Saturday, January 19, 2013

Mount Vernon Midden: Part III

Lead Shot. We excavated 521 pieces of lead shot from the South Grove Midden. Of the total, 30 were cast and 449 were dropped (using the Rupert method). Most of the shot (72%) measured 0.16” in diameter or less – a suitable size for hunting ducks, geese, pigeons, and other small birds and mammals.

The rim a wine glass, but not just any wine glass, one decorated with a leaf and a rosebud (right). But not just any rosebud. The rose was a symbol of the rebel English Jacobites, supporters of the late seventeenth-century exiled King James II and of his descendents, the Stuarts. Jacobites believed in divine right to rule and hereditary successionand sought to restore the Stuarts to the throne. The rose symbolized the Stuarts and the buds, the heirs. The Jacobite Movement occurred during a pivotal period in political history, during the transition from rule by divine right to rule by constitutional monarchy. Their efforts culminated in a failed rebellion in 1745. Glasses with the rose and other Jacobite symbols were used in secret clubs where the banned political party risked treason to meet, drink, and plot. What is this emblem of English political strife doing in the midden? Were the Washingtons Jacobites? In recent years, many Jacobite glasses have been exposed as fakes and the excavation of this object from the modern phase of the midden leaves this possible Jacobite glass open to scrutiny...

Scissors. This pair of incomplete iron scissors is missing one bow (or finger ring) and the point of one arm. The scissors were deposited open to their fullest extent, which is why they look more like a knife than scissors. The pair likely measured approximately 6 ½ inches (165mm) before being broken. Size helps in determining scissor function. These were most likely domestic utility scissors similar to the ones you have in your junk drawer because of their average size, thin blades, undecorated surface, and cheaper material.

The ONLY Pamplin pipe fragment to be recovered from the South Grove Midden! Made here in Virginia, this style, the "Pamplin Hexagonal Stemmed Milled Chesterfield", was produced for a long period of time- from approximately 1885 up until 1941.

This scary sea monster was once the handle of a salt-glazed stoneware teapot. 

Thimble- the lighting in the photograph better showcases its features such as indentations and true color, helping us to visualize what it once looked like. Thimbles varied in size; this thimble is fairly small, perhaps intended for use by someone with small hands such as a child.

Manganese Mottled earthenware vessels. These vessels often have a yellowish lead glaze with dark streaks or speckles, giving them their mottled appearance. This particular drinking pot is speckled on its exterior, with the glaze ending just above the base.

Copy and photos from the Alexandria Archaeology Museum Facebook.

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