By Ashley Perry, Intern with the Virtual Curation Laboratory.
Today’s animation is of a metal button/coat weight found at the Bladensburg Battlefield site (51NE44) in Washington, D.C. and is part of a collection of artifacts loaned to the Virtual Curation Laboratory to be scanned for the upcoming bicentennial of the Battle of Bladensburg on August 24th. This artifact was scanned on January 28th, 2014 by Digital Curation Specialist Mariana Zechini and intern Zac Hudson. It appears likely that this artifact served as a weight, sewn into the hems of clothing to improve the look and fit of the material. The technique continues to be employed today, often with coins or heavy buttons or specially made fabric covered lead weights.
Replicas of this item and the original artifacts were provided to DC archaeologist Ruth Trocolli and Maryland State Highway Administration archaeologist Richard Ervin at the recent Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference.