantic Provinces; Collectors and collecting--Government policy--Atlantic Provinces

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