Friday, May 30, 2008


The history boys (Pete, Scott, and me) completed the survey of the fields south of Port Tobacco this afternoon. It was a bit of a trying day, the winds not yet having picked up and the deer flies deciding it was a good day to get out and reproduce. Ah, spring.

We collected nary an historic artifact today...all prehistoric, including projectile points, pottery, and the usual flakes and fire-cracked rock.

I thought I might share a bit about one historic artifact that we collected two days ago on the earliest of our historic sites: a strike-a-light (see below).

This nugget of English flint (it's barely an inch long) looks a little like a gunflint and, in fact, worked as such; however, instead of being clenched in the hammer of a flintlock rifle it was held firmly between the thumb and forefinger of some anonymous colonist. Struck against a piece of iron it would have sparked, igniting a small wad of tinder, then kindling a fire. Sulphur matches weren't even a glint in an inventor's eye at the time and many folks had a flint and steel kit for the purpose of lighting a kitchen fire. Now all we have to do is find the kitchen, which I think we can. We are, after all, archaeologists: if we can find a 'match,' how hard can it be to find the hearth?

PS. Voting on the choice of "Movie Night" ends tomorrow. All in favor of Jim's home movies of him as a child, say yea! Maybe we could just watch those and forego the action films. There are about fifteen hours worth, but if we spread them out over five nights there is no reason anyone should miss a single minute.

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