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US Route 301 Archaeology Update

Written on: March 7th, 2013 in Archaeology Updates US301

William and Mary Style Escutcheon Plate 1680–1720

The lab at Dovetail has been very busy this month working through the large Houston-LeCompt collection. To date all of Phase I artifacts are washed and we have started cleaning Phase II materials and continue cataloging the Phase III collection. It was this process that spawned the idea of participating in the ‘Small Finds’ session at the Mid-Atlantic Archaeology Conference (MAAC) this weekend. Among the thousands of artifacts recovered from the Houston-LeCompt site were ornate, hand-painted buttons, brass furniture plates, handmade jewelry, and exquisite decorative ceramics.    These items were perhaps owned by the first inhabitants of the site during the second half of the eighteenth century.  One person associated with this site is Mary Houston, a widow who seemed to enjoy the finer things in life. When Mary’s descendants bought the land back around 1900, once again the quantity of personal artifacts was represented in the artifact assemblage.  These elaborate items as well as some day-to-day personal effects such as toothbrushes, coins, shoes, and thimbles, will be part of a larger symposium that celebrates the ‘small finds’ of an archaeological collection.  It is often these smaller items that reveal the most interesting information on the personalities of the occupants of a site.

Carved Bone Handles                                                                                                                                                                          Carved Bone Handles