Thursday, June 4, 2009

Day 4: The work must go on!

Due to the rain we went to work in our labs at the State Highway Administration in Baltimore and the University of Maryland in College Park.
Here is a posting from Tara Giuliano, of the SHA:

"When there is a rain day, the work still continues in the lab. When we are in the field, all artifact bags are collected and assigned a bag number. This helps us keep track of the artifact bags when we begin to process them in the lab. Lab work is just as important as field work. In the lab, we get a bigger picture of the artifact assemblage from around the site. We clean all the artifacts using only a toothbrush and a bowl of water. This method might be slow and time consuming, but it is the best way to clean fragile artifacts like bone and shell. Today we have washed artifacts from some of the Shovel Test Pits and Test Units from the Market Master's house. We have washed items like marbles, thimbles, ceramics, buttons and a spoon. From these artifacts, we are able to tell what age the soil is and how much deeper we need to go!"

And Janet Donlin, of CHRS:

"Hi everyone! My name is Janet Donlin. I just recently (only two weeks ago!) graduated from the University of Maryland with a BA in Anthropology and a major in History, and I’m very excited to be a part of the Bladensburg Archaeology Project. I’ve been doing archaeology for only a year, but I’ve had the opportunity to work with a number of great projects, including field and lab work with Archaeology in Annapolis, a field school run by the University of Maryland, lab work with Hampden Archaeology, and work on the Bostwick House, located just down the road from the Market Master’s House in Bladensburg. I am very interested to find out more about the history of Bladensburg, and particularly interested to see how archaeology at the Market Master’s House connects to my work at Bostwick last year.

Today was a rain day, so we spent some time in the lab washing the artifacts that we’ve recovered so far. This has given me the opportunity to see not just what I’ve gotten out of my unit, but what the others have recovered as well, and I’ve seen some pretty cool things. We’ve gotten a lot of 20th-century artifacts, but mixed in with those are historic pieces. Today I washed some Jackfield, a ceramic that dates to the 18th-century, buttons, and even prehistoric flakes! The unit that I am working on is located near a Shovel Test Pit that turned up a couple of these flakes, so I’m really excited to see if we what else we find down there!"

1 comment: