International Archaeology Day and the Bill Melbourne Collection

International Archaeology Day is held each year on the third Saturday of October.

International Archaeology Day is a celebration of archaeology and the thrill of discovery. Every October archaeological organizations across Canada, the United States, and abroad present archaeological programs and activities for people of all ages and interests. Whether it is a family-friendly archaeology fair, a guided tour of a local archaeological site, a simulated dig, a lecture or a classroom visit from an archaeologist, the interactive, hands-on International Archaeology Day programs provide the chance to indulge your inner Indiana Jones.


As part of International Archaeology Day the NLAS is releasing a new Community Collections Archaeological Research Project (CCARP) based on a collection donated by Bill Melbourne from Burgeo.  We want to thank Bill for sharing this collection with the NLAS; in so doing, he provided us with new information on archaeological sites in the Burgeo area.

Please keep in mind that our aim is not to encourage private collection of artifacts, but rather to record these undocumented sites, as well as educate and inform people about what to do if you find an archaeological site.

Click on the cover image below to view and download a complete, free copy of the CCARP report on the Bill Melbourne Archaeology Collection.


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The Dirt on Your Directors: Treasurer Elaine Anton

How did you get interested in Archaeology?

  • I grew up going to the Royal Ontario Museum and the Ontario Science Centre a lot. I remember really liking the discovery gallery the ROM had in the basement for kids that had all these edukits you could take down and open up. There were animal skeletons, Egyptian hieroglyphics puzzles and other museum behind-the-scenes sort of things.When I went to the University of Toronto I took anthropology and archaeology courses, but it was when I took the archaeology field school that my career path was solidified. I found that I really enjoyed the lab part of archaeology work – cleaning the artifacts, labeling them, organizing them, and I’ve stayed involved with that sort of work ever since.

    Standing in front of the replica of the Fleur de Lys soapstone pot wall at the Rooms.

    Standing in front of the replica of the Fleur de Lys soapstone pot wall at the Rooms.

What sort of things do you do as the chair/member of the Finance Committee?

  • As Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee I am in charge of the books and more of the legal side of running the NLAS. The Finance Committee as a whole supports the work of the Treasurer, as well as helps the NLAS with budget planning and overall financial operations.It includes tracking the money, memberships, reporting on the finances,  filing  papers for the Canadian Revenue Agency and the Provincial Government to ensure all our legal requirements have been taken care of.

Do you have a favourite site or artifact from the Province? (send a photo)

  • I’m partial to the small wooden scoop that was found at the Dorset soapstone quarry in Fleur de Lys. In many ways I’ve followed this artifact’s post excavation life the whole way. I was there when it was discovered and helped stabilize it for its return to St. John’s. After further examination, and recognizing the importance and rarity of the find, the principal investigator, John Erwin, along with the Provincial archaeology staff and conservator were able to arrange for further treatment and stabilization at the Canadian Conservation Institute in Ottawa. I had a chance to see it in treatment there, and once it returned to the province and was transferred to The Rooms Archaeology’s collections, I was able to be a part of the team that saw it installed in the gallery “Connections: This Place and Its Early Peoples”.
    Fleur de Lys wooden scoop on display at the Rooms.

    Fleur de Lys wooden scoop on display at the Rooms.

    Fleur de Lys wooden scoop on display at the Rooms.

    Fleur de Lys wooden scoop on display at the Rooms.

See more about the scoop here:|

And see it on display at The Rooms:

When I think about the future of the NLAS, I hope…

  • We’ll continue to bring together a wide variety of people with an interest in the archaeology of the Province. I’ve been excited looking at the membership of the NLAS to-date to see so many people join who are from the general public and who are from outside of the Province.I also hope we continue to see a variety of people be involved in the operation of the NLAS as new ideas and energies always help organizations like ours grow. In particular I’d like to see more undergraduate and graduate students in archaeology on the NLAS board and committees as organizations like ours certainly can help new archaeologists establish relationships and a broader knowledge base that can be very beneficial to their chosen career paths.
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Artifact Drawing Workshop!

Want to learn how to illustrate archaeological artifacts like a pro? Sign up for our next NLAS workshop. We’ll provide the materials and teach you what to do… no previous experience necessary. Cost: $10 for members, and $35 for members. Email us to reserve your spot!


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Suggestions for the 2016 Community Collections Archaeological Research Project (CCARP)

The Newfoundland and Labrador Archaeological Society (NLAS) is preparing for the next Community Collections Archaeological Research Project (CCARP) which is to be completed over the next six months. While the NLAS Board of Directors has several collections in mind for the upcoming CCARP we are always looking for more ideas. Do you know of a private collection that has not yet been catalogued? Do you think the person who has the collection would be open to loaning it to the NLAS to have it catalogued? If you know of a collection please contact the NLAS.

Previous CCARP reports can be seen here.


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Colony of Avalon Archaeologist for a Day

Interested in trying your hand at being an archaeologist? Now you can with the Colony of Avalon Archaeologist for a Day program. This full day program is happening from June 27 to August 11, 2016. The cost for registration is $124.99 + HST (Lunch Included). However, NLAS members get a discount, your cost will be $100 + HST (Lunch Included). To book this exciting adventure phone 709-432-3200 or 1-877-326-5669 toll free. Email:

See the poster below for more details.

Don’t forget your sunscreen, bug spray and fedora!

If you are a NLAS member and want to participate in this program you need to indicate your NLAS membership to the Colony of Avalon folks at the time of booking to avail of the discount!

Archaeologist for a Day - NL Arch Society

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Cafe Press

Have you been to the NLAS Cafe Press store lately? We have some good looking and useful items for sale. With each purchase you’ll have the benefit of knowing that you’re helping the Society.

Cafe Press

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Spring Fling Membership Drive

Since spring takes such a long time to come to Newfoundland, we thought we’d give it a bit more time to fully arrive by extending our Spring Fling membership drive until the first week of May.




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Community Collections Archaeological Research Project: Baxter Andrews Collection


The Newfoundland and Labrador Archaeological Society (NLAS) is keen on engaging with private collectors of archaeological material. Under the Community Collections Archaeological Research Project (CCARP) the NLAS hopes to locate and record these private collections as well as facilitate public education and awareness of heritage and archaeological resources. The attached PDF report and photo gallery showcases artifacts collected by Baxter Andrews on Cape Island in Cape Freels, Newfoundland, between 1953 and 2010. Seventeen artifacts were surfaced collected by Mr. Andrews from eroding sand banks during walks along the beach with his wife Bernice. The artifacts represent six precontact cultures including: Maritime Archaic Indian, Dorset Palaeoeskimo, Cow Head Recent Indian, Beaches Recent Indian, and Little Passage Recent Indian-Beothuk. This is the second collection catalogued under CCARP.

It’s important to note that collecting artifacts is contrary to Newfoundland and Labrador’s Historic Resources Act. With this project, the NLAS does not condone the future collection of artifacts, but rather, it serves as a mechanism which allows existing collections to be shared for educational purposes.

The Community Collections Archaeological Research Project was funded through the Cultural Economic Development Program – Heritage, Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development. The work was carried out by John Andrew Campbell, Department of Archaeology, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Baxter Andrews Collection photo gallery

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Baxter Andrews Archaeology Collection

On Monday, March 7th, John Andrew Campbell will be in Wesleyville giving a free public talk at Norton’s Cove Studio at 7PM. He’ll be sharing the latest Community Collections Archaeological Research Project; The Baxter Andrews Archaeology Collection. If you are in the area, please stop by and check out the collection!Talk.jpg

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GIS workshop

We are hosting a GIS workshop on Saturday, March 12. Learn how to use a free GIS program to overlay aerial photos or old maps, import GIS layers from the web or ArcGIS, or map out a survey.


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