While living at Ferry Farm, Mary Washington, mother of George, owned a creamware punch bowl with beautiful hand-painted enamel depicting a floral motif and cherry accents. Archaeologists excavated pieces of this bowl from the cellar of the Washington home and subsequently discovered glue residue on the sherds. We've written about the importance of the bowl's discovery here … Continue reading Photos: Glue Through a Microscope
Ultraviolet light is an important and useful tool within the museum world. In this video, we show you how archaeologists and curators use UV light in their work with artifacts and historic objects.
As an archaeologist, I am often asked “What is the coolest thing you’ve ever found?” The answer is complicated. Although I’ve unearthed 10,000 year old Paleoindian hearths, elaborate porcelains, coins, long lost jewelry, and ancient stone tools, I say that the coolest thing I’ve ever found is …. glue. This proclamation always elicits questioning looks … Continue reading Glue: The Coolest Thing I’ve Ever Found
Archaeologists sometimes recreate technology from the past to understand how people lived. This is called experimental archaeology. When archaeologists at George Washington's Ferry Farm found glue residue on sherds of Mary Washington's china, they developed ways to recreate this glue. This video explains the glue making process and what recreating the glues revealed about Mary. … Continue reading The Science of History: Experimental Archaeology & Colonial Cheese Glue
What do archaeologists do with the broken ceramic and glass artifacts after these objects have been excavated, cleaned, and catalogued? They are cool to look at but what do these little pieces actually tell us about the past? How can we use them to understand the lives of those who purchased, used, and eventually discarded … Continue reading Mending Those Humble Sherds