Metal, Microscopes & Mountains of Pottery
Having eased our volunteers into the project with nice materials like ceramic, glass and stone, for their third week, we gave them RUST! Yep it was time for the metals.
Now, the truth is, when working with metallic objects you never really know what state they’re going to be in. There’s a lot of pieces of iron that are heavily corroded, but that being said, there’s a lot of nice pieces too, such as one of the star objects of the week, this Saxon knife blade with copper inlay decoration:
Copper artefacts are also a mixed bag, but between the many uninteresting pins and “unidentified fragments” we have some beauties. The opening photo of a belt fitting found by the Tower of London Postern Gate (links to online catalogue) was one such find. It is thought to depict St George towering over the slayed dragon but just to make sure, Tuesday’s team examined it under a microscope to get a better look.
To make the days a little varied, each afternoon we worked on pottery from Seal House (links to online catalogue). This will be one of the big sites we’ll be tackling over the course of the project with 235 boxes to check and organise.
Wednesday’s family groups started on the animal bone from the site before identifying paw prints on roman tiles and then making their own.
It was real good fun as you kind of get the impression from by this week’s photo of the week:
In the afternoon the University of the 3rd Age focused on leather artefacts, having had a talk on leather by curator Jackie Keily.
And finally, our workshop this week was all about building material; bricks, tiles, mosaics, painted wall plaster and stonework all included.