Over the past few years, Trent student researchers and faculty have set out to understand a small piece of Oshawa from archaeological digs at Henry House, an Oshawa historical site. The latest dig in spring of 2018 is when Archaeology and Psychology student Amy Bridges started getting involved in the project, now working as a research assistant to finish work on the artefacts. The 2018 dig carried out by a small group of students, was one that was very unique, being the first on the northern side of the summer kitchen, an extension to the Henry House.
Ms. Bridges is one in a small group of research students that has been working with Dr. Helen Haines in the lab to process recovered pieces from the dig. Ms. Bridges has completed the cleaning process and is in the active stages of categorizing, documenting and labelling these pieces, which has provided her with many compelling discoveries.
“What has fascinated me about the project is how diverse and beautiful some of the finds have been,” says Ms. Bridges. “The dishes and bottle work were so intricate and detailed and a lot of that detail has stayed over the years.”
As these pieces have been processed, the group has discovered a great deal about the Henry family and the period home. The experience of being in the field and gaining hands-on lab experience has been one that has had a great impact on Ms. Bridges and her future goals.
“I am so glad I decided to take the leap and take this unique course. It has been one of the most eye-opening and memorable experiences of my life. Getting real hands on experience in both the field and the lab has been extremely beneficial. I can relate what I am being taught in class to the actual field. Hands on learning like this can help students who are on the fence to figure out if they just want the fieldwork or the lab work or both like myself,” Ms. Bridges explained. “I know this course will help me in the future because I have already seen the benefits. I am now working at the Oshawa Museum as a visitor host because I have that extra knowledge and know how to handle the artefacts. I am already working in the field and I am still in University, having that foot in the door already is going to help me greatly for after graduation.”