Facilities and Equipment

Sustainable Archaeology Facilities at Western & McMaster

Physical collections will be stored and generated into digital data at one of two locations. The Western University facility in London will have the largest storage capacity and research will be focused on 3D digitization and virtual environments. McMaster University in Hamilton, will also house a large industrial storage area with research focused on materials analysis, including chemical and histological studies. The collective storage capacity at both centres is over 18000 sq ft with a capacity to store over 80,000 standardized boxes of artifacts. All new collections will go through an Object to Information conversion process where digital data, macro- and microscopic imagery are recorded, and field records and reports are digitized. Collections will be marked with radio frequency identification tags (RFID) to constantly monitor the location and status of all holdings. Tracking the holdings will be aided through a connected computer network and data storage archive. The digital collections will be available remotely through a web-based interface.

These centres for sustainable research and archaeo-informatics will house several laboratories outfitted with cutting-edge applications for digital imaging and 3D reconstruction, immersive virtual environment analysis, and science based materials studies using the latest scientific techniques. The multiple layers of data generated from this research will be integrated and accessible through a GIS-driven, locationally grounded relational database to facilitate remote accessibility and multi-scalar research.

Collaborative Management of the Facilities

First Nations communities will be integral partners in the management and operation of these centres of study, in order to ensure that the information systems developed respect Native cultural values. Collaboration will be sought in the development of collection and dissemination protocol. Providing First Nations access into the management of their archaeological heritage will enable a digital and virtual repatriation of that heritage to communities at a scale well beyond what any single museum or archaeological consultant can offer. It will finally enable Indigenous researchers the capacity to directly conduct Indigenous-based research of direct relevance and interest to First Nations communities.

This cooperative effort between the Western University and McMaster University is confronting a growing international crisis in collections management by working collectively to provide an accessible, sustainable future for Ontario's archaeological heritage.


Sustainable Archaeology: Western has purchased the following equipment. This list will be populated as equipment is added to the facility.

Dual Array Magnetic Gradiometer Picture
  • Ground Penetrating Radar
  • SIR-3000 system with 400 MHz antenna

    John Moody, a graduate student at Western University, test drives the GPR at Victoria Park in London, ON.

    Photo credit: Edward Eastaugh, Western University

    Vendor: Geophysical Survey Systems, Inc. (GSSI)

    Dual Array Magnetic Gradiometer Picture
  • Dual Array Magnetic Gradiometer
  • GRAD601-2 dual sensor gradiometer with Archeosurveyor geophysical survey software.

    Vendor: Bartington Instruments

    Resistivity Meter Picture
  • Resistivity Meter
  • Resistivity system with multiprobe arrary and Geoplot software.

    Jean-François Millare of Western University uses the resistivity meter, summer 2012.

    Photo credit: Edward Eastaugh, Western University

    Vendor: Geoscan Research

    Flotation Machine
  • Flotation Machine
  • Flote-Tech Flotation Model A.

    Vendor: R. J. Dausman Technical Services, Inc

    Rental Rate: $100/day (plus technician fee where applicable). Sustainable Archaeology can recommend a technician upon request.

    Please note that this machine is used outdoors, and requires access to running water, and electrical power.

    Digital X-Ray Machine Picture
  • Digital X-Ray Machine
  • Faxitron, model 43855F with CR scanner and N90 nanofocus.

    Vendor: PharmaMedSci

    Micro-CT Scanner Picture
  • Micro-CT Scanner
  • XTH 225 ST model

    Vendor: Nikon Metrology, Inc.

    3D Scanners- White Light Picture
  • 3D Scanners- White Light
  • 3D3 Digitizers: Large FOV kit, Small FOV kit, Extra Small FOV kit, Custom Extremely-small FOV kit.

    Vendor: 3D3 Solutions

    3D Scanner- Red Laser Picture
  • 3D Scanner- Red Laser
  • Vivid 91

    Vendor: Konica Minolta

    3D Printer
  • 3D Printer
  • Projet 660 Pro

    Vendor: Progressive Educational Systems

    Photography Stations
  • Photography Stations
  • Stations feature Nikon D5200 DSLR camera with 18-50mm lens, Manfrotto tripod, Lastolite Cubelite, Lastolite lamps, and Westcott Apollo reflectors with Nikon SB700 speedlights.

    Vendor: Vistek

    Stereoscopic Microscope
  • Stereoscopic Microscope
  • Nikon SMZ-25 stereoscopic microscope. Fully automated with 5 megapixel camera and Nikon NIS Elements software

    Vendor: Nikon Metrology

    Using the Space, Using the Equipment, and Conducting Research

    Research Space

    Information regarding the use of the Sustainable Archaeology research spaces, the contribution of collections, or the use of existing collections housed at the SA: Western and SA: McMaster facilities can be found in the Procedures and Practices.

    Some services are not yet available. All inquiries should be directed to Facility Manager Dr. Rhonda Bathurst via email or by calling the facilities directly via telephone. Relevant contact information is available HERE.

    Using Equipment

    Sustainable Archaeology has conducted a number of proof-of-concept studies on the facility's equipment. To see some of the work being done, please check out the Blog. Also, the Sustainable Archaeology YouTube channel demonstrates the various visualization equipment in action.

    For equipment booking and inquiries, contact:

    Dr. Rhonda Bathurst, Facility Manager, Sustainable Archaeology: Western
    Email: rhonda.bathurst@uwo.ca

    For geophysical equipment booking and inquiries, contact:

    Edward Eastaugh, Western University, Sustainable Archaeology Geophysics Technician
    Phone: 519-661-2111 Ext: 85006
    Email: eeastaug@uwo.ca