by Bernard K. Means, Director of the Virtual Curation Laboratory
Perishable technology, such as cordage or basketry, is rarely directly preserved in the archaeological record, especially in the humid climate and acidic soils of Virginia and other locations in the Middle Atlantic region and beyond. We do find traces of perishable technology on other objects, such as cordage impressions on American Indian ceramics. One of the items we scanned in Jamestown Rediscovery‘s archaeological laboratory on September 9. 2013, under the direction of their Curator of Collections Merry Outlaw, was this white clay fragment that had been impressed on the interior of an American Indian basket in the early 17th century, presumably by tobacco pipe maker Robert Cotton. The tobacco smoking pipe discussed in yesterday’s post is attributed to Robert Cotton and made from the same material.