Friday, January 22, 2010

Progress on the trail

As Jim previously mentioned, we are in the process of creating at least three signs to be part of an interpretive trail winding through Port Tobacco and neighboring historical sites. A lot of progress has been made on the design of the signs since Jim last posted an image. We now have three completed signs that are ready to be made and placed in front of the courthouse. For an updated image of one of the introductory sign click on the image below (sorry for the small size, but hopefully this helps to give you an idea of the layout and topics we discuss).

As an additional part of this project Pete, Anne, and I have been working to pull together information on each of the important people, places, or objects mentioned or pictured on each sign. This information will be incorporated into a website that will accompany the interpretive trail. This website will not only make the information on the signs accessible for those unable to see them in person, but will also provide additional information on each subject mentioned on the signs. By clicking on a link embedded in a general write-up of the main text that appears on the sign, a person will be able to read more specific information about a topic. For instance, there will be additional pages for people like George Atzerodt and John Wilkes Booth, as well as places like the Smoot and St. Charles Hotels, that will be reached through the main text from the sign discussing the connection of Port Tobacco to the Lincoln assassination. Also, if there are any particularly helpful books or websites related to one of the topics they will be listed at the bottom of each page. As such, I have spent the day working on writing up some of these topics and gathering images to accompany the text. The real magic will happen when Jim starts to pull all of these documents together and incorporating them into a website...which will also make everything I just explained much easier to understand! We will keep you posted on our progress!


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

High Adventure

Yes, I know...our blogs have been irregular lately. The GAC crew has been investigating a plantation site in a nearby county, testing new techniques...not just for investigating sites, but for getting our equipment to them. We have had to use back packs to haul in digging and surveying equipment over hill and dale, through a heavily forested tract.

These techniques should prove useful for our work in the Port Tobacco area. This coming year the PTAP and the Charles County Archaeological Society hope to expand research beyond the town. We'll have to pack equipment into some of the sites. Volunteer technicians and mules welcome.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Guess these bones!

Indeed Valerie and our other blogger were right about last week's mystery artifacts! We have identified these as gunflints, though the one pictured on the left is actually made from quartz, not quartzite.

The flint on the right is English flint (French gunflints tend to be a lighter more honey-brown color), while some earlier gunflints, known as gunspalls, were generally made from chert or obsidian.

Both edges of these gunflints have been worn from repeated striking. For a bit more information about gunflints, take a look at some of our previous blogs.

For this week's challenge I invite you to take a look at the bones pictured below and identify the species to which they belong. If you are up for it, feel free to identify the specific bones as well! I figured a hint on this one would be too easy, but do not expect it to be some sort of exotic creature--this is a local fellow.

Good luck!