Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Archaeological Society monthly meeting
INSIGHTS INTO VICTORIAN GARRISON LIFE:
THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE FORT WELLINGTON LATRINE
With Joseph Last
Excavating the Fort Wellington latrine at Prescott, Ontario, provided intimate insights into garrison life of the Royal Canadian Rifle Regiment stationed there between 1843 and 1854. Contained within the small structure was the very essence of barrack life. From hair clippings to soldier’s boots, the cesspit possessed far more than accumulation from Nature’s call. As a result, a fascinating story is revealed. It is a tale of rank and privilege, women and children, regimentation and communal life.
This presentation summarizes the four-year latrine investigation. It discusses the interactive nature of fieldwork and our evolving understanding of 19th century military life. It also explores meaning and context and why latrine excavations are a powerful avenue for archaeological inquiry.