Best of Last Week: Nov. 27 – Dec. 1

Nov W5

Some stories are better left unsaid. Last week’s artifacts have had questionable origins or revealed compromising moments in history. An Indiana privy contained typical related artifacts with the exception of a single military button. How did a high ranking officer’s uniform end up as next day’s trash? Another mystery was left unsolved at a Virginia dig when volunteers found a pipe stem with embossed features similar to 17th century bookbinding. Very little is known about the maker… or imitator of this piece. Less mysterious were the fragments of a servant bell system recovered at Thomas Jefferson’s former home. Popular Forest was well known for its slave plantation during his tenure in the early 1800’s. The bell system further reveals the spectrum of servitude both in an out of the house.  Other unthinkable artifacts including embalming fluid bottles from exhumed burials in Tuscon and a ceramic gastrolith that had been consumed and passed through a local pig.

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1. Gastrolith- Ontario, Canada

Gastrolith on American Artifacts Blog
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2. Embalming Fluid Bottle- Tuscon, AZ

Embalming Fluid Bottle on American Artifacts Blog
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3. Bookbinder Pipe Stem- York County, VA

Bookbinder Pipe Stem on American Artifacts Blog
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4. Servant Bell System (3D)- Popular Forest Plantation, VA

Servant Bell System (3D) on American Artifacts Blog
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5. Military Uniform Button- Tippecanoe County, IN

Military Uniform Button on American Artifacts Blog
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