Madison Square

Madison Square
Savannah Under Fire archaeologists work in Madison Square, Savannah, GA, surrounded by visitors and citizens interested in our dig.

Monday, May 24, 2010

scrubbing without bubbles

I have not posted recently because I have been washing and rebagging artifacts. There isn't much to say about scrubbing tiny bits of ceramics and brick with a toothbrush. Do check out my (mildly) humorous video, "The Dungeon", about the process though.

But while this is not the most exciting part of doing archaeology, it is important. Washing away the dirt allows me to see the details of the object. Doing a preliminary sort while rebagging the clean artifacts makes analyzing the artifacts much easier. Also, I put the cleaned artifacts in special archivally-sound plastic bags. These bags do not give off nasty petrochemicals over time, like ordinary grocery store zip-locks do. These bags are part of how we keep the artifacts safe and preserved for generations, ensuring that future archaeologists will be able to restudy the artifacts. Remember, once an archaeological site is dug, it is gone forever. It is the archaeologists duty to preserve all of the artifacts, field records, maps, photographs, etc... so that the site can be restudied by future archaeologists with better technology. Or the data can be used to compare several similar sites to learn about the bigger picture of human behavior and cultures.

In other news, The Civil War Preservation Trust has announced the 2010 Most Endangered Civil War Battlefields, including Pickett's Mill Battlefield State Historic Site in Georgia. Check out their cool interactive map.  Or get involved through donation, becoming a member, or speaking out.

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