June 5, 2015 – Day 18

written by Mary Larkum

We have been fortunate to have assistance in the lab from many awesome, dedicated volunteers throughout our excavation season. Everything removed from the ground is brought to the lab in paper bags. artifact bag small

Artifacts typically come out of these bags unsorted and coated in sediment. unsorted tray_small 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.sorted tray_small

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).

jar lid small pins small

charred pig tooth smallThis wooden lice comb suggests that infestations, probably between children, were not unknown. While this hairpin shows that good design never goes out of style.

Lice comb smallhair pin small

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