Careers in archaeology

Parks Canada employs more archaeologists than any other federal department or agency because of its involvement in the vast system of National Parks, National Historic Sites and National Marine Conservation Areas and other heritage areas and heritage protection programs.

The primary objective of archaeological projects is the proper management and protection of archaeological resources, which can be an object, site, or even a landscape. One way to achieve this goal is to inventory and evaluate all known archaeological resources with respect to their historic and heritage value, and presentation potential. This inventory also serves as a tool for managers to decide where site development and visitor use can occur.

Sometimes it is necessary to carry out regular monitoring of archaeological sites that are close to, on or above the land surface and that may be threatened by erosion, natural deterioration and human activity. In these cases, archaeologists must work with conservation specialists to develop mitigation measures. This kind of monitoring is even more important in the case of submerged archaeological sites, especially shipwrecks, when they are completely exposed on the seabed.

Federal Archaeology outside Parks Canada

Archaeologists at the Canadian Museum of History undertake research that can broaden our understanding of the human history of Canada. Their work continues to produce significant studies relating not only to the museum’s collection but also to Canadian history in general.

Some federal departments have to undertake archaeological projects when there is potential for disturbance on the lands they administer. Parks Canada archaeologists occasionally advise them on how to conduct archaeological research.

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