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© McCord Museum
Eastern Woodlands
Aboriginal: Iroquois
16th century
6.4 x 5.7 cm
Purchased from the Natural History Society of Montreal
© McCord Museum


This potsherd is probably a fragment from the rim of some kind of container. It was found in 1860 along with other remains of a Native village in a pile of sand at the corner of Metcalfe and de Maisonneuve streets, where excavation was under way for a new building.

These discoveries were brought to the attention of Sir John William Dawson, a famous geologist and the Rector of McGill University. Dawson then embarked on what was one of the first archaeological rescue projects ever carried out in Canada: he convinced the entrepreneur Edmond Dorion to donate the artefacts found on the site to the Natural History Society of Montreal. The Society conserved and exhibited them until it dissolved in 1925, at which time the artefacts were entrusted to the care of the McCord Museum.

© Musée McCord Museum