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Let your inner archaeologist out at Crawford Lake

Sometimes I wish I was an archaeologist.  But not just any archaeologist… I wish I was the Indiana Jones kind or the Brendan Fraser in The Mummy kind.  I even have a really cool hat that would be perfect to wear while I’m digging in the sand or running away from mummies.  

Ok – I have to admit, I usually get these crazy ideas about wearing a cool hat and running away from mummies after I’ve been watching certain movies.  But I am serious about wishing I was an archaeologist.  

So what’s a girl to do when she needs to release her inner digger?  She packs up the family and heads to Conservation Halton's Crawford Lake, located on Ontario's Niagara Escarpment. 

There aren't any mummies there.  But it IS a real-deal archaeological site.  In the 15th century, natives called the lands of Crawford Lake home.  Today, the park showcases a reconstruction of the Iroquian village that once stood there.  There is also an interpretive exhibit teaching visitors about the discovery of the village and the archaeological work that has been done on the site. 

We visited the park in July when they were holding an Archaeology Adventure Day.  A really great thing about checking out Crawford Lake during one of their planned events is the chance to see the park staff in action.  They did an excellent job explaining what life was like for the area's original residents so many centuries ago. And they showed visitors some of the things the natives would have done during their daily routines in the village.

They showed their skills at doing things like carving stone to make tools....

And lighting fires using only the stone and tinder available from nature....

We were able to actually hold a piece of 500 year old pottery found at the site. How cool is that? Cool enough to give me shivers!  I was pretty impressed to be holding something in my hands that a mom might have used in her village hundreds of years ago to feed her family.

And we had the chance to make some of our own pottery using the native pieces for inspiration.

We even got to do a little treasure hunting in a simulated dig site.  Sure, the treasures were put there for our benefit. But it was a still fun to brush away at the sand and discover bones and artifacts.  And considering it was about 35 degrees Celsius, we also got a first hand feel for what real archaeologists must go through while the toil under the sun to make their discoveries.

We've been to Crawford Lake a few times before the Archaeology Adventure Day and it's always been a fun field trip for us.  But I really enjoyed this opportunity to participate in activities at the park that aren't always available to visitors on an average day.  

Conservation Halton holds a number of special events at Crawford Lake (and their other parks). You can check out their schedule here.  No matter when you decide to go, remember that all you need is a bit of curiosity and a bit of imagination to let your inner archaeologist out.  And if you have it, maybe an Indiana Jones hat.

You Should Go!  Here's What You Need To Know....

Crawford Lake is open all year, weekends and holidays (except Christmas Day).  From May to October the park is open daily. The rest of the year it is open weekends.

Park entrance gates open at 8:30 a.m.  The Visitors Centre at Crawford Lake is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

There is an admission fee for the park.  Learn more about park fees here

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a lot of fun! Great pics too!


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