LAARC VIP9: Week 3

By adam corsini on 21 Oct 2011

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.

Working through pottery from Seal House (SH74)

Wednesday’s family groups started on the animal bone from the site before identifying paw prints on roman tiles and then making their own.

Packing animal bone Figuring out the animal paw prints

It was real good fun as you kind of get the impression from by this week’s photo of the week:

I think this bone would have gone here!

In the afternoon the University of the 3rd Age focused on leather artefacts, having had a talk on leather by curator Jackie Keily.

U3A Leather Workshop drawing and packing leather shoes

And finally, our workshop this week was all about building material; bricks, tiles, mosaics, painted wall plaster and stonework all included.

Checking out the roman stonework

You can find out more about our activities by joining us behind the scenes next Friday and Saturday. Book here for your guided tour of the archive (links to events page)

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