Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Historical Society of Ottawa: November meeting

For the HSO last meeting of 2016 Jean-Luc Pilon will present "An Ancient Cultural Landscape In the Heart of Canada's Capital" 

Recent information clearly identifies Hull Landing in Gatineau as the location of a burial site first documented in 1843 but since the late 19th century believed to have been located across the river in Ottawa. The site appears to have been used for burials for more than 4,000 years. It was also the location of a major portage route for aboriginal peoples. Nearby Chaudière Falls was a place of great spiritual significance and power. The delta at the mouth of the Gatineau River was a summer gathering place with a wealth of food and stone resources. People travelled down the Gatineau and Ottawa Rivers to meet, trade, and exchange information beginning some 4,500 years ago. Accumulated archaeological evidence indicated that the north shore of the Ottawa River between the Chaudière Falls and the mouth of the Gatineau River constituted a cultural landscape that had been used for more than four millennia.

Dr Jean-Luc Pilon is the Curator of General Archaeology at the Canadian Museum of History. His primary area of responsibility lies in understanding and presenting the ancient history of Ontario and Quebec, and developing the museum's collections to best reflect this area. He has carried out research in northern Quebec, northern Ontario, and in the lower Mackenzie River in the North-West Territories. More recently, he has worked in the Ottawa Valley. His research has focussed on establishing the basic parameters of human history in these areas. He has also explored the dynamic nature of the relationships that people have nurtured with the land. He has shared this research through scholarly articles, exhibitions, and web sites. He co-curated an exhibition, "First Peoples of Canada," that was shown in Beijing, Osaka, Hanover, and Mexico City. The English-language version of the exhibition's publication received an honourable mention from the American Publishers' Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence in 2013. In 2015, Dr Pilon received the first J.V. Wright Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ontario Archaeological Society. Dr Pilon studied at the University of Toronto and Laval University, and holds a doctorate in archaeology from the University of Toronto.

The meeting is on Friday 25 November at 1 pm at the Routhier Community Centre, 172 Guigues Street.

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