I hope it has been a restful weekend for everyone, especially the hardworking campers and students. To begin today's post let's hear some more from our campers. One writes:
Later, in the afternoons, we joined the students on site for lunch and then toured their units to hear about their progress. The campers had three units of our own that were rotated between us. We found areas of ash/charcoal, bones, beads, and some metal. Our time was also spent helping the students with wet-screening and cleaning artifacts."
Another camper, Therese, adds:
It is great to hear that I am not alone in the thrill of finding bits and pieces from Fort St. Joesph!
|The screening brigade.|
Onto an update about one artifact in particular. Some of our wonderful public has come forward with suggestions to deciphering the lead bale seal I wrote about last weekend. The 18th century French word "graine" does not necessarily mean seeds of a plant but could refer to a type of fabric with a bumpy surface or items that could have been referred to as coming in the form of a grain such as beads. Also the word is related to the word "grenette" which could mean "seeds of Avignon" and was a name for buckthorn berries dyers. These berries were used to produce particular colors of dye and, while it may be a bit of a stretch, we do know that vermilion, a bright red/orange pigment, was a trade item desired by Native Americans. Vermilion does not come from buckthorn, but we should not overlook the possibility that this lead seal marks dye products. We still are leaning towards the idea that this was a particular type of fabric given Lille's notoriety as a place of textile manufacture, but archaeologists must entertain all the possibilities!
|The shirts look even better in person!|
Click for a close-up.
|Artifacts fresh from the wet screen.|
Photo credits Erica D'Elia, Cathrine Davis, and Kelley Walter