Office Manager

Peter Priess

Peter’s interest began in his early teens after hearing a series of radio broadcasts on New World archaeology. Initially this interest was nurtured by reading the various popular accounts on both New World and classical archaeology. His initial university education,, however, was in the sciences since archaeology was not then taught at the University of Manitoba. By the time he graduated from the University of Manitoba with a BSc in 1963, the Department of Anthropology and Sociology had been established and he quickly shifted gears and enrolled as a graduate student in archaeology, finally graduating with an MA in 1972. During his early years as a graduate student he was hired by Dr. William J. Mayer Oakes, the Department Head, as a field supervisor on a multi-year project in historical archaeology at Lower Fort Garry. This ended up being four years of field investigations, and three winters as lab supervisor for the project. After the fourth field season he relocated to Ottawa and began a 9-year career as a material culture researcher with Parks Canada, before returning to Winnipeg in late 1977 as a staff archaeologist with the Parks Canada regional office. During the following 20 years he worked at a variety of historic sites, including Lower Fort Garry, St. Andrew’s Rectory, York Factory, Princes of Wales’s Fort (Churchill), Fort Esperance (Saskatchewan), Fish Creek (Saskatchewan) and Dawson City. His ventures into precontact archaeology were limited to two short inspection trips to northern Ellesmere Island and another short trip to Baffin Island. In brief, his field trips have taken him almost to the four extremities of the country. Throughout his career in archaeology he has also maintained an interest in historical building hardware and tools. Shortly after retirement in 1998, he became a member of the MAS executive, serving several terms as President and Vice-President.