Sustainable Archaeology: Western

Western University (The University of Western Ontario), London, Ontario
What the facility does

3D imaging, digitization and virtual reconstruction of archaeological materials

Areas of expertise

Sustainable Archaeology: Western is a collaboratively funded initiative between Western University (SA:Western) and McMaster University (SA:McMaster) in southern Ontario, Canada. Sustainable Archaeology: Western centrally houses collections and data from research and commercial archaeology from across the province.

This amassed material spans 13,000 years of human history. Artifacts, reports, and associated records housed by Sustainable Archaeology are digitized and incorporated into a web-based, open access database, providing unparalleled access to archaeological collections in Canada. Long-term patterns of social change and technological innovation are investigated through materials analysis, augmented by non-invasive 3D and virtual reconstruction of immersive environments.

Research services

Scanning with 3D laser and white-light, MicroCT and digital x-ray, 3D printing, artifact digitization and database incorporation, geophysical survey

Sectors of application
  • Arts and cultural industries
  • Education
  • Utilities
Specialized lab Equipment Function
Ancient Images Lab X-Tek microCT scanner  
  Faxitron digital X-ray   
  3D printer  
SA Animation Unit Konica Vivid 9i red laser 3D scanner  
  3D3 white light 3D scanner – large  
  3D3 white light 3D scanner – small  
  3D3 white light 3D scanner – very small  
  3D3 white light 3D scanner – extremely small  
  Artec Spider 3D hand-held scanner  
SA Geophysical Unit GSSI Ground Penetrating Radar  
  Bartington Dual Array Magnetic Gradiometer  
  Geoscan Resistivity Meter  
  • Museum of Ontario Archaeology
  • Department of Anthropology, Western University Department of Earth Sciences, Western University, Richard Secco
  • Western Robarts Research Institute/ David Holdsworth
  • Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry/ Western University/Stephen Sims
  • Department of Chemistry, Western University, Ron Martin
  • Department of Biomedical Engineering, Western University, Mark Neuert
  • Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)
  • Lisa Ellis and Alexandra Suda
  • Archaeological Services Inc.
  • Timmins Martelle Heritage Consultant Inc.
  • University of Arizona/ Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research/ Pearce Paul Creasman
Title URL
Archaeologists search for lost graves at Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site (Western News)
Redefining archaeological research (Western News)
Digitize (CTV Television)
Archeologists go gaming (London Free Press)
Découverte d'une maison longue iroquoienne par télédétection (University of Montreal News)
Sustainable archaeology program at Western is finding new uses for advanced 3D animation (CFI Blog)
Sustainable Archaeology Animation Unit Digitally Imaging Ontario’s Archaeological Heritage (London Economic Development Corporation)
Sustainable Archaeology Animation Unit Creates Digital Archives of Archaeological Collections using 3D Scanning (3D3 Solutions Blog)
Curator's Project: Investigating Miniature Boxwood Carving at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto (CODART eZine)
Conservation Notes: A very fine resolution (AGO Art Matters Blog)
Mégacentre en archéologie à Québec: garder des artéfacts... mais pas tous. Le Soleil
Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage
Archaeology3D (Youtube Channel)