Started by Smartmarzipan, June 20, 2013, 12:14:16 PM
QuoteWithin minutes of walking onto the lawn behind Robinson and between Washington and Tucker halls, Bell knew she'd been wrong just by virtue of the numerous artifacts that she found on the surface."There was a dense scatter of artifacts from the early 1800s -- not at all what I had expected," she recalled. "Steven Lyle, W&L archaeology intern, and I put in one 2½-by-2½-foot test unit and found a remarkable assortment of material."That happened on Wednesday, June 12. After a rainy Thursday kept them away from the find, Bell and her team converged on the site last Friday, June 14, to start digging in earnest. They worked about 10 hours a day for the next three days, uncovering literally thousands of early-19th-century artifacts buried only two inches under the surface.As it happened, the ground behind Robinson had been virtually undisturbed for more than 200 years, resulting in what Bell calls a "rich, rich site" that will help paint a more complete picture of student life at Washington and Lee in the years immediately after the institution moved from Liberty Hall, west of the current campus, to the ridge nearer Lexington, where the Colonnade stands today.
QuoteSome of the items that stand out for Bell are a complete pocketknife, bone toothbrushes, slates, nibs for pens, medicine vials, pieces of a Rockingham Pottery pitcher displaying Rebecca at the Well, bone handles, ammunition of varying kinds, and a jaw harp. And the list goes on."There are so many things to be excited about regarding this site," Bell said. "Not only do we have the evidence of the construction of Graham Hall with bricks left from that, but then we can see so much of the daily lives of the students by looking at all that we're finding," said Bell, who is herself a graduate of W&L, in 1991. "As we look, for instance, at the type of buttons and buckles, we have found a range of quality, from copper alloy (brass) and delicate mother-of-pearl buttons to bone buttons."Some of the most interesting objects are those that show the academic experience," she continued. "Lots of slate to write lessons on, and what we think are many examples of science labs -- pieces of beakers, thermometers, glass stir rods. It's rare to get a glimpse of early college life like this. We were, after all, among the earliest colleges in the country, so we are one of only a few that would even have an opportunity to see a site like this."
Quote from: "FrankDK"Very interesting. But I would have thought that, at a college, where much writing goes on, there would be an extensive written record of daily, academic, and business life. Maybe no one thought those details were important enough to write about.Frank
Quote from: "the_antithesis"Quote from: "FrankDK"Very interesting. But I would have thought that, at a college, where much writing goes on, there would be an extensive written record of daily, academic, and business life. Maybe no one thought those details were important enough to write about.FrankWhoa. That just made something click about the current zeitgeist. Back then, they studied history but did not have an eye on the current time one day becoming history and keeping a careful record. These days, we do and maybe keep too detailed a record.