What Is It?

 

 

by Corey Heyward, Wexler Curatorial Fellow

The two objects seen here are broken fragments of tobacco pipes. Made of kaolin clay, pipes were imported from England and were a common accessory during early America. They easily break and therefore are rarely recovered from archaeological sites in one piece. However, even with the smaller fragments, we can still learn a great deal.

These two examples both exhibit maker’s marks, consisting of the maker’s initials, impressed onto the pipe bowl by the manufacturer. The bowls appear to be stamped and impressed with the initials “TD,” which was a common mark throughout the colonial period and into the 19th century.

“TD” likely refers to either Thomas Dormer (1748-1770), who was a pipe maker in London by 1763, or the Bristol pipe maker Thomas Dennis (1734-1781). American-made pipes with the mark “TD” were later manufactured in the 19th century, however we used stem bore measurements, which correspond to production dates, to confirm that at least one of these pipes was made likely around 1720-1750.

 

dscn4140Corey Heyward, the Wexler Curatorial Fellow, first interned in Drayton Hall’s Preservation Department in the fall of 2011 during her sophomore year at the College of Charleston. After completing her junior year abroad at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, Corey returned to Drayton Hall during her senior year to write her bachelor’s honor essay on the site’s delft tiles. Her in-depth research provided new information about their manufacturing dates and origins,  the specific decorative patterns and their possible locations throughout Drayton Hall. Corey completed her M.A. in Anthropology, specializing in Archaeology and Museum Training, at George Washington University. From the beginning of her graduate work in 2014, she also interned in the archaeology laboratory at George Washington’s Mount Vernon where she was trained to use DAACS, assisted in archaeological fieldwork and learned to produce high quality archaeological photographs.

The Wexler Curatorial Fellowship is a two-year, full-time fellowship position generously funded by Deborah and Peter Wexler. The Fellowship helps catalog the Drayton Hall archaeological collection using the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery (DAACS) under the  direction of Archaeologist and Curator of Collections, Sarah Stroud Clarke.

 

 

 

 

 

Job Announcement: Wexler-Funded Curatorial Fellow

Colonoware-photo-courtesy-CWF-1020x799

Circa 1740 Colonoware cooking pot created by enslaved people and used at Drayton Hall. Photo credit: Colonial Williamsburg

Under the supervision of the Drayton Hall Preservation Trust Archaeologist + Curator of Collections, the Wexler-Funded Curatorial Fellow (WFCF) is responsible for generating high-quality digital data on archaeological artifacts, excavation contexts, and site plans, with the use of detailed classification, measurement, digitizing, and coding protocols developed by the Monticello Archaeology Lab and the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery (DAACS). The WFCF is responsible for cataloging the legacy archaeological collection at Drayton Hall in order to contribute to a greater understanding of the material culture of the past inhabitants of the Drayton Hall property. The fellowship is a funded position with funding expected to last for approximately 24 months.

Duties

  • Mastery of DAACS protocols and data structures for artifacts and context data and their instantiation in the DAACS database.
  • Expertise in the material culture of the early-modern Atlantic world, especially ceramics and a basic understanding of stratigraphy, soils, sediments, archaeological survey and excavation techniques.
  • Knowledge of current scholary literature in historical archaeology.
  • Ability to communicate effectively through writing, informal tours, and professional presentations. Fellow is expected to work with supervisor to present results at professional conferences and to communicate with Deborah and Peter Wexler on the status and progress of the fellowship.
  • Excellent organizational skills with extreme attention to detail and diligent and patient work practices.
  • Be a team player and be able to lead, follow, and/or support colleagues in a tactful, positive way.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree in anthropology or related discipline, preferably with a concentration in archaeology.
  • Graduate degree in anthropology.
  • Previous DAACS training by the Monticello/DAACS staff a plus.
  • A minimum of two years’ experience in archaeological research.
  • Must have strong oral and written communication skills.

Position Details

  • Department: Preservation
  • Reports To: Archaeologist + Curator of Collections
  • FLSA Status: Non-Exempt
  • Employment Status: Full Time

Please send a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references who can support the applicant’s ability to perform the duties described above, to:
Drayton Hall Preservation Trust
Attn: Sarah Stroud Clarke, Archaeologist + Curator of Collections
3380 Ashley River Road, Charleston, SC 29414
Or you may email your application materials to sstroudclarke@draytonhall.org
No phone calls, please.
The Drayton Hall Preservation Trust is an equal opportunity employer.

Drayton Hall Archaeologist Attends DAACS Research Consortium

Camille Chambers of the College of William and Mary and Sarah Stroud Clarke enjoying their DRC training session in May at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

Camille Chambers of the College of William and Mary and Drayton Hall archaeologist Sarah Stroud Clarke enjoying their DRC training session in May at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.

In 2012 Drayton Hall became an institutional partner of the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery (DAACS), an extensive archaeological database created in 2000 by the Monticello Archaeology Department to foster scholarly collaboration and data sharing of archaeological resources. Sarah Stroud Clarke was in residence at Monticello for five weeks in 2012 as an International Center for Jefferson Studies/DAACS fellow to train on the database before its installation at Drayton Hall later that year.

A glowing lead-crystal bottle stopper from the Drayton Hall Collection.

A glowing lead-crystal bottle stopper from the Drayton Hall Collection.

This UV lightbox is used to determine if glass is leaded.

This UV lightbox is used to determine if glass is leaded.

In April of 2014, DAACS received a $450,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon foundation to support the DAACS Research Consortium or DRC as a web-based initiative. Eleven partner institutions were chosen to take part in the DRC including Drayton Hall, Monticello, Mount Vernon, the South Carolina Institute for Archaeology, the Jamaica National Heritage Trust, and six universities. As part of the DRC, each partner institution was charged with choosing a case study to catalog using the DAACS protocols in the new web-based format. Drayton Hall has chosen the South Flanker well, a wood-lined well that was partially excavated during 1979/1980. Sarah is currently spending much of her time working to catalog the estimated 60,000 artifacts excavated from this context. It is hypothesized that the well was filled in during a post-Revolutionary War clean-up of the property. When the detailed analysis of the artifacts from this feature is complete we will hopefully know much more about the residents of Drayton Hall in the eighteenth century.

The DRC grant also funds a series of trips to Monticello for DRC meetings and training sessions for Sarah and Dr. Carter C. Hudgins, as well as new equipment for the Drayton Hall archaeology lab. One recent purchase is a short-wave UV light used to determine if glass is leaded. Artifacts glow an ice-blue color if there is lead present in the glass as is demonstrated by this lead-glass bottle stopper that was found in the South Flanker well (pictured above). The project is set to be completed by the end of March 2015.

Drayton Hall Archaeologist Attends DAACS Research Consortium

Image

Visitors to Drayton Hall are often curious about the original window panes. Most of the original window glass is now in the form of archaeological artifacts. Our archaeologist Sarah Stroud Clarke is hard at work cataloging some of this glass while attending a training session for the DAACS Research Consortium. Photograph courtesy of the Fairfield Foundation.

Last week, Drayton Hall archaeologist and curator of collections Sarah Stroud Clarke participated in the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery (DAACS) Research Consortium at Monticello. Participants from 11 partner institutions came together to form the consortium. The Fairfield Foundation’s blog gives an excellent overview of the consortium in “Archaeology Nerds Unite for Research Consortium at Monticello.”

A Time to Reflect: How Archaeology is Shaping the Future at Drayton Hall

excavating foundations

Here I am excavating the foundations of Drayton Hall for the structural assessment.

By Sarah Stroud Clarke, Archaeologist and Curator of Collections at Drayton Hall

October is National Archaeology Month and a great time for me to reflect on all of the current activity taking place around the archaeological collections at Drayton Hall. Archaeological excavations began at Drayton Hall when the National Trust for Historic Preservation gained ownership of the property in 1974. Since then there have been numerous archaeological investigations around the “historic core” of the property, mainly the main house of Drayton Hall, the Privy, and the Garden House, resulting in an estimated one million artifacts in our collection!

Eric Snyder screening in the basement

Eric Snyder assisting with screening during our excavations in the basement.

Over the course of the past two years much of my work has focused on one of our largest critical priorities—stabilizing the iconic Drayton Hall portico. The portico work has been an interdisciplinary undertaking and it was my job to work with the structural engineers from Bennett Preservation Engineering to expose portions of Drayton Hall’s foundations in order to see how the foundation walls of Drayton Hall had held up over the course of the past 275 years.

As the project progressed, an extensive excavation was completed in the western end of the Drayton Hall basement directly underneath of the portico in order for a shoring system to be installed without damaging any cultural materials that lay beneath the stone floor. It was a wonderful opportunity to explore the central area of the basement as this area had never before been tested archaeologically. Much to my delight, hundreds of artifacts remained trapped under the heavy stones and once the artifacts are cataloged they will reveal new interpretive narratives for this space that was once full of activity by the enslaved population of Drayton Hall.

DH ArchaeologyOne of the things that is hardest to explain about archaeology is that my work is not finished once the excavations are completed outside. I often tell our visitors that for every hour I spend working in the field it takes an average of eight hours in the laboratory. Drayton Hall has an active archaeology lab and storage space on-site and I am never far from the artifacts. The archaeological process is a long one and I couldn’t possibly undertake this process without the help of a group of very dedicated and hard-working volunteers comprised of Friends of Drayton Hall.

Preservation Wednesday

Preservation Wednesday volunteers hard at work.

Over the past four years, a dedicated group of Drayton Hall Friends has come together the third Wednesday of each month to volunteer with the Archaeology portion of our Preservation and Education Department. The “Preservation Wednesday Group” has collectively spent hundreds of hours washing the excavated archaeological artifacts and I am proud to say that they have officially finished washing all of the artifacts excavated since my arrival at Drayton Hall in 2008—a job that would not have been completed without their generous donation of time!

Me with volunteer Stan Younce who is learning to label.

Me with volunteer Stan Younce who is learning to label.

As we move into the next phase of the archaeological process, the group will learn how to label the clean artifacts and will begin to help me weigh and measure them, after which they will be properly cataloged. Archaeologists used to have to use pens with nibs and India ink to label each artifact, but we are now using an innovative system created by other archaeology labs, such as those at James Madison’s Montpelier and Colonial Williamsburg, in which labels are printed on special paper and then applied to the artifacts using clear Paraloid B-72, which does not harm them. This process will save us considerable time and energy and prepare the artifacts for the next step: cataloging.

We are proud to be the second satellite institution to have the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery (DAACS) installed on-site (the first was George Washington’s Mt. Vernon) and will use this system to catalog the entirety of the Drayton Hall archaeological collections. This innovative comparative cataloging system was developed at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and now hosts cataloged archaeological collections from the Chesapeake, South Carolina, and the Caribbean.

Drayton Hall Objects at Colonial Williamsburg ExhibitIt is always an honor to partner with other institutions and we are thrilled to be included in a brand new exhibit at Colonial Williamsburg’s DeWitt Wallace Gallery: A Rich and Varied Culture: The Material World of the Early South. The exhibit officially opens in February of 2014 and in addition to the impressive Drayton Hall furniture pieces, a number of archaeological artifacts were selected from the Drayton Hall collections, including this pair of Chinese-export porcelain chocolate cups shown left (click on image for a larger view). From the first quarter of the eighteenth century, they were found in an archaeological feature that pre-dates the construction of Drayton Hall.  Drinking chocolate was made fashionable in London during the late seventeenth century by Sir Hans Sloane who added milk and sugar in order to make it more appetizing. Drayton Hall is fortunate to have such a beautiful  example of early chocolate cups in our collection. Click here for more on this fascinating topic.

You never know what we might find next at Drayton Hall so be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with our latest discoveries and read more about Drayton Hall archaeology and other preservation activities in our monthly eNewsletter, Circa.

To subscribe to Circa, please email info@draytonhall.org with “Sign Me Up for Circa” in the subject line.