Friday, August 13, 2010

A Mending we will go!

Yesterday Anne told us how much she loves to mend artifacts and that we have had many to mend from the excavations at the Burch House.'s a new old set of dishes from the site! It's a matching transfer print pearlware plate and mug! This mending job was quite easy as the two were only broken in half. Part of the mug is missing, maybe we'll find it again, maybe we won't.

There is a maker's mark on the back of the plate reading "Lanthus C. & W.K.H.". Here's a picture:

Unfortunately we have yet to find a match online. I believe Kelley might know the answer but we'll have to see if she chimes in now that she is off at William and Mary.

And of course if anyone else out there can identify the mark, we would be very appreciative.

**Burch House Fieldwork** We will be at Burch House on Monday next week (8/16). See you there!

- Peter

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Making Sense of Pieces

Mending is one of my favorite things to do. We use a glue that will dissolve with acetone if need be and a sand box to support drying artifacts.

The units around the Burch House have yielded a large number of mendable artifacts. Usually we can fit 2 or 3 sherds together, but lately we have been reassembling nearly complete vessels! The stoneware pan is one example. The finished product has only 2 little spaces for missing sherds.

This wine bottle was a bit more difficult, since the glass is thin in places, but it was worth it to see it go from a big pile of green glass, to a recognizable object. By mending artifacts we can measure the volume of vessels or have an object ready to display.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Burch House in Profile.

For the next few days in the office, we will be processing and digitizing the information we've gathered from the Burch House excavations. I am drafting the unit profiles into AutoCAD. Above we have a profile from Unit 92, which is directly next to the western wall of the building. We excavated this unit to get a better idea of the construction of Burch House.

You can see from the image that the foundation extended only a few courses of brick below grade. A horizontal gap of over an inch was discovered between the modern upper bricks and those below the soil. This most likely happened when the wall was repointed. The brick pavement was flush against the wall one course below grade.

Soil descriptions are in the image, below the profile. We found that the strata below the house was similar to those in nearby units. We now know which strata pre-date the building. This information will help us close in on the construction date of Burch House.

Please click the image for a larger view.


Monday, August 9, 2010

Itty Bitty Button

We found this little button next to the Burch House last week. It has a copper alloy backing with a shank (a small metal loop). There is a small bit of wire through the shank, which is interesting because we would expect a button to be attached using thread, not wire. The inset is porcelain with a flower painted on it in a sparkling gold. Painting buttons and other ceramics was a popular past time in the Victorian era, however the picture on our button looks more like it was executed quickly and somewhat sloppily. It was most likely made in a button factory.

We will be at Port Tobacco tomorrow.