Please note that the Cataraqui Archaeological Research Foundation and the Kingston Archaeology Centre have closed. This site is still available for historical and informational reasons, but none of the services or products described here are available anymore.

First Year “Can You Dig It?© Program

First Year sessions outline the basics of archaeology and historical research.


1st year participants’ daily breakdown

Monday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

In the morning the participants will learn how to research the history of an archaeological site using archival documents including historic maps, photos, and written documents.

9:00-12:00 Introductions; Visit the Interpretive Centre; “Get to know each other” activities; Introduction to Archives and Research; Tour of the Archives; Workshops, Maps, Photographs and Documents.

In the afternoon participants will become familiar with the tools and methods archaeologists use while excavating through hands-on activities and workstations.

12:30-4:00 Discussions and videos on Archaeology and Artifacts; Workshops, Tools, Mapping, Recording; Review of the Site History and Borden; Review of Rules and History for tomorrow.

Breaks at 10:20 and 1:45First Year Participants at Warden's Residence

Lunch from 12:00-12:30

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Excavations on a real archaeological site!

Participants will learn excavation methods under the supervision of staff archaeologist and archaeological instructors. Excavations involve digging units by hand using trowels; collecting the dirt in buckets and screening it through 6 mm mesh. Artifacts are then collected from the mesh and bagged by provenience.

The archaeological site is outside and thus excavations are also done outside. Participants are given frequent shade and water breaks to deal with the summer’s heat and sun.

Breaks as needed and weather dependent.

Lunch from 12:00-12:30

Friday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

In the morning participants will be able to wash and sort the artifacts they excavated earlier in the week.

9:00-12:00 Recap of the week; Discussion on what happens after a Dig; Discussion on Artifact Conservation; Revisit the Interpretive Centre and link it back to the week’s activities; Workshops, Processing, Inventory/Sorting, and Illustration.

In the afternoon participants will create a project of their own to display what they have learned in the past week. All the projects will be showcased at Parent’s Night at the end of the summer!!

12:45-4:00 Project work; Clean-up; Project Presentations; Award Certificates, and Conclusion.

Breaks at 10:00 and 2:00

Lunch from 12:00-12:45

“Can You Dig It?”© is designed as a 4 yr graduated program, with each subsequent year having a different focus on a particular aspect of archaeology.