Monday, November 26, 2007


Let me apologize for the lack of blogging last week as I have been out on sites and not in the office. So we've covered many things in our artifact discussions including ceramics, gun flints, and tobacco pipes. And there are many other things to talk about as well in terms of artifacts. One thing we find alot of, especially at Port Tobacco, are nails. With most sites having buildings on them, nails are sure to be found.

While today's nails are rounded and are called "wire" nails, they have changed throughout history. Nails can be traced back thousands of years and have been in use around the world.

Before the modern wire nail, we had the machine cut nail. Which was just that, a nail that was cut from a piece of flat iron to shape a nail. There were different kinds of machine cut nails too. Some had no head to them, some with machine heads and others with hand tooled heads. These nails came into use in the America's around the mid-18th Century and up until the early 20th Century.

The predecessor of the machine cut nail was the hand wrought nail which was forged from iron and were not very uniform.

While nails are always a nice find on a site because it tells us that there were buildings there, the dating of nails can be difficult at best. Since the production of different kinds of nails overlap each other in terms of time, the best we can do is use them to date by century which doesn't give us the more exact dates we always strive to find.

On another note, I hope everyone enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday!


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