Friday Links and Photo of the Day!

This week’s photo is of a young visitor to George Washington’s Ferry Farm on July 4, 2012, gazing into the Small Finds Laboratory as lasers play across an historic artifact, recording attributes that will enable a digital three-dimensional (3D) model of the object to be created. The Scanning project is part of the Virtual Curation Laboratory at Virginia Commonwealth University, directed by Bernard Means. Using this technology, researchers across the world will be able to manipulate, rotate, and measure the 3D digital model from the safety (and comfort!) of their own labs or offices. The 3D digital model will also be used to enhance web content and will be incorporated into computer tablet tours of Ferry Farm.  More information on the 3D scanning project can be found at: http://vcuarchaeology3d.wordpress.com/.  Details of Ferry Farm and the archaeological investigations at George Washington’s Boyhood Home are available at: http://kenmore.org/ff_home.html. You can also read a post that Dr. Means wrote for the SHA Blog about 3D Digital Curation here.

Some Links

Excavations are underway at William and Mary in search of the Bray School.

A courthouse in Stafford, Virginia has been located.

The Maryland Archaeological Conservation (MAC) Laboratory at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum announces the Gloria S. King Research Fellowship in Archaeology.

A blog post by the Northeast Museum Service Center about Scratch Blue Ceramic decoration.

A blog update from Fort St. Joseph in Niles, Michigan.

The Week in Historical Archaeology

This week’s photo is of a calligraphy pen excavated from an Aboriginal settlement “at the margin of a Presbyterian Mission site near Weipa” that archaeologist and blogger Mick Morrison (@mickmorrison) has been excavating. Credit for the photo goes to Flinders University graduate student Amy Della-Sale. Mick was gracious enough to write an accompanying blog post about the pen, suggesting that the pen may have been part of a system of donations between the mission and a church goers in Melbourne or Brisbane. Please read more about this fascinating artifact, see additional photos, and give Mick your insight into this fascinating artifact!

SpikeTV and National Geographic Coverage

This week, there were not many news headlines, but the blogs were full information regarding the recent television shows being broadcast by National Geographic and SpikeTV. As you probably know, the SHA has written two blog posts and two letters to Spike TV and National Geographic. You can read the SHA’s official letters here and here.

Two Facebook Groups have also been started in opposition to the SpikeTV and National Geographic Show, and have been cataloguing the various responses from archaeologists and archaeological organizations. They also include a number of discussions between metal detector enthusiasts and archaeologists. This is the best place to get up-to-date information on the topics.

Bloggers have also had some opinions about the importance of context and the dangers of looting:

FPAN’s Shovel Bytes argues that you can’t put a price on context.

Anthroprobably states that “America’s Heritage is Not for Sale”.

John Roby at Digs and Docs also weighs in on the ethics of profiting on heritage.

Elsewhere in the world of historical archaeology:

Believe it or not, other things have been happening in historical archaeology this week:

FPAN’s recent public workshop about archaeological advocacy received some news coverage this week.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service has a useful chart for determining soil texture by feel.

March is Archaeology Month in Arkansas! Here’s a list of the activities. Please, if it’s Archaeology Month in your state, share with us!

Mt. Vernon has a question for the public about their mystery nails: do you know why they’re coated? Help them out at their blog!

The Recent National Preservation Institute is offering a series of seminars in Historic Preservation and Cultural Resource Management (pdf).

 [Photo used with permission from Mick Morrison]