An exceptional site
In 1642, on the point where the Little St. Pierre River joined the St. Lawrence, Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve, founded Montréal. In 1992, at the very birthplace of the city, Pointe-à-Callière, the Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History, opened its doors 350 years later. And now archaeological digs are being carried out on one part of the birthplace of Montréal, the site at what is now 214 Place D’Youville. An exceptional treasure trove, described in more detail in the “Site” section.
Valuable internships
For several years now, 214 Place D’Youville has been transformed each summer into a unique archaeological field school. Meet the interns working there, in the “internship” section, as they share some of their experiences.
Fascinating digs
Conducting digs in the heart of the city is definitely a challenge. For more details on all the campaigns since 2002, see the “Digs” section.
Significant discoveries
Experts have identified various structures and artifacts uneathed during the digs. Learn about their most significant findings in the “Discoveries” section.
Events on Montréal's birthplace
Open house days and a roundtable discussion on Montréal's birthplace. See the “Special events” section for more details.
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Straight from Saintonge
Fragments of ceramic artifacts are certainly the most common materials found on archaeological digs in Quebec. These everyday objects come in a huge variety and are one of the most useful materials for dating and interpretation purposes.
Significant scientific discoveries about Fort Ville-Marie
Learn about the latest archaeological discoveries at the Fort Ville-Marie site, in their historic context.
The discovery of Fort Ville-Marie
Since the 19th century, historians have agreed that Fort Ville-Marie was located on a point of land where the St. Lawrence River met the Little Saint-Pierre River. No one was sure about the initial layout of the fort, though, or its boundaries or internal organization.
In summer 2002, Mélissa Petit, an archaeology intern working on the layers dating back to the Callière's residence period, discovered a very interesting little object: a nameplate from the handle of a tool, a bone plate inscribed “CHARLOTE ROC”. Genealogical research soon turned up more details on this long-ago figure.
2009 digs
For the eighth straight season, a team of professional archaeologists and student interns carried out digs on Montréal’s birthplace this summer. They completely excavated six new units, covering a total area of 24 m².