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Major archaeology award for adjunct professor

By Janet Harron | May 31, 2012

Dr. Peter Ramsden, an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Arts’ Department of Archaeology from 2001-07, has been named the winner of the Canadian Archaeological Association’s Smith-Wintemberg Award.

The award honours a member of the Canadian archaeological community who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of the discipline of archaeology or to the knowledge of the archaeological past of Canada.

Named after Harlan K. Smith and William J. Wintemberg, two members of the profession who essentially founded the discipline of archaeology in Canada, the award is presented in any year, as merited, to recognize outstanding achievement or service.

Dr. Ramsden studied at the University of Toronto and the University of Calgary. After receiving his doctorate in 1975 he joined the Department of Anthropology at McMaster University where he worked for 25 years. During this time, Dr. Ramsden built his reputation as a researcher of Paleoeskimo and Thule culture in the central Canadian Arctic and of Mesolithic and Neolithic settlements in Ireland. He has also completed considerable wide-ranging research in the Great Lakes region of Ontario.

Upon his retirement in St. John’s in 2001, Dr. Ramsden’s research focus shifted to include Paleoeskimo and Thule research in the eastern subarctic. From 2009-11 he was the co-ordinator for the SSHRC-funded CURA project Understanding the Past to Build the Future, ( a five-year multidisciplinary study of the history of the Inuit Metis of southern Labrador whose principal investigator is Dr. Lisa Rankin, interim dean of the Faculty of Arts.

Dr. Ramsden has since begun a new research project in southern Ontario to further his work on the Archaic and Iroquoian periods.