It can be daunting to look at a blank space and realize you are in charge of filling it. And not just filling it, you need to create something that will leave a lasting impression on the public. The process of creating an exhibit is much more complicated than it seems. From the initial idea … Continue reading Behind the Glass of the Archaeology Lab: Creating an Exhibit
On a typical day at George Washington’s Boyhood Home at Ferry Farm, visitors experiencing the house tour are ushered into the main hall upon which a dining table is set out before them with 18th-century reproductions of plates, glassware, wine bottles, and serving dishes. This setting creates an interactive experience for our visitors, transporting them … Continue reading Dig These Dishes! We Recreate an 18th Century Table Setting Using Only Artifacts.
A lot of people don’t realize how many 20th century artifacts we excavate at George Washington’s Ferry Farm. Up until the 1990s, families lived and farmed on the property, leaving tens of thousands of artifacts behind. Some of our favorite modern artifacts are the toys we recover, whether marbles, plastic army and cowboy figurines, doll … Continue reading Playing Around: 20th Century Die-Cast Toys Excavated at Ferry Farm
Like so many of you, in the middle of March this year, nearly all employees of George Washington’s Ferry Farm & Historic Kenmore began working from home and did not return to our offices for two and a half months. We expected a lengthy time away and, as such, prepared as best we could for … Continue reading How to Do Archaeology During a Pandemic
‘Haughty’ is not a word used often to describe artifacts. That is, of course, unless the artifact in question is a glass wax seal stamp with a kind of snooty message on it. Of diminutive size (smaller than a dime) with a pretty little flower in the center it proclaims in reversed letters “I Look … Continue reading “I Look Not On Things Beneath Me”: Our Snobbiest Artifact, a Wax Seal Stamp That Needs To Dial Back that Sass
Fredericksburg is famous for its colonial and Civil War history – but what about before that history? Decades of archaeological excavations at George Washington’s Ferry Farm have revealed millennia of human development and technology from pre-historic Native American Clovis spearpoints to 18th-century wig curlers and beyond. While our main focus rests on young George Washington's … Continue reading Five Cool Ancient Artifacts Found at Ferry Farm [Photos]
In this video, curator Meghan Budinger and archaeologist Laura Galke discuss how small things like eating utensils recovered archaeologically reveal big things about the Washington family.
Porcelain is the king of all ceramics. As resilient as it is beautiful, porcelain has long fascinated many people. During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD), the Chinese began exporting porcelain to Europeans, who coveted the precious dishes to the point that porcelain became more valuable than gold. Europeans obsessed over how it was produced and … Continue reading Thievery, Espionage, and Fancy Dishes: Why Porcelain Was a Big Deal for the Washington Family
On Tuesday, May 7, 2019, Archaeologist Mara Kaktins, Ceramics & Glass Specialist at The George Washington Foundation, presented a lecture titled “Drinking with the Washingtons: Archaeological Evidence of Colonial Imbibing at Ferry Farm.” Mara explored a wide variety of beverage-related artifacts from teawares to punch bowls and discussed how cups and glasses reflected efforts by … Continue reading Lecture – Drinking with the Washingtons: Archaeological Evidence of Colonial Imbibing at Ferry Farm [Video]
Recently, archaeologists at George Washington’s Ferry Farm came across an odd glass fragment in our collection. We poured over it, passing it from person to person trying to figure out what it was. Then came the ‘ah-ha’ moment: it was a gun barrel. That’s odd, right? Turns out it isn’t. This story starts in the … Continue reading Glass Guns: A Late 19th/Early 20th Century Phenomenon