Archives for the ‘Special Finds’ Category

FS-ing Artifacts at Johnson’s Island

Tuesday, June 9, 2015 N218E134 (excavation unit)

As we excavate, part of our job is to screen buckets of soil for artifacts. Normally, the artifacts we find are set off to the side in trays to be counted and bagged at the end of the day. However, if something is unique or especially nice, it is FS’d. FS stands for “Field Specimen”, […]

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2014 Field Report 2

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 FS9394

All the below Field Specimens (FS) were discovered during the excavations of Block 8. We are slightly north of the center of the Block. FS 9394-Aqua Green Canning Jar Rim Fragment This fragment exhibits a cracked off rim finish. These jars were patented in the late 1850s. FS 9395 and FS 9397-Hard Rubber Chain Links […]

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2012 Field Report

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Coming from a variety of different universities and backgrounds, the students of the 2012 Johnson’s Island field school through Heidelberg University have now been excavating the Johnson’s Island Civil War Prison site for two weeks. The 11 students have been divided into four groups, each responsible for excavating a specific unit of the site. This […]

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Bone from the Latrine

Saturday, July 3, 2010

We are finding many animal bones in the sink (latrine) from Block 8 being excavated this year.  Two of these bones are from a cow, the radius and ulna.  In the pictures below, you can see one end (the proximal end of the ulna) shows a growth cap having yet to seal and the other […]

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12-Sided Bottle Discovered

Thursday, June 24, 2010

One of the first artifacts to be located within level 1 of Feature 124 (a latrine used in late 1862 or early 1863) was this 12-sided bottle. The bottle is just over 10 centimeters in length and 5 centimeters in width.  We have yet to remove the bottle from the latrine, but expect to in […]

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Interesting Lead Artifact

Thursday, June 17, 2010

  This artifact was discovered within the excavations of the Block 8 area.  It appears to be lead, having been flattened out and small cut-outs removed.  I can’t explain the very small holes, but the other cut-out shapes may have been lead pieces being used for sets in jewelry.  It is quite a unique piece […]

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Hard Rubber Ring Discovered

Tuesday, July 7, 2009 FS8035Sqrsm

Today, July 7, 2009, Hannah (a student in the Heidelberg University archaeological field school) discovered this hard rubber ring in the 1862-1863 prison hospital latrine.  The ring is made from hard rubber, first patented in 1851.  Prisoners made this jewelry to send to their families, friends, and to sell to fellow prisoners.  Several prisoners were […]

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A “Vessel Cluster” of Mystery

Sunday, July 5, 2009 Figure 1

by Juli, Phil, and Tim One of the more intriguing finds of the past couple of weeks has been the fragments (referred to collectively as the “vessel cluster”) of a Kaolin clay tobacco pipe unearthed while excavating Block 6, the hospital block (Figure 1). Kaolin, a soft, white mineral, was first mined centuries ago in […]

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