Thesis Defences

Degree of Master of Arts, HRM

Kathleen Settle

Vacuum Truck Excavation as a New and Effective Technique in Urban Archaeology; an In-depth Assessment and Comparison against Traditional Methodology

Thursday, 18 July 2019 at 10:00am

SWH 9152 (Archaeology Seminar Room)


Archaeological investigations were undertaken at multiple locations throughout Indianapolis as part of a large, high-profile cultural resource management project. One section of this project focused on the remains of an early twentieth century neighborhood, currently covered by an urban park. As part of the archaeological investigations conducted within the park, archaeologists experimented with the use of a vacuum truck, which uses compressed air to excavate sediments. The results of the vacuum truck excavation were compared with traditional excavation methods. The vacuum truck was able to excavate more deeply in a small surface area than possible with traditional methods, allowing archaeologists to see beneath dense layers of urban fill. Excavation with the vacuum truck was found to be faster and cheaper than traditional methods. Artifact recovery was consistent with traditional methods, though resulted in slightly less artifact damage. It is recommended that this excavation method be utilized in urban archaeology settings.

Keywords:   archaeological field methods; cultural resource management; historical archaeology; Indianapolis; urban archaeology; vacuum truck excavation

Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Sarah Beaulieu

Archaeology of Internment at the Morrissey WWI Camp

Friday, 19 July 2019 at 9:00am

Location: LIB 2020 – Library Thesis Defence Room


To date, very little is known archaeologically about First World War-era internment camps, especially in Canada, where this history was actively erased through the destruction of the Federal Internment records in the 1950s. Archaeologists can play a fundamental role in contributing knowledge where oral and documentary evidence is lacking. This can be undertaken through a triangulation of data sets commonly used by conflict archaeologists. This thesis focuses on one of Canada’s twenty-four WWI internment camps: the Morrissey Internment Camp. Through GPR survey and excavation, archival records retrieval, and oral histories, a critical theoretical lens was applied to the stories of the internees—immigrants from the multinational Austro- Hungarian, German, and Ottoman Empires—and their guards at the Morrissey Internment Camp. The material record adds a new line of evidence, contributing to a more nuanced perspective that aids in reducing the gaps in this dark facet of Canadian history.

Keywords: modern conflict archaeology; critical theory; internment archaeology; archaeology of confinement; GPR; Morrissey; PoWs; WWI; immigrants; multinational; Austro-Hungarian; German; Ottoman Empire

Degree of Master of Arts, HRM

Casey O'Neil


Thursday, 25 July 2019