written by Mary Larkum
Artifacts typically come out of these bags unsorted and coated in sediment. Bag contents need gentle cleaning, usually by dry brushing using a soft toothbrush, and sorting to separate everything by artifact type. This is a process that requires time and patience.
We greatly appreciate the hours of work that volunteers have freely given to assist our project. Our results to date have gone a long way to answering our primary research question namely: What was life like for women and children in Northampton during the 18th and 19th centuries?
Many artifacts are associated with activities typically considered to be “women’s work”. For example, our assemblage features numerous sewing pins (on left), ceramic kitchen vessels such as the lid of this storage jar (on right), and cooking remains such as this burnt pig’s tooth (below, center).