Post by Cari G.: On Thursday July 3rd, 2014, we finished working on our final reports and then we presented them at the end of the first half of class. Each group we had a ceramic and a metal object. The presentations described what type of object we had, any damage or technical detail that we observed on it, using either the microscope, ultraviolet light and, or x-ray fluorescence. We also described how we thought the object was put together: (ie: casting, molding, wheel thrown). In our presentations, we also talked about the history of the objects, its possible date and culture. After the presentations, we had a quick lecture on organic materials including wood, leather, basketry, and papyrus. Ivory was also an organic material we talked about during the lecture. We learned that ivory was referred to animal teeth. We spent the afternoon visiting the Peabody Library and looking at objects at the Walters Art Museum.


Examining Archaeological Objects: Our last day
Post by Cari G.: On Thursday July 3rd, 2014, we finished working on our final reports and then we presented them at the end of the first half of class. Each group we had a ceramic and a metal object. The presentations described what type of object we had, any damage or technical detail that we observed on it, using either the microscope, ultraviolet light and, or x-ray fluorescence. We also described how we thought the object was put together: (ie: casting, molding, wheel thrown). In our presentations, we also talked about the history of the objects, its possible date and culture. After the presentations, we had a quick lecture on organic materials including wood, leather, basketry, and papyrus. Ivory was also an organic material we talked about during the lecture. We learned that ivory was referred to animal teeth. We spent the afternoon visiting the Peabody Library and looking at objects at the Walters Art Museum.
Post by Cari G.: On Tuesday, July 2nd, 2014 we talked and learned about x-ray florescence and how to detect which elements are in each object by using x-rays. X-rays hit the electrons in atoms and a detector reads the energy changes that take place as electrons move around in their orbitals around the nucleus. By viewing the periodic chart, you can see which energy levels are associated with different elements. After the lecture on x-ray florescence, we took a field trip to the Baltimore Museum of Art. During the visit, we looked at the Antioch mosaics and looked at how missing sections and restorations were dealt with. We also saw bronze statues, and looked for weld lines, foundry marks and patinas. Another thing we talked about while in the museum was the way in which pigments were used, particularly in paintings.


Examining Archaeological Objects: At the Baltimore Museum of Art
Post by Cari G.: On Tuesday, July 2nd, 2014 we talked and learned about x-ray florescence and how to detect which elements are in each object by using x-rays. X-rays hit the electrons in atoms and a detector reads the energy changes that take place as electrons move around in their orbitals around the nucleus. By viewing the periodic chart, you can see which energy levels are associated with different elements. After the lecture on x-ray florescence, we took a field trip to the Baltimore Museum of Art. During the visit, we looked at the Antioch mosaics and looked at how missing sections and restorations were dealt with. We also saw bronze statues, and looked for weld lines, foundry marks and patinas. Another thing we talked about while in the museum was the way in which pigments were used, particularly in paintings.
Looking at different types of clay and additives.


Visiting Baltimore Clayworks: Examining Archaeological Objects
Looking at different types of glazes.


Visiting Baltimore Clayworks: Examining Archaeological Objects
Watching Matthew Hyleck, Director of Education at Baltimore Clayworks, do a demonstration of throwing clay on a wheel.


Visiting Baltimore Clayworks: Examining Archaeological Objects
Post by Alexandra T: On 7/1, the Discover Hopkins: Examining Archaeological Objects class continued to work with the Lost Towns Project at their laboratory in London Town, Maryland. We mainly assisted the archaeologists by washing artifacts collected from sites throughout Anne Arundel County. In addition to cleaning the artifacts that we found on the Dorr site last Friday, we also cleaned artifacts from other locations. These objects included artifacts such as pottery fragments and pieces of animal bone. The artifacts were cleaned by removing all dirt with toothbrushes, pipe cleaners, and a variety of other tools that were soft in order to keep from damaging the artifacts. After being washed, artifacts are left to dry, then labeled and cataloged, and finally put into bags/boxes for storage. It was really interesting to see our artifacts move on to the next step of their long journey!


Field Lab Day: Examining Archaeological Objects
Post by Alexandra T: On 7/1, the Discover Hopkins: Examining Archaeological Objects class continued to work with the Lost Towns Project at their laboratory in London Town, Maryland. We mainly assisted the archaeologists by washing artifacts collected from sites throughout Anne Arundel County. In addition to cleaning the artifacts that we found on the Dorr site last Friday, we also cleaned artifacts from other locations. These objects included artifacts such as pottery fragments and pieces of animal bone. The artifacts were cleaned by removing all dirt with toothbrushes, pipe cleaners, and a variety of other tools that were soft in order to keep from damaging the artifacts. After being washed, artifacts are left to dry, then labeled and cataloged, and finally put into bags/boxes for storage. It was really interesting to see our artifacts move on to the next step of their long journey!
Post by Arielle C. and Alexandra T: On 6/27, our Discover Hopkins: Examining Archaeological Objects class visited and assisted the Lost Towns Project on their Dorr site in Lothian, Maryland. We first toured the Pig Point site (which overlooks the Patuxent River) and spent a few minutes watching the excavation. Al Luckenbach, the director of the program showed us different artifacts which they had found, including a copper bead and a human bone. We ate lunch on a boardwalk over the Patuxent and learned more about the site, and the difference between historic and prehistoric artifacts. Usually the two are separated by the presence of writing, but in the Americas, the separation occurs after Native Americans made contact with Europeans. At the Dorr site, our class was given a small section to dig. All removed dirt went into buckets that were sifted to filter the dirt out and find artifacts. Though we did not find any artifacts from the historic period, we found many prehistoric ones such as sherds of Native American pottery, quartz flakes, and even a piece of slate, which is not typically found in the area. By the end of the day, we were all exhausted and definitely gained a new appreciation for archaeologists and their hard work in the field!


Fieldwork at the Lost Towns Project
Post by Arielle C. and Alexandra T: On 6/27, our Discover Hopkins: Examining Archaeological Objects class visited and assisted the Lost Towns Project on their Dorr site in Lothian, Maryland. We first toured the Pig Point site (which overlooks the Patuxent River) and spent a few minutes watching the excavation. Al Luckenbach, the director of the program showed us different artifacts which they had found, including a copper bead and a human bone. We ate lunch on a boardwalk over the Patuxent and learned more about the site, and the difference between historic and prehistoric artifacts. Usually the two are separated by the presence of writing, but in the Americas, the separation occurs after Native Americans made contact with Europeans. At the Dorr site, our class was given a small section to dig. All removed dirt went into buckets that were sifted to filter the dirt out and find artifacts. Though we did not find any artifacts from the historic period, we found many prehistoric ones such as sherds of Native American pottery, quartz flakes, and even a piece of slate, which is not typically found in the area. By the end of the day, we were all exhausted and definitely gained a new appreciation for archaeologists and their hard work in the field!
Post by Maddie S: On 6/26, we started off learning about the creation of ancient faience and glass. With glass, there were many different and difficult looking techniques for interesting designs that did not use glassblowing, such mosaic glass and core-forming. Later in the morning, we tried making our own stuff out of faience, which is a combination of sand, copper and other various materials that gives it its distinctive turquoise appearance. Making faience proved to be very hard, even when using a mold. How ancient Egyptians made such beautiful objects with such a messy and disagreeable material is a mystery!

In the afternoon, we walked to the New Arts Bronze Foundry and learned a bit about how their process for bronze casting using molds. It looked so simple when we just saw videos of how it's done, but it's much more time consuming and complicated than originally thought! I would elaborate more on what we saw there but we've been sworn to secrecy.


Discover Hopkins: Examining Archaeological Objects
Post by Maddie S: On 6/26, we started off learning about the creation of ancient faience and glass. With glass, there were many different and difficult looking techniques for interesting designs that did not use glassblowing, such mosaic glass and core-forming. Later in the morning, we tried making our own stuff out of faience, which is a combination of sand, copper and other various materials that gives it its distinctive turquoise appearance. Making faience proved to be very hard, even when using a mold. How ancient Egyptians made such beautiful objects with such a messy and disagreeable material is a mystery! In the afternoon, we walked to the New Arts Bronze Foundry and learned a bit about how their process for bronze casting using molds. It looked so simple when we just saw videos of how it's done, but it's much more time consuming and complicated than originally thought! I would elaborate more on what we saw there but we've been sworn to secrecy.

Timeline Photos
For the past two weeks, 3 high school students and 1 recent high school graduate have been working intensively on the study of archaeological materials in a course called Discover Hopkins: Examining Archaeological Objects at the museum. Over the next several days, you'll read short photo essays from our students, Arielle C., Cari G., Maddie S., and Alexandra T. See what we've been doing!
For the past two weeks, 3 high school students and 1 recent high school graduate have been working intensively on the study of archaeological materials in a course called Discover Hopkins: Examining Archaeological Objects at the museum. Over the next several days, you'll read short photo essays from our students, Arielle C., Cari G., Maddie S., and Alexandra T. See what we've been doing!