Month 11 of Global Archaeology was spent at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada, where I helped out with their North and South American collections. There is a lot to see in this historic museum and I have spent many hours engrossed by its cultural collections – from Samurai armour to Roman coins! The ROM is a museum that I have been visiting since I was a child and while the dinosaurs at the time were the big draw I also loved wandering through the World Cultures galleries and seeing the beautiful objects and clothing – needless to say the ROM has a special significance to my becoming an archaeologist.
The Royal Ontario Museum was designed by Toronto architects Darling and Pearson and opened in 1914 as five museums in one: the Royal Ontario Museums of Archaeology, Palaeontology, Mineralogy, Zoology, and Geology. Over its lifetime the ROM has been expanded many times and the natural history and cultural galleries evolved with each renovation. Today the museum has been brought into the 21st century with the addition of the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, which was apparently sketched by architect Daniel Libeskind on a paper napkin while attending a wedding at the ROM! The museum is now much more than a gallery space with interactive exhibits, workshops and events to explore.