Author Archives: virtualcurationmuseum

Animation of the Day: Deformed Musket Ball from Bladensburg Battlefield

By Ashley Perry, Intern with the Virtual Curation Laboratory.

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Today’s Animation is a deformed musket ball recovered from the Bladensburg Battlefield site (51NE44) in Washington, D.C. and scanned on January 29th, 2014 by Digital Curation Specialist Lauren Volkers in the Virtual Curation Laboratory. The musket, or more specifically the flintlock, became an increasingly  popular weapon for the military (and general population) in the early 1800’s because of the increase in manufacturing efficiency and uniformity that interchangeable parts provided. Musket balls were commonly made of lead, which is a soft metal and therefore deformed somewhat when being fired and upon contact.

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Categories: 19th century, Animation of the day, arms and armament, Battle of Bladensburg, Gallery | Leave a comment

Animation of the Day: Minié Ball

By Ashley Perry, Intern with the Virtual Curation Laboratory.1106_minnie_ball

Today’s animation is a Minié ball found mostly intact at the Bladensburg Battlefield site (51NE44) in Washington, D.C. and was scanned in the Virtual Curation Laboratory on January 28th, 2014 by Digital Curation Specialist Lauren Volkers.  Minié balls were a type of riffle ammunition that became popular during the Civil War. The conical Minié ball had a higher muzzle velocity than the previously popular round lead balls used in muskets and was more accurate.  It also had a more distinctive look, which can be seen clearly  in the photograph, of three grooves at the bottom and one at the top which circumnavigate the bullet.

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Categories: 19th century, Animation of the day, arms and armament, Battle of Bladensburg, War of 1812 | Leave a comment

Animation of the Day: Button/Coat Weight from Bladensburg Battlefield Site

By Ashley Perry, Intern with the Virtual Curation Laboratory.

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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

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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.

 

Categories: 19th century, Animation of the day, Battle of Bladensburg, Gallery, War of 1812 | Leave a comment

Animation of the Day: Horseshoe Fragment

By Ashley Perry, Intern with the Virtual Curation Laboratory.

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Today’s animation is a horseshoe fragment that was found at the Bladensburg Battlefield site (51NE44) in Washington, D.C. along with a metal coffee pot spout  and was scanned by intern Ashley Perry on February 4th, 2014. Though the artifact was recovered from  a site associated with the War of 1812, it may belong to a later Civil War component, or it is possible that it is one of many domestic materials recovered dating from the nineteenth to early twentieth centuries.

Categories: Animation of the day, Battle of Bladensburg, Gallery, War of 1812 | Leave a comment

Animation of the Day: Coffee Pot Spout

By Ashley Perry,  VCU student intern with the Virtual Curation Laboratory.

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Today’s animation is a metal coffee pot spout recovered from the Bladensburg Battlefield site (51NE44) in Washington, D.C. It is currently unknown whether this artifact is from the War of 1812, or whether it was deposited a bit later during the Civil War, as it is something that would have been used at both times. The spout was scanned by Digital Curation Specialist Mariana Zechini and intern Zac Hudson on January 28th, 2014.

Categories: Animation of the day, Battle of Bladensburg, Gallery, War of 1812 | Leave a comment

Animated Object of the Day: 17th Century Smoking Pipe from Jamestown

by Bernard K. Means, Director of the Virtual Curation Laboratory

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Scanning the smoking pipe in Jamestown Rediscovery's laboratory.

Scanning the smoking pipe in Jamestown Rediscovery’s laboratory.

I thought I would start the second day of the new year off with this white clay smoking pipe that was scanned in Jamestown Rediscovery‘s archaeological laboratory on September 9. 2013, which is under the direction of Merry Outlaw, their Curator of Collections. The smoking pipe, with its distinctive stamped design of four fleur-de-lis forming a cross within a diamond, is attributed to Robert Cotton.  According to Jamestown’s Senior Archaeological Curator Beverly Straube:

The inclusion of a tobacco pipemaker in the first groups of craftsmen is as enigmatic to researchers today as it apparently was to John Smith when Robert Cotton, “tobacco-pipe-maker,” arrived on the Phoenix in January 1608. No other mention is made of Cotton, so it is not known how long he remained at Jamestown; he is not listed in the muster of 1624-25, so presumably Cotton had either perished or returned to England by then.

Additional information on the tobacco smoking pipes attributed to Robert Cotton can be found in Beverly Straube’s full discussion here. For more on the archaeology of tobacco smoking pipes, you can look at our Virtual Curation Museum gallery located here.

Categories: 17th century, Animation of the day, Jamestown Rediscovery, Smoking pipe, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Animated Object of the Day: 17th Century White Clay Basketry Impression from Jamestown

by Bernard K. Means, Director of the Virtual Curation Laboratory

Lauren Volkers holds the fragment of the white clay basketry impression that we scanned.

Lauren Volkers holds the fragment of the white clay basketry impression that we scanned.

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.

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Categories: 17th century, Animation of the day, basketry, Jamestown Rediscovery, perishable technology | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Animated Object of the Day: Femur of a Raccoon

by Bernard K. Means, Director of the Virtual Curation Laboratory

We began building our digital zooarchaeological collection with raccoon bones, including this femur from the Virginia Museum of Natural History. This bone was scanned and edited by Mariana Zechini, our Digital Zooarchaeologist.

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Categories: Animation of the day, Femur, Gallery, raccoon, Zooarchaeology | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Animated Object of the Day: Femur (left) of a Turkey

by Bernard K. Means, Director of the Virtual Curation Laboratory

As with the cat and dog femurs, this turkey femur is from the Virginia Museum of Natural History and was scanned in early October 2013.

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Categories: Animation of the day, dog, Femur, Gallery, Zooarchaeology | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Animated Object of the Day: Femur (left) of a Dog

by Bernard K. Means, Director of the Virtual Curation Laboratory

Today’s object is again from the Virginia Museum of Natural History and also was scanned in early October 2013.  Since I posted a cat femur yesterday, I thought I would post a dog femur today.

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Categories: Animation of the day, dog, Femur, Gallery, Zooarchaeology | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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