George Washington’s Ferry Farm

A Biweekly Animation Post: Bartmann Sherds from George Washington’s Ferry Farm

by Bernard K. Means, Director, Virtual Curation Laboratory

With back to back conferences last week (Virginia Association of Museums/Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference), I missed posting an animation last week.  This post will feature three animations created from scans of three sherds from a Bartmann vessel that mend. These sherds were recovered from George Washington’s Ferry Farm in the summer of 2013. Printed plastic replicas of these sherds were used to illustrate ceramic mending at the 2015 Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference.

839A_bartmann_sherds_1 839A_bartmann_sherds_2 839A_bartmann_sherds_3

Mending at the Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference.

Mending at the Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference.

Advertisements
Categories: Ceramic vessel, George Washington's Ferry Farm | Leave a comment

Animation of the Day: Early 18th-Century Escutcheon from George Washington’s Ferry Farm

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

1657_escutheon

Today’s animation is an 18th-century escutcheon recovered archaeologically at George Washington’s Ferry Farm.   This escutcheon was scanned on site in the Small Finds Laboratory at Ferry Farm in December 2014.  According to Laura Galke, Small Finds Analyst for Ferry Farm, this escutcheon dates to the first part of the 18th century, prior to the occupation of Ferry Farm by the Washington Family.  However, it may have been part of built-in cabinets from a previous tenet, so the escutcheon may have seen use during the Washington occupation of the Ferry Farm house, which began in 1738 when George Washington was 3 years of age.

2014-12-19 13.00.04

Categories: Animation of the day, furnishings, Gallery, George Washington's Ferry Farm | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Animation of the Day: Hand-Molded Wig Hair Curler from George Washington’s Ferry Farm

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

1316_wig_curler_handmade_edited

 

Today’s animation is a hand-molded wig hair curler from an 18th century context associated with George Washington and his family in the home where he grew up as a boy from the age of 6 until his early 20s. It was recovered archaeologically at George Washington’s Ferry Farm. Of the over 200 wig hair curlers recovered from this site, this is the only hand-molded wig hair curler discovered to date.  For more about wig hair curlers, visit our sister blog at the Virtual Curation Laboratory.

Categories: 18th century, Animation of the day, Gallery, George Washington's Ferry Farm | Leave a comment

Animation of the Day: Iron Butterfly Hinge from George Washington’s Ferry Farm

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

1198_butterfly_hinge

 

Today’s animation is an iron butterfly hinge that was recovered archaeologically from  George Washington’s Ferry Farm. It may have come from a cabinet or perhaps a box.

Categories: Animation of the day, Gallery, George Washington's Ferry Farm, Homo sapiens, osteology | Leave a comment

Animation of the Day: Scabbard Finial from George Washington’s Ferry Farm

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

 

1201_scabbard_finial

Today’s animation is a scabbard finial that was recovered archaeologically from  George Washington’s Ferry Farm.

Categories: Animation of the day, Gallery, George Washington's Ferry Farm, Homo sapiens, osteology | Leave a comment

Animation of the Day: Prehistoric Pit Feature from George Washington’s Ferry Farm

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

 

ff22_fea_122_04

Today’s animation is a prehistoric pit feature excavated  by Virginia Commonwealth University alumni Lauren Volkers and Vivian Hite at George Washington’s Ferry Farm.

Lauren Volkeng thrs excavating the prehistoric feature.

Lauren Volkers excavating the prehistoric feature.

Assisting Vivian Hite with waterscreening of the prehistoric feature's  fill.

Assisting Vivian Hite with waterscreening of the prehistoric feature’s fill. Photograph by Laura Galke.

The feature, of unknown primary function, was secondarily used to dispose of refuse from nearby activities.  These included stone tool maintenance (evidenced by microflakes) and stone boiling (evidenced by thermally altered stone), possibly in one of the sand-tempered pots whose fragments also made their way into the pit feature. It was scanned on August 1, 2014, on the last day of excavation this year at Ferry Farm.

Scanning the prehistoric feature. Photograph by Laura galke.

Scanning the prehistoric feature. Photograph by Laura Galke.

Categories: Animation of the day, Gallery, George Washington's Ferry Farm | Leave a comment

Animations of the Day: More from the Colonial Cellar at George Washington’s Ferry Farm

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

 

ff22_fea_43_edited2

Today’s animations are two different views of a Colonial-era cellar that may be attributed to George Washington and his family in the home where he grew up as a boy from the age of 6 until his early 20s. One quarter of the cellar was excavated  in early July of 2014 at George Washington’s Ferry Farm and animations of the feature are present here. A second quarter of the cellar is currently being excavates and was scanned by Allen Huber using the Sense 3D scanner on July 29, 2014.

FF22_fea_43_edited_open2

 

Using editing software, I “opened” up one side of the cellar to make it easier for researchers to view.

Categories: 18th century, Animation of the day, Gallery, George Washington's Ferry Farm | Leave a comment

Animation of the Day: Wig Hair Curler with Residue from George Washington’s Ferry Farm

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

 

1284_wig_curler

Today’s animation is a wig hair curler from an 18th century context associated with George Washington and his family in the home where he grew up as a boy from the age of 6 until his early 20s. It was recovered archaeologically at George Washington’s Ferry Farm. This animation was created by Lauren Volkers, a Virginia Commonwealth University alumnus excavating at Ferry Farm this summer. Lauren also edited the digital model generated during the scanning process.

Note: the following text is  from a popular summary written about a wig hair curler residue analysis project and provided by Laura J. Galke, Artifact Analyst and Field Director, George Washington’s Ferry Farm.

Scientists Discover Colonial-era Hair Powder

on Washington Curlers

A collaborative venture between the George Washington Foundation (GWF) , Fredericksburg, the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Richmond, and the College of William and Mary Applied Research Center, Newport News, has uncovered evidence for mid-eighteenth century wig powder on fired-clay artifacts unearthed at Ferry Farm, the boyhood home of George Washington, Stafford County, Virginia.

During the eighteenth-century, wigs or ‘perukes’ were an essential component of stylish male attire.  The most fashionable of these hairpieces featured curls.  These curls required maintenance by a gentleman’s hairdresser, which included periodically re-setting the curls and applying a lard-based pomatum followed by a dusting of powder.  The historical record documents that wigs were worn by at least one of George’s three brothers at Ferry Farm:  Samuel Washington.

Archaeologists at Ferry Farm have recovered almost 200 fired-clay wig hair curlers.  At Ferry Farm, these curlers were tools used to re-set a wig’s curls.  GWF archaeologist Laura Galke noted that a few of the curlers retained visible black, white and translucent residues and speculated that they may reflect materials used for wig hair care during the middle 1700s.  VCU anthropology professor Dr. Christopher Stevenson became aware of Galke’s hypothesis and agreed to form a research partnership to analyze the residues.  Stevenson invited a team of material scientists at the William and Mary Applied Research Center to analyze the residues.

One of the great challenges facing the team was how to analyze such minute traces.  The incredibly small size of the residues, consisting of a few milligrams of material, required a sampling method technique appropriate for such tiny deposits.  Drawing on the resources of the Applied Research Center, scanning electron microscopy/ x-ray fluorescence and infrared spectroscopy were used to characterize the deposits.  The x-ray analysis provided an elemental analysis of the residue while infrared spectroscopy resulted in spectra that identified organic compounds.

The results suggest that a few of the Washington family curlers retained hair powder made from either wheat flour or white kaolin clay.  Pulverized shell was also mixed in with some of the clay and powder deposits.  In addition, some curlers exhibited rusted iron residues, which Galke believes to be the remains from iron hair pins used to hold the curlers in place while the wig hair was styled and set.

This is the first time that residues on historical wig hair curlers have been analyzed in a systematic scientific fashion.  The preservation of 250-year old residues on curlers has never before been documented.  The use of curlers as part of a home-based wig hair maintenance regimen at George Washington’s boyhood home represents a new discovery about our first President’s home, where he lived between 1738 and early 1754.  The team will present their findings at a statewide conference this October.  They hope to inspire similar collaborative projects and analyses using other curated collections.

Categories: 18th century, Animation of the day, Gallery, George Washington's Ferry Farm | Leave a comment

Animation of the Day: Orient Fishtail Point from Ferry Farm

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

 

1148_orient_fishtail

Today’s animation is an Orient Fishtail point recovered archaeologically at George Washington’s Ferry Farm.  This chipped stone tool was scanned on site at George Washington’s Ferry Farm.

Categories: Animation of the day, chipped stone tools, Gallery, George Washington's Ferry Farm, tea ceremony | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Animations of the Day: Colonial Cellar from George Washington’s Ferry Farm

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

ff_colonial_cellar

 

Today’s animations are different views of a Colonial-era cellar that may be attributed to George Washington and his family in the home where he grew up as a boy from the age of 6 until his early 20s. This quarter of the cellar was excavated  in July of 2014 at George Washington’s Ferry Farm. I scanned this feature using the Sense 3D scanner on July 11, prior A square hole evident in the animation is a shovel test pit initially excavated in a 1990s era survey of Ferry Farm, and the opposite side is a back-filled utility trench.

fea43_colonial_cellar_quarter_1_edited_open_side

Using editing software, I “opened” up one side of the cellar to make it easier for researchers to view, removing the side with the utility trench.

fea43_colonial_cellar_quarter_1_edited_profile

Following a suggestion made by Jane Eastman of West Carolina University, I also used editing software to create a vertical section through the cellar that shows one profile.  Editing software could easily be used to create any manner of profiles, or even section the feature horizontally.

 

Categories: 18th century, Animation of the day, Gallery, George Washington's Ferry Farm | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.